Chillums, Pipes, Bongs: Which is right for me?

Throughout history pipes have been used in ceremonial activities to bring people together for the greater good. Modern pipes are commonly made out of glass, metal, and/or wood. Pipes range in size from very small and portable that fit in your pocket to large showcase pieces that don’t travel well. User preference drives which pipe type is best for consuming flower and hash.

The most popular pipe styles are listed below to help determine which type is best for you from chillums to traditional pipes, and bongs.


A chillum is a straight tube with a mouthpiece on one end and a bowl on the opposite end. Traditionally made of clay, these pieces have been used since at least the eighteenth century in India. Chillums are the simplest design and generally the most affordable option. These pieces feature a straight shot from the bowl to the mouthpiece, and typically lack a carb. Chillums are perfect for those looking for a convenient on-the-go piece.


Dating back at least 4000 years, pipes are typically small handheld devices consisting of a tube connecting to a mouthpiece and bowl. This glass creation has a carb on the side to control airflow. It’s important to cover the carb with your thumb while lighting the bowl, then release the carb when you stop inhaling, allowing the chamber to be cleared. Pipes come in a wide range of sizes and materials with glass being optimal for most users.


Bongs, also known as water pipes, are typically larger pieces that utilize water for filtration and feature a slide and bowl as opposed to a carb. When opened, the slide allows smoke to be drawn into the lungs. These days bongs come in many forms, but the most common are hand-blown from glass. Blending physics and art, these pieces provide a smoother smoking experience than a pipe or chillum.

 BONUS: What is a percolator?

Percolators are additional filtration chambers located inside a bong or water pipe that aim to further cool down the smoke and provide premium filtration. Percolators accelerate the heat transfer and break the smoke up into finer particles, increasing the surface area and cooling the smoke to create a smoother experience. There are several types of percolators, including Honeycomb, Tree, Inline, Matrix, Turbine, Fritted Disc, Showerhead, Spiral, Faberge Egg, and Downstems, each with a slightly different effect. Regardless of the percolator style that you prefer, a bong with a percolator will surely improve your smoking experience.