Skip to main content

Hookah Buying Guide: How to Buy the Best Hookah for Your Needs

Posted by Free Smoke Admin on Mar 6th 2023

Welcome to the best hookah buying guide on the planet! Your friends at Free Smoke are here to offer our knowledge with another how-to guide. This time, we're talking about buying a hookah for the first time. We'll go over the different types of hookahs available online and the best hookah to buy when you are just starting.

The Different Types of Hookah

The first step to buying a hookah is knowing which type you want. If you plan to keep it at your house, a more traditional design should suit you best. However, if portability is important, there are options available to you. Let's take a look at the different types of hookah available today.

Traditional Hookahs

Classic hookahs that feature a glass base, long stem and one or more hoses. These hookahs use charcoal to heat the shisha you place inside the bowl. The smoke is pulled through a downstem and cooled by water before being redirected out of the hose.

Portable Hookahs

A more compact version of a hookah with a modern design, portable hookahs generally sacrifice quantity in favor of portability. While they still use traditional charcoal and shisha, a portable hookah looks very different from a traditional one.

Mini Hookahs

If you took a conventional hookah and hit it with a shrink ray, it'd look a lot like a mini hookah. Designed for personal use, mini hookahs typically have one hose and much smaller bowls.


These magical devices are new on the scene. Some may look like traditional hookahs, but instead of heating shisha with charcoal, they use batteries and heating coils to atomize eLiquids like vapes and box mods. Other eHookahs are adapters you can place on top of your current hookah, replacing the shisha bowl and charcoal with battery-powered vapor clouds.

best hookah

What to Know When Buying Your First Hookah

So, you've settled on buying a hookah. That's awesome. Very few experiences mirror the satisfaction of lounging around on large cushions and bean bag chairs, taking long draws of cool hookah smoke and tasting that fresh shisha as it hits your tongue. While hookah lounges continue to be vibrant parts of urban life, buying a hookah for your home or apartment can let you recreate part of the experience in a private setting.

The best hookah to buy will be the one that meets all (or most) of your needs at the best price available. There is no one-size-fits-all option, but we can review what you need to consider when buying your first hookah.

1. Size

Hookahs come in various shapes and sizes, from floor-standing models to tabletop varieties. The last thing you want to do is buy a hookah and then realize you have nowhere to put it. The best hookah for beginners can typically sit on a small table, making it easily accessible for all users.

2. Materials

In our opinion, the best hookahs are the classics. Made from glass bottles with copper or brass fittings and clay bowls, these hookahs look great and will last a long time. Newer designs use materials like stainless steel, and they look slick as hell. It just comes down to your vibes. Avoid plastics and other materials that are likely to warp, wear or break.

3. Hoses

Most hookahs come with one hose but will have connectors for two. Others may have connectors for three or four. With the right pieces, you can add a second hose to your hookah and enjoy your shisha with a friend. If you plan on smoking in larger groups, pick a model with more connectors.

When buying a hookah, you should also consider what the hoses are made of. The best ones will have a food-grade silicone hose wrapped with an outer metal braid that allows it to bend while offering some support. Food-grade silicone doesn't retain flavor between uses and is dishwasher-safe.

4. Bowl Size

No hookah buying guide would be complete without talking about the bowl. Large bowls take longer to heat up and longer to smoke — if you don't make it through a bowl in one sitting, you are effectively wasting your shisha. Bowls that are too small can run out quickly. It's a very delicate balance. When asked about the best hookah for beginners, we always say that too small is better than too big. We'd rather you have to repack your bowl than waste your product.

5. Downstems

Removable downstems and diffusers are easier to clean and generally dishwasher safe depending on which model you select. When buying your first hookah, we recommend you go for what makes it easiest to clean and maintain.

6. Price

Super fancy hookahs can go for thousands of dollars. That's probably not the best hookah to buy when starting. That said, you don't want to cut corners on quality materials either. Avoid the discount bin. Get a solid hookah with good reviews from a trusted brand.

Free Smoke Has the Best Hookahs to Buy Online

We carry the best hookahs for beginners and experienced users. Shop our selection to find quality hookah products such as charcoal, shisha, pipes and stems. Choose your favorites from more than one hundred different flavors. Buying a hookah online is fast and easy. Shop at Free Smoke for all your hookah, vape and smoke products.

Shop Now