Cigar Humidification

2020 CA Report: Best Value Cigar Humidification Devices

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Updated August 2020

Cigars haven’t evolved much over the centuries. Sure, there’ve been fads and booms, and tobacco hybrids, but the process that goes into making them has remained largely unchanged. Many tobacco farmers still prefer antiquated tools and technology, because to them, that’s the essence of what a cigar should be: a natural, handmade product. 

Humidification on the other hand, is completely binary. Your cigar is either properly humidified, or it isn’t. And how you go about your humidification can be accomplished many waysFor example, floral foam, a damp sponge…even a shot glass of distilled water will work. They’ll humidify your cigars. But at a cost. Floral foam and sponges can get messy (or worse, moldyand must be filled often. Not to mention how far up shit creek you’ll be if that shot glass tips over. 

Smoke Meets Science: Cigar Humidification Technology

Unlike the cigars they feed, humidification has changed drastically. Especially within the last 20 years. There are now Wi-Fi systems that send you text alerts – a litany of bells and whistles to choose from – and it’s easy to get lost in the noise when you’re looking for a product that just…well…works. 
 
What are the best cigar humidification devices, then? In this article, I’ve chosen nine humidifiers and accessories that are not only universally affordable, but also simplify the process and give you more time to smoke your cigars, so you can spend less time worrying about them. My bet is that if any of these haven’t replaced your standard humidifier already, they will once you’ve taken one for a spin. 
 

best cigar humidification use for an old cigar humidifier
Don’t worry, your old humidifier is still useful. I repurposed mine as a fridge magnet.

To make things easier, I’ve broken down this list into three categories: humidifiers, useful accessories, and even a humidor that has already changed the game for countless cigar enthusiasts. Let me know which one of these products works best for you in the comments below! 
 

Best Value Cigar Humidifiers

Boveda Humidity 67-Gram Packs 65% 

Top humidification products - boveda 65 humidity

We’re not supposed to have favorites, but I’d be lying if I said that Boveda 65% packs aren’t mine. They’re ridiculously affordable, often work beyond their shelf life, and they literally do all the work for you. They achieve this autonomy with a two-way system. Humidor too dry? Each one of these packets will quench up to 25 thirsty cigars. Humidor too wet? Boveda packs will soak up the excess moisture for you in short order. This is how you put cigar care on autopilot. 
 
Note: 65% is the sweet spot I’d recommend, but they range between 65 and 75% for your cigar humidification preference. 

Water Pillows Best humidification products - waterpillows humidifierWater Pillows are one of the best-kept secrets in the humidity biz. Soak the packet in distilled water for 20 seconds, put it back into its resealable, breathable bag, and boom…you’re good to go for 45 days. And get this. They’re reusable. Though they aren’t a two-way system, they make up for it with the price. You’ll get 12 packs for less than the cost of a burger. A cheap burger, too. That’s enough to humidify 300 cigars! 

Xikar 4-Ounce Crystal Jar 

xikar clear gel best humidification 2020

If you’ve got a large desktop humidor that holds anywhere from 75-150 cigars, the Xikar Crystal Jar is a reliable way to keep everything fresh. The propylene glycol crystals inside the jar absorb distilled water and swell up. Once it’s filled, the unit will self-regulate your humidor’s relative humidity (RH) to 70% by both emitting and extracting excess humidity for 90 days. Got a smaller stash? The 2-ounce jar will do!  

DryMistat Tube Humidifier

Best humidification items - drymistat humidifier

This tube-shaped humidifier does everything the Xikar jar does in a footprint no larger than a cigar. That means if you’ve got a small travel case, this will help you keep your cigars supple while hitting the road. When you get home, pop it in your desktop stash and it’ll keep 25 of your favorite sticks from drying out. This is the best of both worlds for the traveler, or anyone else limited on space inside their humidor. 

Cigar Oasis Excel 3.0 

Top humidification products - cigar oasis excel 3.0

If you’re more of the ‘collector, the electronic Excel 3.0 from Cigar Oasis will quietly humidify up to 300 cigars. It’s a passive, one-way system that works best with traditional humidors with airflow in and out (but it still handles our sealed wineador flawlessly with very little upkeep). Additionally, it comes with a ribbon cable that lets your humi’s lid sit flush, and it connects wirelessly to an optional ‘SmartHumidor’ app that keeps tabs on your sticks from anywhere in the world. Considering everything you get; it’s got a super reasonable price that will pay for itself many times over. 

Best Value Cigar Humidor Accessories

Xikar Propylene Glycol 50-50 Solution

xikar PPG best humidifiers 2020

Maybe you like the look of the humidifier that came standard with your humidor. Maybe it’s hard to find a better model that will fit in its space. For those situations, there’s Xikar’s 50-50 solution. With a formula of equal parts distilled water and propylene glycol, this elixir turns any ordinary foam humidifier into a modern two-way system that will regulate your humidity. Additionally, it helps fight bacteria that often plague these types of humidifiers and ultimately cigars. Just fill your humidifier as you would with distilled water, sit back, and let it do the work for you.  

Madelaine Analog Hygrometer 

Best Value in humidification - Madelaine analog hygrometer

Everyone will tell you that you need to get a digital hygrometer for accuracy, but a dependable analog will do just fine. Take this Madelaine for example. It’s got a dark, easy-to-read dial, it highlights the cigar humidification ‘goldilocks’ zone in blue, and it never needs a battery. In fact, this thing is so accurate, we use it in the office as a baseline for calibrating. Try getting a digital that does that for under $8 (at press time). 

HygroSet Digital Hygrometer

hydroset best humidification devices

If you’re going to go digital, the HygroSet from Mount Digital gives you the best bang for your buck. A digital display shows a highly accurate RH percentage along with temperature, which is equally important to your cigars’ survival. With a battery that lasts years, and an easy-to-use calibration wheel, the HygroSet will give you exactly what you need and nothing you don’t. As a bonus, it fits inside most front-mounted hygrometer slots you’ll find in desktop humidors. 

Best Value Cigar Humidor

Humi-Jar 15-Cigar Humidor

 

Best Value Humidification - Humi-jar Black 1.3L

Sure, wood is good. But I’ll argue that this travel-friendly acrylic jar is even better. Here’s why: First, it’s got a vacuum-seal lid. That means no air gets in or out. With a normal humidifier, that could spell disaster, but with a Boveda 65% packet, you’re good to go for the long haul. And I mean looooong. Here’s a secret between you and me…that Boveda pack will extend well beyond its 1-3-month lifespan in the jar. I’ve had them last longer than a year, and that’s all because of the seal. It’s the ultimate set and forget combo. You won’t even need a hygrometer. 

Note: Sometimes, conditions allow humidity to build up in a jar, if that happens, just follow these steps! 

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Jared Gulick

Jared Gulick

Features Editor, Jared Gulick, is a Certified Tobacconist, nerd of all things science, musician and serial abuser of the Oxford comma. He made his way to the Famous Smoke Shop retail store in 2018 and joined the Advisors when it was discovered that he could locate the shift key. Prior to his work in the cigar industry, he was a recording studio engineer, songwriter, and a journalism major at Northampton Community College.

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