What Is Airflow and How It Affects a Vape?

Table of Contents

What Does Airflow Do on a Vape?

Airflow adjusters are typically found on the side of your device or at the “collar” of your tank. Usually designed as a slider, you can adjust the airflow to be closed, partially open, or fully open.

Adjusting the airflow changes the amount of air passing through your coil when you inhale. This alteration can affect the temperature, flavour intensity, and size of your vapour clouds.


  • Open Airflow: Allows more air to pass through the coil, cooling it down and resulting in cooler vapour.
  • Restricted Airflow: Reduces air intake, leading to hotter vapour and a warmer hit.

Flavour Intensity

  • Max Airflow: More air dilutes the vapour cloud, resulting in a less intense flavour.
  • Restricted Airflow: Limits air mix, enhancing the flavour intensity.

Cloud Size

  • More Air: With more air comes more clouds, but this can come as the cost of flavours.
  • Less Air: Smaller, more discreet clouds, which is what you will find in mouth to lung vapes.

What Is the Best Airflow Setting on a Vape?

The ideal airflow setting is subjective and depends on personal preferences. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

  • Increased Airflow: Bigger cloud production, smoother throat hit, less intense flavour, and cooler inhale.
  • Medium Airflow: Moderate cloud production, satisfying throat hit, decent flavour, and average temperature inhale.
  • Decreased Airflow: Smaller clouds, harsher throat hit, more intense flavour, and hotter inhale.

Remember, these are general guidelines. Your device may offer more precise control, allowing you to find a unique sweet spot that suits your preferences.

The rule of thumb to go with its sub-ohm vape kits want more airflow, while MTL Vape pods want less airflow.

What Airflow Should I Use for My Vaping Style?

If you’re considering airflow, you’ve likely encountered different vaping styles. Some vapers like to inhale the vapor into their mouth first (MTL), especially if they used to smoke. Some people with more experience may choose to inhale the vapor directly into their lungs or with some restriction.

Mouth-to-Lung (MTL)

MTL vaping is common among beginners and ex-smokers. It involves drawing vapour into your mouth before inhaling it into your lungs. For MTL, a narrow or restricted airflow is typically best, as it provides a mouthful of vapour and a warmer hit that mimics traditional cigarettes, along with a richer flavour profile.

Start with the airflow at its lowest setting and gradually increase it until you find a comfortable level.

Direct-to-Lung (DTL)

DTL vaping is favoured by experienced vapers seeking a more intense experience. It involves drawing large clouds of vapour directly into the lungs without holding it in the mouth. This style benefits from increased airflow, producing bigger clouds and a cooler, more manageable hit, with balanced flavour.

Begin with the airflow fully open and adjust downwards to find your preferred setting.

Restricted Direct-Lung (RDL)

RDL vaping strikes a balance between MTL and DTL. It involves a moderate airflow, producing dense clouds with enhanced flavour and a medium throat hit. This style suits vapers who want a richer experience than MTL but find full DTL hits too intense.

Start with the airflow halfway open and adjust as needed to find your sweet spot.

Does Your Airflow Affect Your Coil?

Generally, no. Opening the airflow generates more vapor but doesn’t affect the coil’s lifespan. The coil produces the same heat for the same duration regardless of airflow. However, restricting airflow may cause quicker coil degradation due to less cooling air, though this impact is minimal.

It also depends on the type of coil you are using, whether that be a rebuildable coil or a premade coil like Voopoo PNP coils. If airflow is closed off, it may impact the MTL coils.

Does Airflow Affect Your Nicotine Intake?

Increasing airflow produces more vapour but doesn’t change the amount of e-liquid used. Your nicotine intake remains the same unless you improperly draw the diluted vapour. Direct-to-lung vaping with increased airflow typically involves larger hits, which may lead to higher nicotine consumption.

While less airflow is a good thing for high nicotine to little can burn the coil out as it needs air to cooldown as well.

Can Too Much Airflow Cause Dry Hits?

Yes, too much airflow can sometimes lead to dry hits. A dry hit occurs when there isn’t enough e-liquid on the coil, resulting in a harsh, burnt taste. Here’s how excessive airflow can contribute to this problem:

How Excessive Airflow Leads to Dry Hits

When you open your airflow too much, the coil may not be able to vaporise the e-liquid effectively. The increased air can cool down the coil too quickly, preventing it from properly heating the e-liquid. This can result in insufficient vapour production and a dry hit.

Balancing Airflow to Avoid Dry Hits

  • Start Low: Begin with a lower airflow setting and gradually increase it until you find a balance that provides smooth vapour without causing dry hits.
  • Check Wicking: Ensure your wick is adequately saturated with e-liquid. If you’re using a high airflow, your wick might dry out faster, so keep an eye on your e-liquid levels.
  • Adjust Power: If you prefer higher airflow, consider adjusting your device’s wattage or temperature settings to ensure the coil heats the e-liquid effectively.

Finding the right airflow setting is crucial for an optimal vaping experience. By balancing airflow, power, and wicking, you can enjoy smooth, flavourful vapour without the unpleasantness of dry hits.

Temperature Control and Its Effect on Airflow and Flavour

Temperature control (TC) is an advanced vaping feature that allows you to regulate the temperature of your coil, providing a more consistent and tailored vaping experience. This can significantly affect both airflow and flavour.

How Temperature Control Works

Temperature control works by monitoring the resistance of the coil in real time. As the coil heats up, its resistance changes, and the device adjusts the power output to maintain a steady temperature. This prevents the coil from overheating and helps avoid dry hits and burnt flavours.

Impact on Airflow

  • Consistent Vapour Production: With temperature control, the coil maintains a consistent temperature, ensuring that the e-liquid is vaporised evenly. This consistency can enhance the effectiveness of your airflow settings, as you won't experience sudden changes in vapour production that can occur with variable wattage devices.
  • Smooth Inhales: Temperature control can make your inhales smoother, as it prevents the coil from getting too hot or too cool. This stability helps in achieving a balanced vapour production, which works well with your chosen airflow setting.

Effect on Flavour

  • Enhanced Flavour Profiles: By maintaining a steady temperature, TC prevents the coil from overheating, which can degrade the flavour of your e-liquid. A consistent temperature ensures that the e-liquid is vaporised at its optimal temperature, preserving the nuanced flavours.
  • Prevents Burnt Taste: One of the biggest advantages of TC is that it prevents the coil from burning the e-liquid. When the coil gets too hot, it can burn the e-liquid, leading to a harsh, unpleasant taste. TC keeps the temperature in check, ensuring a pleasant flavour experience.

Balancing Temperature Control with Airflow

  • Experiment with Settings: Start with a moderate temperature setting and adjust your airflow to see how it affects vapour production and flavour. Gradually increase the temperature to find the sweet spot where the flavour is rich, and the vapour is satisfying.
  • Monitor Coil and Wick: Ensure your coil and wick are in good condition. A well-maintained coil will work efficiently with temperature control, providing a better flavour and preventing dry hits.
  • E-liquid Considerations: Different e-liquids may vaporise best at different temperatures. Experiment with your temperature settings to find the optimal level for each type of e-liquid you use.

By understanding how temperature control impacts airflow and flavour, you can fine-tune your vaping setup to achieve the perfect balance of smooth inhales, rich flavours, and satisfying vapour production.

We have a full blog going over temperature control here.

Disposable Vapes and Airflow

Disposable vapes have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and ease of use. However, unlike more advanced vaping devices, they often come with fixed airflow settings. Understanding how airflow works in disposable vapes can help you make the most of your vaping experience.

Fixed Airflow in Disposable Vapes

Disposable vapes are designed to be simple and user-friendly, which means they usually have a fixed airflow setting. This setting is optimised to provide a balance between flavour intensity, vapour production, and throat hit without the need for user adjustments.

Pros and Cons of Fixed Airflow


  • Simplicity: With no need to adjust settings, disposable vapes are perfect for beginners or those looking for a hassle-free vaping experience.
  • Consistency: Fixed airflow ensures a consistent vaping experience with each puff, as the device is pre-set to deliver optimal performance.
  • Portability: The streamlined design of disposable vapes makes them highly portable and convenient for on-the-go use.


  • Lack of Customisation: The inability to adjust airflow may not satisfy users who prefer to fine-tune their vaping experience.
  • Potential for Limited Satisfaction: Some users might find the fixed airflow too restrictive or too open, depending on their personal preferences.

Making the Most of Disposable Vapes

While you can't adjust the airflow on a disposable vape, there are still ways to optimise your experience:

  • Choose the Right Device: Different brands and models of disposable vapes offer varying airflow characteristics. Trying a few different types can help you find one that suits your preferences.
  • Proper Inhalation Technique: Adjusting your inhalation technique can help you get the most out of the fixed airflow. For example, taking slower, more deliberate puffs can enhance flavour and vapour production.
  • Store Correctly: Proper storage can impact the performance of your disposable vape. Keep it in a cool, dry place to ensure consistent vapour production and flavour quality.

Understanding the Limitations

It's important to recognise that while disposable vapes offer convenience and ease of use, they may not provide the same level of satisfaction as devices with adjustable airflow for some users. If you find that the fixed airflow doesn't meet your needs, you might consider transitioning to a refillable pod that allows for greater customisation.

Disposable vapes are an excellent choice for those seeking simplicity and portability, but understanding their fixed airflow can help you set realistic expectations and make the most of your vaping experience.

If you enjoy the convenience and taste of disposable vapes, we recommend trying our disposable-style juices. We offer a huge range of flavours that capture the essence of disposables in a refillable format.

Try the Ayce Mini Pod

For an enhanced experience, we suggest trying out the Ayce Mini Pod. This device combines the simplicity of disposable vapes with the benefits of a refillable pod system.

Special Offer: With every purchase of the Ayce Mini Pod, you'll receive a free bottle of our disposable-style juice. Enjoy the flavours you love with the added advantage of a reusable device.

How Important Is Airflow?

While airflow is important, it’s not the primary concern when setting up your vape. Focus first on other factors like coil type (sub-ohm or plus-ohm) and e-liquid choice. Once you have a device that meets your needs, experiment with airflow to find your ideal setting.

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