When you start vaping, all the information could be a bit overwhelming. As a matter of fact, you’re not the only one. It was the same for me!

I was wondering what a clearomizer was, or RDA atomizer or…RBA atomizer! It can be confusing with so many new and unfamiliar terms! Many vaping users want to know the differences between atomizers, cartomizers and clearomizers.

In this article, we will outline the main differences between clearomizers vs cartomizers vs atomizers. The three most common vaping devices. Let’s dive in!


Some users prefer cartomizers as the pods are disposable. On the other hand, other users prefer the vaping quality that atomizers bring to vapers.

A typical e-cigarette

However, all three of them are devices that are connected to a battery. In addition, they deliver e-juices that are turned into vapor when the devices are activated.

To clarify, all vaping devices need an atomizer to work and we’ll explain a bit further the differences between all three types.

Cartomizers are also known as cartridge atomizers. They are “the cheap option” and many vaping beginners choose to start with a cartomizer device.

In addition, cartomizers come in packs (usually packs of 5 cartridges) and these cartridges are disposable. Generally, when the wicking material gets a bit burned and delivers a nasty flavor then it means it’s time to toss it in the trash.

Moreover, they are generally called extended atomizers as they are commonly long devices. Furthermore, they usually resemble classic cigarettes and they aren’t as popular as atomizers and clearomizers.

Because of its simplicity and easy use, cartomizers are commonly used by vaping newbies!


  • Disposable.
  • Inexpensive.
  • They hold more e-liquid than atomizers.
  • Ideal for beginners as they are easy to refill and to rebuild.


  • Vapor flavor doesn’t have the same quality as atomizers.
  • Not recommended for heavy vapers.
  • Some users report that it retains the flavor of previously used e-liquids.


What we know as “atomizers” are actually “dripping atomizers”. So, if you are a dripping kind of vaper, atomizers are for you!

Atomizers are connected to a battery that heats the coil. In other words, it vaporizes the e-liquid. As usual, it contains a wicking material that controls how much e-juice passes to the coil.

To sum up, what we usually understand as “atomizer” is actually the coil of any vape tank. So, what’s an atomizers”? Well, actually, atomizers are the rebuildable vaping devices. In other words, rebuildable atomizers, rebuildable tank atomizers or rebuildable dripper tank atomizers.

A rebuildable dripping atomizers requires that the users manually add the e-juice directly to the coil and wicking material. In other words, the vaper doesn’t add the e-juice through a tank’s filling hole.


  • It can easily be customized.
  • They provide better flavor than cartomizers.
  • Suitable for heavy vapers.
  • Extremely secure.


  • It’s not suitable for beginners.
  • Needs to be frequently refilled.
  • Not as easier to refill as cartomizers.


A clearomizers, as its name reveals, it’s a combination of “clear” and “atomizers”. In other words, its tank is made of a clear plastic tank.

Additionally, clearomizers are very easy to use. They have a drip tip, a clear glass tube and the atomizer (coil) inside. In addition, they are easy to refill, as you just need to drip the e-juice through the filling hole.

Basically, the atomizer is replaceable, and you just need to unscrew it when you need to replace it for a new one.

Aspire was a pioneer in the development of these kind of vaping devices with models such as Aspire CE4 and Aspire CE5.

Aspire CE5 clearomizers
Aspire CE5 clearomizers

We currently also have more modern models such as the nautilus line.

Moreover, a clear plastic tank will allow the vaper to easily determine the amount of e-liquid that is left in the tank.



  • Not recommended for beginners.
  • The tank may leak.
  • More expensive vaping device.

clearomizers vs cartomizers vs atomizers: conclusions

Many times, it’s about a personal preference. In other words, some people might find cartomizers more suitable for their needs and other vapers will prefer atomizers or clearomizers instead.