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Atomizer, Clearomizer or Cartomizer

By on Last modified: November 11, 2015

Over the last couple years, electronic cigarettes have become extremely popular but there is a little confusion as what the difference is between atomizers, clearomizers, and cartomizers. There isn’t a whole lot of information out there that really explains it. The trick is to really understand the different parts that make up an electronic cigarette to know which one of these would be the best for you and your needs and making it easier for you to get a great vaping experience. Below we’ll go over these different parts, what they do and what they are used for so you can decide which one is the right fit for you.

An atomizer is essentially a coil that is battery powered; it heats up and is what heats up the liquid making it hot enough to turn into vapor which is what you inhale when using an electronic cigarette. If the atomizer is by itself in the pen, then the liquid will drip straight onto it which is fine as it has a wick that absorbs and regulates how much liquid is being produced into vapor which allows you to use it for ‘dripping’ (this is when you have a long vaping session). The great thing about using just the atomizer is that you get a potent vapor with a crisp, clean taste as there is nothing separating the liquid from the heat so it doesn’t get diluted by anything else which means you also get the strongest flavour.


An issue that may occur with a clearomizers or cartomizers is that the vapour can get really hot which doesn’t happen with an atomizer. This heat can sometimes burn the liquid inside which can create an unpleasant taste and odor, but because of the way an atomizer works you don’t see this problem occurring. Some of the downsides from using an atomizer is that it is a lot messier than the other two options and requires more cleaning which can also be a pain as the residue is harder to clean. If you are inexperienced you can also easily flood the pen with liquid and get it all over yourself which can cause an even bigger mess. Another thing you may also get if an inexperienced atomizer users, is that burnt, unpleasant taste which can happen if you try vaping with hardly any liquid. An experienced user will know how much vapor you can get from one load so this doesn’t happen.

A clearomizer is another great electronic cigarette option as its name suggests you can see through it completely. This is great because you can see how much liquid you have left so you don’t continue to vape and get that horribly burning taste and smell. If you don’t want to count how much vapour comes out then maybe you should choose a clearomizer. Clearomizers are customizable and you can choose different tank sizes depending on how much vapour you want before having to refill your liquid. That burning smell can still occur if the wick isn’t wet enough but all you have to do is tilt the liquid in it and it will be fine after that.

You can also adjust this wick so you have better control over how much liquid you will use. A few other customizable features that come with a clearomizer is that you can add coils and you can change the wicks, but you will need to change the atomizer heads after a while. Customizing your clearomizer is probably best reserved for more experienced electronic cigarette users. There are many different clearomizers available including top coil clearomizers, bottom coil clearomizers, and multiple wick clearomizers which all have good and bad points. You should base your decision on what you are looking for in an electronic cigarette and which one will meet your needs.


Cartomizers are the same as a clearomizer in the way that they both use a coil and tank, but the way the liquid reaches the coil is a little different. Cartomizers are filled with artificial fillers which mean the cartridge cannot be reused; its usually a ‘use once and throw away’ type thing. There are some ways you can refill a cartridge, but it takes a lot of time, patience and can be a bit frustrating.

The ones that you can refill, use a syringe to deliver liquid into the cartridge, but they too have some downfalls. You can’t seem to clean the tank as properly as you could a clearomizer, which means you will always have a little residue left behind from the last liquid. This is fine for users who stick to one flavour, but if you want to maybe try something new, you’ll probably end up with somewhat mixed tastes which can be unpleasant. A ceramic cartomizer, however, comes with no fillers so you can clean it easier and avoid that situation altogether. They are quite cheap compared to the other two, so if the price is something you’re looking for, then maybe you should consider a cartomizer.

After reading all the differences between an atomizer, clearomizer, and cartomizer, hopefully you understand the differences between them so you know what each vaping experience would be like with each one. You should base your decision on how much liquid you will be using, if it’s just something you wish to try once, or if you’re considering changing to electronic cigarettes permanently and any other factors that might sway your decision. You can find electronic cigarettes in stores where they sell tobacco-related products or you can search, browse, and buy electronic cigarettes and liquids online.