How to Choose the Right Bong for You

How to Choose the Right Bong for You

Shopping for a bong is exciting, but can quickly become overwhelming due to the long list of options, brands, and companies that all claim to be the best of the best. After all that time and effort shopping around, you don’t want to get stuck buying a cheap import pipe that doesn’t work, or worse, breaks on you before you use it. So how do you choose?

Whether you’re a beginner, need to upgrade your collection, or are an experienced connoisseur, we’re here to help you make an informed buying choice. At Purr we know that glass is an investment. Being one of the rare companies that blow glass in-house, make custom glass, and repair both our own glass and other glass brands, we’re also smokers with a long and deep history in the industry. With decades of experience helping various customers, smoke shops, and a multitude of big-name brands with their glass needs, we’re confident we have the know-how to help you buy the best bong for you.

Where do I Start?

First, let’s figure out what kind of smoker you are. Regardless of what you see in the movies or social media, an 18” Beaker Bong may not be the best fit for a new smoker with sensitive lungs who smokes infrequently and has limited glass storage space. It’s best to start by asking yourself what features would most benefit your smoking needs and lifestyle:

  • Are you new to smoking? 
  • Do you smoke once in a while or regularly?
  • Do you smoke bowls, dabs, or both? 
  • Do you have limited glass storage?
  • Do prefer small or large pieces? 
  • Does your pipe have to be travel-friendly?
  • Are you sensitive to coughing? 

Once you identified what you’re looking for, it’s time to start shopping. Choose from a variety of bongs, dab rigs, bubblers, hand pipes, glass filter tips, and smoking accessories that we make right here in our Chatsworth, California based glass shop. We’d love to help find the right bong for you!

Types of Bongs

“Bong” is an often interchangeably used term to refer to all types of smoking pipes but in more connoisseur communities, we know “bong” to refer more specifically to larger, water pipe styles typically used when smoking bowls. Bongs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs, but the best are made from borosilicate glass. Due to its high-temperature resistance and durability, it has the ideal workability for pipe making. While alternative bongs can be made from ceramic, silicone, acrylic plastic, etc, we prefer to work with the highest quality borosilicate available for optimal performance and the cleanest smoke.

When buying a bong, size, shape, and percolator, aka diffusers, are the primary features that will dictate how a bong will function. These elements can vary widely and be mix-and-matched in a multitude of combinations. And of course, a large part of your buying decision will also come down to personal preference, but for the best smoking experience, it’s critical to buy a bong that ideally fits your lifestyle.

 

Bong Size

Are you looking for a 6-foot party bong or a mini bong for dabs? Generally, bong sizes will range from small bongs up to 6 inches in height, medium bongs that are 8-16 inches tall, or large bongs that are 18 inches or bigger. Below, we break down the benefits of small, medium, and large bong sizes - which is best for you?


SMALL BONGS

MEDIUM BONGS

LARGE BONGS

Up to 6”

8 - 16”

18” and larger

✓  Great as dab rigs

✓  Great for daily use 

✓  Thickest glass options

✓  Best for concentrated flavor

✓  Ideal amount of water filtration

✓  Great for large volume smokers

✓  Easy to use for new smokers

✓  Supports multiple smoking accessories

✓  Best for multiple, internal percolator designs

✓  Easiest to clean

✓  Full-sized hits

✓  Biggest hits

✓ Compact for storage

✓  Best bowl or nail visibility

✓  No splashback

✓  Discreet

✓  Widest design choices

✓  Large and sturdy feel

✓  Portable

✓  Most popular size

✓  Best for sharing


Bong Shape

Bongs can come in a wide variety of shapes, from cartoon characters to more classic scientific shapes, so we want to highlight two of the most iconic bong styles. One of the most common bong designs is the beaker shaped bong. Beakers are a fantastic workhorse style with a cone-shaped water chamber that’s topped off with a straight mouthpiece. The wide base provides great stability so your bong doesn’t tip or fall over. The beaker bottom also holds more water for greater smoke filtration than compared to smaller chamber bongs, so your hits will surely be smooth. And because beaker bongs commonly have removable downstems with different percolator styles, you can easily customize your diffusion level and smoking experience. 

Straight tubes are another classic bong style. Rather than a cone shape, straight bongs are one continuous size from the water chamber to the mouthpiece. This results in a direct stream of smoke once you light up and clears in an instant for a heavy-hitting, straightforward experience. Typically paired with a 90-degree joint, straight tubes give you easy visibility into your bowl or quartz banger nail, and work easily with additional accessories, like ash catchers, making this type of bong popular for more experienced users. 

Another highly popular, more modern bong style is our Swiss Honeycomb. These medium-sized bongs have become a favorite for daily smoker enthusiasts due to the wide base, aka “foot”, moderate-sized water chamber, specialty percolator, and smaller bent mouthpiece. Like our sleek Bud Vase, these bong styles boast more stylized shapes with a focus on high function performance. Whatever your preference, there’s definitely a multitude of options available.

Percolators

You may be familiar with disc-shaped honeycomb or turbine diffusers in your straight tube bongs or removable downstems like our showerhead downstem. These are all types of percolators, percs, or diffusers, which help filter and cool your smoke before being further cleaned and cooled through the water chamber. So what’s the difference? Imagine that your perc is the engine powering your bong: the better it is, the better the flavor, smoothness, and control of your hits will be. And because there are tons of percolator options out there, consider how much filtration you want and how you want your bong to feel when you hit it. For example, if you prefer a heavier chug and like snapping your bowls, look into our more traditional 6-slit downstem with an open bottom hole. Or if you’re looking for an effortless smoke and are sensitive to coughing, consider bongs with our matrix perc, which vigorously diffuses your smoke through tons of fine, stacking bubbles. 

Types of Bong Accessories

Adding the right bong accessory can change how your smoke feels in a substantial way. Even the difference between a single hole bowl vs a multi-hole bowl with a built in screen can completely change the feeling of your hit, pull, and how you smoke your bowl. It’s a simple way to improve or customize your smoke experience without having to buy a brand new piece. That’s a large reason why bongs with removable downstems are so versatile. Whether you’re using a showerhead downstem for smoother hits or need a downstem with an open hole at the bottom because you like to snap your bowls, a new downstem with a different percolator will make your old bong feel new again. 

One of the most popular bong accessories is the ash catcher which is an attachment that prevents ash from dirtying the water in your bong. Better still, ash catchers with specialty percolators, like our showerhead downstem, add a second source of diffusion for a much cleaner smoke all around. For dabbers, dropdowns and reclaimers are a common choice since they help protect your bong from risky heat exposure and damage when heating up your nail. Whatever your smoking preferences, there are plenty of accessories that can enhance your smoking experience and keep your glass collection flexible for any need that may arise.

Other Types of Pipes

Not to worry if bongs don’t seem to be your right fit, there are tons of other glass pipe options available. If you’re not interested in water diffusion, dry pipes are an excellent choice for ease of use, compact size, and portability. Discreet by nature, they’re easy to carry around, store, smoke, and clean. With no moving parts, these fuss-free pipes are great for both new and daily smokers (even dabbers if you’re crafty).

If full-sized bongs are still too big for your needs and you still want water filtration, bubblers are the best choice. When you need a much smoother hit, water pipes provide an excellent layer of filtration that greatly reduces coughing and improves the quality of your hit. Bubblers are also a great introduction to water pipes since they’re smaller than bongs, making them easier to handle, more portable, and discreet. Also requiring fewer parts, it’s easier to take smaller to more moderate-sized hits from bubblers, rather than filling up large chamber bongs. Highly recommended for new or seasoned smokers searching for smooth hits from a handheld pipe.

Why Shop at Purr?

We know there are many options to choose from when shopping online but unlike most of our competitors, we believe in manufacturing our own products in the USA, right here in our own facility in Chatsworth, California. And despite the multitude of glass options out there, we’re still the only glassblowing company that puts our money where our mouth is. 

Not only do we offer a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee on our handmade glass products, we’re also a full-service glass shop (and family-owned!). In addition to making our own products, we also offer glass bong repair services, custom-designed glass, and more. And if you want some help picking out the perfect bong, check out our Smoke Consultation page. 

With such a long and deep-rooted history in the industry and ourselves being smoke enthusiasts, we’re dedicated to providing quality-based, high performance, satisfaction inducing, problem-solving products and services to you, our fellow smoker. At the end of the day, we know it’s all about the real and impactful value we provide to our community that means the most. So rather than gimmicks and hype, at Purr, we’re all about providing you with professional (and sometimes even personal) knowledge about glass pipes, glassblowing, smoking best practices, and more so you can make an informed buying decision, get the best smoking experience, and be happy. We look forward to helping find the right bong for you!


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