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We compared the times to intubate the trachea using the single use (Group S) and reusable (Group C) intubating laryngeal mask (ILMA™), in 84 healthy patients with normal airways undergoing elective gynaecological surgery. There was no significant difference in the ease of insertion of the ILMA or the tracheal tube, or time to successful insertion (Group S, 101.4 s (SD 63.2) vs Group C, 90.4 s (SD 46.1), p = 0.366). The ILMA was successfully inserted on first attempt in 63% of Group S patients and in 68% of Group C patients. After one or two attempts the overall success rate for both groups was 93%. There was a failure to insert the ILMA in two patients in each group. There was no difference in side-effects (desaturation Spo2 < 95%, bleeding, oesophageal intubation, lip, dental or mucosal injury, or sore throat postoperatively). We conclude that the disposable ILMA is an acceptable alternative to the reusable ILMA.