If you’ve been shopping for humidors lately, then you know there are many different choices. One of the biggest differences between humidors is the wood that they’re made from.

What is Humidor Wood?

Humidor wood, sometimes called Spanish cedar or cigar boxwood, is a specific type of wood that was originally used to make storage boxes for cigars.

It’s very durable and has the ideal characteristics for the creation of humidors, so it continues to be one of the most popular materials for manufacturers to use when making humidors.

Where Does Humidor Wood Come From?

Spanish cedar comes from either South America (specifically Argentina and Brazil) or Mexico. The reason why humidor wood typically comes from these regions is due to the climate there; humidity levels are high all year round which gives Spanish cedar its unique properties as a material for building humidors.

Why Spanish Cedar is The Best Wood To Make Humidors

Some other woods, such as American cedar and red cedar may be used for humidor construction, but there are two main benefits that make Spanish cedar the best choice:

The first benefit is that Spanish cedar helps to maintain humidity levels. It has a very porous cell structure that absorbs and releases moisture easily.

This means that it can balance your humidor’s internal humidity level, which keeps cigars from drying out or becoming moldy.

The second benefit is improved tobacco aging.

Wood contains natural oils, so by providing a safe environment where those oils don’t evaporate too quickly, you allow the flavor of the cigar to become smoother over time as it mixes with those oils.

The third benefit is the aesthetic appeal.

Spanish cedar is very attractive, so it can improve the look of your humidor. It also has a pleasant smell so your cigars will have an enhanced aroma when stored inside Spanish cedar-lined humidors.

The fourth benefit is preventing Cigar Beetles.

Cigar beetles are little bugs that feed on tobacco, meaning they’ll eat your cigars if you have them.

The wood of Spanish cedar is too tough for Cigar Beetles to thrive on, so it prevents this harmful little pest from damaging your cigar collection. 

Humidor Wood Grain

When purchasing a humidor, it’s important to consider the grain of the wood. You want the highest quality possible in order to get the longest life out of your humidor. This means that you should look for cigars with straight lines in their finish instead of waves or curves.

Another thing you should try to find is cigars with an even thickness along the entire length of each cigar. Check for even coloring and few if any blemishes on them as well.

As far as color goes, Spanish cedar is often stained light tan or yellow before being put into manufacturing. If you can assess what color stain was applied to this type of wood, then you will be able to determine how long the humidor will last.

In general, the lighter the coloring of the cigars you purchase for your humidor, the better they are likely to be.

Purchasing Humidor Wood

Humidor wood can be purchased on its own, but it is often found as a lining on the inside of wooden humidors. This means you’ll need to purchase both the humidor and the humidor wood separately.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure your humidor can hold at least 100 cigars or more before buying it.

The larger your humidor is, the more likely it will have Spanish cedar lining.

Other things to consider when purchasing humidor wood:

  • The grain and the overall quality of the humidor
  • Whether or not it was made in South America or Mexico
  • The price you’re paying for it, because if you’re spending a relatively high amount on your cigar collection then you want to make sure that all your storage equipment is just as high quality.

When selecting a humidor with Spanish cedar lining, remember that it’s preferable to have thinner lines rather than thick lines because thicker ones will form cracks around the edges more quickly.

Also, avoid purchasing humidors lined with plywood. Plywood is not ideal for this purpose because of its tendency to swell when exposed to moisture.

What About Cedar Chips?

Some people who buy humidors wonder whether they should use cedar chips instead of real Spanish cedar lining.

As long as the humidor itself is lined with Spanish cedar, then either option will work fine.

However, one difference between using chips and using real planks of Spanish cedar is that the latter provides more protection against Cigar Beetles because it’s a thicker piece of wood that can’t be eaten through so easily.

What About Other Lining Materials?

Cedar is not the only material that tends to be used for lining cigar humidors. You can also find exotics such as mahogany or cherry being used instead of Spanish cedar. Though they don’t deliver exactly the same properties as Spanish cedar does, they usually provide great results.

If you don’t live in an area where humidity is high year-round, then your humidor is most likely lined with cedar because it has the best insulation and doesn’t warp when exposed to large changes in humidity. It also helps that most cigar smokers tend to prefer Spanish cedar over other types of lining materials anyway!

Cigar smokers who haven’t had experience using a humidor before might be unsure about how they work and what type of wood they should buy for one.

Learning about humidor wood is a great way to make sure you get the quality that you want. It can also help you ensure that your cigars last as long as possible.

Another Option: Non-Wood Humidors

Also, humidors that are not made of wood exist and can be used to store cigars. These include acrylic, metal, glass, ceramic, and plastic.

While they keep cigars safe from light exposure and preserve the moisture level in the humidor nicely, they lack the benefits associated with Spanish cedar which is why it is recommended people use these types of humidors for short-term storage only.

If you want a more serious option for your collection that will allow you to store your cigars for years then buy a good quality humidor lined with Spanish cedar.

It doesn’t take much time to maintain a properly conditioned humidor either, so it makes sense for bigger cigar collections.