What Is the Right E-Liquid PG/VG Ratio?

What is the Right PG to VG Ratio for E-Liquid?

Percentage-Blocks-BlueI seem to find more often than not, that certain questions about E-Cigarettes fall into one of two categories. There is either a definite/fact based answer (such as how do I calculate wattage), or questions like this one which is best answered with “it depends”. In most cases, the balance of PG (Propylene Glycol)  to VG (Vegetable Glycerin) in your e-liquid comes down to a personal preference. However, there are some “general” truths, when it comes to PG and VG in e-liquid. I call these “general” truths as you will find these are generally accepted by most vapers to be true, and not generally argued too much. So, lets start at the top and work down.

PG or VG Allergies.

Are you allergic to PG or VG? This is a good question to know the answer to right away as it will have the biggest impact on what ratio will be right for you. More often than not, the PG in e-liquid is the culprit for those who are allergic, although VG is possible but less commonly noted by vapers. Allergies to PG are said to be rare, but there are an ample number of people in the vaping community who have said they are allergic to the PG in e-liquid. Some health resources state that likelihood of a PG allergy can be increased if you have exzema, which is good to keep in mind and take into account. If you know you are allergic to PG or VG this will impact what ratio is right for you. Those with allergies will generally try and find juices with a higher (or the highest depending on their sensitivity) of PG or VG, depending on their allergy. It’s also important to note that sometimes symptoms of smoking withdrawal can mimic or create the impression of an allergy: coughing/cold like symptoms, tingling, sweating, cramps, nausea and headaches. Steve K of Steve K’s Vaping World provided a good resource regarding smoking withdrawal symptoms. Be sure to check it out!

In the end it’s very important that you are not harming your health, so be sure to check with your healthcare professional if you believe your having an allergic reaction to either the PG or VG in your e-liquid. If it ends up you are not able to vape, be sure to check out the resources at CASAA for other harm reduction alternatives to smoking. 

VG = Bigger clouds / PG = More flavor.

This is sometimes still an arguable point, but generally accepted by vapers. While flavor has a lot to do with how a juice is mixed and the amount used, it’s also generally accepted that PG tends to carry flavors better than VG. Many food flavor concentrates are made in PG, so are flavorings for e-liquid (in most cases they are the same flavorings). It’s also generally accepted that VG tends to mute or dull flavors. This flavor dulling can sometimes be overcome by the e-liquid maker by increasing the amount of flavoring, however, it’s not always a guarantee. It is generally the opposite when it comes to vapor production, and this is almost never argued about. VG creates thicker and larger clouds of vapor compared to PG. Again, there are things that e-liquid makers can do, but there is no guarantee.

So, in general most vapers try to find a balance between these two things that are to their liking. This is where you as the vaper needs to make some decisions. Do you tend to prioritize vapor over flavor, or maybe flavor over vapor?  Well before you decide, lets throw another variable into the mix.

PG contributes to greater throat hit.

You know that feeling you got when you were a smoker pulling the smoke into your lungs, feeling it in the throat, that “thump”. Well, generally, higher PG e-liquid provides more throat hit than higher VG e-liquid. Again e-liquid mixologists have tricks up their sleeve that can help VG juices, but in general PG contributes to greater throat hit.

Thickness is a factor.

Juices high in VG are generally thicker (think corn syrup, okay maybe not that thick but thick) The thickness of the liquid will have an impact on your vape, depending on your equipment. Based on my experience, vapers who use a tank system generally have a more difficult time getting high VG e-liquid to wick properly in their equipment ending up with “dry puff” (burning taste). Dripping atomizers however take very well to the thicker juice, reducing leakage (sometimes) and better wick adherence. Again, an e-liquid makers can thin VG juices somewhat, but not always. So depending on your equipment it’s something to consider. You may want to consider a higher PG content if you use tanks, and higher VG content if you drip.

So, where to go from here?

While I can’t tell you exactly what you will like here is some guidance I have given fellow vapers based on their vapor, throat hit, vapor preferences:

  • If you prefer Vapor over flavor and throat hit – High VG (60% or higher VG)
  • If you prefer Flavor and throat hit over vapor – High PG (60% or higher PG)
  • If you aren’t sure split the difference – 50/50 (50% PG 50% VG)
  • If you are using a tank, consider a higher PG content such as 40-60%

So what do I like? Right now, 50%PG 50%VG in my tanks and 30%PG and 70%VG in my drippers.

What ratio do you like?

Vape Loud, Vape Proud!

Bogey

49 thoughts on “What Is the Right E-Liquid PG/VG Ratio?”

  1. Mike says:

    On my part, I prefer leveling the PG/VG concentration. I usually prefer 65%PG 50 %VG as this gives me the thickness that does not affect my throat. Again with this ratio you can enjoy your e-cigarettes as many times as you want in a day.

    1. Colin says:

      Being PG intolerant I am forced to go for the high VG liquids. I love the clouds that max VG gives and some people say that flavour does not travel to well in high VG juice. I have been vaping Tropika from 12 Monkeys which is a high VG as flavour is not an issue. On the other end of the spectrum I see there are some really high PG liquids out there too. Example https://www.bargainvape.uk/e-liquids/brands/t-juice-e-juice has a juice called T-Juice from the UK.

    2. Jake says:

      Thats 115%

  2. Patrick O'Connell says:

    I have been finding that although I like the flavor and throat hit of a 70pg/30vg, I find that it dries me out quite a bit. And I tend to forget to drink enough water. Therefore, I am trying a 50/50 blend, as well as a 100%vg, and see what that does for me.
    Oh, and thanks for the valuable info!

    1. Bogey says:

      You’re welcome Patrick! It is very important for vapers to keep hydrated. Thanks for bringing that up!

    2. mondo says:

      vaping dehydrates you regardless of what blends. i always carry a bottle of water with me. never had to do this before vaping. fyi i do a 50/50 on my tanks and 100%vg on my drips.

      1. Bogey says:

        That is very true! Always stay hydrated as a vaper. Especially during the hot days of summer!

  3. Patrick O'Connell says:

    You’re welcome! 🙂

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  8. Kenneth F Smith says:

    its important to note that vg metabolizes as sugar and pg metabolizes as lactic acid.

    1. Bogey says:

      A good thing to note Kenneth. Thanks. Readers may want to check out the following article at the Ashtray blog if they are concerned about Diabetes and Vaping: http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2012/08/diabetes-e-cigarettes.html

      1. Colin says:

        Hi Bogey. Nice read. Thanks

    2. Bogey says:

      I will also note that being a diabetic myself, I have noticed no impact on my blood sugar numbers.

  9. Olaf says:

    Thanks for that. It’s always good to be well informed to make sure vaping is an enjoyment and to get the best and most out of it.

    1. Bogey says:

      Your welcome Olaf!

  10. scott the bear says:

    In my tank I use 30% pg 70% vg and a low nicotine around 5 or so. Not a huge cloud it’s thick and nice flavor.I prefer The sweeter side . I hope this helps somebody..thanks

    1. Bogey says:

      Thanks Scott!

    2. Mondo says:

      WTF? you should be getting bigger vape with a higher vg ratio. I hope you’re not using those pen batteries. I’d make an investment and get a real mod. Huge difference in vaping. You can get a budget build for under 130 or so. Everything but the juice. Helped a friend of mine quit smoking and started vaping. Let me know if you want me 2 cents on equipment.

  11. TheDrover says:

    I am addicted to the E-Cig after having a triple bypass in 2012 the E-cig has fooled my brain into thinking I am smoking analog cigarettes. My health is far better than when I smoked, my taste is back, I don’t stink anymore, and although I put on a little weight the E-cig mixture has held me back from eating stuff that puts the weight on. My fav mix is NO NICOTINE, 70% VG 30% PG and I use concentrated fruit essence all FDA approved. and I use MODS not the pencil type crap. My research into E-Cigs has shown me it’s far better than analog cigarettes and the money saved by mixing my own flavors is fabulous

    1. Bogey says:

      Thanks for the comment!

  12. Steve says:

    Thanks for posting this information Bogey! This is one of the most popular conversations I hear. After personally visiting over 300 vape shops in the past 100 days and tasting many juices at different ratios, I’ve learned that regardless of what the stated ratio is you have to try the liquid to truly experience it. There are thousands of e-liquid makers out there and we all do it a little differently.Stated ratios are a good guideline but until you actual vape the e-liquid it’s impossible to know if it will satisfy you or not.

    1. Bogey says:

      Excellent advice!

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  15. gordo says:

    I was wondering. I mix my own juice. I either use 60/40 vg/pg or 50/50. But my juice turns my coils black too quickly. Any advice to keep this from happening. I usually can go a day before it turns black. The brand of pg vg and nic is nicotine river. My flavors are pg. And nic is vg.

    1. Mondo says:

      list your coil/mod & settings (i’m thinking that you’re not at the right volt/watt level and not vaporizing the juice). i noticed when i was sub ohm’ing that higher VG is a lot thicker so it ends up gooping up my coils which requires cleaning a lot more/shorter coil life.

      1. Bryan says:

        It’s a btc spartan tank by horizon tech. My mod is a mvp 20 innokin and right now I’m using 5.0 volts. Thank you for your help

        1. Mondo says:

          just looked up that tank. it uses a cotton wick. fyi cotton tastes a lot better but doesnt last. silica wick doesnt taste that great but it lasts a long time. for that old type of mod you might want to think about using the kanger protank 2 mini (tastes better than the full version. imo) so you can recoil it. you didn’t state what ohm rating for the tank but you’re not sub ohm’ing with that mod.

          1. Bryan says:

            Awesome thank you. And it’s just 2.o ohms.

    2. Bogey says:

      I have noticed that the amount of sweeteners tends to gunk up coils. Juices heavy in sweeteners reduce coil life based on my experience.

  16. Vape wizard says:

    Kenneth makes a good point. I to have had a major problem with cotton mouth and staying hydrated especially after a rough night of drinking and vaping. I also have noticed my sense of taste is a little weaker. These are all very minor problems thought compared to the problems I was facing before I quit almost immediatly without problem with my kanger subox.

  17. dustin says:

    What is the percent pg vg e juice used in tricks?

    1. Bogey says:

      I imagine it’s very high in VG to promote thick heavy clouds.

  18. Thomas Wellenbach says:

    It is always good to be well informed, so I commend your effort for writing this article. This will help a lot of people who are new to vaping and doesn’t know the right ratio for their e-liquid. As for me, I always prefer everything is balanced so 50/50 for me.

    1. Mondo says:

      More PG = more flavor smaller vapor cloud. More VG = weaker flavor larger vapor cloud. Some people have allergies to PG so depending on your level you can lower the PG ratio or go with a higher VG ratio or go with 100% VG but you have issues with that route due to VG being a lot more viscous than PG. ie weaker flavor, shorter coil life and requiring a more powerful mod (ego twist is prob the minimum you can get a way with but you should use a mod).

  19. Vaping Insider says:

    I think a 70/30 blend is the best way to go. Still get great flavor but don’t have to compromise on cloud size and my coils have a slightly longer life span.

    1. Mondo says:

      i’ve tried all different types of combos. 50/50 60/40 70/30 75/25 80/20 85/15 90/10 95/5 and 100vg. it’s either go 50/50 and deal with the throat hit or go 90/10 or full 100vg for allergic reasons. but with the higher vg your coils get clogged up so clean/replace a lot more often. after the novelty of modding i’m down to using a simple vamo v5 with kanger protank 2 reg&mini, recoil with 3.5mm silica wick and 32 gauge kanthal wire coiled at 3.4-3.7 ohms. i can use the cheaper 18650 trustfire 3000mah batteries with them. i use 50/50 juice on them. btw for the nigher vg, it’s a pain but i recommend mechanical mods and sub ohm’ing with a rebuildable multi coil (i used a custom quad coil) using lower gauge kanthal (i use to use 14ga) with cotton wicks. a lot of maintenance but that’s what you got to deal with when going with higher vg levels. do your research and practice, practice, practice.

  20. Gary Howard says:

    For those looking for something close(r) to a straight, strong, non flavored cigarettes alike Gauloise, Parisienne (albeit less of a throat hit) try 75PG/25VG with no flavor added. I go for 12 nicotine. Smoked 2 packs a day for 40 years and am very happy with the result.
    btw, I just read that health issues may come from the flavors and would be glad to hear someone comment on that topic.

  21. Josh says:

    Hi I got a subox mini using blu e-liquid 18mg Nic dosent state the %of pg or Pv just says pg on box what’s the best watt for the best result ?

    1. Bogey says:

      Wattage is really a personal preference. There really isn’t a right wattage. Start low and adjust upwards. You will find the right wattage for you.

  22. hotmacgar says:

    What if I want flavor and clouds and not a throat hit what ratio

    1. Bogey says:

      As with everything in vaping there are compromises. You need to find the balance that works for you. That being said, I would recommend that you try juices around the 30% PG range. Keep in mind though you will need an atomizer that plays nice with thicker ejuices.

  23. Kip Caven says:

    Hello-
    New here but had a question I hope you can help me with-
    I have found that a LOT of the pre made juice I have bought is tasting kinda weak-they are mostly 50/50
    IF I put in more PG, will that improve the flavor? If not, whats the best way to bring out MAJOR FLAVOR in DIY?
    Thanks!

    1. Bogey says:

      Actually adding more PG will dilute the flavor even more. When you add PG your increasing the overall volume of the juice but not the flavorings in it. So unfortunately no, that’s not an option.

    2. Mondo says:

      if you’re a diy then add in more flavoring. if you’re making your own juice then there are several options depending on how much of it you want to create/mix yourself. you can buy each ingredient and mix it all yourself. you can also buy unflavored mix of vg/pg of various ratios and add in your own flavorings. or you can buy flavorings and add to premixed juices. so it’s up to you. also don’t forget about stepping your ejuices. some doesn’t need any stepping with others takes a good few weeks.

  24. Steven says:

    The ratio doesn’t matter when you get a good tank/rd and mod. I have a Crown tank with the HCigar VT200 (DNA 200 chip) and whatever ratio I’m isuing it makes ridiculous clouds and taste. I usually run 70vg/30pg but occasionally I do Max VG. I usually run it at 80 watts for the 70/30 and 70 watts for the max VG. But I also run the SS dual 0.25 coils so flavor is amazing. The nickel 0.15 coils mute the flavor a little bit but they last a lot longer.

    1. Mondo says:

      seems someone likes to remain ignorant on vaping and what a higher vg/pg ratio does. sure equipment helps but that doesnt excuse anyone of ignorance. knowledge is power so dont degrade yourself by limiting it. a friend of mine doesnt want to deal with it so he still smokes reg cigs. i personally see vaping as both an alternative and a hobbie.

  25. AlanM says:

    I’m not sure what is causing it; however, the VG levels seem to taste sickly sweet to me and I sense a significant after taste (smell) even with only 20% VG. Is it me or are there other factors involved.

    1. Mondo says:

      Thats what vg tasts like. Its used as sweeteners. Also if you use silica wicks, if you dont dry burn them b4 1st use they give off a weird taste/smell at the beginning. You might try a different vender for your ejuice too. There are a lot ejuices that dont taste right. I’ve gone through a lot of different venders and only buy from a few right now. also just cause it states a % doesnt mean it’s correct. I’ve personally received some that stated a certain percentage and it’s was way off. ie 50/50 and it was a very high vg. cause my coil burnt up in a few days in stead of a few weeks and it had to run at higher voltage to vaporize the liquid. it was a tank and had to my dripper to use the rest of it up.

      btw with only 20% vg that’s some serious throat hits but massive flavors.

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