What’s a Bubbler Pipe and Why Would You Use One?

woman smoking out of a bubbler

A bubbler pipe is a convenient, discreet, and portable device that delivers smooth and flavorful hits every time. Bubblers are a hybrid between a bong (water pipe) and a regular smoking pipe. Bubblers are typically smaller than bongs but larger than most pipes. While bongs are sturdy and imposing smoking utensils, bubbler pipes are a transportable version that come innovative and cool designs for quality filtration and mobility.

What Are Bubbler Pipes?

packed bubbler pipe on a porch

Bubbler pipes, or simply "bubblers," are a type of bong that feature a stem, bowl, mouthpiece, and water chamber. Similar to water pipes, smoke travels through the water-filled chamber of a bubbler and cools down each hit for an effortless draw. Bubbler pipes feature one or multiple percolators (water chamber) to increase cooling and filtration of smoke. These devices take elements of traditional pipes and bongs for on-the-go filtration. There are many types of bubblers, but most of them tend to look more like pipes than bongs. They can be filled with traditional flower from your favorite dispensary, and some bubblers even take concentrates.

History Of The Bubbler Pipe

bong in front of sunset on the beach

The history of the bubbler pipe is the history of bongs and pipe smoking. There's evidence that smoking in a water pipe was common thousands of years ago in Asia and Africa. Water pipes were primarily made with natural materials and used to enjoy tobacco. 16th century China made their water pipe out of bamboo wood, bronze, or brass. It wasn't until the 1970's that glassblowing for cannabis use became a breakthrough phenomenon. Glass bongs transformed from desktop versions to more portable bubblers over time.

Benefits of Bubblers Over Bongs And Pipes

woman lighting a bowl

Bubbler pipes are the perfect way to smoke outside. Most bongs are too large, thick, and cumbersome to transport efficiently. It can also be very difficult to transport the multiple pieces and paraphernalia for bongs. Bubblers are smaller cannabis devices that are typically under 10 inches tall. Anything over this size may be hard to lug around. Additionally, bubblers don't make as much noise when pulling in the smoke compared with larger bongs. Ultimately, bubblers offer an extra aspect of filtration and portability compared to pipes and bongs.

Limitations of Bubblers

full marijuana bowl

Although a bubbler pipe may reduce the harshness of a hit, they do have some drawbacks. For example, bubblers tend to get dirty quick. With smaller bowls than most bongs, bubblers go through plenty of uses and require frequent cleaning. Because bubblers are self-contained units, they may be more difficult to clean. Since there is only one glass piece, there may be hard-to-reach places to clean.

Additionally, bubblers can't be modified. For example, it's not possible to add a chamber to a bubbler. Some bubblers like concentrate bubblers require additional pieces, but most bubblers don't. It's important to choose a bubbler that’s made out of high-quality material to reduce the chance of it breaking.

Buying A Bubbler Pipe

marijuana buds in a jar

There are many things to consider when shopping for a bubbler pipe. From the size of a carb to the materials it's made out of, bubbler shopping requires due diligence. Bubblers can be made out of glass, plastic, ceramic, bamboo, metal, and more. Consider these bubbler types before you decide on a favorite.

Hammer Bubbler

Hammer bubblers feature a hammer-like design. Other people liken its design to a judge's gavel. The bottom of the mouthpiece and chamber holds the hammer up. This bubbler can hold itself up on a flat surface with a neck that runs diagonally upwards to the bowl area.

Sherlock Bubbler

Popularized by Sherlock Holmes, the Sherlock pipe features a curved neck and an elongated shape. The Sherlock bubbler is a mix of a Sherlock pipe and a bong. It typically features an "S" shape in its design.

Pendant Bubbler

Pendant bubblers are tiny devices that can hang like a pendant on a necklace. They come with a chain or string and are small enough to hold in the palm of a hand. Pendant bubblers are the most inconspicuous bubblers offering easy access and ultimate portability.

Sidecar Bubbler

A sidecar bubbler features a mouthpiece and neck that is adjacent to the bowl and chamber, like a sidecar. The neck runs at an angle from the chamber's side, unlike other bubblers that feature necks that run up the top. Sidecar bubblers may eliminate any excess water splashing into the neck and into mouths for an unpleasant taste.

Concentrate Bubbler

Bubblers have made their way into the concentrate world. Concentrate bubblers allow users to vape concentrate extracts like shatter, wax, crumble, oil, and more. Unlike other bubblers that have a female joint, concentrate bubblers have a male joint that requires a nail and carb cap to dab. Small in size, concentrate bubblers often feature a bent neck, but there are higher-priced specialized ones.

Double Bubbler

Double Bubblers offer extra filtration with two chambers featuring percolators. The extra chamber adds another cooling and filtration aspect but may be bigger than regular bubblers.

How to Use A Bubbler

bud falling out of a jar

After purchasing a bubbler, it's really easy to use and take care of. Before each use, users will need to fill the chamber with some water without overdoing it. Use cold water to cool down smoke and warmer water for a smoother hit. After filling a bubbler with water, users can grind up some flower and pack it into the bubbler's bowl. To inhale, users should pull smoke into the chamber and remove their finger from the carb when they're ready to inhale.

Bubbler pipes are a great addition to any smoker's arsenal of pipes and bongs. In order to get the most out of a bubbler, consumers should purchase pieces made from high-quality materials to avoid having to replace them. While it seems like more and more people are choosing the vaporization route, traditional ways of smoking continue to thrive, especially with the availability of different types of bubbler pipes.