Analog vs Digital Hygrometer : Which Is Better?

Analog vs. Digital Hygrometer: Which Is Better?

Stocking up on supplies for your first humidor? Building a wineador? One essential you absolutely must buy is a hygrometer. A hygrometer measures the level of humidity in your humidor, and lets you know if it is too high, too low, or just right. If your humidity drops too much, your cigars will dry out. If your humidity rises too high, your cigars will get musty, possibly even moldy, and may even attract pests. Hygrometers come in two main types: analog and digital. Analog hygrometers work using a spring which tightens or loosens depending on the humidity level. Digital hygrometers are electronic sensors. How do you know which to choose?

There is no single “best” choice; it is very much a matter of preferences and needs. Both analog and digital hygrometers have their pros and cons. As you will see, the main reason to buy an analog hygrometer is style. The price is usually not a big consideration, since most hygrometers of either variety are relatively inexpensive. Digital hygrometers tend to be more accurate and often provide additional information such as the temperature, making them more practical most purchasers. This is not to say though that a high quality, calibrated analog device cannot give you an accurate readout.

Analog Hygrometer : Pros, Cons & Popular Models

Analog Pros
  • These old-fashioned devices have the appeal of elegance, style, and antiquity. In fact, you can find some truly beautiful antiques in this category, which are great if you are a collector.
  • Analog devices fans argue that premium analog hygrometers have a higher precision level. I haven't run extended tests to verify this.
Analog Cons
  • Analog hygrometers sometimes need to be tuned up in order to retain their accuracy.
  • On most models, analog hygrometers do not show any other information besides humidity level.
  • Cheap analog hygrometers (which probably will not perform as well as a well-designed metal device) look really bad, I definitely don't want something like this in my humidor:

Cheap Hygrometer

Analog Hygrometers : Popular Models

Digital Hygrometer : Pros, Cons & Popular Models

Digital Pros
  • Digital hygrometers are often the most accurate tools you can buy.
  • They often show temperature on the same screen, which is a huge advantage in my book.
Digital Cons
  • Cheap digital hygrometers are not very pretty, too.
  • One day you'll need to replace your digital hygrometer's battery.
  • Digital hygrometers are reported to be much less reliable at lower humidity levels (<55%).
Digital Hygrometers : Popular Models

Personally, I chose to use digital hygrometers only because they also display temperature. What are your experiences with digital and analog hygrometers? Which devices are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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7 Comments on “Analog vs Digital Hygrometer : Which Is Better?”

  1. Dave Ellis says:

    Interesting article chaps. I have both and it looks like my digital one, the lcd has bled making the numbers “blurry”, has that happened to anyone else?

    Analog one is rock solid and is pretty acurate.

  2. I use numerous digital hygrometers, but I calibrate them with an Extech Humidity/Temperature Pen kit. (#445580). I’ve had the Extech for over 10 years and it is perfect for my uses.

  3. I have 8 humidors of various sizes. I have both analog and digitals. I have been lucky I guess, since all of my analogs are spot on (salt test). Every once in a while I put a digital in to verify my analogs and I have never had a problem. Both are good in my opinion if you have them calibrated correctly. It is also nice to verify one against another.

  4. I have used both styles. The main hygrometer on my humidor is analog. I also have a Caliber digital that I bought from Amazon for $25. The Caliber works faster, is more accurate and is a lot more sensitive to changes in the humidor (like when I open the lid) Needless to say, I rely on the digital (it also has a +/- of only 1 degree.

  5. Richard Sime says:

    Starting from the That reasoning both fulfill its initial function I prefer the elegance that provide analogues . The other is only my humidor will make look like a robot

  6. I have 4 of the caliber IV and even these can be + or – 5% on rh. You don’t get into the 1% accuracy range until you go to the $55 price range. Look at http://www.calright.com for an example

  7. I bought the Caliber 4R after reading a review on another website. I highly recommend it, it’s accurate and looks great in my humidor. You get the analog look and feel but there is also a digital display for more accurate readings. Here’s the review/guide which helped me out https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/best-hygrometer-reviews/

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