A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Bong

Gleeb glass beaker bong

Though there are tons of different smoke tools you can use to enjoy your herb, there’s nothing that’s quite like a bong. You’ve heard that they’re a smoker’s best friend, maybe you’ve even heard about the smooth hits and water filtration—but how do you find your perfect bong like a certain princess found her glass slipper? Buying a bong can be intimidating, even for seasoned smokers. That’s why we’ve created this easy-to-understand bong-buying guide for beginners.

Size Matters

If you’ve taken a look at some of the bongs that are available today, you’ve probably realized that bongs come in a lot of sizes, ranging from micro to huge. Does size matter? When it comes to buying a bong, it sure does! While it may be tempting to go big, you may want to think about your smoking preferences and your lifestyle. Large bongs are usually for more experienced smokers and could be difficult for beginners to handle. Mini bongs are good for beginners because they require less smoke to inhale than a big bong; they’re also portable. 

Average-sized bongs are great for everyday use, whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a beginner. They are the most common size—the Goldilocks of bongs—providing an easy-to-use, easy-to-handle, and easy-to-clean option.

Choosing the Right Material

Bongs today come in various materials, like glass, silicone, ceramic, and acrylic. How do you know which to choose? Our bong-buying guide will break it down for you. 


The least expensive option when buying a bong is usually acrylic. Though they come in plenty of fun colors and designs, you get what you pay for with these bongs. Since they’re made of hard plastic, they have a seriously harmful impact on your smoke experience and smoke quality.


These bongs have become more popular over the years because of their durability, lower price points, and cool designs. Soft and malleable, silicone is easy to clean, since it’s dishwasher safe, and is great for transporting. However, due to less airflow, you may not get as smooth or pure of a hit.


If you’re looking for a better smoke experience, ceramic bongs are a great option. Used for over 100 years, these bongs can feature creative designs, are less prone to fractures, maintain temperature without overheating, and provide smooth hits. The downside? They’re heavy, making them a bong that’s strictly for at-home use only.


There are numerous materials available when buying a bong, but the most popular material is classic glass. Extremely versatile, glass bongs for sale can be found in many designs and sizes and give the option for add-ons like percolators and ash catchers. Perhaps the best reason to choose a glass bong as your first bong is that they provide the cleanest, smoothest hits, as glass doesn’t interfere with your smoke.

Which Design is Best for Beginners?

Gleeb glass gravity bong

As if the amount of sizes and materials weren’t daunting enough, you also have to think about design when buying a bong! Some of the most common and popular you’ll see are the straight tube bong, percolator bong (or bubbler), multi-chamber bong, glass gravity bong, and of course, the glass beaker bong. While intricately designed bongs with unusual shapes are truly a sight to behold, they’re not recommended for beginners. Our bong-buying guide recommends that beginners should choose a simple design like the straight tube or beaker bong, since they’re much easier to use, have a stable base, and are simpler to clean.

Male or Female

When buying a bong or smoke accessories, you may have come across bongs or glass bowl pieces described as being male or female. What’s the difference? Males have a tapering tube that extends from the bong stem. Put simply, if you put the bowl onto the joint—the hole at the base which holds the downstem—it’s male. If the bowl fits into the joint, it’s female. Just keep in mind that male accessories go with the female bongs, and vice versa. 

Is one better than the other? There’s no real difference in the functionality of the two, so don’t let the terms intimidate you when you’re buying a bong.


person holding hemp wick roll

Our bong buying guide has already given you things to look out for with the bong itself, but we also need to mention customizations. One of the most popular is an ice catcher. This accessory helps your bong cool the smoke before hitting your lungs, which can make for a stellar smoke experience. Other favorites include a percolator to diffuse the smoke into the water and back up, and hemp wick rolls or lighters, which prevent you from inhaling harmful butane and give a cleaner smoke experience. Though accessories aren’t necessary, they help provide a personalized experience.

Your First Bong

There’s no right or wrong option when buying a bong. Don’t overthink it! Use our bong buying guide and keep in mind that you should choose what’s best for your personal preferences and circumstances. You can also check out more of our bong tips and why we recommend a glass gravity bong on our blog!


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