How to Buy The Best H0okah Bowl for Your Hookah
The Coals N Bowls Difference
There are many different types of hookah bowls that will accommodate your tobacco and charcoals and sustain your hookah smoking experience. Coals N Bowls is here to help you make the right purchasing decisions in your pursuit for an optimal and enhanced hookah smoking experience.
We have all different kinds of hookahs, different types of bowls, different types of coals, and all the top accessories like heat management devices and flavor savers, to equip your hookah bowl with the best accessories to blow those thick clouds.
What are the different types of Hookah Bowls?
There are dozens of manufacturers in 2021 that make hookah bowls for the global hookah industry. Each of those manufacturers has multiple bowl styles they create, in different colors and variations, so it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that there are at the very minimum hundreds of bowls on the market as a whole.
While there are hundreds of bowls available on the market, from a design aspect you have a much smaller number of actual styles of bowls. The two main types of bowls are traditional Egyptian / Syrian hookah bowls; phunnel bowls; and vortex bowls.
What are the different materials Hookah Bowls are made out of?
Clay Hookah Bowls
Now each of these high level bowl bowl categories has sub categories based on what type of composition each bowl is made of. This would be the actual materials the bowl is made with. Traditionally, clay has been used for hundreds of years because it is made of earth which does a good job at managing and dissipating heat quickly, and it is normally sealed with a glaze which will make the bowl less porous or absorbant, which means your tobacco will stay juicy for a longer session or period of time.
Glass Hookah Bowls
In the late 2000s, with the gaining popularity of glass hookahs from brands like Lavoo and Fumo, glass bowls started becoming popular. This is because while glass is thinner in composition and density than a traditional clay bowl, it has been proven to have heat managing properties through its application and use in smoking different substances, the most popular being smoking tobacco, and smoking marijuana or weed.
A glass bowl is able to give you one of the cleanest burning flavors of hookah / shisha tobacco possible, and it is one of the least porous materials, which means it does a good job at making sure your flavor doesn’t seep into the bowl itself and staining it. And this also means a glass bowl is good at dissipating heat and keeping the juices from burning too quickly, in turn prolonging the flavor of of the hookah bowl to last longer.
Silicone Hookah Bowls
Then came along the silicone bowl. Silicone which is a rubber like substance that has been used in the medical and food industries for a long time has two different properties that made it optimal for the crossover to the hookah industry, and specifically for use in the construction of hookah bowls and the tubing for the hookah hoses.
Silicone can be manufactured in food grade silicone which mean it is safe to eat off of or in this case use for smoking. Silicone has a resistance to high heat so it also dissipates heat a little better than other materials, and it is extremely porous. Most of these qualities would make the silicone bowl a winner on paper at the very first glance, but much of these properties are actually a detriment to the silicone bowls on the market.
A porous bowl means that the silicone bowl absorbs a lot of the flavor of your tobacco, and it would also be able to absorb more of the juices than say a clay bowl that doesn’t have a coating. That is because an unglazed silicone bowl is still much more rigid structure and therefore having a much less porous surface area, and the size of the pores would also be much smaller limiting how much flavor and juice the bowl and absorb and keep in it over time.
A silicone bowl is more porous, and has bigger pores because of its flexible surface area, which means while this bowl can handle high heat for all of you 3-4 coal bowl HMD smokers, or 4 coal bowl smokers, but the trade off is less flavor and a shortened longevity of the bowl. Also because this bowl is more on the porous side, it absorb the flavor of your tobacco, but it won’t maintain a strong stained flavor like a unglazed clay bowl would.
Porcelain Hookah Bowls
Porcelain hookah bowls are just the side effect of the bottom end of the hookah bowl market that has price conscious customers. Nothing wrong with being price conscious, but there is a difference between looking for a good value for a lower price, and just looking for a lower price. Many of the porcelain bowls are knock off bowls that started getting made in China, and they used porcelain because porcelain has some of the similar characteristics of clay, without the cost and the weight.
On paper, porcelain is more heat resistant than ceramic, the category under which clay bowls would fall. However, the amount of porcelain and density used in most of these hookah bowls is not enough to rival even a mediocre clay bowl like the traditional egyptian clay hookah bowl that is brown, and has 5 bowls, and that all of us hookah smokers have smoked at some point, probably very early in our hookah journey.
You see, the porcelain cast hookah bowls were made with cost cutting in mind, and a cheap to market price, which also means they have less material to actually support their superior heat resistance than other clay bowls on the market today. This is why these bowls get hotter in just one session than their counterparts, they break easier, and heat up the juice and tobacco, meaning you end up having a harsher smoking session.
While all porcelain bowls are not created equally, we recommend using these bowls carefully, and differently than you use other higher quality bowls (like using one less coal than you would on a similar clay bowl), so you don’t break them and so your smoking session lasts without the harshness.