Maybe your bong bowl rolled under the couch never to be found again or no matter how much alcohol and scrubbing, your go-to bowl just won’t get clean. A new bowl can elevate a boring water pipe by adding a touch of your personality, but will also help give you the freshest tasting bong rips with optimal airflow compared to a dirty and clogged bowl piece. There are many different types of bong bowls in all shapes, sizes, materials, and colors, so choosing a good bong bowl that matches your style and fits your water pipe can be a challenge. This article breaks down the most popular types of bong bowls on the market and what aspects you need to look out for so it’s a perfect match.
What is a bong bowl and do I need one?
Before jumping into the different types of bowl pieces, you should first understand what bong bowls do. A bowl piece, also called a bong bowl or a slide, is an essential part of any water pipe setup. Glass bong bowls are removable pieces that fit into a bong’s joint located at the top of the downstem. Bong bowls are designed to hold your ground dry herb or other smoking material so it’s easy to light. There’s no way around it. You absolutely need a bowl piece that fits for your water bong to work properly.
When smoking flower, a cannabis enthusiast will ignite the dry herb inside the bong bowl and inhale through the mouthpiece to pull the smoke down the downstem and through the percolators and water. This allows the water to aerate, cool, and filter out large contaminants like hot ash from the smoke before it’s inhaled. It’s the reason stoners love a good bong rip since it’s smoother and more comfortable on the throat and lungs than smoking from a joint or pipe. Once the smoke accumulates within the bong chamber, the glass or metal bowl is removed to create full airflow through the water pipe and the chamber can quickly and easily be cleared with no resistance.
Types of bong bowls
When it comes to choosing the best bong bowls for your glassware, you’ll first need to understand the different types of bong bowls available. Don’t let any of this discourage you, it’s simple and important for any bong owner to know because at some point, everyone needs to get a new slide bowl. When researching options and making a final purchase, these are the main things to keep an eye on to assure the bowl piece you choose is the perfect match:
Joint size is the main differentiator between types of bowl pieces and will help to narrow down the options from the start. Get the wrong joint size and your bong bowl is useless or you’ll need to spend more money on a bong adapter (more on that in a bit). The bowl joint size must be the same as the corresponding joint size of the bong it will be used with. Check to see if this information is available online for the water pipe you own so you can be sure you’re purchasing the right thing. The most common sizes are 14mm and 18mm, however some water bongs have 10mm joints. This measurement refers to the diameter of the joint. If you happen to come across a unique bong bowl that you just can’t get out of your head but it happens to be the wrong joint size, you’re in luck. Pick up a bong adapter that will give you the flexibility of using all types of bong slides and accessories with your water pipe no matter the joint size!
In addition to joint size, you also need to keep in mind the joint type of your bong. Bowls and bongs are made in either male or female style. Unlike the size of the joint which needs to be the same, the joint type needs to be the opposite in order to fit properly. Most glassware is made with a female joint, which is compatible with a male bowl. However, some bongs have a male joint and require a female bowl. A female bowl will fit over a male joint and sit on top, while a male bong piece sits within a female joint. Be sure to always check your bong’s joint size and type before picking out a bowl.
Depth of the bowl
Do you always use your bong with friends, but hate having to constantly dump out and repack the bowl? The amount of dry herb a bowl can hold all depends on the size and depth of the bowl itself. Just because an oversized bowl looks big on the outside doesn’t mean it has a large bong bowl (it's often times just thick glass). If you normally smoke with your stoner buddies, look for a deep bowl or double bowl to reduce the number of times you need to repack. If you enjoy solo smoke seshes, a normal sized bong bowl will work just fine. To determine the bowl depth, you’ll need to handle it in person or rely on online reviews to figure it out. It’s hard to take good photos of glass, which can sometimes be deceptive.
Bong bowl material
Just like bongs themselves, slides can be made out of a variety of different materials, each with their own pros and cons. Glass, metal, and silicone are the most popular types of bong bowls you’ll find.
- Glass - Heat-safe borosilicate glass is by far the most common material used to make bowls. Glass bong bowls are tasteless so you can enjoy the pure cannabis flavor and are easy to clean, however they are the easiest to break and require extra care when being transported. Glass herb bowls are the gold standard and the material in which you’ll find the most options.
- Metal - Metal bowls built from stainless steel or heavy-duty brass are another option. These ultra durable bong bowls are easy to clean and portable. The only downside is that the metal can get very, very hot on the outside making it difficult to remove if there isn’t a pull tab.
- Silicone - High quality heat-resistant silicone is safe for smoking accessories and is one of the most versatile materials on this list. Silicone is virtually unbreakable (you can even run it over with a car, though we don’t recommend it), lightweight, and is an affordable option. Silicone bowls are made in a wide range of colors, shapes, and designs, and are sometimes used as a protective skin around glass bowls to make them more durable. This is the best option for stoners who like to smoke on the go.
- Wood - While very, very rare, some potheads prefer the old school look of wood. Wood bowls typically have a glass or metal joint, but you can find some that are entirely made of hardwood too.
- Ceramic - Like wood, ceramic bowls are pretty rare but can give your bong an interesting look. There are even some bongs made out of ceramic! Ceramic imparts no flavor to your hits, is easy to clean, and is able to handle repeated heating and cooling cycles. This ancient material is actually better at absorbing and dispersing heat than glass is. It’s more durable than glass as well, however it is heavier than glass and is always opaque if that’s the look you’re going for.
Style and design
Once you have the joint size and type down and know your preference when it comes to material, it’s time for the fun part, deciding on a style and design! This is really up to your personal style and personality, but be sure that whatever bong bowl you choose is easy to light and remove. In other words, you want clear access to light up and not have to maneuver around large heart accents or glass elephant ears despite how cute it might be. From custom bong slides in the shape of your favorite sea creature to glass bowls designed after your go-to stoner TV series, the options are endless so be sure to choose a super fun and unique design.
Different types of bong bowls for sale
Marine Animal Bowls by Easy G Glass
Ready to make a statement? These heady glass bowls are skillfully crafted by acclaimed glassblower Kyle Geise of Easy G Glass. His collection of Marine Animal Bowls are extremely detailed and combine a variety of glassblowing techniques using textured elements and a mix of opaque and transparent colored glass. These unique bong bowls are available in 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm joint size. Choose from an otter, seahorse, turtle, blue whale, shark, squid, or orca to fulfill your underwater fantasies.
There’s nothing like a potent strain and an ice cold beer on a hot summer day. Combine the two with the 14mm Beer Bowl complete with a ring of frothy foam, a dimpled exterior, and a mug handle that adds extra grip when removing it. Though only 2.75 inches tall, this glass bowl piece is extra deep for giant bong rips or passing around some friends.
Spread love for the green goddess with the Leaf Bowl in the shape of a pointy marijuana leaf (you know the one). Available in 14mm and 18mm joint size, this cool glass bowl is blown from green and clear transparent borosilicate glass. The bowl itself sits on top of the leaf design, so it doesn’t get hot to the touch, while also providing a good handhold to easily remove it when needed. The bowl is standard size, which is perfect for most uses and solo sessions. The Leaf Bowl will spice up any old or boring bong.
Honeybee Silicone Bowl
For hits as sweet as honey, give yourself the gift of a Honeybee Silicone Bowl. This unique bong bowl features a glass blow surrounded by a heat-safe silicone skin that will protect it from accidental drops and dings during travel. The silicone joint allows this bowl to be compatible with both 14mm and 18mm female bong joints. Each bowl has an elaborate honeybee floating on the side and is available in 10 fun color combinations from purple, green, and red, to classic black, that will match with every bong you own.
The Bart Bowl is one of the best novelty bowls that every fan of the hit cartoon will love. One too many rips from this glass bowl and you might start getting into some mischief, just like Bart Simpson himself. Blown with transparent yellow glass to show off Bart’s facial features and iconic spiky hair, this bong bowl fits any water pipe with a 14mm female joint. The bowl is deeper than most and seems to keep going and going even though it looks like it has all turned to ash. For just $4.20, picking up the Bart Bowl to have as a spare (or when you watch a Simpsons marathon) is a no brainer!
Be warned, looking into the eyes of the Medusa Bowl and being tempted by her giant bong rips will definitely have you turn to “stoned”. This 14mm glass bowl is so intricately designed, you’ll want to show off the two cobra heads and textured scaly skin. Two back-to-back snakes are attached at the neck to form a perfect heart-shaped bong bowl that’s larger than most. Made in shiny opaque black glass or a crystal clear teal color, the thick glass walls add extra durability so you don’t need to worry about cracking when giving it a deep clean.
Now that you know all the types of bong bowls and how to choose the right one for your glass bongs, it’s time for the fun stuff, shopping! Check out our online smoke shop for a rotating selection of smoking accessories including bong bowls, mini bongs, silicone bongs, big bongs, bubblers, vaporizers, dab rigs, herb grinders, rolling papers, e-rigs, dab pens, and more!