Cigar Humidification

2019 CA Report: 5 of the Best Cigar Humidors Under $50

When it comes to cigar storage, cigar smokers have to decide on what type of storage will work best for their particular collection and situation. For some, a one-gallon storage bag is perfectly suitable; so is the Famous HumiJar, which many smokers have turned to for keeping a small stash of cigars at the ready. Others like to go the coolerdor route. But the traditional wood-crafted cigar humidor continues to be the most preferable home for premium cigars.

New cigar smokers often start out with a handful or more cigars and wait until they have enough cigars to warrant buying a wood humidor, which is perfectly reasonable. This leads to one of the questions we get asked a lot at What size humidor is best for me?

What Size Humidor Should I Buy?

If you happen to be a new cigar smoker, starting with a 50-count humidor is plenty sufficient, especially if you’re only smoking a couple of cigars a week. It allows room for a good cigar collection, and it will probably get you pretty far before you find yourself shopping for a bigger humidor. If you already have a humidor, it could be you want an additional humidor for your office, vacation home, or just need an overflow box.

Whatever the reason, you want a good, quality-built home for your cigars. So, whether it’s your first humidor or an addition to your ever-growing cigar collection, the five humidors I’ve highlighted in this report are all under $50, stylish, and well-made. Most have a 50 cigar capacity, because, once you get into the higher capacities, the prices get higher, too. Speaking of capacity, it’s based on how many Churchill-size cigars the box will hold. Churchills generally run 6½ to 7-inches in length with a 50 ring gauge. The same goes for Toros in terms of width. So, depending on what ring-gauge cigars you smoke, you may be able to store more cigars or less in the humidor.

The five humidors below offer a variety of styles to suit different tastes and purposes. Following that, I’ve included some humidor tips and accessories to help you get the most from your cigars’ new home.

[Ed. Note: all prices listed are current as of Sept. 12, 2019.]

Old World Humidor

Finish: Walnut
Interior: Spanish Cedar
Capacity: Up to 50 cigars
Includes: Analog hygrometer, divider
Price: $49.99

I’ve always liked this Old World humidor for its antique character. The early map of the world that adorns the top and sides gives it a cool, museum-like relic vibe. It’s the kind of humidor a world traveler or sea-faring person might have on the desk in their study. Plus, it looks like it costs a lot more than $49.99. The 50-count humidor is solidly built, has a fragrant Spanish cedar interior, and includes a hygrometer, plus a divider for separating your cigars to your personal preference.

Adirondack Rustic Humidor

Finish: Stressed Wood Veneer
Interior: Spanish Cedar
Capacity: Up to 50 cigars
Includes: Analog hygrometer, divider
Price: $49.99

What I like about this Adirondack Rustic humidor is that it’s strikingly different from the most traditional cigar humidors. The box boasts a rustic, time-worn look like it’s straight out of an episode of Barnwood Builders. Plus, the colors are similar to most cigar wrappers for a slightly subliminal effect. Like the Old World humidor above, this 50-count humidor is well-built, has a Spanish cedar interior, and includes a hygrometer and a divider.

Capri Elegant Glass Top Walnut Humidor

Finish: Walnut
Interior: Spanish Cedar
Capacity: Up to 50 cigars
Includes: Front-mounted analog hygrometer, humidifier
Price: $49.99

Some cigar smokers like to admire their cigars from outside the box, which is why this glass top, Spanish cedar-lined model is a great buy. The original Capri is the most popular cigar humidor sold by Famous Smoke Shop for its quality and value. Yet, when you add the plush walnut finish, brass accents, front-mounted hygrometer, and the glass viewing window, your cigars take on a whole new presence. At under $50, this humidor is a great buy, but glass top humidors (and solid top humidors, as well), should be kept out of direct lamp or sunlight to maintain a more consistent interior temperature. If you really want to show off, place your priciest primos on the top row.

40 Count Standard Humidor (Black)

Finish: Black Lacquer
Interior: Spanish Cedar
Capacity: Up to 40 cigars
Includes: Analog hygrometer, humidifier
Price: $31.99

If you’re the “no frills” type of shopper, this Standard cigar humidor is not only incredibly affordable, it comes with everything you need to keep a modest premium cigar collection factory fresh. Perfect for new cigar smokers, the handsome, black lacquer finish harbors a Spanish cedar interior that holds up to 40 cigars. It comes with a humidifier and a hygrometer, plus its smaller footprint makes it easy to place just about anywhere. If all you need is a simple, trustworthy box, this humidor has value written all over it.

Xikar 15ct. Travel Humidor

Finish: ABS Plastic
Interior: Foam dividers
Capacity: Up to 15 cigars
Includes: Carry strap, humidifier
Price: $29.99

For the traveling cigar smoker who already has a humidor, this Xikar 15ct. Travel Humidor is the ticket. Made of rock-hard, ABS plastic with secure, latch-style locks, this box is virtually indestructible. It holds up to 15 cigars, which should suffice for most outings, and the cigars are cushioned by soft, foam separators that hug your cigars in transit. A humidifier is supplied to keep your cigars fresh on the road, in the air, or sailing the seven seas. At under $30, it pays for itself in no time.

How to Season Your New Humidor

Except for the travel humidor, all of the humidors above require seasoning. Without seasoning, your humidor won’t function properly. At most, seasoning takes a few days, and it’s worth it. To help you out, watch this humidor seasoning video I did some years back that will show you how it’s done using the “old school” method:

You can also save some time by using a Boveda Intro Starter Kit. What’s nice about the Boveda kit is that it comes with a bag for calibrating your hygrometer. Note however, that both methods require some patience before adding your cigars.

When it comes to filling your humidor, it’s best to keep it no more than 75% to 80% full. This allows for better air flow between your cigars, which will help them age properly. Yes, cigars need to breathe, too. Going forward, try to maintain an average temperature of 70-degrees and an average relative humidity (RH) of 67%. Your personal preference may change over time, but I’ve found those numbers to be the most beneficial to my collection.

Other Necessary Cigar Humidor Accessories

A lot of humidors come with stock humidifiers and hygrometers, while some include only one or the other. Many of them work just fine, but it doesn’t hurt to upgrade them, since better quality devices will serve you better over time. So, if your humidor is missing one or more of these components, or you just feel better replacing the stock devices, here are a number of accessory options that work well and won’t crush your budget.

Digital Hygrometers: Much more accurate than cheapie analog models, and have an accuracy of about +/- 2%. This Hygroset model is a good example, and it’s also adjustable, which is a nice feature:

Humidifiers: Boveda packs are ideal for keeping humidity stable. You need one 60g pack for every 25 cigars, and under normal conditions will last an average of 90 days.

Crystal-based humidifiers are also good for keeping a stable environment. Just match the humidifier’s capacity to your humidor’s capacity, fill with the recommended liquid, 50/50 solution or distilled water (NEVER use tap or spring water), and you should get about 2-3 years of life from them.

Electronic humidifiers are great because they monitor everything in your humidor. Most are made for very large and cabinet style humidors, but the Cigar Oasis Ultra is great for boxes from 75 to 100 cigars. It’s all-digital and even has a fan for proper air circulation.