Hookah devices need a consistent heat source to heat up flavored tobacco, and charcoal is often used because it produces minimal ash and smoke. These qualities make charcoal the perfect heat source for hookahs. The charcoal is placed on top of the tobacco in the hookah bowl. And when it’s lit, the heat from the charcoal will warm up the tobacco and produce flavorful smoke. There are different types of charcoal that can be used in a hookah, and each type has its own benefits and drawbacks. There are even natural coal and quick-light options.
On this page, you’ll get to learn more about finding the best coal options for your hookah. Learn about the different types of coals, which products are the best, and how to choose between natural coal and traditional varieties. This page offers you a full guide to hookah charcoal so that you can guarantee a top-notch smoke session from your water pipe every single time.
About the Types of Hookah Charcoal
There are many different kinds of charcoal that can be used for hookah smoking. The most popular types you’ll need to learn about as a hookah smoker are quick-light charcoal and natural hookah coal. Quick-light coals are a more modern variety that has a chemical accelerant coating which allows you to light up each piece of coal with just a small open flame or a lighter rather than a heat management device or electric burner. Quick-light coals are the fastest to light and they’re perfect for those who want to start their smoke session quickly. Natural hookah coals are made of all-natural materials, such as coconut shells or wood. It’s slow-burning coal and produces minimal ash. This type of charcoal is a good choice for those who want clean-tasting smoke during their hookah sessions. The natural coal variety is often odorless and tasteless. The process of creating each piece of charcoal is more eco-friendly since they’re made of leftover compressed coconut shells or bamboo.
Choosing among these types of hookah coal will entirely depend on what you value most in your hookah sessions. Below, you’ll find some of the best options in hookah charcoal for your tobacco products.
1. Carbopol Quick-Light Coals
- One of the best brands on the quick-light hookah coal market
- No special equipment is needed to start lighting up
- Comes in a variety of shapes to fit all hookah bowl sizes
Polish manufacturer Carbopol creates a high-quality, odorless charcoal that’s made to stay hot and burn evenly after it’s lit. Shop for 35mm, 38mm, and 40mm varieties to fit your hookah bowl. You’ll find that the crown, ring, and cube shapes make it easy to deliver sufficient heat for your shisha tobacco! Carbopol is an award-winning brand and each piece is odor-free and taste-free, allowing for smooth, flavorful smoke. It’s great for beginners and experienced smokers alike. Check out the 38mm Ring Quick-Light Coal for ease of lighting during your next smoke session. No matter which shisha charcoal you choose from this brand, you won’t be disappointed!
2. Holland Quick-Light Coals
- Ideal for smokers who are always on the go
- Smaller coal shapes fit any bowl size
- Heat output produces up to an hour of thick smoke
In a hurry and don’t have time to let your hookah charcoal heat up the traditional way? Holland quick-light hookah coals are the perfect solution! These coals are coated with an accelerant and are easy to use, so you can get started smoking without delay. Simply place a piece of coal on top of your bowl, and it’ll start to heat up and produce smoke. Holland quick-light hookah coals are made from high-quality materials and are designed to provide a long-lasting, consistent smoking experience.
3. Fumari Quick Silver Instant Light Coals
- Best for dark-leaf tobacco
- Low heat output
- Made by one of the top hookah brands
Instant light charcoal is a must-have for any hookah smoker. It makes lighting your hookah quick and easy. No more worrying about whether you have enough time to light coal before your smoke session. Fumari offers a great selection of instant light coals, including their Quick Silver coals. This charcoal is made of high-quality materials and is best when you need a low heat output. When you’re smoking dark-leaf tobacco, for example, then you’ll want low heat from the Quick Silver tab coal. This is because dark-leaf tobacco is heat sensitive and you’ll want to prolong the flavors. Fumari created its own line of hookah coal after having a successful product line of shisha flavors. They also have coconut coals available.
4. Three Kings Quick-Light Hookah Coals
- Lights up easily with a regular lighter
- Available in bulk
- Odorless and tasteless coal doesn’t interfere with your shisha flavor
Three Kings charcoal is produced in the Netherlands and uses only the best ingredients. The company has over 80 years of experience in hookah charcoal production. With these quick-light varieties, you can expect the coals to light up easily with a regular lighter. The tabs have a smooth, long, and even burn that lasts for nearly an hour. They’re known worldwide as one of the best hookah coal brands made of the best natural resins. You’ll be able to find shisha coals in different sizes and shapes for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a party or smoking at home, these are some of the best options for hookah smokers.
5. CocoNara Coconut Shell Charcoal
- Can be used for both dark-leaf and blonde-leaf tobacco
- Ranked as the top choice for hookah smokers
- Minimal ash content
Coco Nara is the most well-known natural hookah coal brand. These coals are made of coconut shells and are meant for longer sessions. Every piece is made from compressed coconut husks and holds the optimal temperature for different types of tobacco. The heat output doesn’t produce any smoke or residue so you can expect low ash production. Since the coals are natural, there also aren’t any carcinogens. And it only takes around 5 to 15 minutes to prepare. Whether you’re using dark-leaf or blonde-leaf tobacco blends, you’ll quickly see why Coco Nara is a top choice for experienced smokers!
6. HookahJohn Titanium Coconut Coals
- Uses 100% pressed coconut shell
- Odor-free and taste-free natural coal
- Can be used with foil or a heat management device
HookahJohn is a well-known brand in the hookah market. They’ve produced the Titanium line, which is the only brand using 100 percent pressed natural coconut shells and coconut husks. Some natural coal brands use sawdust and other materials to supplement each piece of charcoal. But the coconut charcoal from the Titanium line is entirely made of coconut products. There are no harsh chemicals or ignition agents on the outside of the hookah charcoal so it’s completely taste-free. You’ll get consistent, clean flavors at hookah lounges and at home.
7. CocoBrico Premium Coconut Charcoal
- High-heat coconut coals
- Low ash content
- Heat output produces massive clouds
No trees were harmed in the making of these coconut coals! CocoBrico is one of many top natural coal brands. The main ingredient consists of raw coconut husks and each piece is crafted to prevent splitting or sparks after it’s heated. Since their premium product produces high heat, you can expect to create large smoke clouds with rich, flavorful notes. Reviewers love CocoBrico because they burn hot but slowly. It’s no wonder Coco Brico is widely used!
Natural vs. Quick-Light Hookah Charcoal: Buyer’s Guide
Both types of coals have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it can be difficult to decide which one to use. Are you looking for something quick and easy? Do you value longevity? Will you need coal that contains accelerants and can be lit with an ordinary lighter? Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each variety of hookah coal to help make the decision easier:
Pros of Natural Hookah Charcoal and Quick-Light Charcoal
- Natural charcoal burns longer so it’s a better choice for extended hookah sessions
- Natural coals produce less ash than quick-light hookah charcoal, so they’re easier to clean up
- Natural coals have a subtle coconut flavor that many people enjoy
- Natural coals are eco-friendly and don’t contribute to carbon emissions
- Quick lights burn quickly, so they’re a good choice for shorter hookah sessions
- Quick lights can sometimes be easier to find than natural coconut coal
- Quick-light coal is fast to light up using an ordinary lighter or any small open flame
Cons of Natural Hookah Charcoal and Quick-Light Charcoal
- Natural options can be more expensive than quick-light charcoal
- Coconut coal takes longer to light than quick-light charcoal
- Quick lights burn for a shorter period of time than natural coconut charcoal
- Quick-light coals can affect the flavor due to the accelerant coating and other chemicals
- Quick-light varieties are not sustainable or eco-friendly
Does the Quality of the Coal Matter?
When it comes to hookah use, the quality of the hookah coal does matter. You only want to choose the most reputable brands for hookah coal to avoid hazardous chemicals and to ensure that you get the most out of the flavor of shisha that you use in the hookah bowl. Poor-quality options can produce harmful pollutants that can contaminate the smoke and make it less enjoyable to inhale. Good-quality brands, on the other hand, will produce fewer pollutants and provide a cleaner, more flavorful smoke. You should also consider the different shapes. Hookah coals with a large surface area will produce more heat and smoke than those with a small surface area. Some brands produce higher heat while others produce a lower temperature. The best coals are those that meet all of your needs and are made of premium or organic ingredients.
Hookah Charcoal: Bottom Line
Overall, we know that hookah charcoal directly affects your smoking experience at Hookah.com. They influence the burning process, as well as the taste and longevity of your shisha. While it’s tempting to just choose the most popular option, it’s crucial that you evaluate your needs as a smoker. For the best results, you can choose any one of the great hookah coal options we listed in our guide.