The Difference Between a Bong and a Bubbler

The Difference Between a Bong and a Bubbler

For people who don’t smoke, hearing the phrases bongs and bubblers may sound pretty weird. But for those who are familiar with smoking, it’s quite common that they’ve come across one or both of these devices at least once in their lives. Smoking has been a human tradition for who knows how long, so it’s definitely useful to know about the different methods of smoking.

When it comes to choosing your method of smoking, you might be overwhelmed at how many options there are when it comes to paraphernalia you can use. These things can be used for all kinds of smoke-able substances such as tobacco, cannabis, as well as many other herbs. Some of the most popular choices for smokers are bongs and bubblers. Surprisingly enough, it is quite common to get these two mixed up.

Why Do People Get Confused About Bongs and Bubblers?

The main reason people often mix these two pieces up is simply because they are both water pipes. However, not all water pipes are created equal. Even if a person has used both a bong and a bubbler in their life, it can be easy to mistake one for the other because they are similar in ways, both in look and feel. In this article, we are going to elaborate on their distinct differences to help you better understand the difference between a bong and a bubbler.

What is a Bong?

If you do a quick Google image search on the term “bong”, you will come up with many different devices. Some will look quite simple, while others can get pretty intricate and intimidating. Bongs can be made of many different materials, mainly glass or plastic. You can even make a bong yourself out of items you may have in your home.

The term bong is derived from “Baung”, which is a Thai word that stands for “section of bamboo”. In order to understand what a bong is, it’s important to know what it’s basic structure consists of.

Tube – The tube is also known as the smoke chamber. This is the “body” of the bong and where the smoke collects after percolating through the water.

Mouthpiece – This is where to place your mouth to smoke from. Most times it is just the end of the tube, or it may be another piece attached to the tube.

Bowl – The bowl is where you pack your tobacco, cannabis or herb to smoke. Most bowls are designed to slide out to activate the carburetor. This is so you can inhale the smoke once you are finished with your hit.
carburetor aka Carb/Carb Hole – The carb is usually activated when the bowl slides out. Some bongs actually have a carb hole, which is a hole that is above the water level which is covered with a finger. When you are ready to inhale the smoke, you simply take your finger off the hole to allow air flow.

Downstem – The downstem was designed the help lead the smoke from the bowl into the base of the bong, where it then percolates through the water and builds up in the tube. As the smoke goes through the downstem into the water, you will experience the “bubbling” from a bong.

That is a basic summary of what a bong is. With all of these basic pieces, you are able to create all different kinds of bongs.

What is a Bubbler?

Bubblers are more simple than bongs. They get their name because they use water to not only make bubbles, but act as a filter in a similar way that bongs use water. It can be said that bubblers are basically small bongs that can be held and smoked more easily when compared to many of the larger bongs. Bubblers are so small though, that they end up not looking like the typical bong, hence the different name they go by.

A bubbler even kind of looks like a bubble most of the time. It really depends on the design. When someone uses a bubbler, it is common to be able to see the bubbles form as the smoke passes through. To put it simply, we could determine that all bubblers are bongs, but not all bongs are bubblers.

So What are the Main Differences Between Bongs and Bubblers?

Now that we’ve gone over what bongs and bubblers are, it’s time to go over what the main differences between them are.

First of all, bongs are much larger and operate more similarly to hookahs.

Bongs have the ability to be customized with many additional pieces such as ash catchers, percolators, ice pinches, etc.

There are many different types of bongs (such as gravity, percs, home made, etc), where as bubblers come in a main basic style.

Bubblers are actually bongs. The thing is they are so much smaller that they go by their own term. One can actually hold a bubbler easily in one hand where as a bong needs additional support.
When it comes to the inside, bubblers have much smaller water and smoke chambers when compared to bongs. This means they need to be cleaned more often so they don’t get clogged up. Because bongs are so much bigger, they don’t get clogged up. It’s still a good idea to clean your bong often as well.

Because bubblers are so much smaller, they need less material to be made. This makes bubblers cheaper than bongs in most cases. Sure, some bongs can be pretty cheap, but you will want to consider that they may not be made of the best materials.

Bubblers are much better for smoking on the go. If you are planning on bringing something to smoke out of wherever you are going, it will be much easier to travel with a bubbler than bringing around a bong with all of it’s pieces. Not to mention, many bubblers will be able to fit into a pocket or small bag with no problem.