The bowl grommet is one of the most critical parts of a hookah setup, yet it’s also one of the most overlooked. We’re here to help you find the best one for your setup! Not using one, or using one that doesn’t fit well, may make or break a shisha session and cause all sorts of airflow issues when trying to smoke, which is why we’re here to help you choose the ideal one for you!
There are many different varieties of hookah bowls on the market, and they all require different bowl grommets, so one thing to think about when picking a bowl is the sort of grommet you’ll need to get a good seal.
What is a grommet for a hookah bowl?
A hookah bowl grommet (sometimes known as a “gasket”) is a small cone-shaped piece of rubber or silicone used to create an airtight seal between the hookah stem and the hookah bowl. This little piece keeps air from leaking out of your hookah pipe and provides for optimal ventilation.
Grommets exist in a number of shapes and sizes, and the best one for you will be determined by the hookah bowl you’re using.
Is a bowl grommet included with hookahs?
If you bought your hookah from Hookah Time, it will absolutely come with a bowl grommet (along with all the other necessary grommets and hookah accessories)! When we ship a hookah, we make sure to include all of the grommets needed to get it set up right away.
If you bought your hookah from a local store or a hookah shop, it will almost always come with a bowl grommet, but this will vary depending on where you bought it. There are times when the shop does not include grommets, but this is rare.
Note: When purchasing a hookah from a local hookah shop, it’s usually a good idea to ask what’s included in the package to see whether any more pieces are required.
We’ve found that the provided grommets work best with the hookah we got. However, there are situations when the “regular” or “standard” grommet for a certain hookah model does not overlap with the grommets on other bowls. The good news is that bowl grommets come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
What are the different varieties of bowl grommets?
Egyptian bowl grommets, Mod (Modern) bowl grommets, and Mya bowl grommets are the three most common types of bowl grommets.
The key distinctions are
- 1) their malleable (stretchy) nature and
- 2) their thickness.
The type of grommet you need is determined by the bowl you want to use and the hookah you want to use it with.
All of these bowl grommets are compatible with hookahs having an “inside fitting” bowl port (where the metal part of the stem fits inside the bowl). There are hookahs with “outside fitting” bowl ports, but these are significantly less common and usually only work with the bowl and grommet that came with the hookah.
On my hookah, which bowls grommet should I use?
Okay, now that we’ve covered the many varieties of bowl grommets, how do you choose which one to use? That, of course, is dependent on your specific hookah and bowl setup!
If you’re using the original “stock” bowl that came with your hookah, you should be able to find the correct grommet using the descriptions above; however, if you’re upgrading or replacing the bowl, or if you already have several bowls on hand, it may be a little more difficult to figure out which one you need.
The simplest way to figure up what size you need is to put the grommet and bowl on your hookah and see how they fit. You may find out how your bowl grommet fits and what needs to be done to improve the fitting by simply putting it on your hookah and then attempting to put the bowl on (if anything).
A thicker grommet, such as the Mod bowl grommet, will help if your bowl appears to sit perfectly on the bowl stem but feels loose. Consider using a narrower grommet to allow the bowl to settle farther down on the stem if it goes on to the stem but slowly drifts upwards on the bowl port, or if it doesn’t go on at all.
The grommet should ideally retain the bowl in place, preventing excessive side-to-side movement and ensuring solid contact between the rubber and the bowl’s interior walls.
Because every bowl is different and grommet fitting isn’t always an exact science, experimenting with different bowl grommet styles is the best way to figure out which ones work best for your hookah bowls.
Tips & Tricks for Bowl Grommets!
While the bowl grommets we discussed above will work in the vast majority of cases, grommet fitting isn’t always an exact science, so we’ll share some useful pointers we’ve learned over the years as professional hookah smokers!
Purchase one (or more) of each variety! – Grommets for hookah bowls are one of the most cost-effective parts you can buy for your pipe, therefore we recommend getting one or two of each variety just in case. We always shift out the bowl grommet based on the bowl we’re using in our personal sessions, so having one of each type offers you all the alternatives you need. (As a side note, spare grommets are usually handy because they’re little and easy to misplace.)
The Paper Towel Trick – is by far the most popular grommet trick we are aware of and suggest. Maybe your bowl won’t function with regular grommet types for some reason, maybe you’ve misplaced your grommet and don’t have a spare, or maybe you just don’t like grommets at all; in any case, this method is for you. Essentially, a folded strip of paper towel may be used to make a “custom” bowl grommet that can be fitted to almost any bowl circumstance. Take a peek at our Paper Towel Trick blog for a more detailed explanation of this strategy.