Bongs have been around for thousands of years and have been used by everyone from the monarchies across the globe in ancient times to the young people of today.
Bongs, including ice bongs, dab rigs and shisha pipes are a vase-like form of water pipes from which the herb of your choice is inserted into the bowl, lit and then a hit of smoke is inhaled via the mouthpiece. The aim of a bong is for the water to cool the smoke as it passes from the pipe, through the water and into the chamber where the smoke collects into a dense cloud.
There are many types of bong available, but the most common types are glass and acrylic bongs. In this article we aim to explain to you what the pro's and con's of glass and acrylic bongs are.
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A glass bong is a vase-like water pipe (made of glass), they can take many forms and this means they can vary hugely in appearance, size, usage and effects.
Bongs made of glass are often beautifully crafted artisan products. Not only are they wonderful shelf ornaments but providing they work well they can be extremely enjoyable smoking accessories. It is highly recommended to buy a well made bong from a reputable retailer in order to have the best experience.
Bongs come in many shapes, sizes and colours meaning that there is a product out there to suit everyone from collectors and expert smokers right through to beginners and part time smokers. They can often come with other features like ice catchers and percolators, to give you great rips time after time.
Pros of a glass bong
Glass bongs are a firm favourite for the committed and well seasoned smokers and for good reason too. They can be beautiful collectors pieces and look great on the mantelpiece or shelf at home.
A good glass bong can cost anywhere from £15 all the way up to hundreds of pounds depending on the size, maker and quality as well as aesthetic and shape.
Check out our huge range of quality glass bongs on our website, we stock all of the things you could possibly need like; Bongs, gauze, bong cleaner, pipes and bowls.
Glass has a cooling effect
One of the top benefits of a glass bong is that the glass generally remains cool, less heat = smoother smoke. A bong is designed to cool the smoke by filtering it through the water, this helps to make the smoke smoother in turn.
Using a glass bong means you can take big hits more often without the water and smoke heating up too quickly.
Bongs made of glass that have an ice holding section (where you can place ice cubes in order to cool the smoke even more) prove to be superior to acrylic or plastic bongs. Making the smoke cool can help you to take bigger hits without feeling such harshness from the smoke.
It is easy to clean
Glass doesn't stain as easily as plastic, polycarbonate or acrylic bongs. There are plenty of affordable cleaning products that are specific for cleaning glass bongs and a regular routine ensures your favourite bong remains shiny and beautiful.
Keeping your bongs clean is important for maintaining a good flavour and also for hygiene reasons. Cleaning your bong should be a regular occurrence if you use it often or choose to share it with friends.
Glass art and collectors pieces
Not only are glass bongs functional smoking accessories they make for great display pieces and collectable items. Here are a few of our favourite high-quality and beautifully designed bongs that are affordable on a budget.
This exclusively shaped bong is reminiscent of an old school gin bottle with some beautifully coloured glass at the head and the foot.
This is a wonderful mantlepiece number with a 14mm female fitting so that you can choose the bowl of your choice (bowl not supplied).
Standing 40cm high, this beautiful piece is made of extra durable 5mm thick scientific glass. It has a deep blue triple-trim and percolating layers to diffuse the smoke for a smooth hit.
Still not impressed? This masterpiece costs only £45.99, down from over £60, grab a beautiful bargain today!
Cons of a glass bong
We have had to dig pretty hard here to come up with a couple of cons of glass bongs. Let us take a look at the couple of drawbacks.
Glass can break
This came to us as the most obvious drawback of a bong made of glass. Unlike acrylic, glass is more prone to breaking if it is mistreated or accidentally knocked over.
Now, accidents do happen but we haven't figured out why anyone would mistreat their bong!? Although many companies producing high-quality bongs use sturdy scientific glass, glass bongs just don't do well when stuffed in a festival backpack or dropped from a table or a wobbly hand.
Our conclusion on this is that glass bongs are beautiful and very enjoyable so they are best left at home somewhere safe - don't go taking your best glass bong to that party or on a long journey.
Enjoy your glass bong in the comfort of your home and return it to its safe display place intact.
They are heavier and less portable than acrylic or silicone bongs
As we mentioned before, glass just doesn't travel well. The weight, size and shape of a glass bong is not conducive to an anxiety free journey, furthermore the added weight is just unnecessary when other options are available.
Save yourself the stress and extra energy and find yourself a lightweight acrylic or silicone bong for moving around with.
Acrylic bongs come in many of the same designs in which you find glass bongs, the main point of difference is the material of which they are made. Acrylic is easily shaped and many ingenious designs can be achieved including things like alien heads, hands, gas masks etc.
Acrylic bongs are popular with many smokers or collectors and they can be found in many different colours and sizes.
Let us take a look at some of the pro's of acrylic bongs.
Pros of an acrylic bong
There are many pro's to acrylic bongs and it's easy to see why these are first choice for many smokers and collectors. Acrylic is a very diverse material and makes for many cutting edge bong designs and they can be easily mass produced for the large consumer market.
Acrylic is strong and durable
Unlike its rival counterpart, glass, acrylic is much more likely to be able to withstand a drop, bash or a journey in a backpack or travel-case. Although it is still possible to break an acrylic bong you are much less likely to arrive at your destination and find it in bits. If you plan on using your bong a lot and taking it with you on your travels then acrylic is one of the best materials for you.
It is lightweight
Acrylic is far lighter than glass and as we mentioned before much more durable under stressful conditions making it the obvious choice for your festival backpack or that long journey in the car or on the train.
Colourful and affordable
One of the many benefits of buying an acrylic bong is that it can be much cheaper than buying a glass bong as they are much more easily produced. For very little money you can get a bong in pretty much any colour you like and any size because of the ease of production.
This doesn't mean that any old acrylic bong will be great. Remember that buying from a trusted retailer means you get a quality product at great value and choosing a product by a well known brand is recommended if you want to get the most out of your bong.
Here are a couple of our favourite acrylic bongs.
This large acrylic bong is extra durable, comes with twin colours and an ice twist. The ice twist enables you to drop a few cubes of ice into the chamber to help cool the smoke even more giving you smooth hits. Available in three different colours this acrylic bong is an absolute bargain that will last for a long time.
Who wouldn't want one of these little gems. Small and sturdy, these great bongs are perfect travel companions as well as cute little shelf pieces. You can rely on this little gem for your every day session or your festival trip. They come with a bargain price tag too!
Cons of an acrylic bong
Much like bongs made of glass there are a couple of drawbacks but nothing that is going to put you off of acrylic bongs. Let us take a look at some of these drawbacks
Not as cool as glass
Acrylic is more likely to warm up quicker and doesn't provide the same cooling effect that a glass bong does. That said, it is much easier for manufacturers to add an ice twist into the bong to help cool the smoke whereas this might cost a fair bit more in glass.
Less ornamental than glass
Although some acrylic bongs have great and cool designs they just don't have the same head-turning effect as a artisan glass bong. If you are looking for show-stopping display pieces then glass it the way to go.
Many people have the same one
Acrylic bongs are much more easily mass produced so if you are looking for a unique bong and one that your friends don't have then you are safer ordering a glass bong from our online store than picking up a common acrylic bong from your local head shop.
Other bongs to consider
There are of course no limits to what can be used to make a bong, before now we have seen pieces of fruit and stolen science lab parts constructed into elaborate smoking devices but these items don't always stand the test of time.
Our website has plenty of types of bongs to choose from, be sure to have a browse so that you can choose for yourself
There are alternatives to glass and acrylic bongs that also have their pro's and con's so let us briefly cover these.
Ceramic bongs have much the same qualities as glass, it stays nice and cool and provides a smooth hit but is easily broken if dropped or knocked. Ceramic bongs come in many designs and again are often made by artisan makers meaning they can carry a heavier price tag than cheaper acrylic bongs.
Silicone is a good material for bongs as it is squidgy and nearly indestructible so long as it doesn't perish. Silicone comes in great colours and designs and is easily transportable. Many people opt for silicone as travel bongs and ones for festivals and parties as you can relax and let it be passed around with little concern of it breaking.
What's the best type of bong to choose
The best type of bong for you is dependent on how you wish to use it, your budget and how experienced you are. Choose a bong that matches your smoking abilities and budget so that you can best enjoy your bong. As you begin to use your bong more you will get a better understanding of your own smoking preferences.
If you are just starting out smoking bongs then a complex dab rig or multi chamber beast is probably not the right way to go. Start with smaller bongs and build up your tolerance and lung capacity (that's if you wish to smoke larger hits from larger bongs).
Glass bongs are generally more costly and best kept at home somewhere safe to be enjoyed responsibly where they won't receive too much bashing around. When you invest in a glass bong the maintenance is important (as it is too for acrylic) so be sure to stay on top of the cleaning and look after your prized possession.
If you are going for an acrylic bong then you have the peace of mind about its durability and you will also get a larger choice of bongs for your money.
Shop a wide selection of bongs
At ICE Headshop we sell a large range of high quality bongs and accessories that are available at our online store today. We sell glass, acrylic and silicone bongs to name a few and any other accessories you might need to get you started, add them to your basket today!
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