The Best Small Humidor
Whether you are an everyday cigar smoker or a casual cigar enthusiast who enjoys one every month or two, you will find a small humidor to be a worthwhile investment. You will want the best small humidor you can buy to store your cigar collection.
I became interested in cigars during the cigar boom of the 1990s. I like a cigar with a bigger ring gauge, like a double corona. Smoking a cigar that size takes an investment of an hour or two, and it’s hard to find a couple of hours to devote to smoking a cigar sometimes. So I don’t smoke them as frequently as I would like to these days, but I still love a good cigar.
Since I don’t smoke cigars often, I don’t keep a lot on hand and therefore, I don’t need a large humidor. My small cigar collection only needs a small humidor. Here is some of the best information I gathered when I was shopping for mine.
Travel humidors are portable, small humidors with a specific purpose: to make sure a small number of cigars stay fresh and safe when you take them someplace. You really should have a travel humidor if you want to take a few of your favorite cigars on your beach vacation. They are also great for taking four or five cigars to the golf course if your friends like to enjoy a cigar on the links.
Travel humidors must be durable to withstand the bumps and bounces of travel. But that’s all they’re good for.
Travel humidors usually hold only five to ten cigars, therefore they don’t make a good long-term storage solution. They’re not made for that. If you want to store about 25 cigars, you will want a small humidor.
Why You Need a Small Humidor
A small humidor holds about 25 cigars. The number it can hold is dependent upon the size of your cigars, also. It only makes sense that 25 double coronas are going to take up a lot more space than 25 cigarillos.
Small humidors are great if you have limited space. A small desktop humidor will occupy a small corner of a desk or coffee table. Most small humidors will fit on a bookshelf or even inside a desk drawer.
A small humidor makes a smart choice for someone new to cigar smoking. A new collector will likely have a small collection of cigars and will not need a large humidor. Someone new to cigar smoking may still be deciding if he or she is in it for the long haul, therefore the investment in a large humidor does not make sense in the beginning.
The same goes for casual cigar smokers like myself. As I said earlier, I smoke cigars only occasionally and don’t keep a lot on hand, so a small humidor is a perfect size for me.
Speaking of investment, a small humidor is a smart choice because it is more affordable than large humidors. A person can spend less on a humidor and use the cash saved to buy cigars! If a person likes cigars but doesn’t have a lot of extra disposable income, a small humidor is the best option.
A serious cigar aficionado probably has a main, large humidor in their home office or game room, and a small cigar humidor in another location, like the pool house or garage workshop. A small humidor can store a portion of a large cigar collection in a convenient location.
Features of the Best Humidors
Now that I have you convinced that you need a small humidor, let’s talk about what features to look for in a good one.
The primary function of a humidor is to store cigars in an environment at an optimum level of humidity. Therefore, a humidor is only as good as its humidification system. That makes the humidification system the most important part of cigar storage.
There are a few different types of humidification systems.
One of the most basic, inexpensive, and common humidifiers are made of a piece of foam inside a plastic case with a lot of holes for airflow. The foam center is moistened with distilled water or a special humidifier solution. They need to be refilled with distilled water regularly. These humidifiers do not take up much room and are good humidifiers for small humidors.
A low-maintenance humidifier is a jar filled with hydrating gel crystals. These crystals slowly release moisture to maintain an optimum humidity level inside the humidor. The jars can take up valuable room inside a small humidor, however.
Boveda packs are another limited maintenance option. These are humidifying packets made for humidors. Simply place one of these small packs on your cigars inside the humidor, and that’s it.
Electronic humidifiers will cost well over $100 to $200 and are designed for large humidors, capable of maintaining hundreds of cigars. These types of humidifiers are not for small humidors.
Some humidors come with built-in humidifiers. While a built-in humidifier may seem convenient, make sure it is removable or replaceable before buying a humidor with one. If the humidifier breaks or if you are not satisfied with its performance, you will be stuck with a humidor with a bad humidifier. If you cannot remove it, the space it occupies will be wasted in a humidor of already compact size. That space could be used for cigar storage. Or you will need to add another humidifier which will waste even more space inside.
The perfect humidity level inside a humidor should be in the range of 70 to 75 percent humidity. A hygrometer is needed to continually measure the relative humidity level inside your humidor to make sure conditions are optimal. Many humidors have built-in hygrometers. Some people like the look of an analog hygrometer. They are round with a needle, similar to an outdoor thermometer or a gauge on a sports car. But while analog hygrometers look cool, they are not always accurate. Digital hygrometers are more accurate. If you buy a small humidor with a built-in hygrometer, I recommend one with a built-in digital hygrometer.
A Spanish cedar interior is the best interior material for a humidor. Spanish cedar wood absorbs moisture and then emits it back out to the cigars inside. The Spanish cedar lining also does not have a strong aroma that will change the flavor of cigars. Some humidors have cedar trays which are nice because you can move your cigars around a little easier depending on your setup.
Clear acrylic humidors have gained popularity in recent years. They’re inexpensive and easy to maintain. But because they are clear, they can’t be stored anywhere where the humidor will be exposed to direct sunlight. And they lack the cedar-lined interior that is good for aging cigars. So I’m not a fan of acrylic humidors.
The lid should fit tightly but it should not create an airtight seal. A humidor needs a small amount of airflow to prevent the cigars from becoming mildewy or moldy. In an airtight environment, the chances are greater for the cigars to get moldy.
Humidors with glass windows in the lid are cool because you can see the cigars inside. But be careful with a glass top humidor because glass does not absorb humidity and it may impact the internal humidity. Also, light entering through the glass, especially sunlight, is not good for cigars.
An accessory drawer is a nice feature for a humidor to have. Mainly, it’s great to have a place to store your cutter because if you’re like me, you’re always misplacing yours. You could also just stick a magnet to the side of your humidor if you have a stainless steel cutter, and have the magnet hold the cutter for you.
If you can’t find a small humidor that you like at your local cigar shop, there are many online cigar sellers that sell a variety of humidors at various price levels. Many of those online cigar shops have lists of their top picks, and a lot of them have free shipping.
Get Yourself a Small Humidor
Many of the best cigar humidors are simple-looking wooden boxes without fancy features. The ultimate goal is simply cigar storage under optimal conditions. Shop around and find the best small humidor so you always have a good cigar nearby to enjoy after a good steak, preferably with a glass of whiskey or red wine.