This study compares the analytical figures of merit of inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICPOES) with an infrared (IR)-heated modified cyclonic spray chamber (MC) system providing total sample consumption at up to 75 μL min1, Apex E desolvation system and IsoMist programmable temperature spray chamber. A baffled cyclonic spray chamber (BC) at room temperature was used as a reference sample introduction system. Sample uptake rates of 25, 50 and 75 μL min−1 were tested. Under operating conditions providing a compromise in sensitivity and robustness, and at a sample uptake rate of 50 μL min−1, the improvement in the sensitivity and detection limit of the MC and Apex was comparable and significantly higher than that for IsoMist. However, at a sample uptake rate of 75 μL min−1, the order of the improvement in the sensitivity and detection limit was Apex > MC > IsoMist. In general, at sample uptake rates of 50 and 75 μL min−1 and in contrast to IsoMist, the sensitivity and detection limit for the MC and Apex were not decreased against those obtained with the BC at a regular sample uptake rate of 1 mL min−1. The MC system provided the highest plasma robustness. At a given sample uptake rate, the MC also provided a shorter washout time than Apex and IsoMist. Accurate ICPOES analysis of two certified reference materials of drinking and waste waters was performed with the MC using a simple external calibration without internal standardization and the results were similar to those obtained for the BC, IsoMist and Apex. This demonstrates the suitability of the MC as a sample introduction system for ICPOES.