Tupperdor vs. Humidor: Is a Budget Setup Right for You?

smoking a cigar by jay | Posted on May 4th, 2024

For cigar aficionados, proper storage is paramount. Cigars are hygroscopic, meaning they absorb and release moisture from their environment. This delicate balance of humidity is crucial for maintaining a cigar’s flavor, aroma, and smokability. Here’s where humidors come in, offering a controlled haven for your favorite smokes. But what if you’re a budding cigar enthusiast or simply on a tight budget? Enter the tupperdor: a budget-friendly alternative to the classic humidor.

The Humidor: Timeless Quality and Nuanced Aging

Humidors are the longstanding champions of cigar storage. Typically crafted from Spanish cedar or other hardwoods, they boast a sophisticated aesthetic that complements any home decor. More importantly, cedarwood provides a natural environment for aging cigars. The wood slowly releases essential oils that can enhance the flavor profile of your cigars over time. Humidors come in various sizes, from desktop models that hold a few dozen cigars to walk-in marvels for the serious collector.

However, these advantages come at a cost. Quality humidors can be quite expensive, ranging from a few hundred dollars to heirloom-quality pieces costing thousands. They also require some initial setup and ongoing maintenance to ensure proper humidity levels. This can involve using a humidifier, hygrometer (to measure humidity), and distilled water. Maintaining consistent humidity is crucial for cigar health. Fluctuations can cause your cigars to crack, split, or become unpleasantly soggy.

The Tupperdor: A Savvy and Functional Choice

A tupperdor is essentially a repurposed airtight plastic container, most commonly a Tupperware brand container (hence the name). While not exactly a conversation starter on your coffee table, it offers unbeatable affordability. Setting up a tupperdor is simple and requires minimal upkeep. All you need is the container, a hygrometer, and humidity control packs like Boveda packs. These ingenious little packs contain a salt solution that passively maintains a consistent humidity level within the container, eliminating the need for separate humidifiers and distilled water. Tupperdors are ideal for beginners or those with a small cigar collection. Their affordability allows you to experiment with different types of cigars without a significant investment. They’re also excellent for travel due to their lightweight and durable nature. However, they lack the aesthetic appeal of a humidor and don’t offer the natural aging benefits of cedarwood.

So, Tupperdor or Humidor? Tailoring Your Choice

CostVery affordable (often under $20 for setup)Ranges from affordable to very expensive
MaintenanceMinimal, especially with humidity control packsRequires seasoning, regular humidity monitoring
AgingSuitable for short to medium-term storageIdeal for long-term aging, cedarwood enhances flavor
AestheticsPurely functionalCan be a beautiful, classic addition to your space
ExpandabilityEasy to add more containersLess flexible, especially with desktop models
PortabilityLightweight and durable for travelLess portable, especially larger models

Choosing the right storage solution is essential for protecting your investment in cigars and ensuring an enjoyable smoking experience. Let’s delve deeper into the factors to consider:

Budget: The Financial Factor

If your budget is limited, a tupperdor is the clear winner. You can set up an airtight, humidor-like environment using readily available plastic containers and humidity control packs. A humidor represents a more significant investment. Costs range from affordable starter humidors to high-end, exquisitely crafted pieces suitable for the most discerning collector. Assess your resources carefully, and decide how much you’re comfortable investing in your storage setup.

Collection Size and Value: Quantity vs. Rarity

Evaluate your current collection. Do you have a modest selection of cigars for casual enjoyment, or are you actively curating a collection of premium, aged smokes? If you have a small number of cigars and plan to smoke them relatively soon, a tupperdor is a practical choice. On the other hand, if you’re a true aficionado with expensive, rare cigars that warrant special care, a humidor provides a more fitting and secure environment.

Aging Intentions: Short-Term Storage vs. Long-Term Maturation

How long do you intend to store your cigars? Tupperdors are excellent for short to medium-term storage (months to a couple of years). If you dream of aging cigars for extended periods (several years or more), a humidor offers distinct advantages. Spanish cedar, with its gentle aroma and moisture regulation properties, subtly enhances the flavor profile and complexity of cigars as they age.

Aesthetics and Experience: Practicality vs. Ritual

Consider how the storage solution itself factors into your enjoyment of cigars. A beautiful, well-maintained humidor becomes part of the cigar experience, adding a touch of class and sophistication. Tupperdors, while functional, are less visually appealing. If the ritual and aesthetic element is important to you, a humidor holds more value.

Maintenance Commitment: Effort vs. Ease

Humidors demand attention. They require an initial seasoning process, regular monitoring of humidity levels, and refilling of the humidification device. This adds to your overall involvement with your cigar hobby. In contrast, tupperdors, especially when used with Boveda humidity packs, are incredibly low-maintenance. If simplicity and convenience are paramount, tupperdors reign supreme.

Additional Considerations:

  • Hybrid Solution: Balance cost-effectiveness and aging in a two-pronged approach. Use a tupperdor for your everyday smokes and a smaller humidor for special occasion cigars or those intended for long-term aging.
  • Expandability: Tupperdors win in scalability. If your collection grows, simply acquire larger or additional tupperdors. With humidors, especially desktop models, you may find yourself limited by space and needing a whole new unit.

The Choice is Yours

Choosing between a tupperdor and humidor isn’t about a “better” or “worse” solution. Carefully weigh your priorities, cigar aspirations, and practical considerations. Both options can protect your cigars, and the right choice is the one that aligns best with your unique needs.

smoking a cigar


Self proclaimed cigar expert. I've been smoking since 2010. I've practically lived at a cigar lounge from 10am to 10pm and trying every new cigar that came out for years.

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