A Quick Beginner’s Guide to Buying Bongs

Whether you’re a complete newbie to smoking or have tried it out a few times, buying your first bong can prove to be a real challenge. Just looking at a selection at a small smoke shop would have anyone confused on what the best bong is, or even bong type is useful for (yep, there are plenty of different types).

To add to that, asking the attendant at the shop probably wouldn’t help too much since they’ll just recommend the most expensive one. To help guide you on this journey, here’s a list of everything you need to know before buying your first bong.

First Things First: Material

One of the most overlooked factors by newcomers when it comes to buying a bong is not realizing how many different materials that bongs can come in. You’re probably already used to seeing the two most popular ones, glass and ceramic, but in reality, there are much more.

Knowing about the different types of materials, as well as their pros and cons, is crucial to buying your first bong. Here are some of the most common bong materials and even some less common ones!


Glass is by far the most recommended and popular material out of all the ones listed here. Besides looking really cool, there seem to be two particular reasons as to why this material is so cherished by bong users worldwide.

First off, they’re extremely low maintenance. Unlike other materials, cleaning glass bongs can be done in under 10 minutes.

Second, they are available at almost any smoke shop you go to. Glass is super easy to come by, so you generally don’t have to worry about not being able to find a good glass bong.

There are only about two cons when it comes to glass bongs. Those are:

  • Glass bongs can be a little pricey, particularly if they are specially crafted in a unique shape.
  • Glass, obviously, is prone to breaking. One accidental drop, and you’ll find yourself at the smoke shop buying another.

Glass bongs are highly recommended for beginner smokers, so don’t be scared to give ’em a try!


Silicone has been seeing a pretty substantial rise in popularity lately. Similar to glass bongs, they’re widely available and easy to clean. What might make them shine above the glass is that they’re super durable, affordable, and even dishwasher safe.

Silicone bongs are also lightweight and easy to carry around. Unfortunately, they are quite uncommon so finding one might be a challenge. In addition, they’re also not very customizable and can’t be made into styles such as the percolator.


This next material is a classic. Ask any bong enthusiast or pothead, and they’ll likely tell you they have at least one ceramic bong.

These bongs are super durable and pretty cheap. In this sense, they’re very much like glass except can be customized in even more ways by using paint or other ornaments!

Here comes the con: Ceramic bongs are very hard to clean as they are not transparent. Smudges and debris might get stuck inside.


Occasionally, you’ll see metal bongs here and there. While they might look cool and come cheaper than glass, we don’t recommend them.

The main reason we say to avoid them is due to the toxic chemicals you can actually inhale from hitting bongs made out of nickel or aluminum, the two most common metals for making bongs. Some higher quality ones might be rid of these chemicals but it’s best not to try your luck.

Lastly, they’re super heavy and not widely available.

DIY Bongs

Yep! You can make your own bongs right from the comfort of your own home, car… or whatever.

People get creative when they’re high. We’ve seen bongs made from apples and other food items, soda cans, toilet paper rolls, and plastic bottles.

Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Bong

As for our recommendations, we really just want you to choose whatever material feels best for you. Of course, glass and silicone are our top picks, though if you feel more comfortable with something like ceramic then please go for that!

You’ll also (of course) want to consider things like price and size. Generally speaking, you’ll want to try out a mini or portable bong first before graduating with a bigger one. This allows you to get a sense of how it’s like smoking a bong and if you prefer it over prerolls, edibles, or joints.

We’ve already covered the different materials used for bongs as well as their pros and cons. But there’s one last thing to consider: style and type.

Let’s explore some of those.

Bongs: Sizes, Shapes, Uses, and So Much Else!

The world of bongs is so much more expansive than you might have originally thought. There are thousands of unique shapes, some of which are for practical uses such as the percolator, or just for comedic purposes such as those shaped into the head of Darth Vader. Listed below are some of the more common types of bongs.

1. Mini Bongs

As mentioned, these are great for beginners! Mini bongs are designed for practical, efficient, and on-the-go usage.

There’s also another type that’s similar to mini bongs— those are called bubblers. They’re a perfect unison of a water boiler and a pipe in one contraption. Again, great for beginners.

2. Dab Rigs

Ah, the dab. No, not the tik-tok one, but the Dab Rig.

Everything about these devices is different. First, herbs and mixtures are traded off for wax. The actual smoking process involves heating a nail to an extremely hot temperature, letting it cool, then adding the wax mix to it to produce smoke.

Not the best for beginner smokers, though definitely worth a try down the line.

3. Scientific Glass Bongs

The typical bong you’ll see at every smoke shop.

Wondering why they’re named that? Well if it isn’t obvious, it’s from the way they’re shaped! These bongs are super easy to use and simple to clean as well.

They come shaped in the form of beakers, round tubes, and straight tubes. Percolators can even be added to them for extra filtration

Buying the Best Bong

The best bong for you ultimately comes down to what you’re looking for. Have you hit a bong before but haven’t purchased your own? Go for a glass one!

Completely new to smoking so don’t know what to expect? Opt for a mini bong, just to test the waters (no pun intended).

We encourage you to take a look at our wide selection here at Brothers with Glass. We have all the materials and types of bongs listed in this article, plus more.

If you have any questions, we ask that you please make use of our contact page. We’re open to any concerns you might have.

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