Hookah smoking has become an increasingly popular pastime around the world. While the elaborate hookah pipes add an exotic flair, the foundation of an excellent hookah session lies within the base. The hookah base, a vase or goblet, holds the water that cools and filters the smoke as you draw it through the pipe. Choosing a suitable base is essential to optimising your hookah experience. The base’s material, size, shape and style all impact aspects like smoke smoothness, flavour, and longevity of your smoking session. With so many options on the market, selecting the best base for your needs can be overwhelming. This guide will walk through the key considerations when shopping for a hookah base and provide tips on elevating your smoking experience through your base selection.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Hookah Base
The material used to construct your hookah base is one of the most critical factors, as it affects the base’s durability, appearance and impact on smoke quality. Common materials used are:
Glass bases are the gold standard for hookah smoking. They provide excellent water filtration to produce smooth, purified smoke. Glass also gives you a clear view of the water level. When it needs to be changed. Glass bases come in vibrant colours and stylish designs, making them an aesthetically pleasing addition to your hookah. However, Glass is prone to breaking and must be handled carefully.
Acrylic bases are an affordable and durable alternative to Glass. Made from plastic, acrylic bases resist cracks and chips. They are lightweight yet sturdy. Acrylic allows for creative shapes and modern colour combinations. The drawback is that smoke filtration is less thorough than Glass.
Ceramic bases have an artisanal look, often with intricate patterns and motifs. Ceramics offer smoother smoke than acrylics but are heftier and prone to breaking. Glazed ceramics can also crack or fade over time. Unglazed clay bases require cleaning after each use to prevent ghosting flavours.
Metal bases are highly durable and stable. Stainless steel and aluminium bases have a sleek, contemporary aesthetic. Metal conducts heat well, so the smoke can get harsh if the base gets too hot. Enamel coatings help reduce heat conductivity in metal bases.
The size of your hookah base impacts stability, smoke volume and session duration. Larger bases hold more water, so the smoke has more time to cool as it bubbles through. This results in a smoother, more flavoursome smoking experience. However, more extensive bases also require more shisha to fill the bowl. Get a base sized proportionally to your hookah pipe height for optimal function. A good standard size is around 10 inches tall, with a 6-inch mouth opening. Mini hookahs suit smaller bases around 6 inches tall.
Conical bases with a rounded bottom are the most common shape and provide a sturdy foundation with ample water volume. Cylindrical bases offer a modern look. Spherical and beaker silhouettes are also available. Distinct-shaped bases like pyramid, hexagonal and star bases allow you to get creative. The shape impacts the water displacement and diffusion patterns, so choose a stable shape that appeals to your style.
Design and Style
Beyond the basic shape, bases come in an array of gorgeous designs to customise the look of your hookah. Intricate glass bases have kaleidoscopic colours and patterns. Others have moulded textures or are painted with unique motifs. Metallic bases often have striking two-tone colour combinations or faux jewels encrusted along the exterior. You can also find glow-in-the-dark bases for a psychedelic effect. Having a stylishly designed base enhances the whole hookah smoking ritual.
How the Base Impacts Your Smoking Experience
The base has a direct impact on several aspects of your hookah session:
The water in the base filters out irritants and toxins from the smoke as it bubbles through. Using purified or distilled water will maximise this purification effect. Larger bases provide more filtration.
A quality base diffuses the smoke thoroughly, resulting in a smoother draw with less harshness. Glass bases typically provide the smoothest hits. The water should be changed regularly to maintain this smoothness.
A good base will cool the smoke without dampening the flavour of your shisha tobacco. Acrylic and metal bases tend to mute flavours compared to glass bases. Keeping your base clean prevents residual flavours that can muddle your shisha taste.
The water’s surface area impacts the moisture content of the smoke. More humidity enhances the flavour while reducing dryness and irritation. Bases with wide, open mouths increase exposure.
The size of the downstream opening, water volume and shape of the base all affect the pull you need to inhale through the hookah. Too much resistance makes it laborious to draw adequate smoke volume.
Larger bases with more water capacity support longer sessions before the smoke becomes harsh. Glass bases promote longevity better than acrylic or metal.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Base for Your Hookah
- Consider the size of your hookah pipe – the base should be manageable for the scale.
- Glass bases produce optimal smoke quality. Acrylic and metal bases work for more casual smoking. Ceramic bases look tremendous but require care.
- Stability is critical for safety and preventing tipping. Wider bottoms offer sturdiness.
- Portability may be a concern if you want to travel with your hookah. Smaller acrylic bases are ideal for transport.
- Intricate styles, colours and lighting effects allow you to showcase your personality.
- Ensure the base has a fitted grommet to seal properly onto the pipe downstream.
- Change the water every few uses to keep the base fresh and hygienic.
- Clean your base regularly with hookah cleaning solutions to avoid ghosting flavours.
- Consider a base protector bag or case to prevent chips and cracks when storing.
The foundation your hookah is built upon matters. Invest in a quality hookah base proportioned for your pipe to maximise the enjoyment of your shisha session. With suitable hookah bases, you can enhance the nuances of the smoke’s smoothness, moisture and flavours. Experiment with different materials and designs until you find your ideal hookah base for the ultimate experience.