Proper humidification is the most important factor in cigar storage. Too much moisture and the cigars become damp and acrid. Too little, and they get dry and bitter. To help maintain the proper balance of moisture and humidity inside your cigar humidor, you need the right cigar humidifier. To help you find it, we’ve compiled a list of the five most popular.
- Floral Foam. The most common cigar humidifier on the market and a standard accessory in most store-bought cigar humidors. Floral foam is super absorbent and tends to release moisture very quickly after it’s filled, so be sure to drain out any excess water before placing it in your humidor. Foam humidifiers need to be refilled once every 1-2 weeks – when the humidity level in your humidor starts dropping – and replaced every 6-12 months.
- Crystal Gel. Crystal gel is a superabsorbent polymer that can hold up to 500 times its weight in water. They begin as hard, tiny crystals, but swell up and become jelly-like when you add water. Crystal gel humidifiers release moisture gradually, so you won’t see any sudden spikes in humidity the way you would with foam humidifiers. Crystal gel humidifiers need to be refilled every 2-4 weeks and replaced every 1-2 years.
- Silica Beads. Silica beads are two-way cigar humidifiers. They not only release moisture when it’s low, but reabsorb it when it’s high, so there’s no danger of over or under humidifying your cigars. Silica beads are one of the most durable cigar humidifiers on the market. They need to be refilled ever 2-4 weeks, but last for 3-6 years.
- Humidipaks are made by Boveda and each one contains a mixture of salt and water that generates a precise amount of humidity when they’re mixed together. The water and salt are sealed in a semi-permeable membrane, which allow them to release and reabsorb water whenever it’s too high or too low. Humidipaks are a great way to ensure the humidity in your cigar humidor stays exactly at your desired level. The only downside is that humidipaks dry out fairly quickly, in as little as three months, so they need to be re-purchased often.
- Electronic Cigar Humidifiers. Electronic cigar humidifiers are active humidifiers. They use electronic sensors to monitor the humidify levels inside your humidor and release moisture whenever they drop below your set level. Most include a fan as well, to help make sure the humidity is evenly distributed. Electronic humidifiers are powered by batteries or ribbon cables – wires that run out of your cigar humidor and are plugged into a power outlet. The cables are extremely thin, so they won’t break the seal in your humidor, though they can clutter up desks and countertops. Electronic humidors also come with some digital temperature and humidity displays and alarms that alert you when the battery runs low or the water needs to be refilled.
Check out our full length article on choosing the right cigar humidifier to learn more. If you’ve got any tips on how to keep your cigars humid, share them in the comments!