One of the things you’ll notice as you look at the best vapes on the market today is that many of them have the phrase “mesh coil” on their feature lists. It sounds good, but what does it actually mean? Is a mesh coil something essential that any vape should have, or is this just another marketing term that doesn’t really mean much of anything?

In this guide, we’re going to explain it all. You can read on for the details, but here are the key takeaways that you need to know.

  • The term “mesh coil” refers to the shape of the coil’s heating element. This is the component of the coil that turns your e-liquid to vapour. Every vaping device and vape tank has a coil.
  • Compared to regular coils, mesh coils offer better vapour production and better flavour quality with a lower power draw.
  • The majority of new vaping devices and vape tanks on the market today have mesh coils. If you simply want your vaping device to work and don’t want to stress about things like components and specifications, there’s no need to worry because you’re probably using a device with a mesh coil already.


What Is a Mesh Coil?

Every vaping device has a heating element made from a high-resistance metal that heats up when power passes through it. The heat turns the e-liquid in the tank, pod or cartridge to vapour.

The earliest vape coils used resistance wires – usually made from alloys like Kanthal or nichrome – as their heating elements. The technology was basically the same as what’s used in products like toasters and space heaters. The wire was wound into a spiral shape to maximise its surface area, and that’s why a vape coil is called a “coil.”

Mesh coils made their debut in the mid-2010s. Instead of using a length of resistance wire twisted into a coil shape, the heating element in a mesh coil is made from a length of metal mesh that’s typically rolled into a cylindrical shape.

Mesh Coil Benefits

SMOK Nord coils are available in both regular (left) and mesh (right) versions.

The Freemax Fireluke Mesh was the first vape tank designed to use pre-built mesh coils. Freemax continues to make some of the best vape tanks on the market today.

What Are the Benefits of Mesh Coils?

Traditional spiral-shaped coils served the vaping community well for many years, but their limitations became evident as owners of vape mods began to demand bigger and bigger clouds from their devices.

In order to get more vapour out of the traditional wound-coil design, manufacturers used a variety of tricks to increase the surface area of their coils. Higher wire gauges became more common. Manufacturers also began to make coils from multiple wires that were twisted or braided together.

These techniques for increasing vape coils’ surface area, however, had two major problems.

  • The coils had a great deal of metal and required very high wattages in order to operate efficiently. Before mesh coils were introduced, a high-end coil for cloud chasing often required over 100 watts in order to operate efficiently.
  • When a vape coil is made from a high-gauge wire or from multiple wires twisted together, some areas of the wire won’t have firm contact with the wick. E-liquid will pool in those areas, causing the coil to spit e-liquid into the user’s mouth or make loud popping noises when it’s used.
Mesh Coil Definition

This rebuildable atomizer uses two twisted coils for increased surface area. These types of coils are called “Clapton coils” due to their resemblance to guitar strings.

Mesh coils have become ubiquitous in modern vaping devices because they solve all of the problems with regular coils and offer improved performance in devices of all sizes.

  • Because mesh coils use less metal and have lower mass than regular coils, they heat up more quickly and consume less power.
  • A mesh coil has a flat profile and offers much better wick-to-wire contact. Mesh coils don’t have the hot spots that traditional coils often do. They tend to last longer for this reason. They’re also much quieter and don’t tend to pop or spit.
  • A mesh coil produces a vapour with a small and consistent droplet size. The vapor produced by a mesh coil doesn’t feel as “wet” compared to a traditional coil.
  • At any wattage point, mesh coils produce bigger clouds and stronger flavours compared to regular coils.

Is There Any Reason to Use a Regular Coil Instead of a Mesh Coil?

Most vaping experts agree that mesh coils are objectively better than regular coils in every way. You’ll get bigger clouds and bolder flavours with a mesh coil. You’ll probably enjoy longer coil life and won’t have to spend as much on replacement coils as you currently do. If you’re currently using a dual-battery vape mod, you can probably switch to a smaller and lighter single-battery device with little to no reduction in battery life. If you’re currently using a vape tank with a regular coil and are happy with your experience, there’s no reason to change. If you’re like most vapers, though, you’ll probably be happier with a tank that uses a mesh coil.

How to Identify a Mesh Coil vs. a Regular Coil

If you’re using a vape tank or pod system that you purchased within the last few years, you are most likely using a mesh coil already. You can also look at the box when you buy replacement coils; it’ll probably say “mesh” somewhere. If you’re still not sure, you can simply look at the coil itself; you’ll be able to see the heating element through the large opening at the top of the coil.

Regular vs Mesh Coil

Here’s an example of what a regular coil looks like from the top.

Mesh vs Regular Coil

Here’s an example of a mesh coil viewed from the top.

What About Mesh Coil Disposable Vapes?

Many of today’s disposable vapes are now using mesh coils, and identifying a device with a mesh coil isn’t easy because there’s no way to see the coil without disassembling the device. In most cases, you can research the specifications of a disposable vape online if you’re curious. If a disposable vape has a mesh coil, it’ll also most likely say so somewhere on the box.

To see some examples of recent disposable vapes with mesh coils, we suggest reading our reviews of the following devices.

Greg Williams

Greg Williams

Greg Williams is an electrical engineer who enjoys tinkering with vapes to discover their inner workings. Greg’s informational articles clarify the complex aspects of vaping to help everyone have a better experience.