Derived from the Arabic term “Huqqa”, the word hookah refers to a piped instrument that is used for smoking flavored tobacco. The first use of the said instrument dates back to the Persian Safavid Dynasty in today’s Iran, which ran from 1501 to 1722. Years later, the use of hookahs was criticized due to its negative health effects. Many scientific studies show that hookah smoking is as dangerous as cigarette smoking.
Contrary to the belief that the water in the Hookah removes the toxins from the tobacco, nicotine, and other harmful chemicals are not filtered and are directly inhaled by anyone who uses the instrument.
Thankfully, technology has paved the way for the development of vaping devices, including E-Hookahs or E-Shishas, which offer an enjoyable lifestyle without the negative effects of tobacco smoke (whether through cigarettes or hookahs).
What is an Hookah pen?
An E-Hookah is technically a bigger e-cigarette or vaporizer, usually without the nicotine. It is a slightly larger device compared to a cig-a-like, often with a colorful design that reminds you of colorful neon markers.
E-hookahs are mostly used with zero nicotine e-liquid that comes in various tobacco-based fruit flavors. The mechanism by which a regular vaporizer works is the same with an E-Hookah. It has the same parts as an e-cig, such as a Lithium-ion battery to generate power, a heating coil or atomizer to turn e-liquid into vapor, and a tank or a cartomizer to hold the e-liquid. It is available in disposable and reusable/refillable versions at varying prices.
Not all companies that try to replicate the taste and feels of smoking a real-life hookah are able to meet their customers’ expectations. It can be frustrating to get your hands on these devices only to find out that they taste nothing like what you want. To save you from the trouble, we have searched for the best e-hookahs and hookah pen e-liquids and written a review for your reference, which you will find towards the end of this guide.
How Hookah Pen Works – Rechargeable vs Disposable
Hookah pens not only look like e-cigs but also work pretty much the same way. E-hookahs possess a Li-ion battery, that takes up the bulk of their space. The rest of the pen contains an atomizer and a cartridge. The atomizer is usually a small heating element while the cartridge contains the flavored e-juice. When you smoke on a hookah pen, the battery provides power to the atomizer, which heats up the built-in coil. When e-liquid reaches the heated coil, it turns into vapor, which is more like flavored steam than smoke. The vapor is then inhaled and exhaled by the user.
Depending on their function, there are two major types of hookah pens: rechargeable hookah pens and disposable hookah pens. Just as the name suggests, a disposable hookah pen can’t be recharged and offers a certain number of puffs, usually ranging between 200 and 800. These hookah pens are extremely simple and all-in-one solution for the first-timers who just want to get a hang of it. On the flip side, rechargeable hookah pens can not only be used over and over again by charging their powerful batteries, but they also give you the freedom to use different e-liquid flavors, or even mix and match different flavors.
Hookah Pen Vs Traditional (Combustion) Hookah
Although Hookah pens are often compared to traditional hookahs, they look and function in different ways. A traditional hookah aka Pneumatic Water Pipe is usually much bigger and consists of single or multi-stemmed body, attached to a long pipe that’s used to inhale the smoke. Coals are used to heat the tobacco that’s placed in a bowl. When you take a puff, capillary action forces the heat from coal down the bowl and hits the flavored tobacco to evaporate some of the liquid content. The smoke then passes through the water stored in the base of the hookah. The water, in addition to cooling down the extremely hot vapor or aerosol, is also supposed to filter out some of the toxic compounds, cancer causing agents and tar.
So, at the end of the day, you still get a lot of nicotine, carcinogens, and tar. But with hookah pens, since there is no combustion but vaporizing of e-liquid, you don’t get any of these harmful chemicals. Although very few hookah pens might contain a small percentage of nicotine, most hookah pens don’t contain nicotine. So, we can say that the two hookahs not only look and function differently but also have a different impact on the human body, with the traditional hookah being more harmful. The price of a hookah pen depends on the brand and model you choose. However, their price can range anywhere between $5 to $200.
Best 5 Hookah Pens for 2016
Let’s talk about some of the very best e-hookahs you can buy.
1. VaporFi Boom Vapor Hookah Starter Kit
This E-Hookah is a definite must-have for party-goers who want to relive the tradition of sharing fruit-flavored hookahs—only without the nicotine and toxic chemicals. The Vaporfi Boom Vapor Hookah Starter Kit is also a great device for those who want to carry around their own e-hookah for all-day use.
The size of this device is comparable to a flashlight, so anyone who wants portability may find it a bit too large compared to other vape pens and mods. Nevertheless, it is an E-Hookah, and hookahs are sizeable in real life, so it only lives up to what it is trying to recreate electronically. That being said, we believe the design of the Boom Vapor was based on what a real hookah looked and felt like when held by the hand. It is perfect for passing around and is just as great to use individually, and is still small enough to be carried when traveling.
Its build and quality is likewise impressive, created to last for years with. Performance is unquestionably remarkable, as it is easy to use and gives off a nice flavorful vape through its 2200mah battery. It comes with two reusable clearomizer tanks that can hold up to 1.3 ml, which we found to be a bit small, given the size of this device. Then again, they include two of them, which you can switch easily and use with different flavors.
Vaporfi integrated a bubbling sound into this E-Hookah—a fun feature that can add to the enjoyment of having your own hookah anytime and anywhere. Another bonus is the four different mouthpiece colors that are meant to add an interesting theme to the whole device. This E-Hookah was originally priced at $129 but is now sold at $89.98, which makes it all the more one of the top E-Hookahs today.
2. Twilight iHookah
If you are a heavy hookah vaper, looking for a portable, efficient, and affordable e hookah pen, Twilight iHookah could be the right choice for you. These are the new line of disposable e-hookah pens by Mya Hookah, the famous manufacturer, that fit perfectly in your hand or pocket. They have an amazing design and to ensure clean operation, the manufacturer packs them in a plastic tube, plus the mouthpiece is covered by a stopper. Take the hookah pen out of the tube, remove the stopper, vape, and then put it back – it’s as simple as that.
Although Twilight iHookah doesn’t offer very big clouds or extremely rich flavor, but for the size and price, they are definitely a good pick. When you vape on the hookah mouthpiece, the other end lights just like a normal cigarette or cig-a-like.
These hookah pens are available in eight different flavors. Four of them are nicotine free, namely Arctic Frost (a personal favorite of mine), Blind Date, B WoWd (Watermelon Bubble Gum), and Orange Cream. The remaining four come with 8mg nicotine, namely Blue Temptation, Peach Mango, The Big Apple, and Vegas H20.
The manufacturer claims that these hookah pens are good for up to 800 puffs, a claim we think might not be true unless you take very small puffs. In our experience, they lasted for about 600 regular puffs, which is still more than some of the more expensive hookah pens. One thing we really loved about the Twilight iHookah is that they don’t stink and don’t offer a greasy taste like most other cheap models. Instead, you’ll get a crisp and clean flavor, which changes slightly for the very last few puffs. All in all, these pens make ideal portable vaping e hookahs and are worth the nominal $6.99 per unit price tag.
3. White Rhino Blacklight Electronic Hookah Pen
$119.88 $49.99 for 12 Pack
The Blacklight electronic hookah pens are one of a kind. They have an extremely elegant design and are very easy to use. These disposable electronic hookah pens don’t have any buttons, and can be activated by inhalation so you can enjoy hassle-free, hands-free vaping right out of the box. All you need to enjoy your vape is unpack the pens, pick one, remove the cap, and start vaping.
A single Blacklight Hookah pen costs $9.99 and produces about 600 puffs, depending on how large a drag you take. However, if you buy a pack of 12, you will have to pay only $49.99 – that’s less than half the original price. The good thing about these pens is that they actually offer nearly the same number of puffs as claimed by the manufacturer, and the taste doesn’t go bad even for the very last puffs.
The pens offer 6 mg nicotine for fruity flavors and 24 mg nicotine for menthol or tobacco flavors. The hookah pens are available in these eight flavors: Bentley Grape, Blueberry Frost, Chocolate Chill, Coco Loco, Mazerati Mango, Menthol, Presidential Peach, R8 Watermelon, Strawberry Dream, and Tobacco. Our team tried a few of these flavors, all of them taste great, however, our top two are Blueberry Frost and R8 Watermelon.
4. Starbuzz E-Hose
Starbuzz-E-hoseIf you are an ex-hookaholic who wants to switch to vaping without letting go of the aesthetical value that a real hookah brings, then the Starbuzz E-Hose is the right thing for you. This E-Hookah is the modern version of the traditional hookah. It was designed to look and feel like the latter while functioning via electronic features.
By simply looking at this thing, you will be reminded of good old partying days because of its funky colors and authentic overall appearance. Its maker, Square Smoke, even made sure it has a mock-up carpet grip made of rubber.
Like any other E-Hookahs, this is a zero-nicotine, zero-combustion version of the much-criticized flavored tobacco hookah. Using the device is simple, as long as you know how to follow instructions. Once it is set-up the right way, you can pull for as long as you want.
The e-hookah experience is made even better with the Starbuzz E-Hose as it allows you to use two cartridges at the same time. That way, you can choose any flavor to match and enjoy whatever satisfies your hookah cravings.
The flavor from this e-hookah is amazing--- not only full of flavor but is consistent all throughout. There is no burnt or unpleasant taste when using the Starbuzz E-Hose. While the sensation that you get out of this device is not exactly the same as with the real hookah, it serves its purpose and is the closest thing to you can find in the market.
Most people would ask: is it worth 200 bucks? Yes. For its aesthetic worth, plus its durability, quality, performance, and ease of use, and the enjoyment that it brings, it is even worth more than its price.
4. Shisha Pens from NEwhere
Starting from $6.99
There are those who try very hard to emulate the aesthetics of the real hookah, while there are those who focus on the flavor and vapor through huge and solid equipment. And then there are E-Hookah pens—the miniature, marker look-alikes for people who want discreet yet satisfying e-hookah vaping.
The E-Hookah Pen is made by NEwhere, a brand based in California with over 15000 retail stores in North America. NEwhere lets you ‘smoke’ your favorite blend without the usual bulk, fuss, and complicated controls. One drag out of the pen, and the atomizer automatically heats up the cartridge, which lets you experience its flavorful vapor right away.
While they are portable and small enough to place in your pocket, these e-hookah pens from NEwhere do not lack the fun and funky style that one would commonly look for when buying an e-hookah. NEwhere did an excellent job in combining such a classy, sleek, and sophisticated design with the most interesting colors. The packaging and labels are remarkably sophisticated, making these hookah pens all the more convincing to purchase at $9.99 each.
Hookah Pen Flavors and How to Pick the Best for You
There is a wide variety of hookah pen flavors available, both online and in stores. With such a variety, choosing a flavor can be hard. However, all of us have different preferences when it comes to flavors. One flavor can be an absolute favorite of one person, but it could be the least preferred by another. That means that the best hookah pen flavor mainly depends on your very preference. But trying all the flavors out there is simply impossible, so let’s try to narrow down the choices by acquiring some basic knowledge.
E hookah flavors can be divided into two main categories: fruit-based and non-fruit flavors. Just as the names suggest, fruity flavors are designed to mimic the flavor of certain fruit. Most common ones are peach, pineapple, strawberry, watermelon, apple, pear, mango, pomegranate and orange. The non-fruit ones are more traditional savors like tobacco flavors, coffee flavors, creamy flavors, custard flavors, cake-like flavors, and so on. Some manufacturers also add a tinge of menthol or mint to their flavors. To pick the best flavor, think of the thing you most desire when you’re hungry, and try to find a flavor that mimics it. Then you may try different flavors or different brands to see which one best fits your bill.
Finding the right device that will fit your needs is not everything. What also matters a lot is a soul of your hookah pen — the e-liquid. We have tested different e-liquids in our refillable hookahs, and we've figured out that you should choose the high PG juice, so you can be sure that you get maximum flavor.
Below are the two e-juices that will work best with your hookah pens:
Double Apple Hookah($15.99/30ml bottle)
Also from the maker of over 3000 custom blends of e-liquids, the Double Apple Hookah is one of, if not, the top e-liquid option for e-hookah users. It is an overload of green and red apple flavors with an earthy tobacco base. It is by far the most popular e-hookah liquid blend on manufacturer's website.
The Double Apple Hookah is a fresh and tangy vape that is not overwhelming in any aspect. Although hookahs are traditionally used for social gatherings, this e-liquid is great for all-day, anytime use. A lot of long-time e-hookah vapers prefer the 50-50 blend because it brings flavor over throat hit, but the 70-30 blend is just as magnificent.
Moreover, because it has zero percent nicotine, the Double Apple Hookah e-liquid suggests that E-Hookah vaping might just be the right thing for ex-smokers who simply want to enjoy without taking risks.
Simply Shisha by Vaporfi
Many people who have smoked shisha would say that e-liquids made for e-hookah vaping always run short of what they are in real life. We would, however, say that Simply Shisha from Vaporfi is a great substitute if you are craving for a good round of hookah use. To summarize all the wonderful flavors that come out of this exceptional e-juice, it is a mix of rich, earthy tobacco and some unique sweet hints on the side.
This flavor is best mixed with your choice of fruit blends, although it is as remarkable as a stand-alone blend for those who are searching for a sweet cigar-like flavor out of their e-hookah. We particularly love using the Simply Shisha while having our early morning coffee. It is a distinctive blend, and while some people do not agree with its taste, at first, the wonders of this juice become better as you vape it. The more you use it, the better it gets, and that makes it all the more exciting!
Hookah Pen Flavors and How to Pick the Best for You
Should you or should you not get a hookah pen is a decision you have to make for yourself. Using hookah pens is safer than traditional hookah or even tobacco cigarettes, as it doesn’t contain all the hazardous chemicals as well as nicotine. However, no smoking is better than smoking anything. But if you still want to buy a hookah pen, don’t settle for anything less than perfect, be it the hardware or the e-juice. Buying low-quality products always poses more health risks. Therefore, we recommend you should consider investing in a quality product, just like the ones we have mentioned above. They will not only offer a better experience but will also minimize any health risks and save you some cash in the long run.