The Coolest Lighters for Being the Most Interesting Person at the Bar

The Coolest Lighters for Being the Most Interesting Person at the Bar

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A week of celebrating weed, ganja, jazz cabbage, cannabis, or whatever you wanna call it.

TIL about tobacciana, which sounds like the Narnia version of collecting cool smoking accessories (and is), but has transcended its traditional (yawn) tobacco scope to encompass 2022’s wider, more contemporary pursuit of lighting our butts up with some indica, CBD pre-rollies, herbal cigs, and whatever else we find in that one coat pocket. Moreover, as we prepare for a summer of joint passing with other vaccinated lips, we have decided to adopt all the seriousness of a discerning tobacciana collector, with all the joyful idiocy of our own tastes (see: this cursed doggy style lighter) to find the coolest lighters out there. 

We want artisanal, groovy lighters with tortoiseshell finishes and Bauhaus color-blocking. We want little objets d’art that merit a place on the dining room tablescape, and that no one will dare pocket because they know they could never say, “Oh! I have the same 1960s cowboy boot lighter,” without getting their wristbands cut from the divine festival that is your Pfizer ho life. 

Are we imbuing too much meaning in the pursuit of a cool lighter? Probably. But why shouldn’t our lighters be an extension of our horny little brains? We’ll take all the conversational help we can get from a purple Bodega lighter, so lowkey sexy it practically whispers, “Let’s go rip the bong by my Stüssy streetwear candle, and maybe play with some long-distance butt plug vibrators.” 

Ice breakers? Pffft. Welcome to our flame-retardant zone of ice melters, just in time for your 4/20 makeup-party.  Yes, it is unabashedly Tsubota-heavy. Because why would we ever make you pick between cloud print and cow print? 

All your candles smell of sandalwood and tobacco leaves

Tsubota Pearl

Tortoise Lighter

$45 at Tetra

If there is one name to remember from today’s lineup, it’s Tsubota. Made in downtown Tokyo, the company has been making artisanal, lifelong lighters since 1952. This tortoiseshell-style “pearl” lighter is made of polycarbonate casing, has a steel interior, a cotton wick, and an aesthetic so good it deserves its own film noir. 

You run on Jerry Time

There will be many ways to make new friends at Dead & Company shows this summer. But this is by far the best one.

Online Ceramics x Grateful Dead

BiC Lighter

$36 at Grailed

Your Vans are crusty, but your lighter is crisp

Crafty Crew

Black and White Checkered Zippo Lighter

$44.65 at Zazzle

A little bit of ska, or perhaps Lisa Says Gah! Wherever you land on the spectrum of opinions about the renaissance of the checkerboard (especially wavy checkerboard), from streetwear fashion to Queen’s Gambit, we humbly predict that this matte checkerboard Zippo will persist, as Zippos tend to, beyond the trend cycle. We see it, many summers for now, in that one backpack you take to the park.    

The oil slick 


Dual Arc Electric Lighter

$30 at The Grommet

You were most likely a Lisa Frank child, or else the kid who watched Pimp My Ride just for the ASMR sensation of watching a Chevy get a metallic paint job. Either way, you could do with a lighter that looks like it has just melted the prettiest robot at the dance in your hands. Plus it’s rechargeable (and, thus, butaneless and odorless). 

For the sk8r boi in your life

Bodega x Tsubota Pearl


$40 at Bodega

OFC the streetwear lairds at Bodega having been brainstorming with Tsubota on how to make the coolest lighter, and of course they said, “It must be a mix between a plastic shopping bag, and a sexy lighter.” Maybe don’t take this one to the skate park; it’s too choice to risk leaving behind. Then again, it could create a skatepark Cinderella situation in which Zack finds it, and wheelies it over to your 4 PM brunch the next day.  

Your summer personality is cowboy-sexual


Silver-Plated Japanese Cowboy Boot Lighter

$66.38 at Etsy

For a lighter that says, “IDK bro, if you’ve never camped in the desert, I’m not sure you can fully understand our symbiosis with the cosmos.” We cannot (legally) fit a Southwestern stoner campfire in our apartments, but this cowboy boot lighter from the 1960s will do mighty fine. Place it ever so sassily beside an upside-down 10-gallon hat filled with queso. 

Old MacDaddy Donald

Tsubota Pearl

Hard Edge Lighter

$32 at Laundry Day

And right beside your cowboy boot lighter? Why, the obligatory cow print lighter, available on one of the waviest design wormholes in the Wild Web for smoking apparati, Laundry Day. Imagine the look on your friends’ faces, as they step into your home for the first time in months, only to see you playing ranchero with your growing collection of yeehaw lighters. 

Come my lady

There’s no one we idolized more than the baddies from that Crazy Town music video. Now all we need is this butterfly lighter, a “fierce nipple pierce” and a tongue ring to become everyone’s summer crush.


Golden Butterfly Lighter

$25.02 at Amazon

Like the iPhone of lighters


Arc Smart Electric USB Rechargeable Lighter

$16.99 at Amazon

God, this just feels so much nicer in our hands than plastic. It’s also rechargeable, better for the planet, and windproof thanks to its flameless nature. “I’ve only had to charge it a few times since I got it,” write one Amazon reviewer, “It starts a fire pretty easily and looks pretty darn cool when you turn it on.” Color us intrigued and ready to piss off the rats on the bar crawl home.  

You’re into microdosing

$26 at Urban Outfitters

Do you spend your days reading Aldous Huxley, watching Fantastic Fungi, and figuring out what’s going to be freshest at the farmer’s market next weekend? Then you need a little mushy lighter.

Don’t look into the eye of this when you toke


Optical Illusion Lighters

$38.95 at Amazon

Not unlike its cousin, Cool B&W Checkerboard Lighter, this op-art Zippo is both a master of trends and a timeless extension of our own crackpot love for universe-as-a-hologram theories. For an ideal user experience, we suggest toking up with this baby as “Butterfly” by Crazy Town plays in the distance.

Your couch is so comfy

Tsubota Pearl

Blue Sky Lighter

$45 at Tetra

You almost certainly drink eight glasses of water a day, or slam enough kombucha to make up for it (not how that works, but whatever). Friends love crashing at your home, because they can always expect a warm, linen sheet welcome every time. Your cloud lighter says so.  

You’re actually Satan

Rick Owens

Bronze Horn Lighter

$778 at 1stDibs

Hot. Shine up those hooves, and step out on the town with this bronze Rick Owens lighter in the shape of a horn to become everyone’s darkest fantasy.

Not a JUUL

Tsubota Pearl

Color Blocked Stick Lighter

$30 at Tetra

Finally! A lighter than can sit in the same ceramic mug thing as the rest of our desk pens, without getting lost at the bottom. Tsubota has made a color-blocking stick that looks like it could be just as comfy at a European Bauhaus design studio, or on the set of Blue’s Clues. (ICYMI: Steve used to have a very ~design~ converted garage haus in Brooklyn, so maybe he is moonlighting at Tsubota these days.) 

Here’s hoping we don’t run out of gas. Or butane. Or Takis.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.

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