Hookah size does and doesn’t matter depending on several variables. If you smoke alone, then there is absolutely no need to get an unusually tall hookah that will be tedious to work with. If you smoke with a group of friends, then a short or mini hookah is a nonstarter. This guide is a comprehensive, comparative assessment of tall and short hookahs to help you decide.
Tall vs. Short Hookahs | The Differences
There is no universally standardized classification of mini, short or small, medium or midsize, and large or tall hookahs. Companies often use the terms ‘mini’ and ‘short’ interchangeably. Midsize or medium can also be a confusing segment as it overlaps many short and tall hookahs. For specificity, let us use 2 feet or 24 inches as the threshold dividing short and tall hookahs.
1. Tall Hookahs Last Longer
A 28 to 32 inches tall hookah will last longer than a 2-foot shisha or shorter one. Tall hookahs have larger bases and the bowls tend to be bigger as well. The duration of a typical session is precisely why lounges and hookah bars prefer tall hookahs. Those socializing with friends and colleagues over hookah should consider taller variants.
Hookahs can be unexpectedly tall. There are regal hookahs as tall as 4 to 7 feet. The most popular size of hookahs among private users is 28 inches to 32 inches. You can opt for a similar height, slightly shorter or taller, depending on the number of concurrent users and how long a session you want.
Short hookahs don’t last longer than 45 minutes. 1 hour is the optimum duration you can derive out of midsize hookahs with a height of 24 to 32 inches. Taller hookahs, 36 inches and above, deliver up to 2 hours, or longer sessions depending on the base and bowl sizes, and how much tobacco you pack.
2. Short Hookahs Deliver Stronger Hits
While tall hookahs last longer, shorter shishas have stronger hits. The actual flavor, texture, and kick will depend on the tobacco, how much of it you have packed, the number of coals, and the quantum of water in the base. However, hits are generally milder in taller hookahs.
A tall hookah holds much more water and the large stem allows the smoke to take longer to pass down to the base. The holdup in the long stem, the interaction with more water in the base, and the subsequent long journey through the winding hose make the smoke milder than it is in a short shisha.
Those fond of strong hits should consider shorter hookahs. Alternatively, one must use a larger bowl, dense packing of tobacco, and a generous number of charcoal pieces with a tall hookah to get a strong hit. Reducing a bit of water in the base of a tall hookah is also a way to make the hit stronger.
3. Smoke from Tall Hookahs is Cooler
A short hookah with a small base doesn’t hold much water. Naturally, the smoke out of such a setup will be warmer than the clouds through a taller hookah with a substantially larger base. The temperature also plays an influential role in determining how strong the hit is.
Many flavors feel stronger when they are warmer. Some flavors hit harder when they are cooler. The latter is particularly true in the case of menthol-infused tobaccos. The hotness of shisha smoke can also be managed by regulating the pieces of charcoal atop the bowl.
Since tall hookahs hold more water, they are also better at filtering the smoke compared to shorter shishas. You don’t have to replenish the water in a tall hookah base frequently, even if you have some of your friends around.
4. Short Hookahs are Convenient
Tall hookahs are larger and heavier. They are difficult to move around and store. Short hookahs are lightweight, portable, and reasonably discreet. Anyone smoking alone can do just fine with a short hookah. Those with company must consider a tall hookah.
Tall vs. Short Hookahs | The Similarities
How much tobacco you use in a bowl depends on its size, the quantity of water in the base, and the number of charcoal pieces you will use for a desired duration. The tobacco quantity and packing of a bowl do not depend on the height of the hookah.
Neither tall nor short hookahs guarantee large or small bowls and bases, respectively. The most noticeable difference in numerous models is the length of the stem. If the bowl and the base are of standard sizes, then the stem length or hookah height makes very little to no difference.