Heady Glass vs. Scientific Glass: How Do They Compare?

If you are new to bongs you may be a bit confused by some of the terminology. That’s only natural. One of the terms people seem to be most perplexed about is “heady glass”. There is also some generalized confusion about whether heady and scientific glass are the same thing. And if they’re not, then what’s the difference?

If you are one of those befuddled by bong terminology this is your lucky day because we’re in a bong-splaining type of mood. So let’s take a look at the two terms and see if we can’t paint a nice clear picture for you regarding exactly what they mean.

What Exactly is Heady Glass?

If you know anything about art you know there are two basic schools: the classical and the romantic. David was a classicist, Gericault was a romantic. Cubism was classical, expressionism romantic. And on and on.

The same can be said for bongs. When you peruse an online head shop looking for a bong you’ll notice the designs tend to fall into two general categories: simple and elaborate. That is, one expresses classical impulses and the other romantic impulses; with heady being romantic.

This type of bong design is one that embraces feelings over logic and seeks to produce an emotional response rather than a purely reasonable one. So, what are the advantages of this type of bong?

  • Some people are naturally drawn to more expressive artforms – Some people get a bit teary when standing in front of a Turner. For them, a plain bong with clear glass just won’t do. They want something that makes an emotional connection.
  • They are as much art object as functional device – A great piece of heady glass can stand its own as an art object. Whether you are using it or just resting it on the counter it’s going to garner as much attention for its breathtaking design and craftsmanship as it will for its functionality.
  • Each one is unique – If you buy a heady glass pipe you don’t have to worry that everyone on your block has the same thing. Each and every one is unique.
  • You don’t sacrifice functionality – In spite of the fact that your heady pipe is an expressive powerhouse you don’t have to worry, it doesn’t come at the price of functionality.

Okay, so what are the downsides to this type of bong?

  • They’re expensive – Great art is never cheap and this type of bong is no exception. If you are on a tight budget this type of bong probably isn’t in the cards.
  • If you break it, it’s toast – With a modular bong, if you break a part you can still use it while you wait for the replacement part to arrive. If you break your heady bong you’re up the creek.
  • They have a habit of growing legs – Not that your friends would abscond with your prized bong, but it has been known to happen. The lure of their beauty is just too much for some to resist.

What is Scientific Glass?

Sticking with our art comparison, if glass classified as “heady” is romantic, then scientific glass is strictly classical. Scientific glass bongs are characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes, and clear glass. Their classicism is right up front for all to see.

Scientific glass bongs often look exactly like the beakers you would find in a laboratory, except for the stem and bowl protruding from the side. If you find an online smoke shop that sells both types of bong you can compare them side by side. The difference will be like night and day.

Now that you know what they are, let’s look at the advantages of scientific glass bongs.

  • They’re easy to clean – There are rarely any difficult-to-reach nooks and crannies on a scientific glass bong. Everything is easily accessible.
  • They’re affordable – Since they don’t take a great deal of imagination to design or material to create, this type of bong is cheaper than heady glass.
  • They’re known for providing cool hits – With this type of bong, you can rely on a consistently cool, smooth hit as long as you don’t overwork the bowl.
  • If you break it, it’s not a big loss – If you break your heady bong you’re going to take quite a financial hit. Not so with a scientific glass bong.

Alright, so what about the downside of this type of bong?

  • They can be boring to look at – Some people are drawn to minimalist architecture and Agnes Martin’s aggressively minimalist paintings. If you’re not one of them you may find this type of bong boring.
  • They show their dirt – It can be nearly impossible to tell if your heady bong with its multitude of colors is dirty. With scientific glass, there’s no hiding the gunk.
  • They can break easily – The glass on this type of bong is often pretty thin. As a result, even if it is borosilicate glass, it may crack or break after only light contact with a hard object.

The Bottom Line

It’s pretty much impossible to say heady glass is objectively better than scientific glass. The two are just different, like Carravaggio and Raphael. One is intended to make an emotional connection, the other to make more of an intellectual connection. At the end of the day which one is right for you will largely depend on what kind of person you are: a classicist or a romantic.