Cigar Buying Guides

CA Report: Best Humidor Hygrometers for Cigars

The Best Humidor Hygrometers for Cigars & Why They’re Essential for Your Cigars’ Wellbeing

Why are we talking about the best hygrometers for cigars? Ask any smoker about their most important cigar tools and accessories, and surprisingly, you won’t often hear “hygrometer” as a response. But you should—because your hygrometer is more important than any cutter, lighter, or doohickey; it’s the heart monitor of your entire cigar collection.

Most smokers take them for granted. Hygrometers sit in the background, silently keep tabs on the cigar stash. It makes them easy to forget. Maybe your humidor even came with one. Maybe you bought yours from a discount bin at your local shop. Are cheap hygros like these good enough?

I’ll answer that question with a better question: is your hygrometer telling you the truth?

If you’ve got a cheapo, chances are good that it isn’t. Let’s start with a little background info on why.

So…what is a hygrometer and what does it do?

Both analog and digital hygrometers are devices that measure the relative humidity (RH) in your humidor and display it as a percentage. Since the ideal RH for premium cigars is 64-72% RH, a hygrometer will tell you in seconds whether your cigars are in that green zone.

How do I calibrate and adjust my hygrometer?

Gary gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to calibrate and adjust your hygrometer. Note that not all hygrometers have this functionality. Click the above link for a written guide.

How accurate is a hygrometer?

That depends on what you have. The standard issue that comes with a humidor? Not so accurate. They can be off by as much as 10%, maybe even more. And worse, even if they calibrate, they fall out of sync worse than a dollar store watch. It’s important to note that there’s no such thing as a 100% accurate hygrometer. File that under unicorns, dragons, and genies. There are, however, hygrometers that offer higher accuracy by design.

Digital hygro sensors are finely tuned to have a much smaller margin of error than their analog cousins. The tradeoff is that most of them can’t be calibrated, whereas most analogs can. We use both. And now we’re going to spill it all on which hygrometers in our collection are the best for your humidor.

Madelaine Analog Hygrometer

Though analog hygrometers can be hit or miss, we’re really impressed with the Madelaine. Don’t be fooled by those basic looks. It might not be gold plated or as eye-catching as the built-in hygro in your humidor, but it comes close to rivaling digital units in accuracy—and for under 5 bucks! Includes a ‘safe zone’ dial so you can easily tell if RH conditions are optimal. As a bonus, it fits the slot for most built-in humidor hygrometers.

Xikar Digital Gauge Hygrometer

The Xikar Digital Gauge counts itself among the best digital humidor hygrometers. With RH readouts accurate to within +/- 2%, it’s among the most reliable, too. Plus, we love that old-school analog dial display. Features include dual humidity/temperature display, a slim profile that takes up less space in your humi, and Xikar’s ironclad lifetime warranty. If you’re looking to set and forget, look no further.

Famous Hygroset II

The Famous Hygroset II certainly won’t be winning any beauty contests. But its low price and features make up for any lack of looks. Plus, it’s one of the only digital hygrometers that can be re-calibrated. If you use a Boveda Calibration Kit or run a salt test and find that the Hygroset is off, simply adjust the dial to correct it. No more adding or subtracting in your head. Bonus: it comes in a slim version for travel humidors.

Cigar Oasis Caliber 4R

Where style meets functionality. The Cigar Oasis 4R’s display makes it virtually impossible to ruin your cigars with a mere 1% margin of error. And the display is super user friendly. The green zone means humidity is ideal. The yellow zone indicates that your cigars need attention soon. And the red zone means certain death of your smokes if immediate action isn’t taken. You can even see the average humidity over the past three days. Additional features are a temperature display and magnetic fastener that allows you to mount the 4R inside humidors that didn’t come with a hygrometer as standard.