A humidor is a great way to store your cigars for several years and awaken all the flavors within the cigar to make for a great smoking experience.
But not all humidors are equal:
A quality humidor must keep the humidity at a constant level through a tight seal, be made from quality materials that won’t dry out your supply, and easily store all your prized cigars.
In this guide, we not only review the best humidors but also share with you a few features to keep in mind when making your selection along with answering popular questions men had when buying a new humidor.
Let’s get started:
6 Tips on Finding the Best Humidor
When researching humidors, there are a few key things you should keep in mind to ensure you get what you’re looking for.
1. Size / Capacity
Cigar humidors come in various sizes. From large cabinets to mason jars, they can fit any need and fit anywhere. You can get a little travel humidor that will efficiently hold just a handful of smokes, a desktop piece that can hold 50-100, to an entire cabinet equipped with active humidification to hold thousands of smokes. If you’re just starting your cigar journey, consider going smaller. If you’re committed, get a bit larger than you need to.
2. Humidor Type
- Case: A case or box can be picked up and carried, and moved around, which makes them ideal for your patio, friends’ homes, camping, and so forth. You can find a plethora online, and prices are typically much lower for a case or box. They tend to close with a brass or stainless-steel hinge as opposed to a vacuum seal like a cooler and are often made from beautiful woods.
- Cooler: For the true collector, coolers offer onboard gauges to adjust temperature and humidity automatically. The capacity of coolers is quite a bit larger – they can typically store hundreds or thousands of cigars and are perfect if you take cigar-smoking seriously. However, they are often expensive and tend to come in stainless steel exteriors with wooden trimming and shelving. You’ll often find them included in a combo with a wine fridge.
- Jar: Not ideal due to their limited capacity – usually no more than ten cigars – and often lack humidification; a jar will provide an air-tight seal and is undoubtedly a step up from nothing. They’re also waterproof and great for the outdoors. The jar is best for travel if you need to keep the elements away from your stash.
3. Drawer Material
- Wood: When you’re purchasing a humidor, you definitively want to have Spanish cedar shelves, trimming, and interiors. Wood resists bugs and provides the classic aroma with which we’re familiar (source).
- Metal: Avoid metal. While sterile and cheaper, metal will not deter bugs and is quite flimsy. It can also affect the taste and aroma of your cigars. Plus, you miss out on that classic look.
4. Temperature & Humidity Control
Cigars are made from plants, and even though they are dried, they require specific humidity and temperature requirements. Cigars should be kept between 55 and 65 degrees with an optimal humidity of 62% to 75%. The most important thing is that whatever the temperature and moisture (even if it is outside these ranges), it stays consistent. High-end humidors often have internal fans that help stabilize environments.
Presentation is essential, and a glass front or top can give you a quick view of your inventory. Construction with no glass will provide a more effective seal against humidity. It’s also more discrete. In the end, it’s a personal preference.
There are a few nice extras to think about when you’re picking your new cigar humidor.
- LCD / LED Display: An LCD or LED display of humidity and temperature gives you a clear reading and makes it easy to manage. A digital display can also provide trend data so you can understand how alterations in humidity or temperature affect your stock. An analog hygrometer can often be thrown off based upon the environment around it – LED displays can help make reading these gauges easier.
- Glass Top: A glass top can give you a beautiful view of your cigar inventory and show off your smokes. It can also give you a look at any internal gauges. It does, however, leak a bit.
- Key Lock: Vital if you have kids or simply want your cigars stored securely.
- Accessory Storage: Storing accessories near your humidor makes things easier, including your cutter, lighter, cigar punch, and more.
- Seal Type: Some cigar humidors have a magnetic case around the frame to ensure that the door always remains sealed. If you’re a serious cigar smoker or live in an area of temperature and humidity swings, a magnetic seal can be useful. The seal is the most important thing for a humidor since a faulty seal can destroy your stored cigars. However, magnetics aren’t necessary to achieve this seal. Be sure you test your humidor within the warranty period.
The Best Humidors Reviewed
1. Best for Home Use: Whynter Cigar Cooler & Humidor
Whynter makes high-quality home electronics and appliances; they’ve applied that know-how to the Whynter Cigar Cooler & Humidor with fantastic results. Perfect for any wet bar or game room, this stainless steel, cabinet-style humidor has the look and functionality a serious cigar smoker needs and wants. The free-standing piece fits conveniently on or under the counter and has a built-in digital gauge to let you know the temperature inside.
The vibration-free thermoelectric cooling combined with an internal fan for forced circulation ensures that your cigars stay sweet and flavorful. The humidifier function is built into the digital gauge at the top of the unit, making it quite easy to change settings based upon your collection.
It also includes three adjustable shelves and a Spanish cedar tray interior that adds a nice natural touch to a steel product.
More than that, it’s a humidor that’s fairly affordable, especially for a well-made, cabinet-style humidor that can hold over 100 cigars.
- Well priced and well made
- Built-in adjustable thermoelectric cooling and humidifier to check humidity levels
- Cedar tray and shelves
- Analog hygrometer looks cheap
- No lock and key
What You Need To Know
2. Best Small Humidor: Milano Humidor
An absolute beauty to behold, the Milano Humidor acts as both a beautiful piece of furniture and a humidor. The dark cherry finish along with the tongue and groove construction keeps moisture inside your humidor while the lock and key closure keeps prying hands out.
It comes packaged with an analog hygrometer that takes up some space in your humidor. Some reviews report that the humidifier leaks a bit, but overall, they were delighted with the capacity, exquisite interior and exterior, and secure close lid.
This piece is at the very top of our price range, but if you’re willing to invest, you’ll enjoy its warm character and ample storage space.
- Gorgeous exterior and interior Spanish cedar
- Lock and key closure with brass fittings
- Designed to be displayed
- Subpar humidifier for the cost
- No exterior hygrometer
What You Need To Know
3. Best Under $100: Case Elegance Cedar Cigar Humidor
Case Elegance are manufacturers of some of the most sought-after humidors, watch boxes, and other luxury storage items you’ll ever find. Their glass top humidor offering combines all the features we love with a quality product without breaking the bank. The solid wood grain exterior has a soft walnut color and offers a great size. The digital hygrometer and built-in humidification mean your smokes are kept to your liking.
The glass top allows you to see neatly into the Spanish Cedar inlay and lining where your cigars rest neatly along with the cedar trays. An accessory storage drawer holds your cutters, travel humidors, and other products in an ideal location.
The magnetic enclosure passes the dollar bill test – you’ll never be able to slide anything in under that top! The box also comes with the company’s humidifying gel and hydro sticks to ensure your humidifier holds moisture. Best of all, Case Elegance is a perfect find for a low price, sitting right at the bottom of our price range.
- Digital hygrometer
- Drawer for accessories
- Glass top and Spanish cedar lining
- Drawer space could’ve been used for the humidification system
- Silver hygrometer bezel looks off with walnut finish
What You Need To Know
4. Best for Travel: Cigar Jar Humidor
At the very bottom of our price range, the cigar jar humidor is one of the oldest ways to store tobacco. Sealed jars keep moisture in nicely and the cigar jar is no different. In fact, it has a built-in secret humidification system and is the best small cigar humidor for the office or when you’re headed on vacation.
Made from acrylic, the rubber stopper keeps air out and moisture in. It has a capacity of 25, though we tend to think with such a small space, you’d be better off with 10 cigars. Perfect for the office, this little cigar holder is the ideal product to hold just a few excellent smokes you’d like to have on hand quickly.
- Very inexpensive
- Hidden humidification system
- Sealed lid
- Not a long-term solution for storage
- Can only hold 10 cigars
What You Need To Know
If you’re more into a wooden-looking product that offers the look and feel of a traditional humidor, the Bally 100 Count is the one you want to invest in. At the lower end of our price range, the Bally can hold 100 cigars and contains Spanish cedar lining to keep your cigars tasting great. The brass hygrometer and lock and key closure make an attractive centerpiece on any shelf. Cigar smokers would be proud to show this humidor on their mantle pieces.
The humidor measures just 10″ x 13 3/4″, but the additional adjustable divider allows you a large amount of storage in a tiny, well-designed box. The glass top means you can find exactly what you’re looking for without opening the entire piece. The humidifier is included, and reviewers report that the break-in instructions are straightforward and easy to follow.
- Cherry finish, cedar lining
- Glass top to see your collection
- Fits 100 cigars
- Reviewers report the hygrometer is a bit lackluster
- Manual humidity control and break-in
What You Need To Know
Sometimes you want to get the best of both worlds, a great product at a low price. The Mantello Royale Glass Top Cigar Humidor fits the bill. With a scratch-resistant felt-lined bottom and Spanish cedar lining, the Mantello keeps your sticks fresh and allows you to keep an eye on them as well.
The divider conveniently separates your humidifier and your cigars, keeping the tobacco dry and the air moist. The box features a brass look hygrometer on the front and comfortably holds 50 cigars (the listing says 100 cigars, but we think that’d get crowded). The secure seal lid keeps the bad stuff out and moist air in.
At the bottom end of our price range, you won’t find products much closer in quality, and it makes a great gift your friends and family will enjoy for many years.
- Excellent division inside the box
- Tight seal lid
- Tempered top
- Hygrometer looks a bit cheap
What You Need To Know
The Kendal Cigar Desktop Humidor is made from 100% Spanish cedar, which sets it apart from some of the other humidors you’ll find on our list. The exterior is finished in dark gloss mahogany, and the interior lining and tray is a perfect light color. The glass top allows you to see your cigars resting neatly inside, and the built-in slats mean humidification moves freely around the space.
This is a perfect addition to a home office or entertainment room and, at the lower end of our price range, won’t break the bank. It’s attractive looking and features a brass hygrometer that makes humidity monitoring easy.
- Gorgeous color
- 100% cedar
- Tray with slats
- The window is large so may leak a bit
- Tray divider could be heftier
What You Need To Know
If you’re looking for a desk model that includes your cigar accessories you’ll love this set. The Woodronic brand makes premium humidor boxes, and this one is no different. It features Spanish cedar lining — a must for any fine humidor, a pre-calibrated hygrometer, and space for 50 cigars. It even comes with a free humidifier and water dropper, as well as a stainless steel bowl and cutter.
The wooden box features a glass lid, so you’ll be able to see what’s inside, but remember, this isn’t as air-tight and won’t preserve flavor as well as an all-wood model. With that said, a bad review is hard to come by so it seems to work really well.
- An economical purchase due to included accessories
- Simple and attractive design
- Glass lid may not save your cigars as well as all wood
What You Need To Know
How long will cigars last in a humidor?
This is highly dependent on the cigar, but generally, most smokes will last about five years in a humidor before they begin to go stale.
Do you take cigars out of plastic to put in a humidor?
This is a matter of preference. Cellophane is porous and allows moisture to pass through. New cigars may look better without it, however.
Can I keep cigars in the refrigerator?
Definitely not. While it may seem like a cool, moist place, it’s not. Refrigerators are often too cold for cigars, and the humidity is far too low to keep your cigars safe.
Is 72% humidity too high for cigars?
Generally, yes. Cigars that are stored at too high of humidity will tend to burn and draw poorly. 72% is the humidity at which most cigars will begin to absorb moisture. Different cigars require different humidity, but a general rule of thumb is 65%.
How do you know if a cigar is bad?
The easiest step is the feel. It should give just a bit when you squeeze the cigar in your fingers. If it is hard or crunchy, the cigar has dried out. If it is spongy, it’s far too wet. When lighting and smoking, note if the cigar burns evenly and draws well. If it does not, it could be bad.
How can you tell if a cigar is dry?
If you’re unable to get any bounce back from squeezing the cigar one or two times, the cigar has likely dried out.
Can a dry cigar be saved?
You can certainly try, as long as the wrapper is still intact and all of the oils from the tobacco have not evaporated. Rehydrating a cigar can take many weeks, however, so it may be a good time to toss them in the trash and add to your collection.
Do cigars get better with age?
Yes – fuller-bodied cigars will tend to improve with age over lighter cigars and begin to mellow out. Ask your cigar shop owner to guide you through how long they’ve had the specific cigars you’re purchasing in stock and how long he recommends aging them.
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.