What's the Difference Between Water Pipes and Bubblers?

Posted by Jamie Pope on May 03, 2021

What's the Difference Between Water Pipes and Bubblers?

What’s the Difference Between a Water Pipe and a Bubbler

At first glance, water pipes and bubblers may seem like the same thing! They both use water, they sort of look alike, and they function the same. Right?

Well… not exactly. Water pipes and bubblers actually differ in a lot of ways! From size all the way to how you clean and care for the piece, water pipes and bubblers morph from siblings to cousins.

So What’s the Difference?

At first, the differences between bubblers and water pipes may not seem so obvious. They’re both water pipes, have a bowl, and are used for smoking. However, diving deeper you’ll notice there are a lot of small differences between the two that affect their performance and smoking experience.

Water Pipes and Bubblers Differ in:
  • Size
  • Design
  • Experience
  • Price
  • Adaptability
  • Cleaning

All About Size

Bubblers’ small size allows for portability and are easy to travel with. Typically, bubblers range in size from 3” to 5” in height. If you’re a toker who likes to bring a sesh with you wherever you go, bubblers may be the perfect size for you! Water pipes are a bit larger than bubblers and usually range in heights of 6” to 13”.

Bubblers are small and portable, but hear us out: filtration and diffusion is key. Water pipes have this on lockdown. Bubblers offer some filtration and diffusion, but in all honesty a small downstem can only do so much. However, water pipes have the ability to have a percolator, or more than one percolator, to diffuse and filtrate your smoke optimally. So if you’re looking for a smooth smoke sesh, water pipes may be your golden ticket!

Design, It’s a Big Deal!

When you look at bubblers, they look almost like regular hand pipes. Before you call them a hand pipe, know that there's a small chamber beneath their bowl that you can fill with water! Bubblers usually contain a single downstem for filtration, but some high end bubblers include percolators, which is going to make their smoke filter out and cool down for all of us to enjoy. Though bubblers are able to diffuse and filtrate our smoke, their intricate design makes them prone to accidental breaking.

Water pipes, as you know, are a lot bigger than bubblers in height. They also include percolators and ice pinches that make their smoking experience super cool and refined. With bubblers, you may experience hits that are somewhat smooth but are still harsh in heat.

All About the Experience

Toking it up with bubblers are great if you want a water pipe without bells and whistles. Sure, their water capacity is great for mild filtration and percolation, but it never really calls out “This is the smoothest hit I’ve ever had in my life!” For those who are looking for the smoothest smoking experience, the percolation and filtration of water pipes is the way to go. With tons of perc styles available, water pipes are down to get dirty and with the business of refining the smoking experience.

A Brief Mention of Price

If you want a compact water pipe that won’t break the bank, bubblers are your go-to! On average, bubblers cost anywhere from $20-$50, which is insanely affordable! Water pipes may have a higher ticket price, which is fair due to the features and designs they have. Water pipes’ cost anywhere from $40 to thousands of dollars!

Adaptability, it’s Key!

This may be the deal breaker for some tokers! Adaptability is a piece’s potential to be used in multiple ways to improve the smoking experience. There are plenty of Water Pipe accessories you can find with Cloud 9 Smoke Co!

Water Pipe accessories include:

Having the ability to accessorize your water pipe gives them a huge advantage over bubblers:

  • Start with the basics and build your water pipe with accessories over time to make it smooth and versatile. Always get to know the function and feel of your water pipe before buying any accessories! Sure, you may need an ash catcher, but do you need a percolator ash catcher or a dry ash catcher? You'll have to give your new water pipe a few seshes to get the sense of the perfect water pipe accessories you'll need to get! 

The Chore of Cleaning

A dance most tokers usually don’t like to partake in, but is important to do! The process of cleaning water pipes and bubblers is important to keeping your pieces looking fresh and on their A-game. Cleaning bubblers can be a real pain if they have complex components such as percolators. These create hard to reach places, and sometimes even a trusty pipe cleaner may be difficult to reach them. On the other hand, water pipes are very straight to the point and even the most complex water pipe doesn’t bring on the same cleaning challenges as bubblers. Their larger bodies give you ample room for your Resinate to do its job!

Concluding with the Charts!

A battle doesn’t end until we see the charts! We’ve compiled some for you to review over the pros and cons of bubblers and water pipes:

Pros and Cons of Water Pipes

Pros and Cons of Bubblers

Now that you know the differences between bubblers vs water pipes, it’s time for you to make the choice: Who’s your top dog, Bubblers or Water Pipes?

Wanna learn more about water pipes? Give our comprehensive water pipe guide a read! We cover the history of water pipes, laws about water pipes, water pipe functions, and more.

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