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Mouth-To-Lung (MTL) Vs Direct-To-Lung (DTL) Vaping

If you’re new to e-cigarettes and you’ve been looking to buy some vaping products, chances are you’ve probably come across some terminologies that you’re unfamiliar with.

Two of the most common terms that beginners get confused by are mouth-to-lung (MTL) and direct-to-lung (DTL) vaping. So what do these mean and what are the differences between these two styles of vaping?

In this guide, we’ll provide all the information you need. Once you’re finished reading, you’ll have a good understanding of the key differences between the two, and you’ll also know the type of vape device, e-liquid, and coils you need to choose to help you achieve an optimum MTL or DTL vaping experience.


MTL Vaping

Let’s start with the most common vaping style and the one you’ll probably prefer if you’re new to e-cigs: MTL. 

Mouth-to-lung vaping is when the vapour is inhaled into the mouth before being breathed into the lung, hence the name. This type of vaping is similar to how you’d inhale a cigarette, which is what makes it so popular with beginners who are just making the transition from smoking to vaping.

Another reason MTL vaping is ideal for newbies is they produce less vapour than DTL vapes (more on those later), which allows you to vape higher-strength liquids. So if you’ve just quit smoking, chances are you were used to a high amount of nicotine in your system, which you’ll be able to replace with a strong e-liquid used in an MTL vape.


DTL Vaping

On the opposite side of the fence is DTL vaping, short for direct-to-lung. These kits come with larger mouth pieces, and when you inhale the vapour from a DTL device, rather than taking it into the mouth first, you inhale straight to the lungs.

This vaping style is great for providing larger amounts of vapour and those who use DTL devices are known as “cloud chasers” due to the massive plumes they’re capable of producing.

As you may have guessed, DTL vaping is usually something people try once they’ve gotten used to their new hobby.


RDL Vaping

Along with MTL and DTL, there’s another type of vaping that combines elements of them both: restricted direct-to-lung (RDL). RDL vaping involves inhaling vapour directly to the lungs with a slightly restricted airflow, striking a fine balance between MTL and DTL vaping. 

With a more moderate airflow and a deeper inhale, using your device in this way  provides a more substantial vapour production and flavour intensity than MTL vaping but less intense than DTL vaping,


Type Of Device

So now we know the difference between these vaping styles, you might be wondering which devices provide which vaping styles.

If you’re starting off and you want an MTL kit then you should go with a starter kit or pod kit. These provide a good MTL vape with decent vapour production. Most importantly, the tighter draw and its ability to support stronger liquids will mimic the sensation of puffing on a cigarette. This should help make quitting easier.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a vape to provide a DTL vape, sub-ohm devices such as box mods will give you just what you’re looking for. These kits are often powerful and can reach higher wattages, meaning they produce large amounts of vapour.

When you’re looking to purchase a vape, it should always say on the device which type of vaping it supports. If you’re ever in doubt, check with the manufacturer or retailer who will be able to tell you.


Which E-Liquid To Use

You’re probably aware that e-liquids come in a range of strengths, with some containing more nicotine than others. However, what you might not know is that e-liquid also comes in different ratios, and the type of vaping style you’re going for will dictate which liquid you should use.

When we say ratios, we mean the proportion of vegetable glycerine (VG) and propylene glycol (PG), which are the two main ingredients in e-liquid. 

VG is naturally thicker than PG and it also produces more vapour, so you’ll find DTL e-liquid has more of this ingredient. This will usually be 70:30 VG:PG or 80:20 VG:PG.

For e-liquid that’s designed to be used with an MTL vape, this will usually have an equal amount of PG and VG (50:50) or a higher amount of PG. PG is naturally thinner and provides a bigger throat hit than VG, which is one of the main reasons you’ll find it used for MTL vaping.


Which Coils To Use

Depending on whether you’re vaping with an MTL, RDL or DTL device, this will determine the type of coils you need to use with your kit.

Coils are pieces of wired metal which heat up the e-liquid, producing the vapour that you inhale. Coils come in a range of different resistances, which determine the amount of heat they allow to pass through. The higher the resistance, the less heat will pass through.

If you don’t know already, the resistance of a coil is measured in ohms. The thicker the coil, the higher the ohm and resistance. For example, a coil that is 0.1-ohm will have much less resistance than a coil that’s 1.0-ohms (ten times less, to be precise).

So with all this considered, which coils should be paired with which devices? 



Let’s start with MTL vapers. If you’re vaping one of these devices, as a general rule you should use coils of 1-ohm or above. These are thick enough to ensure the thinner e-liquid doesn’t leak.



For RDL devices, between 0.5-ohm and 1.0-ohm is usually the sweet spot. These coils have a low enough resistance to generate a decent amount of vapour, while they’re thin enough to ensure they heat up sufficiently.



If you’re using a DTL vape then chances are this is going to be a high-power kit that generates a lot of power. In that case, it will need to be coupled with low-resistance coils to produce enough heat to vaporise the high-VG e-liquid.


Choosing Your Device

So now we’ve got a good understanding of the differences between MTL, DTL and RDL vaping, and you’re aware of the types of liquid and coils to use, all that’s left is to recommend a few different devices for each vaping style.



The Uwell Caliburn G2 pod vape kit is a small, compact vape with a simple design that makes it perfect for beginners or even experienced vapers in search of a simplified vape.

The device is powered by a 750mAh built-in battery and it should last you up to a full day of vaping. It also features USB-C fast charging and it comes complete with a refillable 2ml pod and two Caliburn G coils to get you started.



The Aspire PockeX Pocket Starter Kit has remained one of the best-selling e-cigarette kits on the market for a number of years.

Lightweight and pocket-friendly, the Aspire PockeX is the ultimate pocket All-in-One (AIO) device. Equipped with a 0.6-ohm stainless steel U-Tech coil, a wider drip-tip and larger top-airflow allowing for increased vapour production, the PockeX provides a glorious RDL vape.



For anyone in search of a great sub-ohm device for DTL vaping, you can’t go wrong with the Vaporesso Gen 200.

This vape kit has a sturdy build and is ideal for sub ohm vapers who want a device that’s easy to carry with them. It has a wattage range of 5 – 220W output range and is powered by two 18650 batteries, so it certainly packs a punch! It also comes with a 2ml Vaporesso iTank and two GTi coils so it’s ready to go straight out the box!



So that’s all there is to know about MTL, DTL and RDL vaping. Hopefully all your questions have been answered with this guide and you now know the difference between these types of vaping stylers, as well as what device, e-liquid and coils suit each one.