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How to choose a hookah? What is the best hookah for you?

A hookah, also known as a shisha, hookah, nargila, or pipe, is a device for smoking tobacco in a hookah. It is a system of tubes that provides filtration and cooling of the tobacco smoke through the water. With the great popularization and the advent of many new diverse models, we get a lot of questions from customers that what hookah is ideal for them and what hookah should they choose. We’re not surprised, because the choice is really huge

We have already given you the basic answer by selecting the models and brands that are really worth buying in our e-shop in terms of price/performance ratio. We have long experience with them, we have compared them with dozens of other models and selected only the best ones for you. However, it’s still important to get to grips with them, so we’ve put together a complete guide on how to choose the perfect one for you

1. Hookah Style – Oriental vs Modern

Oriental Hookahs

Hookahs have undergone a huge evolution in recent years. Since the hookah was first popularized in Arabic countries, possibly India or Africa, its style was initially much different than the modern one that comes from Germany and Russia, possibly America. The oriental style was made of metal or aluminium and was highly decorated

The materials used to make them were very unresistant, rusted, warped and deteriorated easily. However, the biggest weakness was not even the hookah, but its hose. It quickly picked up various odours, rancidity, was difficult to clean and developed mould and other maladies. Therefore, smoking a hookah was very dangerous because you could draw rust and various moulds into yourself and required extremely frequent cleaning and replacement of components. However, this all came to an end with the advent of the new modern hookahs

Modern Hookahs

Modern hookahs are mostly made in a simple elegant style. What is important, however, is that the materials used to make them are chosen to make this hookah last you basically a lifetime. The only things you need to replace over time are the seals (as rubber/rubber/silicone will dry out and degrade over time or accidentally get burned by charcoal) and the hose, which we recommend replacing every 1-2 years. Admittedly we don’t count hookah bowls and vases, which can break, but that’s called consumables

Modern hookahs are not only made of highly durable materials, but also hygienic. Stainless steel, or anodised aluminium, is less prone to mould, but even when it does happen, they are easy and effective to clean and not susceptible to damage from cleaning products. The hoses are made of food-safe silicone, in which it is almost impossible for any mould to form and they are also easy to clean. They do not bind any moisture, odors to themselves. Months or rather years of use may cause a greasy smoke coating to form on them, but this can be easily cleaned off with boiling water or steam cleaner

In short – modern hookahs are sleeker, more durable, more practical and safer for your health. This investment will pay you back in every way and ultimately financially

2. Hookah design

The base of the hookah body is a plain stainless steel or aluminium tube and in the cheapest mobiles it is fully exposed without any design, however, most brands want to make hookahs stand out and design and wrap this body in a variety of materials, patterns and designs. We can come across different plastic, aluminium and wooden materials of different colours but also different stylish motifs. The choice is really huge and it really depends on your preference

In terms of quality, stainless steel designs are the most reliable, they are hardly scratchable, especially when they use anodized colours. Other materials used are aluminium, hardened plastic or high quality epoxy. Wooden hookahs can also be really durable, but you have to beware of strong chemicals, strong humidity, scratching with hard objects, etc

3. Hookah size – Large, Small, Travel

Large Hookahs

For a long time people thought, and many still think, that the taller and bigger the hookah, the better. However, this is not true at all. The height of a hookah can make at most 5-10% difference in taste, and even that is in the summer outside when the materials and water overheat quickly and a tall hookah can cool the smoke a little better. That’s the only difference. Some still claim that because they can fit more smoke in the vase, they can pull a little more smoke in one pull. But even if that were true, it doesn’t change the flavor, quality or strength

The real difference why you would want a large hookah is that it is much heavier, not just in body but it can hold a lot more water, it has a wider base (the bottom of the vase) so it is much more stable and it won’t just be knocked over by something. Trust us, you can never be too careful with hookahs. Even sober and completely calm, we have seen many people knock over many hookahs. And mostly the little ones … with the big ones in the same situations didn’t even budge. And admittedly, big hookahs look more luxurious and flashy 🙂

Small hookahs

Small hookahs are designed for smaller tables where there is less space, or for homes or businesses where there isn’t a lot of storage space. They’re also great if you want to carry them around regularly. They are much smaller, lighter, still relatively stable and therefore quite practical as a travel hookah. Much more practical than small travel hookahs, especially when travelling by car or public transport over shorter distances. When you’re travelling by plane, you probably won’t be able to cram it in your suitcase with your other stuff, but otherwise it’s a great choice

Travel hookahs

Travel ho okahs are only really useful if you’re really short on space and weight when traveling and can’t take anything bigger. But the problem is that you won’t save that much space anyway, because if you want to take all the accessories with it, that’s going to take up quite a bit of space anyway. Especially a gas or electric hob, depending on where you plan to travel, whether you have access to electricity or not. Get this hookah if you want to carry it with you when traveling by plane, or where you have to carry it by hand for long distances like hiking up mountains

4. Hookah body material – Stainless steel vs. Aluminum vs. Other

In order to understand what materials are used to make hookahs, we need to understand that materials must be used that are high strength, affordable, machinable and also resistant to water, heat, detergents, knocks or scratches. Therefore, all hookahs that were made of materials such as glass, plastic, iron with an anti-corrosion coating and others have fallen into oblivion

Today, there are practically only 2 materials for hookahs, depending on the quality you want

Aluminum hookahs

Highly affordable, resistant to heat or rust, relatively strong but still easy to machine. Aluminium hookahs can withstand a relatively long period of use, especially if handled carefully and cleaned well. In that case, an aluminium hookah can serve you well. However, if you plan to use it on a regular basis, you know that sometimes you forget to clean it right after smoking, it can get banged around, it can fall off, you plan to carry it around regularly, you plan to put it on the table for customers, or you plan to have more frequent get-togethers with friends at home, this material can degrade quickly. Sheets will start to bend, quickly get scratched, scuffed, and worst of all – the threads can either get baked on with dirt or completely corroded by use in the worst cases

Stainless steel hookahs

Nothing better has been invented since hookahs made from stainless steel. Although these hookahs are practically 2x more expensive than those made of aluminum, you’ll get your investment back. First of all, this hookah is so durable that practically nothing will destroy it. You could practically throw it against the wall and aside from a little scratching, nothing should happen to it. But that’s not all. The precision workmanship and durability of their threads, holes, etc is exactly what will save you a lot of nerves, time and money. The ballast hose is precisely shoved into the hole so that you don’t need any gaskets, you can reassemble each part exactly to the hundredth of a millimeter for disassembly and reassembly that everything will fit perfectly for many decades to come. Nothing will warp, nothing will leak, you won’t get air through, you won’t get dirt in there, and that saves you a lot of trouble and time

If you need your hookah to look perfect all the time, you don’t have to worry about scratches, scuffs, ruined paint, and therefore never having to replace your fleet. The investment is really worth it. Stainless steel hookahs are truly the Ferrari of hookahs, and they don’t cost so much at all that you have to consider it

5. Number of hookah hoses

99% of hookahs are made with 1 hose, and there’s a reason for that. Even if you want to smoke several at once, this is problematic. The whole point of keeping a session with your hookah to be enjoyable, tasty and long is to regulate the temperature of the tobacco and the hookah bowl. Many times you need to blow through the tobacco every now and then to keep it from getting too hot. Here, not only can you draw several at once, which is already a proper killer, you won’t be able to keep up with the tobacco puffing

If you want to smoke several at once, it’s a good idea to buy a second hookah, it’s the only wise solution 🙂 Or you can pass it on one by one as you normally do, but it’s a lot more fun to have lots of hookahs on the table 🙂

6. Hookah vase

The hookah vase is the most problematic part in terms of compatibility and damage. But before we can determine which hookah with which vase is best, we need to explain the differences between the two. Certainly the first most important difference is that whether you choose a hookah with a threaded connection to the vase, or just a connection to the gasket

Hookahs that have the vases connected by a threaded so-called click system was quite an interesting innovation on the market, as it allowed you to hold the hookahs by their body as well and not just by the vase, and they sealed well, they didn’t need any gaskets. However, their popularity started to decline very quickly over time because replacing these vases is quite complicated as the threads of each brand are different, often even for each model they are completely different and thus the amount of vases that dealers would have to keep in stock is incredibly huge and their price rises so drastically. This is not good for either the dealer or the customer, because having threaded vases made for increasingly older models is really complicated and expensive

That’s why a large majority of hookahs have been made lately without threads, just for sealing. They are easy to replace, most vases are virtually universal (more in diameters and vase sizes) and because of this you are able to choose from a wide range of designs and colours

What else to distinguish regarding quality is that of what material or workmanship the vase is made. Basic vases are classically made of glass, transparent or coloured, without any designs. Premium or luxury versions are crystal vases, which are quite a rarity on the market and have really beautiful designs, but cost about as much as a good quality hookah. A reasonable compromise in between is a vase made of high quality thick cut glass. You can also find these in our shop

7. The draw of a hookah

The draft of the hookah depends on the diameter of the tube, the body, the balls, and above all the diffuser … diffusers are static (non-removable), unscrewable, or there are hookahs without a diffuser

A hookah diffuser is used to reduce or eliminate the loud bubbling effect when smoking a hookah. Some people like this sound very much, but often it is so loud that it is problematic to have a conversation around it. In addition, the draft at the diffuser is more stable and more pleasant

There are also adjustable diffusers that can be used to adjust the difficulty of the draw from light to heavy directly during your session with the transducer directly on the body of the hookah – this is possible with a hookah from Koress

8. Blowing style

Hookah makers are getting more creative every day in terms of what style of blowing smoke can be devised. It started out with a plain exhaust valve at the heart of the hookah, which some brands have modified to blow out ring gauges. However, this was quickly surpassed by other brands. The biggest revolution was brought about by the Moze brand, who were able to bring many different blowing effects with the 2 saucer system, and since then the Ocean brand has taken it to the next level where you can change the direction of blowing by turning the saucer.

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