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Heady Versus Scientific Glass: A Comparison

 Heady Versus Scientific Glass: A Comparison

Smoking from a “scientific” glass pipe or from a “heady” glass pipe, and the quality of sessions each one produces, has been a cultural debate for decades. On one side, the scientific pieces offer more advanced filtering accessories for much smoother hits. On the other side, heady glass adds a visually artistic element and takes a typical session experience to the next level overall. Even smaller dry hand pipes have quite elaborate designs these days that appeal to a wide range of users. Both scientific and heady pieces have their own merits, but it may eventually come down to individual preference on which one is better. Recently, though, artists and engineers alike have begun working together on glass pipes to offer users the best of both worlds, like the Glass Microscope Rig with a honeycomb percolator made by The Crush. This piece presents science enthusiasts with a trendy design they can get on board with, while still providing percolated filtration for those smooth hits smokers enjoy so much. While we wait for pieces like these to become the mainstream, let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of scientific and heady pipes.

Scientific Pipes


  • Provide a variety of percolation options for individual preferences
  • Constantly upgrading designs for more enjoyable smoking sessions
  • Usually basic and easy to clean
  • Easier to find attachments for water pipes and rigs that keep the theme of the piece consistent
  • Usually fairly cheap and easy to find a replacement
  • Glass is usually thick and sturdy


  • Not as visually appealing
  • Residue will show more on clear glass making it look dirty often
  • Not discrete in what it is or what it’s used for
  • Only a few basic designs available, not as custom

Heady Pipes


  • Designs are as unique as the individuals using them
  • Pieces of art, usually hand-made, and often one of a kind or limited edition
  • Has that “wow factor” among friends
  • Can be a conversational piece or just used for personal enjoyment
  • Some pieces are so artistic that they don’t look like pipes at all
  • Usually just as functional as a basic scientific piece


  • More expensive
  • Not as many percolation options
  • Rare, so not easily replaceable.
  • Some designs include thin and easily breakable parts

When it comes to which piece you should use, it may eventually come down to personal preference and your individual budget. One user may think it’s not even worth smoking if it’s not out of a cool pipe, while another may only care about how easy it is to clean and maintain. Some may want to support a local artist, while others enjoy the smoothest hits in town. While there are pros and cons to each type of design, the end result is usually pretty similar—a more relaxed state of mind. Whichever device or design you choose, as long as you enjoy the experience, that’s all that really matters in the end.

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  • Abbigail Montgomery