Hookah Heat Management Devices: How to Choose the Best One

Written by Jacob - Hookah Enthusiast

Last updated May 11, 2023

Hookah heat management devices are becoming increasingly popular in recent years. These HMD devices are successfully replacing the standard aluminum foil.

Every hookah enthusiast started smoking a hookah with tin foil.

But with years of development, hookah heat management devices are now more competitive, efficient and provide you with the optimal temperature for your session. When it comes to HMDs, you want to make sure to choose a reliable one. In this article, I will review further why it is so important to choose a good heat management device and how this will save you time and headaches.

Let’s have a look

What is a heat management system?

Heat management systems or devices are also well known under other names such as heat keepers and charcoal holders. This device ensures nice and even heat distribution to your shisha and hookah bowl. In short, using a heat hookah management system will ensure longer smoking sessions and will also decrease the chance of burning your favorite shisha.

Another great thing about this device is that you do not have to waste any time packing your bowl with foil, poking holes, and checking your coals every 10 minutes. So overall, HMDs are easy to work with and provide you with true satisfaction. Can’t be better than that, in my opinion.

How to use hookah heat management device?

In order to use a hookah heat management system properly, you first need to make sure that it fits your favorite hookah bowl.

Larger heat keepers such as Lotus Kaloud, Stratus HMD & Oduman Ignis typically fit in 99% of the shisha bowls. If your device is premium quality and has enough heat resistance, you can preheat it on your hookah coal stove. After that, carefully place it in your phunnel bowl. Place three ignited coals and let the tobacco heat for 6-7 minutes. Put the HMD’s lit on only if your shisha needs more heat. Now you are ready to smoke.


However, there are smaller metal screens that will not fit every type of hookah bowl. They are also a great choice for smaller bowls such as Turkish/Egyptian style hookah heads. They need less time to heat the flavored tobacco, typically 3 minutes.


*Important note – always use your hookah tongs when you transfer the hookah heat management devices! You can easily burn yourself. So make sure you pay attention.

Review of the most famous hookah heat management device

Kaloud Lotus plus HMD Review

Kaloud Lotus review

Lotus 1 is a well-known HMD among hookah enthusiasts. The solid design allows preserving the heat longer on your bowl and respectively on your shisha. It’s made from 100% pure aluminum and it’s designed to fit three hookah charcoal pieces. The first model of Kaloud lotus was released back in 2012. However, Lotus 1 plus was released in 2017.

It has 8 nubs on the bottom which helps to deep heat the tobacco even more. Like most hookah heat management devices, Lotus 1 plus is 3 inches in diameter. This means that it fits perfectly phunnel bowls. On the bottom, you will find 9 raised platforms that will ensure more airflow. The coals sit a little bit higher. This feature is pretty awesome. Inside Kaloud Lotus plus there is enough space to put three coals.

How many coals you can put in Kaloud Lotus?

Kaloud Lotus is designed to fit perfectly 3 (three) hookah coals and a ceramic phunnel bowl. Also, there is enough space inside and the coals will be ignited during the whole session. However, if you are using a different kind of hookah bowl such as a silicone one, you will only need 2 coals in order to prevent damaging the bowl. With a silicone hookah head, you can start with three coals inside Kaloud Lotus as soon as it is heated enough. Then you want to remove one coal and leave it as is.

Now it’s time to review the best reliable and affordable hookah heat management devices you can find easily online.

These are the best hookah heat management devices:

1. Review of Stratus HMD Charcoal Holder

Stratus Heat Management Device Review

The Stratus hookah heat management device not only looks amazing and is different from other HMDs that we’re used to, but it does a great job too. It fits in every hookah bowl type.

What is so amazing about this HMD is the lid design. It has so many options to “vent” the device, allowing the heat to escape and not burn your shisha. In other words, you have great flexibility in heat control with this hookah heat management system.

Another great feature is that it has a massive design. It’s made from aluminum and it looks amazing. The common problem with other HMDs is solved here. I mean the handle. It’s always too hot to touch the handle of the lit. With Stratus you don’t have to worry about burning yourself.

The overall airflow with the Stratus heat management device is pretty satisfactory. We have two rings on the bottom allowing even more air to come under the coals and never get black.

What to expect from Stratus HMD?

You can expect a nice and even heat distribution with the Stratus device. As I have mentioned, it is a very reliable choice and has so many options for ventilation. Heat control is the key. It’s worth trying this device not only for the features but it will save you time to foil pack your bowl.

2. Review of Provost II – Apple on Top heat management device

Provost Apple On Top Review

Many hookah enthusiasts say that the AOT hookah heat management device is the best on the current market. It became a very popular product in recent years. It’s slightly different from the first release of the Apple on Top product and it’s mostly cosmetic. The thick base of the AOT Provost 2 HMD circulates and distributes the heat more evenly.

It’s good to know that Apple on Top 2 fits perfectly on each type of shisha head. However, in my opinion, this product has some disadvantages. There are too many holes in the bottom. This will pass more coal ash into your shisha unless you add an extra layer of aluminium foil. This is extra effort and other HMDs solved this problem when they created their vents only on the sides of the base.

It’s still a good and well-reviewed product that is worth the investment.

What to expect from Stratus HMD?

It will require more attention during the session. You should clean your coals more frequently as I have mentioned the reason above. Also, there are no extra airflow spots on the bottom which means more black coals.

3. Review of Hookah John Flavor Savor

Flavor Saver Review

This is not a typical heat management device that you will use. It’s actually not an HMD as the original founder of this product (Hookah John) says. “Just a piece of metal,” he says. As simple as that. In fact, this actually is one of the simplest hookah devices to use. It’s just a piece of spring-shaped metal. With this device, you want to use a foil-packing method for your bowl.

The Flavor Saver fits on each type of hookah head which is awesome. In order to use this product, just pack your bowl with a piece of foil, put it on top, and place three to four flat coals. It’s simple because it just separates the coals from directly heating the aluminium foil. This automatically decreases the chance of burning your favorite shisha. It’s also a pretty affordable product and you should have one if you are a foil packed bowl fan.

What to expect from Hookah John flavor saver?

  • More time and effort in packing your bowl
  • More control of your coals because they will last less
  • Expect nice and big clouds
  • Of course, the perfect flavor is achieved with this product


As I’ve mentioned HMD’s are an extremely important part of your hookah preparation. Controlling the heat is always the key when it comes to a satisfactory session.

The right device for your hookah depends on which bowl packing method you will use and what type is your shisha bowl.

Have a nice session and see you next time!


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