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Glass Smoking Pipes 101

9 Types of Glass Smoking Pipes and the Differences Between Them

You can get smoking pieces from any head shop, dispensary, or corner gas station nowadays. A dime a dozen, humanity has crafted quite the massive array of devices to help others smoke.

Not only are there a countless variety of different smoking accessories, but they come in a plethora of materials, too, including metal, wood, bone, silicone, titanium, and so much more. The material helps determine how efficient the piece will be at burning product, as well as which will help retain heat instead of disperse it.

Glass Pipes - Down to the Basics

Glass is just a classic favorite material for many smokers. It gives a more transparent, cleaner taste. While glass has both pros and cons, you’ll see later in this guide how the advantages clearly outweigh any disadvantages.

9 Types of Glass Pipes

There are quite a variety of pipes out there, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Let’s look at the different styles of pipes and how they differ.

Spoon Pipes

One of the classic types of glass pieces, spoon pipes are a standard hand pipe named aptly for its shape. The most popular type of glass pipe, spoon pipes typically come with a carb on one of the sides of the bowl. They also make it easy to control the airflow and give you big hits by allowing you to control how much air is coming in through the carb.


Another classic for stoners, steamrollers are one of the most efficient ways to get an intense hit from your bud. Both ends of the long piece are wide open, with the bowl placed on top somewhere between the two. When smoked, your mouth is placed on one side, and your finger covers up the other side to act as a carb. By lighting the bowl from the top and then releasing your hand from the end to expose the hole while smoking, you can get a powerful punch of a hit while still maintaining control. 

Glass Blunt Cigar Tubes

For the rollers at heart, glass cigar tubes are perfect for anyone who wants to stay health conscious but get the feel of a blunt in their hands. Typically, you just push out the smoke to dump the ash out as it goes down the tube.

Sherlock Pipes

While many Sherlock pipes are made from wood, there are still a variety of materials used for certain ones. Some decor and more novelty pieces are made from glass or ceramic, making them easier to smoke and clean. Just like you’d see Sherlock Holmes or even Gandalf use, these pipes are sure to get customers’ attention.

Chillums and One Hitters

The one-hitter is the perfect device for the lightweights that don’t get much to get toasted. Chillums, while a little bigger, are also ideal for those that don’t like to smoke too much at one time. The bowl for the one-hitter is small enough to fit just one hit. The chillums, alternatively, are typically a bit bigger. 

Chillums often have a bigger opening at the bowl and a smaller opening for the mouthpiece, while one-hitters are one solid bar. The most common one-hitter you see are the metal ones with a cigarette design across it, which makes it inconspicuous from far enough away.


A small water pipe, bubblers typically have a bottom base, a chamber, and a stem, along with sometimes a carb. Much smaller than a bong, bubblers use a similar water filtration system that helps to regulate the temperature of the smoke.


The larger of the water pipes, bongs are the classic most stoners are familiar with. Most have either an intricate, complex design or just a simple, straight tube, sometimes with various percolators. They can be some of the priciest glass pieces, but they also deliver some of the strongest hits.

Dab Rigs

Dab rigs are the pieces in the smoking world that help even the most experienced stoner take a true punch of a hit. Used for concentrate instead of flower, dab rigs come in a massive plethora of shapes and sizes. Some are meant to carry water while others can just be hit dry.

Concentrate Gathering Tools

Similar to dab rigs, Concentrate Gathering Tools are strictly for concentrate. Just heat the end of it, or the titanium or quartz nail it has, until it’s at the right temperature. Then, you just slide it over your serving of wax and inhale, like you’re a bee taking dab from a flower.

Why Do People Smoke Out of Glass Pipes?

Well, everyone has their reasons. However, there are some genuine benefits to smoking out of glass pipes, as opposed to smoking out of other materials or pieces. Let’s look at the most popular advantages people experience when they smoke out of a glass pipe.

5 Advantages to Smoking out of Glass Pipes

There are more than just these five advantages, but these are the most popular reasons that have been shared for why people prefer glass pipes.

Less Clogging

Not only is glass excellent at not clogging up like other materials are more prone to, it’s easier to get a clog out of a glass pipe. Clogging means less smoke is passing through, making the pipe lose its efficiency, and ultimately making you waste some of your product as it gets trapped in the resin and other remains.

Custom Designs

The sheer number of novelty glass pieces is off the charts. The intricate, custom designs you can get are never-ending. There are glass boats, tanks, cars, rifles, even your favorite basketball player -- if a glass-blower thought of it, it’s been crafted into a pipe!

Can Keep Smoke Cooler

Because glass doesn’t expand as drastically as other materials do, ice is a frequent flyer for bongs, and you can even put your glass pipe in the freezer. This helps keep the smoke cooler when you hit it, making it less harsh on your lungs for a smoother, cleaner hit.

Easier to Clean

Just like with less clogging, glass pipes have a knack for being the easiest material to clean. Even if you don’t have a good bong or pipe cleaner, you can use salt and rubbing alcohol to do the job all the same. While it does take longer with this method, every classic stoner knows -- when you need to clean it, we know what’ll do the job.

Better, Cleaner Taste

Finally, and a big reason people always go back to glass, is the pure taste from a clean piece. Instead of the excess taste from a metal, ceramic, or other material piece, users often prefer actually tasting their bud. The earthy, decadent terpenes are ripe in a good glass piece.

What are the Downsides to Using Glass Pipes?

Sure, there are some downsides -- but really, not that many. In reality, a glass piece is easier to break than most other materials. Quartz and ceramic can also shatter, but glass can just as easily. Metal, silicone, and other durable materials, however, are a preferred favorite for those that know they’re going to be dropping their pieces.

How to Clean Your Glass Pipes

Keeping your glass pieces regularly cleaned with the proper pipe cleaning formula ensures your pieces never lose their efficiency. While many people, again, like to use isopropyl alcohol and salt, an original cleaner will save you an immense amount of time and effort. 

Tips for Best Practices

  1. Always clear the smoke from the chamber, as quickly as possible. The second smoke fills up the piece, the smoke starts to stale, and it can taste harsh. The smaller the piece, the easier it is to enjoy fresh smoke.
  2. Clean your pieces regularly. This goes for any type of piece and any material. While it can be a hassle to clean, it takes less time the more regularly you do clean your piece. Every few days, or even every day, will mean the cleaning time is miniscule. Waiting for weeks and months means you’re going to be cleaning it for hours, so weigh your options lightly.
  3. Go for a larger smoking piece if you prefer cooler smoke. The longer and bigger the chamber, the cooler the smoke gets by the time it reaches you. Water pipes offer an additional cooling system because of the water filtration.

Glass Pipes are the Way to Go

Now that you know more in-depth about glass pieces, you’re likely more aware of what your customers are looking for. Understanding exactly how many types of glass pieces there are out there and the advantages to using glass pieces, we’re able to help you walk away with tips for the best practices.

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