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Cigar 101

Heartfelt Beads vs. Boveda

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

There are many ways to keep your cigars fresh these days with and without a humidor. What matters most is choosing the right humidification system for your environment. Different humidification solutions will perform better than others whether you’re storing your cigars in a cedar humidor, an acrylic humidor, a coolerdor, a wine fridge, a humidor bag, or even a Mason jar. Invest in a hygrometer and calibrate it to ensure your humidification system is working properly. Reliable humidification means your cigars will age properly and taste better over time.

The most consistent and lowest-maintenance humidification solutions are also the most popular with cigar lovers. Among them you’ll find Heartland beads and Boveda packs. Here are the differences between them.

Heartfelt Beads

Heartfelt beads were originally developed for storing and shipping precious artwork and artifacts by museums like the Smithsonian. Heartfelt beads come in a variety of tubes, pucks, and rectangular cartridges that resemble standard humidification units, and each is designed to fit in your humidor easily. The number of cigars and size of your humidor will determine which configuration is best. To activate Heartfelt beads, they need to be charged with distilled water. Here are the recommended dosages, depending on the amount of beads you’re using.

  • 1/2-ounce tube of beads:            1-2 teaspoon of distilled water
  • 1-ounce tube of beads:                 2-3 teaspoons of distilled water
  • 2-ounce tube of beads:                 3-4 teaspoons of distilled water
  • 4-ounce tube of beads:                 4-5 teaspoons of distilled water
  • 1/2 pound of beads:                       1-1 ½ tablespoons of distilled water
  • 1 pound of beads:                           3-4 tablespoons of distilled water

How Long Do Heartfelt Beads Last?

The biggest advantage Heartfelt beads offer is that you can continually replenish them with distilled water – indefinitely – making them one of the most cost-effective humidification systems available. Heartfelt beads give off water vapor, as well as absorb it. The beads will absorb humidity that is near them (in a dish, for example) when you need to recharge them. You can also spritz them with distilled water to replenish them.

How Do You Know When Heartfelt Beads Need Water?

When Heartfelt beads are fully humidified with distilled water, they are clear in color. When Heartfelt beads are dried out, they turn a bright white color. Their white color is an indication you need to recharge them with water. Only use distilled water, though. Tap water and bottled water that is not distilled will cause the beads to break down and disintegrate – and, you run the risk of getting moldy cigars.

Boveda Packs

Using Boveda packs is the easiest way to humidify cigars because the packs are designed to deliver a predetermined RH (relative humidity) level through a patented two-way membrane. Boveda packs can touch your cigars directly, and they won’t damage them.

You do not have to add water to Boveda packs. They last anywhere from 2 or 3 months to more than 6 months. The more packs you use, the longer they last. One 60-gram Boveda pack is required for every 25 cigars you store. Follow the charts below to decide which humidity level is best to suit your needs.

What Boveda RH Is Best?

  • 84% RH – Use this for seasoning a new humidor only, NOT for humidifying cigars.
  • 75% RH – Keeps your cigars extra soft, or combat less reliable seal on your humidor.
  • 72% RH – This RH compensates for moisture loss in a traditional wooden humidor.
  • 69% RH – This is the most popular RH for keeping cigars fresh.
  • 65% RH – Best for long-term aging and slightly firmer cigars.
  • 62% RH – Benefits long-term aging and results in firm cigars.

How Many Boveda Packs Should You Use?

Here are the guidelines for the using the correct size and number of Boveda packs based on the amount of cigars in your collection.

Boveda Guidelines


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