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Let’s Compare - Hookah Heat Management

Let’s Compare - Hookah Heat Management

By Amir / April 29, 2024

Hookah Heat Management in Review

You’ve heard the schpeel about hookah Heat Management Devices (HMD) countless times. But if we are going to compare what’s out there, I feel like a short review is in order. Take notes. SouthSmoke Blog Hookah Heat Management Devices Stratus NAR Phoenix Apple on Top Lotus Infinity

Heat Distribution

With traditional foil, shisha directly below your charcoals is cooked first creating hot spots and burned hookah tobacco. The thick base of an HMD disperses heat evenly. By uniformly heating the shisha, you eliminate those hot spots and the need to rotate charcoal.

Control the Heat to Your Hookah

With the use of lids and air vents, HMDs allow you to take control of the heat throughout a hookah session. Need more to create bigger clouds and stronger flavor? Just close the vents or put on the lid to trap heat inside. Smoke becoming too harsh? Open those vents to allow more airflow and release some of that trapped heat.

Longer Hookah Sessions

By allowing less oxygen to reach the hookah charcoals, they burn slower. Slower burning coals means they last longer and support a longer smoke session.

Not Just for Rookies

Hookah Heat Management Devices generate consistently better sessions for even the most experienced hookah smokers. More control equals better results. Don’t think of them as just a crutch. Now that we’ve touched up your HMD knowledge, we can go over the latest and greatest. Let’s compare some of the best Hookah Heat Management Devices on the market, shall we?

Best of the Best - Hookah Heat Management

The Phoenix V2 HMD product photos and logo

Phoenix 2.0

The first and only phunnel shaped HMD. The Phoenix is solid 6061-T6 Aerospace grade aluminum and is also the first HMD that you can preheat with your charcoal allowing for quicker startup time. It fits up to 4 cubed charcoal and the bottom is solid with raised pieces inside to allow air under the charcoal. Absolutely no ash in your tobacco. Very easy to clean and consistent contact and heating of shisha. The new lid fits around the HMD so it no longer gets stuck and did I say it’s made in America?! My favorite Heat Management Device available right now. Apple on Top Provost Heat Management Device product photos

Apple on Top Provost

Made to work with the Apple on Top bowl, the AoT can be used with any hookah bowl but you must use foil. It fits 3-4 flat charcoal so it has plenty of room. A great wind cover for smoking outside. Silicone handles adjust air vents and the stainless steel build heats quickly and holds the heat well. A lower priced HMD, the Apple on Top works best when used directly with its matching bowl. Starbux NAR Heat Management Device product photos

Starbuzz NAR

The NAR is the latest HMD to hit the market. Very heavy duty and durable weighing 350g, this HMD is designed to take on extreme heat. Preheat the NAR with your charcoals to get the session going quicker. It fits 3-4 cubed charcoal, fits any bowl and the venting is placed on the side walls meaning no ash in your tobacco. Included in the design are adjustable air vents and a thermometer on top to regulate temperature. The NAR has removable handles for transportation. A great feature but you must remove them when smoking or heating or they get too hot to handle. Not as many reviews on the Starbuzz NAR yet but so far it looks like a step in the right direction. Shishabucks Stratus HMD product photos

Shishabucks Stratus

The Stratus is a bit different than the other HMDs as it doesn’t have solid sidewalls. Instead, large vents allow for even more heat control. The vents can be closed with the removable lid that locks into place when needed. Small holes, varying in size at the bottom of the Stratus allow for heat to reach the shisha but may also pass small ash particles as well. It fits any bowl and has enough room for your charcoal so no complaints there. Two versions are available. The Premium model is solid aluminum, CNC cut and is a little pricier while the new “Regular” Stratus is liquid aluminum poured into a mold and is more budget friendly. Kaloud Lotus Heat Management Device Product Photos

Kaloud Lotus 2

The first popular HMD and now on its 3rd iteration, the Lotus 2 is the OG of the group. Made out of two solid pieces of CNC cut aluminum with air vents around the lid. An included key is used to rotate the air vents.The new “domed” lid moves the air channels higher to prevent ash and particles from falling into the shisha but limits space inside for charcoals. It does fit on most hookah bowls but better on bowls with a lip as rotating the lid could create movement and allow it to fall off. Biggest downfall may be the mobility of the Lotus as the shape is a bit hard to handle. Most reviews expected more improvements by the 3rd try. Vapor Infinity Heat Management System

Vapor Infinity HMS

A bowl and heat management system all in one. The first cube-shaped bowl to hit the market. Created to eliminate harsh smoke with even heat distribution. The Infinity utilizes a silicone sleeve for easy handling as well as air vents controlled by silicone handles for heat management. Separation screens keep ash out of the bowl and the center spire keeps juices in the bowl for prolonged sessions. Not quite at the level of the other HMDs but the Vapor Infinity is a great beginner piece and an all-inclusive bowl and HMD for a great price. Now that you know what’s out there and that Heat Management Devices aren’t just for rookies, check out what’s available at and take your hookah sessions to the next level!

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