If you’ve bought a humidor, why would you need to add a secondary humidification system? It may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re in this situation, you know that humidors don’t always do their jobs perfectly. Sometimes they simply are not very efficient. As a rule, you want your humidity level to be somewhere around 68-72%.
Some humidors will run a little lower than that, and may need a boost. Other times, they may run around the lower end of that range, and you might prefer a bit more humidity (72% instead of 68% for example). Or you might have a humidor with a seal that isn’t perfect, and lets some of the humidity leak out. Perhaps you have an older humidor that you bought or inherited, and it simply doesn’t work as well as it could. You also may have dryness problems if you suddenly add a big batch of dry cigars to your humidor. Those cigars will suck all the humidity right out of the air, which can then ironically cause all your stogies to dry out.
Whatever your situation, you can give your humidifier a boost (or simply a replacement...) by adding a humidification system. There are a number of low-cost products you can buy which will help you to maintain the humidity level that you want. These are all cheap, easy solutions, and they can save you money if you don’t want to replace your humidor. Let’s take a look at some popular products and their pros and cons.
Xikar Crystal Gel Humidifier
This product for 50 cigars is one of the least expensive we looked at. You can purchase it in the $10-$15 range. You can use it for up to 50 cigars in a volume of 500 cubic inches. It is designed to provide a humidity level of 70%. The solution is contained inside a clear polycarbonate case for convenience.
As with most of the items presented in this article, you'll need distilled water or a propylene glycol solution (for example the Xikar Activation Solution) to maintain the efficiency. You can also use the 50/50 Stogie's mix which seems to work well.
- The case keeps the gel from getting messy.
- There is a magnet which you can use to attach it under the lid of your humidor.
- It is inexpensive.
- Works great for months before you need a refill.
- Case may get moldy.
- Some people reported it didn’t work for them.
Visol Products VAC700 Humidifier
This is an actual humidifier which you can add to your humidor or replace the one that initially came with it. It is still very reasonably priced in the $13-$18 range. It is available for small, medium, and large humidors, which provides some great flexibility. It is made of stainless steel, so it will not rust, and uses distilled water, propylene glycol or the 50/50 mix.
- A magnet makes this humidifier easy to attach inside your humidor.
- Aside from the foam (which may need replacement), this product should last a very long time before needing replacement (perhaps forever).
- Can be tricky to refill, and your cigars may catch a few drops.
- If you use PG or the 50/50 mix, you will have an ongoing cost.
- This device may take a little extra maintenance. You have to be prepared to refill it regularly.
Boveda 72% RH 2-Way Humidity Control
One of the easiest solutions you are going to find are these little Boveda packets. You can buy four of them in a pack for around $14-$20. You need 2 of these packs for every 50 cigars. They do not require distilled water or PG. The reverse osmosis membrane releases nothing but pure water vapor into the air in your humidor, which means that your cigars will not have their flavors adversely impacted. If your humidor starts to get too humid, the packets will absorb the excess humidity, which is what makes them a 2-way solution (very cool).
- Easy to use, maintenance-free and hassle-free.
- Do not require activation.
- You can buy as many as you need for however many cigars you have.
- Will not alter cigar flavors.
- Will maintain your humidity level with 2-way performance.
- Hard to think of any, except that you would need to keep on buying these over time. Most of these solutions are in that category, though.
DryMistat Humidor Humidifier Tubes
This is one of the most highly rated and popular products. You can purchase a 2-pack for $10-$15. Each tube is filled with PG-charged crystals. You add water, place them in your humidor, and they will maintain a 70% humidity level. They are roughly the same size and shape as a Churchill cigar, which makes them easy to fit in your humidor without taking up unnecessary space. I have actually used these packs as a temporary solution and they worked great.
- Easy to maintain and use. They can last you for a couple of months before they need replacement.
- Use as many as you need for the number of cigars you have.
- They fit nicely in the humidor.
- Still more work than the Boveda packs (since the tubes need activation).
Which Is Best?
It would be impossible to pick a single “best” solution for all humidors, but I would definitely highly suggest checking out those Boveda packs if you are all right with something you will need to replace every now and again. Their two-way functionality is genius, and I love that they do not impart any unwanted flavors on the cigars. The DryMistat tubes also look quite good. Really, though, I doubt you could go wrong with any of these humidifiers. They all will do a great job of keeping your cigars around the 70% level.
Don’t Forget to Season Your Humidor
Finally, I want to close out by reminding everyone (especially our beginners reading this) that you need to season your humidor in order for any of these solutions to work properly. Take your new humidor and wipe it down with a sponge (use distilled water only, not tap water!). Wipe down all the surfaces, then put some distilled water in a glass. Put it inside the humidor along with your humidifying solution, close it, and come back the next day. When the humidity level has stabilized between 68-72% (wherever you want it), you can remove the glass. Also be sure that your hydrometer is calibrated so that you are getting an accurate readout! Good luck, and be sure to reach out to us if you have any questions about maintaining humidity in your humidor.