How Long Does A Cigar Last Without A Humidor? Don't Let It Dry Out

Thinking of smoking a cigar without a humidor? Find out how long it takes for one to dry out, and why investing in a humidor is a good idea.

Cigar Humidor

Cigars are a luxury item that requires proper storage to retain their quality and taste. Many cigar enthusiasts invest in humidors to keep their cigars fresh, but what happens if you don't have one?

How long can cigars last without a humidor, and what are the consequences of not properly storing them?

In this blog post, we'll discuss the role of humidity when you store cigars, factors that affect cigar longevity, and tips for storing cigars without a humidor.

Cigar smokers know that optimal storage conditions are key to preserving the flavor of a cigar. For many, investing in a humidor is essential for maintaining proper humidity and temperature levels.

Find the best cigar humidifiers in our article here!

The Role of Humidity in Cigar Storage

Cigars are made of tobacco leaves, which are porous and can easily absorb or release moisture. The ideal temperature and humidity range for cigar storage is between 65-72% humidity and 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

This prevents the cigars from drying out or becoming too moist, which affects their flavor and quality.

A humidor is a container with a hygrometer and humidifier that regulates the humidity and temperature to maintain the ideal conditions for cigar storage.


Understanding Cigar Aging

Cigars, like wine, can improve with age if stored and aged under the right conditions. Aging allows the cigars to develop complex flavors and aromas, while the tobacco oils blend together over time.

Cigars age through a natural process of fermentation, which enhances their flavors, aromas, and burn characteristics. Aging can also mellow out any harshness or bitterness in the tobacco and create a more complex and nuanced smoking experience.

However, aging cigars requires a lot of patience and proper storage. Cigars that are aged too dry can lose their flavor and aroma, while aged too moist can harbor mold and other bacteria.

Factors That Affect Cigar Longevity

Several factors can affect the lifespan and quality of cigars, including humidity, temperature, light exposure, air circulation, and storage method.

Cigars that are stored in a dry environment will dry out and become unsmokable in a matter of weeks.

Cigars that are exposed to high humidity or moisture can become moldy or swell, affecting their draw and burn. Temperature fluctuations can also warp and crack cigar wrappers, leading to a loss of flavor and smoke quality. Light exposure can also degrade the tobacco and cause fading or discoloration of the wrapper.

Premium cigars are made from high-quality tobacco leaves and are more susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature.

The longer a cigar is stored, the more it can develop in flavor and aroma, but it also means more opportunities for mold or pests to grow.

How Long Can Cigars Last Without a Humidor?

Cigars can vary in how long they can last without a humidor depending on the conditions and their quality.

Generally, cigars can last up to a week or two at room temperature and are not exposed to direct sunlight or heat.

However, this is not ideal as the cigars can dry out, lose their flavor, and become brittle. In some cases, they can also develop mold or beetles, which can ruin the entire batch.

Dry vs. Moisture-Damaged Cigars: What to Look Out For

Dry cigars can be identified by their brittleness, flakes, and cracks on the wrapper. They can also have a harsh taste and aroma, lacking the smoothness and complexity of well-humidified cigars.

Moisture-damaged cigars, on the other hand, can have soft spots, mold, or discolored patches on the wrapper. They can also have a foul odor or taste, indicating bacterial growth.

Help cigars stay fresh by using cigar boxes and humidifiers to keep your cigars moist. The cigar aficionado knows that keeping the relative humidity of cigars stored in a humidor is key.

Keep a close eye on your cigar collection and store them in humidification pouches or a ziploc bag if you take a few cigars on the go.

Cigar wrap

Tips for Storing Cigars Without a Humidor

If you don't have a humidor, there are still ways to store your cigars properly. You can use a sealed container like a Tupperware, a double Ziplock bag, or a plastic wrap to keep the cigars away from moisture and air.

You can also use a cigar gel jar or a Boveda pack as a temporary humidification solution to regulate the humidity inside the container. Make sure to also keep the container in a cool, dark place away from heat and sunlight. Be sure to smoke cigars before they dry out.

Here are some tips for storing cigars without a humidor or cigar box:

  • Store your cigars in a sealed, airtight Tupperware container to prevent moisture loss.
  • Use a humidification device, such as a damp sponge, a Boveda pack, or a piece of lettuce, to regulate humidity.
  • Keep your cigars away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and extreme temperatures.
  • Check your cigars frequently for signs of drying or moisture damage.
  • Always use an airtight container.

DIY Humidification Solutions for Cigar Storage

If you want to create a temporary humidor at home, you can use a sponge or a paper towel soaked in distilled water and placed in a ziplock or plastic bag with the cigars.

You can also use a salt solution or a cigar humidification cartridge to regulate the humidity levels in the container.

However, these DIY solutions are not as reliable and accurate as a proper humidification device.

The Pros and Cons of Alternative Cigar Storage

Aside from humidors, there are other alternatives for cigar storage like Tupperdors, cigar coolers, and travel cases.

Tupperdors are plastic containers with tight seals that can hold a large amount of cigars and are great for short-term storage.

Cigar coolers are refrigeration units with humidity control that can store a large collection of cigars for a long time.

Travel cases are portable and durable cases that can protect cigars on-the-go.

However, these alternative storage solutions can be expensive and may not provide the same level of humidity control as a traditional humidor.

The Importance of Proper Cigar Maintenance

Whether you have a humidor, a Tupperdor, or a travel case, maintaining the ideal conditions for cigar storage is essential for preserving the quality and taste of your cigars.

Make sure to check the hygrometer and add distilled water or humidity solution as needed.

Also, inspect your cigars regularly for any signs of damage, mold, or pests. With proper storage and care, your cigars can age well and provide you with a satisfying smoking experience.


Proper cigar storage requires the right amount of humidity and temperature, whether you have a humidor or not. Cigars can last up to a week or more without a humidor, but their quality and flavor will be affected if not stored properly. Understanding the role of humidity in cigar storage, the factors that affect cigar longevity, and the alternative storage solutions available can help you make informed decisions on how to store and preserve your cigars. Remember to maintain the ideal conditions and check your cigars regularly for any signs of damage or pests, and you'll enjoy a satisfying smoking experience every time.