Hookah Parts: A Quick Rundown of Each Major Component and Its Function

Hookah Parts: A Quick Rundown of Each Major Component and Its Function

When it comes to smoking hookah, more than just shisha tobacco goes into making the experience enjoyable. To ensure you are getting the most out of your smoking sessions, it is essential to be familiar with all of the different hookah parts and accessories that make up a shisha set. In this blog post, we will be discussing each of the major components and their functions, so you can better understand how your hookah works. With this knowledge, you will be able to smoke like a pro!

What are the parts of a hookah?

1- Hookah Bowl

A hookah bowl is the component of the hookah that holds the tobacco. There are various bowls available on the market, each with its unique shapes and sizes. The most common bowl type is the Egyptian bowl, cylindrical and has four to six holes in the center for packing the tobacco. Other popular bowls include the Syrian bowl, which is deep and cone-shaped, vortex bowls, and the Phunnel bowls, which are also deep but have a raised center that funnels the smoke down to the stem.

The materials used in making hookah bowls are also important. The best types are made of clay, porcelain, silicone, or glass.

Related read: The 5 best hookah bowls in 2022

Glazed vs. unglazed hookah bowls

Glazed: Glazed hookah bowls are made from ceramic or clay and have a glaze that covers the bowl. This ensures that the shisha flavoring molasses will not be able to soak into the pores of the clay. They are simple to clean without any taste being cooked or soaked in. They are ideal for smokers who change shisha flavors regularly.

Unglazed: Unglazed hookah bowls do not have a glaze coating. The flavor of the shisha is absorbed into the pores of the bowl as it soaks in flavoring molasses. These are ideal for old-school smokers who primarily smoke a single flavor, such as Double Apple.

How do I pack a hookah bowl?

Packing a hookah bowl right is essential for getting the most flavor and smoke from your tobacco. The most common packing method is to fill the bowl partway with shisha flavors. Gently press the tobacco down into the bowl with your finger, then repeat until the bowl is full. Please make sure not to pack the tobacco too tightly, or it will be challenging to draw smoke from the bowl.

2- Hookah Tray.

The coal tray is a small metal or ceramic plate that sits on top of the base and holds the coals.

A tray is not an essential accessory for a hookah, but you still need it. Without it, coals from ash that fall from your bowl end up on the floor. Also, you can put extra coals on it.

A hookah tray minimizes messes, letting you enjoy a clean hookah session.

Hookah trays are great for hookah users who want to use quick-light coals. If you're using fast-light coals, you may utilize the tray to keep them in place while lighting them up.

3- Hookah Stem.

The hookah stem is the component of the hookah that connects all the hookah parts; the base, the bowl, the tray, and the hose. It is usually made from metal, plastic, or glass. The stem is responsible for transferring the heat from the coals to the tobacco in the bowl. Smoke is then drawn through the hose and into your mouth.

There are various types of stems available on the market, each with its unique shapes and sizes. The most common type of stem is the Egyptian stem, which is straight and has a single chamber for the smoke to travel through.

Hookah stems are made of one or more materials, such as plastic, acrylic, stainless steel, aluminum, and brass.

Hookah stems features

Stems have mainly remained the same since their invention. However, we've seen new designs and features emerge in the last few years.

You will discover stems with click-lock mechanisms, silicone ports, telescoping capabilities, molasses catcher, and high-quality grommets. Some have magnetic connections for the hose. Other versions include detachable diffusers. New materials, such as anodized aluminum and carbon fiber, are being employed by a few manufacturers.

4- Hookah Hoses.

The hookah hose is the pipe that you suck on to draw smoke from the hookah. It is usually made from silicone, vinyl, or plastic and features a mouthpiece on one end and a hose connector on the other. The hose connector attaches to the hookah's stem, allowing smoke to travel from the bowl to the hose.

Many types of hookah hoses are available on the market; Silicon hoses, disposable hoses, traditional hoses, and washable hookah hoses.

How do I clean my hookah hose?

It is essential to clean your hookah hose regularly to prevent bacteria build-up. Disconnect the hose from the stem and run it under warm water to clean it. Then, use a mild detergent to wash it by hand. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly before reconnecting it to the stem.

5- Hookah Base.

The hookah base is the large glass or ceramic container holding the water used to smoke a hookah. Some portable hookahs will have a plastic base. Fill the base with water to a level that covers the bottom of the stem. The purpose of the water is to cool and moisten the smoke as it passes through, making it smoother and easier to inhale.

How do I fill my hookah base?

The best way to refill your hookah base is by using a pitcher or jug. Pour cool water into the base, then insert the stem. The stem should be one inch into the water. You can also add ice to the water to further cool and moisten the smoke.

Related read: 10 Hookah Tips and Tricks to Enjoy a Good Smoking Session

6- Hookah Grommets.

A hookah grommet is a rubber or silicone ring that seals the connection between the stem and base. It helps keep an airtight seal between the two components.

There is also a smaller grommet that attaches the hose to the stem, and it should be airtight to prevent air leaks.

Hookah accessories

Aside from the charcoals, hookah accessories are not essential for the operation of a hookah pipe but can be used to enhance your smoke session. Standard hookah accessories include wind covers, heat deflectors, and coal screens. We'll list them based on their importance to make your smoking experience more enjoyable.

The right hookah accessories will make all the difference in your smoking experience, whether you're a novice looking to buy your first hookah or an experienced smoker.

Hookah Charcoal:

With so many hookah coal brands and varieties on the market, which should you choose? Most hookah smokers prefer natural coal, such as CocoUs Hookah Charcoal, or quick-lighting coal, like Three Kings coals or Starlight. Not sure what the difference is? We'll explain it to you.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each. We compared the flavor, clouds, and overall performance of quick light coals v natural coconut coals.

Natural Hookah Charcoals

There has been a significant shift towards natural coconut hookah charcoal in recent years. Natural hookah charcoal consists of natural ingredients, as indicated in the name. Compressed coconut shells are most often used, although bamboo, orangewood, and lemongrass can also be used to produce them. The shells are turned into charcoal and compressed into briquettes during the process.

Because they last longer and give off a clean heat that does not interfere with shisha taste, these coals have become the standard for many shisha freaks.

The only drawbacks are that they require a separate heating source, like a burner, and longer to light up.

Quick-light Hookah Charcoals

Hookah charcoals that come in a foil-wrapped roll of 10 discs are typically known as fast lighting, quick lighting, or instant lighting charcoals. These discs are coated with a chemical accelerator that allows hookah smokers to light the charcoal tablets using a simple lighter.

These charcoals are often lighted in a matter of seconds. You may light them in as little as 30 seconds. When smoking outdoors or on the road, fast-lighting charcoal can come in handy. Before smoking, make sure to light the coals completely to burn off all combustible substances. The chemicals can produce carbon monoxide as they burn off.

When correctly lit, quick light coals may create a quick and pleasant hookah session.

Heat Management Device:

An HMD is a heat management device used to help make it easier to enjoy your hookah.

Most of these devices have the added advantage of helping your coals last longer or allowing you to use fewer coals, saving you time and money.

Heat management systems come in a wide range of styles and functions, so you have options to choose what fits your specific needs.


Most hookah kits or sets come with a pair of tongs. Always use hookah shisha tongs when lighting or handling coals to avoid burns. They come in a variety of forms and designs. The more extended stainless steel versions, sturdier and long-lasting, are the best option.

Shop hookah accessories and replacement hookah parts here.

Mouth tips:

Hookah Mouth Tips are designed for personal use. These disposable tips are great for a quick, clean, easy smoke session. Add one to the end of a hookah hose, and then throw it away when you're finished. They're recyclable plastic, so you may recycle them to reduce environmental waste. One-and-done style; please don't wash them and re-use them.


If you like using coconut charcoal, which takes longer to light than fast-lighting coals, this hookah accessory is required. Various wattage levels for hookah burners are available for each model. Some are upright, while others are flat.

Hookah brushes:

Hookah brushes are suitable accessories to have to keep your hookah clean. You need a thinner brush for the stem and shaft and a wider brush for the Hookah base.

Wind Covers:

When you're smoking outside, a hookah wind cover is necessary to protect the coals from the wind.

Most are stainless steel, and they fit perfectly on the hookah tray. A wind cover is a good addition to your hookah set.

Glass base rubber:

There's nothing worse than a broken vase, especially when you can't replace it. If you have a tile floor, a rubber attachment to the glass base helps safeguard it from cracking. Replacement bases are hard to get on the newer models.

Other accessories include ball bearings for your purge valve, foil poker, nicotine filters, screen charcoal holders, and cleaning supplies for your vases.

How do you assemble a hookah?

For a detailed illustration of assembling a hookah, check out my other blog: How To Assemble A Hookah.

Here's is a simplified overview of what you'll need to do:

  • Fill the vase with water
  • Insert the stem into the water
  • Put the tray on the stem
  • Fill the bowl with your favorite shisha flavors, and cover with foil
  • Light your charcoals and put them on the bowl
  • Insert the hose in the stem
  • Enjoy

Final Words

Hookah pipes have been around for a long time. Today's blog post covered the different hookah parts and accessories you need to know about to have a good smoking experience. Understanding how each hookah part functions can help you improve how you smoke your hookah tobacco for better and longer sessions.

Let us know in the comments if there are any other particular hookah parts or accessories that we missed and would like us to cover in future blog posts.

At Shisha Freaks, we have a wide range of replacement hookah parts. You can checkout and buy hookah accessories here; from your favorite bowl, to hookah hoses, charcoals, and shisha tobacco products.