Most of us have taken a hit from a bong. It was likely either made from glass or plastic. Some of us have also either broken a bong or have seen one shatter. Not a good site, and certainly not a good smell after all that bong water splashes everywhere. Plastic is much better at preventing such disasters, though they are cheap and just as prone to being less reliable as time wears on.
It would also be safe to say that almost none of us have taken a hit from a bong made of wood or bamboo. These types of bongs do not last in the long run due to molds and mildews that can take hold over time. Coating wood with a lacquer makes it unusable for bong use due to heat and chemical risks.
Ceramic suffers from the same fragility as glass and is not exactly a cheaper option. So, what is the best type of material for a bong? Well, it just so happens to be the next big thing in the world of vaping and smoking. Silicone will not crack, will not break, will not mold up, warp, or become brittle over time. Therefore, silicone is king.
Compared to glass, silicone is cheaper and more durable. The same can be said against ceramic. Unlike plastic, silicone is relatively inert and will only melt if left out in direct sunlight or exposed directly to a flame. What makes silicone so popular other than its durability is its practicality and price point.
Glass can be elaborate and complex with various fixed airways and color chambers. Some are made by hand and are considered one of a kind collector’s pieces. This makes them impractical for daily use as the risk of accidental breakage is too high to justify heavy usage, especially among multiple users.
Silicone is becoming more and more popular as people are becoming aware of their convenience and practicality. Unlike bongs that are made of anything else, silicone is easier to clean, offer safety features not capable with other media, and is affordable. The only real downside is not being able to see the smoke in the chamber, which is a simple trade-off.
Cleaning a silicone bong is relatively easy and much simpler than cleaning anything else. This is because unlike a bong made from glass, silicone can be taken apart to allow for maintenance on those hard-to-reach areas where gunk and other toxic residue can accumulate. Even though plastic can potentially be easier to clean than glass, it is porous and not inert.
Glass usually has fixed chamber sand airways, making it harder to clean out. Opening a silicone bong is practical and convenient. The flexibility of silicone can also make it easier to take off large chunks of residue and allow for better cleaning. Unlike glass and plastic, silicone is much more resilient and will last you a lifetime.
Another bonus of silicone is its ability to grip onto a hard surface. This is impossible to do with glass as it is a very slippery material that can easily fall or even roll off a table. Some glass pieces are even covered and insulated by silicone to make them last longer and allow for handling after taking a hot.
Glass pieces can get very hot after taking a hit. Silicone is an excellent buffer and disperses heat very well compared to glass. This allows the user to safely handle bowls and other hot pieces without the risk of inadvertently burning fingers. Conversely, mouthpieces can also get quite hot which makes silicone that much more appealing.
Bongs made entirely of silicone are even better at dispersing heat as there is no glass to accumulate all that buildup. Silicone essentially absorbs the heat and evenly distributes it among the rest of the silicone, blocking heat from taking hold of the entire apparatus. This is what makes silicone bongs so much better.
To get even more out of your silicone bong, always ensure that it stays clean and out of direct sunlight. The truth is that silicone is much better at withstanding freezing temperatures over direct heat. Glass can crack and shatter from temperature fluctuations. Plastic can also get more brittle this way. Always keep your silicone bong maintained to ensure lifelong usage.
Silicone is quickly taking over the vape and smoking market for bong and dab rigs. The benefits are superior to all other materials and the cost is affordable for everyone. Because silicone is not porous like plastic, it will not hold onto smells as readily and will be more inert without the threat of leaching into the water.
Heat will not hinder silicone the way it can with glass or plastic. Over time, exposing glass to hot and cold will create an internal pressure that can form micro cracks and other debilitating reactions. Glass tends to be the most expensive, which is further compounded by customized or elaborate designs. Even color changing glass fetches a high price as this features an aesthetically pleasing device.
It really is fun to watch smoke rise through a bong. This also gauges the hit and the amount you want to have before clearing out a bong. Unfortunately, this is where silicone falls short, for now. Advances in technology are always evolving, and it will just be a matter of time before there is either a glass/silicone hybrid that can allow for this or even a silicone material that can be much more translucent.