Properly Storing Cigars in a Humidor – a guide How to Maintaining Optimal Flavor and Freshness

Storing cigars properly is essential to preserve their flavor and aroma. One of the best ways to achieve this is by using a humidor. A humidor is a special container designed to maintain a constant level of humidity, keeping your cigars fresh and preventing them from drying out.

Here are some effective tips for storing cigars in a humidor:

1. Season the humidor: Before you start using a new humidor, it’s important to season it. This process involves adding humidity to the humidor to allow the cedar lining to absorb moisture. To season your humidor, place a small bowl of distilled water inside and let it sit for at least 24 hours. This will ensure that the humidor retains the ideal humidity level for your cigars.

2. Use a hygrometer: A hygrometer is a device that measures the humidity level in your humidor. It’s essential to have an accurate hygrometer to monitor the conditions inside your humidor. Aim for a humidity level between 65% and 72% for optimal cigar storage.

3. Arrange your cigars properly: When storing cigars in a humidor, it’s important to arrange them properly to allow for proper air circulation. Avoid overcrowding the humidor, as this can lead to uneven humidity distribution. Keep the cigars in their original wrapper or in a cedar sleeve to protect them from damage.

4. Rotate your cigars: To ensure that all your cigars age evenly, it’s important to rotate them regularly. This means moving the cigars from the top to the bottom and vice versa. It’s also a good idea to rotate the cigars within the same level to avoid uneven aging.

5. Avoid temperature fluctuations: Cigars are sensitive to temperature changes, so it’s important to keep your humidor in a stable environment. Avoid placing it near windows or heat sources, as this can cause the humidity levels to fluctuate. Keep the humidor in a cool, dark place to ensure optimal cigar storage.

By following these effective tips, you can ensure that your cigars are stored properly in a humidor, allowing them to age gracefully and maintain their flavor and aroma for a long time.

Proper Humidor Maintenance

Maintaining your humidor is crucial to ensure the optimal storage conditions for your cigars. Here are some essential tips for proper humidor maintenance:

Regularly Season Your Humidor

Before using your humidor, it’s essential to properly season it to create the ideal environment for storing cigars. To season your humidor, wipe down the interior with distilled water using a clean cloth. Ensure the entire interior is moistened, including the corners and edges. Leave a small bowl of distilled water inside the humidor and close the lid. Let it sit for about 24 to 48 hours to ensure the wood absorbs moisture. Repeat this process if necessary.

Maintain Proper Humidity Levels

The humidity inside your humidor is vital for keeping your cigars fresh and preventing them from drying out or becoming too moist. Aim for a humidity level between 65% and 75%. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels regularly. If the humidity drops below the desired range, add distilled water to the humidification device. If it’s too high, air out the humidor and remove any excess moisture.

Rotate and Inspect Your Cigars

Regularly rotating your cigars will prevent any mold or moisture accumulation. Take out each cigar and check for any signs of damage, mold, or pests. Inspecting your cigars will ensure that any issues are promptly addressed so that they don’t affect the others. Wipe the exterior of the cigars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt.

Cigar Maintenance Frequency
Rotate the cigars Every 2-3 weeks
Inspect for damage, mold, or pests Every month

By following these proper humidor maintenance tips, you can ensure that your cigars remain in optimal condition, ready to be enjoyed whenever you desire.

Keeping Humidity Levels Consistent

One of the most important factors in properly storing cigars is ensuring that the humidity levels are consistent. Cigars require a specific level of humidity in order to maintain their flavor and quality over time. Fluctuations in humidity can cause cigars to dry out or become too moist, which can ruin the smoking experience.

To keep humidity levels consistent, it is essential to properly season your humidor before storing your cigars. This involves adding distilled water or a humidification solution to the humidifier in your humidor and allowing it to absorb the moisture for at least 24 hours. This will ensure that the humidor is properly humidified and ready to store cigars.

It is also important to regularly monitor and adjust the humidity levels in your humidor. A hygrometer is a useful tool for this task, as it measures the humidity inside the humidor. Ideally, the humidity should be kept between 65% and 70%. If the humidity drops below this range, you can add more distilled water or solution to the humidifier. If the humidity rises above this range, you can remove some of the moisture from the humidor.

Another tip for keeping humidity levels consistent is to avoid opening your humidor too often. Every time the humidor is opened, the internal humidity is affected. Try to limit opening the humidor to only when necessary, such as when selecting a cigar to smoke.

Lastly, make sure that your humidor is stored in a cool and stable environment. Extreme temperatures and fluctuations can affect the humidity levels. Avoid placing your humidor near windows, heaters, or air conditioning vents.

By following these tips and keeping humidity levels consistent, you can ensure that your cigars stay in optimal condition and provide an enjoyable smoking experience.

Choosing the Right Humidor for Your Cigars

When it comes to storing cigars, investing in a high-quality humidor is essential. A humidor provides the ideal environment for your cigars to age and maintain their flavor. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right humidor for your collection. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision.

Size and Capacity

One of the first factors to consider is the size and capacity of the humidor. Consider how many cigars you plan to store and if you anticipate your collection growing in the future. It’s always better to have some extra space than to cram your cigars into a crowded humidor. The size of the humidor will also depend on the available space in your home or office.


Humidors come in various materials, including wood, metal, and acrylic. Wood humidors, such as those made from Spanish cedar, are the most popular choice due to their ability to absorb and retain moisture. Spanish cedar is also known for its natural insect-repelling properties. Metal and acrylic humidors are more resistant to humidity and temperature changes but may not provide the same level of flavor enhancement as wood humidors.

Additionally, consider the quality of construction and the sealing of the humidor. Look for a humidor with a tight seal to ensure proper humidity control. A good humidor should have a well-fitting lid and a reliable hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.

Style and Design

While functionality is key, don’t overlook the style and design of the humidor. It should complement your personal taste and fit well with your environment. Humidors come in various finishes, such as natural wood, glossy lacquer, or leather. Choose a humidor that showcases your personal style and enhances the aesthetic appeal of your cigar collection.

Before making a purchase, do your research and read reviews from other cigar enthusiasts. Consider the reputation of the brand and ensure that the humidor comes with a warranty. Remember, a high-quality humidor is an investment that will protect and enhance your cigars for years to come.

Seasoning Your Humidor

Before you can store your cigars in your new humidor, it is essential to properly season it. Seasoning your humidor is the process of preparing the interior wood for maintaining the ideal humidity levels for your cigars. This step is crucial to ensure the preservation of your cigars’ flavor, aroma, and overall quality.

Step 1: Clean the Humidor

The first step in seasoning your humidor is to clean the interior with a distilled water solution. Using a clean cloth or sponge, gently wipe down the interior surfaces of the humidor, removing any dust or debris. Be sure to avoid using any cleaning agents or soaps, as these can contaminate the wood and negatively affect the taste of your cigars.

Step 2: Prepare the Humidification Device

Next, you’ll need to prepare your humidification device. If your humidor includes a built-in humidification system, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for filling it properly. If not, you can use distilled water or a humidification solution to moisten a humidifier or sponge that will be placed inside the humidor.

Pro Tip: It’s essential to use distilled water or a humidification solution to avoid minerals or impurities that can affect the humidity levels inside your humidor and potentially harm your cigars.

Step 3: Place the Humidification Device

Once the humidification device is prepared, place it inside the humidor. Make sure it is positioned away from direct contact with your cigars to prevent any moisture transfer. The ideal location is usually near the center of the humidor.

Step 4: Close the Humidor and Wait

With the humidification device in place, close the humidor, ensuring a tight seal. Leave it undisturbed for at least 24-48 hours to allow the humidity to stabilize. During this time, the moisture from the humidification device will be absorbed by the humidor’s wood, creating a stable and humid environment for your cigars.

Note: It’s crucial to avoid opening the humidor during the seasoning process, as this can disrupt the humidity stabilization and delay the seasoning time.

Once the humidor has been properly seasoned, you can begin storing your cigars. Remember to monitor the humidity levels regularly and add distilled water or a humidification solution to the humidification device as needed to maintain the recommended humidity range for your cigars.

Organizing Your Cigars

Proper organization is essential when storing cigars in a humidor. By keeping your cigars organized, you can easily access them and maintain their quality. Here are some effective tips for organizing your cigars:

Categorize by Brand and Size

One of the most common ways to organize cigars in a humidor is by categorizing them based on their brand and size. By separating your cigars into different sections or trays, you can easily locate the specific cigar you want to smoke.

Use Dividers or Trays

To further enhance organization, consider using dividers or trays within your humidor. These dividers can help you create separate compartments for different cigar brands or sizes. They also prevent cigars from touching each other, reducing the risk of damage or flavor contamination.

Label Your Cigars

Labeling your cigars is another useful way to keep them organized. You can use cigar bands or small labels to mark each cigar with its brand, size, and any additional information you find relevant. This way, you can easily identify and select the cigar you want to smoke without any guesswork.

Maintain a Rotation System

To ensure that your cigars age evenly and maintain their quality, it’s important to maintain a rotation system. This means regularly moving cigars from one section of the humidor to another. By doing so, you can prevent certain cigars from aging faster than others and ensure that each cigar receives the proper humidity and temperature conditions.

By following these effective tips for organizing your cigars in a humidor, you can create a well-maintained collection that is easy to navigate and enjoy. Remember to regularly check the humidity levels and temperature of your humidor to ensure optimal storage conditions for your cigars.

Rotating Your Cigars

Rotating your cigars is an essential aspect of proper cigar storage in a humidor. As cigars age, they can develop uneven burn and flavor. By regularly rotating your cigars, you can ensure that each cigar gets its fair share of humidity and aging, leading to a more consistent smoking experience.

When rotating your cigars, there are a few key tips to keep in mind:

1. Frequency: Aim to rotate your cigars every 1-2 months. This will help prevent any one cigar from becoming over-humidified or drying out. It’s best to rotate them on a regular schedule to maintain the ideal humidity level and prevent any potential damage.

2. Organization: Keep track of the order in which you place your cigars in the humidor. You can use a simple numbering system or create a chart to ensure that you rotate through your cigars in a systematic way. This will help you avoid smoking the same cigars repeatedly while neglecting others.

3. Inspection: As you rotate your cigars, take the opportunity to inspect them for any signs of damage or mold. Remove any cigars that appear damaged or have mold spots to prevent these issues from spreading to the rest of your collection.

4. Resting: After rotating your cigars, allow them to rest in the humidor for a few days before smoking them. This will allow the humidity to settle and ensure that each cigar has acclimated to its new position in the rotation.

5. Aging Potential: Finally, consider the aging potential of your cigars when rotating them. Some cigars benefit from extended aging, while others are best enjoyed sooner. By rotating your cigars, you can keep track of their aging progress and ensure that you are smoking them at their peak flavor.

Remember, proper cigar rotation is essential for maintaining the quality and flavor of your collection. By following these tips, you can ensure a consistent and enjoyable cigar-smoking experience every time.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight Exposure

When it comes to storing cigars in a humidor, one of the most important things to avoid is direct sunlight exposure. Sunlight can be very damaging to cigars, causing them to dry out and lose their flavor.

To protect your cigars from sunlight, it is recommended to place your humidor in a location where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight. This could be a cool, dark corner of a room or inside a cabinet. Avoid placing your humidor near windows or areas where sunlight may be present.

In addition to avoiding direct sunlight exposure, it is also important to keep the humidity levels in your humidor consistent. Fluctuations in humidity can also negatively affect the flavor and quality of your cigars.

Here are some tips for maintaining consistent humidity levels:

  • Use a quality hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your humidor. This will help you keep track of any fluctuations and make adjustments if necessary.
  • Regularly check and refill the humidification device in your humidor. This could be a humidifier or a sponge soaked in distilled water. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use.
  • Avoid opening your humidor more often than necessary. Every time you open the humidor, you allow moisture to escape, which can lead to fluctuations in humidity.


Avoiding direct sunlight exposure is crucial for maintaining the quality and flavor of your cigars. By following the tips mentioned above and keeping your humidor in a cool, dark location, you can ensure that your cigars remain in optimal condition for a longer period of time.

Regularly Inspecting Your Cigars

Regularly inspecting your cigars is an important part of maintaining their quality and ensuring that they are properly stored in your humidor. By examining your cigars on a regular basis, you can identify any potential issues and take the necessary steps to address them, preventing any damage or loss.

Checking for Mold or Plume

One of the primary reasons for inspecting your cigars is to check for the presence of mold or plume. Mold appears as fuzzy spots or patches on the surface of the cigar, while plume manifests as a white, powdery substance that can easily be wiped off. Mold can negatively impact the taste and aroma of the cigar, while plume is actually a sign of proper aging and is harmless.

To check for mold or plume, carefully examine each cigar under good lighting conditions. Rotate the cigar and look for any abnormalities on the wrapper. If you detect mold, it is crucial to immediately remove the affected cigar from your humidor to prevent spreading to others. Plume, on the other hand, can be left as is.

Inspecting for Dryness or Over-Humidification

Another aspect to inspect is the moisture level of your cigars. Dry or over-humidified cigars can both have negative effects on the smoking experience. A dry cigar may become brittle and burn too quickly, resulting in a harsh taste. On the other hand, an over-humidified cigar can become spongy and difficult to light, leading to a damp and unenjoyable smoke.

To check the moisture level, gently squeeze the cigars between your fingers. They should feel firm but springy, indicating the right level of humidity. If the cigars feel dry or spongy, it may be necessary to adjust the humidity level in your humidor accordingly.

Pro Tip: In addition to visual inspection, you can also use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level inside your humidor. This will provide you with a more accurate reading and help you make any necessary adjustments.

Regularly inspecting your cigars will ensure that they are being stored properly and are in optimal condition for smoking. By keeping an eye out for any signs of mold, plume, dryness, or over-humidification, you can take the necessary steps to maintain the quality of your cigars and enhance your smoking experience.

Question-answer: How to store cigars in humidor

How can a cigar smoker keep cigars fresh without a humidor?

One way to keep cigars fresh without a humidor is by using a plastic bag.

What role does relative humidity play in storing cigars?

Relative humidity is crucial for maintaining the freshness of cigars during storage.

Why is it important to control temperature and humidity when storing cigars?

Controlling temperature and humidity is important because it helps prevent cigars from drying out or becoming too moist, preserving their quality.

What is the recommended way to store cigars to prevent them from drying?

The recommended way to store cigars and prevent them from drying out is by using a cigar humidor.

How long do cigars typically last when stored properly?

When stored properly in a humidor with the right temperature and humidity, cigars can last for an extended period, often years.

Besides a humidor, what other method can be used to keep cigars fresh?

Apart from using a humidor, cigars can be kept fresh by placing them in a plastic bag with a humidification device.

What should cigar smokers do to ensure their cigars stay fresh?

Cigar smokers should monitor the temperature and humidity levels in their storage environment regularly to ensure their cigars stay fresh.

Can you smoke a cigar that has dried out?

Smoking a cigar that has dried out may not provide an optimal experience, as it could affect the flavor and burn quality.

Why is it essential for a cigar smoker to know how to keep cigars fresh?

Knowing how to keep cigars fresh is crucial for cigar smokers to maintain the quality and enjoyment of their cigars over time.

How does the use of a plastic bag help keep cigars fresh?

Placing cigars in a plastic bag with a humidification device helps create a microclimate that maintains the proper humidity level, thus keeping the cigars fresh.

How can you keep premium cigars fresh if you don’t have a humidor?

If you don’t have a humidor, you can use a Ziploc bag with a humidification device to keep premium cigars fresh.

Why is it important to learn how to store cigars properly?

Learning how to store cigars properly ensures that they remain fresh and maintain their quality for an extended period.

Can cigars be stored in a fridge or freezer to keep them fresh?

Storing cigars in a fridge or freezer is not recommended, as it can negatively affect their flavor and texture.

What is the recommended way to store cigars without a humidor?

Without a humidor, you can store cigars in a Tupperware container with a humidification device to maintain proper humidity levels.

How can cigar aficionados ensure their cigars stay fresh without a humidor?

Cigar aficionados can use alternative methods such as Tupperware containers or Ziploc bags with humidification devices to preserve the freshness of their cigars.

What is the best way to keep cigars fresh for an extended period?

The best way to keep cigars fresh for an extended period is by storing them in a humidor with the appropriate humidity level.

How many cigars can typically be stored in one humidor?

The number of cigars that can be stored in one humidor depends on its size and capacity, but a standard humidor can usually hold around 25 cigars.

Why is it important to maintain proper humidity levels for cigars?

Proper humidity levels are crucial for preserving the flavor, aroma, and overall quality of cigars during storage.

What role does temperature play in keeping cigars fresh?

Maintaining an appropriate temperature helps ensure that cigars stay fresh and prevents them from drying out or becoming too moist.

Besides a humidor, what other factors are essential for keeping cigars fresh?

Along with a humidor, proper storage, humidification devices, and regular monitoring of humidity and temperature levels are essential factors for keeping cigars fresh.