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The Humidity Bead System by Cigar Sciences

The Humidity Bead System by Cigar Sciences

The greatest labor for cigar lovers is maintaining the perfect relative humidity. Finicky materials and frustrating fluctuations can be a headache for even the most careful guardian of a humidor, and most of the reliable systems out there take practice to learn how to use.

But while some humidity systems take a bit of doting, the Humidity Bead System by Cigar Sciences acts more like a workhorse. The beads trap moisture, releasing more into a dry storage space and pulling excess out of the air to keep your smokes from drying or feeling wet.

Creator Mark Neff, a 20-year smoker, submitted a patent on the HBS in 2005. His system is simple and easy to use for a few reasons, and among them is that distilled water—usually a requirement—is recommended but not mandatory. Preparing the Bead System for use requires little more than immersing the unit in half-an-inch to an inch of water, wiping the outside dry with a paper towel, and placing it in your humidor.

Units come packaged at either 65 or 70 percent relative humidity, but you can request units at lower RH for humid, tropical climates or long-term storage. It’s a little difficult to tell when the beads are dry, but during a four-week test in a 200-capacity humidor the unit performed remarkably. It kept the RH right in the sweet spot with no refilling and very little fluctuation (68-71) despite a lot of traffic, with handfuls of new cigars coming in and out daily.

The Bead System comes for 25-, 75-, 150- and 300-cigar options. With a price range from $25-$60, the refillable, reusable units are a fantastic solution for your desktop, and because they don’t drip, the smaller units are a good choice for travel humidors, as well.

The Humidity Bead System is available to buy at

"Cigar Aficionado readers can now enjoy a 15% discount off of the Humidity Bead System® humidifiers! Please use the discount code ca2014 during checkout. Thanks for the support, I greatly appreciate it. Sincerely Mark Neff President Home of the patented Humidity Bead System® humidifier Nominated for Cigar Journal Magazine's "Best Accessory Award" in both 2013 and 2014. " —August 25, 2014 08:33 AM
"I have been using the Large 70% HBS in my 150 count humidor for over a year now and it works perfectly. All I have to do is top it off with a little distilled water every month or so and the humidity level doesn't budge from 70%. Also, I agree that customer service is amazing. The owner of the company, Mark, responded personally to a small issue I had and made it right immediately. It's great to work with folks that are clearly proud of their work and stand by their products." —January 10, 2014 09:48 AM
"There are major differences between HBS humidifiers and Cigar Mechanic's...the biggest being that the Cigar Mechanic beads are made of a plastic and the HBS Humidifiers actually work." —January 9, 2014 11:16 AM
"couple of differences between HBS and Cigar Mechanic. Cigar Mechanic only offers 70% RH, and HBS has more beads in their units than Mechanic does. I use both Hertfelt and HBS with 65% beads, both are excellent" —August 12, 2012 18:38 PM
"Is this like the Cigar Swami?" —June 11, 2012 01:12 AM
"I agree with Danny - the customer service is great and they do have a patent on the system. My first HBS was damaged in shipping and customer service addressed it after-hours, over the Memorial day weekend and had the replacement to me 3 days later. It is similar to the Heartfelt system, but I have not done a side by side comparison on performance between the two. " —June 1, 2012 10:24 AM
"Customer Service is Outstanding and I think they have a patent on the system. " —May 31, 2012 11:48 AM
"No different from heartfelt beads or cigar mech beads." —May 20, 2012 00:18 AM