Choosing Your First Hookah - A Beginners Guide

by Wade Hill April 30, 2017 0 Comments

Choosing Your First Hookah - A Beginners Guide

You've just tried your first hookah - and you've experienced absolute bliss. You've realized that this is a hobby or an interest for you, and you think you're ready - you want to buy your first hookah. This is a big milestone in every hookah smoker's past, and it's something that can either last you a long time, even a lifetime, or it can be something that you regret, and you'll never talk about it. Choosing your first hookah is a hard choice, and it's a decision that has changed a ton since many smokers started. With the growing popularity of the online hookah communities, many smokers have the options and knowledge available to them that they don't have to go to their local smoke shop and pick up a Chinese made two hose knock off hookah. Newer smokers have a lot to choose from, and here at Hookah Heroes, we're all about helping you find the right pipe for you. It's important to remember that while some hookahs may work for some people, they aren't guaranteed to be right for everyone. We're going to break this down by price, as that's the largest thing to separate decisions for most smokers. Without further ado, let's jump into it!


Less than $100 is where most smokers will find themselves buying their first pipe, myself included. We're going to focus on this group a little bit more than others, as it's bound to be the most popular. 


Shika hookahs are going to be my strongest recommendation for a hookah under $100 (and even more than that, if you like some of the more expensive brass models!). Shika hookahs are wonderful, because they have several models under $100 or around ~$125, any of which could appeal to different smokers. 

One of the other reasons that I love Shika hookahs is that they come with a full package. Included with every Shika, you'll find a washable hose, tongs, tray, base, funnel bowl, a ton of grommets, and stem. This is everything that you need to start smoking, and start smoking well. The great thing about buying a full package like this is that while you can buy a different hose, base, or bowl, you don't have to by any means. All of the products that come with Shika hookahs are fantastic, and they're things that I use every day, like my Oblivion bowl. 

Another reason to go Shika is the stem - they have copper downstems, which means that, with proper care, this stem can last a lifetime. Copper doesn't rust or tarnish, and while it can oxidize, a stem brush can easily clean that. 

Khalil Mamoon Hookahs

Khalil Mamoon, or KM, has been one of the most popular hookah brands over the last... well, forever, basically. They're hookahs that almost pioneered the traditional chambered system, where purge and hose ports have dedicated sections on the heart of the hookah. While this isn't remarkable by any means in moderns times, KM's do have some solid quality behind them. Like Shika, they're an Egyptian brand of hookah that comes in a full package. However, these come with unwashable hoses, and standard Egyptian bowls. While they will usually smoke well, you'll normally want to swap out the hose and bowl for something better, as the hose will not last you as they aren't washable, and the bowl isn't suited for most modern tobaccos. They're still a decent pick, as they have many models in the >$100 range, like their Mini Beast model. 

Zahrah Spade

The Zahrah Spade will be the most unique hookah in the sub $100 range, as it's the only hookah that's modern and machined. It features a unique purge system, where every purge can be removed to be an extra hose port. The downsides for this include chipping paint (after a few months of use), you get a stem and tray only, so you'll have to buy a hose, bowl, and base separately, and (personally) I don't particularly care for the aesthetics of the stem. However, my opinion isn't the be-all end-all. If you're looking for a great starter package, the Zahrah Starter package will be great for you. It includes a great bowl, great hose, great base, as well as some coals. However, this brings it over the $100 mark, so keep that in mind. 


The $200 range won't be for most smokers, however it's the range of pipes where you can find a lot of unique looking, and excellent performing pipes. 

Starbuzz MIA

The Starbuzz Made In America stem is one of the most popular hookahs around, and for good reason. These hookahs are modern, and are machined. They feature a wide draw, and excellent purge. In my opinion, these hookahs are solid. They smoke exceptionally well, and don't have any massive flaws. The paint on some models can flake away as well, like the Spade, however this hookah also has a five year warranty on it to back it up. The major downside to this hookah is that it doesn't come with anything except the stem and tray. Because of this, I would recommend checking out the Starbuzz Starter Pack, in which you'll find a washable hose, base, bowl, and some coals. This is everything that you'll need to start smoking, and smoking well. 

Regal Hookah

Regal pipes are an international sensation - they're high quality stems with an aluminum body with a wood casing, for aesthetics, and a stainless steel downstem. They feature one of the widest draws on the market, and an excellent purge to complement it. While these are great hookahs, and one that I use very frequently, they suffer the same problem as the Starbuzz stems - they're simply the tray and stem alone. While we don't have these in a starter pack (yet), you can add your own base, hose, and bowl, and it'll make for a wonderful setup.


While there are many hookahs in the over $200 range, there's not terribly much to separate them. Yes, they're all wonderful pipes, and they deserve their own pedestal to stand on, however the vast majority of beginner smokers won't find themselves willing to drop that kind of cash on their first hookah. Their second hookah though... that's a different story. Wookah, B2, Zahrah (glass), MIG - all are wonderful pipes that perform exceptionally well, and they all have different and unique features. However, I wouldn't recommend spending that kind of cash on someone's first pipe... not yet. 


Hopefully this article finds you and helps you pick your first pipe with ease. With this, you're armed with the knowledge that many of us didn't have when they bought their first pipe, myself included. You can pick your first hookah, and it can be a hookah that can last you a lifetime, with proper care. What do you think? Did this article help you? Did you find your next hookah here? Are there any that I missed? Let me know! Drop a comment below, and share the knowledge with new smokers! Don't forget to share this, so it can help as many people as possible! If this is your first Hookah Heroes blog, check out some of our other blogs if you want to learn more about this glorious hobby.  As always guys, thank you so much for reading, and happy smokes!

Wade Hill
Wade Hill


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