Explained, every kind of bong with the Ali Bongo logo and a percolator bong in the background.

Beginner or expert; no matter your experience with bongs, purchasing a new bong can be a daunting process if you're not exactly sure what to look for or what kind of bong suits your needs.

There are a multitude of bongs out there that serve different purposes and fulfil different needs, so it's really beneficial for your own satisfaction (and the weight of your wallet) to pick out a bong you'll fall in love with on your very first purchase.

Selection of glass bongs by chongz in a glass cabinetSelection of glass bongs by chongz in a glass cabinet

Today we'll fully break down all kinds of different bongs and how to know which one is best for you depending on your experience and what you're hoping to get out of a bong.

Why Does the Size of a Bong Matter?

When it comes to bongs size does matter, and very much so. Look, we know the huge bongs look awesome, but the last thing you want to be doing is ego ripping, that is to say using a larger bong without being able to get the most out of it to show off in front of your friends; bong size is a really important aspect of purchasing bongs online.

Small Bongs

A small bong is going to produce a quick and small hit that will still get the job done but won't come with all the bells and whistles of a big bong. The hit will likely be quite hot and harsh because the smoke only has to travel a short distance between the red hot herbs and your lungs, so probably not for those with sensitive lungs.

Small bongs have pros and advantages that are often overlooked; they are discrete owing to its size and won't produce massive clouds of smoke, so perfectly ideal if you have nosy neighbours. They are also within pretty much any stoner's bong budget, almost all are easy to clean and produce a harsh smoke that many smokers enjoy.

Medium Bongs

Medium bongs are a good all-round option for pretty much any bong enthusiast and the image your mind produces when you think of a medium bong is probably reminiscent of that classic beaker base bong shape that's become an iconic image amongst stoner culture.

Compared to smaller bongs a medium sized bong will have a longer smoke path, what this means is that the smoke will travel for longer and is therefore cooler and smoother before it hits your lungs. The hits also have potential to be far greater than a smaller bong if you decide to pack the bowl. You can't really go wrong with purchasing a medium sized bong, no matter your experience.

Large Bongs

Larger bongs are more suited to bong users with more experience. Boasting the most bong features, a larger bong is going to have a hugely extended smoke path for cooler hits, most have ice traps so you can suspend ice which give sub-zero cool hits and many have percolators (more of that later) and other cool features that massive enhance your smoking experience.

There are a ton of larger bongs online ready to purchase but you should carefully consider if a water pipe of this size is right for you, they require a greater lung capacity and work most efficiently when the bowl is packed with herbs so your tolerance should also be considered.

Different Materials

There are 4 main types of bong materials; glass, acrylic, ceramic and silicone. Each one has it's own benefit and advantages and should be carefully considered when choosing a bong to purchase.

Glass Bongs

By far the most popular choice of bong material, glass bongs boast the best tasting smoke because it's much cleaner than other materials and it doesn't release any chemicals when heated above a certain temperature.

Borosilicate glass is extremely heat resistant and is a tell-tale material of top quality bongs because it can handle extreme temperatures without being damaged, this is also why even on bongs of other material the bowl is usually still glass.

Quality glass bongs are also thick and dense, you may often find that the cheaper priced bongs have far thinner glass; you really get what you pay for when shopping for a bong! Thinner glass isn't necessarily a massive deal breaker but it will break much much easier, so if you're scrimping and saving be sure to be extra careful.

Acrylic Bongs

erAcrylic Bongs are the second most popular choice of bong material. Acrylic bongs are favoured for their value for money, durability and portability. Even if you have a very small budget, an awesome acrylic bong will be available to you and that's one of the beauties of plastic bongs; the lower price point.

An acrylic water pipe will for sure stand the test of time. Dropping most glass pieces from a very small distance will usually result in a break, but acrylic bongs? You won't have that problem; they really do handle all the knocks and bumps a clumsy stoner is bound to induce so if this sounds like a trait you share then an acrylic water pipes is the right bong for you. Pretty much all acrylic bongs have a carb hole too, so controlling your airflow and your hits is really simple and easy.

Silicone Bongs

When silicone bongs first hit the market there were many dubious smokers who questioned the safety of smoking from them but all of our silicone bongs at Ali Bongo are BPA-free, non-toxic and heat proof (they're even dishwasher safe).

Silicone bongs are basically indestructible, you can throw them, squish them, bend them; you won't be able to break them. There are also so many extremely portable silicone water pipes, you can easily squish them up and tuck them right at the bottom of your bag and they are super easy to clean.

Ceramic Bongs

There are so many unique and beautiful choices when it comes to ceramic pieces, these hardy bongs actually date back thousands of years which is testament to their functionality and usefulness.

these bongs are very simple, no-nonsense and most bongs made from ceramic have a carb cap for air control, due to the huge range of different designs (some really funny, some just straight up weird) they also make excellent gifts.

Different Types of Bongs

Now we've identified the different materials and sizes of bong to consider, there are also different types of bong, or rather different features that you should look out for that will make a large difference.

Ice Bongs

Ice Bongs provide an exceptionally cool and smooth smoke and has an ice catcher in the central chamber (or neck) of the bong that suspends ice. The smoke travels through the water and up through the central chamber where it is filtered and cooled through ice cubes lending to a luxurious feeling smoke that feels cool and crisp.

Ice Bongs are ideal for beginners in our opinion because they are much less harsh compared to a bong without ice notches and have a far smoother smoke. Many of our chongz bongs have and ice pinch and are a very popular choice for those looking for a cool smoke.

Beaker Base Bongs

The beaker shape bong is reminiscent of the iconic image most people have in their head when they think of a bong, or just think beakers from a laboratory.

These glass bongs have a large base which brings many benefits:-

  • Excellent water filtration
  • Large capacity for water
  • Stability when standing
  • Lots of space for larger hits
  • Larger range of suitable drop pipe lengths

Most pieces used for dry flower have a beaker base and are probably the most popular type of bong. Suitable for beginners and experts, beaker base bongs are suitable for any bong enthusiast.

Percolator Bongs

A percolator bong has its own filtration system. There are many benefits to using a percolator bong because of these filtration systems, you get a really clean smoke and a smooth hit because the smoke path is extended and the perc will catch lots of tar, other nasty bi products and harmful chemicals of your herbs.

It's important not to get too confused with all the different types of percolators, they all pretty much do the same thing on the surface. One thing to consider when buying a piece with a perc is that they require

Here are a list of some different types of percolator bongs:-

Tree Percs

close up of a tree percolator in a glass bong, showing all the arms and the centre tubeclose up of a tree percolator in a glass bong, showing all the arms and the centre tube

One of the most popular and common types of percolator, its essentially lots of arms that attach to a central tube that goes straight up through the middle, so the smoke has to travel up, then down, then through some very small diffusers (which are the little slits) meaning the filtration levels are off the chain! Generally speaking, these are only found on a glass bong.

Honeycomb Percs

close up of a honeycomb percolator inside a glass bong showing the tiny diffuser holesclose up of a honeycomb percolator inside a glass bong showing the tiny diffuser holes

These honeycomb looking diffusers only found on high quality bongs are considered to be the best kind of percolator because the level of filtration they pack is unrivalled and it packs a serious punch if you have the lung capacity.

Showerhead Percs

close up of a showerhead percolator, this one is green and shows the 2 slit diffusor on the bottom.close up of a showerhead percolator, this one is green and shows the 2 slit diffusor on the bottom.

Resembling a showerhead (obviously), this perc has holes and slits at the bottom of a vertical tube which diffuses the smoke and makes the hits much easier and smoother to inhale. these types of diffusers are really simple, effective and will provide enhanced filtration for sure.

Inline Percs

close up of a inline percolator running horizontal to the glass piece.close up of a inline percolator running horizontal to the glass piece.

Simply put, these percs sit inside the water chamber and work together with water filtration to create a really satisfying hit via lots of holes in a horizontal tube of glass; the more holes (diffusers) the more filtration.

Disc Percs

Close up of a disc percolator with 5 different angled holes going into the bottom chamber of the bong.Close up of a disc percolator with 5 different angled holes going into the bottom chamber of the bong.

These percs feature a disc with 5 angled holes in them that allows smoke to be filtered through; really simple but highly effective. Depending on the size of the angled holes these percs don't affect air control and pull too much so if you're looking to find bongs with good pull but excellent and open draws then these are highly suitable.

What bong should I buy if I'm a beginner?

Beginners looking to purchase a new bong would be most suited to something simple. We would recommend a water pipe that's medium sized, has ice traps and a regular size bong bowl (included with every bong order at Ali Bongo). These pieces are suitable for beginners:-

What is the best bong for an expert?

If you've been building your lung capacity and tolerance over the years and feel ready to take on the best bongs for an iron lunged red-eye jedi we'd recommend taking on a large borosilicate glass bong with an 18.8mm gauge, percolators and ice traps. Check out the list below to find your perfect smoking device today:-

Whichever you decide to go with, you can instantly enhance your smoking experience by adding an ash catcher. Not only will an ash catcher reduce the time spent cleaning your bong (and money spent on isopropyl alcohol) it adds an extra layer or filtration and really does add a little something more to your premium pieces. It attaches to the end of your drop pipe and your herb bowl will just slot on top.

Where to buy bongs online

 If you're looking to order the best bongs for you, then come and browse Ali Bongo's full range, whether you're buying your first piece or this is your tenth, with over 30 years experience in providing stoners with the best smoking devices available we're exceptionally well placed to give you advice on the best bong deals.

Buying on a budget? You can check out our bongs that have a special price here together with all your other headshop needs, we stock everything from rolling papers, scales, ashtrays all the way to extraction gear and that dab rig you've been dreaming of.