Choosing the Best Guitar Humidifier
What is a guitar humidifier? How does a guitar humidifier work? In this article, you will find every answer you are looking for.
As guitarists, we instinctively want to keep our guitars away from water. However, if you live in a dry climate, you may need to expose your guitar to humidity to keep it in good condition.
Your guitar can experience fret buzz, warping, and cracking if the relative humidity level in your home is too low. Once a guitar dries out, it can be difficult, or sometimes impossible, to revitalize it. That is why a guitar humidifier is an important investment.
So, how low is too low when it comes to the humidity level in your home? Is a guitar case humidifier or room humidifier best for your instrument?
Let’s dive into everything you need to know about guitar humidifiers and look at some of the best options on the market.
- What is a guitar humidifier?
- The three different types of guitar humidifiers and how to use them.
- Our selection of the best six guitar humidifiers on the market.
- 1. Best overall: D’Addario Planet Waves Humidipak
- 2. Best soundhole humidifier: Music Nomad Humitar Acoustic Guitar Soundhole Humidifier
- 3. Best guitar humidifier for extra dry climates: Oasis OH-5 Plus Guitar Humidifier
- 4. Best room humidifier for under $100: Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Room Humidifier
- 5. Best budget humidifier: Herco Guitar Humidifier Complete Care System
- 6. Best humidifier with hygrometer: Guitto 2-in-1 Humidity Care System + Hygrometer
- Take care of your guitar and reap the benefits.
What is a guitar humidifier?
The ideal humidity level for a guitar is between 45 and 55 percent. Using a guitar humidifier, you can ensure your guitar stays in the appropriate relative humidity range.
Guitar humidifiers come in many shapes and sizes. Unlike a Piano Humidifier, which can cost over $500 to install, guitar humidifiers are relatively inexpensive and easy to use.
Some guitar humidifiers rest inside the guitar’s sound hole, while others attach to the strings. You can also use a room humidifier if you leave your guitar on a stand or own more than one guitar.
Why and when do you need one?
You may need a guitar humidifier even if your guitar stays in a climate-controlled area. Seasonal weather can affect the relative humidity level. Although you might not feel the difference in your home, your guitar may be adversely affected.
Here are a few signs that your guitar is too dry:
- Gaps or humps where the fretboard attaches.
- A low-string action.
- The frets extend over the fretboard.
- A flat back or sunken top
Start by monitoring the humidity level and temperature of your home and guitar. You can do this by setting up a hygrometer in your music nook or your guitar case. Then, you know if your home is too humid, too dry, or just right.
Always check the humidity level throughout the year because it often fluctuates. For example, a home might fall into the ideal humidity range in the spring. However, your house may become too dry when you turn on the heater for the winter months.
If you live in a tropical area, you may have the opposite problem. You certainly don’t want to introduce a humidifier into an already humid home. Too much humidity can cause your guitar to swell or create mold in your home.
Monitoring your humidity level lets you know if you need a guitar humidifier to protect your instrument.
How does a guitar humidifier work
When the relative humidity falls into the 20 to 35 percent range, it’s time to invest in a guitar humidifier.
Soundhole humidifiers and guitar case humidifiers are the most common among guitarists. These humidifiers work by using sponges, clay, or water tubes to create the right amount of moisture for your guitar.
Usually, you need to apply water to the humidifier at least once a week. In arid climates or homes with wood heat, you may need to re-wet the humidifier as often as every five days.
The three different types of guitar humidifiers and how to use them.
Just like your hands need lotion when they dry out, your guitar needs some moisture to continue doing its job. Guitar humidifiers come in three main types: Soundhole humidifiers, guitar case humidifiers, and room humidifiers.
A soundhole humidifier is a sponge material that rests in the sound chamber of your instrument. Usually, the humidifier hangs from the guitar strings, so it’s near the guitar wood without touching it. In most cases, you should store your guitar flat inside its case with a soundhole humidifier.
Guitar case humidifiers
A guitar case humidifier is similar to a soundhole humidifier. Instead of resting inside your instrument, this version sits inside the guitar case. Place the humidifier so the guitar won’t directly come in contact with it. For example, you can attach the humidifier to the sidewall or underneath the guitar neck. Some guitar case humidifiers also come with a gauge allowing you to see the humidity level inside the case.
Room humidifiers are not common as soundhole and guitar case humidifiers. These can be handy if you have a music room with multiple guitars. Some room humidifiers allow you to set your ideal humidity level. Then, it automatically maintains that level for you.
Decide between a console humidifier or one that goes through your air ducts. Then choose a room humidifier that matches the size of your music room.
Room humidifiers are usually more expensive than the other options. However, if you have several instruments, it may be a worthwhile option.
Our selection of the best six guitar humidifiers on the market.
Guitar humidifiers are an inexpensive way to protect the investment you made in your guitar. Some guitar humidifiers run as low as three dollars and can last for six months or more.
Here are a few of the best guitar humidifiers on today’s market.
1. Best overall: D’Addario Planet Waves Humidipak
The Planet Waves Humidipak is one of our favorite guitar humidifiers because it requires no maintenance. Its two-way humidity control balances your guitar’s humidity level for you.
You don’t have the hassle of rewatering sponges or filling up tubes. Instead, this kit comes with three individual humidity packs. One fits under the guitar neck, and another hangs over the strings into the sound hole.
These Humidipaks shoulder the responsibility of keeping the inside of a hardshell guitar case at a 45 to 50% relative humidity level. They are also capable of adding or removing moisture according to the need.
The Planet Waves Humidipaks can protect your guitar for up to six months. This user-friendly kit doesn’t have to worry about spills or refills.
2. Best soundhole humidifier: Music Nomad Humitar Acoustic Guitar Soundhole Humidifier
The Music Nomad Humitar is a favorite humidifier choice for guitarists. It releases moisture slowly so your guitar can stay in tip-top shape.
The Music Nomad is incredibly simple to use and is anti-drip. The sponge holds its weight in water ten times, so you don’t have to rewet it as often. While most humidifiers need rewetting at least once a week, this one can last almost two weeks. The sponge hardens when it is dry. That makes it easy to know when you should add more distilled water.
Once the sponge is ready, slip it into its cover and hang the humidifier from the strings inside the soundhole. Then, let the Music Nomad take care of your guitar.
3. Best guitar humidifier for extra dry climates: Oasis OH-5 Plus Guitar Humidifier
The Oasis OH-5 Plus is ready to handle even the driest climates. It is compact but can produce up to 50% more humidity than much of its competition. However, this increased output also means you must refill the humidifier more often. Use a syringe to fill up the tube with distilled water. Then fit the humidifier down into the soundhole. When it dries up, it sends a visual signal that you need to rewater it.
If you live in high altitudes, a desert area, or suffer bitterly cold winters, this Oasis OH-5 Plus humidifier can take good care of your guitar.
4. Best room humidifier for under $100: Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Room Humidifier
This Everlasting Comfort room humidifier has a six-liter capacity and can run for 50 hours without a refill. So, if you use it for eight hours a day, you only have to fill it up once a week. It is large enough to cover up to 500 square feet. Adjust the intensity of the mist as needed, then direct the humidifier so that the mist doesn’t fall directly on your instruments.
The Everlasting Comfort mister works quietly to keep your guitar safe and shuts off automatically. You even have the option to add essential oils to this humidifier’s tray. With this humidifier, you can make your guitar room a zen escape that is healthy for you and your guitar.
5. Best budget humidifier: Herco Guitar Humidifier Complete Care System
These Herco guitar humidifiers are some of the cheapest on the market. On Amazon, you can find one for under five dollars.
The simple design uses clay instead of sponges to release moisture into a guitar case slowly. These humidifiers are also long-lasting. You can put off rewetting them for two to three weeks.
Some customers added extra holes to the lids to release humidity more effectively. Others took off the humidifiers’ lids completely. (Just make sure that the container stays upright so that it doesn’t leak moisture on your guitar or in its case.)
The Herco Complete Care System isn’t fancy but gets the job done for a great price.
6. Best humidifier with hygrometer: Guitto 2-in-1 Humidity Care System + Hygrometer
The Guitto 2-in-1 has good value for the price. For under 20 dollars, you can bring home a humidifier and a hygrometer. The addition of the hygrometer lets you know if your humidity level needs adjusting. This tool fits into the sound hole without putting pressure on the strings or stretching them. Instead, it rests on the wooden ledge of the sound hole.
You can use a syringe to fill the recipient with distilled water drops. The multiple holes allow the humidifier to distribute humidity evenly through your guitar. This helpful tool is inexpensive and can help protect your guitar from drying out.
Take care of your guitar and reap the benefits.
A guitar humidifier continues to can keep your guitar sounding great for years to come. And a great-sounding guitar can motivate you to keep practicing your guitar skills.
To learn how to enjoy your guitar to the fullest, you can beef up your skills with Simply Guitar. This app allows you to learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home.