What Is a Bubbler And How Do You Use One?

The best of hand pipes and bongs in one piece.

weed bubbler iStock / jackfoto

What Are Weed Bubblers? 

Weed bubblers are small and portable making them an ideal piece to smoke from. They feature a bowl, mouthpiece, a stem, and a water chamber. When the smoke passes through the piece, it’s cooled by the water chamber which offers a smooth and gentle hit.

Some bubblers also include a percolator, which is an extra water chamber that helps to filter and cool the weed further. It’s also common for bubblers to have a carb hole to clear the smoke more efficiently.

If the mental image you’re getting is that of a bong in the body of a smaller pipe, you’ve got the right idea.

How To Use A Weed Bubbler

Filling the bubbler with water is probably the trickiest part you’ll need to get down before being fully comfortable with the little glass device. The best way to go is to fill it through the bowl as this is much easier than trying to get water in through the narrow mouthpiece. The colder the water the smoother your hits will be.

Be sure to add enough water so that the smoke actually gets filtered and you’re not inhaling harsh hits. Add too much water though and you might get a stinky splash on the lips.

When you’ve found a happy medium between unfiltered smoke and splashback (shoot for submerging about half the stem in the water,) you can grind up some weed and pack the bowl with it. You’re so close now. If the bubbler has a carb, go ahead and cover it with a finger or thumb.

Light the weed, get a consistent pull in the chamber, inhale, take the carb off if you need to and voila. That’s how you use a bubbler. You can exhale now.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Bubblers

Small glass bubbler used for smoking dried cannabis isolated over black background

iStock / rgbspace

The portability of the device is favorable to many, though the one-piece design makes it a real chore to actually clean out the bubbler (and you should always clean your bongs and related pieces.) You can’t take a bubbler apart, so instead, you have to get creative with how to clean all the nooks and crannies on your own.

Weed bubblers also function well as a sort of portable bong, allowing users to take them on the go and still get smooth, cool hits without the large size. With this “portable bong” still comes the biggest risk of owning a regular bong: dropping it. These things are fragile, so keep that in mind if you’re excited about taking bubblers on the go.

We can’t ignore one of the most alluring aspects of glass pieces: their design. Weed bubblers are great because they can go from a basic water pipe to a gorgeous, well-crafted piece that enhances the session just by its beauty. Circling back to the last point, the craftsmanship of some of the bubblers is also a risk if you’re the clumsy type.

Finally, bubblers can leave very little room for customization. Most bongs can easily be modified to better suit the user, but bubblers do not have the same luxury.

Types Of Bubblers

There is plenty of variety for choosing a bubbler if you’re in the market for a new piece. While there are lots of variations, they all have the same anatomy in common: stem, bowl, mouthpiece, and a water chamber.

Hammer Bubbler

These bubblers get their name because they are held up by a stand that makes the piece resemble a hammer.

Sidecar Bubbler

These have a “sidecar mouthpiece” which branches off from the chamber and is angled from the side rather than the top. The design prevents any splashes or loss of water from the bubbler.

Sherlock Bubbler

If you’re familiar with sherlock pipes, then this bubbler type is no stranger. It’s just a piece in the “S” shape.

Pendant Bubbler

If you’re looking for some outstanding fashion, a pendant bubbler will hang around your neck as an adorable pendant. They usually come with a small hole and string to tie around your neck so you can rock out with your bubbler out.

Concentrate

These bubblers are specifically designed to use with concentrates or oils instead of flower.

Double Bubbler

Double double bubbler trouble. Really, this just has two water chambers as opposed to one. Your smoke will be filtered twice, offering an even cooler and smoother hit.

How To Choose The Right Bubbler

Bubblers can be found in headshops, dispensaries, or purchased online. Choosing the right bubbler comes down to personal preferences of course, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Do you want a double bubbler with two chambers or the addition of a percolator, or do you want a more simplified bubbler? Narrow down the type of bubbler you’re looking for and go from there.


When it comes time to decide, look for a piece that has good structural support. It’s not always best to price shop when looking for something like a good bubbler because the cheaper you go the more likely you are sacrificing quality.

What Is a Bubbler And How Do You Use One? was last modified: by
Macey Wolfer
Author
Macey Wolfer
Macey is a freelance writer recently moved to Seattle, Washington. When she’s not writing articles, she is playing bass in her band or at a show. She also enjoys making poems and short stories, and helping friends with their creative projects.