Best Hookah: Hookah Pipe
Buying Guide For 2021
BY ANTON B · UPDATED MAY 9 2021
Are you looking to buy your first modern hookah, and it just seems confusing? What makes a good water pipe? Which is the best hookah to buy? We at Icon Hookah are here to inform you of all the key factors to look for when buying your first hookah in 2021 to ensure good quality smoke and how to get a hookah that will last you a lifetime. Rest assured, IconHookah.com stocks everything you'll need to get started in picking your first or next pipe.
How we classified hookah pipes
We sorted out all hookahs by size, cloud output, ease of pull, portability, and durability. In addition, we evaluated each for easiness of assembly and breaking down after a smoking session. We also considered things like how universal the pipe is to work with different hookah accessories and the simplicity of cleaning it up after smoking.
Of the many hookahs we've tested, these are the best hookahs to buy in 2021 (click to jump):
- Best Overall Hookah: Conceptic Design Smart Carbon
- Best Value Hookah: Aladin MVP360
- Best Full-Sized Hookah: Japona Hookah Shuriken
- Best Small Hookah: Honey Sigh Urban Mini
- Best Modern Hookah: Conceptic Design Steel
- Best Portable Hookah: Aladin 2 Go
- Best Traditional Hookah: ATH T-Brass BA Collection - Nigari
- Best Luxury Hookah: Solomon
- Best Russian Hookah: Japona Hookah Amur
BEST OVERALL HOOKAH
Conceptic Design Smart Carbon$199 Buy Now
The Conceptic Design Smart Carbon is a compact, easy to carry hookah with an AISI304 stainless steel shaft that measures only 0.4 inches in diameter and features external decoration made from carbon fiber. This compact hookah stands 16" tall and only weighs 4.4 lb. All the parts of Smart Carbon Hookah are corrosion-free!
The package includes an easy mounting smart tray, shaft, glass vase, mouthpiece, silicone hose, and a special bag to store this compact hookah.
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Diversity of accessories
- Five stem/base color variations
- High-quality, durable materials
BEST VALUE HOOKAH
Aladin MVP 360$119 Buy Now
What makes Aladin MVP 360 mini hookah so attractive?The first thing that sets this pipe apart is its size; it stands at 36cm tall, which means you can take it anywhere! It also comes equipped with everything needed to smoke shisha from day 1: silicone hose, aluminum mouthpiece, built-in diffuser, clay bowl, tongs, and chimney. This setup will allow you to experience all of our favorite flavors without having any trouble finding the hookah accessories that would fit the pipe. We think this model is the best hookah for beginners.
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Screw-on shaft
- Full set of accessories
- Affordable price
BEST FULL-SIZED HOOKAH
Japona Hookah Shuriken$324 Buy Now
Japona Hookah Shuriken is stunningly designed with high quality materials that make it stand out from most other models available today. The shaft and elegant handle (or mouthpiece) are made of stainless steel and decorated with wood. The glass base comes in three colors: black, manganese, or clear. This model measures 72cm tall (or 27") when fully assembled and includes an ashtray as well as a silicon hose with connectors for easy setup! This hookah is great for your floor, and we like to think of it as your showpiece.
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Eye-catching design
- Color options
- Large size
BEST SMALL HOOKAH
Honey Sigh Urban Mini$66 Buy Now
The Honey Sigh Urban Mini is a small hookah pipe with a classic medium draw to enjoy your favorite shisha flavor. Its purging system consists of five valves that allow you to blow out the smoke at once and cool the bowl without flooding it with water. The shaft, tray, stem, and mouthpiece are made from AISI304 stainless steel, while our valve piece is made from polyacetal to ensure durability and an easy cleaning process. Stem height measures 32 cm (13 inches), and its submergible part is 13cm long. Most bowls will fit this hookah with a proper grommet.
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Simple configuration
- Compact size
- Stylish shaft decoration
BEST MODERN HOOKAH
Conceptic Design Steel$206 Buy Now
Conceptic Design offers a uniquely designed hookah that is lightweight and easy to assemble. All the materials are of high quality, which will allow for more performance with less cleaning time. The shaft is made of AISI304 stainless steel, while its diameter is 0.5 inches for maximum durability and efficiency. The weight of this hookah is 1.9 pounds and the height, including a glass base, is 27 inches tall. The submersible part of the stem comes with a diffuser(which can also be detached) to reduce some rumble you may hear while smoking. With this water pipe, you can enjoy your favorite shisha flavor while experiencing big clouds from this high-tech looking device.
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Minimalistic but high-tech design
- Precisely manufactured details
- Ideal height for desktop as well as floor
BEST PORTABLE HOOKAH
Aladin 2 Go$79 Buy Now
Aladin 2 Go is a portable mini hookah that can be taken anywhere. It's taller than your hand (23cm) and fits in the palm of it! The shaft is made from high quality stainless steel, which makes this hookah very durable. This little hookah comes with a mouthpiece and silicone hose included, so add your favorite bowl, and you're ready to go!
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Crystal glass base
- Small height
BEST TRADITIONAL HOOKAH
ATH T-Brass BA Collection Nigari Hookah$370 Buy Now
The ATH T-Brass BA Collection Hookahs are gaining popularity due to their extraordinary quality and smoking characteristics. In the design of this model, Adalya combined traditional Turkish shisha pipe style with contemporary trends. The engravings on the base of this hookah were made by hand, picturing a blend of Anatolian patterns from both past and present eras that provide an appealing design. The hookahs' stem, adapters, and ashtray are made of polished brass. Brass is a great material that can offer a timeless, authentic look. This hookah is a work of art that will wow all your friends!
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Hand-drawn decor
- Screw-on brass stem
- Crystal glass vase
BEST LUXURY HOOKAH
Solomon$1199 Buy Now
Solomon is a luxurious Russian hookah pipe that will make all your friends jealous. With only 15 being manufactured each month, you'll stand out in the crowd with this masterpiece. Its stainless steel stem measures 11 mm in diameter and is decorated with marbled carbon fiber, while its base is entirely made of marbled carbon, making it very durable compared to glass bases. Its carbon fiber handle (mouthpiece) features a black rope for decoration while being stainless steel on the tip - providing durability as well as an aesthetic appeal! The steel ashtray has been decorated by chasing, making it stand out from other more hookahs in the marketplace with its engraved pattern. The hose comes equipped with an o-ring connector to ensure that it remains firmly attached without any risk of slipping off or being pulled away like grommets do.
The modern take on the age-old traditions, Solomon hookahs are made of strong and durable material. The carbon fiber used in their construction is threaded with metal to make it highly sturdy but still light enough.
WHY WE LOVE IT
- The marbled carbon fiber structure
- Breathtaking look
- Limited edition product
BEST RUSSIAN HOOKAH
Japona Hookah Amur$294 Buy Now
Japona Amur is one of the most popular models from this Russian manufacturer. This medium-sized stainless steel stem, decorated with thermally modified hardwood and a mouthpiece made out of matching wood, will soon be your favorite part about it! The base comes in 3 colors, black, manganese, and transparent.
The package includes nearly everything you need to start using your new Japona Hookah: an ashtray, shaft, glass base, silicon hose, hose connector - add a hookah bowl of your choice, and enjoy!
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Ornate and decorative look
- Extreme quality of materials
- Washable silicone hose
- Wide selection of additional accessories like personal mouth tips, bowls, and tongs
What is the hookah made of?
Next, we're going to discuss the materials that modern hookahs will typically be constructed from. The majority of modern style hookah pipes are made with stainless steel construction. Stainless steel is the best choice because of how easy it is to clean and the durability of the material. A solid stainless steel hookah pipe is made to last many years. In the hookah world, like all others, you get what you pay for. Purchasing a high quality stainless steel hookah will guarantee you're buying something that will stand the test of time. All of the pipes we carry were chosen with this in mind.
What are the key hookah parts?
Let's discuss the draw of the pipe. Modern hookahs tend to have a wide open draw. This makes for an effortless pull. The smoke will be able to move faster into your mouth, which means you'll be able to create larger clouds with ease. The downside of this is that you'll be getting less flavor. Don't worry! A benefit of having a wide-open draw is that you can restrict it to your liking with your accessory choices such as your hose and bowl along with your water level and packing method. The higher your water level the more restriction you will create. Having a wide-open draw gives you options that you just can't get from a pipe that is already restricted.
Another thing to note is that the bulk of modern pipes come with a diffuser of some sort, whether it be screw-on, attachable, or built into the stem.
What a hookah diffuser does is create many smaller bubbles instead of much fewer larger bubbles in the water. This will make the draw more smooth and quieter. In our opinion, the best diffusers do not restrict the airflow of the downstem while also giving you the benefits of having one.
The purge of your shisha pipe is another key factor to consider when purchasing it. How easy is it to get rid of the stale smoke in your base and cool off your bowl when it gets hot? Sometimes your bowl will retain too much heat, and if you can release all of the stale smoke in the base quicker, you will put in less effort to clear it. Typically you will find that a good purge will clear the base in as little as one attempt. Some can take as many as three. Hookah is all about enjoyment at the end of the day, and why spend time doing something to take away from your enjoyment?
How to store your hookah?
Something else to consider when purchasing a modern hookah is how much does it break down, store, and take with you in case you need to bring it somewhere or store it away? The majority of modern pipes can be broken down to a much smaller and compact size, which makes for easy cleaning, storage, and portability. The ability to take everything apart and clean it with ease is a great way to keep your pipe in good shape in the long run. Not everyone can display their pipes out in the open, or maybe they just don't have space. You'll be able to keep everything neatly stored in a drawer or even a cabinet. This functionality isn't something that everyone requires or wants, but it's a nice choice to have.
How much is a good hookah?
The last topic we would like to discuss is the price point of modern pipes. What are you willing to pay? What are you getting for your hard-earned money? How much does a hookah cost? Modern hookahs can cost you anywhere from roughly $90 to upwards of $600+. There are many factors to consider, including design, unique functionality, and the quality of materials used. What can be expensive to some might be cheap for others. In the end, it all comes down to getting a hookah that you will enjoy. Find what budget is right for you, and you are bound to find something out there. There is something for everyone, and you should find a mixture of these criteria to decide on the right price range for you.
Where to buy hookah?
When it comes to purchasing a hookah, the best advice would be to shop online. Of course, you can check out your local smoke shops, but usually, hookahs are not a top priority for them, and you'll end up with a poor selection and likely poor quality as well. On the other hand, a specialized online hookah shop can offer a wide selection of hookahs for sale, as well as quick delivery and 24/7 customer support.
We at Icon Hookah hope this was helpful, insightful, and fun to read! Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about the topics discussed or any of the products that we sell, and we will be glad to help!