Comparing Every Type of Bong – Acrylic vs. Glass vs. Ceramic vs. Silicone

ceramic bongs vs glass bongs vs acrylic bongs vs silicone bongs
April 19, 2019 By Stoner

Alright Stoners, it is finally time to compare every type of bong in order to figure out what is the best type of bong on the market.

In this article, we will compare Acrylic Bongs vs. Glass Bongs vs. Silicone Bongs vs. Ceramic Bongs. It might sound a bit overwhelming, but by the end of this article, you will have a complete understanding of each type of bong, and the pros and cons of each.

To help you navigate this massive piece of content, here is an outline of what you will learn:

When it comes to comparing the types of bongs in this list, we took into account 4 main factors that we consider to be the most important when selecting a new bong:

  • Durability
  • Performance
  • Price
  • Customization

We then end each section by comparing the pros and cons of each type of bong in order to give you a solid idea of which one is right for you.

Now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s dive right in!

acrylic bongs review

Acrylic Bongs Review – Everything You Should Know

Acrylic bongs are made of mass-produced plastic, typically for low costs in industrialized countries like China, Taiwan, Thailand or the Philippines.

Basically, acrylic bongs are extremely cheap water pipes. They get the job done, come in tons of interesting colors and designs, and are easy to find for very affordable prices.

However, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for when purchasing a new bong. For the most part, if you are a seasoned Stoner who really wants to enjoy a high-quality smoking experience, acrylic bongs are not really for you.

If you are looking for a very cheap way to smoke, a bong that is virtually indestructible, and have low expectations in a new bong, then this might be right for you.

But, to be completely honest with you, you get about the same quality of smoke out of acrylic bongs that you would from turning a household item such as a watermelon, Gatorade bottle, or 2-liter bottle into a homemade bong.

The only question is whether you want to have to keep making these types of ghetto bongs, or purchase one for a few dollars online. Personally, I would rather just make one – at least you get some satisfaction out of the process, it uses your mind, and you can never really have your expectations smashed to pieces.

1. Durability

Despite how harsh we just were on acrylic bongs, there is one thing that they are great for – durability. In fact, when comparing glass bongs vs. acrylic bongs, these plastic pieces take the title hands down.

Unless you let an acrylic water pipe get extremely cold so as to make it brittle, drop it from a high place, or make a deliberate attempt to cut or crush it, you really can’t break these things.

If you are clumsy, or travel often and still want to own a bong, this may be the right purchase for you. However, when comparing silicone bongs vs. acrylic bongs – their silicone counterparts are even more durable, which we will address later. However, they are also a bit more expensive as a result of the higher quality materials.

2. Performance

Acrylic bongs certainly have the lowest level of performance in terms of the quality of your smoking experience. This is mainly for a few reasons.

First, when you compare acrylic bongs vs. glass bongs, it is easy to see why acrylic loses the performance battle. They typically have no form of diffusion other than the smoke being filtered through water. In fact, most acrylic bongs come with metal downstems which have no slits for diffusion.

On top of this, it is almost impossible to find an acrylic bong with a percolator, as this type of intricate design contradicts the cheap and indestructible nature of this type of bong.

Lastly, because the whole bong is made of plastic, and the downstem and bowl are typically made of metal, you really get a bad taste from most hits out of acrylic bongs. You know the taste that a beer can makes on a good beer vs. one poured on tap? Or that weird aftertaste you get from a plastic water bottle left in the sun all day? Yeah, acrylic bongs have equivalent effects on taste when compared to the other types of bongs in this list.

3. Price

Another place that acrylic bongs cannot be beaten is price. In fact, acrylic bongs are usually the cheapest types of bongs available, ranging from $5 or less to about $25 on the high end.

But, in case you haven’t gotten the message by now, you get what you pay for in the world of bongs (with the exceptions of the most expensive bongs).

In our honest opinion, if you really want to enjoy your smoking experience, just invest the extra $20 or so into a high-quality silicone bong that is equally durable, but magnitudes more effective and smooth.

4. Customization

When it comes to customization for acrylic bongs, you really don’t have a lot of options. Sure, you could purchase a glass bowl attachment that costs more than your bong to add to it, but again then the argument of just spend more on a silicone bong comes into play.

On top of that, you can’t add percolators or ashcatchers to most acrylic bongs, and even if you can, they are most certainly worth more than the bong itself, and won’t get rid of the harshness and bad taste of the hits.

If you are looking for a bong that you can easily customize, you are definitely better off looking for a glass bong. Most of them can easily be equipped with some of the best bong accessories for a smoother smoking experience.

I suppose the saving grace for the customization factor on this type of bong is that because they are made of plastic, there are tons of color options when compared with traditional glass bongs or ceramic bongs. However, most people are not willing to sacrifice quality for color when it comes to purchasing a new water pipe.

Pros and Cons of Acrylic Bongs

The table below compares the pros and cons of acrylic water pipes.

ProsCons
Cheapest type of bong No customization options
Lots of color options Bad tasting bong hits
Easy to clean Poor diffusion and percolation
Very durable Not worth the money
Some are not made with safe plastics

Who Are Acrylic Bongs Best For?

Acrylic bongs are best for people who are looking to try something completely new. They are also best for people who are on extremely low budgets, but who still want to smoke from a bong.

However, to be completely honest with you, we don’t feel comfortable recommending these bongs to anyone, and that is also why we do not sell them.

Stoner Tip: If you are really smoking on a budget and looking for an affordable bong, check out this comprehensive guide to the Best Bongs for Under $100. Alternatively, we also have a guide to how to make bongs out of household items here.

glass bongs review

Glass Bongs Review – Comparing the Most Common Bongs

Glass bongs are the original type of water pipe (at least in terms of mass production). For 50+ years people have been hand blowing new designs in order to improve airflow, filtration, diffusion, cooling, and the overall smoking experience of glass bongs.

There are many types of glass bongs on the market, including but not limited to:

  • Beaker Bongs
  • Straight Tube Bongs
  • Recycler Bongs
  • Dab Rigs
  • Round Base Bongs
  • Percolator Bongs

Overall, if you are looking for a high-quality, creative, customizable, and enjoyable bong to smoke from, glass bongs are right for you.

They can break easily when compared with other types of bongs like silicone or acrylic, but as long as you take care of them, they will last a very long time.

On top of that, because of their customizable nature, you can easily upgrade an old bong to fit it for dabs, or just to gain some increased percolation and filtration.

Finding the best glass bong ultimately depends on knowing the best online headshop to buy from, understanding your budget, and purchasing from one of the best bong brands.

1. Durability

The durability of glass bongs really all depends on the brand, size, and design. Overall though, glass bongs are fairly durable, but definitely, are prone to breaking if you drop them or they go through dramatic temperature changes quickly.

When purchasing a new bong, in order to maximize durability you want to look for a few major factors:

  • Wide Base
  • Thick Glass
  • Sturdy Intricate Parts
  • Proportional Design
  • Dependable Bong Company

If you can manage to find a bong within your budget that features all of these factors, the durability of your bong is now up to you. Be careful with it, and try not to take it out much. Also, if you keep your bong clean, it will be free from clogs and last a very long time.

At the end of the day, when comparing glass bongs vs. acrylic bongs, silicone bongs, and ceramic bongs, glass is far less durable than all three.

2. Performance

Out of all the types of bongs in this list, glass bongs are the highest performing. When comparing glass bongs vs. silicone bongs, ceramic, or acrylic, the competition is not even close in terms of performance.

This is because of a few main reasons. First, glass bongs have the most malleable material for designers to work with (besides maybe silicone). This gives them a lot of creative room in order to add extra parts like diffused downstems, ashcatchers, percolators, and ice catches.

Second, glass bongs have been around the longest (at least at the commercial level), which has given them a lot of time to evolve over the years.

Lastly, glass bongs come in more standard joint sizes than the other types of bongs on this list, this allows them to easily accept additional accessories which really boost their performance.

3. Price

When it comes to price, you can typically expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 for a solid bong. Obviously, as you get into the higher end water pipes on the market, you can pay upwards of $500 for a piece, with some of the most expensive bongs costing up to $1,000,000!

However, to be completely transparent, we have never spent over $120 for a bong, and have always been satisfied with our purchases in terms of value.

As long as you know what to look for in a good bong, where to find great deals, and what type of bong is best for you, you should almost always be able to find an amazing glass water pipe for under $100. If not, you most certainly can achieve this for under $200.

4. Customization

When it comes to customization when comparing glass bongs vs. acrylic bongs or any other type of bong for that matter – there is no competition. Glass bongs win this category hands down.

As we explained earlier, this is mostly because of their malleability, long history, and overall popularity on the market.

As far as the ways you can customize glass bongs goes, there are a few main accessories you can purchase to upgrade your piece:

Lastly, because of their popularity, glass bongs easily have the largest variety of different products and product types. This gives them an edge in terms of customization.

The most important thing to remember when trying to customize your glass bong is to try and find attachments that fit the joint size and gender of your bong. This can be a confusing topic, so if you have questions about it, check out this article we wrote answering the top bong FAQs, including how to measure joint size and gender.

Pros and Cons of Glass Bongs

The table below shows the pros and cons of glass water pipes.

ProsCons
Most customization options Not as durable as the other types of bongs
Highest performing type of bong Can be difficult to clean
Affordable pricing Can get expensive
Lots of different varieties
Something for everyone

Who Are Glass Bongs Best For?

Glass bongs are best for people who are really looking to get good value for their purchase. Someone who is willing to spend $50-$100 on a solid piece, and is also willing to make sure it stays clean, and they keep it out of harm’s way.

If you are a clumsy Stoner, this is not the best type of bong for you. However, there are a few glass bongs that are specifically designed for the on-the-go lifestyle, which you can find in our Best Travel Pipes Guide.

This type of bong is also best for someone who wants to have a reliable piece for a long time, but also wants the option to customize it or add to it as time goes on.

Lastly, glass bongs are best for people who like to enjoy their smoking experience and are looking for next level smoothness and cooling in their bong hits. If you don’t settle for low quality when it comes to smoking, this type of water pipe is perfect for you.

silicone bongs review

Silicone Bongs Review – The Upcoming Game Changer

Silicone bongs are relatively new, stepping onto the Stoner scene in the last decade or so as new innovations in the material have sped up to make some serious breakthroughs.

This type of bong offers a unique type of smoking experience, being the perfect cross in terms of performance, price, durability, and customization between glass and acrylic bongs.

Overall, if you buy the right silicone bong, you will enjoy your smoking experience and be pleasantly surprised by its performance.

When purchasing a silicone bong, there are a few things you want to make sure that you look for in order to make sure you are getting the most for your money:

  • BPA Free Silicone
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Good Price
  • Solid Slide and Bowl
  • Easily Foldable

Luckily, there is one piece that embodies every one of these factors – which in our opinion is the best silicone bong on the market – The Roll Uh Bowl. To learn more about what makes this brilliant innovation one of the best, check out our comprehensive review.

1. Durability

Surprisingly enough, when comparing silicone bongs vs. acrylic bongs, silicone actually takes the title for most durable.

This is because unlike acrylic, this type of water pipe can withstand extremely high and low temperatures without melting or becoming brittle.

On top of that, because silicone is so soft and malleable, these bongs are often bendable and foldable, capable of being fit into very small spaces with ease – making them great for traveling.

Overall, this makes silicone water pipes the most durable of the group, which adds a lot of value to them in the long run.

2. Performance

As far as performance goes, when comparing silicone bongs vs. glass bongs, there is no competition – glass still reigns supreme. However, this type of bong performs much better than acrylic and almost as good as ceramic bongs.

Overall, the performance in terms of taste is about the same as glass. As long as you purchase a high-quality silicone bong, you should not have to worry about getting bad tasting hits.

As far as percolation goes, the slides and bowl packs on silicone bongs are often made of metal in order to match the durability of the body. However, because they are so stretch, you can easily substitute this slide with a glass one for additional filtration and diffusion.

Also, it is important to note that the most reputable silicone bong brands typically have a much higher degree of quality with the metal slides and bowls they make than acrylic bongs made in China for a quarter a piece.   

3. Price

When it comes to price, comparing silicone water pipes vs. acrylic water pipes shows that silicone is slightly more expensive, with the average silicone bong costing between $25 and $60.

But, as we have touched on multiple times, you get what you pay for. If I had to choose, I would take the cheapest silicone bong over the most expensive acrylic bong 10/10 times.

If you are looking for a bong that is insanely durable, easy to travel with, and affordable, a silicone bong is much better than choosing acrylic. In some cases, under the right circumstances, you can even choose silicone bongs vs. glass bongs.

4. Customization

On the customization side of things, much like acrylic bongs, silicone water pipes can be a bit hard to customize. As mentioned earlier, because of the flexibility they offer, you can try to force a glass stem into one, but it is not recommended.

There are additional metal downstems and bowl attachments you can purchase, which can enhance performance a bit. But overall, silicone bongs are not known for their easy customization or their accessory options.

There are quite a few options on the market, and you could argue that there are equally as many or more varieties and color schemes for silicone bongs out there as acrylic ones.

Pros and Cons of Silicone Bongs

The table below shows the pros and cons of silicone water pipes.

ProsCons
Most durable type of bong Mediocre performance
Very affordable Not a lot of customizable options
Decent performance Hard to improve performance
Fairly wide variety of designs
Easy to clean

Who Are Silicone Bongs Best For?

Silicone bongs are best for Stoners who are on-the-go often. They are also great for people who are not so responsible with their bongs, and have a history of breaking nice pieces.

Also, silicone water pipes make a great piece for people who are looking for decent performance and customization in a durable piece.

Lastly, this type of bong is a great fit for anyone who is looking to spend a small amount on a bong that will quite literally last a lifetime.  

ceramic bongs review

Ceramic Bongs Review – Old Reliable

Ceramic bongs are technically the oldest type of bong in the world, with the earliest remnants being found thousands of years B.C. However, once glass blowing became prevalent in the 60’s and 70’s, ceramic bongs began to take a backseat to their offspring – glass bongs.

This is not to say that they are not great to have around, but the main reason for this transition in consumer demand was because of the ease in which glass bongs could be mass produced, the customization they offered, and the time that they take to make.

Overall, ceramic bongs are reliable, heavy duty, and get the job done pretty well. If we had to rank them in comparison to the other bongs on this list overall, they are definitely in our #2 spot right behind glass bongs.

1. Durability

Ceramic bongs are extremely durable when compared to glass bongs. While they can still break from being dropped, they are rarely affected by quick swings in temperature, and do not have as many intricate parts that are prone to fractures over time.

Overall, they are extremely hardy, usually made of very thick ceramic material that you can count on for as long as you don’t drop the thing.

2. Performance

When it comes to performance, in terms of smoothness, taste and diffusion, ceramic bongs come in second on this list, right behind glass bongs.

Comparing ceramic bongs vs. glass bongs in terms of performance, glass still takes the win, for a few main reasons:

  • More filtration
  • More customization options
  • More working parts
  • Larger selection
  • More high-quality design

Overall, a ceramic bong will give you a smooth hit every time, and will definitely be better when compared to silicone or acrylic bongs by a long shot. However, even the best ceramic water pipes do not stand up to middle of the line glass water pipes in terms of their smoothness or smoking experience.

Nonetheless, it is still great to have one kicking around for mixing things up, and as long as you are not a bong snob, you will be very happy with your purchase.

3. Price

As far as price goes, when comparing glass bongs vs. ceramic bongs, ceramic is a bit cheaper due to the fact that they do not usually have as many working parts or as intricate of designs. Also, ceramic material is significantly less expensive and much easier to work with – making them take much less time to make.

When it comes to price, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $60 for a high quality ceramic bong.

4. Customization

In terms of customization, ceramic water pipes are not the best when it comes to adding more accessories to enhance performance, or overall options for percolation, diffusion, etc…

However, where they do shine over glass bongs is in terms of custom designs. There are all sorts of zany and creative custom blown ceramic bongs on the market. I would even say that as far as custom designs go – there are even more options when it comes to ceramic water pipes vs. glass pipes.

The best part about these custom ceramic pieces is that you can get intricate and unique designs from top of the line artists for far cheaper than any custom blown glass bong.

In fact, you can find plenty of ceramic water pipes that have custom designs which you will never see anyone have for the same $20-60 price range listed above. Whereas if you want a custom blown one of a kind glass bong, you can expect to pay upwards of $200 for it.

Of course, you need to factor in the performance into the equation, taking into account that you will certainly miss out on a bit of smoothness and filtration when selecting a ceramic bong that is best for you as opposed to their glass counterparts. Overall though, you can’t go wrong with ceramic bongs.

Pros and Cons of Ceramic Bongs

The table below compares the pros and cons of ceramic water pipes.

ProsCons
Lots of variety Not a lot of accessories
Very affordable Not as smooth as glass bongs
Extremely durable Can still break from dropping
Easy to clean
Solid performance

Who Are Ceramic Bongs Best For?

Ceramic bongs are best for someone who is looking for a solid piece, but does not need all the bells and whistles of a more complex glass bong.

They are also best for someone who is looking to spend $20-60 on a nice piece, but does not want to sacrifice quality for price.

Lastly, ceramic water pipes are best for someone who is looking to try something new other than the traditional glass design, and who wants to get a one of a kind piece that is nice to look at, easy to clean, and still hits good – for a bargain.

which type of bong is best

What is the Best Kind of Bong?

Honestly, the answer to this question really depends on a few factors:

  • Durability Needs
  • Performance Wants
  • Lifestyle of the Smoker
  • Price Range
  • Customization Wants

If you are the type of Stoner who is looking for a high-performance bong with lots of percolation, and room for improvement with upgrades, glass bongs are definitely best for you.

If you are someone who is looking for a super cool custom piece that is still affordable, with middle of the line performance, a ceramic bong is best for you.

If you are the type of Stoner who needs a damn near bulletproof bong that you could only destroy if you deliberately tried to, and you are willing to sacrifice a bit of quality smoking experience for durability – silicone bongs are best for you.

As we said above, we do not feel comfortable ever recommending acrylic bongs because of their cheap quality, poor smoking experience, and sometimes dangerous materials.

Where to Find Great Deals on the Best Water Pipes

Looking for great deals on a wide variety of ceramic, silicone, or glass bongs? You’ve come to the right place.

At HelpingPot, we have done a lot of work to narrow down our selection of water pipes to only include the Best Bong Brands.

We pride ourselves on working hard to be the best online headshop that we can be for our community. Check out our selection, and find great deals on the bong for you today!

If you found this blog post helpful, be sure to leave a comment below. Let us know what bong you ended up choosing and why. Or tell us a bit more about your experiences with each type of bong, and which one you like best!

Lastly, if you are looking for more insightful blog content about bongs, bowls, hand pipes, dab rigs, smoking, and more, check out our blog. Or, follow us on Instagram for tons of original content, cool Stoner adventures, and dank deals on new products. Thanks for reading, and as always, have a Stoney Baloney Day!

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