Types of Bongs

The Types of Bongs Available And How to Find Which Is Best For You

Posted by VITAE GLASS on

Whether you are completely green or somewhat seasoned in this smoky realm, at some point you've most likely asked yourself, "which bong is the best fit for me?". With the astonishing array of types of bongs out there, choosing the perfect one can feel as hazy as a puff of stale smoke.


All the different styles, designs, and features can be overwhelming. Don't worry, we're going to simplify it for you.


First, we'll learn about bong materials. We'll see why glass is better than acrylic. Then, we'll explore different bong shapes. From the beaker bongs capturing the essence of science chic to the classic straight-tube bongs and the many types of bongs in between – we’ve got you covered.


So, sit back, light up, and let our expert insight illuminate your path to finding your ideal bong companion.


Trust us – it's going to be one smokin' journey. 

Best Bong Materials

Borosilicate Glass: Hands Down The Best

Borosilicate glass bongs are popular in the industry because they are durable and long-lasting. The taste of the smoke also remains unaffected, unlike plastic or metallic types.


Additionally, they have a higher resistance to extreme temperatures and thermal shock. This prevents breakage when exposed to heat sources such as lighters or bunsen torches. Cheaper glass bongs will break so make sure it's borosilicate glass.


Borosilicate glass resists corrosion better than other materials, so your bong stays clear and new.


Cleaning these bongs is also simpler as the smooth surface clears up better and is less likely to chip during washing, making it a popular choice.


However, keep in mind that most classic beaker bongs are made from 3mm thick glass. If you want the best and most durable Borosilicate glass, make sure it's 5mm thick glass or above.

Acrylic (Plastic): Affordable But Less Durable

Acrylic bongs offer affordability above all else because they're cheaper to make compared to other materials on this list. This can be ideal if you're on a tight budget or new to smoking using water pipes. The downside is they have a plastic-y aftertaste when smoked.

Silicone: Durable And Easy To Clean

A recent addition to the world of water pipe materials has been silicone largely thanks to its durability and ease of cleaning [1].


Being breakage-resistant is a big plus if you know you might frequently drop your bong making it the perfect choice for the clumsy among us.


The downside? Some smokers argue that there are subtle differences in taste when compared with high-quality glass bongs. So personal preference will play a big part here.


If you're unsure, this is a good reason to go with glass. 

Metal Bongs: Robust But Flavor-Altering

Then there are metal bongs, often made from aluminum. They're robust and can withstand frequent drops but they can alter the flavor of your smoke.


Metal bongs are more common in Europe than they are in North America. 

Ceramic: Old School

Bongs made from ceramic mostly appeal to those who care more about aesthetics. Although fragile compared to other materials, ceramic bongs do offer some advantages. The ceramic helps to cool the smoke and make it smoother before inhaling [2].


Some bong brands use a hybrid of stainless steel or aluminum shell with a ceramic interior. This type of bong combines the durability of metal with the insulation properties of ceramic.


It's important to keep in mind all these factors when choosing a bong made from a certain material: durability, ease of cleaning, taste alteration, and price point.


All materials have their pros and cons; ultimately what matters most is personal preference. 

Bong Materials Pros Cons
Glass Bongs Clean flavors. Doesn't heat up like metal Can be fragile if not make from 5mm think glass
Acrylic Bongs Cheap to buy Plastic-y aftertaste
Silicone Bongs Difficult to beak Can alter taste
Metal Bongs Durable Can alter taste and difficult to clean
Ceramic Bongs Aesthetic and provides cool smoke Fragile and break easily

Swipe left & right to see table

KEY TAKEAWAY


Choose your material carefully as your smoking experience can be altered due to potential taste interference. So, when you're deciding on a bong, think about what's most important to you: flavor purity, durability, price, or aesthetics. The choice is all yours.

Deep Dive into Different Types of Bongs

There are approximately six types of bongs. Beaker bongs, round base bongs, straight tube bongs, multi-chamber bongs, modular bongs, and percolator bongs.


When it comes to the different types of bongs, the style you choose can significantly impact your smoking experience, how you use it, and ultimately the enjoyment you get. Each type has unique features that cater to different user preferences.


These are the best types of bongs to look into buying. 

1. Beaker Bongs

Beaker bongs, are named for their shape similar to the beakers you find in science labs. Think back to high school chemistry class. These bongs are great for stability and large smoke capacity due to the wider base.


This also means they're harder to tip over - perfect for those who are prone to knocking or bumping into their bong often. Peace of mind and reduced risk of unfortunate mishaps.


This is one of the most popular types of bong bases available and many cannabis accessory brands style their bongs after this shape.


Did we mention you can get higher quicker from the serious big hits?


These bongs aren't just functional, but a stylish addition to your cannabis accessories. 

2. Round Base Bongs

Round-base bongs offer larger water chambers so you'll enjoy bigger, more flavorful hits of your favorite herb stain. Not only do they make smoking better, but like a beaker bong, they also keep your bong steady so you can relax without worry.


It's important to note, that most aren't perfectly round but have more of an egg-shaped body with a flat base.

Round base bongs

3. Straight Tube Bongs

A straight tube bong is all about simplicity and efficiency. Its easy-to-use design delivers smooth hits quickly due to its direct pathway from bowl to mouthpiece.


The design offers minimal drag, meaning the smoke comes straight to you, however, there is a trade-off. Due to smaller water chambers, there is less filtration of smoke before it is inhaled.


Often these tall bongs create a soothing purring sound due to greater bubbles made from less water drag and can be satisfaction.

4. Multi-chamber Bongs

The multi-chamber bong, or double chamber bong, cools and smooths hits by filtering smoke through more than one water-filled chamber.


This design often features double percolators above the main chambers that further increase the filtration. The result is very satisfying hits that hardly ever burn your throat. 

5. Modular Bongs

If customization is your game, modular bongs let users build their own bong setup by combining different components like bases, percolators, and ash catchers in any way they prefer.


  • Modify the size to suit your desired bong dimensions


  • Experiment with different percolators for various filtration levels and smoke diffusion patterns


  • Add an ash catcher to keep the main chamber cleaner for longer, enhancing both the aesthetics and function of your bong.

The possibilities are endless. But it's not just about looks. The ability to take apart a modular bong makes cleaning a breeze.


If individuality and adaptability are what you seek in a bong experience, then the modular system is for you. 

6. Percolator Bongs

The popularity of percolator bongs is because of their functionality. They are designed to filter and cool the smoke before it is inhaled more than regular bongs.


They do this by forming tiny bubbles so the smoke passes through has more surface area to come in contact with.


The contaminants in the smoke are attracted to the increased water surface area and filtered away more easily, leaving a smooth and cool smoke.


Various types of percs exist, such as tree percs, UFO percs, matrix percs, and showerhead percs. These are all designed with tiny slits however the honeycomb perc uses tiny holes instead to filter the smoke.


To determine which perc works best for you, we recommended experimenting with different kinds to get a feel for the filtration and drag. 

★★★★★


MY OVERALL EXPERIENCE USING THIS PERCOLATOR BONG WAS FANTASTIC. THAT'S NOT AN EXAGGERATION!

 

I'VE ALWAYS IMAGINED SMOKING OUT OF A BONG (OR ANY DEVICE) THAT PROVIDES THIS SMOOTH OF A HIT WITH COMBUSTION. SURE, DRY HERB VAPING IS SMOOTHER IN MANY CASES, ESPECIALLY WHEN FILTERED THROUGH WATER, BUT THE COMBINATION OF THE VOYAGER BASE WITH ITS HONEYCOMB AND SLOTTED STEM, TWO DUAL UFO PERCS, AND THE UFO MOUTHPIECE ARE ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE.

 

EVEN WITH JUST ONE DUAL PERC, IT PROVIDES ONE OF THE SMOOTHEST HITS I'VE EVER TAKEN.

 

I ALSO PURCHASED AN ASHCATCHER AND THE COMBINATION OF EVERYTHING DELIVERS THE BEST EXPERIENCE I COULD IMAGINE.

 

I'D NEVER THOUGHT I COULD TAKE HUGE HITS LIKE I DO OFF OF THIS, AS I AM VERY PRONE TO COUGHING. BUT I CAN MILK THIS ALL THE WAY UP AND CLEAR IT WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT.

 

AS A SIDE NOTE, IF YOU DON'T ALREADY USE IT, USE HEMP WICK. THE BOWL WILL TASTE BETTER DOWN TO THE END, SINCE THE BUTANE DOESN'T BUILD UP IN YOUR BOWL.


Steven (23" Voyager Dual Perc Bong)
 


Wow, Steven, your review has absolutely made our day! 😊 I can’t express how thrilled we are to hear that your experience with our products has been nothing short of fantastic.

 

It’s always been our dream to create a piece that allows for a smooth, enjoyable session, and knowing we’ve hit the mark for you is incredibly rewarding.

 

It sounds like you’ve created the perfect setup for yourself!

 

And yes! Hemp wick is a little tip we love to share with enthusiasts who are looking for a pure and clean taste.

 

We’re also sincerely grateful for your feedback on how our products perform for someone who's prone to coughing.

 

Please continue to enjoy those smooth hits, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any more feedback, or questions.

Exploring More Types of Bongs

If you're looking for even more types of bongs then the following might interest you. However these types or not as common and can be more difficult to use.

Bubblers: Compact Versatility

A bubbler combines the portability of a hand pipe with the water filtration benefits of a bong. It's small enough to fit in your pocket but still provides smooth hits thanks to its built-in percolator [3].

Zongs: A Twist on Tradition

Zongs, named for their 'Z' shaped zig zag design, are not just visually striking - they also give extra cooling time before the smoke reaches you, making each hit smoother.

Ceramic Sculpture Bongs: Artistic Expression

The beauty of ceramic sculpture bongs lies in their artistic designs and aesthetic appeal. From intricate dragons to sleek modern shapes, these pieces double as works of art while still delivering satisfying hits.

The Gravity Bong: A Potent Punch

Gravity bongs, while unconventional, offer a powerful hit that takes many cannabis smokers by surprise.


A gravity bong uses water falling to create negative pressure, pulling air through the herb and filling the space with smoke. Then, when the bong is flipped back over, the water falling back into the smoke-filled chamber pushes the smoke out of the mouthpiece [4].


A different kind of gravity bong is called a "waterfall." In this type, the water falls out of a bottle and creates negative pressure to pull air through the herb. The difference between this and other versions is that the water exits through a hole in the bottom of the bottle, instead of into another container.

Mini Bongs: The Quick Hit

Mini bongs, which are generally less than eight inches tall, are usually designed with fewer features and often have a single chamber or basic percolators for smoke filtration.


Made up of a bowl, downstem, and mouthpiece, they operate in the same way as larger bongs; the difference is that they are more portable and easier to handle. They are also generally more affordable and less conspicuous than 16 inch bongs, 18 inch bongs, and tall bongs.


Mini bongs are also great for those who may find it tricky to use a bigger bong, as it is less of a hassle to handle and fire up a lighter with one hand. 

Dab Rigs: For The Pros

Wrapping things up, dab rigs have surged in popularity. They're specially crafted for using concentrates like wax or oil rather than plant material. These unique pieces often showcase intricate designs and mechanisms, including quartz buckets—also called 'bangers'.

KEY TAKEAWAY


Bubblers provide portability while Zongs provide extra cooling time for smoother draws. Ceramic sculpture bongs combine artistic expression with functionality and Gravity bongs pack a potent punch and can be homemade. Remember, always smoke responsibly to enjoy these pieces at their best.

Understanding Dab Rigs

Dab rigs, a specialized type of bong, are used primarily for consuming concentrates or oils. This is usually a more potent form of cannabis and provides an intense high that's different from smoking dry herb [5].


Dabbing is different from using a regular bong. Instead of lighting the herb directly in a bowl, you heat a quartz banger, or nail, until it's red-hot.


You then apply your concentrate onto the nail which vaporizes upon contact - this vapor is then inhaled through the mouthpiece. 

Dab rig

Dabs vs Buds: The Key Differences

Unlike smoking cannabis in a traditional bong, dabs provide a quicker high because they contain highly concentrated amounts of THC.


Using dab rigs may require more prep work than regular bowls, but many people find it worth it because the hits are stronger. 

Essential Bong Accessories

Bowls

The bowl is an essential piece of a bong, and without one, it will not work. Bowls come in a variety of sizes and can be either male or female, so it is important to know your bong's joint size and gender when purchasing a new one.


Most bong bowls are made from glass, but some are made of metal or even magnetic bowls.


What can differ between bowls are the shapes, sizes, and depths of the chamber where you light up. Bigger and deeper bowls are great for larger smoking sessions with friends as they fit more herb and prevent the need to repack frequently.


On the other hand, smaller bowls are suitable for just one person as repacking won't be necessary. 

Downstems

A necessary part of a water pipe is the downstem. It carries smoke from the bowl to the water chamber for filtering and cooling.


A wide range of sizes and lengths can be found for downstems, so it is vital to have the exact measurements before buying one. When measuring the length, start from the very bottom and go to the end past the diffuser.


If not measured correctly, an inaccurate length will mean the wrong downstem might be purchased. 

Percolators

A percolator is a device designed to be used with a bong or water pipe to provide extra cooling and filtering of the smoke. Essentially, it's a separate chamber for water in a bong that sits inside the tube. This results are considerably fewer coughing fits.


When percolators are used, they create more pressure, which breaks the bubbles into smaller pieces. This leads to a cooler and smoother draw from your bong. It also makes the smoke less intense, which can be helpful if you struggle to smoke from a bong.


If inhaling is a difficult task for you, it can be especially advantageous to look for a bong with a percolator. 

Ash Catchers

An ash catcher is an accessory for keeping your bong clean and smooth to use. It acts as a barrier between the bowl and the water chamber, catching ash before it enters the main body of the bong.


This makes cleaning easier while also improving smoke filtration. 

Grinders

Grinders, although not directly part of a bong, play an important role in preparing your herb for smoking. They break down nuggets into small pieces which burn evenly in the bowl, ensuring optimal flavor and effect [6].


Most grinders are made from cheap plastic but more durable designs such as metal weed grinders and wooden weed grinders not only last longer but cut up your herb better.

Screens

Bowl screens are another useful addition to any smoker’s kit. A screen helps keep ashes from clogging up your downstem or entering the bong chamber.

Cleaning Tools

Last on our list are cleaning tools - these include brushes designed specifically to reach all corners of a bong and cleaning solutions like isopropyl alcohol. This ensures your bong lasts a long time and optimal performance over time without compromising taste due to residue build-up.

Care and Maintenance of Bongs

Proper care and maintenance can extend the life of your bong and improve its functionality. But cleaning a bong isn't as simple as washing dishes. For keeping your glassware in peak condition, here are some suggestions.

Regular Cleaning is Key

Routine cleaning of a bong prevents residue buildup which can affect taste and make future cleanings more difficult. A good rule is to clean after every few uses or once you notice discoloration on the glass.

Use Proper Cleaning Solutions

To clean bongs, use special cleaning solutions made for glass pipes. Regular household cleaners can be too strong or leave chemicals behind. Isopropyl alcohol mixed with coarse salt works well for tough stains but there are also specialized bong-cleaning solutions available.

Safe Storage

Bongs should be stored in a safe place where they won’t tip over or get knocked around when not in use. They should also be out of the reach of children and pets. If you have one, use a padded case for extra protection and safe storage.

KEY TAKEAWAY


Keep your bong in peak condition with regular cleanings to prevent residue buildup. Use cleaners made for glass bongs, disassemble if possible for thorough cleaning, and ensure safe storage. Don't overlook accessories like bowls, downstems, and screens - they need care too. Remember, a well-maintained bong enhances every smoking experience.

Bong FAQs

What makes the smoothest bong?

Glass bongs deliver the smoothest hits. Their non-porous surface cools the smoke and lets you enjoy pure flavors.

What is the best shape of a glass bong?

The beaker-shaped glass bong ranks high for its stability, water volume capacity, and smoother smoking experience.

Are bongs better for lungs than pipes?

Bongs can offer a healthier hit because they filter out some harmful substances through their water chambers.

What is the healthiest type of bong?

Glass ones are typically considered healthier. They don't alter taste or leach chemicals when heated unlike plastic or metal types might do.

Choose Your Perfect Bong by Exploring the Different Types for Ultimate Enjoyment

By now, you've got a decent handle on the multiple types of bongs that are available to buy. You know about materials, shapes, accessories, and special features for different preferences. And don't forget, there's a whole world of dab rigs too.


All of this can be a lot to take in.


To get the most out of this guide, narrow down on the bong you want to buy using this checklist:


  1. Within your budget


  2. Suits your aesthetic and smoking style


  3. Made with quality materials from a reputable brand


  4. Is easy to use, clean, and maintain


  5. Will last you for many years

By focusing on these five items you can ignore all the noise and choose a water bong that is the perfect one for you.


And if you've decided a modular bong is the right bong design for you, here are our best sellers.


Ready to buy the types of bongs that are perfect for you? 

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