When a cigar novice is shopping for their first humidor, one of the most common questions is regarding the hygrometer commonly attached to the front. Specifically, how well does it work? And is there a better alternative?
Analog Vs. Digital Hygrometers
These classic-looking ‘dial’ – or analog – hygrometers enhance the humidor with a feeling of tradition. But if you want to safely measure the humidity in your humidor, this is where your consideration of an analog hygrometer should end – as a decoration. You could also think of it as a way to identify a humidor as such, just as a barber shop pole points out a barber shop from the end of a road.
Although they are less aesthetically pleasing, a digital hygrometer will prove to be more practical. Most digital hygrometers, regardless of brand, are designed to be accurate within a +/- of 2% relative humidity. An analog hygrometer, on the other hand, can easily be inaccurate by 10-15% – or may simply be frozen in a single place.
For this reason, the inclusion of an analog hygrometer does not raise the price of a humidor the way that a digital one does. And if your humidor of choice doesn’t include a digital hygrometer, you can always purchase one separately for less than $30. A standalone digital hygrometer cannot usually be installed to the exterior of a humidor, but can be placed on the floor of the humidor or mounted up on the interior of the lid.
Measuring the Hygrometer’s Accuracy
The final key thing to know about a hygrometer is that a salt test should always be performed on it upon purchase. With a salt test, you are manually creating an environment of 75% humidity which you can then introduce the hygrometer into to test its accuracy. To learn how to perform a salt test, please see our Using a Hygrometer page here. Alternatively, you can purchase a one-step calibration kit as an even simpler method of testing accuracy. For more on this option, please see the bottom of this page.
Below are standalone digital hygrometers currently available at City Cigar. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, including current availability of any product.
Brigham Round Digital Hygrometer
The Brigham Round is the top-selling digital hygrometer at City Cigar. The Brigham features three useful buttons on its front: A ‘+/-‘ to check humidity highs and lows; a ‘Cal’ button for calibration; and a ‘C/F’ button to alternate between celsius and fahrenheit temperature readings. This hygrometer includes manufacturer instructions and is equipped with a battery and magnetized back for lid installation.
Brigham Rectangular Digital Hygrometer
The Brigham Rectangular Digital Hygrometer features a ‘+/-‘ to check humidity highs and lows and a ‘C/F’ button to alternate between Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature readings. A battery is included, as are Velcro strips that allow the unit to be fastened onto the humidor lid.
Little Havana Digital Hygrometer
The Little Havana hygrometer is unique in the way it mimics the shape of a cigar. It also features ‘Max/Min’ buttons to check humidity fluctations, a ‘C/F’ button to alternate celsius or fahrenheit temperature readings, and a Reset button. The Little Havana is equipped with a battery and magnetized back for lid installation.
Hygroset II Digital Hygrometer
The Hygroset II hygrometer is noted as the ‘first digital hygrometer of its kind capable of being adjusted after calibration’. It features an adjustment knob on front that allows the user to adjust the humidity reading in increments of 1% per click. The Hygroset II is equipped with a battery and magnetized back for lid installation.
Hygrometer One-Step Calibration Kit
It’s always a good idea to do a proper salt test on a new hygrometer. But, if you prefer to avoid the manual method, a one-step calibration kit is an inexpensive option. Created by the Boveda company, the one-step calibration kit consists of a zipper-equipped bag and an 8-gram, 75% Boveda pouch. Simply slip your hygrometer in the bag, zip it up, and leave it in for 24 hours. At 100% accuracy, your hygrometer will be reading 75%. If not, you can remove it from the bag and adjust the calibration. According to Boveda Inc, each calibration kit is good for approximately one year.