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You First Bong: Picking the Best Beginner Bong

by Angel Ferrer 7 min read

You First Bong: Picking the Best Beginner Bong

Buying your first bong can be daunting with so many options available in 2024. It's tricky to know what you need from all the different types of bongs, filtration, and cooling features. This guide clears the air by recommending the best beginner bongs that fit your personal smoking preferences.

Whether you’re after a basic and affordable starter bong, one that offers smooth hits to minimize coughing, something easy to clean, or a water pipe designed for powerful hits, you’ll find the perfect intro bong that we know you’ll love. Let’s get started!

Short Answer:


What makes a good bong in the first place?

what makes a good bong


A good bong excels in filtration and cooling. It uses water and percolators to filter out ash, tar, and resin, delivering cleaner hits so the stronger your percolator the smoother and cleaner the smoke. Quality of glass, height, and cooling features also improve the overall experience.

Pro-tip: What increases the price of a bongare features that enhance the filtration and cooling of the smoke. Below are three components that affect both filtration and cooling that can raise the price. Filtration, is the highlight feature of the bong that makes it a healthier alternative to paper and dry pipes so by increasing the three features below you maximize your bong’s efficiency.

  • Height: Taller bongs force the hot smoke to travel further which helps give it more time to cool down for smoother hits.
  • Filtration: The filtration is done through the percolator in the bong's water chamber, so the better the perc the cleaner and smoother the smoke.
  • Cooling: Bongs may include cooling features like ice pinches and glycerin coils. This prevents coughing.

Learning how to choose a bong is only tricky because of all the endless options, add-ons, and the slight learning curve of understanding all the different bong parts. We’ll keep it super simple and help you find the best starter bong by grouping the best picks into 6 categories below:


Best bong for absolute beginners

best bong for beginners


The best starter bong for beginners is the beaker bong. Its wide, heavy base offers stability and allows more water for enhanced filtration and cooling. Beaker bongs are also affordable and can have upgraded percolators for smoother hits.

Pro-tip: Most beaker bongs come with a stock diffuser downstem which is known to deliver harsher hits. To get all the benefits of a beaker bong while upgrading the cooling system try a Showerhead Beaker bong. This setup is a great starting point for any bong-curious shopper.

Check out our inventory of the best bongs of 2024, engineered by our in-house team!


Smoothest bongs for less coughing

For ultra-smooth hits, especially if you prefer water pipes over joints or dry pipes harsh, you can try Ice Bongs, Glycerin Bongs, and Recyclers. These bongs use enhanced cooling methods to deliver ultra-gentle bong rips that reduce coughing.


Smoothest hitting from easiest to advanced:

smoothest bongs


Ice bongs are the easiest and most affordable way to cool down smoke. It’s essentially a beaker bong with three notches in the neck called an “ice pinch”. You can place ice cubes in the neck and when hot smoke glides across the ice it cools it down significantly providing a smoother smoke.

Glycerin bongs force hot smoke to travel through a winding coil surrounded by frozen glycerin. This drops the temperature of the smoke by 300 degrees and eliminates coughing. The only downside is you have to remove the glycerin chamber and refreeze it after every use, which is much safer than freezing your entire bong.

Recycler bongs have a protruding arm that recirculates the smoke in an infinite loop instead of directly delivering the smoke to your lungs. Most commonly used with dabs, you can refilter and recool the smoke, for a much gentler smoking experience on the lungs. While this is a great option for cooling it does require a slight learning curve on the inhale.


Strongest hitting bong for newbies

Some bong users know exactly what they want: bigger and stronger hits. Maybe blunts and pipes are just not cutting it anymore. If you find your tolerance rising and you are looking for the best hitting bongs then we recommend larger bongs, specifically straight tube and gravity bongs.

Strongest ripping bongs from easiest to advanced:

best hitting bong

Large bongs have increased water chamber, height, and usually feature enhanced percolation. So in this case bong size matters. These XL bongs can allow you to take massive bong rips because their size can accommodate an increased smoke capacity. This allows you to take huge or moderate bong rips whenever you want.

Straight-tube bongs, specifically over 10” have a reduced water chamber which doesn’t allow any smoke to linger in the corners of the water chamber. These bongs are known for providing a powerful and concentrated burst of smoke.

Gravity Bongs provide the strongest bong rips possible. They use water pressure to fill the bong’s chamber with smoke and have zero slip smoke loss. Gravity bongs have a slight learning curve and are not recommended for beginners unless you are looking for a very strong high specifically.


Accident-friendly bongs that won’t break

Face it, bongs can sometimes have awkward and delicate shapes that can easily break from the smallest taps against a hard object. If you are accident-prone and don’t want to have to buy a new bong every year, then the best accident-free options are a steel bong and a silicone bong. Both of these water pipes can last you years and may be the first and last bong you ever buy.


Unbreakable bongs from easiest to advanced:

bongs that dont break


Silicone bongs are made from rubber and are completely safe to smoke from. They usually lack premium filtration so bong rips can be relatively harsh but they are very easy to use, clean, and are nearly indestructible. Best of all silicone bongs are one of the most affordable bongs on the market, and many companies give a lifetime warranty.

Steel bongs are relatively new to the market. They are much heavier than silicone bongs but have much more cooling features and will never break. Some steel bongs are insulated and you can place ice in the water chamber which results in a super smooth bong rip.


Best travel bong for beginners

beginner travel bongs


Bongs in general were designed to be used at home. The tall and awkward shape don’t make them ideal for traveling. If you want a travel bong that you can take hiking, camping, and fishing then a silicone bong is perfect.

For silicone bongs, you can dump the water out and place the glass bowl inside of the bong and easily put the bong in your backpack. Because the bong is made from rubber it will not break or weigh your load down.


Easiest to clean water bongs

One of the biggest downsides of bongs is cleaning them. Some bongs have very intricate designs with deep nooks and dozens of tiny holes and they can easily get clogged with resin and tar. While cleaning your bong requires a bit of know-how, you can always choose easy-to-clean water pipes like straight tube bongs and modular bongs.


easy to clean bongs

Straight tube bongs have a very small and open water chamber which makes it incredibly easy to clean and detail when compared to bongs that have elongated water chambers like beakers and bubble bongs.

Modular bongs allow you to unplug, unscrew, or unattached pieces of the bong. You can remove the neck of the bong completely from the water chamber which allows for incredibly easy cleaning. Besides the utility function of detachable pisces a modular bong is very easy to use just like any other standard bong.

Pro-tip: Keeping your bong water clean improves flavors and prevents mold and bacteria growth. Check out this simple hack on how to keep your bong clean longer so you get the tastiest rips every time.


1. What to look for when buying a bong?

When buying a bong, prioritize filtration, cooling power, durability, and height. Shorter bongs give harsher hits, while percolators filter and cool smoke. Choose bongs made from sturdy materials like borosilicate glass for the best experience.

2. What are the parts of a bong called?

A bong consists of several parts: the bowl, where cannabis is placed; the joint, which holds the bowl and connects it to the downstem; the downstem, where the smoke travels into the water chamber for filtration and cooling; the neck, where smoke rises; and the mouthpiece, where it’s inhaled.

3. What is the best bong?

The best bong is made from high-quality materials like borosilicate glass, steel, or platinum silicone. It should have powerful filtration and cooling features such as a percolator, glycerin coil, or ice pinch. For the best experience, bongs with multi-chamber percs deliver smooth yet powerful rips.

4. Does bong size matter?

Yes, bong size does matter. The taller the bong, the more distance hot smoke has to travel and cool down before reaching your lungs, resulting in smoother hits. Taller bongs also have larger water chambers and more smoke volume capacity for bigger hits. Shorter bongs deliver smaller, harsher rips.

5. How much is a good bong?

A good bong can cost between $75 and $120, and feature a showerhead perc and ice pinch, made from high-quality borosilicate glass. Bongs over $120 are larger with advanced cooling features. Cheaper bongs, with basic filtration like a diffuser downstem, deliver harsher hits.

6. What do you need for a bong?

When buying a bong you will have everything you need for the bong to function such as the bowl, joint, downstem, and the bong. The only additional items you need to use a bong are a lighter or hemp wick and cannabis which is broken down by a weed grinder.

7. What type of bong hits the hardest?

The bongs that hit the hardest are large bongs because of their increased smoke volume capacity for larger hits and larger bowls. Straight tube bongs and gravity bongs are also fast and strong hitting with Gravity bongs being the strongest of them all.


Final Thoughts

Choosing the best beginner bong involves balancing your need for filtration, cooling, and durability. Taller bongs deliver smoother hits while smaller bongs can be a bit harsh for first-timers. A classic beaker bong with an upgraded percolator like a showerhead perc is perfect if it’s your first bong. If you want to increase smoothness for gentler bong rips then upgrade the cooling features or go for glycerin bongs or recyclers because they deliver the smoothest bong rips.