Bubblers vs Bongs: Everything You Need to Know
Whether you’re a beginner or regular flower smoker, there are now more ways than ever to consume.
One of the most convenient and classic ways to partake in a toking session is smoking out of a bong or bubbler. These two devices are quite similar in design, and can sometimes even confuse the most regular grass smokers.
In general, every bubbler is a glass bong, but not every glass bong is a bubbler. Think of a bubbler as a smaller, more compact version of a bong. Slightly crossed with some elements of a standard dry pipe.
Of course, there are small differences that make each of these great for their own reasons.
To understand more about the function, uses and differences between bongs and bubblers continue reading below.
What is a Bubbler?
A bubbler is a uniquely designed, portable, and smaller smoke piece. It is filled with water and shaped similarly to a glass bong, with elements of a dry flower pipe as well.
A bubbler has a water chamber and bowl just like a glass bong.
One of the primary differences though is that a bubbler has a fixed down stem and a carb.
A carb is a small hole found in pipes or bubblers for covering and uncovering during smoke sessions. Instead of removing the stem to pull the smoke as you would in a bong, you simply cover the hole while you inhale.
Bubblers come in a number of colors and shapes. Go for a bubbler that resembles a basic glass beaker bong, or more of a “sherlock” style bubbler that embodies the design of a classic tobacco pipe.
Sizes can vary a bit but most quality bubblers are pretty small and loved for their portability. Making them the perfect piece for on-the-go smoke sessions.
Benefits of a Bubbler
- Compact & Portable: Bubblers are small, and great for subtle smoking. Users find these to be great glass pieces for road trips or small getaways as they fit easily into a backpack or purse. Toke on the go in peace without compromising flavor or quality with a small bubbler.
- Tasty hits: The water-filled chamber in bubblers provide a cleaner and tastier hit than your average dry pipe. Regular smokers love toking on bubblers because they won’t compromise the taste of the flower’s terpenes
- Smoother smoking: Both bubblers and bongs are less likely to cause you to cough than a dry pipe or joint. The water allows the smoke to cool down a bit quicker and is much easier on the throat.
- Durable: Although bubblers are often made of glass they are pretty durable and because they are smaller, much less likely to break than a bong.
- The perfect balance: Bubblers are medium-sized, portable, easy to use, and still hit super smooth. They are essentially the perfect cross between a bong and dry pipe.
Downsides of a Bubbler
- Hard to clean: One of the downsides of bubblers is that they tend to be difficult to clean. It’s good to rinse your bubbler out just about every time you use it to avoid resin build-up. Since bubblers are small and have a fixed-down stem this makes it hard to get inside the water chamber for a good cleaning.
- Higher maintenance: In general bubblers tend to be a bit more upkeep than bongs. Since they do get dirty easier and are a bit harder to clean, keeping up with them is important as well as remembering to change the water.
- Short lasting: Most bowls that come with bubblers are smaller than the average bowl of a bong. In general, they may not smoke as long as a bong but are a great choice for solo sessions.
What is a Bong?
Bongs are specially made water pipes, often shaped in a cylinder-like design. They are specifically designed with a bowl for smoking herbs out of.
Think of the classic smoke session in a Seth Rogen movie where the bong is passed around the circle for large and tasty hits.
They come in a variety of shapes, colors, sizes, and materials to suit any smoker’s needs. Bongs are great to bring out your inner snoop and get the full flavor of your flower’s terpenes.
They also make for a great party favor to break out with friends.
Benefits of a Bong
- Easier Cleaning: Bongs are a bit larger and have a removable downstem making them much easier to clean. While it’s always good to keep up with all smoke devices to prevent resin build-up, bongs don’t have to be as cleansed as consistently as bubblers.
- Stronger hits: Bongs are the ideal choice for long-time smokers or beginners with higher tolerances. They tend to smoke longer, last longer, and provide a stronger hit than the average dry pipe or bubbler.
- More options: The variety of bongs is endless compared to bubblers and standard dry pipes. Bongs come in a number of shapes, sizes, colors, designs, and even materials. They are more likely to be custom made and many bongs are even hand crafted.
Downsides of a Bong
- Break Easier: Unfortunately due to their size and glass material, many of us know of at least one smoker who has had an accident and broke their bong. Bongs are much more likely to break when dropped or knocked over than bubblers due to their larger surface area. Be on the lookout for these durable bongs.
- Less subtle: Bongs are a bit harder to store than other smoke devices. Most people who have to smoke very subtly or hide it from friends and family don’t tend to use a bong. These are ideal for regular smokers and flower connoisseurs.
- Takes some maintenance: Although bongs are a classically loved piece in the smoker’s world they can get super smelly if they aren’t cleaned consistently. And every smoker knows bong water is one of the worst smells in the world.
Bong vs Bubbler: Our Recommendation
It can definitely be hard to decide which piece is “better” than the other as they both provide various functions and have their own benefits.
Bongs are probably the more popular choice for their simple to smoke and easy-to-clean design.
Read below to figure out which piece is better for your smoking sessions:
Use a bubbler if you prefer:
- Smaller hits
- Smoking on the go
- A more subtle smoke piece
Use a bong if you prefer:
- Larger, stronger hits
- Have a higher tolerance
- Low maintenance, easy to cleaning smoke devices