Hookah Hoses 101: A Definitive Guide
Whether you’ve been a long-time hookah enthusiast or are just now dabbling into this space, there are certain details of smoking hookah ‘you just know’ or ‘come to learn’ through experience. One of the most common questions our Customer Service Team gets asked is “What is the best hookah?”. A better question is: “How do I make the best hookah?”.
Hookah is not what it used to be a couple short decades ago. Today most hookah hoses are washable and a lot of hookahs you find on the market now are modular - meaning they have the ability to be broken down into several pieces, therefore spare parts are more readily available, easier portability, storage and customization, all without sacrificing the traditional hookah experience or style.
The two main, best upgrades to any hookah are with the hose and the bowl management. When you find your shisha type, how you load your bowl and manage your heat are the first traits you should figure out. But, right now, we’re talking about hoses. What is ‘the best’, when do you change them, how do you find an upgrade, do you need a new hose?
What are the Different Types of Hookah Hoses?
Today, most hookahs are pre-packaged with a washable hose. However, more traditional styles of hookahs may not include one. In general, hookahs have always been one-hose shisha smoking devices intended to be a communal tradition. As designs have changed and styles elevated, more people are getting used to modernized and multi-hose hookahs. Hoses have developed from the leather, or vinyl, wrapped metal-coil structure into far-superior, high-grade silicone tubing concepts with removable handle and heel pieces.
One point to keep in mind between the different types of hookah hoses is that in general, most hookah hoses will be right around 72” in total length. This may slightly vary depending on the handle and handle design.
Disposable Hookah Hoses
Easily the most affordable and most hygienic style of hookah hose. Although their name may suggest ‘one-time-use’ they are great for a few other purposes. If you like to have several friends over for a hookah session, each person can have their own hose if just individual mouth tips alone aren’t enough for your fellow smokers. Toss them out after your hookah party.
If your shisha collection is large and you find yourself smoking a wide variety of different flavor profiles, disposable hookah hoses are affordable enough to have several on hand to avoid ‘flavor ghosting’ when going from mint or citrus to something more rich like coffee or chocolate. Even if you’re just trying out a new flavor, you can grab a disposable hose to throw out if your new flavor wasn’t what you had hoped it would be
Traditional Hookah Hoses
One could argue these are the most familiarly recognized hookah hoses as they are very often seen in hookah lounges. Traditional style hookah hoses are what normally come paired with Khalil Mamoon hookahs or MYA Saray hookahs for example. They are not washable but still have a good lifespan with proper care.
As a new hookah owner, this style of hookah hose is a great starting place. As you experiment with different flavors you may soon recognize the benefits of a washable hose however.
Washable Hookah Hoses
The cream of the crop, easily. You can find a lot of variety in washable hookah hoses when it comes to style and aesthetics. Switching between various flavor profiles of shisha is simple without ‘flavor ghosting’, and washable hookah hoses come in a wide range of price points so finding that perfect match for your hookah set up is simple as well.
Because most washable hookah hoses use the same type of high-grade silicone tubing with similar diameters, you can usually swap out handles and heel pieces between different brands.
How Long Does a Hookah Hose Last?
- Disposable hookah hoses are usually made from a thin plastic tubing and have a simplified, plastic handle. They are washable which means you can use them only a few times should you choose to do so. Because of their build, disposable hookah hoses can be used more than a handful of times before you may notice it’s time for a new one. On average a disposable hookah hose can last a few weeks, depending on how often you’re loading up a bowl of shisha. It’s not recommended to run any hookah hose through a dishwasher. A simple rinse of warm water (lemon juice optional) gets the job done.
- Traditional hookah hoses are not washable. Most are made from leather, vinyl or plastic that is wrapped around a metal coil which is then coated with thin plastic inside. Over time, the inner plastic lining can ‘hold on’ to flavor as well as begin to break down. Running water through a traditional, non-washable hookah hose can shorten its life dramatically. Again, depending on how many hookah bowls you’re smoking, a traditional style hookah hose can last anywhere from four to six weeks all the way up to a year before it needs to be replaced. Never run water through a traditional hookah hose.
- Washable hookah hoses can last a very long time with proper care. Usually made in three separate pieces - the tubing, the handle, and the heel tip - washable hookah hoses break down easily for a nice, thorough cleaning. As mentioned before, do not run a washable hookah hose through a dishwasher. A washable hookah hose that is cleaned after every smoke session can last you years.
How to Clean a Hookah Hose
The first answer to determine: “Is it washable?”.
If your answer is “no” then the best thing to do after a bowl of shisha is to blow air through your non-washable hose to clear out any smoke or condensation. Leave your traditional hookah hose to hang out for drying until your next hookah session.
If your answer is “yes” then keep it simple by running some warm water through your hookah hose after your smoking adventure. A pro-tip: Mix in some lemon juice with that warm water. For a deep clean for those really potent shisha flavors you can let your silicone tubing rest in warm water with some lemon juice and baking soda. Make sure to remove your hose handle and heel tip beforehand as those pieces may not favor a swim depending on what they are made from. Another pro-tip: After a rinse or a quick bath, handle and heel tip removed, and plenty of space :), you can swing your washable hookah hose tubing to draw out any leftover water before you hang it up to dry.
How to Choose a Hookah Hose
Well...you can go with whatever hose came with your hookah or you can decide if an upgrade is more urgent depending on your hookah lifestyle. For those hookah enthusiasts who are smoking several times a week it may be a good idea to invest in a washable hookah hose that’s not only going to last you a very long time but also matches your flare. If you’re often setting up for hookah parties with friends or family, you may want to consider grabbing some disposable hookah hoses to always have on hand. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your hookah hose…it just may be time to do so.
Going by Price
Over many years we have had lots of experience with a wide variety of hookah related products. When it comes to hookah hoses, almost every individual here at Hookah-Shisha has tried several on a personal level and we also have had lots of great feedback from you.
Hands down, our choice is any type of washable hose. Collectively from our end and your own opinions, an Al Fakher Disposable hose, a Shisha House Ripper, Gladiator, or Galaxy hose hit all of the quality expectations at an incredibly affordable price. Here in our office most of us use any of these for daily use.
Going by Style
Let’s start with Dream Hoses, or D-Hoses, as they were one of the first alternative, washable hoses we had our hands on and have continued to release different versions in elevated styles which continue to be a leader. The Resin D-Hose hits all the marks with beautifully designed resign handles in several versions and colorations. The Aluminum D-Hose is a classic second choice within this brand. They also have several other variations depending on your aesthetic taste.
When HookahJohn released the Knurl Hose we were obsessed. Made from high-quality aluminum and silicone the Knurl Hose definitely made a statement. Its 15” handle is beefy, and as the name suggests, features a knurled lathed grip.
Going Right in the Middle
This category is vast. However Amira BYO makes several hoses that are really enjoyable. The Amira BYO Wand hookah hose is similar to the Shisha House Ripper hose with a slightly different design made of the same high-quality materials. Their unique Foam Handle hose is great as well offering a different type of handle grip.
In order to create the best hookah experience it’s important to recognize the most important pieces, one of them being the hookah hose. Washable is best, disposable hoses have a purpose, and the investment in your hookah hose is something you should prominently consider.
What hoses are in your hookah collection? Which hookah hoses do you favor? Let us know which hose has never let you down in the comments. If you ever have any questions about hookah hoses, we’re here to help. Contact our well experienced Customer Service Team and we can help guide you!