What are the different types of water pipes?

While smoking herbs and tobacco with rolled paper is common on the street, it’s better to use a water pipe indoors.

There are several different types of water pipes. Which water pipe you should use is dependent on the type of product you intend to inhale.

Water pipes

Water pipes turn smoke into vapour, cooling the smoke to take the edge off. The result of this is a smooth, cool hit. With a water pipe, the vapour doesn’t catch the back of your throat, and the water brings out the taste of the herbs.

We categorise water pipes as bongs and bubblers. Bongs purify the smoke, using water to absorb impurities. Bubblers diffuse the smoke and eliminate turbulence for smoothness, a characteristic some people enjoy more.

Beaker bongs

Beaker bongs are inspired by the science lab, with a glass pipe that resembles the shape of a beaker. Beaker bongs have a wide base, so they hold a lot more smoke, giving you a more intense hit than smaller water pipes.

Beaker bongs are a good choice for beginners to water pipes because you can use them to smoke herbs and tobacco.

Dab rig

A dab rig, also known as an oil rig, is the most complex water pipe, resembling a small bong with multiple parts. It is used for oils, extracts or concentrates made from marijuana. This is the “dab” (or product you intend to smoke).

Dab rigs have a glass pipe, nail or banger, and a mouthpiece. The nail or banger heats up, vaporising the dab to release its properties. Dab rigs require a butane torch to heat up, or you can get an electric dab rig to make life easier.

Ice rig

Ice rigs can be a bong or a dab rig with a neck that can be filled with ice cubes. The ice cubes cool down the smoke, a characteristic that is useful when smoking harsh herbs.

Putting ice in a normal bong isn’t recommended, but ice rigs designed to accommodate ice help to smooth the smoke. The ice cools down the smoke without taking away the potency, ideal for maintaining a pure experience.


Hookahs are used to smoke and vaporise dry tobacco and cannabis. Hookahs need water because the water diffuses the smoke.

The difference between a hookah and a bong is that hookahs have a long pipe and are larger. Bongs also have a bowl at the bottom, while hookahs have a bowl at the top lit with charcoal.

Summing up 

  • Water pipes - a general term used to describe bongs and bubblers
  • Beaker bongs - large base, water-cooled for an intense hit
  • Dab rig - vaporises oils, extracts or concentrates made from marijuana
  • Ice rig - a bong or dab rig with a neck/section for ice to cool the smoke
  • Hookahs - for cannabis and tobacco, lit by charcoal rather than a lighter

Overall, all these water pipes are popular products. If you’re unsure where to start, feel free to contact us for advice.

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