Wicking is an art form when it comes to rebuildables with each one having its own little quirks.

You need plenty of cotton in some – not so much in others – long legs in another and barely any in the next one.

best cotton for vaping

So does the actual cotton you use make any difference?

BTW this is not a lesson in wicking per se – I’d be here for weeks if it was lol plus I suck at it mostly haha – instead it’s a quick look at the bewildering array of vape cotton out there.

I decided to have a look at this after running out of my go to basic bargain basement Muji and picking up a named brand.

The jump I got in taste was actually quite startling to say the least and for the last few weeks I’ve been testing 7 of the better known vape cotton brands out there.

I chose them from randomly searching Google and of course from hearing what the Vape God reviewers out there used.

vape cotton absorbency test

For the very basic and totally unscientific absorbency test I filled x7 petri dishes with a 70% VG 30% PG e-liquid – dangled the wicks in and came back after an hour to see which one had wicked the most!

Like I said I ain’t no scientist lol.

Ok all of the cottons were purchased for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own – and BTW this has taken an age to sort out lol.

best vape cotton test

For the test I used the Augvape Templar RDA in single coil mode and the GeekVape Zeus RTA – chosen because of the bend you need to put in your wick.

So let’s have a look at what wick you could be wicking with and why?

GK Vapers Muj

I’ve been using these for over a year now – a bag of this is wick for life lol – and as you can see from the wicking test these were by far the fastest to wick in my very basic experiment.

I always peel the top skin off and am still left with a decent cushion of cotton – they’re cheap ‘n cheerful and seem to last an absolute age.

basic muji vape test

Wicking and Flavour With the RDA and RTA

I’ve always found Muji cotton the easiest to work with so this is perfect for new builders especially as it’s easy to snip to the correct width and length.

Inside the Zeus which has that kink to it I found even dry this one was easy to manipulate without any tearing or breaking – obviously dampened it was a dream to move about.

For use in any RDA you might want to fluff the ends a little – even though it wicks like a dream – and honestly wicking an RDA with this is a cinch.

As To Flavour?

It was moving to a different cotton that made me think differently about wicking and whilst the flavour I’m getting off the Templar and Zeus is OK – as you’ll see later other cottons really do add a few more levels.

  • Absorbency Test: 5/5
  • Building: 5/5
  • Flavour: 3.5/5

Available On Amazon Here

Native Wicks Platinum

This is premium Pima cotton and is made in the USA and should be good for all re-buildable tanks.

This is a fibre blend and is indeed very stringy – but it does hold its shape whilst teasing apart and does feel quite coarse.

native wicks vape test

Wicking and Flavour With the RDA and RTA

Despite its tough to the touch feel this one is very fluffy indeed and extremely easy to tease apart.

Dry it can be a little stiff to manoeuvre – but once it’s dampened slightly it swells significantly so bare that in mind when trimming.

It also handled the kink in the Zeus easily enough without threatening to tear and once fluffed out inside the Templar it kept its fluffiness really well even after multiple drips.

BTW this was the most expensive but does come at 3.5 feet compared to the average 3 feet!

As To Flavour?

I actually found the flavour off the RTA better than the RDA – just a touch mind but certainly enough to notice.

The flavour off the RDA was certainly what I expected but there was a definite slight bump once inside the Zeus.

  • Absorbency Test: 3/5
  • Building: 4/5
  • Flavour: 3/5

Available On Amazon Here

Kendo Vape Cotton Gold Edition

This is the cotton I bought from my local vape shop that got me thinking about what wick I should be using!

The cloud chaser in the shop told me this was ‘superior’ so obviously I was intrigued.

OK as the name suggests this is from Japan and is unbleached and 100% organic.

Wicking and Flavour With the RDA and RTA

This is a very nice cotton to work with – it’s tough and fibrous and is packed with those seed bits and unlike the others is much darker in colour.

It peels apart easily and I found the way it is presented – in a kind of rope length – meant there was little if any waste when snipping my required length.

It was a little reluctant to take the kink in the Zeus – that may have been me cutting it a little short – but once damp there was no bother.

It was an absolute doddle in the RDA and with those ends fluffed out it was another that retained its fluffiness.

As To Flavour?

Wow is all I can say.

After over a year on budget Muji I was quite literally gobsmacked at the difference in flavour.

This one took my go to juice to a whole new level and even with a bit of a caramelized coil it seemed to act as a filter for that burned taste – it was there but not overpowering if that makes sense.

It was in the RDA when my eyes lit up though – the taste was sublime it’s a simple as that.

  • Absorbency Test: 2/5
  • Building: 4/5
  • Flavour: 5/5

Available On Amazon Here

Cotton Bacon V2 

Probably one of the most well know cottons for wicking out there and one I have used once or twice in the past.

The beauty of Cotton Bacon is the 4 inch strips that are a doddle to pinch and tear.

cotton bacon v2 test

Wicking and Flavour With the RDA and RTA

Cotton Bacon V2 was the closest to the basic Muji when it came to the absorbency test and is very very easy to work with dry or damp.

It peels apart easily and even when the ends have been snipped it seems to spring back with only a little fluffing needed.

It had no problem whatsoever handling the turn in the Zeus deck and really fluffed out well in the Templar RDA.

I will say this was another cotton that seemed to keep its shape when soaked.

As To Flavour?

Not bad – but not brilliant if I’m honest and certainly not in the same league IMHO as a couple of the others.

No way am I saying there’s no flavour – just a touch and I mean a touch muted compared the more fibrous and tough ones.

It is extremely white and dare I say I could smell the slightest and again I mean slightest aroma from the packet…

  • Absorbency Test: 4.5/5
  • Building: 4/5
  • Flavour: 3.5/5

Available On Amazon Here

Pro Cotton by Coil Master

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was straight out of a make-up bag or First Aid kit.

The three pieces are in fact balls of tightly packed cotton that really don’t want to come apart.

You need to be careful because the cotton tears quite easily being extremely soft and fluffy.

coil master pro cotton test

Wicking and Flavour With the RDA and RTA

I got through a lot of this trying to get the right sized wick – did I mention how soft and fragile it is?

Once rolled it’s just about OK to work with but NOT dry!

Unless you’re really gentle it does come apart at the slightest tug in the wrong direction and even when damp it still is a bit of a snowflake if I’m honest – especially making the turn on the Zeus!

Despite being so soft and fluffy once damp it all goes quite limp and flat so if you’re using this one really pack it in!

As To Flavour?

Not so good I’m afraid in fact the flavour and come to that the clouds were a little disappointing to say the least.

Not for me.

  • Absorbency Test: 3/5
  • Building: 3/5
  • Flavour: 3/5

Available On Amazon Here

UD Ko Gen Do Japanese Cotton

Back to the Muji and I had high hopes for this one after hearing ‘whispers’ about it.

The sheets are individually wrapped which is a nice touch and just like the basic Muji from earlier on it is very simple to snip to the required length.

If like me you peel the top layers off then be very gentle with this one as more than once I’ve ruined a strip as it isn’t the fattest or fluffiest Muji around.

ud muji vape cotton

Wicking and Flavour With the RDA and RTA

As you might expect and if you peel carefully this is a dream to wick with especially in the Zeus RTA when damp!

It’s not the fluffiest Muji out there even when combed out – but it’s just about OK in both the RTA and RDA I’ve tested it on.

As To Flavour?

Not bad – not brilliant but certainly not bad at all.

Again I seemed to get more of a punch from using it in the RTA but it was decent enough in the RDA.

As for the absorbency test and just like the basic Muji this one excelled.

  • Absorbency Test: 4.5/5
  • Building: 4/5
  • Flavour: 4/5

Available On Amazon Here

Fuzz from the Yorkshire Vaper 

Presentation wise this is the best of the lot coming in a very cool tin making it very easy to pull out.

The organic cotton is coiled in a rope style and is extremely soft and fluffy to the touch and again very white!

fuzz yorkshire vaper cotton test

Wicking and Flavour With the RDA and RTA

Very easy to tease apart and no need for scissors for snipping the correct length because as it’s so soft a simple pinch will do.

You might think that softness might mean it isn’t very tough unlike say the more fibrous cottons.

Nothing could be further from the truth – a simple roll and this seems to toughen up considerably.

It is for me the best to wick with too – dry or damp – and really does retain its shape and fluffiness even when the coil starts to darken.

Love this one!

As To Flavour?

Well if I thought the Kendo Gold was a flavour revelation – this one surpasses it.

It was a real shock to my taste buds once the build and cotton were bedded in – absolutely wonderful.

Clean and crisp without a hint of after-taste and as I said this one seemed to hold its own even when the coil became a little gunky.

Great cotton!

  • Absorbency Test: 4/5
  • Building: 5/5
  • Flavour: 5/5

Final Verdict

As with e-liquid reviews this is going to be subjective to say the least.

However after testing 7 of the most popular cottons out there I have a clear favourite in Fuzz – despite it not doing that well in my basic absorbency test!

The absorbency test results were a surprise to say the least and in top 3 finish to soak up the most in an hour:

  • GK Vapers Muji
  • UD Ko Gen Do Japanese Cotton
  • Cotton Bacon V2
muji cotton wicked quicker
basic Muji wicked the most!

Right out the back was the Native Wicks Platinum which barely soaked up a 1/5th of its length compared to the x2 Mujis which drank like fish!

Despite those test results overall and from the ease of teasing apart – to the tin – to the flavour and the toughness it shows when moving it into place in the Zeus – I’ve found Fuzz from the Yorkshire Vaper my personal favourite by a long way.

Look there’s a hairs breadth between them if I’m really honest and I was very surprised at the absorbency results.

But hey given I’m no scientist all these capillary action calculations go right over my head!

But I hope in a very basic way I’ve helped you consider other cotton you might not have thought about.

And hey given there’s a ton of brands out there there’s bound to be plenty I’ve missed!

So let me know in comments below what the best vape cotton is for you and why!

I have simpler vape tastes these days - I never leave home without a Caliburn G, a Vaporesso Luxe 40 or Innokin EQ FLTR and a CBD vape pen or bottle of CBD drops in my rucksack...or indeed an Aspire Nautilus Prime X in my pocket... At home I'll be using various mods topped with the GeekVape Zeus X RTA or the Signature Mods Mono SQ topped with the Augvape BTFC RDA... I'm a former journalist and now a writer and sometimes author... I'm ex Army - adore dogs and never happier than hiking over the hills or with a good book on a beach.


  1. Hi, could you, please, help me, explaining how to wick original Zeus with Cotton Bacon V. 2, please?
    I’m using this tank for three months and wicking it is hard for me. A couple of times I got an amazing flavor, but most times not.

  2. Thank you for running this experiment! I am waiting for my Zeus RTA and hearing lots about wicking problems people are having, so I wanted to make sure I got the most absorbent cotton. This article has been very helpful!

    • Glad we were able to help! I really didn’t have any issues with wicking the original Zeus and certainly none with the new Dual – enjoy!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here