Bongs Versus Bubblers: What You Need to Know

bongs vs bubblers

Welcome back to the Vitrum blog! Though more people are getting into smoking, and smoking basics are becoming a part of common knowledge, there are still some questions that we get asked all the time such as “What’s the difference between bongs and bubblers?” For the smoking novice or those looking to buy a gift for their favorite smoker in their life, these pieces may seem like the same thing. However, they aren’t and today’s blog is dedicated to explaining how these pieces are different, the benefits and limitations of each, and how you can find the perfect glass for your experience.

Keep reading to learn more and be sure to stop into our smoke shop in North Olmsted! We offer an extensive inventory of exceptionally priced glass and smoking accessories making Vitrum your one-stop-shop for all your smoking needs. Stop searching “smoke shop near me” and come visit us!

Bongs and Bubblers: The Basics

It’s easy to get these two types of glass confused — even many experienced smokers don’t know the difference. They’ve seen their friends use one type of piece or the other, or gravitated to use one type over the other because it simply looks cool. Today, we are setting the record straight.


Though a bong and a bubbler are different they are also very similar. First, they are both considered water pipes due to their use of water to cool the smoke before it is enjoyed by the smoker. Also, both are made from borosilicate glass — another reason why a bong isn’t just a fancy vase. Borosilicate glass is made to withstand the high temperatures encountered while smoking. Both smoking accessories can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and designs allowing you to find a piece that you will love.


Bongs tend to be more well known to non-smokers due to their presence in pop culture such as their presence in a variety of Judd Apatow’s movies, and they are sometimes the favored choice by seasoned smokers due to their beautiful design. However, for the smoker on-the-go, bongs are the less favorable choice due to their size. No matter the complexity of the bong, each design will include these main parts:

  • Mouthpiece
  • Bowl
  • Slide
  • Downstem apparatus


There is a reason why bongs are one of the most popular ways that smokers all around the world relax. Here are some of the benefits of bongs.

  • Stronger high
  • Longer smoke
  • Better for those with a high tolerance
  • Easy to clean
  • Customizable


Though the cons of using a bong are few, there are a couple that you should be aware of.

  • Bongs are highly breakable
  • You’ll have to replace the parts
  • They can be difficult to hold
  • Rips are louder
  • Harder to store
  • Can smell terrible if not cleaned often

Types of Bongs

Because of the versatility of bongs, there are many types available. Stay tuned to learn more about each type and check out our blog Essential Jargon That Every Beginner Smoker Needs to Knowif you are new to the smoking game.

  • Straight glass bong (tube)
  • Genie bong
  • Beaker bong
  • Vase bong
  • Wrap vase bong
  • Heavy vase bong
  • Tabletop hammer bong
  • Glass bong with a banger
  • Recycler bong
  • Triple percolator bong

As you can see, you have a lot of options when you’re ready to buy a bong. If you need help finding a bong that fits your needs, come into our smoke shop and speak to one of our staff members. They are passionate about giving others the relaxing experience they desire.


Before we dive into describing bubblers, we must differentiate bongs and bubblers: both are water pipes. Bongs are water pipes and bubblers are bongs. However, there are many things that set bubblers apart from bongs. They are smaller, making them easier for the smoker flying solo as they can be handled using one hand and they are more lightweight. A bubbler also has a larger or more bulbous base which holds more water and offers more mouthpiece options than a traditional bong. The pieces of a bubbler are:

  • Mouthpiece
  • Bowl
  • Stem


Even though we may have sold you on bongs above, there is a reason why many smokers prefer a bubbler smoking style and here are some of the reasons why:

  • Smoother hit
  • Better tasting hit
  • Stronger and smoother than a pipe, but less strong than a bong
  • Easier to hold
  • Less likely to break
  • Doesn’t need extra pieces
  • Allows for more stealthy hits


Despite their many benefits, bubblers have some cons, too:

  • Hard to clean
  • Not customizable
  • Get dirty fast
  • Shorter smoke per bowl

Types of Bubblers

Like bongs, bubblers can come in a variety of styles:

  • Mini bubbler
  • Hammer bubbler
  • Sherlock bubbler
  • Double bubbler
  • Sidecar bubbler

So, Which Do You Choose?

Now that you know a little more about each type of pipe, now it’s time to consider which you choose. There really isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a water pipe — you can have one of each. However, it just depends on what you prefer and what your needs are. If you are a solo smoker and need to be incognito when you take a rip, a bubbler might be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you are an experienced smoker who enjoys taking a hit with all of your friends, a bong might be the better choice for you.

To get help choosing the perfect water pipe, stop into Vitrum Smoke Shop in North Olmsted! Our staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate about getting the perfect toke. Stop searching “smoke shop near me” and visit us, today!