Debunking the 70/70 Cigar Humidity Rule

As you hang out around other cigar people, you’re going to hear some of them talk about the ’70/70 rule’ for humidity. It’s the idea that there is an ideal environment for cigars at 70% humidity and 70 degrees. It’s a nice idea, but what if there was a better way. What if you could make every cigar better by throwing the 70/70 rule out the window and doing it a better way?

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I’ve been hearing about this insanity for a while…

Ever since my first few cigars, I have heard people arguing about what humidity is best for cigars. Some of them got really heated about it. This never made sense to me… but maybe I should have thought about it more. Some people would argue strongly for lower humidities. Some would argue that 65% was the only way to go.

I just ignored all that and did what seemed best to me. I thought I had it right with my humidity at 72%. I liked my cigars a little softer and I think it made the cigars seem more oily. Regardless, I think I’ve been costing myself some serious flavor.

A soggy day

When I grabbed cigars for me and a couple buddys at my house, the flavor just wasn’t what I had come to expect from Alec Bradley Cigars. It tasted like the flavors were muted. Even the retrohale fell a bit flat. And the thing burned poorly the whole time with a bit of a tight draw. It was nothing like the other Alec Bradley cigars I remember smoking. As I rolled the cigar between my fingers thinking about how hampered the experience was, I thought a lot about how squishy and wet the cigar was. It had to be something with the humidity.

This is the way… going forward

When I got back to the shop, I lit up another Alec Bradley from a humidor that I keep at 68%, just 4 points lower than the one at my house. But it seems to have made all the difference. The lower humidity one had all the flavor I remember Alec Bradley’s Cigars offering. It seems like there is some clear credibility to the idea that a lower humidity is better. I notice that cigars I smoke these days are mostly lower in humidity, and they seem to perform better. The flavor, burn, draw, even the ash perform better. And lower humidities limit exposure to issues like mold and cigar beetles. Now I intentionally keep my humidors at a lower humidity. And I know that it’s making a big difference.

That’s my take on it. How about you. What humidity to you keep your cigars at? Drop a comment.

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  1. I’m new ish to cigars, I keep everything in my sistema tuppoerdores, cedar wood, 69%boveda, one of my tupperware stays at 69, the other goes to 71, both are kept in the same dark old TV cabinet, the 69 are better, not sure how I can get to 68 with the 69 boveda in there, great advice Tim thanks, Martin

  2. I’ve been struggling with humidity. I have an Audew thermoelectric humidor as well as some tupperdors for overflow. My tupperdors are hanging around 72% using 65% boveda. My Audew is running at 73% using the same. Any suggestions? Should I drop to a lower Boveda?

  3. I have a thermoelectric humidor (well, literally just a wine cooler). I have to stash my normal box humidor in the wine cooler during the summer because my “room temperature” is between 75 and 80 degrees most of the year. The result is all my sticks kept at 64 degrees, and around 60% humidity when I use 69% Boveda packs. I never have burn issues. My local cigar shop does 70% at the same “room temperature” as me, and every time I have ever tried buying a cigar and smoking it there, the things are so humid they just fail to stay lit at all.

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