Mouth to Lung vs Direct to Lung Vape Guide

Think back to when you first joined the vaping community: whether that was a few years or just a few minutes ago, you probably immediately realized that you had a lot of new ground to cover. Vaping can come with a steep learning curve, especially when you’re trying to figure out how to vape, what you need to buy for vaping, and most importantly, what you want in a vape experience. Taking the time to learn a little bit about vaping basics will make a world of difference in your vape journey.

One of the biggest points of confusion for new (and even experienced) vapers is the topic of mouth-to-lung (MTL) vs. direct-to-lung (DTL) vaping. If these phrases are completely new to you, you’re not alone; plenty of vapers are unsure about what MTL and DTL vaping even is. Even if you’ve been vaping for a while, you might not even be able to confidently say which of these two inhalation styles you regularly use.

Luckily, if you’re hoping to learn more about DTL vs. MTL vaping, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created an in-depth guide that breaks down everything you need to know about these two vaping inhalation methods, including what to expect and what you’ll need to get started with each style. In the end, you’ll be well-prepared to create your perfect vape set-up and start enjoying the fluffy and flavorful vapor we all love - no matter what method you choose.


Mouth-to-Lung Vaping

Mouth-to-lung vaping, otherwise known as MTL vaping, is an inhalation method often preferred by former cigarette smokers. As you might guess from the name of this method, the vapor first stops at your mouth, then travels to your lungs.


How to MTL Vape

First, take a deep inhale to bring the vapor into your mouth. There, allow it to linger briefly, then continue inhaling it into your lungs. This inhalation technique is virtually identical to the one you use with traditional tobacco cigarettes.


What to Expect

If you ask someone who has made the switch which inhalation method they enjoy most, we can almost guarantee they’ll say MTL. Because MTL vaping is similar in feel to the traditional experience they were used to, not just in practice but also in the sensation it delivers, the two experiences are impressively close. Particularly for people who chose vaping to make the switch, MTL is an excellent way to maximize their satisfaction. 

When you MTL vape, your throat hit is fairly smooth, with only a gentle tingling sensation. In comparison to the harsher DTL throat hit, MTL is much more subtle. Additionally, mouth-to-lung vaping is a good match for vapers who are interested in maximum flavor. 

Since this method allows the vapor to remain in your mouth for a moment before inhalation, you have the opportunity to enjoy a well-rounded flavor experience. MTL vaping also produces lower levels of vapor, which is a benefit for vapers who want to be discreet while vaping in public places.


What You Need to MTL Vape

Does MTL vaping sound like it’s right up your alley? If so, here’s what you’ll need for a solid MTL vape set-up:


An e-cig, vape pen, or low-wattage mod

You’ll be pleased to hear that choosing MTL means that you can save a considerable amount of cash when purchasing your vape device. Both vape pens and their no-frills counterparts, cig-a-likes, can more than meet your MTL expectations. If you want something that boasts a few more features, stick with a mod that has low-wattage capabilities (no more than 15-20 watts). Pair it with a coil that’s at least 1.2 ohms resistance, and you’re golden.


High-PG vape juice

When you shop for vape juice, you’ll notice that each one is labeled with its ratio of VG (vegetable glycerin) and PG (propylene glycol). These liquids are used in varying ratios in most of today’s vape juices. For MTL vaping, opt for a ratio that leans towards higher PG levels; for example, a 40/60 VG/PG. The higher PG content will not only enhance your flavor experience but also help intensify the throat hit to produce a similar sensation to smoking.


Vape juice with your preferred nicotine level

MTL vaping has excellent versatility in terms of nicotine content, so you can choose e-liquids with high or low levels – it’s totally up to you.


Direct-to-Lung Vaping

Direct-to-lung vaping, or DTL vaping, is a method that focuses on bringing the vapor directly from the device into the lungs. It’s a more advanced method, and though not necessarily a favorite of the majority of former smokers, has plenty of unique benefits to offer.


How to DTL Vape

Learning how to DTL vape is fairly straightforward: you simply inhale the vapor in the same way you would take in a deep breath. Rather than pausing to allow the vapor to linger in your mouth, you bring the vapor right into your lungs without delay.


What to Expect

DTL vaping can sometimes get a bad rap, but an unpleasant DTL experience can often be traced back to lack of experience, preference, and even e-liquid. You can absolutely expect a far more intense throat hit, though the harshness does often smooth out with time and experience. Most vapers also describe the flavor factor as being less powerful than with MTL vaping – not necessarily lacking, just different.

However, one of the biggest draws of DTL vaping is your potential for serious cloud production. Using a DTL inhalation method will result in a significant increase in vapor production, which is a major plus for vapers who partake in “cloud chasing.” Keep in mind that when you’re vaping in a public space, massive clouds aren’t always welcome; so always do your best to vape courteously.


What You Need to DTL Vape

Before you attempt to DTL vape with your trusty old e-cig, you should know that this method requires a specific kind of vape set-up. Here’s what you’ll need to make the most of your DTL vaping experience:


A high-wattage vape and a sub-ohm tank or drip atomizer

Be prepared to make a solid investment in an advanced box mod and complementary sub-ohm tank or drip atomizer. However, we promise that choosing a high-quality mod that can generate decent wattage is more than worth it. Keep an eye out for coils specifically recommended for DTL vaping as well. Usually, DTL-friendly coils have large wicking ports and are made with organic cotton wicks.


High-VG vape juice

As we mentioned earlier, all vape juices are made with a varying ratio of VG and PG. You’ll want to stick with high-VG blends for DTL vaping because they’re capable of producing the generous vapor clouds you’re hoping for.


Vape juice with a low to moderate nicotine level

While MTL vaping works well with just about any nicotine level, the same can’t be said for DTL. In fact, choosing the wrong nicotine juice level can completely ruin your DTL experience altogether. Because you inhale a significant amount of vapor with the DTL method, you won’t want to venture above 6mg of nicotine content. 

Anything more than that, and you’ll just be subjecting yourself to a miserable amount of burning in your throat and lungs. If you’re making the switch from an MTL-friendly vape, try cutting your usual nicotine level at least in half, if not more.


MTL vs. DTL Vaping: A Quick Comparison 

As you can see, deciding between MTL and DTL vaping can get pretty complex, pretty quickly – but for most vapers, a clear winner emerges when it comes to achieving their desired experiences. Just in case you need a short and sweet reminder of the key differences between mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung vaping, here’s a handy breakdown of everything we’ve covered:

Mouth-to-lung vaping…

  • Is ideal for new/beginner vapers
  • Closely simulates the experience of traditional tobacco usage
  • Provides a smoother throat hit
  • Is usually described as offering better flavor quality
  • Tends to generate less vapor overall
  • Works well with high-nicotine vape juices
  • Is best paired with high-PG e-liquids
  • Is best enjoyed with a low-wattage vape device

Direct-to-lung vaping…

  • Is typically a good match for more experienced, advanced vapers
  • Does not necessarily closely resemble the traditional tobacco experience
  • Can sometimes have a harsh throat hit
  • Is considered the method that produces less powerful flavor
  • Creates large, extremely voluminous vapor clouds
  • Is recommended for use with lower nicotine e-liquids
  • Works best with high-VG e-juices
  • Is preferred by vapers who enjoy sub-ohm vapes

As you can see, each one has its pros and cons. Ultimately, your ideal inhalation method boils down to your desired vape experience.


Upgrade Your Vape Experience with Supplies from South Beach Smoke 

In the great debate between MTL and DTL vaping, neither method necessarily defeats the other – like many hotly-contested vape topics, it simply comes down to personal preference. Whether you’re a new or seasoned vaper, figuring out your preferred vaping method and style can take time, as well as some trial and error. But as long as your vape journey is powered by a high-quality set-up, it’s far more likely that you’ll enjoy yourself along the way.

South Beach Smoke makes it easy to stock up on all your vape necessities, from top-of-the-line vape starter kits to the best e-juices in the industry. Here, you can find all of the vape brands you know and love, and maybe even discover a few new favorites as well. 

Whether you’re a longtime MTL vaper or a serious DTL devotee, you can be confident that when you stick with South Beach Smoke, you’ll have all the best-rated vape supplies within easy reach.

Shop our diverse selection of vape products now and check out our blog for the latest vape news; whatever you need, you can count on South Beach Smoke to be your number one source for all things vape.