Choosing a pipe to smoke marijuana in seems like it would be a simple thing to do. And it can be — if you don’t care about getting the best possible piece. You can use everything from a soda can (gross!) to a cheap gas-station piece (low quality!) to smoke your marijuana, if you’re willing to slum it like that. But you shouldn’t, because finding the perfect marijuana pipe will really elevate your smoking experience. Your weed will go further, your smoking ritual will become more pleasant, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t invest in the right pipe for your tastes from the start.

That’s why we’re here today to talk about picking the perfect pipe. Below, we’ll lay out all of the criteria that you might want to consider. We’ll guide you through your options and help you pick out the perfect piece. Are you ready? Here’s how to choose a pipe.

How big do you want your pipe to be?

The first question that you should ask yourself when you’re shopping for a pipe is which type of pipe you want. Because there are a lot. You could get a simple bowl with or without a carb. You could get a bubbler, which is a bowl with a water element. Or you could get a bong, which has all kinds of features, including a reservoir for cooling water.

But to figure out which type of pipe you want, you need to ask some practical questions. The first of those is the one above: How big do you want your pipe to be? If you’re looking for something that you can tote around in your pocket, then no amount of features will make you want to choose a bong.

What features are you looking for?

Size isn’t everything. The second part of your decision on pipe-types is all about features.

Actually, size is a feature — it can help determine the size of your hit. But there’s much more than that to talk about here.

How do you want the marijuana smoke to feel and taste? Cooling water and ice catches can make the bong smoking experience significantly smoother than the bowl smoking one. And, of course, cooler and smoother smoke means that you can take bigger hits — an appealing thing to many marijuana users.

Consider the many features that great pipes have. A carb is a basic one, but things get pretty upscale pretty fast. Ice catches, removable slides, even percolators that diffuse the smoke into cooling water — the list goes on and on.

While we’re on the subject of features, we should consider materials, too. Pipes are frequently, but not always, made of glass. But there are other options, including cheap plastic. And then there are the fancier forms of glass, such as scientific glass (which is different from regular glass, and makes for a sturdier piece).

These features can vary within types of pipes — for instance, not all bongs have ice catches — but they’ll be particularly valuable for helping you decide which general type of piece you want. If you want water cooling, for instance, you’ll be looking at bubblers and bongs.

Budgeting for bongs

How much should you spend on your pipe? Your budget will go a long way toward determining what your options actually are.

We can’t tell you how much to spend, but we will tell you this: It’s worth investing in the brand-name stuff. Quality HISI glass will outlast cheaper alternatives and provide a better experience that keeps paying off long after you’ve absorbed the hit to your wallet. In many cases, you’ll find that you’d rather get a humbler piece from a trusted name than a more over-the-top option that lacks the durability and reliable features of a brand-name piece.

And there you have it — use your size and features preferences to narrow down the types of pipes you’re looking at, and then use a sensible budget to target the right brand-name solutions from reliable retailers. That should narrow down your options quite a bit and help you find your ideal pipe!

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