Percolator Bongs

Percolator bongs offer the smoothest, coolest hits possible by filtering smoke before it reaches your lungs. Instead of simply being filtered through water like a plain bong, percolator bongs feature an added piece called percolators or “percs” for short, which diffuse your smoke into tinier bubbles. These bubbles greatly increase the surface area over which smoke travels through the water, giving it more...Read more

Percolator bongs offer the smoothest, coolest hits possible by filtering smoke before it reaches your lungs. Instead of simply being filtered through water like a plain bong, percolator bongs feature an added piece called percolators or “percs” for short, which diffuse your smoke into tinier bubbles. These bubbles greatly increase the surface area over which smoke travels through the water, giving it more time to cool and filter out impurities. The result is a cleaner and much smoother toke with a difference you can taste.

What Is a Bong Percolator?

A percolator acts as a filter inside your bong. You may have heard the term in the coffee industry, and it means pretty much the same thing: filtration. If you’re the sort of person that finds yourself coughing a lot when you take bong hits, you could probably do with this sort of filtering system.

Percolators also have the side effect of creating bubbles due to the pressure inside the bong. The bong rip sound you probably imagine when you think of taking a hit is that gurgling and bubbling sound that the percolator can provide.

Percolators come in many shapes and sizes, however. At BadassGlass.com, you'll find honeycomb bongs, showerhead bongs, matrix bongs, and even novelty percolator bongs. Whatever you need, we have it stocked with our ever-growing collection of percolator bongs. 

Benefits of Having a Percolator

The main benefit of having a percolator, is that it cools the smoke down and filters out the debris making it much easier to inhale. The unique designs separate the smoke by diffusing it into smaller bubbles, unlike the bigger bubbles you get from a plain downstem.  Each perc design works differently to create smaller bubbles that effectively cool down each hit.

Simply put, a percolator both filters the smoke, and cools it down. When the smoke contacts the water it naturally cools. The chamber design usually allows for more of the smoke to come into contact with water which cools it even more. All of this results in the hits being smooth, and maybe even more enjoyable.

  • They filter impurities and debris from the smoke. This leads to a smooth hit.
  • They cool the smoke, making it smoother for those who often find themselves coughing and spluttering.
  • They make the process of drawing from a bong simpler for beginners, and may enhance the feeling for experienced users.

Different Types of Percs

There are many different types of percs, with new ones being made each day.  Here are some of the most popular types of percs that are more well known and commonly used in bongs.

So you might be asking yourself, which is the best perc for a bong? 

There’s undeniably a matter of personal preference here. Some people would be perfectly happy without a percolator, but the end result is usually much easier on your throat. For newcomers or those who are used to smoking in other ways, the numerous designs give you a smoother experience. 

There are a few different types of percolators and percolator bongs. You may hear this style of bong abbreviated to just a ‘perc’. Below, we break down some popular styles and what their designs tend to mean for your smoking experience.

1. Inline/Downstem Percolators

Slitted inline percs are simple, common percolators found in all but the most basic bongs. Bongs with additional, more complicated percolation systems often start with a diffused downstem. 

Inline Percolator Bong

This type of percolator sits horizontally within the bong, and often sit in place of a downstem. Inline percs come in a variety of different styles. Some are compact so they fit within the existing, thin tube of your bong, some percolator bongs with an inline design are deliberately wider to accommodate the blogger inline percolator.

2. Showerhead Percolators

Showerhead percolators are a popular choice for their durability, power, and relatively easy maintenance. While not the prettiest perc, showerhead bongs are as dependable as they come.

Showerhead Percolator Bong

The showerhead models have also been called UFO percolators or tire percolators because they are shaped like round discs.

There is a tube in the middle that carries the smoke through holes in the edge of the ‘showerhead’. There are many different holes that the smoke will then travel through. There may only be a few holes, there may be more than 50, it depends on the specific design of your percolator bong.

3. Honeycomb Percolators

Why is it called a honeycomb perc? The percolator is in the shape of a hexagon, and they sit within the tube of the bong. Smoke is forced upwards and through, and the small slit holes are great for a high level of filtration, and arguably the smoothest hit out of any types of perc. They can be tough to clean due to the unique and intricate honeycomb design.

Honeycomb Perc Bong

Beautiful to look at, honeycomb percolators are thin discs with dozens of holes like an actual honeycomb. With so many holes, smoke breaks into thousands of tiny, uniform bubbles. As another bonus, honeycomb percolators are easy to stack or use in combination with other percs. 

4. Matrix Percolators

Essentially, matrix percs are stacked showerhead percs. More holes mean more bubbles and slightly better filtration. Matrix bongs look cool, and their bubble display is mesmerizing, but these percolators are notoriously difficult to clean.

Matrix Perc Bong

Matrix percolators are a bit of a variation on the barrel design. They have the same disc design as the disc percs, but they are stacked to form a larger area for the smoke to travel through. A stereo matrix just means two stacked together for even more filtration.

5. Tree/Arm Percolators

Tree percs are some of the very first percolators. Featuring a dome with slitted arms hanging underneath, tree percs look great in and out of action. Although fragile and difficult to clean, tree perc bongs offer even, drag-free diffusion that also helps reduce splash. 

Tree Percolator Bong

The tree design is perhaps the first that was ever made. One glance will tell you how they got their name, the hanging “branches” all around the perc.

These branches have holes and slits within to break up and filter the smoke. The slits are vertical, and though towards the bottom they might not pull much through, the higher slits are certainly cool to watch as the smoke drags through.

Tree percs are not necessarily the most hard-wearing. A bump could potentially cause one of the branches to break, so make sure you buy a high-quality model.

6. Turbine Percolators

If you're looking for a real head-turner, turbine percolators are the answer. Instead of creating bubbles, turbine percs direct water into an actual cyclone. All that moving water helps to actively cool smoke while it's in the chamber. You and your friends will love watching the water swirl like a tornado when you use a cyclone bong. 

Turbine Perc Bong

7. Barrel Perc

This style of percolators is shaped like...well, a barrel. The cylinder design has a number of slits within a grid, and the huge number of holes allows for a lot of diffusion. Though you will normally find these used upright, sometimes they can be turned sideways within your bong and therefore connect to the downstem.

8.  Double Percolator Bong 

What is a double percolator bong?  A double percolator is any design that has more than one percolator chamber. The Stereo Matrix design is one example of a double percolator. This means more filtration and even more cooling than the single chamber design.

Double Perc Bong

In conclusion

Although not everyone feels the need to use a percolator, there’s no real downside. If you want the softer and smoother hit then a percolator can give the filtration and diffusion to enhance your experience.

The modern smoker has tended to focus more on how they can enhance the experience with glass bongs. Percolator bongs come in a surprising number of designs, so you can pick the ideal model and add numerous bongs to the collection.

General Percolator Bongs FAQ

What do percolator bongs do?

A bong percolator diffuses the smoke and cools it down by sending it through an extra layer of water.  Depending on which perc, it will separate the smoke into tinier bubbles for a significantly cooler hit.

Are percolator bongs better?

Percolator bongs are not necessarily better if you prefer a bong that clears quickly, however many people prefer a perc bong because it gives you a cooler hit.  They also look really scientific and fun to watch in action.

What percolator is best for bongs?

The best percolator for bongs is the showerhead percolator because it is very durable and easy to clean.  It works well in small bongs and large bongs.  However, the best percolator is totally up to your preference.  Tree percs are very popular but are usually better in a larger bong.

Are perc bongs hard to clean?

Most percs are easy to clean, however some double perc bongs can be challenging because the water does not pour straight out.  The hardest perc to clean is the tree perc because it has many arms, but with a good bong cleaning solution it isn't too difficult. 

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