Are you buying your first hookah, or on a lookout to upgrade what you have? Here are our tips for how to buy a good hookah to make the choice easy for you.
There are two types of hookahs that you will get: traditional and modern.
A traditional hookah is often larger in size. It’s made from heavy materials which are a combination of stainless steel, copper, and brass. Mostly, brass is used on critical points such as the hose port and check valves. If you look closely on the hookah, you’ll also notice that they carry obvious weld points. Some are put-off with this because it mars the smooth appearance of the hookah. However, traditionalists prefer seeing these weld points because it shows that the hookah is lovingly handmade. Also, traditional hookahs often come with a clay bowl, which gives better heat conduction and distribution for better flavor.
A modern hookah is often made with light-weight material. There are no visible weld lines, and all components are threaded for air-tight connection. It’s mostly chromium-plated, giving it a smooth, polished finished. It’s got several improvements in the design such as the check valve system that has a ball inside. The valve allows you to use multiple hoses without having to bother plugging them. Unlike the traditional hookah, you get a bowl made of ceramic. The material, although nice to look at, is unstable when it comes to heat retention. You have to regularly rearrange the coals to prevent burning.
Size matters when you’re choosing a hookah. Others say that size doesn’t make any difference, but some gravitate to certain hookah sizes based on how easy it is to use as well as flavor. In general, 28-32 inches is a good rage and mostly preferred by experienced hookah smokers. You may want to try out the Khalil Mamoon Signature Ice which stands 30 inches tall and has an ice chamber for cool hits. This size range is best for portability, function, and maintenance.
Of course, big-sized hookahs are good for large rooms, or outdoor smoking, or if you’re sharing a hookah over a dinner table. You can set your hookah on the floor on top of a hookah stand, and you can comfortably use it without using up precious table space.
Do you like to travel, or only wish to have short sessions with your hookah? We highly recommend small ones like the MYA Mini Chikita. Compared to a tall hookah, a small one is easier to carry around in case you want a change of scenery. It’s also a cinch to store, and you don’t have to worry about freeing up too much space when you’re not using it.
What about smoke then? A big hookah can naturally hold in more smoke because of the large chamber and stem. They are great for cloud chasers and for those who want to do some hookah smoke tricks. A small hookah will have a limited capacity, but other brands solve this by widening the vase.
You need to consider the material of two parts of your hookah: the shaft and the base.
The stem is what connects the hookah bowl and the base together. It’s also the best aesthetics of your hookah. We’ve covered some of the materials used in creating a hookah on the earlier section of the post. Depending on whether you’re getting a traditional hookah or a modern hookah, your stem will come in different materials.
Stainless steel is best because it does not corrode and requires minimal care. It’s comparatively lighter compared to brass, which is good for those who have a hard time lifting heavy items. The problem with getting stainless steel hookahs is that the quality of metal. Some manufacturers use poor grade stainless steel and make the hookah look expensive through electroplating with nickel.
Hookah connoisseurs prefer brass material above others. It lasts longer, and a lot more durable compared to other metals. Brass also does not absorb in any smell that will alter the taste and experience of your hookah. It can and will make your hookah heavier, but the added weight provides better stability for your hookah. The heavier your hookah, the harder it is to tip over, especially when it comes to tall hookahs. Some turn away from brass because it’s expensive and requires a bit of upkeep. You need to polish the material now and then to keep your hookah sparkling.
The base or vase of your hookah can be made with either glass or acrylic. Glass is better in terms of flavor and temperature. It’s easier to clean and stays clear longer. However, it can easily break, so you have to make sure that you get a thick-glass vase as much as possible.
An acrylic vase has more durability over the glass. You don’t have to worry about tipping the hookah over or bumping it against a surface. On the other hand, depending on the type of acrylic used, you may get a bit of plastic taste with each hit. Also, it holds in heat the longer you use the hookah, which makes the smoke harsh and irritating for some.
Some hookahs have single or multiple hoses attached to them. Single hose hookahs are good for those who prefer solitary sessions. It’s also best for those who prefer the intimacy of sharing a hose with a friend or partner. Multiple hoses are great if you want to share with many shisha smokers and also keep things sanitary. However, drawing from a multi-hosed hookah can be a problem due to air regulation. The lack of pressure can also dull the smoke flavor.
Some traditional hookahs require a hose plug to keep the smoke inside the chamber. Modern hookahs do away with the hassle of plugging by adding rubber stoppers that can help you choose the number of hoses that can draw from the hookah.
For beginners, we highly recommend getting a single-hose hookah. It’s easier to use and maintain, plus the concept of smoking a hookah is less complicated.
Of course, you do have to consider your budget. There are affordable hookahs such as the OMNIS Mini Hookah, which we offer for $12.34. It’s got a large, stable base for good water and smoke volume and a classy stainless steel stem. It’s a great entry-level hookah for those who want to try out a hookah, or for those who want to have a temporary replacement while waiting for the best hookah to arrive. If you want something that has more substance and function, go for the Sahara Genie Mirror Hookah. At 15” tall, it’s got a sturdy, high-quality glass vase with a stunning mirror finish. But if you really want something that is worth every penny and you have enough to indulge a little, get the Khalil Mamoon Dana Red. It’s forged in stainless steel and stands an impressive 33 inches. It smokes as ferociously as it looks and built to last for years.
Now that you know how to buy a hookah, we highly encourage you to list down what you want to get from your piece. Smoking a hookah is a traditional and personal experience that reflects culture and history. And because we only want to give you the best experience, we’ve carefully selected only the finest hookahs for you. Check out our hookah collection and see which one is best suited for your smoking needs.
Have any questions about buying a hookah in Big Daddy Smoke? Please don’t hesitate to ask us in the comment section below!