Storing Cigars 101: How to Store Cigars in a Humidor

Hands holding and placing a 69% RH Size 320 Boveda into a medium wood humidor for storing cigars.
Boveda 2-way humidity control packs are the industry standard for proper cigar storage. This Size 320 preserves cigars in large humidors, coolers and wineadors.

One cigar? That’s an evening. Two cigars? That’s an evening with a friend. But three cigars? You’ve got the beginning of a collection. If you’re a casual cigar smoker looking to level up to full-blown aficionado, you’ve probably given thought to starting your collection. And alongside any good cigar collection is a proper method of storage.  

So, here’s a beginner’s guide to storing cigars in a humidor. Keep scrolling to learn about:

  • Selecting and seasoning a wood humidor
  • Arranging cigars in a humidor
  • Transferring cigars from your home humidor into a travel humidor

Selecting Your Humidor

The first step for your growing cohort of cigars is choosing a humidor. Conventional wisdom says that Spanish cedar makes the best humidors, and science actually backs that up. In our rundown of solid wood humidors, we explore how humidors lined with Spanish cedar deter mold growth, repel pests (like the pesky cigar beetle) and impart a woodsy aroma that complements cigars. Surrounded by well-constructed solid wood, Spanish cedar remains the go-to choice for cigar lovers. However, solid wood is an investment—anywhere from $200 and up. Novice cigar collectors might gravitate toward less expensive humidors, and that’s perfectly okay. Be forewarned that budget friendly humidors might leak moisture.

To overcompensate for a leaky humidor you can:

  • Double-up on Boveda packs
  • Choose a higher RH (relative humidity) pack to correct for moisture loss
  • Re-season every six months (but we’re getting ahead of ourselves)

Seasoning a Cigar Humidor

Storing cigars in an unseasoned humidor is like living in an uninsulated house. Sure, you can do it, but you’ll be uncomfortably exposed to the elements. 

Seasoning a humidor is the process of “raising the wood’s moisture level so it’ll be in equilibrium with your cigars.” Think of seasoning as ultra-filling a tank of moisture inside your humidor. While seasoning, the wood also expands slightly and forms a tighter sealing lid to prevent moisture leakage.


Use one Boveda Size 60 84% RH for Seasoning in a 25-cigar capacity humidor. Bigger humidor? Just add a Boveda Size 60 for every additional 25 cigars your humidor can hold. (For instance, a humidor that holds 150 cigars would need 6 seasoning packs. 

To make seasoning your humidor ever easier, there are Boveda Humidor Starter Kits that come with everything you need to get your new humidor up and running— seasoning packs that condition the wood, plus your first set of Boveda that maintain the right humidity for cigars for months.

Storing Cigars Starts with Seasoning Your Wood Humidor

You can read more about how to season a cigar humidor in our handy resource.

Choosing the Right RH for Cigars

Now that your tank is full, you’ll need to keep it that way, or you’ll constantly battle fluctuations. After all, even a well-seasoned humidor is no match for the dry or humid air that surround your humidor. Those fluctuations can affect the taste, aroma and burn of the blend of premium tobacco in your cigars. Thankfully, the answer is straightforward: use Boveda packs wherever you store cigars. 

But what is a Boveda pack? Boveda is a proprietary blend of all-natural water and salts, specially designed and patented to maintain a consistently accurate relative humidity (RH) inside your humidor. Throughout the industry, tobacconists, cigar makers, long-time smokers and newcomers rely on Boveda to preserve and age cigars.

Boveda makes humidity control packs for humidors to combat the outside environment (high altitudes, dry or wet climates, etc.) and inside environment (if your humidor leaky or airtight). Some packs are ideal for Cuban vitolas, others are best for acrylic humidors. Use the Boveda Humidor Calculator to determine what you’ll need. It will tell you how many packs you need and what relative humidity (RH) to use. Need more help? Click the chat icon in the bottom right corner, and we’ll field your cigar-related queries.

Check out this handy Humidor Calculator to find out how many and which Boveda packs to use in your humidor.
Click Here >

Cigar Humidor Arrangement and Layout

So, what’s the best way to organize cigars in a humidor? First off, there’s no universal way. Some smokers stagger cigars slightly to give ’em some breathing room. In fact, many enthusiasts avoid stacking their sticks for the same reason. More flavor-forward folks might line up cigars according to taste and color—light, refreshing Claros to the left, robust Maduros to the right, please. Visual people might organize a collection by cigar type, separating Figurados from Parejos, premium cigars from everyday smokes, etc. 

Still others institute the first-in-first-out (FIFO) cigar organizing method—oldest cigars in the box go to the left (or right; it doesn’t matter), so you can select that one when you open the humidor. This method was more important to follow before there was Boveda—when it was next to impossible to consistently keep humidors humidified, so cigars would regularly dry out. Nowadays with Boveda in a humidor, you’ll never have to worry about cigars getting crunchy or damp. Boveda maintains ideal humidity, so cigars are always at their best.

(BTW: Have a dried, neglected stick? You even use Boveda to bring cigars back to life—learn how to humidify cigars here.)

There’s a difference of opinion in the cigar world whether or not to take off the cellophane from a cigar before it hits your humidor. Cello (pronounced seh-lō, not like the large stringed instrument) is typically used to protect cigars during transport. Therefore, it isn’t necessary to keep the cello on when you’re storing a cigar in a humidor. At the end of the day, it’s personal preference. But rest assured, Boveda will preserve every cigar in your humidor—whether its cello is on or off.

Hands placing a 69% RH Size 60 Boveda in a wood Boveda holder in front of a medium wood humidor for storing cigars that is sitting on a table top.
Keep a tidy humidor? Elevating Boveda packs to the lid of your humidor with a Boveda holder frees up room for more sticks.

Storing Cigars On the Go

Most humidors are far too large to take along on a trip. (Try explaining a giant wooden box in your luggage to TSA agents). If you’re packing cigars, you still need to maintain the right humidity level. To keep smokes fresh in transit, use Boveda in a travel humidor for cigars. Often slim and trim, these travel humidors fit neatly in the inner compartment of a carry-on. 

One popular option is a full-grain leather case, which resembles a folio—perfect for business travel. Taking a handful of cigars along? Slip them into a small Boveda Humidor Bag. This portable cigar attaché fits in a jacket pocket or handbag, plus comes preloaded with a humidity pack. If you’re stuffing your case into soft-sided luggage or a backpack, we recommend choosing a hard case travel humidor, like the Vaultek weather resistant LifePod to protect your cigars against bends and tears.

Small acrylic humidor for storing cigars with a 69% RH Size 60 Boveda, a cigar cutter, lighter and beverage.
Whichever travel humidor you choose, pop in a Boveda to ensure cigars stay ready-to-smoke on the other side.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a few things in this short 101 guide on how to store cigars, how to keep cigars fresh, and how to travel with your smokes. Storing cigars might seem intimidating at first blush, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly. (It’s a no-brainer when you use Boveda.) And for your efforts, you’ll be rewarded with fresh, flavorful cigars year after year.