Explained: Hookah foil Or Metal Screens – Which One To Choose?

You will probably need to make many arrangements to smoke a hookah, including choosing from hookah foil or metal screen.

In this guide, I will discuss which one is better, from hookah foil and metal screens. Both are important If we talk about the hookah smoking experience.

When you prepare for a hookah session, you will need different accessories and shisha flavors to make a great hookah that you can smoke with your friends.

One of the essential hookah parts is hookah foil and metal screens. Every hookah needs a separate layer of protection between hookah coal and the tobacco in the hookah bowl.

Aluminum foil is the best protection layer used in hookah bowls. It is used between tobacco and hookah coal as a mediation. The alternative to hookah foil is a metal screen which serves the same purpose as an aluminum foil.

Regular hookah smokers tend to prefer foil over metal screens. But it all depends on a hookah smoker itself because everyone has their own choices and preferences.

Check out – Top 10 hookah coal burners

Difference between Hookah Foil and Metal Screens

Now, we will talk about the fundamental difference between hookah foil and metal screens so that you can choose a better option for smoking hookah. The hookah industry is based on the convenience of an individual. If many people ask for a better choice in any hookah parts, then the manufacturer may consider that option.

But most hookah smokers use aluminum foils as a medium between hookah coals and hookah shisha to make an ultimate control overheat.

You may have heard the stories about the hookah aluminum foil being a cancer genic material, but they are all the stories. If you experience it on yourself, you need to believe it; otherwise, ignore it.

And the majority of the people prefer to use heavy-duty aluminum foil on the hookah bowl as they make an excellent arrangement for heat management.

Most people tend to use hookah foil due to its obtainability. It comes very cheaply, and anyone can afford to use it on hookah bowls, and it can manage heat better than metal screens.

So, we will see all the advantages of using hookah foil or metal screens to help you smoke better. So we will see all the details of using it and why you should use it, etc.

Hookah Aluminum Foil

Hookah foil has significant advantages over metal screens as we compare both of them parallelly. Every hookah lover and smoker is different in terms of smoking shisha and using hookah parts. When it comes to hookah foil, it provides the ultimate control over the heat so that you can smoke the hookah peacefully.

You can get more or less heat depending on your personal choices, how you want your heat to be transferred to the hookah tobacco, and smoke it with your gang. Unlike metal screens, hookah foils have small and tiny holes poked by the hole puncher.

And from these tiny holes on aluminum foil, It will spread heat evenly throughout the hookah bowl. The foil will be a bit large to cover the whole bowl with it, and more heat can stay in for longer times. So, poke holes which would look like a bit larger holes. But keep the hole size tiny If you don’t want more heat to penetrate the tobacco. So there are facilities to poke the holes according to your heat management requirements.

However, the extra foil hanging on the bowl will give your hookah bowl an air-tight seal packing so that you can have better heat management in your bowl.

And there is a widespread belief in hookah smokers that smoking shisha from aluminum foil will expose them to the more dangerous sides of smoking and affect their bodies badly.

But, hookah as a whole is a dangerous thing to have, and hookah has more side effects on the body, so no special foils or other hookah parts individually are hazardous.

Hookah Metal Screens

Slowly and steadily, over the past years, hookah coal screens have emerged as a better method to control the heat. Charcoal containers are used on top of the hookah bowls and are placed in the same place instead of aluminum foil.

There are no significant changes in the working methods of both of the things, metal screens use a container-type structure on top of the bowl, and they are called metal screens.

You can control and adjust the amount of heat given to the hookah shisha tobacco by simply opening and closing the air vents in the metal screens.

The most significant advantage of using a metal screen is that you will not find any hookah coal ashes in the hookah tobacco. And when charcoal ash gets inside the tobacco, you will get the burning coal flavor from the shisha, and it will surely ruin your taste of shisha and smoking experience as well.

Another advantage of using metal screens is that they are highly expensive compared to aluminum foil. So, If you have the more significant pocket to afford the costly hookah accessories, you can try metal screens. Otherwise, you can quickly get the foil and start your hookah session ASAP.

But, it is known that metal screens are 100% reusable, and they are straightforward to use.

What Experts Are Saying?

Many things and words are floating around about the use of hookah in modern society, and what are the different kinds of diseases that can affect you If you are smoking from an aluminum foil or metal screen.

So, many studies are going on to know whether it affects your body or not. If it does, then to what extent will you feel the pain, etc.

Many patients with Alzheimer’s disease found that there is some amount of aluminum content was present. Slowly, it becomes breaking news in the hookah industry and among the experts of the respective industry.

You will probably feel short-term memory loss due to using aluminum foil or content for a longer duration. While other experts think that aluminum is a reactive metal when exposed to air. And it forms the coating of aluminum oxide.

But there are very little data to show that aluminum oxide is a toxic substance to inhale and has a negligible impact on your brain.

Due to the lack of sufficient data to prove the claims right, hookah smokers have started using metal screens to avoid using aluminum foil and material.

If you have placed heated coal on top of the bowl, which is covered in aluminum foil, then you will surely get the harsh smoke and a taste of metal from the hookah hose. Further, it can lead to a bad headache and cough issues, but not more than that.

And always use heavy-duty hookah foil because if you don’t, you will probably burn your fingers while touching it or making adjustments in the aluminum foil due to its low-quality material.

Plus, aluminum foil is one-time usable stuff, unlike metal screens. So, you have to throw it away. If you have ultimately used it and it could become a curse for our holy environment.

How to choose from foils and metal screens?

After all, you have to choose any one of them to smoke a hookah. Obviously, why not choose a cheap option. Right?

So, aluminum foil is a cheaper option when compared to metal screens. And they are easy to use If you ask me. I love the foils and hookah more than anything.

I love to prepare the hookah for myself and my friends. So, whenever we get together for a night out, It is fixed that I will prepare the hookah and use the aluminum foils to manage the heat coming from the hookah coals.

You can also choose aluminum foils by reading the discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of both things above, so it will be an easier task for you to choose.

One of the best benefits of using aluminum foil is keeping your hookah bowl air-tight and managing the heat very well. It will not lose the heat out of the hookah bowl. And the best way to manage the heat in aluminum foil is to ensure the size of holes poked in the foil.

Now, you know that hookah foils are better. It will be good if you kept both of them handy. If you can, as a backup option, so that you can always have the hookah.

So, we will now see some of the best metal screens and foils available in the market for hookah smokers.

HM Screen

This is an HM system used instead of hookah foils. And it is also developed to use natural charcoal on top of hookah bowls. It generally comes with air vents or chimneys to give more room to smoke and excess heat to pass by and not enter into the hookah tobacco. If it enters the shisha tobacco, you will get the bad taste of the hookah, and you will no longer be able to smoke more.

This system is designed so that it will never be in direct contact with charcoals and tobacco. As mentioned earlier, it has a great passage to pass the heat and smoke, so you will never have to worry about heat management and smoke management. Desvall.

Metal Bowl Screens

The metal bowl screen is a hookah accessory to replace the original hookah foil and place it in foil. It will work the same as the hookah foil, but it is a metal screen. It has a heating grid that will seal the tobacco and coals.

The metal bowl screen has big holes to pass more heat through the screen, and you will have a better heat management system. The bigger the holes, the higher the amount of heat will give, and it is obvious, so If you need more heat on a hookah bowl, you can try this screen with bigger holes.

If you are worried about the sixes and fitting of this metal screen on any bowl, then I would like to say that it comes with a six-inch diameter, and it can fit on any hookah bowl available in the market.

This also comes with high-quality metal on the sides, ensuring the best stability on the hookah bowl if you are smoking it on an unstable surface.

Lotus Heat Management Screen/System

This heat management screen can be used as a replacement for traditional hookah foil covering the hookah bowls. It provides an excellent seal to the bowl, ensuring the best heat transfer to the tobacco.

And you can easily buy this product online or in any hookah store near you at an affordable price range. Like other metal screens, it is also made up of high-quality metal with bigger holes on the screen to give more heat transfer to the tobacco, hence proving a better hookah smoking experience through the metal screens.

Yet, If you decide to use the original heavy-duty hookah foil, make sure you have made the tiny holes to pass the heat sufficiently to the tobacco.


Are hole punchers good?

Hole punchers are widely used to poke holes in the hookah foils. They are almost used at every hookah lounges and bar because it provides excellent perfection in the gaps, and all poked holes would be the same, so it offers superior quality tiny holes in the foil. Whereas, If you try a traditional method of punching holes in the foil with a toothpick, it will take longer and will not provide the same holes throughout the foil as it is handwork, and they are also known as less precise work.

Which is better between hookah foils and metal screens?

Both serve the same purpose of managing the heat and being a medium between hookah charcoals and tobacco. Aluminum foil is a bit cheaper, and metal screens will have higher prices for obvious reasons, like they are made up of metal. Hookah foil also provides excellent heat management and stability in the foil. You can poke large or small holes as per your needs. While in the metal screens, you will only have the option to make way for the excess amount of smoke and heat. You can not make adjustments to the holes of the metal screens. Overall, you can have both options ready for you, but use foils regularly and keep metal screens for a backup option.


So, I hope you get the idea of which one is better from hookah foils and metal screens. I have mentioned all the necessary details on hookah foils and metal screens and how to use them.

There are plenty of advantages of both the items to use on your hookah bowl. As foils are cheap and cost-efficient, anyone can easily afford them, while it is not the case for metal screens, as they are a bit expensive compared to foils.

And I have also mentioned the metal screen heat management systems and their advantages for you to understand it entirely and then decide about the same.

Have Fun.

Our author
Peter Russell

I smoke hookah every day. Like daily with my gang. This is what I love the most when the thick smoke comes out of my mouth, giving me the best feeling in the world. I have been smoking hookah since 2010, and one day, my friend suggested I share my experience with the newbies. So here I am sharing my whole lot of experience of smoking. Use my tips to smoke better and enjoy every day of your life.

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