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A Visual Guide to Bong Sizes: Yes Size Matters!

by Angel Ferrer 8 min read

a visual guide to bong heights

When it comes to bongs, size isn’t just for show - it’s about tailoring your smoking experience. Whether you prefer the portability of small bongs or the smooth, powerful hits of larger ones, the height of your water pipe significantly impacts performance, filtration, price, and the smoothness of your bong rips.

In this guide, we’ll explore the various bong sizes, weigh the pros and cons of each, and compare different bong heights to everyday household items for a clear visual reference. Let’s dive in!

Short Answer:

  • Bong size impacts filtration, flavor, bong rip size, and how smooth the smoke is.
  • Taller bongs deliver smoother, cleaner, and tastier rips but are more expensive.
  • Smaller bongs deliver harsher hits but are affordable and portable
  • Medium bongs have a balance of both small and large

Does bong size matter?

Yes, bong size matters! Smaller bongs (under 6 inches) are affordable but deliver harsher hits due to less filtration. Medium bongs (7-10 inches) balance portability and performance. Larger bongs (over 11 inches) deliver the smoothest and largest hits with superior filtration and cooling.

Keep in mind that as the height of the bong increases, so does its cost. Below we’ll explore how different bong sizes impact three key components of your smoking experience: how the smoke is, how filtered the smoke is, and how large of a hit you will get.


1. How height impacts hot smoke


taller bongs and cooler smoke


The height of a bong specifically affects how harsh or hot the smoke will be before inhaling. Bigger bongs have more distance for the hot smoke to travel, which gives smoke more time to cool down before it reaches your lungs. This results in a much smoother and cooler hit.

Smaller bongs are sometimes half or a third of the height of a taller bong, which offers very little travel distance for smoke to cool, which means hotter and harsher hits. The hotter the smoke, the more likely you are to cough. This basic principle of thermodynamics - heat dissipation over distance - is the reason why taller bongs are synonymous with smoother and cooler hits.

Summary: The taller the bong, the more distance hot smoke has to travel which results in a smoother hit. Smaller bongs offer less distance so the smoke is still hot when you inhale which can cause irritation or coughing.


2. Water chamber size and filtration


bong size and filtration


Bongs are one of the most popular types of water pipe because they use a larger volume of water and powerful percolators to filter (clean) and diffuse (cool) smoke. The water acts as a barrier, catching ash, plant particles, and some tar, resin, and water solubles, for a much cleaner experience. The filtration process also simultaneously cools hot smoke through the percolator, helping to tone down the harshness of hot smoke.

The efficiency of filtration can also be impacted depending on the size of your bong. Smaller bongs have less room for filtration because of their smaller water chambers, which can result in denser and harsher smoke. Larger bongs have more water volume capacity and usually have larger and more advanced percolators, which maximizes the filtration stage. This means fewer impurities and a cleaner, tastier, and smoother hit.

Summary: Larger bongs filter smoke better because of their larger bong water capacity and upgraded percs for a smoother bong rip. Smaller bongs have less room for filtration, water, and smaller percs which usually deliver denser and harsher hits.


3. How big of a hit do you want?


larger bongs are stronger


Knowing your preferred inhale capacity is important in determining what bong size is best for you. Larger bongs have much greater smoke volume capacity and require deeper, longer inhalations, which can be challenging for some people but allow for much larger bong rips. Deeper inhales force the diaphragm to open which increases absorption, so if you want a bong that hits the hardest, aim for a larger size.

Smaller bongs typically don’t require as deep of an inhale as larger ones. This is great for smaller and more direct bong rips, which are much easier to do than taking a very large bong rip. While you can still take smaller rips with a larger bong, you can’t achieve the larger pulls you get with a smaller bong.

Summary: Larger bongs are stronger and let you take much bigger bong rips which require a deeper inhale, that opens your diaphragm for a stronger hit, whereas smaller bongs provide a smaller more focused, and easy-to-handle rip.


Visual bong size comparison


bong size comparison


Seeing is believing, especially when it comes to bong sizes!

In this section, we’ll show you side-by-side images of small, medium, and tall bongs, so you can see the differences. This visual comparison will help you decide which bong suits your lifestyle and home space the best.


6 inch bong size comparison


6 inch bong size comparison


A 6-inch bong is about as tall as your standard water bottle, making it super easy to handle and stash away. Even though it’s compact, it still packs a punch with potent hits, though they might be a tad harsher because of the limited filtration. A 6 inch bong is getting closer to the size of a water bubbler, so you may want to see whether you want a bubbler or a bong.

A 6-inch bong is as tall as some everyday items you might have around the house:

  • Larger smartphone models
  • A ballpoint pen
  • A dollar bill
  • A book
  • A remote control


10 inch bong size comparison


10 inch bong size comparison


A 10-inch bong is about the height of a standard sheet of paper standing upright, making it a versatile yet manageable size for most. It hits a great balance between portability and performance, delivering smoother hits than smaller bongs thanks to better filtration. The size is perfect for both solo sessions and small gatherings, fitting comfortably on a coffee table or desk.

A 10-inch bong is as tall as some common household items lying around your house:

  • A tablet like an iPad
  • A bread knife
  • 2 Soda cans
  • Electric toothbrush


12 inch bong size comparison

12 inch bong size comparison

A 12-inch bong stands as tall as a standard ruler, offering a solid presence that requires a dedicated space. This size allows for excellent filtration and cooling, resulting in smoother hits compared to smaller bongs. It’s versatile enough for both personal use and sharing with friends.

A 12-inch bong is as some popular items you might recognize:

  • Footlong sub sandwich
  • A vinyl Record Sleeve
  • Two-liter soda bottle
  • A spatula


Is a bigger bong better or smaller?

While bigger bongs offer better filtration, smoother hits, and larger rips, they aren’t always better for everyone. Smaller bongs deliver harsher hits but are more portable, affordable, and save space, making them a great choice for many people. Ultimately, the best bong size depends on your preferences and lifestyle.


Should I get a small, average, or tall bong?

Choosing the right bong size depends on your budget and if you are ok with harsher smoke. Some people prefer the hot, dense, and less filtered smoke. If you can handle a hotter bong rip without coughing then a small bong is perfect for you.

The bigger the bong size the smoother the hits will be, but keep in mind as the size increases so does the potential for much larger volume bong rips. The larger the hit the harsher it will be, so if you are looking to take very large bong rips then you want to aim for a larger bong with a good cooling and filtration system to offset those harsher hits.

Below we’ll take a look at each of the sizes and all of the pros and cons of a small, average, and tall bong:


1. Small Bongs: The Compact Companions

Pros: Small bongs, typically under 6 inches, have several advantages over larger bongs. Mini bongs are much more discreet, portable, and far easier to handle when smoking, making them perfect for quick, solo sessions. Bong rips from a smaller bong are much easier as far as inhaling, and the compact size is great for saving space or being able to easily hide your bong. The cherry on top is smaller bongs are just far more affordable than larger ones.

Cons: The smaller size does have its downsides. With less water and smaller percs, the filtration power is far less compared to larger bongs which makes the bong rips much harsher and hotter. Also, because the water chamber is much smaller, microbongs tend to get dirty faster. Dirty bong water can taint the flavor of your strain and also make bong cleaning and water changes far more frequent.


2. Medium Bongs: The Best of Both Worlds

Pros: Average bongs, ranging from 7-10 inches offer a wonderful balance between the benefits of both small and large bongs. They have better filtration and cooler smoke than small bongs without sacrificing too much on portability and bulkiness. Medium-sized bongs are also very easy to move around the house, and share with friends, and often have stronger percolation and cooling systems to help deliver a fairly smooth bong rip.

Cons: Medium-sized bongs do have some drawbacks. They tend to be more expensive than smaller bongs are are less discreet as far as storing or hiding. Average bongs don’t have as much water capacity as XL bongs, so the hits can still be relatively harsh, but they are definitely much smoother than bongs rip from a smaller pipe. Despite these cons, their balance makes them a great option for a beginner bong.


3. Large Bongs: The Ultimate Experience

Pros: Standing at 11 inches or taller, large bongs are designed for those who want a powerful bong rip that’s both smooth and flavorful. The increased height, water chamber, and percolator offer advanced filtration which significantly cools the smoke before inhaling. Taller bongs also usually feature multiple percs or advanced percs such as a UFO or matrix perc, which are some of the most powerful water diffusers a bong can have. This allows you to take back-to-back bong rips in social settings without the bong heating up significantly.

Cons: Taller bongs are great but they do have a few pain points. First, bigger bongs are much heavier and bulky, which makes them need a dedicated and open space in your home. Larger bongs require far more material to manufacture making them much more expensive than both small and medium-sized bongs. They also take much more time and effort to clean, using more cleaning formula.


So what is the best bong size?

Finding the best bong size comes down to your personal preferences and lifestyle. If you’re all about portability and quick, discreet sessions, a small bong 6 inches or under might be just what you need. These little guys are easy to tuck away and perfect for solo sessions.

For those who want a bit of both worlds, medium bongs ranging from 7 to 11 inches are a versatile choice. They offer smoother hits than smaller bongs while still being manageable and convenient.

If you crave smooth, cool hits and don’t mind something a bit bulkier, a tall bong over 11 inches will give you an unmatched smoking experience. These bongs are top-notch for water filtration and cooling, making them perfect for sharing or larger bong rips.



1. What is a small bong called?

A small bong is often called a "mini bong" or "micro bong." These compact bongs, typically under 7 inches tall, are designed for portability and ease of use. Despite their size, mini bongs deliver powerful hits, making them ideal for quick, discreet smoking sessions.

2. What size bong should I get?

The ideal bong size depends on your needs. For portability and quick sessions, choose a small bong (under 6 inches). For a balance of filtration and smoother hits, go for a medium bong (7-11 inches). If you prioritize smoothness and larger hits, a tall bong (over 11 inches) is the best pick.

3. What is the fill height of a bong

The fill height of a bong varies by design but typically, you should fill it so the downstem is submerged about 1-2 inches in water. This ensures optimal filtration and cooling of the smoke. Avoid overfilling, which can lead to water splashing into your mouth during use.