At it's most basic level, to successfully smoke hookah you only need a few things. You need a hookah itself, you need some sort of vessel for the shisha and coal (a bowl), and you need a way to get the vapor out of your hookah (a hose). Beyond that, everything else is just a way to improve the quality of your hookah experience.
The hookah market is filled with intriguing options that all claim to improve your smoking session, or make it easier to get a perfect smoking set up. In this guide we are going to cover a few hookah accessories that we think will make a huge improvement on your next hookah session without breaking the bank.
Hookah Bowl Upgrades
If you are looking to upgrade your hookah bowl, there are many options available. Our two favorite upgraded bowls are the Vortex Bowl and the Phunnel Bowl. Each bowl works great when you are smoking wetter or juicier brands of shisha like Starbuzz, Fantasia, or Tangiers.
The reason these bowls work so well is because they take the holes on the bottom of a traditional bowl, and move them up onto a raised spire at the center of the bowl. This prevents shisha juice from dripping down your hookah stem while you are smoking. By doing this you get a smoother, more flavorful smoke, and you also cut down on the time you have to spend cleaning your hookah once your smoking session has ended.
Hookah Hose Upgrades
The biggest problem with most hoses is that they either get very dirty inside or hold on to flavors (referred to as ghosting) due to the lingering residues that are left behind when the smoke passes through. The easiest solution to this problem would be to wash out your hose, right? The problem is that many hoses are not washable due to the materials they are constructed of.
If you want to upgrade hoses, we recommend choosing a washable variety. Our two suggested hoses are the Nammor Washable Hookah Hose and the Lulava Washable Hookah Hose. The Nammor is a more traditionally designed wrapped hose which has a plastic lining. This lining allows you to wash out your hose without damaging the hose itself.
The Lulava hose is a more simply designed modern take on the hookah hose. It is comprised of two end pieces which are both 100% removable and composed of anodized aluminum, and a medical grade plastic tubing for the body of the hose. The lulava hose is designed to be easily cleaned and is even dishwasher safe.
Hookah Heat Management Upgrades
One of the keys to a perfect hookah smoke is great heat management. Too much heat and the flavor and smoothness of the smoke suffers, not enough and you just don't get enough smoke. To get the best smoke you normally have to spend a lot of time fiddling with your coals. Then last year the Kaloud Lotus was released and now these problems are a thing of the past.
The Kaloud Lotus Heat Management System sits on top of your bowl (you can find a list of compatible bowls here) and replaces your foil or bowl screen. You place your lit coals inside of the body of the Lotus, add the lid, let it heat up the bowl for a few minutes and then smoke away. That's it. No shuffling of coals, not bad smoke, just a perfect bowl every time. The Kalous Lotus is the best hookah upgrade to come along since the washable hose and we highly recommend it for all smokers.
Hookah Smoke Diffusers
We regularly champion the Heba Diffuser as the best hookah upgrade in the world for under $10 and it's still as true today as it was years ago. The Heba Diffuser is a simple, yet incredibly effective, contraption that fits on the end of your hookah's downstem. It's one purpose is to turn big smoke bubbles into a lot of tiny little smoke bubbles. Why does this matter? We'll tell you!
When your smoke travels through the water in your hookah base, it is both cooled down and filtered by the water. The problem is that only the outside edges of the smoke bubbles ever come in contact with the water, and the majority of the smoke makes it through untouched. By reducing the size of the smoke bubbles, while simultaneously increasing the number of bubbles, we are vastly increasing the surface area of the smoke which comes in contact with the water. This means a cleaner and cooler smoke for you, every single time. Simple as that.
We hope this guide has proved helpful in your quest for the best possible hookah smoking experience.