"This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links."
“Hookah” is just one of many names for the elegant tobacco-smoking device used in cultures across the globe. It is particularly popular in Southern Asia and the Middle East, but quite a few Hookah Bars have popped up in Western cultures, too, and purchasing one for private use is very simple.
The problem, however, is understanding where to begin! It is difficult to find a straightforward guide that details the basics of hookah shopping, so naturally, there is a lot of mystery surrounding the entire process.
To make your search easier, we have laid out all of the basic information for you in this guide. We highlight the best hookah units and show you what things you should take into consideration before you buy one.
Top 10 Hookahs Table
Understanding Hookahs – the Basics
If you have never used or owned a hookah, then we recommend that you pay attention to the stem material, the number of hose ports, and the height of the hookah when shopping for one.
- Stem Material. Brass is the best stem material since it can’t rust and is durable. It is more expensive, however, which is why many manufacturers opt for stainless steel; this isn’t the best material simply because it is more prone to rusting, even if it is coated with a special material, but it is most likely what you will find on an entry-level model.
- Number of Hose Ports. Most Hookahs have two ports (attachment points) on the base, but if you know that more than two people will be regularly sitting around the table and using it, opt for one that has four hose ports such as the Hookah4Sale 22” Hookah.
Ports that you don’t end up using can be blocked with a plug, so you don’t necessarily have to have all of the hoses attached when you want to use it. The only thing to keep an eye out for is air leakage, which can be a problem if you don’t plug the hole well.
- Height. How does the height of the hookah change the smoker’s experience? There are three big myths surrounding hookahs that we would like to bust:
- That taller ones deliver easier hits or draws.
- That taller ones make more smoke.
- That taller ones cool smoke better.
The fact is that the height has nothing to do with any of these things. Taller hookahs do require more effort to draw on but do deliver a hard, fast hit, but then again, that isn’t set in stone since some taller ones don’t provide much resistance.
Many disagree on the importance of the height, some claiming that it doesn’t change much while others say that the longer shaft will allow more time for the smoke to cool. All you can do is try! The quality of your tobacco and the overall hookah quality – as well as your level of experience – will affect the results.
One suggestion we have regarding size – tall hookahs are not ideal for parties or events where there is a lot of movement since they are easier to knock over.
Consider the Price
Of course, the budget is going to have an impact on the hookah you choose, but remember that the cheaper you go, the lower the quality will be.
Entry-level units that go for under $50 aren’t very reliable and probably won’t hold up in the long run. Most often, they are made in China, and the quality is poor. For occasional home use, they should be fine, but for regular use at bar or establishment, it is best to spring for a more expensive one.
This is one of those products where “you get what you pay for,” so if you want to make your purchase worthwhile, expect to spend a minimum of $50.
Top 3 Best Hookah Reviews
When considering the price and the size of the Saraha Smoke 17-inch Hookah, we would say that it is probably the best hookah for a beginner or occasional smoker to purchase.
A unit like this is ideal for home use since it is short; it won’t take up much storage space, and you don’t have to worry so much about it leaking since it only has two hose ports.
The base is made of hand blown glass and holds up to 4 cups of water. The silicone pipe is 69 inches long, so you’ll have no problem passing it around wider tables.
The shaft, unfortunately, is made of stainless steel, and while we would have preferred one made of brass, we know that the cost would be significantly higher if that were the case. The stainless steel shaft performs well; just make sure that you dry it thoroughly between uses to avoid rust issues.
Along with this hookah, you will get a pair of khanjar tongs for handling hot charcoal and given the price and the overall quality; we were quite impressed. It’s a great beginner hookah!
Those who prefer a more sophisticated, high-end hookah will be wowed by Sheikh’s all-glass model.
This hookah puts on quite a show since the LED base changes colors at the touch of a button. It comes with a little remote so you can control the light show, which makes it a great form of entertainment at an evening event or party.
Its one major flaw, however, is that it is so delicate. The tips of the pipes are glass, and they are very easy to break. You should make sure that this hookah is set up in a safe location so that you avoid expensive accidents by knocking it over. While it may be delicate, it still functions well and is very entertaining.
You will have no problem finding tutorials explaining how to set up and use this hookah, so if you value your tobacco smoking experience and would like an eye-catching conversation piece to feature at your next hookah party, purchase this one.
If you’re interested in a taller model, consider the Khalil Mamoon Kafae Hookah.
This is a traditional Egyptian style is not just designed in the traditional style – it was made in Egypt. Those of you interested in the most authentic experience possible will get it with this hookah.
Since it has a smaller water bowl, so don’t expect it to last as long as one with a larger bowl. It does, however, produce an impressive cloud of smoke; something that this particular brand is well-known for.
Be very careful when you set it up because the base is narrow. Since it is tall and sits on this narrow base, it is like a Jenga stack just waiting to tip over. Place it next to a wall or secure location to avoid accidents!