There are many different types of bongs to choose from. Here’s a reference guide for you to help you find the right one for you. There are two important types to look at: the types of bongs by material and the types of bongs by shape. Let’s take a look.
Different types of Bongs by Shape (with pictures)
Bongs come in all shapes, sizes, and design styles. Here are the most common configurations explained.
1. Beaker Bongs
Tough, sturdy & stable. Smooth smoking experience.
Classic beaker bongs are the traditional water bongs you might be familiar with from appearances on many shows and movies featuring cannabis. They have wide bottoms that provide a smooth smoking experience and extra stability when holding your water pipe. Perhaps more importantly, beaker bongs are usually a little sturdier and more durable than basic tube bongs. For example, you can set a beaker bong on a table and not have to worry about it rolling off the table and crashing to the floor as easily. Lastly, beaker bongs are preferred by many since they hold extra water and smoke in their bases. That means you can take longer, harder hits once you build up some experience.
2. Gravity Bongs
Use gravity to create a vacuum. Intense hit.
Gravity bongs come in a variety of different shapes, but they all share one core functional aspect: they use their water content to make a vacuum and draw smoke up for inhalation. In other words, they use a trick of gravity to create an intense hit each time you inhale. A gravity bong is best enjoyed if you have some experience smoking, so you aren’t overwhelmed with the sudden flush of sensation. Take it slow!
One popular gravity bong is the Studenglass Gravity Flip Bong (pictured above).
3. Dab Rigs
Meant to be used with MJ dabs and concentrates. Maximizes flavor.
Then there are dab rigs: water pipes that are specifically meant to be used with marijuana dabs and concentrates. Think of dabs as concentrated squares or rectangles of MJ that you inhale a little differently from typical bong water. In a nutshell, dab rigs filter their water and carry the vapor through a narrow chamber that ends close to the mouthpiece. This then releases the vapor for the user to enjoy; since the chamber is very narrow and concentrated, it maximizes the flavor. While you can use dab rigs with flowers and herbs, you should really stick to using these unique water pipes for concentrates.
You can even get new electric dab rigs from brands like Puffco and G Pen!
4. Mini Bongs
Perfect for enjoying a quick hit. Less intense hits than other bong types.
Then we have mini bongs: as the name implies, these water pipes are smaller than the regular size bongs. You can potentially carry a mini bong in your pocket or purse. These are perfect for enjoying a quick hit while on the go, provided you are lucky enough to live in a state with legal smoking. Miniature bongs don’t provide the same smoking experience or intensity as other bong types. Also, mini bongs can be a little fragile, especially if they aren’t made with high-quality silicone.
5. Percolator Bongs
Designed to provide extra filtration. The smoothest hits.
Percolator bongs (the Percs), or the bubblers, have – you got it – a percolator. To fully explain the way the percolator bongs work can get complicated, simply they have a piece of glass to dissipate smoke before passing through water. This causes a percolating effect or bubbling, which results in cool smoke that is more comfortable to inhale. The purpose of the percolator is to cool and filter the smoke before inhalation. This cooling and filtering allows for a really smooth smoking experience.
6. Straight Tube Bongs
Simple and effective. Great for beginners.
Classic straight tube bongs or straight neck bongs feature easy-to-clean designs and shapes. The bongs are usually tall, anywhere from 8” – 24”+, and they are typically made with a single piece of thick glass. Because of their tall and narrow shape, some styles of straight-tube bongs are easy to knock over, so store them somewhere where they won’t accidentally be knocked down! These bongs are simple and effective. Many straight tube bongs also feature a percolator.
Different types of Bongs By Material
1. Glass Bongs
The most common bong material. Affordable option. 100s of designs.
A glass bong is a classic choice. Glass is one of the most common materials used for bongs due to its aesthetic appeal and relative affordability — depending on the style of bong you choose, of course! Glass bongs deliver a premium smoking experience in all shapes and sizes, and even the type of glass varies. Borosilicate glass bongs are especially resistant to thermal shock, making them a great choice for the hot-cold duality of the water in your bong against the heat from your flame.
2. Ceramic Bongs
Affordable, but can be fragile.
As their name suggests, a ceramic bong is made from ceramic material rather than other choices like glass or silicone. Ceramic bongs are old school. They were around before glass bongs came on the market. Ceramic bongs offer a smooth smoking experience. Keep in mind, ceramic looks great, but it can be very fragile!
3. Silicone Bongs
Affordable and durable. Excellent entry-level bongs.
Silicone bongs are relatively new to the bong market, but they have become a very popular option. They’re fantastic for a variety of reasons. For one, high-quality silicone is frequently used as a material for cooking and baking, so you know it’s safe when ingesting or inhaling substances. For another, high-quality silicone can easily withstand the high temperatures needed to vaporize water in a water pipe. As an added bonus, silicone bongs are a little more durable than glass bongs; they’re much less likely to break compared to glass bongs. Even better, silicone bongs are typically cheaper than high-quality glass bongs, so they’re excellent entry-level water pipes, to boot. Try a silicone bong or straight tube bong if you’re new to bongs. They filter smoke well, often have an ice pinch to help with cooling smoke, and are some of the best bongs in terms of quality and performance.
4. Other Types of Bongs
Acrylic bongs were around before silicone bongs came around. Acrylic bongs are cheap, but they break easily. So if you just need a quick, temporary solution, for $10 you could grab an acrylic bong. Most people who pick up an acrylic bong end up upgrading to a silicone or glass bong. Just FYI, the flavor may be terrible with an acrylic bong.
Metal bongs belong to the category of not recommended. The biggest drawbacks for metal bongs are: the terrible taste and not so smooth smoking experience. In addition, the metal bongs are not see through so you don’t know what kind of hit you are going to get. The good news is that metal bongs are really hard to come by, so you don’t need to worry about the metal bongs.
Which type of bong should you use?
The type of bong you should choose really depends on your preferences. One of the best things to do is to experiment with different types of bongs and see which ones you like the best. Good luck and enjoy the ride!