Hookah Buying Guide 2021

Hookah Buying Guide 2021

Posted by S.Wyatt Price on Dec 6th 2021

Hookah Buying Guide 2021

So you’ve been introduced to the hookah game and now you’re thinking “I guess it’s about time I get one of these for myself. A good home station where me and the homies can pack a fat bowl of shisha and vent about the day”, but then you realize that you may not really know much at all about hookahs in the first place. Well, that’s an easy fix— turn to Vadra Hookah’s blog space where we take the time to break down the similarities and differences between hookahs, as well as rating the quality and function of the device it self to a certain extent. Below is a curated buying guide in order to assists you in your quest to find the hookah that best suits you. The following categories have been used to help determine what’s best for which smoker: Best overall, best affordable, best full-size, best portable hookah, best small hookah, and best modern hookah, We also allow for a brief introduction that explains a little more about the metrics and the standards that we use to qualify each hookah to their assigned category.

What Are Hookahs Usually Made From?

Hookahs are crafted from variety of materials that include glass, metal, acrylic, ceramic, silicone, and even on some occasions wood, ebony, or ivory. The most classic hookah, the traditional hookah, is comprised of mixed mediums that are usually glass, stainless steel or aluminum, and a tiny bit of acrylic, as well as silicone or rubber around the grommets. Hookahs made from these materials have incredibly long lifespans, which reminds me to mention the simple yet elegant Egyptian Hookah that’s made from bronze, but will last a lifetime. With proper care and maintenance your hookah could end up lasting far longer than you initially intended.

What Quality Metrics Do We Use?

The first thing we look for in a hookah is how it draws or how it “hits”. This is determined by the hose quality, the amount of water, material quality, and a few more things. Most modern hookahs and traditional hookahs have an open draw which means you can pull smoke effortlessly from them without any pullback. The smoke moves quickly and easily into your lungs which makes drawing enormous clouds easier, and that remains the goal of many hookah smokers. One of the best features that comes with an open draw hookah is the adjustable air intake valve which sort of acts like a choke. If tightened, this feature can help you pull even more smoke in order to produce bigger clouds. As I previously mentioned, the water level within your hookah also effects the restriction, so if you prefer more restriction, fill the basin of the hookah with more water, if you prefer less use less water!


The modern hookah often features built-in or removable diffusers that you can choose to enjoy or take off each sesh. Some have a built-in diffusion system that’s usually just holes built into the stem that allow for little bubbles to storm upwards and into the hose, and ultimately into your lungs. This process allows the smoke to be diffused and percolated, which filters your smoke and removes some of the toxins present in burning wet, heated plant matter. This also allows for much smoother hit and a better smoking experience overall.

Purge Valves

When it’s time to buy a new hookah, a purge valve is a necessity! Purge valves allow you to flush hot or bad tasting smoke, which can happen towards the end of a sesh. They’re usually located about midway down your downstem and they allow you to flush that foul tasting stale smoke that often happens during one point or the other during a hookah sesh. Though on most modern hookahs these pieces are standard, some of the more traditional builds may lack a purge valve so if this is something you think is a necessity for your smoking sessions make sure you purchase a hookah with this feature.

Best Overall Hookah

Vadra Beseck

I was just sitting on my couch the other day smoking hookah with my friends when I thought, “I wish my hookah could look more modern.. sort of like my refrigerator”. When it comes to the Vadra Beseck, modernity plays a crucial role in the shape and design of this hookah system. Let’s not mince words here, this is an elite hookah. It’s ranked best overall for a reason and, product materials aside, the function of this hookah system is magnificently ergonomic—it just makes sense. Tempered glass makes up the basin and a heat management system is utilized as an extra feature for the smoker to control the temperature of their bowls of shisha. The Vadra Beseck is the best choice for experienced smokers and will absolutely appeal to the connoisseur, but don’t worry about disconnecting with the beginner hookah smoker because this hookah appeals to both newbies and old timers! The Vadra Hookah Beseck is sure to satisfy the hookah smoker in your life by providing a topper smoking experience.

  • Heat management system
  • Ceramic bowl
  • Stainless steel downstem
  • Marble print design
  • Medium sized

Best Affordable Hookah

Vadra WilsonThe Vadra Wilson, no not like the volleyball…unless, never mind, is a hookah equivalent to an excursion. As you explore this hookah system, you’ll be amazed at what you discover this powerful—and affordable—machine can accomplish. Although the sis one of our most inexpensive hookahs, to assume that it’s quality is subpar would be foolish. Relatively compact and efficient, the Vadra Wilson Hookah stands at an astonishing twenty inches tall! A wide base is present here, too (about ten inches), which allows for extra stabilization so you rarely have to worry about knocking this hookah over and breaking, but even if you do she’s a pretty sturdy beast. As well, this comes with everything you’re going to need to get smoking the moment you remove the hookah from the box! A great hookah for beginners and professionals alike, though the aficionado may require a bit more in a hookah system, depending on their preferences.

  • Measurements: 20" in height | 10" base diameter
  • Stunning green glass base with black striped embellishments
  • Aluminum open stem for enhanced draws
  • Convenient purge valve for increased flavor
  • Single hose capacity
  • Includes: premium Hookah tongs, complementary matching ceramic bowl, rubber grommets, one washable hose, step-up instructions

Best Full-Sized Hookah

Vadra St. Claire

The Vadra Hookah St. Claire is the best full-sized for a damn reason! When I asked our staff team what their opinion regarding the best full-sized hookah, three different sales professionals said “the St. Claire “ in unison, so I think it’s fair to say that this was a resounding winner. This gigantic hookah system towers at nearly three feet tall (full-sized was NOT taken lightly here) and the colors catch the eye almost immediately! With a metalliic gold sheen, the electric blue basin accentuates the power and shape present in the basin of the hookah. This is something that draws a lot of smoker sin initially because why not? At the party you want to be the attention or you want to allow the hookah to act for tof as a lighthouse to draw people into the experience of smoking hookah locally. The glass here is tempered while the set remains stainless steel.

  • Heat management system
  • Large vase for increased stability
  • Single or double hose hookup
  • Ceramic bowl
  • Tempered Glass

Best Small-Sized Hookah

Vadra Liberty

The Vadra Liberty Hookah is a uniquely designed device that offer an incredible bang in terms of performance and functionality. The base is clear and acrylic, which adds to the durability rating while also letting you watch the contents of the hookah bubble. The aluminum stem is of the screw-variety, which allows for a secure, sealed fit. If style were measured in the hookah world, and sometimes it is, this would definitely qualify as a minimalistic approach to hookah systems, as the Vadra Liberty is a simple yet elegant, minimalistic hookah. The water tight paneling on the inside is acrylic, which as I previously mentioned adds a couple new features to the hookah, but what I failed to mention was that the taste is NOT effected by the acrylic interior as it often is in water pipes and bubblers.

  • Mobile and compact Hookah design
  • Uncompromised performance and easy to use
  • Screw-on aluminum stem with diffuser
  • Thick acrylic body and watertight seal
  • U-shaped water reservoir
  • Slip-on Hookah hose port
  • Measurements: 9.5" in height | 10" in width | 3.5" in-depth
  • It comes with a 100% medical-grade vortex funnel bowl
  • Includes: premium Hookah tongs, slip-on rubber Hookah hose, step-up instructions

Best Portable Hookah

Vadra Topanga

Why We like it: The regular-sized version of the Topanga XL, this hookah masterpiece delivers a radical hookah experience everytime without fail. Similarly to the Topanga XL, the Vadra Hookah Topanga XL is sleek and stylish, featuring a clear cubed vase in which the water resides. Though a bit shorter in stature, this version of the Topanga still delivers quite a punch and offers the same features as its XL counterpart. Such features include a hose spring for anti-kink use, plexiglass vase for increased durabilty, silicone bowl, and a hose swivel that allows users to rotate the hookah 360 degrees without twisting the hose itself. This hookah is best used for travel and other rough or compact situations. The cubed vase allows for further stabilization so you’re less likely to knock over and break your hookah! As well, the plexiglass nature of this vase allows the piece to become more versatile, as it runs far less of a risk of shattering. The aforementioned silicone bowl allows users to burn shisha a bit differently, as well as doubling as an easily-cleaned bowl attachment rare to most hookahs. Beginner and professional alike will swarm to this hookah because of its sleek design, compact nature, and simplicity of design.

  • Hose spring for anti-kink use
  • Stainless Steel frame and downstem
  • 14.3 inches (H) 8.5 inches (W)
  • Cubed vase
  • Single-hose set up
  • Swivel hose 360 degree rotator
  • Silicone bowl

Best Modern Hookah

Vadra Sinclair

Why We Like It: Searching for a hookah with style, presence, and simplicity? Vadra Hookah makes that quest a lick with the new Vadra Hookah Sinclair. Their Sinclair edition plays on familiar Vadra Hookah Tropes like a sturdy, durable ceramic bowl to hold your shisha, Stainless steel stem and downstem, and the always reliable heat management system. This heat management system allows hookah enthusiasts to direct or channel the heat from the coals in order to burn your shisha more effectively. This hookah is the perfect device to take on your next road trip because of the stainless steel frame and tempered glass vase, but stationary use is also a hit with this minimalist hookah. The stainless steel downstem opens into a diffuser to purify the hazy bubbles traveling through the single hose hookah and into your lungs. Simple, elegant, and accessible illustrate a portrait of this hookah, especially when your eyes meet the concise cross-hatch design on the vase of this compact hookah.

  • Heat management system
  • Stainless steel downstem
  • Ceramic bowl
  • Anti-kink hose spring
  • Tempered glass vase
  • Single hose system 

If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at Wyatt.price@cloud9smokeco.com or just check out the rest of our blog for all of your hookah needs (here)