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Your Guide on How To Use a Mini Hookah

There is one major debate that rages on in every aspect of the world, a question about quality versus quantity — is bigger really better?

In some cases yes, bigger is always better. For instance, when it comes to paychecks, bigger is always better. 

But sometimes, smaller can be better. For example, you would always want a smaller rather than a larger pimple.

The debate may never truly settle if bigger is always better, but if there is one thing we know for sure, it is that hookah is amazing whether it is big, small, or anything else. Everyone loves hookah, no matter what size it comes in.

While some hookah smokers focus on finding large rigs and setups with long stems and huge vases, just as popular are miniature hookahs, designed for optimal portability. These mini hookahs are wonderfully fun and are adorable.

But mini hookahs also require a slightly different approach to hookah smoking than larger hookahs, as the size can change up the flow of your smoking session.

To help you out, MOB Hookah has compiled this little guide to using a mini hookah, so that you are ready for a great session right out of the box.

What Is a Mini Hookah?

To start things off, you're going to need to know what exactly a mini hookah is. A mini hookah is a type of hookah that has a very open definition. 

A mini hookah is basically any hookah that is much smaller in size than a traditional hookah.

Mini hookahs are any hookah pipe that is shorter than 14 inches total length from the bowl to the bottom of the vase. This leaves a lot of room for size variation in a mini hookah, which can be 10 inches tall, or even as little as 5. 

Mini hookahs look almost identical to traditional hookahs, simply a little smaller. You will notice that bowls tend to be much smaller, and stems can be incredibly short, sometimes almost non-existent to save space. 

Mini hookahs still have all of the key parts that you need in a hookah, however, from the bowl to the stem and downstem, vase, and hose. 

Is a Mini Hookah the Same as a Hookah Pen?

No, a mini hookah is not the same as a hookah pen. 

A mini hookah is a small version of a traditional hookah pipe, and still works through the same basic mechanism that traditional sized hookah pipes do, with coals and shisha.

A hookah pen, however, is an electronic-cigarette-type device that vaporizes a flavored vape juice, sometimes containing nicotine, other times not. The devices are also sometimes called an e-hookah.

They are just like other kinds of vape cigarettes and vaporizers, although hookah pens tend to be larger and can feature flashier designs than other electronic cigarettes. Hookah pens are more similar to a vape than a hookah pipe, however, and a mini hookah is not the same as a hookah pen.

Step-by-Step Guide on How To Use a Mini Hookah

So now that you know what a mini hookah is, and what a mini hookah is not, you are ready for our step-by-step guide on how to use a mini hookah. You will notice that it is quite similar to how you would smoke a traditional hookah, but with a few extra tips and tricks to make the mini hookah experience special.

Step One: Pack Your Bowl

The first step to using your mini hookah is packing your bowl with shisha so that you can smoke. A mini hookah uses shisha and coals just like a regular hookah.

You should start by stirring your shisha in the container before removing the proper amount onto a paper plate. Stirring your shisha in the container is important to get the juices and glycerin evenly distributed across the shisha, so that all of your shisha is as flavorful as you want it to be.

Then, you should fluff your shisha on the plate, ensuring that each piece of shisha is separated and given space.

Now you are ready to gently sprinkle shisha into your bowl. Make sure whatever bowl you are using is the right size to attach to the stem of your mini hookah. Most mini hookahs come with bowls that fit, but remember not all bowls will fit the stem of your mini hookah.

If you are going to put cannabis in your hookah, you should alternate a layer of shisha with a layer of cannabis until your bowl is full. 

Distribute the hookah evenly and gently across the bowl, ensuring it is not packed so tight that air cannot get through. 

Since your bowl will likely be smaller, keep in mind you will need less shisha to fill your bowl. Leave about a half or quarter inch of space to the lip of the bowl to give your coals room.

Step Two: Wrap Your Bowl

Now you are ready to wrap your bowl in foil. If you are using a heat management device, then you can skip this step.

Wrap your bowl tightly in tin foil so that it is taut, and poke holes all over the bowl front to allow air to pass through. Poking holes in a circular pattern can be helpful for getting optimal airflow.

Remember that a mini hookah is likely to have a pretty open draw, so using fewer holes in your foil can help tighten the draw and give you an easier smoke session.

Step Three: Fill Your Vase and Build Your Hookah

Now you are ready to fill your vase and build your hookah. You should start by putting ice-cold, filtered water in your vase. There should be enough to cover about one-half to one inch of the downstem when it is inserted.

You are going to want to use an ice cube or two in your vase for your mini hookah as well. Since the vase is smaller there is less room for water, which will cause your water to heat up much faster than with a regular-sized hookah. Ice will help keep your water cooler longer, to give you thick, dense, and cool smoke.

Then you can screw your stem into the vase, and place your bowl on top of the stem. Then attach your hose to the hose port.

Step Four: Light Your Coals

Lighting your coals is a very important step to get the best experience from your hookah. Lighting quick light coals is a slightly different step than lighting traditional coals. Either way, make sure you allow your coals to light completely, so the whole coal turns gray. Only then is it ready to smoke.

You can light your quick light coals with a simple lighter or match, and let them rest somewhere where they can heat up for a few minutes.

With traditional coals, you will need to toast them over the stove or an open flame, or use a coal toaster, like our MOB Hookah coal toaster, for perfect coals everytime.

For a more in-depth guide to coals, check out our guide here.

Step Five: Place Coals and Smoke

The final step is to place your lit coals on your bowl and smoke. Place two coals on your bowl, or just one if your bowl is too small. Draw on your hose to pull the hot air from your coals into your bowl to cook the shisha and create smoke. 

Don’t forget to move your coal or coals around to avoid burning an area of the bowl.

You may also want to stop and refill your vase with fresh water during your session if your smoke turns harsh. Mini hookahs have a propensity for overheating the water, since there is just less room for water.

Mini Hookah: The Takeaways

While bigger can be better, with hookah, sometimes miniature is good, too.

Mini hookahs are great for travel and portability, and offer you the ability to bring hookah with your wherever you go — our personal favorite is our mason jar car hookah.

Follow these steps and tips to get the best possible smoke session from your mini hookah.

If you are looking for a mini hookah to call your own, then we have you set here at MOB Hookah. We offer a wide selection of mini hookahs, as well as all of the shisha and accessories you need for the ultimate mini hookah setup.

And if you like this guide, check out our blog for more helpful guides and articles.


What is a Hookah? | Johns Hopkins

How to Pack a Hookah Phunnel Bowl (Video+Pics) | Hookah.org

The Definitive Guide to Shisha Coals | Hookah.org

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