So we’ve mentioned JUUL several times on this site, and it’s honestly a great device.
The caveat is that buying pods straight for the manufacturer is going to eat into your wallet.
Sure, it may still be cheaper than buying a pack of cigarettes a day, but there is another way to get your nicotine fix without breaking the bank.
We’ll be taking a look at my personal list of Best JUUL Compatible Pods that are just as good, if not better, than the original product.
Looking for a JUUL Compatible Pods Shipped to Australia?
|Visit Website||Remarks||Nic Strength||Capacity||VG/PG Ratio|
|Juul Pods||Original flavours||5% (50mg)||0.7mL||70%/30%|
|Gem Pods||24 flavours||6% (60mg)||1mL||70%/30%|
|Switch Pods||Great Throat Hit||6% (60mg)||1mL||50%/50%|
|EonSmoke Pods||Leading brand, big range||6% (60mg)||1mL||40%/60%|
|Skol Pods||Taste + throat hit||5% (50mg)||0.7mL||50%/50%|
|Mngo Pods||Best mango alternatives||5% (50mg)||1mL||50%/50%|
So What is JUUL?
Breaking it down, a JUUL device is a pod vape that uses replaceable cartridges to replenish your e-juice.
Not only do these small pods come with juice pre-filled, they also contain the wick and coil necessary for the vaping experience.
About the thickness and size of a pack of stick gum, this product is marketed to former smokers who wish to quit.
It’s an easy to use and less expensive alternative to smoking while being exceptionally low key.
It really doesn’t get more convenient than this. Just make sure the battery is charged, pop in your favourite flavour, and you get roughly a pack worth of nicotine per pod.
It sounds great right?
Why Bother Getting Pods from Other Manufacturers?
Well, there’s almost always a ‘but’.
Regardless of the type of vape you use, there’s always going to be some downsides.
With JUUL, one of the primary downsides is that purchasing pods can get fairly expensive.
Additionally, while it is possible to refill JUUL pods, they aren’t designed to be.
So given the expenses, it’s easy to extrapolate a number of reasons why less costly alternatives to ‘legit’ pods are desirable.
The Advantages of Alternative JUUL Pods
Primarily, most pods from other manufacturers are going to be cheaper.
Whether this is because the e-juice they use is sourced from less expensive companies, prices are undercut for competitive reasons, or cartridges may even be refillable.
This last option will especially end up saving you some cash, mostly because it’s usually less bank breaking to buy bottles instead.
Another reason that alternative pods are great is due to the lack of flavours. JUUL now only sells two flavours having discontinued eight pod flavours in 2019.
If you’re looking for a greater variety of flavours, you’re going to have to invest in compatible cartridges. You might even find the taste to be better in some of these alternatives.
A major problem that turns off many vapers, especially those who tend to chain vape, is that JUUL pods don’t contain all that much e-juice.
At 0.8ml, this is barely going to be enough to last most vapers for a day.
While the obvious answer is to carry more pods, personally I think it’s easier to just go bigger to begin with.
A pack of four JUUL pods is going to run you around a pack and a half of cigarettes depending on where you’re from.
While you’re essentially getting four packs for a much cheaper price, it’s still going to add up over time.
So for those of you looking to vape for a long while, this guide is going to help you do so without adding to the bills.
The Disadvantages of Alternative JUUL Pods
That isn’t to say that there aren’t any issues concerning alternative cartridges.
Given the size of wicks within the pods, you won’t be able to chain vape without getting a dry hit.
To avoid this, you’ll have to wait a few seconds for the wick to resoak after each draw.
E-juice leakage is also something you’ll have to worry about. While it isn’t a significant issue for all pods, there’s always one or two that seemingly can’t hold the liquid in the container.
Compatibility is also a factor. While these items may be marketed as JUUL pod alternatives, you’re not going to have as easy a time replacing cartridges.
There will always be the occasional error in the manufacturing process that doesn’t fit a JUUL device’s tolerances.
Lastly, there is also the warranty to consider.
You’ll be voiding it by using alternative pods. There is also the issue of safety being an issue.
Remember that while compatible pods are made to be used by JUUL devices, the reverse can’t be said.
This is just something to keep in mind if you end up going this route.
Fake JUUL Pods and How to Spot Them
There has been some controversy on ‘knock off’ JUUL pods.
Unlike those marketed as alternatives, these types of pods attempt to fool buyers into purchasing cartridges that they believe are the real deal.
You can find a more in-depth guide here, but there are a few quick tips I can give you.
- Authentic JUUL packaging has the actual logo on the top flap, while fakes often use dots instead.
- Fake pods use harsher e-juice; there’s often a visual difference in the liquid.
- Check the cotton. Fake pods use a messier method of arranging their cotton.
- Look for spills inside the packaging; most knock off pods are crap at actually holding e-liquid.
- Real pods also come in packaging with the label “The Alternative for Adult Smokers”.
What to Look for in Compatible Pods
This section mostly has to do with personal preference, but there are a few general draws.
- What is the flavour selection like?
- Do the pods hold more e-liquid?
- What nicotine strengths do they offer?
- How cheap is it?
- Are the cartridges refillable?
The List of Best JUUL Compatible Pods
Well, let’s see what’s on the menu today. We’ll be going through a short review on my favourite JUUL pod alternatives and coming up with a winner at the end.
Of course, these are just my personal preferences, but if you see something you like, try it out!
#1 Gem Pods
- 24 flavours to try
- Holds more juice than JUUL pods
- Comes in multiple nicotine strengths
- Little to no leakage
- More ergonomic
- Smooth throat hits
- Cheaper than JUUL cartridges
- Can cause dry hits if drawn too quickly
At around $10 per pack of four, these nic salt pods also contain more e-juice than the standard JUUL cartridge.
Carrying 1.0ml of e-juice adds 30% more draws than the official product.
Coming in packs of four, a respectable 6.0% nicotine strength this line of products is a excellent choice as a JUUL pod alternative.
Being marketed at a lower price point, these quality pods provide all the functionality of the real deal while being less expensive.
The real stand-out feature from Gem pods is the massive range of available flavours – 24 at last count.
Gem caters to regular pod tastes with mint, mango and tobacco while making things interesting with strawberry menthol, sweet nut and rambutan.
After having tried several flavours, I can say that I’m pleasantly surprised.
I got a good buzz from these pods, the flavours are on point, and it was honestly difficult for me to tell that I wasn’t vaping from a standard JUUL cartridge.
Overall, these are good quality products that I don’t have issues with endorsing.
It seems like I’m not the only one to do so however, as demand looks to be rising across the board.
While it’s entirely likely that this brand will remain less expensive than JUUL pods, don’t be surprised if you see prices varying widely online.
#2 Switch Pods
- Holds 1ml of nic salt
- Good nicotine strength
- Many flavours to choose from
- Less expensive than JUUL pods
- Older products had reliability issues
- Seems to run through e-juice quicker than ziip brand
These pre-filled pods come with 60mg worth of nicotine as the standard. In addition to boasting a larger e-liquid capacity at 1ml, Switch also offers nine different flavours for tasting pleasure.
While it doesn’t offer the same variety of nicotine strengths as other brands, 6% means you’ll get that extra kick compared to JUUL’s marketed 5% strength (technically 5.7%).
Firstly, I’m impressed with the lineup of different flavours.
You’re not going to have a difficult time finding consistent flavours to enjoy.
Also, being a few bucks cheaper than JUUL pods, you’ll save a bit of cash in the long run.
Savings won’t be major at first, but if you’re sticking to pod vaping, it will still be a significant difference in money saved.
There have been some concerns with leakage in this product line, but that issue has been addressed via redesign changes in the past year.
So far, I haven’t noticed any leaking problems, and I have yet encountered any major issues concerning dry hits.
As with all pods, you’ll still get those once in a while, but horror stories of consistent burnt taste and leakage can be ignored.
#3 Skol Pods
- Wide variety and good taste
- 5% worth of nicotine
- Good throat hit
- 0.7ml of juice per cartridge
Priced similarly to JUUL pods, these cartridges come packing with several large advantages.
With a large selection of flavours to choose from, Skol Pods also holds a respectable 50mg of nicotine per 0.7ml cartridge (Same capacity as original JUUL pods).
Getting what feels like a ‘get one free’ deal, really helps to sell me on this product.
While holding the same amount of fluid as standard JUUL pods, the throat hit is a cut above most compatible pod brands.
Not only that, but I can’t find any complaints regarding leakage issues.
I’ve had some problems with my initial pulls being burnt tasting, however.
Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be a common issue, and the crispy tasting pod I had worked well after being left to age for a few days.
The taste of the various products have also been satisfactory. I’ve had good results with Blueberry, Lemon Ice, and Mocha.
While some other brands may have that chemical taste to them, I haven’t run into any notable taste issues so far with this line of cartridges.
#4 Mngo Pods
- Comes in a 5 pack
- Good nicotine level
- Good throat hit
- One nicotine strength
- Occasional burnt taste
Aptly named, Mngo Pods offers a small range of different e-juice flavours, most of which are a blend of mango mixed with another fruit.
Besides being able to hold 1ml of nic salt with 60mg per cartridge, you’ll be getting five pods per pack with this line of products.
You’ll still be paying less for five of these pods compared to a JUUL’s four.
While the selection of flavours is somewhat limited. With a smaller subsection of sweeter flavours, mostly blended with mango, you’re not going to have trouble with this brand if you enjoy the taste.
What’s really magical here though, is how you can purchase a five pack of pods at a lower price than JUUL cartridges and many other brands.
Well, that seems iffy right?
I can’t complain about the flavours or price, I did suffer the occasional leak, and spitting of e-juice.
#5 4x pods
- Refillable pods are available
- High nicotine content
- Great throat hit
- Expensive as far as alternatives go
- Lower variety of flavours
With a rather on the spot name, these products also happen to be sold in packs of four.
Who knew, right?
Besides the number of pods, each cartridge also holds the by now standard of 1ml worth of nic salt.
What sets this line of products apart from its competitors is the relatively high levels of nicotine they contain.
With e-salts being more effective at transmitting nicotine into your system, a 6.5 or 6.8% worth of salt nic will bring a seriously notable buzz.
If you’re looking for a more robust fix, this is a solid option to stave off the cravings for a while.
Additionally, this company also markets refillable pods. Instead of just tossing away used cartridges, you have to option of buying empty pods and filling them yourself.
This allows you to save money by buying a larger quantity of nic salt and reusing your pods until the wick is burnt out.
As for negatives, this product will cost around as much as a standard JUUL pack. The variety of flavours is nothing to write home about either, but they don’t taste terrible.
One more gripe I have is specifically for the refillable pods.
These only hold .7ml worth of salt nic, which is somewhat disappointing when their other products are marketed at 1ml per cartridge.
#6 OVNS - W01 Refillable Pods
- Inexpensive and durable
- Rarely leaks
- You get to pick your own juice
- Doesn’t come pre-filled
- Only holds .7ml of fluid
Now for something a little different from the other products in this lineup.
While most other options on this list come with their pods pre-filled, these refillable pods come empty.
At around AU $10 for a pack of three, these cartridges give you the option of filling them with your nic salt of choice.
While they’re only able to hold .7ml worth of juice, you’re probably not going to have issues running out if you carry the entire pack around with you.
The pods are solidly constructed and use a side-fill system to fuel up the container. I’ve had minor issues with these pods regarding leaking or burning, but that was with thicker nic salts.
I’ve run into some burning problems when using thinner blends, but it isn’t a significant downside.
You can carefully chain vape with minimal time between draws as long as you use thicker fluids.
It’s also a little disappointing that these pods are only sized for .7ml worth of juice, but with the pods being so inexpensive, you can easily purchase two packs for the price of a JUUL pack of four.
The Winner of the Roundup
I’ll have to go with Ziip Pods for the winner of this lineup. My primary reason for this is because of JUUL’s original marketing strategy.
The purpose behind the development of the JUUL device and system was to help smokers find an alternative to kick their habit.
Ziip Pods not only offers a decent selection of flavours and good salt nic capacity, but their extensive range of nicotine strengths is the deal-breaker for me.
If I’m trying to cut down on nicotine intake or even cease entirely, it’s way easier to slowly cut down on the amount of nicotine I’m consuming.
Going cold turkey sucks. There’s no way around it, but you can make dealing with withdrawal gradually easier.
And if I can do all this by spending less money? I’d say it’s a pretty good deal.