Storing Cigars in Their Factory Boxes

Cigar AdvisorAs we already know, the best place to store your cigars is in a properly maintained humidor. However, there are some cigar humidors, like cabinet style humidors, et. al. that are big enough to accommodate entire boxes of cigars. One of the most often asked questions about this type of storage is whether the humidity from the humidor will reach the cigars in their factory boxes.

If the conditions are right, cigar box storage is easy. Cigars that are kept in their factory boxes will stay fresh up to a month on average, even after opening. By placing the entire box in your humidor the cigars will remain fresh indefinitely, just as they would if you removed the cigars, but it depends on how you plan to store the boxes, too. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you are storing your cigars for the long haul and that your humidor keeps pretty stable “ideal” conditions.

cigar box storage

Cigar box storage is easy and helps keep large amounts of cigars on hand and fresh for smoking

By keeping the cigar boxes sealed with their outer cello on them, this is not much different from cigar box storage in a humidified warehouse or a cigar store humidor; the cigars should be fine. However, it’s better to remove the outer cello from the box, which will allow more humidified air to seep into the box. Moreover, cracking the lid – in other words, lifting it an inch or so – will allow even more humidified air in, and it is recommended that you do this every so often. You can use any number of small objects to prop the lid open. Anything from an extra cigar cutter to a cedar spacer block, even a rolled up business card will do. You can keep the lid propped up for as long as you deem necessary. 24 hours is usually plenty of time.

Of course, removing the lid entirely permits the most air flow, and this practice is also quite popular with many cigar smokers who have cabinet type humidors.

Finally, cardboard boxes are packed tighter than wooden “cabinet” style boxes in which the cigars themselves are also not protected by cello. Wooden boxes are also preferred because they’re made from Spanish cedar, thereby augmenting the positive effect Spanish cedar has on aging cigars.


Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.


  1. Brad says:

    Good article. I always remove the lid but usually lay it on top crossways to both stack and protect.

  2. 2d Barcode says:

    Sometimes in air conditioners and heaters or seasonal change can affect the level of humidity inside the humidor.

  3. lorenzo gallina says:

    Good day to all, I leave all my cigars under a bathroom sink w/ a bowl of water, all cigars are in plastic containers and humidors, and metal cookie tins, inside the containers are a open baggie w/wet paper towel, and no cleaning supplies not one thing just cigars, do not want to contaminate cigars, is this a good idea. Lorenzo.

  4. Carlos C says:

    I use a toothpick to keep the boxes propped open. If the lid comes off, I’ll do what Brad does. But I usually don’t like to destroy the box.

  5. Craig A Cassen says:

    It’s not that I have a comment about this article, it’s that I would like to hear comments about the methods that I use to store my own cigars.

    My humidor, which holds 50-75 cigars, is kept on the main floor of our house, out of harm’s way, in the dining room.

    Since I normally have 3 to 5 brands and types available, I take approximately 10 to 15 of their boxes and put them in the humidor – on the bottom – with the cello still on. I find that my cigars are just better that way. The moisture content is better and they cut better plus I find that the taste and draw are more consistent.

    But this is what I do with the cigar box and the remaining cigars in them; they all go downstairs into the cellar and I put them in the bottom of our old refrigerator. Currently, there are some 6-7 partially filled cigar boxes there. We redid the kitchen some 5-6 years ago and, like so many other people, put the old frig in the cellar to keep the beer cold!

    So when the time comes to replenish the humidor, I just go downstairs and do some “shopping” to see what I have available and what I need to bring upstairs. (And also to see what needs to be ordered.)

    Quite frankly, what I’d like to know is what other people think of this arrangement?

  6. Georgio says:

    Craig, if your saying that you store your spare cigars in a RUNNING fridge, then that is a VERY bad idea as moisture is drawn away from your sticks in a modern fridges environment. They are made to keep moisture low. Far to low for cigar storage. IF the fridge is NOT running, than that’s a different story. Depending on where you live, the natural moisture in your basement can be an asset to storage of your precious sticks.

  7. Chris Boczkus says:

    Question: Do I keep my cigars in my humidor with the cellophane wrapper ON or OFF each individual cigar ???? I’m brand new to humidors,seasoning, etc. so I have a million questions !

  8. Gary Korb says:

    Hey Chris: This is the most often asked question I get, so here it is. Traditionally-speaking, remove the cells, especially if you plan on home aging your cigars for months. However, they will age just as well in their cellos, but I have found through experience that they taste and age better w/o the cellos. That said, I have some very expensive cigars that I have left in their cellos because I don’t want to risk damaging them when looking through my humidor for something to smoke.

    My advice has always been to do a test. Take eight cigars from the same box. Remove the cellos from four of them and leave the others on. After one month, smoke one of the cigars without the cello and compare it to one of the celloed cigars. Do this over a period of four months and you be the judge.

  9. June says:

    I thought it was a great idea to bring back to Canada some expensive Cuban cigars, but cannot find any cigar smokers. How do I get rid of them?

  10. Gary Korb says:

    Hi June. I find your question somewhat puzzling. No cigar smokers in Canada? Really? In that case, I’d be happy to take them off your hands. :-))

  11. Tom says:

    I use a push pin to hold the lids open enough for humidification. The pin wont slip, and it provides just the right size opening

  12. Punch says:

    LOL, all this “cracking the lid open” business is hilarious. Here’s what I do:
    1.Buy a box of cigars to put away and not in the humidor.
    (The box arrives, it is covered in cellophane and is unopened. The cigars inside are in cellophane as well. That’s double protection from the elements already).
    2.Get some Saran wrap and cover the entire unopened box making sure there is total coverage. Cover it tightly about 4 different ways.
    3. Store the box in a cool dry place. It doesn’t matter if it’s dry or not those cigars are protected and will be fine for years that way.
    Done deal.

  13. Gary Korb says:

    Re “Mr. Punch’s” comments. I suppose, based on your experience, I’ll have to take your word for it, but I am a little skeptical with regard to the cigars staying “fine for years” in the manner you described. Sounds like a lot of unnecessary work just to keep them fresh. My “overstock” boxes are kept unwrapped in a Rubbermaid storage container. Sometimes I think they keep better in there than in my humidors. And so it goes… ;-)

  14. Punch says:

    I’ve had great results with this for years. I like the plastic wrap method better because nothing escapes from the box. The good that was in that box at the rolling rooms stays in there for years. After I unwrap a box I open the box and slide the cigars from the celos. Then it’s into a 65% humidfied Humidor.
    My method allows me to really stock up on boxes of cigars and enjoy them later with some age on them. Saves me money and I have a large depot (closet) stocked with boxes of cigars just waiting their turn. Enjoy : )

  15. Gary Korb says:

    @Punch: Hey, whatever works is what I always say. ;-)