By definition, the term ‘humidor’ can be applied to any box or container utilizing a device that increases the levels of moisture or humidity within.
Humidors come in a staggering array of sizes, ranging from small desktop models holding 25 cigars to giant freestanding cabinets capable of storing hundreds of boxes. Prices are just as varied; the use of exotic hardwoods, custom designs and sophisticated humidification systems can push the cost of even a small humidor into the thousands of dollars.
Regardless of the size or price, all humidors have one single purpose in common: to provide a humidified environment that will keep cigars fresh and ready to smoke. Maintaining that environment is critical towards ensuring that your cigars are always in good shape and ready for sale.
To add moisture to the environment, humidors employ a wide range of humidifying devices. Large-capacity cabinet-style humidors usually use an industrial humidifier similar to the kind people use in their homes; these units continuously pump moisture from a self-contained water reservoir into the air, turning off automatically once humidity reaches a pre-programmed ideal level.
Smaller units will generally feature a bottom- or top-mounted tray that contains a slab or disk of absorbent material such as a sponge, porous clay or a substance similar to that used by professional florists. Once saturated, these materials release the water back into the humidor through natural evaporation.
Both methods work extremely well in their respective environments provided they are regularly maintained and monitored.