A Primer on Humidors
They keep your cigars moist and tobacco beetles at bay. Humidors are among the most pleasurable investments for collectors of fine cigars. Learn more about their purpose, history, and how to pick a good one.
The First Humidors
Humidors, it appears, are a relatively recent invention. The first known humidors were made by an Irish wood crafter named Terence Manning. In 1887, he returned from studying his craft abroad and began making cabinets for cigars out of fine hardwoods. The company that he founded remains in business to this day.
Humidors are frequently made of woods that include pine, oak, mahogany, cherry, walnut, and others. While the earliest humidors were beautiful luxury items made exclusively of fine hardwoods, newer humidors made with less expensive woods and even materials like acrylics are now available. Humidors come in sizes that range from entire rooms to tiny portable models. While you can easily invest thousands of dollars on a high-end humidor, there are options at many price points that can preserve your cigars.
The Features of a Good Humidor
To do its work properly, a humidor should be equipped with a thermometer and a hygrometer, a device that measures moisture. These can help you assure that your cigars are being stored at the right humidity and temperature. The humidor will have a device known as a humidifier inside. This is soaked with distilled water or propylene glycol to add moisture to the air when needed.
Many cigar lovers prefer wood humidors lined with cedar. This wood helps maintain ideal humidity, discourages pests and lends a pleasant, characteristic smell. Humidors are not air-tight. A little oxygen should be able to enter and escape.
The final choice to make when looking for a humidor is price. If you are torn between two sizes, it's often a good plan to pick the larger one. As your knowledge of cigars and your collection grows, you'll be grateful for the room.
- Pablo Davidov