Everyone loves a nice and relaxing hookah session. While there are many ways to smoke, the hookah just might be the most interesting. Water pipes like hookahs tend to be associated with cannabis smoking in the minds of many people, but this stereotype seems to be a complete error. Most of the time, the hookah is used to smoke shisha, an excellent mix of flavored tobacco, molasses, and glycerine which is believed to have inspired the creation of all those vaping liquids that are so popular at present.
To enjoy your shisha fully, you need to make sure that you are well-equipped. Like the caterpillar from “Alice In Wonderland,” you probably want to chill when it’s time to smoke. Other than a little bit of fooling with the coals, there should be nothing to distract you from the smoking experience.
Of course, one of the things that can ruin your hookah experience is a poor-quality hose. Since this is the part that carries the smoke to your mouth, it is probably the most important piece in terms of sanitation. The mouthpiece is considered to be part of the hose, and it is even more important. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some decent hookah hoses so that you can get some buying ideas and learn a few things at the same time.
The High Tech Hose
|LUX Silicone Hookah Hose|
Simple and Silicone
|BudPro Hookah Shisha Silicone Hose with Long Aluminum Handle|
The Traditional Option
|Rocsai Hookah Hose 78" Washable Hookah Hose|
The Elegant Option
|Pharaoh's Silk Hookah Hose|
The Bargain Option
|Washable Hookah Hose with Detachable Mouth Tips|
Unlike most hoses, this one is made entirely of silicone. This makes it the most technologically advanced hose on our list, but it is also the most expensive by far. In fact, this hose costs about twice as much as the others on our list.
Unlike most products of this type, the LUX hose is made without a metal spring. Although the internal spring design provides good support and helps the hose to resist deformation, it also creates a rusty taste when the metal begins to break down. Remember, you are smoking out of a water pipe here, and water vapor is bound to corrode a ferrous metal like steel in relatively little time.
As for size, this thing is about 69 inches long, which is a good size for most users. However, there is one common complaint when it comes to silicone hoses, and that complaint is stiffness. We have heard more than one veteran smoker complain about stiff silicone hoses that constantly want to pop out of the hookah base because they just aren’t flexible enough. They can also cause the hookah to tip over, making a mess, and wasting good shisha.
They say that this silicone is heat-resistant, and that isn’t a lie. However, the continuous application of heat is the most likely cause of the stiff-hose issue. If you opt for this one, it’s a good idea to take it off the hookah base and work it with your hands a little bit before smoking. Bend it in two directions, alternating as you try to work out the stiffness. This little trick will do a lot to alleviate the only significant problem of this hose.
This is another silicone hose, but this one is a little longer. Other than that, it is quite similar to our first product. The bright and colorful look of this hose could be a real plus for those who have a similarly colorful hookah to match.
Unlike the LUX hose, this one has decided to retain the traditional steel-spring reinforcement. However, the spring is external, so this should prevent any issues with rust. Putting the spring on the outside is a very good idea that gives this hose the flexibility it needs without sacrificing the clean taste that constitutes one of the best reasons to use a silicone hose.
Sometimes, when a product is really swanky and fancy, people say that it is “plush.” This hose is a very literal example of a plush product. The entire hose is wrapped in a layer of soft velvet-like cloth that gives a very good feel in the hand. Obviously, hand comfort was the primary motivator for this design.
When we look at the ribbed structure of this product, we can see that we are dealing with a steel spring. This is the traditional form for a hookah hose, and this is a pretty good example of such. The hose is exceptionally long at 78 inches, so it’s pretty easy to pass the thing around without risking a messy spill. When it comes to cleaning, this hose is fully washable, and the marketing seems to emphasize that point.
As soon as you get a look at this hose, you can tell that you are dealing with a high-end product. However, the price is quite reasonable at only $15 (approximately). We really like the rubberizes handle of this hose, as it provides excellent grip with little effort. It also gives the whole thing a very cool look and helps to hide any dirt or dust that might be present.
The hose is completely washable, though it might not be a good idea to submerge it completely. The steel wires that bind the soft covering in place might suffer from rust if they are allowed to remain wet. However, there are also some complaints regarding this product.
First of all, it’s a little bit picky about what kinds of tips it can use. Some users report that standard tips will not work with this model. Others say that they had to use some kind of improvised adaptor piece to make it work with their hookah. Secondly, there are some worries about the chrome plated mouthpiece, as this chrome could flake off over time and end up in your lungs.
This one is quite similar to the Rocsai hose that we examined earlier. In fact, it is kind of difficult to tell them apart at first glance. At 81 inches in length, it is definitely the longest hose on our list. This makes it quite ideal for group smoking sessions around a large table.
We see the same kind of plush hose covering on this one, and the advantages are the same. The grip is comfortable and soft so that there will be no distraction from your pure enjoyment of the finest hookah flavors. However, this cover might be a little too thick. It takes quite a while to wash because of the thickness of the fabric. Also, it can soak up moisture over time and rot, much like any other piece of cloth that remains wet for too long.
The only serious problem with this hose is the mouthpiece. It’s another clear plastic mouthpiece like the one that we saw on the Rocsai, and it is no better. The plastic is too thin and seems to be way too fragile. Not only that, but the mouthpiece has a funny shape that some find to be uncomfortable.
However, the tip issue isn’t too serious when you consider how easy it is to switch for another one. This does mean that you will have to put out more money, but extra tips tend to be cheap so you won’t lose much. Another small complaint is the grip section of the hose, which is way longer than anyone would need. Unless you are a sasquatch or a giant, there is no way you would need a grip this big.
At this point, you have probably become a little more educated about the qualities of the various hookah hoses, and how best to use them. However, knowledge is power and we want to give you as much as possible. Let’s take a look at some crucial background information that will be helpful as you select the best hookah hose for you.
What Are Hookah Hoses Made Of?
Hookah hoses can be made from a variety of materials, but most of them fall into one of two categories: ribbed and non-ribbed. Yes, much like a condom, a hookah hose is often ribbed for your pleasure (although we are talking about a much different kind of pleasure here).
This is usually achieved through an internal steel spring. It might be more accurate to call it a coil since it isn’t actually made of spring steel. Spring steel is a little more expensive, so it wouldn’t be cost-effective to use that. The only hoses that don’t have coils are those made entirely of silicone or other non-traditional materials.
There are pros and cons to this design, so let’s address them. The steel coil does a good job of reinforcing the hose and preventing it from kinking or breaking from dry rot. However, it does often result in a “rusty” taste for reasons that have already been described (and which should be obvious anyway).
In many cases, the steel coil will be enclosed in a protective sheath made of plastic or paper. Although this is meant to separate the coil from the smoke and prevent that rusty taste, it can also impart a taste of its own. This is especially true of the plastic sheaths, and the paper sheaths come with even more problems. Any hookah hose that is lined with paper should be avoided. These hoses have a tendency to retain the flavor of any shisha that is smoked through them. This phenomenon is called “ghosting”.
Is Hookah Smoking Unsanitary?
Some people have tried to claim that hookah smoking is unsanitary and that it can spread diseases. We find these criticisms to be ridiculous because hookah smoking is only as clean or unclean as the smoker. Yes, it is a bad idea to smoke with someone who has a disease, but we shouldn’t have to tell you that! Yes, it is a bad idea to smoke from a dirty hookah, but that’s obvious as well! Keep your bubbly little friend clean, wash your hoses regularly, wash your hands before touching the crucial parts, don’t smoke with diseased people, and you should be fine.
What To Look For In A Good Hookah Hose
There are a variety of qualities that you need to look for when you go hookah hose shopping. After reading our reviews, you will already have a good idea about some of them, but let’s take a closer look.
Hose length is mostly a matter of preference. The length of hose that you need will depend on the size of your pipe and the location where the hose attaches. It will also depend on the way that you smoke since solo smoking doesn’t require a very long hose. In fact, an excessively long hose gets in the way for a solo smoker.
Also, bear in mind that a longer hose will require a little bit more lung capacity in order to draw the same amount of smoke. This is just simple physics, and cannot be avoided as far as we know. That being said, the problem can be lessened by switching to a hose with a more narrow inside diameter.
The Problem of “Ghosting”
You should also consider the aftertaste factor. We have already talked at length about the problem of rust ruining the taste of good shisha. Let’s talk a little more about the problem of “ghosting.” While most hookah flavors are good by themselves, mixing them can lead to weird and unpleasant results.
If your hose seems to retain the taste of a previously-smoked blend, there is something wrong, and you should probably switch brands. However, there is no sense in throwing away a functional hose. If you can find another flavor that mixes well with the “ghost” taste, you can still go ahead and use the hose until you have time to buy a better one.
Durability is somewhat important, but not as important as you might think. This is because hookah hoses are meant to be semi-disposable. A hookah itself will seldom wear out and become unusable, but certain parts will. This is usually the first piece to go bad because it gets more use than the others. This is why hookah hoses tend to be cheap, and that’s another reason why durability is a secondary concern in this case.
After reading this article, you might be surprised at how complex a hookah hose can be. You probably thought of this as a minor matter, giving it little consideration during the process of buying a hookah. There is a tendency to think that a hose is such a simple item that it cannot be botched. As we have seen, this is definitely not the case.
We cannot really tell you which hose will best suit your needs, as every smoker has different preferences and habits. However, we are willing to make a general recommendation. Of all the hoses on our list, the Pharoah’s Silk hose is probably the best choice…and not just because it has a cool name.
The Pharoah hose offers a combination of qualities that allow it to retain the good support and springy feel of the traditional coil hoses, while at the same time removing any risk of rust. This was achieved by simply putting the coils on the outside of the hose. Not only does this prevent taste spoilage, but it also allows you to see when the coils are beginning to rust (which they eventually will). Thus, it gives you an easy way to know when it’s time to change hoses.
We hope that this article has been helpful and that we have done a good job of showing you the ropes on this matter. After all, our goal is to create more intelligent and educated hookah aficionados rather than average smokers. With the knowledge you have gained today, you should be well on your way to becoming an experienced hookah guru.