Bong vs Pipe: The Good and the Ugly of Both

Bong vs. Pipe…

The never ending debate.

While smokers will always have their favorite of the two, which one is actually better? Is there really actually any big differences between the two?

Keep reading to learn how the water pipe vs dry hand pipe debate shakes out.


Hand Pipes

Hand pipes are the classic choice. They can be made from either clay, metal, ceramic, wood, or glass.

And are defined as a tube with a bowl at one end and a hole to inhale weed through on the other.

The hand pipe has a lot going for it when compared to a bong. It’s smaller size makes it not only more portable but more discreet as well. And it’s smaller size helps in making it the easier to clean out of the two.

Thanks to it’s smaller and relatively simpler, inner workings, the process of cleaning a hand pipe is, not only much easier but much faster, as well.

Pipes, however, deliver a much hotter, and therefore, harsher smoke.

This is because, not only does the smoke have less distance to travel from the flame to your lungs, but also there is no system in place to cool it down.

Another downside to there being no sort of a filter on a hand pipe is that you run the risk of inhaling ash.

Check out the guide on buying pipes from

Pros and Cons of a Hand Pipe


  • Portable
  • Discreet
  • Easy to clean


  • Hotter to smoke
  • Can inhale ash


Bongs are definitely more popular in the modern era then they were in years past. They can be acrylic, wood, metal, clay, silicone or glass.

And are defined as a water pipe that consists of a bottle or a vertical tube partially filled with liquid and a smaller tube ending in a bowl.

Bongs are growing in popularity more and more each day. This is because thanks to the water filtration system you are able to take longer and smoother drags.

The water filter aerates the smoke which works to make the smoke cooler, thus enabling you to really expand your lungs while you are smoking.

The water filter also acts to filter out a lot of the gunk you don’t necessarily want in your body while not filtering out any of the stuff you don’t want it too 🙂

Thanks to the chambered design and the water filter you are not going to inhale any of your ash.

Now, while a bong may provide you a cooler smoke, it is a lot less practical when compared to a hand pipe.

They are difficult to travel with because their size and the fact that you need to keep it upright as long as there is water in it.

Bong designs can get rather complex. This is due to the endless possibilities of multiple chambers, multiple percolators in all shapes and sizes, and the various attachments that you may have for your bong. 

Beaker bongs to gas mask bongs.

As you can imagine, this makes the cleaning process a bit more complicated, as well so if you go with a bong, check out these bong cleaners here to help.

Another downside to a bong is the water… Now, while the water may be the greatest feature of a water pipe, it has the potential to be it’s worst, as well.

Bong water reaks, and if you knock over the bong and spill it anywhere, it’s a real pain to try and clean the smell out.

Also, bong water can get in your mouth when you are smoking, which is… well, let’s just say it’s unpleasant.

There are some bongs with built in splash guards to counter this, though.

You can check this bong buying guide out if you want to learn more about bongs.

Recommended: Best Bongs Under $100

Pros and Cons of a Bong


  • Longer/smoother drags
  • Cooler smoke
  • Filters out some of the bad but none of the good
  • Can't inhale ash


  • Less discreet
  • Harder to clean
  • Water spills/can get water in your mouth

Which One is Better?

So who comes out on top in the bong vs pipe debate?

Personally, I have to give the gold to the bong with my favorite reason being able to customize it with all the cool bong accessories we reviewed here:

It’s smoother, cooler, drags enable you to capture the full flavor of the cannabis you’re smoking and allows you to take larger more effective drags.

Which one do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!

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