If you enjoy smoking an occasional cigar (as I most definitely do, although my definition of occasional might be different than yours!), there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of humidors, or wood-lined boxes designed to contain moisture and keep cigars burning and tasting perfectly. On the other hand, if you’re new to the cigar game, this information might be something of a fresh development. That’s also fine—here’s to your enjoying the best possible cigars!

The bottom line is that it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the humidor options available today, and choosing the right humidor is a must if you want to safely store your stogies. You have the opportunity to pick between two major types of humidors: desktop and cabinet. Other types do exist, but these two options are far and away the most popular and reliable.

I’m sure the following info will help make your humidor purchasing process as stress-free and pleasant as possible. Let’s take a look!

What You’ll Need

1. Desktop or Cabinet Humidor

2. 50/50 Solution

3. Distilled Water

4. Digital Hygrometer

In addition to your actual humidor (whether you end up buying a desktop or cabinet model), you’ll also need to invest in 50/50 solution, a water-based formula that keeps humidors moist and costs just a few dollars per bottle; distilled water, the nutrient-free water that’s used to moisten humidors; and a digital hygrometer, which measures the relative humidity of spaces.

Seasoning your humidor, or applying moisture to it for the first time, is a breeze. As I mentioned before, the most important thing is to buy a humidor that’s right for your wants and needs.

Step One: Choose a Model

Cigar Humidor Cabinet models are both reliable and worth investing in; you don’t need to worry about making a “wrong” decision that will inhibit the quality of your stored cigars. However, each model proves useful in specific situations based upon your preferences.

Desktop humidors are small, compact, and easy to store; as you’ve probably learned from their name, these humidors are usually displayed on desks or tables. A desktop humidor won’t cost you nearly as much as a cabinet humidor, but it won’t be able to hold quite as many cigars. If you plan to store more than 20 or so cigars at a given time, it’s probably best to go with a cabinet.

On the other hand, if your space is limited and/or if you’re a casual cigar smoker, a desktop humidor might do the trick.

Cabinet humidors are a bit more expensive than their desktop counterparts, but they can hold substantially more cigars—usually at least 100, depending on the specific model. If you enjoy cigars regularly, if you buy in bulk, and/or if you’d like to prevent headaches in the event that you score a great set of cigars on the cheap, you should go with a cabinet humidor.

Step Two: Shop Around

For desktop humidors, the internet is probably your best bet. Cigar stores are reliable providers of top-notch equipment and advice, but desktop humidors are, as a general rule, pretty well constructed—particularly if you do business with a well-known internet company. Many of these companies offer introductory deals that provide you with cigars and the humidor itself for an affordable price.

If you think a cabinet humidor is right for you, heading to a cigar store might be a good idea. That’s not to say that you can’t get a good deal online, because you most certainly can; in fact, you’ll probably end up paying less on the internet than you will in a cigar store.

In a cigar store, though, you can benefit from expert advice and the opportunity to test your humidor out. If you don’t like the way a particular model looks or feels, you can pick something else. This opportunity is unavailable online.

You might want to purchase the other items I mentioned—the distilled water, 50/50, and hygrometer—when you buy your humidor. Distilled water can be bought at any grocery store, and 50/50 will be cheapest in a cigar store. Digital hygrometers are cheaper online, but buying in a cigar store gives you the opportunity to make sure that a specific hygrometer fits inside your humidor.

Step Three: Season and Store

Lastly, whether you’ve selected a desktop humidor or a cabinet model, you’ll have to season. Seasoning refers to the initial moisturizing process that all humidors must undergo before they capture humidity.

You should use a clean cloth to gently apply distilled water to the interior wood of your humidor. Also, place a small bowl (or two, depending on your humidor type) of distilled water inside the humidor; the moistened wood will absorb water from this bowl.

Wipe additional water onto the wood once every 12 hours for two or so days. Lastly, remove your water bowl(s) and make sure that your humidor holds 67-72% humidity for about a day; a little more than this is acceptable, as your cigars will absorb some moisture once they’re inside.

Then you can store your cigars and smoke top-quality stogies for many days to come! Simply add some 50/50 to your moisture pad about once per week or when humidity drops below 67%.

I hope you found this guide helpful and useful; I really enjoyed writing it, a few thrills are more exhilarating than equipping new cigar smokers with the tools they need to get the most out of the hobby.

Don’t hesitate to comment and let me know what you’re thinking, and if you did enjoy the information, please take a second to share with your friends and family members—so long as they’re potentially interested in cigars!

Thanks again, and here’s to the awesome world of cigars!