The ultimate guide for buying glass bongs

Selecting a glass bong can be overwhelming, with factors like size, durability, design, and price all demanding consideration. Our concise guide cuts through the confusion, offering you the key insights needed for choosing a glass bong that delivers the perfect balance of function and quality, tailored to your lifestyle and budget.

Key Takeaways

  • Bong size affects your smoking experience: small bongs for intense hits, medium for a smoother experience, and large for cooler hits with features like ice traps and percolators.
  • Glass bongs double as both functional smoking devices and decorative art pieces: choose between heady glass for unique art or production glass for consistent performance.
  • Invest wisely: Higher quality materials like borosilicate glass offer durability and a smoother smoke, but there are also budget-friendly options like silicone bongs.

Size Matters: How to Pick the Right Size for Your Sesh

Different sizes of glass bongsDifferent sizes of glass bongs
Different sizes of glass bongs

When it comes to bongs, size does matter. The dimensions of your smoking apparatus can significantly impact the quality of your session, catering to different lifestyles and preferences. For those who prefer quick, intense hits, small bongs are the way to go. They produce a quicker hit that may be hotter and harsher due to the shorter distance the smoke has to travel from the herb to your lungs.

However, if you’re looking for a cooler, smoother hit, a medium sized bong might be a better fit. The extended smoke path in these bongs cools the smoke, offering a balanced experience for most smokers. For the connoisseurs who seek the ultimate smoking experience, larger bongs offer additional features like ice traps and percolators, delivering cooler hits and an enhanced experience.

Of course, the perfect size for you also depends on other factors like portability, your usual usage, and your capacity to handle the amount of smoke produced. Therefore, when deciding on a bong size, take into account all these factors for a satisfying session.

Art or Utility? Finding the Balance in Glassware Design

Artistic glass bong designArtistic glass bong design
Artistic glass bong design

Glass bongs aren’t just smoking apparatuses; they’re also works of art. Infused with cultural and artistic significance, they serve a dual purpose as a functional device and a decorative piece. The shape of the bong, whether it’s a beaker base bong, bent neck, or a classic straight tube bong, plays a significant role in determining the smoking experience. Therefore, the user’s experience level and personal preferences should be taken into consideration when choosing the right shape, such as beaker bongs or straight tube bongs.

Themed glass bongs add a dash of flair to your smoking sessions. With designs that resemble everyday objects or reference pop culture, these bongs cater to personal tastes and double as unique conversation pieces. When it comes to the types of bongs, the type of glass used can vary; heady glass often prioritizes unique artistic value, while production glass emphasizes consistent functionality. So, whether you’re prioritizing art or utility, there’s a glass bong out there for you.

Price: Investing in Quality Without Breaking the Bank

Bong prices can vary widely based on materials, size, and design. High quality borosilicate glass bongs offer quality hits, but they can be a little heavy on the pocket. On the other hand, an acrylic bong and silicone options are more durable and cost-effective. Investing in glass bongs, especially those made of borosilicate glass, can enhance your smoking experience with their durability and smooth hits. Additionally, ceramic bongs are another option to consider for their unique designs and aesthetics.

But, if you’re on a budget, some glass or silicone bongs are a great option. They offer affordability without compromising on the smoking experience. And if you’re eyeing a high-end glass bong, don’t despair but are put off by the price tag sometimes you'll end up actually saving money down the line because it was last you longer if treated with care and respect. If you're super price conscious we have a comprehensive guide to how you can tell if a bong is high quality, to ensure you get the best value for your money.

The Glass Enthusiast’s Checklist: What to Look For Before You Buy

Factors to consider when buying a glass bongFactors to consider when buying a glass bong
Factors to consider when buying a glass bong

Before you make that purchase, make sure to check a few boxes. Think about:

  • The primary purpose of your bong
  • Its percolation system, do you like the sound of percolator bongs?
  • Your preferences for size and shape
  • Aesthetics and design elements

Balance these factors to find the perfect bong for you.

We’ll further explore these considerations, beginning with the various bong materials and the importance of maintaining clean bong water.

Material Matters: Borosilicate vs. Soft Glass

Borosilicate glass remains a favored choice for bongs, and rightly so. This type of glass is less likely to crack under extreme temperature changes due to its low coefficient of thermal expansion, making it resistant to thermal shock. Thanks to its strength and resistance to temperature fluctuations, borosilicate glass bongs are known for their durability and longevity.

Although softer glass may offer more artistic and colorful designs, it falls short of borosilicate glass in terms of durability. It’s more prone to breaking when exposed to high temperatures, which can be a big drawback for a smoking device. Plus, the durability of borosilicate glass also means it is less likely to break during cleaning, making maintenance easier and safer.

Joint Size Junction: Matching Your Bong's Joint Size

The joint size is a significant factor to consider while choosing a bong. This is the part of the bong that secures the downstem inside the base and holds the bowl piece inside the downstem. It’s crucial for compatibility and function. Bong joints come in male and female versions, with female bong joints requiring male accessories to fit, and vice versa. But don’t worry, the functionality isn’t impacted by gender; it’s all a matter of personal preference.

The most common joint sizes for bongs are 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm, and the size of the bong’s joint corresponds with the bowl piece size needed. If you’re looking to expand your collection of bowls, or if you want to be prepared for future upgrades, bong adapters and converters can be your best friends. They can change the size and gender of the bong’s joint to fit different accessories, which is especially useful.

Filtration Features: Percolators and Ice Catchers

Exploring the various filtration features is one of the most engaging parts of selecting a bong. Percolators like Swiss, honeycomb, matrix, and showerhead offer advanced smoke filtration. Their distinctive designs diffuse smoke into many small bubbles, enhancing the smoking experience. More specialized percolators, such as sprinkler, turbine, and UFO, create unique diffusion effects, like whirlpools or vertical diffusion, to effectively cool smoke.

More intricate percolators, like the ratchet, disc, and donut, offer additional diffusion but can impact water pipe drag and may be more challenging to clean. Multi-level percolation systems found in multi-chamber bongs provide exceptionally smooth hits by passing smoke through multiple filtration stages.

But the ultimate in cool smoking experiences comes from ice catchers included on Ice Bongs. These built-in ice catcher shelves in the neck of the bong hold ice cubes, which further cool the smoke as it passes by, offering a smoother smoking experience.

Care and Maintenance: Keeping Your Glass Gleaming

After finding your ideal bong, it’s essential to maintain it in top-notch condition. Regular cleaning and maintenance is essential. A tried and tested method for cleaning glass bongs is using a mixture of:

For a thorough cleaning, follow these steps:

  • Dismantle the bong and soak the bowl and downstem in the Dr Green Bong Cleaner
  • Use cotton swabs or a pipe cleaner to clean these parts.
  • Shake the bong with a mixture of the Dr Green Bong Cleaner and salt.
  • Rinse everything well afterward.

It’s also important to change the water in your bong regularly. It prevents unpleasant odors and maintains the purity of the smoke. You can also simplify your cleaning routine and keep the main chamber and water cleaner for longer by adding an ash catcher to your bong.

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Features for Seasoned Smokers

For experienced smokers seeking an upgraded smoking experience, a variety of advanced features are worth considering. Some of these features include:

  • Advanced filtration systems in percolator bongs, which feature built-in glass filters that improve smoke quality by cooling and filtering it before it enters your lungs.
  • Ice catchers, which add another layer of smoke cooling by allowing you to inhale through a chamber of ice without it falling into the water chamber. This offers a smoother smoking experience.
  • Recycler bongs, which are designed to recycle water through interconnected chambers, delivering a distinctive smooth smoking experience.

And let’s not forget about the visual appeal of your smoking session. The transparency of glass bongs allows users to appreciate the smoke’s journey and ensure the cleanliness of the bong. This enhances the aesthetic and functional appeal of the smoking ritual.

Seasoned smokers also recognize the importance of additional features such as:

  • diffused down stems
  • adapters to modify joint sizes
  • the impact of design elements like multi-chambered percolators and how they can affect your bong smoking experience.

Navigating the Market: Where to Shop for High Quality Bongs

Having decided on the perfect bong, the next step is finding where to purchase it. Shopping for bongs online offers the advantage of:

We recommend shopping with us at Ali Bongo we offer high-quality bongs from a plethora of brands. We also offer free shipping in the UK for orders of £40 or more. We also have a huge arsenal for you to be accessorized with bong accessories like ash catchers and pre-coolers, bowls, cleaning supplies and much more!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Bong

There are a few common pitfalls to steer clear of when choosing a bong. One of these is not balancing your budget with the features you want in a bong. Costs can vary widely, but it’s important to remember that a higher price often means better quality and a better smoking experience.

Another mistake is not considering the durability of the material. While a glass bong may look stunning, if it’s not made from durable material like borosilicate glass, it can easily break and be expensive to replace.

Also, don’t forget about gauzes and screens. They are vital for preventing clogs and improving the smoke quality. So, it’s important to prioritize functionality over purely aesthetic choices.

If you're a complete beginner we'd recommend checking out our beginner guides like Buying Glass Bongs for Beginners and How Much Should I Pay for a Good Bong.


We’ve covered a lot of ground in this guide, from understanding the impact of size and design on your smoking session, through the importance of material and joint size, to the advanced features that can enhance your experience. Regular care and maintenance will keep your bong in the best shape for years to come, and avoiding common mistakes will ensure you get the best out of your bong.

Choosing the right bong is a personal journey. Keep in mind your preferences, lifestyle, and budget, and you’re sure to find a bong that delivers a satisfying, smooth, and unique smoking experience. Happy shopping, feel free to reach out to us if you need some expert advice or recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the right bong?

When choosing a bong, consider factors like size, material, percolators, cleaning, durability, and portability to find the right one for you. These aspects will impact the amount of smoke it holds, its maintenance, and the smoking experience.

What is the best type of glass bong?

The best type of glass bong is made of borosilicate glass, which is extremely heat resistant and can handle extreme temperatures without being damaged. It's a tell-tale material of top quality bongs.

How can you tell if a glass bong is good quality?

Look for bongs made of durable materials like borosilicate glass with thick bases and smooth joints for added stability and ease of use, usually a bong with thick glass, over 3mm is a good indication. This will ensure a good quality bong that will last.

What factors should I consider when choosing a bong size?

Consider your lifestyle, usage frequency, and lung capacity when choosing a bong size. Small bongs provide quick hits, while larger ones offer cooler hits and extra features. Choose based on what suits you best!