Hookah anatomy




BOWL ADAPTER : It’s the first tapered part where the bowl sits. With the help of a grommet (or a gasket), it makes it airtight.

TRAY : It’s a convenient plate where you can ash your coals or place your hot stuff on it.

UPPER STEM : It’s the extension of the down stem.

HOSE ADAPTER : It’s a hose connector where you attach it to the heart.

HEART : It’s the main part where you assemble everything to it ( upper stem, hose adapter, down stem)

DOWN STEM : It’s the column that submerge in the water.

BASE : Also known as the vase, it’s the recipient that makes the experience enjoyable with water.

DIFFUSER : It’s the extension of down stem which reduces the rumbling.



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First, you have to ask yourself where you’re planning to use it. Depending on the location, you might want a smaller hookah if you think it’s going to be on a table most of the time, because it’s more suitable to manage your coals. If you know it’s gonna be on the ground most of the time, you may naturally opt for a bigger one for the same reason. Once you have figured a height range, then you can look for the rest.

Second, because of the nature of the manufacturing process of a bowl, the internal part is always different. From that judgement, extra bowl grommet becomes handy to fit most of your bowls. Theses days, most hookah comes with one, but you should refer to the description or the vendor.

Third, the tray is suggested to be use as an ash holder. If holes are visible, it will deviate from its purpose. If it’s too small, it might make the user less secure when they want to ash their coals, which is probably the reason some people put a big cooking plate under the setup.

Forth, it might seems obvious, but when you think about it, the up stem and the down stem are the parts where they are mostly exposed to water. From that statement, it should be made of a material which is resistant to rust and abrasion. What I mean from abrasion is resistant to scratches, because most brushes can damage the internal. Let’s say the stems are not made of a common stainless steel 304. If the manufacturer decided to coat the stems to cover a cheap metal, the brushes will mark from the inside. With only one mark, the internal pipe will start to rust and disintegrate the hookah from the inside. As for the upper stem itself, it is often disguise with a piece that we call a “sleeve”.

Fifth, make sure it comes with one. A lot of companies are including it with the bundle. With moderns hookah, it doesn’t require a typical hose grommet. Since it’s machined, it fits perfectly to the heart. Not only it’s airtight enough, it’s also reassuring to know it could unplug “easily” and avoid all the mess it would happens instead of dragging the whole hookah. Also, when the hose adapter is installed to the heart in angle, people tend to hang the hose there ( a functional purpose ! ). What I have noticed about 90 degrees connection (from the side ?) is that you lose the hanging’s ability and it will “slightly” restrict the draw. The theory, is that air goes fluidly when the path are straight. When it has more obstacles or corners, it will requires more suction to keep the same flowrate.

Sixth, the heart is probably the most important part. It will dictate how parts are assembled and shows how the airflow travels thru. I’d like to invite you to listen to this video if you want to learn more about the hookah chambers :


In general, you want a core where the holes of the hose and the purge are parallels to the down stem, so the smoke can evacuate efficiently in one or two exhales. Since the heart is not exactly exposed to water to the same rate as the down stem, it doesn’t need to be made of stainless steel. That preference will mostly depends on the performance you are looking for, because most of the weight (minus the base and the water) will be influenced by the heart. If you need something light, look for a plastic one. If you like it heavy, opt for a stainless steel. If you want long lasting and light option, look for aluminum. Surprisingly, my small hookah Kaif S is the heaviest from the three of them. As for the last part of the heart, check if the purge balls are accessible. I don’t know what’s your thought about it, but I hate it when I lose them, but I also dislike it when I can’t remove them to clean the whole thing properly.

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Seventh, the base are not always included with the stem. Read the description before purchasing. I rather pick a hookah that can use any base. Just in case it breaks, you can purchase them easily.

Last but not least, the diffusers are not necessarily a must. Although, I have to admit that I like them. With the perforated design, it divides the big bubble into small bubbles. In result, It will give a “smooth” sensation by reducing the rumbling, and it will also make the session more quite. Some people prefer without them, so take a look and see if they are detachable. The good thing (if they are well designed), is that they can be unscrewed and flipped on the other side to remove the function and keep them safe.

Now you know a lot, you can ask specific questions to vendors according to your needs !



Please feel free to leave a comment below on what you’d like to see in this space or ask a question. If you need recommendations, you can ask directly to the team of Jinxhookah :).

Otherwise, I’ll be reachable on instagram for anything hookah related. Thank you !



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