About hookah bowls
A hookah bowl is the top piece of an apparatus designed for smoking tobacco (the hookah). Sometimes known as a shisha head, the hookah bowl is a ceramic or clay container that holds the smoked tobacco during a hookah smoking session.
The tobacco is placed into the hookah bowl and covered by perforated aluminum foil or a heat management device. Next, the covering is topped with lit coals. The coal positioned at the top of the bowl will produce the heat. The heat will be transferred around the rest of the bowl and help to heat up the shisha. As heat is applied to the shisha, the vegetable glycerin is cooked, converting into a flavored smoke. If the heat is insufficient, it will not produce large clouds and will not release the maximum flavor reserves. Excessive heat will burn the shisha, on the other hand, resulting in harsher smoke and a less enjoyable smoking experience.
That is why the proper bowl is critical in obtaining the optimal hookah experience. At Icon Hookah, we understand the importance of choosing the best bowl for hookah on the market to achieve the best shisha smoking results.
History of hookah bowls
A fact that should come as no surprise is that the hookah, and primarily the heads of the hookah have evolved significantly since they were originally devised. In the earliest incarnations, the hookah bowls were constructed from brass or other lower-quality metals. However, back then, the tobacco smoked during the hookah sessions was quite different from the one enjoyed in this day and age. Old style tobacco was not baked but rather combusted. This form of smoking called for bowl structures more akin to what we find in modern Turkish clay bowls. These looked like an inverted version of modern phunnel bowls, with a central shaft and a large hole that took up roughly half of the bowl itself. This made the bowls ideal for tombac treatment, and they are still commonly used by traditionalists in the Middle East.
The Turkish bowl style, to some extent, still influences modern-day hookah bowls. The bowl's most basic form is circular with slightly angled walls and a flat bottom. In the bottom of the bowl, there are 5 holes from which air is drawn, allowing for ample airflow which promotes the heating up of the shisha and enough oxygen circulation to let it 'breathe.' In its pliability, clay was a superior material to cheap metal predecessors. Besides, metal bowls were prone to burn the tobacco far too quickly. The Turkish style bowl's makeup counteracts the excessive heat by letting it permeate the shisha while still heating up the bowl, just on a much lower scale.
However, while the influence remained throughout the centuries, traditional style bowls became outdated, and new bowls began to evolve. In the mid-2000s, the vortex bowl was devised, instantly taking the hookah world by storm. Its design not only served the traditional purposes of the hookah, but it also retained much of the juice runoff which formerly just drained out. By leveraging the collected runoff, it allowed the hookah to be used to its full potential by prolonging the smoking session. The middle spire is reminiscent of the Turkish bowl's design, but the bowl's hole patterns have instead been pulled into the central shaft. The 4 holes promote airflow while being located high enough to mitigate the escape of heat and binders.
Then, in 2006, the phunnel bowl was released by Tangiers. In this design, the ceramic bowls with the holes were abandoned, being replaced by a sturdy chunk of clay. This still has the origins of the modern phunnel bowl. Much like the vortex bowl, the central shaft of the phunnel keeps almost all of the tobacco binders in place until it is the best moment for them to be baked away, prolonging the smoking sessions.
The evolution of bowl designs has sped up in the last decade even more, and many of the new bowls on the market are now competing with phunnel and classic Turkish bowls. Companies from all over the globe, specifically around Europe, Russia, and the United States, popped up everywhere, claiming a distribution territory by introducing and testing new hookah bowl shapes, built from new materials, of various sizes, and enamored with unique decorations.
Finding The Right Hookah Bowl
Hookah bowls come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. The size correlates to how long the bowl will last. A Small bowl usually lasts for a half-hour and can typically hold about 10 to 12 grams of shisha. Medium bowls, the most popular on the market, can hold about 15 to 20 grams. Smoking from a hookah bowl that is Large can afford over an hour of enjoyable smoke time. It is also one meant for smoking in large companies, being able to house about 25 grams of shisha. While that much shisha will go longer without needing to reload, getting optimal heat with the shisha becomes harder as the quantities increase.
The best hookah bowls are those that are excellent conductors of heat, being able to harness the heat from the coals to sufficiently cook the shisha.
The heat from the coal has to warm the bowl completely, so ideally, the same level of heat has to be applied from the top of the bowl to the rest of it. That is why the material that is most heat conductive works best to heat the bowl up.
While most bowls are ceramic or clay-based, some bowls are produced from glass, metal, stone, silicone, and even wood. While these can be found, they are in the minority of the bowls available in the modern hookah market.
Clay is the most popular hookah bowl material, thanks to its porous structure. It allows for great absorption and retention of heat, resulting in evenly heated tobacco. Being unglazed also makes them great for using them with certain types of flavors. The porous nature of clay bowls allows the flavor to seep into and stay in the bowl's walls. Those who enjoy particular fruity flavors will notice that the more they smoke that particular flavor from the bowl, the more prominent it becomes. The clay bowl can keep a smoking session going for longer because it can retain the heat for several minutes even once the coals have completely burnt out.
Unlike typical clay, Stoneware clay is a very dense, nonporous material. It is resistant to liquids due to being molded at very high temperatures. While it is ultimately still made from clay, it is more durable than its Earthenware counterpart. It also is an excellent conductor and retainer of heat. The stoneware bowl will remain too hot to touch for quite a while after the smoking is done.
Because this material is commonly glazed, these types of hookah bowls do not absorb the 'syrup' and are therefore easy to clean. Their glistening aura makes them very attractive to look at as well.
Egyptian and Turkish bowl styles are considered the 'classic' style of bowls with a round-bottomed form made of clay. This shape is suitable for a variety of packing methods and smoking tobacco and is therefore considered the most versatile option for hookah heads on the market. Originally derived from Turkish descent, Turkish bowls hold a rugged, unfinished appearance and can be identified by five large holes at the bottom, though the sizes of the holes can vary from one bowl to another.
The shisha's taste is not typically as flavorful during the first few smokes using a new bowl due to the clay's high porosity that leads to the syrup absorbing. Having said that, these bowls provide great heat distribution and are still considered some of the best products out there.
Turkish bowls can be fluff packed or under-packed, suitable best for smoking dark leaf tobacco (for stronger smoking sessions). While there are many classic Turkish bowls available on the market, the ones with thicker walls are recommended to achieve optimal heat distribution.
Unlike classic hookah bowls, the recently popularized phunnel bowls have just one central hole (the funnel), which prevents the dripping off of the molasses into the stem. This helps to maintain flavor for a longer period of time. This phunnel bowl is also great at not letting the shisha particles fall through the cracks, giving it an advantage over the traditional models. These shisha bowls are suitable to work with any tobacco type.
Evil (Killer) Hookah Bowls
'Evil' is a Turkish-style bowl with a flat bottom, thick walls, and is known for its superb heating of tobacco. These bowls are heavier than other models due to their thick and sturdy build. This results in sufficient shisha heating, which in turn allows for a strong smoking sensation. These are ideal bowls for either strong smoking experiences of dark tobacco or mellow sessions involving blonde leaves.
Our Shop Offers Hookah Bowls Of All Sizes
At Icon Hookah, we stock a full shisha bowl line with many great choices for you to enjoy a fulfilling, relaxing smoking experience. We know there is a certain type of hookah bowl piece for every smoker, and we have many offerings to suit anyone's needs.
You can find hookah bowls for sale of any size, shape, or brand at IconHookah.com. Our offering includes small and large bowls, with brands that include Japona Hookah, Conceptic Design, and Oblako. Every brand will provide you its own textured experience of smoking.
The Japona Hookah Bowls, produced in Russia, are industry-leading products that offer a range of state-of-the-art shaped terracotta clay bowls.
If your fancy is a more modern hookah style, Conceptic Design hookah bowls might suit your desires. These are 3D printed bowls delivering exquisite designs using the latest technology utilized for hookah bowl development.
Fox bowls are all handmade from thick clay and are known for their heat retention. These can also be found on sale at our store, and are known for their top-notch performance and high reliability.
Pricing Of Hookah Bowls
While the design, materials used for production, as well as specific functionalities all play a role in the price, most of our hookah bowls range from $10 to upwards of $30.
We stand by the quality of our products and are committed to helping you acquire the right hookah head for your needs. We assure you that our products are manufactured with only the very best materials to help you get your ideal hookah bowl and to maximize your satisfaction.
We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every product, so you can confidently browse our collection with the assurance that you cannot go wrong with your purchase. We have a lot of experience in the field and are more than happy to advise you to help facilitate the best purchase for your needs.