Best Hookah Bowl: A Comprehensive Buying Guide For 2021
BY ANTON B · UPDATED MAY 11 2021
Want to know what the best hookah bowls are? A quality hookah bowl is one of the key factors in having an enjoyable smoking session. Here at IconHookah.com, we find it essential to know the different types of hookah bowls on the market and how to choose the right one for the session you want to have. The bowl you pick is directly tied to your own personal preferences. How long do you usually smoke? What tobacco brands do you like? Are you using a heat management device? Well, we are here to give you insight into which shisha bowl is best for you.
If you're looking for a better bowl than your starter kit one, then look no further. This definitive guide to the best hookah bowls of 2021 covers all popular categories: from classic Egyptian and Turkish to glazed phunnel bowls. Our list includes the latest, most popular hookah bowls that you can buy.
These are the best bowls as chosen by hookah enthusiasts & the IconHookah.com experts:
- Best Overall Hookah Bowl: Oblako Phunnel M Glaze
- Best Value Hookah Bowl: Fox Barrel
- Best Phunnel Hookah Bowl: Japona Mummy
- Best Modern Hookah Bowl: Conceptic Design 3D-11
- Best Traditional Hookah Bowl: Japona Killer
BEST OVERALL HOOKAH BOWL
Oblako Phunnel M Glaze$19.99 Shop Now
Phunnel M Glaze bowl is glaze topped for durability, allowing the bowl to maintain its pristine qualities and appearance even after long-term use. Its expertly crafted, crater-shaped phunnel hole prevents flavor from falling into the stem. With more than a handful of colors to choose from, we are sure you will find the perfect bowl for your needs!
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Variety of colors
- Compatibility with foil and heat management devices such as the Kaloud Lotus 1+ or Provost 2
- Capacity of around 18 - 23 grams, depending on a packing method
BEST VALUE HOOKAH BOWL
Fox Barrel$22.99 Shop Now
Fox Barrel hookah bowl is made of clay and has thickened walls, a flat bottom, and a large capacity. A similar design can be found in the product lines of several Russian hookah brands such as ST and Solaris - very trendy among Russian smokers!
Fox Barrel is the perfect hookah bowl at an affordable price. Its thick walls contribute to steady heat retention without overheating your flavor to guarantee long smoking sessions without bitterness from tobacco. Fox Barrel offers more than just an artistic addition to any hookah - it ensures stable temperatures for optimal pleasure.
Due to the depth compared to standard clay bowls, you can easily pack the shisha loosely. We recommend using this bowl with Kaloud Lotus or foil if desired. The bowl is suitable for all types of hookah tobacco and ensures a top-notch smoking experience!
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Thick walls for heat retention
- Considerable depth
- Attractive and sturdy design
BEST PHUNNEL HOOKAH BOWL
Japona Mummy$26.99 Shop Now
This bowl is perfect for any heat management device like the Kaloud Lotus due to the lip that emerges from the rim of the bowl. The function of the lip is to keep the heat management device in place. This bowl holds roughly 15 grams of tobacco and is great for one to one and a half hour sessions with both blonde and dark leaf tobaccos. The Mummy bowl is what the Japona brand is known for.
Decorated with an intricately braided cord in various colors and packed in a stylish wooden box to keep it safe during transportation, this bowl has everything you could want when looking at accessories!
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Made of high-quality terracotta clay
- Special rim for Kaloud Lotus
- Wooden packaging box
BEST MODERN HOOKAH BOWL
Conceptic Design 3D-11$21.99 Shop Now
Conceptic Design 3D-11 is a ceramic hookah bowl that was designed and created by using the newest 3D printing technology. Unlike anything else on the market today, the product itself offers an aesthetic design for smokers looking for something unique to add some cool accessories to their hookahs.
The 3D-11 Bowl is made using a 2192°F firing temperature, making it stronger and denser than most clay bowls on the market. The glaze coated top prevents juice from being absorbed so there's less of an issue with cleaning up messes after smoking sessions are over. 3D-11 is a phunnel bowl, and along with other products from Conceptic Design, it's compatible with Kaloud Lotus and other HMDs.
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Glazed top
- High density
- Rare black clay option
BEST TRADITIONAL HOOKAH BOWL
Japona Killer$25.99 Shop Now
The Japona Killer was created with a fluff pack in mind. There are five large holes on the inside of the bowl that allow a lot of airflow to pass through. This bowl is excellent for those that are looking to get a strong smoke with dark leafs or a nice mellow smoke with blondes. It holds roughly 15 grams of tobacco with the intended pack. This bowl will smoke well for one to one and a half hours. It can be paired with foil, the Kaloud Lotus, or the Provost. This product comes packed in an ornate wooden box.
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Large capacity
- Braided cord decoration
- Traditional 5-holed structure
Additional knowledge about hookah bowls
The bowl is one of the essential components of hookah pipes, being positioned at the top. Some know it as hookah head, and this name seems appropriate in light of its function.
As you might know, before smoking the hookah, one has to warm up the bowl. The top of it, as well as sidewalls, need to be heated. That is why when using foil, we place coals close to edges for even heat distribution all around so that a flavorful and cloudy session will happen (unless, of course, something else goes wrong). The way a hookah bowl warms up primarily depends on three things: the material of which it is made, its shape and size.
The most popular substance used to manufacture hookah bowls is clay or ceramics. Also, you can find bowls made of silicone, stone, glass, metal, and even wood, but they only represent a small percentage of the market. We believe the clay hookah bowls have the best properties, and therefore, we only sell those.
Clay is a material that has been used for centuries to make hookah bowls. With its porous structure, it provides proper distribution and retention of heat, which ensures an even tobacco heating process. The only downside of using clay as the hookah bowl's main ingredient is that unprocessed clay will absorb some juice from your shisha during the first few times you smoke from your bowl. This could result in flavors not being rich enough or unnecessary smells appearing during the session.
Clay hookah bowls can be just fired (meaning they have not been covered in any coating), or they can be additionally coated with glaze. The glaze makes smoking more efficient because it reflects heat better than just firing alone does; this means there's more heat inside the bowl.
Types of hookah bowls
Classic Turkish Clay Hookah Bowl
Turkish hookah bowl is a classic and ancient form of a bowl that originated in Turkey. The original Turkish-made bowls are characterized by 5 large holes, raw unfinished appearance, and varied size on the hole's diameter.
Many traditionally designed bowls on the market look similar to the original Turkish, and they come in different shapes, designs, and colors. When buying one, make sure it has got thick walls to provide even heat distribution. Overall, classic clay bowls are the most versatile hookah heads.
Phunnels have become very popular nowadays. As we already know, a Turskish (or Egyptian) hookah bowl has several holes at the bottom. Phunnel hookah bowl only has one large central hole (the funnel) that prevents molasses from leaking into the stem and helps to maintain the flavor for an extended period. These bowls work well for any type of shisha tobacco.
One of the most popular shisha heads designed for solo and short smoking sessions is the Alien hookah bowl. Aliens are smaller versions of phunnels, have a more shallow design, and therefore fit less shisha.
Vortex hookah bowl is an alternative version of the Phunnel and commonly made of clay. It features a capped spike in the middle that usually has 4-5 holes on the sides. This structure prevents juice from leaking into the stem. This provides a more extended smoking experience because your shisha stays moist and does not burn. You can pack any type of hookah tobacco in those.
Evil, or Killer
Evil is a bowl with a flat bottom and thick walls built for even tobacco heating. As a result, shisha is being entirely heated up and provides an intense smoking session. This structure is one of the modern versions of Turkish bowls. The most well-known brands of Evil bowls are Japona Killer, Don, ST, Solaris, and Fox.
How to buy the best hookah bowl?
So, how do you buy the best bowl? Some of the most important questions that need to be answered are:
- How much does this product cost, and what features come with it?
- What kind of shisha will match this specific bowl?
- Does its look meet your aesthetic preference or design of your pipe?
- Is there anything complicated you need to know before using it, for example, cleaning instructions or care guidelines?
Which hookah bowl is the best for your favorite flavor?
It depends on how much juice there is in the shisha. Phunnels are indeed recommended if you like moist hookah tobacco. Evil bowls and most glazed bowls make great choices for heat-resistant tobacco as it behaves well inside them, but non-heat sensitive ones might burn quickly. A packing method makes an impact as well; it wouldn't be easy to pack shisha fluffy into a shallow Alien Bowl after all!