Cigar Humidification

What humidifier should I use, green foam or crystal?

So is the green foam-type humidifier that comes with most humidors, “good?” It does serve the purpose, but whenever I’m asked the question, I urge people to splurge a little and get a crystal humidifier instead. My reason is simple – the large pores you see in the foam-type humidifier allows for distilled water (or charging solution) to enter and be absorbed by the device. The design naturally traps humidity within the pores without much air flow and, as we all know, dark, damp crevices can encourage mold growth – which can not only ruin your humidor, but possibly your entire cigar collection in the process.

What are the benefits to having a crystal humidifier? Well for starters, it has a greater number of pores which absorb distilled water (or charging solution) slower. The crystals suck up the solution, slowly expanding inside the device until becoming a block of gel. It doesn’t allow for space where humidity and impurities can build up. Instead, humidity is absorbed and released by these little marvels, constantly circulating humidity throughout the device, and thus discouraging mold growth.

By comparison, there is another benefit to using crystal humidifiers over the foam type – life expectancy. If you’ve ever used a sponge to clean off counters or do the dishes, you know that after it dries a while, the sponge becomes hard as a rock. Of course, when you re-wet a sponge, it bounces back a little but it never holds as much water. The same is true with humidifiers, especially the smaller ones. Sure, you can recharge a foam-type humidifier every 3-6 months or so (at most), but every time you refill it, it retains less and less water and the pores begin to clog. The same goes for the crystal humidifiers, but because the crystals can hold up to 400 times more fluid, you do not need to charge it as often. It saves on wear and tear, and because of its amazing power of absorption, the actual percentage of the humidifier that becomes unusable after one charge is so insignificant it’s hardly noticed at all. The one caveat I must add here is, never let the crystals completely dry-out, or the unit will not work properly.

So ask yourself, what do you really want out of your humidifier? Do you want the foam-type that will last a year or two before you need to replace it (if it hasn’t shown signs of mold before the end of that time period), or would you rather spend a few extra pesos on a humidifier that will properly regulate humidity in your humidor for at least three years or more? To me, the answer is a no-brainer – crystal humidifiers get the win by a knockout!

But what’s a humidifier without solution? I suggest you use a charging solution, like Monster Venom, with your humidifiers. Also referred to as “50/50” solution, it contains polyglycol, which is a preservative and mold retardant you won’t get by using distilled water alone. Until next time when my cigar smoking hiatus is behind me, remember to take care of your cigars with the right accessories; you and your humidor will both be happy!

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for 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
nowsmoking partagas 1845 clasico robusto cigar review cacover

#Nowsmoking: Partagas 1845 Clasico Robusto

Partagas 1845 Clasico Robusto: “A solid and highly consistent ‘morning, noon, or night’ smoke for newbs and vets.” See what else you need to know about this cigar in under 2 minutes

Read More
travel humidor crash test CACover

CA Review: 2018 Travel Humidor Crash Test (Video)

The travel humidor - rugged, airtight, watertight, and built to last. But can they survive the stress test our Cigar Advisors devised? We put three of the top travel humidors to the Drop Zone test in 5, 15, and 30 count sizes; Does carnage ensue? Or will these cases pass the test? Watch NOW and see what happens!
Read More
Davidoff 702 Special R cigar review MWC CACover

My Weekend Cigar: Apr. 2, 2018 – Davidoff 702 Aniversario Special R

A definitive Davidoff: rich taste and remarkable complexity, along with an amazing Habano hybrid's the Davidoff 702 Special R, part of their coveted Aniversario series, and it was my weekend cigar! Read my short review and get the tasting notes, so you can see why you should smoke a special cigar like this...
Read More
CACover_How to Keep Cigars Fresh Humidification Devices

2016 CA Report: 3 Top Tools to Keep Cigars Fresh in a Cigar Humidor Year-Round

See 3 top systems that will help you keep cigars fresh in a humidor, from season to season. They're key to keeping your precious primos happy and flavorful!
Read More