How To Choose The Right Bong?

A Guide On How To Pick The Perfect Bong For Beginners, Intermediate, and Pro-Stoners

Do you want to buy a bong and just have no idea what you actually want to buy? Don’t worry! It is an easy problem to solve. 

In order to choose the right bong you need to pick the appropriate size, material, thickness and bowl.

This post dives deep into all aspects that you should take into consideration when buying a new bongMy goal is to provide you with as much pro-stoner information as possible while explaining it as if you have never smoked a bong before. In doing so, this post will answer your questions no matter if you are about to buy your first bong or have smoked bongs for decades.

The entire post is a 10-minute read. If you don’t want to read the entire post, you can just use the jumper link below to get straight to the section you want to learn more about.

How To Choose The Right Bong?


So you want to buy a bong, get as much as possible, and not spend more than necessary?You are in the right place! I will help you find out what questions you have to ask yourself to get there.

Before diving into all the different builds and brands, sizes and specs, you should ask yourself a set of questions to make clear what you need and more importantly, what you don’t need.

Oil, Wax, or Bud?

This might seem like a stupid question to you. But I heard stories of people trying to smoke wax in a 15" bong with a standard bowl. I want to make sure that won’t happen to anyone buying a bong after following advice given in this post.

Bongs with bowls are meant to be used with bud or hashIf you want to smoke oil or wax you should get a dab rigThey have a needle or banger instead of the standard bowl and are smaller than most bongs.

PRO STONER TIP: If you would like to smoke dabs without having to use a butane torch you should check out my post about electric dab rigs.

Where Are You Going To Use Your New Bong?

Where are you going to use your new bong? Are you planning on taking your new bong somewhere? How clumsy are you and the people that will get close enough to break it?

If you plan on taking your bong with you on trips, or to friends places, or if you are just not confident keeping it safe, you should consider bongs that are made from acrylic, ceramic, or silicone as they are more sturdy.

Obviously, the actual smoking experience won’t be as nice as when smoking a glass bong. However, it is still a bong, and it will still be a bong after you or your friends drop it. Glass bongs aren’t made for outdoor use.

Yet I keep seeing people packing glass bongs in a backpack and going for adventures. That is like driving a sports car off-road. Don’t try it no matter how careful you are. You will regret it.

How Often Are You Going To Use It And How Often Will You Clean It?

You should be honest with yourself about how often you are going to clean your bong. Certain percolators are more prone to getting clogged with smoke residue.

If you don’t take good care of your percs and clean the entire bong regularly, they can get irreversibly blocked. Yes, that means that your precious bong won’t be of any use to you anymore. Do you not want to you bong to get clogged? Then you should probably have a look at my bong cleaning guide.

How Much Can Your Lungs Handle? Do You Prefer Big Hits Or Small Hits?

If you aren’t capable of inhaling a huge load of smoke in one go, or you simply prefer smaller hits, you should go for a smaller bong. So if you are new to smoking bongs, do yourself a favour, and don’t buy a huge one just because it looks cool. You wont enjoy smoking it, and will only make a fool out of yourself.

How Much Will It Cost You Per Use Weekly, Monthly, or Annually?

Think about how much money you should spend carefully. Sure, a $20 bong sounds like a great deal. But if you get sick of smoking it after a week and then end up buying a $100 bong, you won’t have saved any money with the first bong.

On the other side, if you buy a piece for a certain event like a holiday or a festival and go back to smoking better bongs you have at home afterwards, then you shouldn’t spend more than necessary.

People always ask me if there are any good bongs under $100If you know where to look you can find fairly decent ones for around $50. However, if you are a serious bong snob, those won’t be enough for you. $150 – $250 seems to be the best value for money range.

If you just smoke every now and then or are just too broke for a decent bong, the ones below will do the damage. Don’t know where to get good deals on bongs? Don’t worry! I have written a post about that. Check out my post: "Where to Buy Bongs Online?"

You aren’t based in the USA or Canada. No worries lad! Find out more about my favourite headshop in the UK, and its sister store in charge of Mainland Europe.

If you smoke a lot and treat your bongs well, don’t be scared to step up to a higher price class. A lot of people would refer to this falsely as an investment which it is not It will only depreciate in value unless it is a collector’s item. (Those you shouldn’t smoke from at all)

Always keep in mind the cost per use. A $500 bong cost you under $17 a day after a month. After a year it is just above a dollar.

The longer a bong lasts you, the less it cost you over time.

If you have some spare money now, consider buying a bong made from thicker glass as it will save you a lot of money over time! Also, keep in mind that some top of the range bongs come with a case. This will reduce the time of the bong being vulnerable to damage to explicitly when you smoke it. A friend’s uncle still rocks his ROOR from ’98.

Obviously this an extreme example. But if you clean your bong often enough, treat it with care, and put it in the case after you are done it might even last you a lifetime. Now you have a better understanding of what purpose your new bong will serve, and we can get started with the fun stuff, and have a look at what you can actually choose from.

Add-Ons/Ash Catchers: How To Turn An Average Bong Into An Incredible Piece Of Gear

Percolators are usually already built into a bong. However, they can be added on. In that way, you can modify your bong as much as you desire. Before doing this, you will have to make sure that your bong has a heavy base and stable stand as add-ons can easily bring your bong out of balance. Short beaker bongs are ideal for this.

Furthermore, you should make sure that your add-ons fit well at the joints to make sure you can still drag the smoke in nice and easy. In case your add-ons are a different size than your bong, just use an adapterBuying an ash catcher is the most straightforward way to upgrade your bong because it doesn’t cost that much.

Build and Shape

There are many bong shapes out there. The most common are straight tube, beaker and round base. You shouldn’t worry about this too much as it won’t affect the smoking experience much.

Just keep in mind that a beaker and a round base has a lower center of gravity than a straight tube and are more stable and less likely to fall over and break. In these days you can see more and more bongs that don’t fall into any of the above-mentioned categories.

Especially dab rigs and recyclers. Overall, keep in mind shape doesn’t matter, size does. Then there are also bubblers. They fill the gap between pipes and bongs. Bubblers operate exactly like a bong but they are commonly shaped completely differently and are usually heavily decorated.

If you are into fancy-looking heady bubblers you should check out my post about the coolest heady bubblers!

Keep in mind the simpler the shape of a bong is, the easier it is to clean and the more durable it usually is. A bongs shape affects how stable it stands and how easy it is to clean it. If you are a bit lazy, pick a bong that is easy to clean. If you are clumsy, pick a bong with a firm stand.


Bongs are most commonly made from glass, acrylic, ceramic, and bamboo. Glass is the easiest to clean and provides a pure, smooth, and clean tasting smoking experience. However, it is also the least durable material of the above mentioned. Always go for glass unless you have your reasons to compromise smoothness and flavor for durability.

Glass bongs come in different qualities and thicknesses. The best type is borosilicate glass which is also referred to as scientific glass. Its thickness usually ranges from 2mm to 7mm. Anything under 4mm is fragile and you should treat bongs with that glass thickness with extra care. From 5mm onwards you would have a sturdy bong and 7mm is as unbreakable as bong glass can get. Just remember that even the thickest glass is not indestructible.

If you prefer bongs you can bring on the go, get an unbreakable one made from acrylic plastic or bamboo. However, if you want a serious bong that tastes great go for borosilicate glass. Meanwhile, if you are clumsy and can spare a little extra money, get a bong made from 5mm or even thicker glass. If you are a super careful person save the money on the glass thickness and put it into percolators!


Size is a very important factor to consider when buying a new bong. A larger bong will take up more space in your room and won’t be as easy to hide as the need arises. What’s more important is the effect it has on the smoking experience.

The larger a bong is, the larger the chamber volume is. It means that you will have to clear more smoke at the end of the hit. Beginners have trouble clearing out large amounts of smoke as they are new to the process. If you rather have a lot of small hits than one big one or don’t smoke very often you should probably go for a smaller bong. However, if you smoke regularly, you will definitely enjoy clearing large volumes of smoke in a single hit. 

If you want to increase the amount of smoke per hit, even more, you can get a larger bowl that will allow you to pack more weed in it. Also, consider that a larger bong holds more water to filter the smoke. Thus, it won’t require you to change the water as frequently as a smaller bong.

For beginners, you are better off buying a smaller bong. However, you smoke regularly, don’t be scared to upsize to a larger chamber volume, and get an extra-large bowl as well.

Brands: Are You After A Big Brand Or A Big Bargain?

The first Bongs I hit in my life were branded. Where I am from, everyone smokes ROOR bongs. That’s because 90% of the the bongs in the head shops in my city are made by ROOR and every stoner I knew back then would buy them straight from the shop.

Are Bongs By Known Brands Better?

They definitely are! But they also make you pay for it. It is quite obvious that a brand becomes popular and well known because their produces are great. The problem is just that those brands charge so much more that one should consider finding something almost as good for half the price. Even though I tried a lot of other way cheaper brands that I was very happy with, I still recommend the premium brands to anyone who can afford them.

If you don’t mind spending a bit more to get an absolute amazing bong, you should probably go to my post about ROOR.

The 5 Best Bongs For Beginners

For starters, this series from Amsterdam Streamline would bring a smile to beginner stoners. Imagine receiving a gift to kickstart your stoning journey.

The pack itself comes with accessories that are usually sold separately. It comes with a downstem, a funnel bowl, and a joint opening at 14.5mm.

Bubble base bongs are a great hit for beginners because of how it looks. Aside from that, it is sturdier compared to straight bongs which makes it less prone to breakage.

This box set from Amsterdam Greenline comes with the bong itself, along with rolling papers, a weed grinder, and filter tips.

What’s better than a double bubble base bong? A triple bubble base bong! Despite its three-layer base, it only stands 4.5” or 11.5cm.

It is great for traveling because it can fit in a luggage’s limited space. It comes with a funnel bowl, rolling papers, and a weed grinder.

Straight tube bongs are also great starters for beginners. They are basic, easy to use, and there’s not much science needed to make them work. Aside from that, it gives value to the material used since it enhances the flavor of weed. Straight bongs follow a single path and deliver a pack of flavor to the user.

This bong has a thicker body at 5mm glass thickness. It has a 14.5mm slitted diffuser and an 18.8mm female joint that could fit a male joint of the same size. Aside from that, it comes with a 14.5mm herb bowl.

Novelty items are also great for beginners. What more if the novelty item squeezes function into its fun persona? This ceramic pistol bong does all that! Shaped like an M1911 pistol, it’s sure to hit you like a target.

Since it is made out of ceramic, it is also less vulnerable to breakage due to a minor fall or an accidental bump in comparison to glass bongs. Added to that, it has a flat base bottom which ensures stability for the user.

The 5 Best Bongs For Pro-Stoners

Are you looking for a bong that doesn’t disappoint? Here’s a good one we found online. This is a bong that has everything you ever looked for in a single product. It has double percolators that ensures a good hit every time. Aside from that, it can vaporize dabs through its vapor dome. It comes with a Quartz nail which is known to produce the best taste out of dabs.

In an effort to max out the filtration process, this great bong from Glasscity added not one but two percolators in one tool. Combining the power of a showerhead percolator and a 12-arm tree percolator, there is nothing that wouldn’t taste good after passing through this beauty.

Aside from that, it is made out of high-quality borosilicate glass which means it is made to last. This is a great investment for professional stoners since it possesses all the good things a stoner would want in a bong.

This bong might look a bit basic but it sure gets the work done. Although it is a straight tube bong, it does have a tree percolator that would filter out the smoke better than a straight tube bong alone would do. It innovates a straight tube bong and makes it a force to be reckoned with. Aside from that, it has ice notches where you can add ice cubes for a cooler hit!

This bong’s name alone screams a great party. Combined with three showerhead percolators, LA Pipes made sure that straight tube bongs don’t get left behind in the business.

Its goal is to provide a straight hit alongside a clean and cool taste during inhalation. Who needs weird-shaped bongs when straight tube bongs work this good, right?

Because we saved the best for last, this bong won’t hold itself down. The Flaming Skull bong from Black Leaf packs in everything in a bong. It is a beaker base, an ice bong, and a percolator in one. Aside from that, it has its own carb hole with a matching rubber stopper.

Are all these options a bit overwhelming for you? If yes, you might want to check out my post: "What is the Best Type of Bong Percolator?

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