Length of Hookah Session: How Long Would Your Hookah Last?

Length of Hookah Session: How Long Would Your Hookah Last?


We are often asked this question. It is complicated to answer this numerically as it depends on several factors. So, we dedicated this blog to the most frequently asked question; how long does a hookah last.

Factors that Decide the Duration of a Hookah Session

As already stated earlier, the extent of a hookah session is determined by different things used to prepare the hookah setup like,

  1. Hookah Bowl
  2. Hookah Tobacco
  3. Heat Output
  4. Personal Inclinations

 Let us discuss it in detail so you can comprehend it well.

Hookah Bowl

A Hookah Bowl or Head plays the most important part in deciding the duration of the smoke session. There are multiple styles and sizes of hookah bowl available.

  • In comparison to the large hookah bowls, smaller ones hold a lesser amount of Hookah Shisha. Therefore, one that has less shisha would last shorter. 
  • Shapes and Styles.There are three main styles of hookah bowls, such as Vortex, Egyptian and Phunnel styles. 

Egyptian features the traditional clay bowl designs with many small holes at the base of the bowl. Never block those holes while packing it. Though it’s a crowd favorite, the holes in the base can cut short the session tenure. The liquid ingredients of the shisha would drip down through the holes into the hookah and base, which means there will be less juice and flavor left in your shisha. Thus, you will have a short hookah session.

Vortex has a raised center called a spire that has multiple holes on its side. These holes are higher and not underneath the tobacco so there won’t be any juice seeping through your hookah. This allows you a longer and flavorsome hookah session.

Phunnel and Vortex are much similar in design. Phunnel too has a spire but it has a single large hole on the top of the spire instead of those on the side. Like Vortex, with Phunnel Hookah Bowl your hookah will last longer.

Hookah Tobacco

After the bowls, let’s talk about the second-most important part of your hookah session – hookah tobacco and how it influences the length of the smoke session. So, there are two important things: Blonde or Dark Leaf Tobacco and its juice content. 

  • Juice Content.It contains many liquid components like glycerin, flavorings, molasses, and honey. The flavors come from the juice content of the shisha which turns into the vapor and smoke cloud. In short, the juicier the shisha is, the longer the hookah lasts. However, too much juiciness isn’t good as well. The heat can make it boil and combust, giving you a harsh taste. Again, dry shisha is equivalent to shorter sessions.
  • Blonde or Dark Leaf Tobacco. Blonde-leaf hookah tobacco is prepared with lightly shaded tobacco leaves. These leaves have a low-nicotine content. The cut of the tobacco leaves varies depending on the brand. They need to be packed light and fluffy with maximum airflow.

Dark Leaf tobaccos are made of dark-shaded tobacco leaves with high nicotine levels. They are generally finely cut tobacco as compared to the blonde-leaf shisha and thus more heat sensitive. Hence, they need to be packed densely to prevent burning. To smoke blonde-leaf tobaccos, you need higher heat which leads to reduced smoke sessions. Dark-leaf tobaccos are heat-sensitive and thus have the potential to last longer.

Heat Output

The term ‘heat management’ is all about the heat output of the charcoals and manages it to add charm to your session. With so many different charcoal products available in the market with varying heat output, ignition time, it can be difficult to identify the perfect balance for your hookah.  

There are quick light coals with accelerants that light fast and natural charcoals requiring hookah coal burners to burn. Quick lights have lower heat output and burn out faster in comparison to the natural coconut shell hookah charcoals. It is up to you, how many coals you use, where you put them when you change them, and what hookah accessories (like HMDs, screens, wind covers) you use, everything affects your hookah session.


Personal Inclinations

Everyone has a personal preference. Smoking hookah is an amalgamation of art and science, but it is mostly an art, a personal choice. While some prefer super-hot shisha, some like it mild, or small bowls. Again, some like the dark-leaf tobaccos, while others prefer blonde-leaf tobacco.

What components you are using, how you are packing your bowls, what amount of heat you are applying, and your preferences, everything decides how long your hookah lasts. Considering all the variables, your hookah can anywhere between 45 to one hour.

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