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There are many different types of bongs to choose from. From a straight tube bong to beaker bongs, multi chamber bongs to recycler bongs, picking the right kind of water pipe can be pretty overwhelming.
Then you need to take into consideration things like the material it’s made out of! That’s why we’re breaking it all down for you.
What we’re going to cover:
- 5 different materials used to make water bongs
- 10 styles of bongs
- Which water pipe is right for you
- 5 Most Popular Materials for Water Pipes
- 10 Different Types of Water Bongs
- Percolator Bongs – Super Filtration
- Round Based Bongs – Sturdy and Smooth
- Straight Tube Bongs – The Standard
- Beaker Base Bongs – Scientifically Durable
- Multi Chamber Bongs – Gets the Job Done Every Time
- Dab Rigs – Concentrate on Concentrates
- Inline Bongs – Innovation in Filtration
- Recycler Bongs – No Smoke Waste
- Scientific Glass Bongs – Most Durable
- Homemade Bongs – Let Your Creative Flag Fly
- Which Type of Bong is Best?
5 Most Popular Materials for Water Pipes
Your weed is only as good as the bong you’re using to smoke it. So, you want a piece made with durable material, not prone to mold, and makes for easy cleaning.
The most common materials used to make water pipes are:
There are many other materials used to make bongs, including bamboo, wood, and plastic. However, these are the least popular options among smokers.
If you’re looking for a cheap bong that’ll likely run you less than $50, acrylic is a good option. It’s made of a thicker plastic. However, they’re still pretty easy to break.
These water pipes are not typically manufactured in the United States. Most are made overseas and shipped stateside. Therefore, you can’t always guarantee the safety of these pieces like you can for glass bongs.
It’s also challenging to pair acrylic bongs with accessories. Most acrylic bongs are a one-size-fits-all smoking experience that’s perfect for young and inexperienced marijuana users.
- Very Inexpensive
- Comes in a Variety of Colors and Styles
- Smoking Plastic Can Be Health-Hazardous
- Ruins Flavor of Weed
- Not Durable
- Not Compatible with Accessories
Final Verdict: (3/10) Acrylic bongs are recommended to budget-friendly smokers. They’re inexpensive but not durable. So, you might be better off investing bongs made with different materials.
Ceramic bongs are the OGs of the water pipe scene. Our ancestors channeled their inner Ghost and used pottery to make ceramic bongs. They use bongs made of ceramic to smoke both tobacco and cannabis!
Unlike acrylic bongs, ceramic isn’t a porous material. These bongs shouldn’t distort the flavor of your bud.
Sometimes teeing off on bong rips can cause areas of the pipes to get hot. Ceramic is impervious to temperature change. All hits should produce cooler smoke that allows you to clear the pipe with ease.
Ceramic bongs are the next step down from glass and silicone. They provide an excellent smoking experience with smooth flavor and massive rips. They are incredibly durable and less sensitive to temperature changes than glass bongs.
It’s effortless to find a beautiful ceramic piece. Its smooth texture lends itself to very creative artwork that you’ll be excited to display.
That’s where the customization pretty much ends. Ceramic bongs don’t pair well with accessories.
- Doesn’t Alter Flavor
- Temperature Resistant
- Some Pieces Are Works of Art
- Durable and Generally Safe Material
- Hard to Accessorize
- Can Get Expensive
- Can’t See Smoke in Bong
Final Verdict: (6/10) We recommend ceramic bongs to someone who wants a durable piece and doesn’t care about customizing their smoking experience. They’re pretty bare-bones water pipes. While you can’t get much percolation, you will enjoy a ton of flavor from your weed.
Glass bongs are the most popular material used to make water pipes. With good reason. Glass water bongs make for powerful hits and smooth flavor.
Prices for glass bongs run the gamut from cheap to extremely expensive. Much of the cost is attributed to the labor that goes into blowing the glass used to make the water pipes.
While ceramic pipes make for some beautiful designs, water pipes can become real masterpieces.
With that said, glass is the water bong standard. So, you can still find high quality glass bongs at affordable prices.
Depending on the type of bong you buy, accessorizing shouldn’t be a problem (check out our girly bongs here). You can mix and match joints, downstems, and ash catchers with moderately-priced glass bongs, no problem.
If you want a glass bong that lasts a while, make sure it’s made of borosilicate glass. It’s a thicker material, which helps your bong withstand a few bumps and bruises.
- Consistently Smooth and Flavorful Hits
- Can Be Extremely Affordable
- Customization in Design and Accessories is Easy
- There are Some Real Works of Art
- Might Be Easy to Break
- Can Become Expensive
- Not Easily Portable
Final Verdict: (9/10) Glass bongs are the standard for water pipes. Borosilicate glass bongs are pretty durable. However, they can’t withstand all types of travel. So, glass is not appropriate for all occasions.
Metal bongs might seem like an odd choice. However, there’s a passionate niche of stoners out there that swear by metal pipes. No, we’re not talking about the ones Mario travels through.
These are the most durable pipes. Unlike glass bongs, they travel very well.
The metal material alters the flavor of the weed. Some enjoy the tinner flavor. However, everyone can agree it’s a smooth smoking experience that’s not too harsh on the lungs.
Since it’s metal and you’re using water to smoke, these pieces are prone to rust. Boil them to clean. Try to dry the bong as much as you can with a towel before leaving to air dry completely.
- Allow for Smooth Hits
- An Acquired Taste for Some
- Alters Flavor
- Prone to Rust
- Can’t Watch Smoke
- Hard to Use with Accessories
Final Verdict: (2/10) We don’t highly recommend metal water bongs. While they’re durable, they’re also prone to rust. Plus, these bongs alter the flavor. It might be a pleasant taste to some, but it definitely diminishes the nuances of some flavorful loud.
These are the most durable water bong material on the list. Silicone bongs are usually bendable and twistable.
Plus, they don’t rust like metal bongs. So, these bad boys are built to last.
On top of durability, silicone is the best material for portable bongs. Many silicone bongs can be folded up into a tiny square and tucked away in a purse or pocket.
The selling point of silicone bongs is their portability. However, that makes them difficult to accessorize.
You might need to get a more expensive silicone bong if you want it to be compatible with a honeycomb percolator or a diffused downstem.
- Folds Up and Fits Anywhere
- Damn Near Unbreakable
- Widely Available and Affordable
- Not a Lot of Variety
- Hard to Use with Accessories
- Some Silicone Can Be Lesser Quality
10 Different Types of Water Bongs
Now that we have the materials used to make these pieces out of the way, let’s talk style. Different styles of bongs lend themselves to different smoking experiences.
The type of a bong can affect flavor, customization opportunities, and functionality. Therefore, bong styles can come in at a range of price points.
Percolator Bongs – Super Filtration
Let’s get it percolating! These water pipes are a guaranteed smooth smoking experience.
Percolator bongs come with built in savings. You don’t need to buy a perc because it’s already in the piece.
Percolator bongs come in many varieties, including honeycomb, UFO, and donut to name a few. The way they work is that your smoke goes through the water and the tiny holes on the percolator.
In turn, you get a highly filtered and flavorful puff. Your lungs won’t take a beating, and you’ll be ready for rip number two of your favourite marijuana strain in no time.
Round Based Bongs – Sturdy and Smooth
If you need a sturdy base for your wild elbows, then the round based bong is for you. Its ample bottom sits firmly on your coffee table, and it takes a solid blow for the piece to tip.
Since the bottom is so robust, these bongs are easy to grip. You can pass the bong around the smokers’ circle without someone awkwardly grabbing it by the neck!
Straight Tube Bongs – The Standard
Straight tubes are the vanilla of the bong world. They’re very basic but are reliable.
These bongs tend to be tall, typically maxing out around the 24-inch range. Its long neck lends itself to many fun toys, including ice pinches and multiple percolators.
In fact, many straight tube bongs come with these accessories. That’s why you get straight tube bongs at a far range of prices.
Since the neck is so exposed, these are the easiest bongs to break. Plus, the thin neck can make cleaning a bit of a challenge.
Beaker Base Bongs – Scientifically Durable
Beaker bongs are probably the most popular choice for water pipes. Many smokers appreciate the wide bottom and thicker neck that make beaker bongs some of the most durable glass water bongs.
Their shape looks like a novelty science smoking apparatus. However, it also causes maximum bubbling for the ultimate smoke filtration system.
Lastly, the wide base and neck circumference makes it easier to clean. So, you get cleaner hits from the bubbles and the ease of cleaning this piece!
Multi Chamber Bongs – Gets the Job Done Every Time
These are some of the more expensive pieces. Multi chamber bongs are made with a lot of thought towards infrastructure.
Smoke enters multiple chambers that contain percolators. The more movement the smoke makes, the whisper and cleaner it will get.
So, you can take long inhales with multi chamber bongs. Not only will you save money by getting higher, but less smoke will leave the mouthpiece.
It won’t be able to trickle out past your mouth suctioned to the opening, inhaling all the yummy loud.
Dab Rigs – Concentrate on Concentrates
The future is here. These glass water pipes are optimized for smoking concentrates, and you won’t want to go back.
Concentrates combust at extremely high temperatures. Smoking dabs unfiltered can be harsh on the lungs and leave you in a coughing fit.
Dab rigs are made with recyclers and percolators. Your smoke gets filtered and cooled down so that you don’t scorch your lips and can enjoy your puff.
These smoking apparatuses are usually smaller than other bongs. So, they’re easier for travel.
You can also buy a new 14mm bowl and take off the nail. This option will transform your dab rig into a traditional water pipe.
Inline Bongs – Innovation in Filtration
These bongs are a bit more on the expensive side. Their design functionality resembles that of multi chamber bongs in theory.
However, they look and operate pretty differently. Inline perc bongs are designed with inline percolators that make for clouds as smooth as cotton candy.
The percs sit horizontally and are melded to the glass. As the smoke expands and regroups to rise towards the mouthpiece, it enters another percolator.
Inline bongs are a bit of a financial investment. However, your lungs will thank you!
Recycler Bongs – No Smoke Waste
Recycler bongs are another form of multi chamber bongs. While the name is called recycler, this piece actually recycles the smoke by filtering it through a different chamber.
As smoke works their way through the complex set up of a recycler bong, it will go throw water and percolators on multiple occasions. Not only does the recycler bong limit how much smoke leaves the mouthpiece, but it ensures you get a smooth hit every time.
Recycler bongs vary in design, price, and effectiveness. The more complex the recycling system is, the more money you can expect to shell out.
Scientific Glass Bongs – Most Durable
These are the most durable glass bongs available. That’s because scientific glass bongs are made of borosilicate.
Borosilicate glass is extra thick. These pieces are ideal for parties or smokers who tend to break their pipes.
Scientific glass bongs usually come with accessories that enhance the smoking experience. Since they’re temperature controlled, they can withstand the heat of smoke traveling through an ice pinch.
Many scientific glass bongs come with percolators or ash catchers. However, they’re easy to fit for accessories.
Homemade Bongs – Let Your Creative Flag Fly
Whoever said stoners are lazy were lying to themselves. These are some of the most brilliant, out-of-the-box minds in the world.
Due to stoner ingenuity, there are many items you can make into a bong, including:
- Water Bottle
- Honey Bottle
Whether you’re making an intricate gravity bong or using food around the house for a makeshift bong, there are many useful materials in your house. Take a look around and get building!
Another unique type of bong if you’re a fan of 90’s pop culture would be a lava lamp bong. There aren’t many out there to choose from, so be sure to check out our post where to find the best lava lamp bongs.
Which Type of Bong is Best?
Picking out types of bongs to meet your needs is a matter of preference. There are many excellent options and some we’d avoid.
For the most part, don’t use metal or acrylic bongs. Opt for something that won’t alter the flavor and will last a long time.
There are many great choices out there. However, you can’t go wrong with a scientific glass bong with a beaker base.
Beakers are durable and easy to clean. If they’re made of scientific glass, it highly improves their longevity.
Between flavor perseverance, ease of cleaning, affordability, customization options, and filtration, scientific glass beaker bongs are worth every penny.