An admixture of thiopentone and propofol was evaluated against propofol for laryngeal mask airway (LMA) insertion. Eighty-one ASA 1 and 2 18- to 65-year-old patients, premedicated with 7.5 mg midazolam orally were assigned randomly to receive either propofol 1% or an admixture of thiopentone and propofol (1.25% and 0.5% respectively), both at a dose of 0.25 ml x kg(-1). Satisfactory conditions for insertion were achieved with the admixture, which was comparable to propofol (73% vs 85%, P>0.05). There was no statistical difference in the incidence or severity of gagging, coughing, inadequate jaw relaxation and laryngospasm. The incidence of hypotension was lower in the admixture group (51% vs 78%, P=0.02). The duration of apnoea was not different between the admixture and propofol group (mean 103s vs 109s respectively, P>0.05). We conclude that thiopentone/propofol admixture can be a suitable alternative to propofol for LMA insertion, producing less hypotension while allowing cost savings of up to 45%. An admixture of thiopentone and propofol (1.25% and 0.5% respectively) can produce suitable conditions compared to propofol 1%, for laryngeal mask insertion. In addition to cost containment, the admixture also produces less hypotension.