Humidors are an excellent way to keep your cigars fresh for many years. They use specialized parts to help regulate both the temperature and humidity within the unit in order to preserve the tobacco’s flavor and freshness, but how can you go about making sure that you choose the right one? In the following sections, we’ll help answer this question by showing you six tips to remember when buying a cigar humidor.
1. Pick the Right Size
There are many different types of cigar humidors out there, each of which come in different shapes and sizes. So, the first step is to make sure that you purchase the one that can best accommodate your cigar collection (or future collection).
- • For instance, if you are a collector or distributor, you might be better off going with a room humidor. These “walk-in” models are typically the size of a walk-in closet, and can be used to house large quantities of different types of cigars for extended periods of time.
- • If you only have a few dozen cigars, and plan on collecting roughly that same amount cabinet humidor or tabletop humidor might be a good choice. These can easily carry around fifty cigars, and have the added benefit of providing a lot of aesthetic appeal. They can blend in with the furniture in your home, which is an added bonus.
Remember that if you choose the wrong size humidor (either too big or too small), you’ll risk not being able to properly maintain temperature or humidity levels in your unit.
- • If the cigar humidor is too small, you’ll be forced to cram your cigars together, which could affect their flavor.
- • If it’s too large, you won’t be maximizing your humidor’s interior space, and all of the extra humidity could get absorbed by the cigars rather than keep them in optimal condition.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to purchase a cigar humidor that is slightly larger than what you need for your collection. That way, if you ever decide to purchase a few extra cigars, you’ll have the flexibility to include them in your unit.
But the opposite isn’t true: you can’t shrink down in humidor size if your cigar collection is smaller than you had originally anticipated. You should try to have as little empty space in your humidor as possible once all of the cigars are placed inside of it.
2. Think About Portability
Are you someone who travels a lot? Do you have a cigar collection that’s too small for larger humidors like cabinet or walk-in models?
If so, consider purchasing a portable cigar humidor. Portable humidors are nice because they are lightweight, small in size, and can easily be carried around anywhere.
- • A lot of the time, you’ll come to find that they are very budget-friendly in comparison to some of the other-sized models that you’ll find on the market.
- • Portable humidors carry, on average, a few dozen cigars, but generally don’t have the capacity to hold more than this.
- • They are better-designed for individuals who would like to either travel with or continually move their cigars from room to room within their home while keeping them fresh within the humidor.
- • Even if you already own a full-sized humidor, a portable model is always nice to have in your arsenal.
3. Choose a Wood Type That Works
The best cigar humidors are generally constructed from Spanish cedar, which is the best type of wood out there for preserving humidity.
However, they can also be made from other wood types including mahogany, maple, oak, and even cherry wood.
- • Keep in mind that the wood you choose will be directly correlated with the humidor’s ability to retain humidity and temperature
- • Spanish cedar offers the best insulation by far, but is also the most expensive of all of the wood options.
- • Mahogany is another fine option, but overtime, it won’t offer as much protection from tobacco beetles and worms as Spanish cedar.
Also note that the construction of the wood itself plays a role in the quality of the humidor and its ability to insulate.
For instance, if you have a humidor that’s made entirely from Spanish cedar, you’ll find that it won’t be as durable or long-lasting as one that only has an interior made from the same wood.
4. Learn How to Spot a Cheap Humidor
Unfortunately, cheap humidors are everywhere. You’ll primarily see them being sold on the internet, but don’t be surprised if you find them in physical stores as well.
If you purchase a cheap humidor, you’ll find that it will only last you a few months before it starts to go bad.
Regular humidors, ones that are properly constructed, are designed to last for years. For this reason, it’s imperative that you learn how to watch out for the signs of a fake humidor.
- • First and foremost, watch out for the price. If it seems too too good to be true, it’s probably cheaply made and unreliable.
- • The majority of quality humidors are handcrafted from Spanish cedar along with other materials, so it wouldn’t make sense for a manufacturer to sell them for a low price.
- • When purchasing from an online retailer or person (like on eBay for example), check their feedback and reviews to see what other cigar collectors had to say about the humidor.
- • Don’t risk purchasing a cheap model, because in the end, you risk damaging your cigar collection.
5. Built-In vs. Separate Accessories
Generally speaking, you’ll have one of two options when purchasing a humidor: you can purchase one with a hygrometer and thermometer or you can purchase one without these cigar accessories built-in.
- • For anyone who doesn’t know, a hygrometer is a device that will measure and read out the humidity levels within your unit.
- • The thermometer measures temperature.
- • These two accessories are crucial to cigar owners since they tell you what kind of environment your ciagars are being subjected to in your humidor.
So the question is, should you purchase a humidor that has these two cigar accessories already built in, or should you purchase them separately?
In general, although they are a bit more expensive, it’s always a good idea to purchase a cigar humidor that already has a hygrometer and thermometer built into it. They will make your life far easier since they’ll be able to tell you when the temperature or humidity levels in the humidor are getting too high or too low.
Without these tools, you’d have no way of knowing, and your cigars would be ruined as a result.
6. Purchase a Cigar Humidor with a Tight Seal
With cigar humidifiers, tight seals are everything.
Even if you purchase a quality humidor made from authentic Spanish cedar, it won’t do you much good if the seal isn’t tight.
- • A cigar humidor that lacks a proper seal would be similar to having a regular cooler without a lid on it – it wouldn’t insulate properly.
- • If you are purchasing your humidor online, where you won’t actually be able to touch it before buying, make sure that you ask the owner about the seal. Ask whether it makes a “whoosh” sound when it closes. Experienced cigar collectors know that this sound is representative of a humidor that is properly separating the inside of the unit from the outside.
- • On the flip side, if your humidor lid is simply closing shut forcefully, without making this sound, it’s likely that it isn’t insulating to its maximum potential.
Additional Tips to Keep in Mind
Some cigar collectors like to purchase a cigar humidor that matches the furniture in their home. If this is you, consider purchasing a humidor that carries some sort of dual purpose/function.
- • For instance, cabinet or tabletop humidors not only serve as an area to store your cigars, but they can be used as a piece of furniture.
- • This ability for the humidor to “blend” into your existing furniture scheme can be very appealing for some cigar collectors, and is definitely worth considering when shopping for a humidor.
- • Another obvious consideration to keep in mind is your budget. How much are you willing to spend on a quality humidor? It’s always a good idea to create a budget first and then shop for a unit (not the other way around).
Final Considerations – What to Remember
Every aspect of a cigar humidor, even the small ones, play a role in how well the unit as a whole is going to perform in the long run.
When shopping for a humidor, it’s important that you choose a model that offers quality in every element of its design – the lid, hinges, seal, and even wood. If one part of a humidor fails then the entire unit is going to fail.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for when shopping for a humidor. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more money on an expensive model as those will typically last a lifetime, and if you’re serious about collecting cigars and keeping them fresh, the extra money spent will be a solid investment.