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Choosing the Right Cigar Humidifier: Best Options to Preserve Your Cigars

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Best Cigar Humidifiers (Electronic Vs. Traditional)

 Why Humidify Cigars?

It’s one of the most asked questions by cigar smokers: “What’s the best humidity for my cigars?” Although the answer varies depending on personal preference, it generally hovers somewhere in the neighborhood of 70%. It all starts with the fact that premium cigars are a natural product. Just as you keep most of your veggies in a refrigerator to keep them fresh, cigars require a specific environment to keep them fresh—just not as cold or dry as your average fridge.

It all comes down to humidity and temperature. When those two indicators are within the proper range, your cigars will feel supple, they’ll smoke better, and will remain fresh for years. So, whether you keep your cigars in a desktop humidor, a cabinet humidor, a coolerdor, or a recycled cigar box, choosing the right cigar humidifier for your humidor is crucial to their survival.

 

What Cigar Humidifier Options Are Available?

Cigar smokers have some excellent options when it comes to humidifying cigars. The old school green foam humidifiers—you know, the ones that often come with a new humidor—have become passe. Consequently, many cigar smokers these days tend to prefer the more reliable crystal humidifiers.

Next, you have the humidity packs. These have become especially popular for cigar smokers with desktop humidors and other cigar storage alternatives.

Electronic humidifiers are generally used for very large cigar collections. You’ll find them most often in big cabinet humidors. However, there are also electronic models for cigar smokers with more average cigar collections.

In the paragraphs ahead we’re going to look at all of the above and more. We’ll examine what makes them tick, their pros and cons, and the best ways to use them.

 

Crystal Cigar Humidifiers: How do they work?

Used mostly in desktop humidors, crystal humidifiers are offered in both puck and rectangle shape units to best accommodate the size of your humidor. The crystals inside are made from non-toxic, high-grade polyacrylamide. This water-soluble synthetic polymer allows the crystals to hold up to 400 times more fluid. As a result, crystal humidifiers don’t need charging as often. Even better, they will work effectively for years—just as long as you don’t let them completely dry out.

 

Xikar Humistore Crystal 100 Humidifier

cigar advisor best cigar humidifiers (electronic vs. traditional) - xikar humistore at famous smoke shopWhen charging a crystal humidifier, never use tap or bottled water. Although I have suggested using distilled water for crystal units in the past, 50/50 charging solution is much more effective. Moreover, Xikar specifies using it with their crystal humidifiers. Make sure all of the solution has been absorbed by the crystals before placing the puck in your humidor.

 

Famous Smoke Shop Humidor Solution

cigar advisor best cigar humidifiers (electronic vs. traditional) - famous humidor solution at famous smoke shopAfter filling and attaching the puck to the underside of your humidor’s lid, the crystals release moisture slowly. This helps your cigars gradually adjust to their environment. Cigars love slow, too. You never want to shock your cigars with excessive moisture all at one time

 

Lotus Humidor Crystals

cigar advisor best cigar humidifiers (electronic vs. traditional) - lotus humidor crystals at famous smoke shopAnother humidifier option is a crystal gel jar humidifier. These units are essentially crystal humidifiers which, rather than working from above, rest on the bottom of your humidor. Filled with 99.9% Propylene Glycol solution, they come ready to use. Since the temperature in your humidor is fairly warm, plus the fact that warm air rises, crystal gel jars can be just as effective as their bat-like puck style cousins.

 

The Pros & Cons of Crystal Cigar Humidifiers

  • Better at preventing mold than the old school green foam humidifiers.
  • Don’t need charging as often.
  • When used properly, they will remain effective for years.
  • They release moisture at a slower pace, which is better for your cigars.
  • Gel jars may take-up extra space in your humidor.

As you can see, there are hardly any downsides to using crystal and gel jar humidifiers. Here’s one more upside for you: they pay for themselves over time.

 

Boveda® Humidity Packs: How do they work?

Boveda humidity packs have become the industry standard for keeping cigars fresh. You often see them packed inside new cigar boxes and samplers. You even see endorsements for them by some of the cigar-making elite in cigar magazines. Boveda packs ain’t goin’ nowhere, and that’s a good thing. They’re probably the most groundbreaking thing to happen to cigars since Cuban cigar makers began making cigars outside of Cuba.

 

Boveda 69% Humidity Packs

cigar advisor best cigar humidifiers (electronic vs. traditional) - boveda 69% humidity packsBoveda humidity packs can be installed under the lid of your humidor or placed on top of your cigars. The secret to Boveda’s success is its patented “2-way humidity” control. The pack material itself is a permeable water-vapor membrane. Inside is a solution of pure water and natural salts. Once you place the pack in your humidor, the pack will add or remove humidity based on the relative humidity (RH) level printed on the pack (65%, 69%, 75%, etc.). So if you wanted to keep your humidor in that “ideal” 70% range, a 69% pack would do the trick. Plus, Boveda packs can keep a stable RH for up to 90 days.

 

Boveda 320-Gram 69% Humidity Packs

cigar advisor best cigar humidifiers (electronic vs. traditional) - boveda 320-gram 69% humidity packsNote that you will need one 60-gram (shown above) Boveda pack for every 25 cigars in your humidor. Even better, Boveda also makes 320 gm. humidity packs for cigar smokers with larger collections.

 

The Pros & Cons of Boveda Humidity Packs

  • Last far beyond the dates they’re supposed to work. Sometimes even years.
  • Won’t negatively affect your cigars if a pack is placed on them.
  • Come in a variety of RH levels for practically every preference.
  • Provide a stable, RH level in your humidor which helps maintain the proper moisture level in your cigars.
  • Not as “rechargeable” as you may have heard.

 

Electronic Humidifiers: How do they work?

If you really want to be “hands-off” when it comes to keeping your cigars in top condition, electronic humidifiers are a great solution. Well, maybe not 100% hands-off, but really close. The process is the same as the aforementioned options: to release and monitor the proper relative humidity in your humidor. However, in the electronic humidifier world, efficieny is maxed out via fans, thermostats, and humistats. Luxuries like having the unit preset to 70% humidity, touch sensor buttons to set the desired humidity, wifi, and more.

One company that offers all of the above options is Cigar Oasis. They’ve been making high-tech electronic humidifiers since 1997.

Each model works via a very thin electronic ribbon cable that seamlessly runs out to the power source through the humidor seal. This ensures that the Cigar Oasis runs uninterrupted and keeps everything in check. Additionally, they all include pre-treated distilled water cartridges, large backlit displays for temperature and RH, and are factory preset to 70% RH.

 

Cigar Oasis Ultra 3.0

cigar advisor best cigar humidifiers (electronic vs. traditional) - cigar oasis ultra at famous smoke shopIf your collection is somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-150 cigars, the Cigar Oasis Ultra 3.0 has some nice advantages. It’s not only slim, which saves real estate, but it also has the same built-in Wi-Fi capability as the Excel model.

 

Cigar Oasis Plus 3.0

cigar advisor best cigar humidifiers (electronic vs. traditional) - cigar oasis plus 3.0 at famous smoke shopFor cigar collections that run between 300 to 1,000 cigars, there’s the Cigar Oasis Plus 3.0. Designed for larger enclosures including chests and end table humidors, it’s the most powerful electronic humidifier for its size. Additionally, the airflow from its open vent design provides a more rapid humidification, which is better for humidors with an internal volume of 4 to 10 cubic ft.

 

Cigar Oasis Excel 3.0

cigar advisor best cigar humidifiers (electronic vs. traditional) - cigar oasis excel at famous smoke shopFor cigar smokers who have a desktop or small cabinet humidor and somewhere between 100 and 300 cigars the Cigar Oasis Excel 3.0 is a good way to go. It also includes built-in Wi-Fi capability for optional use with the Cigar Oasis SmartHumidor™ app.

 

The Pros & Cons of Electronic Humidifiers

  • Will last years with proper maintenance.
  • Have digital readouts for both humidity and temperature.
  • Virtually maintenance-free.
  • Larger footprint than traditional humidifiers.
  • Cost more than non-electronic humidifiers.

 

When choosing the right cigar humidifier for your stash, here are a few last things to take under consideration: For one, be sure the humidifier will be able to handle the amount of cigars you currently own, and then some. Decide which of the above cigar humidifier options would be best for your humidor. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding your particular situation. If you’d like to know more about the cigar humidifiers covered in this article, please leave a comment.

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. 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.

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