Bubblers are a combination of a small bong and a large pipe taking the best attributes of each. They are small and easy to handle like a pipe, and they filter smoke and cool it as a bong would. Bubblers can sometimes use a two-piece design with a removable bowl. But most often they consist of a single piece of glass that has at least five distinct sections:
Bowl: The area you pack the flower and introduce a heat source.
Stem: Delivers smoke from the bowl to the main chamber of the bubbler, below the water line
Body: This is where the smoke percolates in the water, filtering out large particles and cooling the smoke.
Carb: This is a hole in the body of the bubbler that is covered to draw smoke into the chamber and released to mix air with the smoke as it’s inhaled. These rarely appear on bubblers with the removable bowl.
Mouthpiece: The business end of the bubbler, this is where you inhale the clean smoke.
There’s a little debate as to exactly what makes a bubbler different from a bong since a bubbler and a bong are both pipes that use water and percolation to filter and cool smoke. And that’s basically what a bubbler is: A bubbler is a pipe like a bong that’s smaller than a bong but bigger than a pipe.
Bubblers can be further broken down into two types – which also consist of some grey areas related to size!
Classic bubblers – They are larger, hold more water and stand upright. These are great for your end-of-the-day couch dates since they deliver a heavy hit of a nice, clean smoke.
Spubbler – Smaller, hand-held pipe shaped like a spoon. Spubblers also filter using water and are more portable than classic bubblers, though they are more prone to tipping over. Spubblers tend to be made artistically like most handheld pipes, and are prized for their looks as well as how they smoke.
In addition to the difference in sizes, some bubblers use a carb (hole in the body covered while dragging smoke and released to clear the chamber) while most classic bubblers use the “bong method” of clearing smoke by pulling the bowl out of the body.