Good cigars like other finer things in life require special care. Keeping your cigars fresh, flavorful and protected requires more than just placing them in a humidor. Preserving relative humidity is essential to ensure your cigars are fresh and stored in an environment similar to how the tobacco was grown. In other words, your cigars will age best in a warm and moist environment.
To monitor this environment, you need to use a hygrometer in your humidor. When selecting a hygrometer, you have two choices: an analog or a digital hygrometer. Here we’ll look at the pros and cons of both options.
Maintaining Relative Humidity in a Humidor
A hygrometer is a tool that tracks the level of relative humidity (RH) in an enclosed space like a cigar humidor. While some humidors may come equipped with a hygrometer, not all of them do, which is why it’s important to invest in one to ensure your cigars are being stored at the proper humidity.
Relative humidity measures the amount of water vapor present in the air versus the amount of water the air holds at a given temperature. For optimal storage of cigars, you want to maintain 70 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). These readings closely match the growing conditions for thriving tobacco plants. When the RH drops below 70 percent, it’s a sign that you need to increase your cigar humidors’ humidity with a cigar humidifier.
Analog hydrometers were one of the earliest ways to measure relative humidity. They resemble dashboard dials and express the relative humidity level on the dial face using metal springs. The earliest models even used horsehair wound around the internal mechanism. Analog hygrometers are considered attractive and come in modern and retro styles to best suit your cigar humidor.
- Ease of use
- Classic look
- Work without electricity
- Sometimes included with a humidor
- May require more frequent calibration.
- Have a margin of error of about 10 percent
Digital models use electrical sensors to measure environmental conditions within a cigar humidor. These conditions are displayed in clear, easy-to-read numbers on the face of the device, much like the face of a digital clock.
- Displays RH in clear, easy-to-read numbers
- Gives very accurate readings within a 1 to 2 percent margin of error
- Easy to use and require less calibration
- Some measure temperature in addition to humidity
- Can often be set to read temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius
- Some use a memory function to track conditions over time
- Considered to be not as elegant in design
- Can be expensive when compared to analog models
- Countertop models need an electric adapter
Investing in a Quality Hygrometer
You wouldn’t think of storing a fine wine in less-than-optimal conditions. Why not give the same level of care to your cherished cigars? Whether you choose an analog or digital hygrometer for your cigar humidor may depend on personal preference. Either way, you’ll find quality hygrometers, humidification systems and accessories here at Cigar Star, where we truly appreciate a fine cigar.