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Shishapedia - Types of Shisha Bowls

Updated on December 8, 2011

Shishapedia – Types of Shisha Bowls

At the top of a hookah pipe lies one of the most important parts, the head. Atop the head lives the coal, the fire power of the hookah pipe, and below the head lives the pipe that allows smoke to travel but the head itself fills the smoke with flavourful essence. If the hookah pipe were a computer, the bowl would be the keyboard. Or if the hookah was a television, the bowl would be the remote control. It is the total controlling aspect of the smoke as it can change your emotion within a heartbeat. There are many different types of bowls, ranging through a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some bowls are excellent for long smokes, others are great for short flavourful smokes. Some suit drier tobaccos better, other will help wet molasses breathe better. In this article I am going to explore the main different types of head and see what they are best for. Please note that manufacturers are designing new styles and types of head all the time, so this list does not in any way reflect a full list but it hopefully will be useful to you.

Egyptian Bowl

The Egyptian bowl is the most common type of bowl and is very popular in the Middle East. They have been made using tried and tested traditional production methods and as a result they are some of the sturdiest and thickest bowls that are very strong and balanced and maintain a great level of heat. Egyptian bowls often have marks and scores under the top layer of glaze which is a result of a high heat firing inside a kiln. These bowls are great for beginners and are great for the everyday smoke. Most bowls might vary in shape slightly but the space for molasses remains constant. The wider heads might last longer during a smoke then a narrow head, only because of the burning radiance of coal.

MOD Bowl

These bowls are made from a different type of material than the traditional Egyptian clay bowl. These bowls are usually fairly thin in comparison and therefore easier to break. These bowls usually are wider on the connection bottom section, meaning they will sit lower down on the actual shaft. This allows a tighter fit, but can be difficult to remove. There is a fairly wide head traditionally with these, which allow a balanced and slow burning of molasses which is great for a longer smoker.

Mya Bowl

These bowls are made by the superb craftsmanship of Mya. If you aren’t aware Mya make some of the most ornamental, beautiful and effective hookahs. These bowls are made from very thick ceramics which give the bowl extra insulation and strength. These bowls tend to be slightly narrow along the top meaning that you should be careful not to overheat the heat. A narrower bowl means the molasses will burn a little faster so if you can use a type of coal that heats to a lower temperature it will be a more enjoyable smoke.

Mya Jumbo Bowl

These bowls are a supersized version of the Mya Bowl. These bowls are truly magnificent as you can load up to 50grams of molasses and smoke the head for hours. If you layer the flavours, it would taste like a range of different flavoured heads!

Multi Head Bowl

This is a great type of bowl that allows different flavours to be added into different heads. You will find these heads available with two, three of four heads. This is great if you want to blend flavours and you adjust the coal atop different heads to give different flavours strength. Another advantage apart from blending is that you can smoke multiple heads without needed to perform a head change; as one head of molasses dies you can move the coal to another head.

Phunnel Bowl

These phunnel bowls are traditionally used for Tangiers molasses, but can be used on all molasses. These bowls are very different from regular hookah bowls as they have a raised hole in the middle instead of lots of little bowls. This can be great especially for very wet molasses as the juices of the molasses cannot drip down the pipe.

Metal Bowl

This bowl honestly doesn’t smoke as well as other bowls, as it heats up extremely quickly. The advantage of it is that it is very difficult to damage of break. It is great to carry around in your travel case or in your hookah bag. It’s a great head if you want to smoke outside or out and about.

Tea Cup Bowl

These bowls can be made from any material but are usually slightly smaller than a regular bowl. These bowls have a handle which makes it very simple to remove a head a blow through it or to adjust it.

Ultimate Combo Bowl

These bowls have a built in wind cover that you can pull down atop the coal. This is perfect for smoking outside, as the coal is very secure.

Silver or Gold Bowl

These bowls are great for when you have friends over. They are usually traditional Egyptian or Mod bowls with an outer layer of shine. An exterior layer of metal does help keep the head a little cooler, but otherwise it smokes just like a traditional bowl.

Inside Fitting Bowl

These bowls are traditionally for Syrian hookahs but are not used much in the western world. The connection part of the head will usually fit inside the pipe, not along the outside. Finding one of these and a compatible hookah is quite tough nowadays as most manufacturers use the outer fitting for heads. There is no difference with smoke quality or flavour quality.

Conservation Bowl

These bowls are very shallow, and as a result hold very little molasses. This is great, as it can help you not to waste molasses if you are in a rush for a quick smoke only.


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