Bongs and bubblers are both wonderful tools to use to enjoy cannabis.
Both of these instruments are vessels that are used for consuming cannabis by smoking it, and both are types of water pieces, so they have a lot in common. However, there are subtle differences between them as well. Most people who like one of them tend to also like the other, but chances are that you'll like one a little bit better. It all comes down to personal preference.
So, if you're looking for information about the similarities and differences between bongs vs bubblers, you came to the right place. In this informative post, you'll learn all about both of these types of pieces, and you may have a better idea afterward about which of the two you think you prefer.
First, What Are Bongs?
Even most non-cannabis smokers know a bong when they see one. Bongs are usually tall smoking vessels with a tube that leads to a chamber full of water at the bottom. A stem extends into the water on one end and out of the chamber on the other. The cannabis is placed in a bowl at the exterior end of that stem. The stem either comes out (a "slide") or is stationary; bongs without slides instead have a "rush" or "carb" hole on the back that is controlled by the smoker's finger.
Bongs can be very tall. Some can be as big as six feet in height, but most are about a foot or two tall. However, a bong doesn't have to be large to qualify as a bong; there are small mini-bongs - well under a foot tall - that still pack quite a punch.
To use a bong, the smoker will put their mouth at the top of the tube, create a seal, and draw in a hit while lighting the bowl. Smoke will fill the tube, and then the smoker will either pull out the slide or uncover the carb to inhale the collected smoke. Bong hits can be quite large and intense, but the size of the hit can also be controlled and regulated by the user.
Bongs of any size are great pieces for smoking at home; people who buy bongs usually do so for this purpose. Most have wide bases to help them remain steady on coffee tables and end tables. Many bongs are works of art; they come in all colors and styles and each has its own personality.
So, What Are Bubblers?
Bubblers, on the other hand, are generally much smaller than most bongs. They also contain water to cool the cannabis smoke before it is inhaled, thereby making it less harsh, but they are shaped more like a dry pipe. They are easy to hold in one hand, and overall they are more compact.
Like a bong, a bubbler has a chamber below the bowl that holds water. A stem extends into this chamber and into the water. An external stem extends to the mouthpiece. When a smoker draws on the mouthpiece while lighting the bowl, the inside of the bubbler fills with smoke. Most bubblers have a carb, although some have slides; when either is released, the smoke inside the piece enters the smoker's lungs.
Bubblers are great because they're small and easy to hold and handle. They still cool the water as a bong does, but the hits are much more manageable for the average smoker. They're a step up from a dry piece, but a step down from a bubbler, and that's the sweet spot for many cannabis enthusiasts. Also, they're easy to store and won't take up as much space in your home as a bong will.
On the negative side of things, though, bubblers are notoriously difficult to clean. Because most are one solid piece, they cannot be taken apart for maintenance, and the many nooks and crannies collect resin and gunk. Some are easier to clean than others, but this is a common complaint in any conversation about bongs vs bubblers.
Bongs vs Bubblers: Similarities
As you can see, there are a lot of similarities between bongs and bubblers. It certainly doesn't hurt to invest in one of each. They both offer a cool smoking experience - literally. When the smoke passes through the water in either vessel's chamber, it cools it. That means your hits will be smoother and that you'll be less likely to cough after a big hit. Bongs and bubblers both give cannabis smokers the opportunity to ingest a larger hit than a dry piece might because of this.
Furthermore, both bongs and bubblers are easy to use. Everyone enjoys a bong hit or a hit from a bubbler so they are great social smoking tools as well. You can pack up a hit for each participant or enjoy a bong or bubbler alone on your couch. All you need to do is tap out the ash and change the water now and then, and you'll have a great smoking experience each and every time.
Bongs vs Bubblers: Differences
There are some differences between the two as well. As you can guess, you'll get a larger hit from most bongs than you will from most bubblers. Some people don't want a gigantic hit when they smoke, but others do. Because of this, the love of a bong vs a bubbler will really depend on the individual and his or her wants and needs.
Bongs are generally easier to clean than bubblers, but if you stay on top of the maintenance of bubblers, they aren't as big a hassle as you might fear either. Some people prefer bubblers because bubblers with carbs are all one piece, whereas bongs include a separate slide piece; others like the two-part function of bongs better.
The biggest difference between bongs and bubblers, though, is size. Although bongs and bubblers both come in a variety of different sizes, most bongs are bigger than most bubblers. Bubblers are meant to be held in your hand, and bongs are usually held in your lap or rest on a table. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.
Enjoy Smoking Cannabis
Now that you know the difference between bongs vs bubblers, which one sounds more up your alley? If you haven't tried both before, you should. The one you prefer in the end may surprise you. However, both bongs and bubblers are excellent smoking instruments and both are great ways to enjoy cannabis. Whether you buy bongs or buy bubblers, you'll likely be happy with either one. Happy smoking!
If you're looking to add a new bong or bubbler to your collection, check out the Heady Glass section of our site to see our offerings!