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Different Types Of Hookah Bowls (#1 Materials)

Hello, dear Reader!

Hookah bowl is one of the essential components of the hookah/water pipe, which is positioned at the top of your hookah. That’s why sometimes it’s referred to as hookah head. This time we would like to talk about what bowls are made of, what types of bowls exist, and what bowl should be used for a certain kind of shisha tobacco and how it affects on your smoking session. But before we start, let us explain to you about the shisha tobacco heating process.

As you know, before smoking the hookah, we have to preheat/warm the bowl up. And it has to be warmed up not only from the top (where we have coals placed on foil or HMD), but also the side walls of it have to be heated up. That is why we place the coals as close to the edges as possible if using aluminium foil. The way the bowl warms up depends primarily on the material of which it is made, as well as its shape.

What materials are hookah bowls made of?

The most popular material used to produce bowls is clay or ceramics. Besides, there are many hookah heads that are made of silicone. Also, you can find ones made of stone, glass, metal, and even wood, but they only represent a small percentage of the market.

1. Clay bowls.

Clay is a classic material for manufacturing hookah bowls. It has a porous structure that provides proper absorption and retention of heat: as a result, we get even tobacco heating. It is worth noting that due to the porous structure, unprocessed clay will be absorbing some juice from tobacco during the first couple of times you pack your bowl. Bowls which were manufactured using milk sealing technology have much less spongy, porous structure and absorb less juices from your shisha mix.

What are the advantages of a classic clay hookah bowl:

  • Made from a natural material
  • It warms up evenly
  • Does not emit harmful substances
  • Great value for money

But there are also minor disadvantages:

  • High absorbency of clay (i.e. it must be thoroughly washed every time so that it does not keep aftertaste).
  • The bowl may break or crack easily, so handle this material with care.
  • Clay does not go well with some types of tobacco at all.
  • The bowl may overheat without proper handle, which will drain dry tobacco faster.

2. Ceramic bowls.

We would like to mention that clay is a type of ceramic, but not all ceramic products are made of clay. Both clay and ceramic bowls can be glazed or unglazed. The main advantage of glazed bowls is that they do not absorb the molasses juice. Also, glaze reflects the heat well, which helps to accumulate more heat inside the bowl. More heat = More flavour = Less session time.

What are the advantages of a ceramic hookah bowl:

  • More durable (ceramics is a tough material, especially under proper use and care).
  • Does not absorb juices and odors (the ceramic bowl has a special coating that makes it easier to wash).
  • Many and many available colours, shapes and designs.

But there are also disadvantages:

  • Still bowl may break or crack easily, so handle this material with care.
  • Sharp drop in temperature can damage the bowl/glaze coating.

3. Silicone bowls.

Easy to handle, simple to clean and difficult to break, silicone bowls are relatively new to the market. Silicone itself has low heat conductivity, making these bowls convenient for hookah’s beginners. It is almost impossible to overheat or even burn your tobacco in it.

What are the advantages of a silicone bowl:

  • Easy to handle and wash
  • Durable and flexible
  • Does not absorb molasses juice.
  • High resistance to the sharp drops in temperature.

The only disadvantages:

  • Might bring synthetic, chemical taste into your session’s flavour.
  • Low-quality, cheap silicone can wear out quickly.
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4. Steel bowls.

Used because they are sturdy and great for travel. Steel bowls heat quickly but are difficult to heat manage.

Let us get through the advantages of a steel hookah bowl:

  • Sturdy and durable
  • High heat and impact resistance.
  • Enhance and intensify flavour of your shisha mix.

But there are also disadvantages::

  • High price.
  • Rare product on market.

5. Fruit bowls.

Using fruit as the hookah bowl is a popular way to intensify the flavour. Apples, oranges, grapefruits, watermelons, pineapples are the most often used fruits. Preparing the hookah this way takes a little more work and experience than using a standard bowl.

What are the advantages of a fruit hookah bowl:

  • Brings new experience into the smoking session.
  • Great appearance.

The disadvantages are:

  • Making a bowl is a long and painstaking process.
  • Needs high temperature, as the fruit bowl absorbs a significant portion of heat.
  • Moneysoaking presentation performance has been created by hookah lounges.
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6. Glass bowls.

Usually, only use with complete glass hookahs. These beautiful glass bowls heat up quickly but donโ€™t hold it long.

What are the advantages of a glass hookah bowl:

  • Does not absorb at all molasses juice.
  • Great appearance.
  • Easy to wash.

The only disadvantages:

  • Very fragile, handle with care.
  • Quite expensive device.
  • Lots of low-quality fakes on market.

7. Electronic head bowls (E-head bowl).

Same as classic bowl/head, the e-hookah bowl fits right on top of your hookah but uses e-juice instead of shisha tobacco. Not quite in the same category as the other bowls on this list but a great alternative to your traditional hookah. Smoke your favorite vape juices straight out of your favourite water pipe.

What are the advantages of a e-head bowl:

  • Requires no fire, no charcoal, no shisha tobacco.
  • Completely new experience.
  • Allows you to adjust the power and smoke thickness.

The disadvantages are as follows:

  • Traditional hookah lovers talk about contradictory flavour conduction.
  • Handle with care.
  • Very expensive device.
  • Always remember to charge the e-head.

8. 3D printed bowls.

Most of the bowls are handmade, although nowadays, you can find 3D printed models on the market. A great example is the bowls made by some russian brands. The products are unique in their design which can’t be repeated by any other manufacturing method. For pros and cons please see #1 Clay bowls.

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9. Stone bowls.

High-quality stone bowls are usually handmade, hand painted and created in small batches. Each bowl is considered a work of functional art and is priced respectively. Only for avid hookah enthusiast/collector.

What are the advantages of a stone bowl:

  • Pretty unique design and appearance..
  • Does not absorb molasses juice.
  • Very easy to wash.
  • Dispenses the heat better than clay bowl.

The disadvantages are:

  • Quite high price.
  • Takes longer time to heat up.

10. Color-changing hookah bowls – ST Indigo Classic.

ST Organization was founded in 2016 in Moscow. This company is very well-known because of its expertly crafted and beautiful hookah bowls. Among them, there is a unique product that will impress you and provide smooth smoke – a hookah bowl that changes color when smoked!

What are the advantages of a ST Indigo hookah bowl:

  • Made from a natural material
  • It warms up evenly
  • Does not emit harmful substances
  • Changes to the natural colour of clay, as it heats up! Once it cools down, it returns to its original colour.

But there are also minor disadvantages:

  • The high absorbency of clay (i.e. it must be thoroughly washed every time so that it does not keep aftertaste).
  • The bowl may break or crack easily, so handle this material with care.
  • The bowl may overheat without a proper handle, so you might need to manage heat carefully.

Hope You have found this article useful. If You are looking for a new bowl for your set-up, please feel free to browse our bowl collection.

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