How to set the humidity in your cigar humidor

Hands up who wants a big wet, soggy cigar? No one? Who wants a crispy fragile crust of a cigar? Still no hands? That’s why getting your humidor to that sought-after 65-75% relative humidity is essential.

cigar Cuba hoyo cuaba cohiba montecristo tobacco humidor

However, there are so many tips, tricks, techniques and cheats out there, it can be very confusing. Let me show you what’s worked for me:

1. Get a hygrometer. Digital ones are obviously more accurate but the analogue ones are still pretty good and look nicer too. Usually your humidor will come with an analogue one.

cigar cuba humidor how-to tobacco cohiba montecristo cuaba hoyo

2. Calibrate your hygrometer. The digital ones shouldn’t need calibrating but it’s always worth checking they’re accurate. Fill a screw top cap with regular table salt then drip water into it until it’s a sort of salty sludge. This salt sludge has a relative humidity of exactly 75%.

Here’s how I calibrated my hygrometer:

Pop your hydrometer into a snaplock bag with the cap of salty goodness and leave it overnight. There should be a little adjuster on the back of the analogue hygrometer. Move the needle to 75% and you’re done.

cigar cuba humidor how-to tobacco cohiba montecristo cuaba hoyo

Note: you might want to double check the calibration has worked by repeating the snaplock bag process.

3. Remove the humidity unit from your humidor – that’s the thing with the green sponge stuff inside – and pour a generous quantity of distilled water on the sponge and put it back in the humidor overnight with the hygrometer inside.

cigar cuba humidor how-to tobacco cohiba montecristo cuaba hoyo

cigar cuba humidor how-to tobacco cohiba montecristo cuaba hoyo

cigar cuba humidor how-to tobacco cohiba montecristo cuaba hoyo

Another note: only use distilled water. Tap water has chloride etc in it and can affect your smokes.

You can buy humidifying gel too, which keeps the air at a perfect 70% relative humidity… but where’s the fun in that?

4. Leave the humidity unit in there for a few days, making sure the relative humidity is nice and high. You’re trying to get the cedar wood lining to absorb a fair bit of water so that the humidor will stay constant for longer.

If there’s not enough water in the wood, the moisture in the humidity unit will go straight to the wood and not your cigars.

Yet another note: some people recommend wiping the walls of the humidor down with water first. This isn’t a good idea because you’ll just saturate the wood and make it too wet in there.

6. After a few days take the humidity unit out and close the lid again. What you want to check for is that the humidor itself has stopped absorbing water. The relative humidity will go down, but not too much –about 5 or 6 per cent is okay.

Eventually you’ll get the humidity to stablise and you’re ready to go. It shouldn’t take more than a week and worth every minute.

It’s not advisable to put your cigars in the humidor while you’re prepping it. They’ll be okay in a snaplock bag for around a week.

What do you do to keep your humidor regular (no bran comments, please)?

Images by Mrs Romance.


  • Reply April 4, 2013


    Great post guys! I would also love to hear your thoughts on selecting a humidor, as I’ve always felt that it would be a great gift for my husband, but I have no idea where to start looking! The one in your photos looks very nice too 🙂

    • Reply April 4, 2013

      Mr Romance

      Hi Daisy
      Humidors make a great gift – Mrs Romance bought me mine for my birthday last year. I love it. She got it from eBay. At the time there were quite a lot of options – from huge glass ones to tiny travel humidors (and some that were the ugliest things I’ve ever seen!)

      If we use mine as an example of something you should look at getting your husband, you should look for a unit that has about a 25-cigar capacity, is cedar-lined and comes with an in-built humidifying unit. It’s nice if you can get one with a hygrometer dial too. Mine measures 31cm wide x 24cm deep x 14cm high and fits pretty much any cigar.

      A lot of the best quality and best priced cigar equipment comes via the States, so if you’re outside the USA, so factor in delivery fees – though if you’re in Australia, it’s still cheaper than buying a unit here!

      Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask if you have any other questions – I could talk cigars for hours!!


      • Reply April 5, 2013


        Thanks so much for the reply Jim, really appreciate your advice! Will start searching the web for something similar.
        Cheers, Daisy

        • Reply April 17, 2013

          Mr Romance

          No problems, Daisy. Good luck with your search. Let me know if you have any more questions – I could talk cigars all day!

  • Reply July 20, 2013


    what is the name of the cigar in main focus ??

    • Reply July 22, 2013

      Mr Romance

      Hi Senzi

      That’s a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial. Really nice smoke and not as expensive as a lot of other higher-ranking Cubans.



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