Today we are going to discuss the five main types of humidifiers cigar enthusiast are using their humidors.
Cigar humidifiers come in sponge based, crystal gel / beads, Boveda an electronic humidifier.
Now we are going to discuss the pros and cons of each one.
The main type of humidifier that we see in cigar humidors is the traditional foam-based humidifier.
This utilizes a florist foam, and you refill this with either distilled water or activator solution it is a one-way humidifier, it will only release moisture if you refill it with distilled water.
When using foam base humidifiers, you will find a very large boost in humidity followed by a quick taper when using distilled water.
If you use activator solution, you will see a steadier release overtime. These need to refill every one or two weeks depending on how large your humidor is. They also need to replace them every 6 to 12 months.
Furthermore, the florist foam will end up losing its ability to absorb water overtime so you will see a decrease in functionality over that time. These humidifiers come in all different shapes and sizes.
Again, you need to replace these every 6 to 12 months but they are very cost effective they are by far the cheapest method of humidification. However, you do run the risk of mold growth overtime because wet foam creates environment, which is great for your cigars, but it is also great for mold.
The activator solution will help prevent mold, but you still run that risk.
Crystal Bead Cigar Humidifier
Next, we have crystal gel humidifiers you may choose to upgrade your humidifier to a crystal gel-based humidifier. These types of humidifiers use a crystal polymer that starts off as very small hard crystals and they’ll expand when you add water to them.
Will end up looking something like this this.
These humidifiers are a one-way humidifier so they will only release humidity they will not absorb any access humidity. They come in a vast variety of shapes and sizes.
The traditional ones that mount to the lid of your humidor and these will humidify up to about 100-200 cigars.
Also come in cigar sizes which will lay down in your humidor alongside your cigars and release humidity. Jar based which will sit at the bottom of your humidor without being mounted under the lid.
Both need to be refilled with only distilled water. You do not want to use activator solution for these you need to refill them every two to four weeks and they need to be replaced every one to two years.
The great thing about these is it super easy to tell when it needs to be recharged because the crystals will shrink. However, they are just a one-way humidifier, so you do run the risk of over humidifying air inside a humidor.
Making sure you have the proper size is key to not over humidifying.
Next, we have Silica bead humidifiers these types use a silica bead that will become clear when they are humidified, they are typically sold in bags in quarter pound or half pound bags.
You may choose to mount them in different ways. Using nylon stockings, others use a plastic dish.
Even some companies use them in mounted humidifiers to mount to the lid of your humidor using Velcro. These types of humidifiers need to be refilled using distilled water only!
Do not use activator solution you need to refill them every two to four weeks and they need to be replaced every three to six years as these beads will absorb oils from the cigars, lose their ability to absorb and release moisture.
One major complaint is that they do sometimes give off dust. Other than that, they are very cost effective because the upfront cost might be a little higher than a traditional foam humidifier.
Next, we have Boveda packets. Many praise Boveda because they are a two-way humidifier.
Boveda use salt compounds to maintain very accurate humidity levels they come in 65,69,72 and 75% packets. You need about one packet per twenty-five cigar capacity.
Boveda are a two ways humidifier so they will both release and absorb humidity once they reach their set point.
Many cigar enthusiasts choose to recharge them usually every three months, many choose to just replace them.
The best thing about Boveda packets is that they are fully accurate, you can maintain very accurate humidity levels, however some people find them a bit expensive at $4-$6 per packet.
If you spend the time to recharge them, they can be very economical.
Finally, we have electronic humidifiers. Electronic humidifiers are active humidifiers in that they only release humidity when it is needed.
Electronic humidifiers come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as brands.
These types of humidifiers come with a refill cartridge that holds regular distilled water, have a built-in digital hygrometer.
Once the humidity level in your humidor drops below their set point, they turned on their electric fan that will circulate humid air.
They need to be refilled with distilled water about every month the refill cartridges.
Then need to be replaced about every year, are very user friendly.
Quite a few models have a warning light that goes off when you need to refill your cartridge, some an optional warning buzzer that will sound when you need to refill.
However, they do use ribbon cables to plug in, which people have complained clutter up their humidor with ribbon cables.
Although they are very self-sufficient and easy to use each type of humidifier has its own pros and cons and it is up to you determine which of them fit your needs.
There is no wrong choice if your cigars have some form of humidification.
Stay Smokey Friends!