What is a Bubbler?

Non-smokers probably have never heard of what a bubbler is, and, in fairness, plenty of smokers have trouble distinguishing bubblers from its sister piece, the famous bong. Many newcomers to the trend buy one or the other simply because they have seen their friends using it -- or because they think a certain piece look cooler. While this method is simple and can get you a great piece, it is good to understand what you want before you purchase so you are not let down.

Bubblers are most often used by the casual smoker, as bubblers normally refer to smaller variations of bongs that do not provide as big of rips. Bubblers are perfect for good-sized sherlock, clean-filtered hits from a piece that fits easily in your hands and on the go. They can come in a variety of shapes sizes and colors but are generally smaller than their larger counterparts. 

Bubblers can come with a variety of different styles of percolator and water filters. When push comes to shove, and you ask what convinced any smoker to choose one over the other, you’re likely to get few accurate answers. But, it’s fair to say that most smokers don't know all the differences between these two smoking devices, and what makes for the best choice between one or the other.

How Does a Bubbler Work?

Bubblers utilize a lot of the tools that have made bongs famous for their big and smooth hits. They use water filters and percolators which act as a way to cool your smoke for smooth hits, but in a smaller and more convenient package. Bubbler pipes also function with percolation systems, just like large glass water pipes. These help to filter, diffuse, and cleanse your smoke to give you more enjoyable and potent smoking sessions. The combination of water and percolation systems allow for a smoking experience that is hard to beat when it comes to versatility and quality.

Glass bubblers possess many of the great portability and ease-of-use traits that traditional glass pipes and vape pens provide users. They all have the extremely convenient quality of being handheld. This allows for easy transportation, portability, and on-the-go use without the constant fear of the piece breaking. Bubblers and tobacco pipes also share the common feature of containing built-in bowls as well as carb holes. Built-in bowls give you a convenient place to place your dry herbs, while carbs allow you to personally control the airflow of the pipe and how you like your hits to feel. Some bubblers have this functionality, but is not as commonly seen as in bongs.

How much Water do you Put in a Bubbler?

When filling a water pipe with water, it is important to just ensure that the entirety of the smoke passes through all of the intended water chambers. If the piece contains a percolator setup, then make sure that all layers have some water. If you overfill any portion of the airflow with water, you will lose potency of your hits and waste herb.

What is a Glass Bubbler Pipe

How to Use a Bubbler:

As mentioned, when using a bubbler it is important to first make sure not to overfill your piece with water, as this will take away from the planned design of the smoke filtration system. Most of these systems require water AND air to provide the hit the producers intended, so it is important to only ensure that the smoke is completely passing through the water chamber or percolator. If overfilled, you also run the risk of getting residue water in your mouth, which no one wants. The amount of water each smoking pipe requires differs from pipe to pipe and technically can be smoked in a desert where no water is available, albeit it will be a much harsher hit than you are used to.

Using a bubbler is very simple, and one of the main reasons they became famous. Start by filling the water chamber with some cold water (the colder, the smoother your hits). Then, use a grinder to grind up some dry herbs as you would for a regular bong hit and pack it into the bowl piece. If your bubbler has a carb, cover it with your finger or thumb and place your mouth over the mouthpiece.

Now light your bowl and draw the smoke gently but consistently into the chamber and inhale. Remove your thumb or finger from the carb and then proceed to inhale the rest of the smoke from the chamber. When finished with your bowl packing, dump the ashes into an ashtray

How to Clean a Bubbler:

Bubblers can become very grimy and lose the taste qualities they once provided after frequent use. After a while, the pipe will darken and take on a fogged appearance as sticky residue builds up on the inside, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and creating an unpleasant and less healthy smoking experience. Furthermore, the slender construction and peculiar shape of many bubblers makes them perfect targets for small buildups of residue. A special DIY cleansing solution of salt and rubbing alcohol and a little ingenuity, however, will help you clean your bubbler pipe in just a few minutes. Simply mix rubbing alcohol and coarse salt, shake the mixture through the pipe, rinse, and repeat until it is looking good as new again.

Silicone Bong vs Glass Bubbler

Bubbler vs Bong:

The average bong is going to be 1.5-2x larger than your average bubbler pipe. This makes a nice bong the ideal daily driver for when you can sesh at home and keep your bong safe and secure. With a strong and sturdy base, you can rest your bong in your lap as you rip it, or leave it on the table in front of you.

For those who like to take the show on the road, a bubbler is better than a bong. With their smaller size, bubblers are much more discreet, much easier to safely transport, and require much less water to fill the chamber.

There are exceptions to every rule, but for the most part bongs tend to take on just a handful of different shapes – with a long tube connecting a simple mouthpiece to a beaker or bubble shaped base. With their larger size, bongs can accommodate more intricate percolators, giving them some really awesome bubble stacking levels of diffusion. Where the overall shaping of bongs might lack in options, the vast number of different perks and the effect they each have on your smoking experience more than makes up for it.

Bubblers, on the other hand, usually display more variety in styling. Sometime the mouthpiece bends out the back like a sherlock pipe, or shoots straight off to the side. Bubblers are available with all sorts of different shape mouthpieces from tubes to discs to spoon style.

Bubblers tend to have simpler diffusion – lots of 2 or 3-hole percs. With their smaller chambers, stacking a thousand microbubbles just isn’t necessary, so the chug of the simple percs is very popular.

The bong has been a highly popular method of getting baked for decades now. But with dabbing on the rise, many people want a piece of glass that can multitask for them and handle both dank flowers and terpy dabs.

Yes, you can adapt most glass on glass fitted bongs with a dab nail of some sort and make it work. But the greater volume inside the large chamber of the bong deteriorates too much of the terps and flavor that we really enjoy as dabbers. Also, some bongs and bubblers look quite alike thus making it difficult for the inexperienced eye to choose between one and the other. That aside, they come in various shapes and sizes. The market is filled with colorful and plain bongs and bubblers, too.

Some bubblers have a built-in push bowl and/or downstem, and might not be able to accept a dab nail. But, if you spend a few minutes browsing our large selection, you are sure to find lots of options that will allow you to burn your trees and vape your oils all out of one handy bubbler pipe. As previously mentioned, bubblers have smaller chambers than bongs. Apart from that, bubblers are hand-held devices that provide great filtration in a smaller surface area. Bongs are standalone devices that you can operate without carrying or holding them in your hands. Many bubblers have no removable bowls, which is a big difference from bongs which have not only a down stem or removable bowl, but also a carb.

Any discussion regarding the differences between bubblers and bongs is not complete without talking about the benefits of ice cubes. Users can add ice cubes inside the bongs and certain bubblers for a special smoking experience. With bubblers, you can add ice cubes if the chamber is big enough-- so if that is something you prefer, you should look into buying one that fits this criteria. In this regard, bongs are ideal for any user who wants a more personal experience.

Bubbler Pros and Cons:

  • Bubblers are much easier to maintain than other types of larger water pipes.
  • Bubblers provide clean filtered hits that remove harmful byproducts of combustion.
  • They can be difficult to clean and maintain if not done regularly.

Tips for using a Bubbler:

There are countless ways you can use your bubbler to your advantage, and finding these really depends on your preferences and a lot of trial and error. As mentioned, never overfill your bubbler with water and always make sure to use a grinder with your dry herb so the bowls burn evenly and all the way through. Getting a soft travel case also helps to make it easier to take on trips and adventures with you. There are a huge variety of cases you can choose from that can make taking your favorite bubbler with you easier than ever.

Where to buy a bubbler?

Bubblers are popular and timeless pieces that can be found at nearly any vape or head shop in your area. With modern technology, you can even find your perfect bubbler from the comfort of your home by shopping online at VapeVetStore.com. Our selection of bubblers includes a variety of shapes, colors, sizes, and styles.

Related Blog Posts

How to Clean a Bubbler

Bubbler vs Bong - A Smoking Pipe Comparison

6 Smoking Pipes that Beat Expectations

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