Desktop humidors are one of the most common and traditional types of cigar storage. Their popularity is largely due to their practicality as well as their decorative appeal.
However, with there being so many, it can be quite challenging to find the right desktop humidor for you. Therefore, this guide will not only explain their pros and cons but also the best desktop humidors that you can buy online.
As such, this guide will cover the following topics:
- Why Buy A Desktop Humidor?
- Benefits Of Desktop Humidors
- Desktop Humidors Drawbacks
- Desktop Humidor Buying Tips
- Preparation & Maintenance
- Best Desktop Humidors
You can use the links above to jump ahead. Otherwise, check out the menu below to see the top 8 desktop humidors and other storage guides.
See The Top 8 Desktop Humidors
Why Buy A Desktop Humidor?
As the name suggests, a desktop humidor is essentially a chest that is placed on any surface for easy access. While this can indeed be a desk, some desktop humidors can be small enough for an end table while others are placed on buffets and sideboards.
As such, desktop humidors are typically somewhat decorative with finishes made from exotic woods. However, the interior should be made from Spanish cedar as we’ll explain in better detail below.
Nevertheless, not all desktop humidors are wooden humidors. In fact, acrylic humidors are slowly making themselves known as a viable and low-maintenance alternative.
A typically desktop humidor can offer anything from a storage capacity of 50 cigars all the way to 300. However, it’s rare that they’re ever above 200 as they start to become abnormally large at this point.
Therefore, desktop humidors tend to be the ideal storage solution for the average collection. Due to their size, convenience and ornamental properties, they’re a very popular choice for storing cigars at home.
Desktop Humidor Benefits
Firstly, it’s quite difficult to break down the actually benefits of a desktop humidor given that this a configuration rather than a construction. Each of the materials that made be used to build one will have their own characteristics and quirks.
Therefore, we recommend that you cast your eye to the following guides to learn more about the materials themselves:
When it comes to the configuration itself, desktop humidors are a go-to storage solution for a reason. As mentioned above, they can easily be placed on top of most surfaces.
Consequently, you can either showcase them as a centrepiece to a room or discreetly tuck the humidor away in a corner.
Furthermore, their size is usually quite manageable and they often feature a number of trays and separators for easy organisation. Since most cigar collections typically range between 50 to 100 cigars, they’re a convenient format that should provide ample space for storage.
Desktop Humidor Drawbacks
Of course, desktop humidors aren’t perfect. However, that generally depends whether they’re adapted to your own needs.
Firstly, most desktop humidors are quite large and bulky chests. Although some may have handles, they’re not designed to be moved. Meanwhile, coolidors are able to stock more cigars yet are easier to transport than desktop humidors.
That said, even if they’re bulky, desktop humidors aren’t as permanent as cigar cabinets.
Additionally, if you want to make the most of your desktop humidor, it’ll likely take a fair bit of space. Not only do you need to take into account its size and shape but a desktop humidor usually requires easy access.
Given that they’re quite decorative, they’re often showcased as centrepieces, which means that they may be somewhat imposing.
Meanwhile, their placement should be carefully considered beforehand. Cigars aren’t fond of heat or UV light (the latter may be important to remember with transparent humidors). As such, care should be taken to not place it near a window where it will catch the sun’s rays.
Although desktop humidors are quite bulky, they store a surprisingly limited amount of cigars. Therefore, it can be surprising how quickly they can be filled. Bear this in mind when buying one as we’ll explain later.
Finally, if buying a wooden desktop humidor, you’ll have to keep an eye on the humidity levels. Wood is a natural material that breathes and allows for moisture exchange while the seals tend not to be as effective as synthetic humidors. It’ll also require properly seasoning before use.
Desktop Humidor Buying Advice
Now that you have heard the pros and cons of a desktop humidor, consider reading some advice before buying one.
If you’re opting for a wooden desktop humidor, be sure that it’s lined with Spanish cedar. Although there are other types of wood sometimes used for lining, Spanish cedar has some pretty advantageous properties for cigar storage.
Invest In Quality
There are a lot of cheap desktop humidors on the market. However, refrain from pulling the trigger on an affordable humidor before it looks nice. Always do a little research beforehand as some cheap models may have poor quality seals use inferior materials for their construction.
Be Wary Of Glass
While acrylic humidors are often made with an airtight seal, be mindful that anything that uses a mix of materials may have leakage issues. Glass top desktop humidors are notorious for this as the seal between wood and the glass tends not be airtight.
Use Quality Hygrometers
We’re rarely fond of the hygrometers and humidity devices supplied with humidors. While there may be exceptions, they tend to be unreliable.
Firstly, most humidors are equipped with analogue hygrometers, which are rarely accurate even after calibration. Consequently, we always replace these with digital hygrometers that offer a much more precise reading.
Nevertheless, even some digital ones can be imprecise, which is why we’ll be offering a guide on this subject in the near future.
Invest In Reliable Humidifiers
Meanwhile, most humidors are equipped with either floral foam-style humidifiers. Occasionally, more expensive humidors may feature silica gel beads. However, these aren’t much better.
Not only do they require frequent recharging, they also rarely provide a consistent level of humidity. One of the biggest issues with this is that they continuously diffuse moisture even when the desired level has been reached.
We only rely on humidifiers that offer two-way humidity control, which means that they absorb excess moisture and maintain a consistent level. Overall, we favour using Boveda’s humidity packs in our humidors.
Not only do they provide reliably consistent RH levels, their two-way humidity process diffuses moisture evenly throughout the humidor rather than within a fixed radius.
For larger humidors, there are 320g packs that can be used with a mounting plate for a cubic foot of storage space. Otherwise, most will fare well with a 60g pack for every 25 cigar capacity that can be neatly presented holder.
Buy The Right Size
Finally, avoid buying a smaller desktop humidor just because it’s more affordable. Instead, think about the long-term investment and the ultimate cost involved. If you buy a humidor with a capacity that will eventually be too low for your future collection, you may have to buy another, larger humidor.
We prefer not to leave all our proverbial eggs in one basket and depend on several storage solutions. However, if you want to consolidate your collection in one place, bear in mind that a desktop humidor can fill up pretty quickly!
Desktop Humidor Preparation & Maintenance
Depending on your choice of material, some desktop humidors will require more maintenance than others.
For instance, while acrylic humidors will require no preparation, wooden desktop humidors will need to be seasoned. Seasoning a wooden humidor is essential as the dry wood of a humidor will zealously absorb moisture.
If you were to place cigars in a dry humidor, not only will the wood absorb the moisture from the humidifiers but it may well suck it from your cigars too. You can learn how to prevent this with our detailed guide to seasoning a wooden humidor.
Meanwhile, some acrylic humidors may have a strong plastic odour when first unboxed. While this may seem disconcerting at first, simply leaving it open for as long as a day will likely help it dissipate.
Whatever material you choose, be sure to periodically check on your cigars and the humidor’s relative humidity. This is another reason why calibrated digital hygrometers are important as inaccurate readings won’t give you a reliable reading.
Failing to check regularly may mean that you miss any drastic changes in temperature or humidity, which may cause irreparable damage to your cigars.
Best Desktop Humidors To Buy Online
Below you can read about the best desktop humidors that you can buy online:
- Premium: Daniel Marshall Signature Burl Humidor
- Made In USA: American Chest Washington Humidor
- Best Value: Quality Importers Old Glory Humidor
- Elegant: Habanos & Hermanos Classic Collection Ebony Humidor
- Acrylic Humidor: Boveda Large Humidor
- Most Spacious: Prestige Importers Treasure Dome 200
- Value: Quality Importers Old World Humidor
- Largest: Prestige Imports Salvador Rosewood
Scroll down to see them all or jump ahead using the links above.
Renowned humidor maker, Daniel Marshall, is well known for making exclusive humidors for premium brands. However, his own line has been critically acclaimed by Cigar Aficionado as the best humidor to buy.
With a digital hygrometer and proprietary humidifier, this humidor is fully equipped. The humidor is finished with 24kt gold plated hinges and black ebony edging. Meanwhile, the interior is Spanish cedar.
Available in either a 100 or 125 count, the Private Stock humidor is an exclusive purchase but proves to be an exquisite environment for your cigars.
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Although perhaps not of the same luxurious quality as the entries above, we love our Old Glory humidor. We’ve used ours for years and have never been let down by moisture exchange or drops in humidity.
The eye-catching US flag finish is eye-catching and the interior is made from kiln-dried Spanish cedar. However, we ditched the devices that came with this and quickly replaced them with Boveda packs and a digital hygrometer.
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Another humidor that we’ve been using for some years is the Habanos & Hermanos Classic Collection. At first, we were smitten by the African ebony and Birdseye maple finish yet we soon discovered that it was an excellent performer.
We discarded the in-built humidifier and placed a Boveda mounting plate to store a 320g pack. Meanwhile, the analogue hygrometer is basically left solely for decorative purposes. Instead, we use a Boveda Butler to periodically check on the moisture levels.
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An excellent alternative to the usual variety of wooden humidors, Boveda’s acrylic option is very low-maintenance and satisfying to use. Able to store up to 75 cigars, it’s designed with an airtight magnetic seal.
Furthermore, the acrylic construction means that it doesn’t need seasoning. Since it’s made by Boveda, it’s designed with a grated compartment for conveniently holding your packs.
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With its elegant ebony finish, the Adorini Genova is something of a luxury humidor. However, it offers an altogether different experience compared to the other options.
The interior features a ribbed interior which offers both improved air circulation as well as the ability to adjust the shelf height. A number of separators can be added in various positions, which are designed to be labelled if you desire. This makes for a humidor that is very easy and enjoyable to organise.
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The Old World is essentially the Old Glory humidor with a different finish. Therefore, you can expect pretty much the same level of performance and reliability. If you’re not fond of the weathered US flag, perhaps you’d like this antique world map with a distressed walnut finish?
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We’re fond of the Salvador’s configuration as it sits low and is wide, which provides easy access to your cigars.
Like the premium humidors at the top of this list, the Salvador also features a magnetic lid. Therefore, you’ll be able to effortlessly attach your own devices without having to stick magnetic strips onto the wood.
The digital hygrometer performs quite well. Nevertheless, we use a 320g Boveda pack with two 60g packs instead of the humidifiers here.
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Now that you know everything you need about cigar cabinets, see our other cigar storage guides:
- BU Cigars – Home
- Humidors & Cigar Storage Home
- Best Acrylic Humidors: Advantages & Drawbacks
- Benefits & Drawbacks Of Wooden Humidors
- Top Coolidors For DIY Storage
"Sensational breakdown! I wasn't sure whether a cigar cabinet was right for me but this helped me make a decision."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★