bong or bubbler

Bong vs Bubbler Guide: What’s the Difference?

January 10, 2020 4 min read

To many people, bongs and bubblers seem very similar since they both utilize water for filtration and cooling purposes and are often made of glass. But what really is the difference between these two types of water pipes and why would someone want to use one versus the other? We’re here to break it all down.


  • Both are water pipes – Both bongs and bubblers can be categorized as water pipes, which also include hookahs. The water in these specialized pipes mixes with the smoke to filter out contaminants such as hot ash and also drops the temperature of the smoke to a comfortable level to inhale. For all water pipes, the more bubbles that are generated, the smoother the hit.
  • Percolators – There are many different styles of percolators out there, but they all have the same job—to create as many bubbles as possible. Since bongs are bigger than bubblers and have a much larger interior space, glassblowers are able to unleash their creativity when it comes to crafting percs. Today, it’s common to find percolator bongs with three or more types of percs that work together for maximum aeration. Bubblers on the other hand, usually only have room for a very simple perc like a diffused downstem or sometimes none at all.
  • Recyclers – Recyclers are great features to have on a bong or bubbler since it forces the smoke to travel a longer distance, essentially adding more cooling time. This is just another of the many features designed to make hits more comfortable, plus they look super cool. Dab rigs and bongs with recyclers are common, however coming across a bubbler with a recycler can be rare, but they do exist.
  • Smoother hits – Bongs and bubblers rely on the power of water for smooth, pleasant hits that don’t ignite a coughing spell. The extra filtration makes water pipes much more comfortable on the lungs than joints or the everyday dry pipe (spoon, one hitters, etc.). The simple addition of water allows you to take giant hits and hold them longer too.
  • Carbs – A carb is a small hole that lets the user control the airflow with their finger. Bubblers and hand pipes always have a carb, while bongs with a removable slide do not. Only bongs with non-removable bowls need to have a carb. The main advantage to having a carb is that the pipe will be more portable because there are fewer pieces.


  • Bowl size – Bubblers typically have smaller, more shallow bowls due to their compact design. On the other hand, bongs can be upwards of four feet tall and work with very deep or shallow bowls. It’s also possible to switch out an old bowl or have multiple bowls on hand depending on the smoker’s needs. Bowl size affects the maximum size of each hit and the length of a session. With smaller sizes, you’ll have to repack the bowl more often, sometimes making it a nuisance to share.
  • Level of cleaning difficulty – Bongs are notorious for being hard to clean, particularly if there are delicate interior features like multiple percolators and ice catchers that can crack or break with the slightest hit. Keep in mind that tree percs and showerhead percs are some of the most fragile styles. Thanks to their simple features and design, most glass bubblers are extremely easy to clean without inflicting any damage. To clean a bong or a bubbler, simply fill them with isopropyl alcohol and salt, then give it a good shake (be cautious not to shake a bong too hard and damage it). For bubblers, use a soaked cotton swab to get the gunk out of hard to reach areas. Weed bongs typically require a few hours of soaking time or multiple shakes to get decently clean.
  • Customization – Bongs are a lot more customizable since they have multiple parts. Select your preferred combination of percs, add a new bowl or an ash catcher to improve performance and give your piece more visual appeal. Since water bubblers have no additional elements, the style and design you choose in the beginning is what you’ll have to stick with.
  • Portability – Bubblers are most sought after because of their discreet design and portability. Bring one along on a camping trip, light up at the beach, and stow them away just as easily. Weed bongs come in a range of sizes, some are considered mini bongs measuring in at less than six inches, however they are still probably larger than a bubbler. Plus, most bongs require multiple pieces (a bowl for example), where bubbler are usually one solid piece of glass. Less pieces means less to worry about breaking.
  • Sharing – When you’re relaxing in the living room with the homies, you might reach for a bong. But when you want to share with friends while on the go, a bubbler is the obvious choice. Bubblers are handheld, making them perfect for passing around at a party or in a group setting. Since bubblers are less likely to break, you won’t have to worry about party fouls either.

When to use a bong vs a bubbler

Due to its larger size and fragile features, bongs are best used when at home. There is always a risk of breaking a bong, especially a larger one, when transporting it. Bongs are perfect for longer sessions or massive hits that require deeply packed bowls.

When it’s time to hit the road, bubblers are your best friend. The small compact size and minimal features make them easy to stow away in a glove box or backpack. Solo sessions are ideal, but bubblers are handheld like dry pipes so they’re also great for sharing.

Now that you’ve read up on bong vs bubbler differences, it’s time to invest in one of your own! So what’s it going to be? Bong? Bubbler? One of each? Head over to the Everything For 420 online shop for cheap bongs, bubblers, and smoking accessories.

Bongs and bubblers look similar, but what really is the difference between these two types of water pipes? This bong vs bubbler guide breaks it down.

Choose the Right Option for Your Smoking Needs: Bubbler vs Bong

Between Joints, Blunts, Vaporizers, and Hand pipes there are so many wonderful ways to enjoy your strain of choice. Today, smoking still remains the most popular way for people to consume cannabis. Water pipes offer an alternative smoking device that provides a different experience. Bongs and bubblers feature a way to enhance your smoking session with the use of water. Yet, they each have many unique characteristics of their own.

So, bubbler vs bong. which is right for your lifestyle? Read on to learn the benefits of each.

The Design

Most bubblers and bongs get crafted of glass, though other materials can get used. This special glass gets designed to be more durable and is ideal for higher temperatures. Both smoking devices help filter the smoke using a chamber filled with water. They can each also have more than one chamber to better filtrate the smoke.

You may be wondering what is a bubbler bong? This refers to water pipes in general, lumping both bongs and bubblers into the same category. But where a bong vs bubbler differs is in their size and special design features.



So, what is a bubbler and how does it differ? A bubbler is more compact in design where you can think of it as a small portable bong. They are lightweight, easier to transport, and more discreet. They are more ideal for taking in the car, to a friend’s house, or to a concert. You can also buy mini-sized bubblers.

This also makes bubblers easier to conceal or hide. They are simple to smoke using only one hand and comfortable to hold. Bubblers will most likely use significantly less water than bongs.

Bubblers are most often crafted by two or more pieces. They often feature a downstem that is fixed, or welded, in place. The pushed bowl also does not get removed in most bubbler models. Bubblers can vary more in their style, with different designs for mouthpieces. Also, not all bubblers feature a percolator.

The Smoking Experience

Another difference between a bong and bubbler is the smoking experience each offers. Both use a water chamber to make the smoke smoother on your lungs. This works to cool the smoke down and makes it less harsh. It also helps to filter out toxins .

The water chamber also allows you to take a bigger hit. The smoke may also taste better, and you’ll be less likely to cough. A bong uses much more water and features a larger chamber. They often have percolators for a smoother hit. You can also add ice to your bong for an even cooler smoking sensation. This lets you get a bigger hit with a more intense high.

Bong bowls also tend to be larger in size. This makes them easy to pass around among a group of friends. You can also customize bongs with different attachments, like nails, downstems, and bowls.

A bubbler still works to help cool down the smoke and makes for a nice smooth hit, especially if the neck is longer than the chamber that holds the water. Bubblers are also great for beginner smokers with lower tolerance levels. For more experienced smokers, check out this guide for more ways to enhance your high .

The Cost and Maintenance

Deciding between a bong or bubbler also comes down to cost and cleaning techniques. Bongs tend to cost more as they are larger and feature more intricate designs.

With a bong, it’s also easier to replace a broken bowl or downstem. Yet, both options are great investments that should last you a long time. It’s important to follow a regular routine for cleaning your bong or bubbler. Do this by replacing dirty water and removing debris and resin. Brown colored water or an unpleasant smell are signs its time for a cleaning.

It’s often easier to clean bongs than bubblers. You can take the pieces apart for a more thorough cleaning. Bubblers need to get cleaned more often as they are smaller and get dirty quicker. They also feature a smaller chamber that can let debris build up. You are also not able to take them apart, like bongs.

First, clean your bubbler or bong parts with hot filtered water. Then go back with a little bit of salt and rubbing alcohol. This solution can get shaken inside your piece then rinsed out. A pipe cleaner or q-tip can also be helpful for harder to reach places.

The Final Decision: Bubbler vs Bong?

Deciding between a bubbler vs bong comes down to a few main points. It’s helpful to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you prefer a stationary or more mobile smoking device?
  • Do you want to make a more custom smoking experience with different add ons?
  • Do you plan to smoke solo or have bigger group sessions?
  • Do you prefer to add ice to cool down your smoke?
  • Do you want a smoking device that is easier to clean and maintain?

So, what’s the final verdict? Well, we recommend getting one of each so you can have the best of both worlds. This way you have a well-suited device for any smoking needs you may have.

Browse our collection of bongs and bubblers to find a piece that fits your lifestyle.

Between Joints, Blunts, Vaporizers, and Hand pipes there are so many wonderful ways to enjoy your strain of choice. Today, smoking still remains the most popular way for people to consume cannabis. Water pipes offer an alternative smoking device that provides a different experience. Bongs and bubblers feature a way to