Does the Shape of a Bong Matter?

December 11, 2020 By Cody Marchant

There are countless different methods and pieces that a smoker has to choose from. Most smokers, however, can agree on the fact that nothing is better than the smooth and cool hit that water bong delivers. Because bongs are easy to use, a healthier solution thanks to water filtration, and can be a work of art, they have risen from being very cliché to being one of the most popular smoking methods of all.

Due to the popularity of the bong, it is now possible to buy them in many different shapes and styles. It can be difficult to figure out which one is the right one for you. In this article, we will explain if the shape of a bong actually matters and help you decide what bong you should get.

You will learn:

How the Shape of a Bong Affects How It Smokes

Different bong shapes affect how the bong smokes in a few different ways. First of all, different shapes create a longer or shorter path for the smoke to travel through. This gives the smoke either more or less time to cool down before hitting your mouth depending on the length of the path.

Secondly, the filtration can differ from bong to bong. Some bongs filter the smoke better because they take the smoke through the water filtration process more than once. Others feature a more advanced filtration system.

Finally, the amount of smoke a bong can generate per hit also varies depending on the different designs. Some bongs are so big that it takes two people to light them. That certainly affects the way it smokes since you’ll need a buddy present.

Let’s take a look at the different bong shapes and their specific attributes.

Different Shapes of a Bong

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Straight Tube

First, there is the straight tube bong. This is the most basic bong on the market. The great thing about a straight tube bong is that it keeps the entire process really simple. The smoke is filtered using a downstem that is submerged in water.

Another benefit of the straight tube is that it clears much faster than other bongs. This lets you take larger hits. Straight tube bongs also have the benefit of being super easy to clean. If you are new to the bong smoking game, a straight tube bong might be the ideal choice for you.

Thanks to its simplicity, the straight tube bong is arguably the most popular shape on the market today. It is great for beginners and experienced smokers alike.


types of bongs - zig zag bongs

Zig Zag Bong (Zong)

The Zig Zag Bong or “Zong” as it is sometimes called are also very commonly used and for good reason. The tube of a Zig Zag Bong has one or more curves in it. There are two main benefits to this design.

The first is simply the fact that it looks super cool. The second benefit is that the curves act as a splash guard to ensure that water doesn’t splash up into your mouth. That feature alone makes the smoking experience a lot better.

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Beaker Bongs

Beaker bongs is another very popular bong shape. The beaker bong design is based on the classical measuring tool from a laboratory. The heavy and wide bottom part of a beaker bong helps it stand solidly on your table or on the floor. They are very hard to knock over.

On top of this, the wider bottom allows the bong to generate more smoke per hit. For those who like to sit down and relax without worrying about holding their bong, a beaker bong is a great choice.

GRAV Mini Round Base Bong

Round Based Bongs

Round based bongs are similar to a beaker bong in the way they work. They are, however, less study than a beaker bong and the design of a round-based bong is typically more important than the sturdiness and efficiency.

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Faberge Egg Bongs

Faberge Egg Bongs are designed and named after the historical and beautiful Russian Faberge eggs. They are not only visually pleasing but also offer several smoking benefits.

The main feature of a Faberge Egg bong is the egg-shaped percolator. The benefit of this design is that it gives the bubbles much more room to spread out. In turn, this creates a smoother hit.

types of water pipes - recycler bongs

Recycler Bongs

Recycler bongs have a more advanced design. This type of bong uses an advanced filtration process, which results in extra-smooth hits. It does so by guiding the smoke through the filtration process more than once. The typical design of a recycler bong is that it has one water chamber inside of a larger water chamber. This allows for extra filtration.


types of water pipes - percolator bongs

Percolator Bongs

Percolator bongs are super-efficient when it comes to filtering the smoke before you inhale it. A percolator bong has at least two percolators and sometimes has even more. These percolators play several different roles.

They contain many “slits” that diffuse the smoke. Secondly, they have a visual benefit. Since most percolator bongs are built from scientific glass, you can watch as the smoke builds up inside the piece.

How to Decide Which Shape of Bong is Best for Your Smoking Experience 

Now you know the difference between the main types of bongs. However, you’re probably wondering which shape of bong you should get. Here are the main factors that you should consider when buying a new bong:


First of all, you will want to focus on the sturdiness of the bong. Although how sturdy a bong is does not affect how it smokes, a bong that is broken doesn’t smoke at all.  It’s important that the bong is very sturdy and won’t fall over easily while you’re trying to enjoy a smoke session. An example of this is that round base bongs aren’t as sturdy as beaker bongs. If sturdiness is important to you, you should focus on getting a bong with a wide base that will make it hard to knock it over.

GRAV Wide Base Small Bong


When it comes to bongs, size matters. It changes the way it smokes and how versatile it is. A larger bong makes it easy to take a big hit and opens up the opportunity to add accessories like ice catchers or ash catchers. Straight tube and beaker base bongs are typically the tallest bongs you will find. Smaller bongs are better for people who want to enjoy the taste of their weed. Since the travel path of the smoke is much shorter, there is less time for the smoke to dilute the flavor of the bud.

You can get almost any type of bong in a small size. Both sizes have their perks and really do smoke differently. If you wanted to get a hybrid medium sized bong, look for a bong that is around 8 inches tall. 

Smooth Hits

The main point of getting a bong is your smoking experience, so focusing on the hits the bong will deliver is very important. If you are someone who wants a bong that purrs when you smoke it and gives you those nice cool hits every time than you should look for a percolator bong. Percolators filter the smoke, cooling down and removing resin and other toxins before you inhale. They make a huge difference and they look dope when smoke is traveling through them. 

The best part of percolator bongs is that they come in all different shapes. Most percolators are located in the stem or base of the bong so you will have lots of options. The only bongs that typically don’t have percolators are zongs. However, the long travel path of the Zong acts as a natural cooler for the smoke which will give you a smooth hit.

Huge Rips

Who doesn’t love taking a huge rip from a bong, its basically the reason everyone gets one. Most bongs can get you that huge rip you are looking for, even if they are smaller. Obviously bigger bongs are better for huge rips; they have more space to hold the smoke making it easy to pull, and the bowl pieces are typically larger, giving you more bud to burn. Straight tube, beaker, and round base bongs typically have ice catchers which really help when you are trying to visit Mars. 





Believe it or not, appearance does have an affect on how the bong smokes.  Alright maybe not completely but hear me out. Bongs that are super intricate in design are awesome to look at but they can be a bitch to clean. If it sucks to clean odds are, you aren’t cleaning it everyday and every hit will taste like resin. Just something to keep in mind when you are buying a piece.

Pay attention to where the bowl is in regards to your face when hitting a piece before you purchase. You don’t want your face too close to the flame of the lighter or it can burn your hair or skin.

What Are the Best Bongs Made Of?

Other than the shape of the bong, you’ll need to consider what material it is made of. This might also be confusing for those who aren’t familiar. Here is a quick rundown on the different types of bong materials and what each one brings to the table.

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Glass is by far the most commonly used material when it comes to bongs. One of the reasons is that glass produces a very clean taste since it doesn’t interfere with the smoke in any way. The main benefit is the fact that you can watch the smoke build up inside of the bong as you are smoking it. Last but least, it is also very easy to clean a glass bong.

Alien ape silicone bongs


Silicone bongs are also very popular. Where a glass bong can break if you drop it, a silicone bong delivers great durability and can last for a very long time.

Additionally, silicone bongs are a great choice if you are looking for a cheaper option. The only downside to silicone bongs is that they can interfere with the taste of the smoke slightly.

types of bongs - ceramic bongs


Ceramic bongs are typically very heavy and easy to break. For that reason, ceramic bongs aren’t the best choice for travelers or the user that tends to accidentally knock things over.

Ceramics are, however, very customizable. This means that ceramic bongs exist in many different shapes and forms, and often are designed very creatively. Ideally, ceramic bongs are great for special occasions or display, but often are not the most practical bong for normal use.

types of bongs - acrylic bongs


Acrylic bongs have many different benefits; First of all, acrylic bongs are almost impossible to break. They offer the best durability of anything on the list other than silicone.

Secondly, acrylics are also very customizable, meaning there are a large variety of different bong shapes and designs available. They are typically lightweight and fairly cheap, making them a great choice for travelers and those on a budget.

Which Shape of Bong Smokes the Best?

It really comes down to personal preference. Everyone is different in what they like. Some people like to taste the bud and really engage with it while others just wanna get baked and aren’t flavor focused. 

For me, I have a 18 inch straight tube bong with an ice pinch and that’s it. It’s simple and boy oh boy does it pack a punch. But that might not be for everyone. Some people think straight tube bongs without percs are too harsh. For them, I recommend getting a percolator bong or simply tossing some in the bong.

There is no right or wrong answer here. You can enjoy the way a piece smokes or simply like the way the smoke travels through the piece, it’s your smoking experience. Try a few different kind of bongs and see what you like the best.

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Does the Shape of a Bong Really Matter?

When it all comes down to it, many people still wonder if the shape of a bong really matters. The answer is, clearly, yes. It is, however, hard to say specifically what bong is the right one for you without knowing your personal preferences.

Each bong shape and material comes with different advantages and disadvantages. Some are perfect for getting a super smooth hit but break very easily, while others are almost impossible to break but doesn’t deliver as smooth a hit. Our advice is to consider all the different elements we have gone through in this article, and then make a choice based on your own personal preference.

Where to Get the Best Bongs? Helping Pot

With so many different places to get bongs, it can be hard to find a reliable place you can trust. At HelpingPot, we have a wide selection of glass from all of the top manufacturers in the industry. If you are looking for a new bong but want to do some more research before purchasing, check out our blog. We have a ton of informational articles on bong related topics.

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