Cigar Q&A: Foam Core or Gel?
Cigar Q&A: Using a Foam Core Humidifier in a Humidor
If I had to choose between a foam core disk and a gel jar, I'd probably opt for the foam core disk, since I haven't had much luck with gel jars. That said, if it was a choice between a foam core disk and a crystal gel-based disk, I would go for the gel disk. I've found that the crystal gel models, like those made by Xikar, have lived up to their advertising in many ways.
For one, they don't get moldy or leak particles onto your cigars. Secondly, they hold much more solution (or distilled water) than foam core models, so you don't have to refill them as often. And finally, they keep the RH more stable. One other thing I like about them is, because they're clear it's easier to tell when you need to refill them.
A couple of things also worth noting about crystal gel humidifiers: Never let the crystals dry out completely, as they will be difficult to rehydrate. Also, if you choose to purchase the Xikar type humidifiers, make sure you use their matching solution. It really does work better than plain distilled water. However, if you are using the other type of humidifier that uses beads like those made by Cigar Mechanic, distilled water is all you need.
In my opinion, the days of the green foam core humidifiers are numbered.
Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com 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.Show all Gary Korb's Articles