The most common type of wick, silica is found in almost every tank system except for RDA/RBA tanks (although even some come with a stock silica wick). While it works fine, it could be considered “the worst type of wick” from both flavor and absorption standpoints.
Organic Cotton Balls
Organic cotton balls are perhaps the most common type of wick used in an RDA/RBA tank. They are affordable, easy to work with, found in most stores and have more than adequate flavor and vapor production. You can’t really go wrong with ORGANIC cotton.
Cellucotton Rayon Fibers
According to the internet, rayon is a “manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber”. Meaning this is a man made material (mostly made from wood pulp). The final product is synthetic fibers of pure cellulose. Sold under the name cellucotton, there is much debate about the quality and safety of this wicking material. Popular opinion says that while this works very well for flavor, nic hit and absorption, high temperature vaping may cause it to burn and it MAY have very negative health effects when/if this happens.
Japanese Organic Cotton
A huge favorite of hardcore vapers, Japanese organic cotton is exceptionally pure and fairly easy to work with as it comes in pads. Wicking with this type of cotton is superior to organic cotton balls because of the way it is made. Japanese cotton pads are interwoven which helps improve wicking.
Ekowool has become a popular wick choice for vaping for a few different reasons. Firstly, ekwool works exceptionally well in high temperature environments which helps prevent burning. Additionally the hollow shape of the tubing makes for better wicking. Best of all Ekowool is non toxic and relatively affordable (though not as cheap as organic cotton).
Stainless Steel Mesh
Generally used in hybrid RDA/RBA tank systems, stainless steel mesh needs special treatment for use but can work really well in hybrid RDA’s.
A great option for mech mod users that want something simple. Sterile dental cotton cut into easy strips which makes wicking a piece of cake.
Ceramic does quite well under high heat. Ceramic wicks are stable up to 1200 degress making them exceptional for vaping. On the downside, ceramic wicks are more expensive than most other kinds. Additionally there may be health concerns since a large component of ceramic is lead.
Traditional hemp wick is used in lighters as a healthier alternative that does not give off butane or any of the chemicals that may be a by product of such. Best guess says this would make a very nice wicking material.
Drago Egyptian Cotton
No hydrogen peroxide treatment, no bleach = beautifully clean taste. Another great thing about this cotton is when saturated, doesn’t seem to burn as easily as organic cotton/cotton bacon.