bong choices

Bong Shapes & Styles: A Quick Guide

When it comes to smoking dry herbs, there are plenty of methods and pieces that smokers have to choose from. However, there’s nothing that beats the cool, smooth hits that water pipes can give. For many hardcore smokers, bongs are the smoking method of choice, and for good reason. They’re comfortable to hold, the water provides great filtration, and the piece itself is a work of art. As bongs have progressed from an underground movement popularized by Tommy Chong to a mainstream smoking method, glass crafters have perfected many different styles. Read on to learn about the differences between these styles, and help you to choose the perfect bong for you.

Which Bong Shape Should I Choose?

It really all comes down to personal preference. I happen to love classic beaker bongs and straight tubes but some people prefer the bongs with really crazy shapes. Ultimately they all do what they are meant to do regardless of their style or shape. The cool thing about bongs is you can buy tons of different types so you can switch between the shape and style you smoke from to keep your smoke sessions exciting.

Nucleus straight tube bong

Straight Tube Bong

The straight tube bong is the most basic water pipe style available. Unlike bongs of other shapes, straight tube bongs keep things simple. They filter smoke using a downstem, which should be submerged in water. Pieces in this style are easy to clean, and have a classic look. Straight tube bongs also clear much faster than bongs of other styles, making for larger hits. Many smokers who are still learning how to smoke a bong opt for this basic choice.

10" Zig-Zag Beaker Bong

Zig Zag Bong (Zong)

Bongs with a zig-zag shape are quite common, and for good reason. Some zig-zag shaped bongs have one curve, while others have more. Sometimes referred to as zongs because of their shape, zig-zag shaped bongs have a few benefits.

First, zig zag shapes have an awesome appearance. Second, and more importantly, the zig-zag serves an important purpose. It serves as a splash guard, preventing water from coming up from the water chamber and into your mouth. This makes the smoking experience far more enjoyable.

Nucleus - "Essentials" 14" Clear Glass Beaker Bong with UFO Perc

Beaker Bongs

Beaker bongs are extremely popular today. As one of the primary “laboratory” themed pieces, beaker bongs are shaped exactly like the measuring tool. Beaker bongs make great daily pieces, largely because of the heavy bottom portion. The wide base is perfect for the coffee table in your smoking room, and will not be easily knocked over. Wider beaker bongs can also generate lots of smoke. Round base bongs are similar in design, and carry the same benefit.

Showerhead Circ Perc Faberge Egg

Faberge Egg Bongs

Named for the historical Russian jeweled eggs, Faberge Egg shaped bongs offer smokers several benefits. The distinguishing feature of Faberge Egg bongs is the egg-shaped percolator. Some bongs also have an egg-shaped body. Faberge egg percolators pair well with other percolators, allowing more room for the bubbles to spread out. This makes for an extremely smooth hit.

8 Arm Recycler Oil Rig

Recycler Bongs

As far as bong styles go, recyclers tend to be a bit more technical. However, this unique style delivers extra-smooth hits, thanks to the filtration. Recycler bongs, also known as multi-chamber bongs, take the smoke through the filtration process a few times. After passing through a percolator, the smoke is then routed through a larger water chamber. Most recycler bongs have one chamber inside another, or both attached to the outside.

Fritted Inset Barrel Perc Bong

Percolator Bongs

While not a distinct style, percolator bongs are highly efficient in filtering smoke. Percolator bongs generally have at least two percolators, which play multiple roles. First, the percolators contain many slits, which diffuses the smoke as it passes through. Second, the percolators also serve as the focal point of the piece. As most perc bongs are built with scientific glass, you can watch as the smoke accumulates inside the piece.

elephant bubbler


Bubblers accomplish the same basic purpose as bongs, but are much more convenient. Because they are generally only slightly larger than most glass pipes, bubblers are highly portable. But, bubblers also have water, making for an awesome smoke filtration process. If you enjoy the benefits of a bong but can’t handle the size, then a bubbler is the perfect choice.

Check Out Our Online Head Shop for Your Ideal Bong

There’s no straight answer when it comes to choosing the best bong-- depending on your preferences, the best style of bong for you can vary. Our online head shop carries a wide selection of bongs, with pieces in several different styles, along with plenty of bongs under $100. Check out our store to find your ideal piece today!

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