Do You Need Tips For Hookah In Order to Use It?
If you have ever been to a hookah bar or lounge, you have almost certainly smoked out a tip (or at least we would hope you did!).
The little plastic tip they give you to place on the hose when you are smoking is there as a health feature so that you don’t have to put your mouth on the hose that you are sharing with others.
But now that you are thinking about or have already purchased a hookah rig for personal use rather than public use in a lounge, you may be wondering if you need tips for your personal rig, too.
If you don’t understand how tips work (or the etiquette behind using hookah tips) it may be difficult to answer this question by yourself.
But not to worry, that's what we’re here for at MOB Hookah — to answer all of your hookah questions and get you the equipment and expertise you need for a perfect smoke every time.
So, let's take a deeper dive into hoses and tips and what you should be doing with your personal hookah set up.
How Do Hookah Hoses Work?
The hose is the piece of the hookah that you actually interact with to pull and draw smoke from your hookah. The hookah hose is the long piece of flexible tubing that you connect to your hookah and smoke from.
When you suck in on the hose, you are creating suction in the hookah, which draws the air from the hot coals into the bowl, which burns the shisha, producing smoke. That then pulls that smoke down the shaft, through the downstem, and into the water base, where the smoke is filtered through the water, cooling down the smoke. Finally, the smoke is then sucked in through the tube and into your mouth and lungs.
It is not a super complicated process when you look at the bare bones of it in this manner, but nevertheless, it is important to break down these components to understand the way the hose works.
Are There Different Kinds of Hookah Hoses?
Yes! There are!
There are obviously some hookah hoses that are more traditional, and then with the advent of modern technologies, there have been advancements and improvements in hose technology, in the same way bowl technology has also advanced over time.
Traditional hoses are typically made of leather lined with cardboard, and have a long handle for you to hold on to. These are the type of hoses that come with more traditionally designed hookahs.
The issue with traditional hoses is they are incredibly difficult to clean. When you can’t clean your hose, you end up with residue that holds onto the flavors of your last shisha, so when you smoke your next session, it may have lingering flavors from the last.
The difficulty level of cleaning also makes them a bit unsanitary for sharing — your inhale and exhale into the hose are going to leave behind your germs, and you can't just clean these germs out of the hoses with water.
Washable hoses are an improvement upon the traditional hose design. Typically these may still use a leather outer coating, but the inside is no longer cardboard, but a washable alternative, like plastic.
Washable hoses can then be washed using water, although they still do tend to show signs of damage after enough washes. Still definitely a step up, but not completely resilient.
The most washable and resilient type of hose is going to be the silicone hose. We offer tons of cool color options for silicone hoses here at MOB Hookah, and they’re completely washable, so they are great as hoses that get a lot of communal use.
They don't typically come with super cool handles, but you can make your own handle wraps or buy them online to personalize your silicone hose to look exactly how you want it
This is the best option for hookah lounge and club owners who want to keep things sanitary. Disposable hoses are one-time use hoses so that everyone gets a fresh clean hose and no one has to worry about whether or not cleanings in between sessions are thorough enough.
Why Do We Use Hookah Tips?
The answer is pretty simple: hygiene.
You wouldn’t use the same utensils as the person before you at a restaurant, so why would you use the same mouthpiece as someone before you when smoking hookah?
The tips are simply plastic pieces that you put on the end of the hose, so that instead of putting your mouth on the handle, you put your mouth on the tip, and it’s only your mouth that comes into contact with the tip.
This helps prevent the spread of germs when smoking hookah at a lounge, club, or even with friends at home.
Do I Need to Use Hookah Tips to Smoke?
No, you do not need to use hookah tips to smoke. But if you are smoking in public, or at someone else's house on their rig using their hoses and handles, then it is always a good idea.
And if you have your own hookah set up at home and are inviting guests over to smoke, you should have tips available for them to use as well. It is polite and sanitary, and communicates respect for their health and safety that is important.
The only time you should be smoking hookah without a tip is when you are smoking on your own hookah set up, using your own hose, that is specifically for your use. This is especially true if you are using a traditional hookah hose that is difficult (or impossible) to wash.
Using tips is the best way to prevent the spread of germs across users when smoking hookah. It is easy, cheap, and doesn’t affect the quality of the smoke you get from the hookah.
And please, clean your hoses and your hookah often as well. You are breathing from and into your hoses and hookah, and your air particles are spraying all up in the hose and the hookah.
For everyone's safety and well-being, clean your hoses and hookah often.
If your hoses are not cleanable, then make sure that you have some disposable ones available to guests when you have people over to smoke so that everyone can feel safe and comfortable.
Traditionally, hookah is a sign of respect and trust amongst friends, and the way to engage with that spirit appropriately is to give your guests a clean and positive experience where they don’t have to share their spit with you, and you don’t have to share your spit with them.
Hookah Tips Takeaways
The hookah hose is one of the most important pieces of your hookah setup. The hose is the only piece of the hookah that you interact with to draw and pull smoke from the shisha bowl into your lungs.
There are several different types of hoses, each with their own drawbacks and benefits. Traditional hoses are beautiful but impossible to clean. Washable options exist, both with leather wrappings and as pure silicon. There are also disposable options, as well, for lounges and clubs.
You should be using a tip to smoke your hookah anytime you are sharing hookah with others on a hose that is not exclusively for your personal use. Make sure you have tips available to guests, and if you are sharing a hose, use a tip, too. Everyone deserves a hygienic and healthy hookah smoking experience.
If you are looking for the proper hookah gear and know-how, then MOB Hookah has you hooked up with everything you need for a perfect smoke session every time.
Check out more expert hookah articles in our blog here.
College Student Beliefs and Behavior Regarding Sharing When Smoking Hookahs | NIH
How to Clean Your Hookah (with Pictures) | Wikihow