There are some things you buy to be used with your guitar for convenience. But there are some accessories that are bought for prevention, and those are the ones people usually ignore. For instance, people would invest in a good strap for their guitar. Not just that, they might even take days to choose a specific design and quality they want. But they will never put in half that effort to get a good, reliable strap lock. Similarly, people invest in great guitars but ignore the cases. Great guitars demand great care and hence, great guitar cases. You should not buy a Gibson, a Martin, or a Taylor if you intend to keep them in a bag instead of a hard case.
However, there is one thing that is ignored way more than any of this, although the damage its absence can make is equal to, if not more, other severe damages that can occur with a lack of protective gear. This one thing is a humidifier.
Temperatures and humidity, especially if they are fluctuating, cause unseen damage to your guitar. You might pick your guitar one day and realize it has lost its tone. You will check everything in the instrument, and everything will appear to be just fine. But the instrument just won’t sound the same, and never will. Things like these often happen with guitarists and usually, it is the temperature and humidity that is to be blamed.
Guitars are to be kept at average temperature and humidity. If the humidity is too low, the body of your guitar will crack and once it does, it is obvious that it will not produce the same tone or sound as it used to. The wood gets dry and loses its moisture and not to forget, this is not limited to low end and unbranded guitars. Any guitar in the world can lose moisture from its body if the climate is too dry. On the contrary, the wood will warp and lose its shape if it gets too much moisture. If the body loses the shape, no repair will work. Your dream guitar, your all-time favorite model will be of no use once its body loses form.
This is exactly why humidifiers exist. Yes, there is a small device that can maintain humidity levels of your guitar. If the humidity levels are maintained, nothing will happen to your guitar’s body and it will always keep sounding that crispy and beautiful both at the same time. There are three types of guitar humidifiers. There is a sound hole humidifier, a guitar case humidifier, and a room humidifier. The sound hole humidifier is a small rubber device that goes into the sound hole of your guitar. It looks more like a tube, though. Primarily, they are made for acoustic guitars. Obviously not electric guitars, but they might suit a semi-hollow or a hollow body guitar just as good as acoustic guitars. The guitar case humidifier, on the other hand, is supposed to be installed in your guitar case. The purpose is essentially the same, but you can choose this one if you do not like something inside your guitar body or sound hole. A guitar case will fix in one of the sides of your case and keep the humidity of your case maintained. It has a similar effect on the guitar; it stays fresh and does not lose its tone over the years. If you have multiple instruments and you keep them in one room, there are room humidifiers available. You can keep them in one room and just install a humidifier in either of the corners of the room. It will keep all the guitars healthy and balance their moisture levels.
It can be a pretty tedious task to choose one out of infinitely many guitar humidifiers. All of them have their pros and cons. We have shortlisted the top ten for you. Let’s take a look at the list and figure out which one would be your best choice.
Top 10 Best Guitar Humidifiers 2020 Reviews
1. Music Nomad MN300 Humitar Acoustic Guitar Humidifier
Music Nomad is known to make the best instrument care equipment since forever. They keep two things as their utmost priority: the functionality and the pricing. By functionality, we mean that they design their products such that they are easy to use, and they also complete the job perfectly. The second priority is the pricing, where they make sure that their product is extremely fairly priced because they know how many expenses does a guitarist face.
MN300 is probably the best choice in humidifiers. It is made such that it keeps the guitar perfectly humid, not more and not less, and does not cause any collateral mess in the process. It takes care of 3 major problems caused by humidity, that are, shrinking, warping, and cracking. Also, it is anti-drip. The water droplets won’t get a chance to touch your guitar body and damage it.
The design is pretty basic. It is a sponge covered in a plastic case that you have to slide inside your guitar body through the strings. The top will rest on the strings. But before you actually do that, you will have to do a couple of things. First, you will have to soak the humidifier in distilled water. Yes, distilled water. Tap water would not keep the wood of your guitar safe. To be sure that the sponge has absorbed enough water, you can pull the top lid of the casing out and check. Just soak it once again if it feels dry. Normally, one soak is enough for another three or so weeks. But that entirely depends on the humidity in the environment of the region your guitar is in. Initially, you might feel like the humidifier is demanding frequent re-soaks. That is usually because your guitar is pretty dry.
MN300 does not require any other, extra equipment or attachments. It is enough just how it is and super easy to use.
2. Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier
Established in the 1970s, Kyser is a company based in the US that manufactures products for several string instruments. Guitar is just one of those instruments and a humidifier is one of those products. They now have their distributions in over 70 countries, so they are now really big. The design of the humidifier is pretty minimalist and clearly different from MN300. It is more like a black cover of the sound hole.
Installing this one into the guitar might be a little tricky. However, Kyser has made sure there are enough videos over the internet, especially on their official handles, that instruct the entire process step by step. The humidifier is to be soaked in distilled water and excess water from the top and bottom is to be removed completely. The sponge inside has the water needed. It is after this that it has to be inserted into the sound hole.
Lifeguard humidifier holds water up to 3 days, or maybe more, depending on the climate. But the best part is they are available in multiple sizes. Hence, every guitar, small or large, can be accommodated. Sound holes from 3 1/3 inches to 4 1/8 inches can be accommodated.
3. Boveda 2-way Humidity Control, 10-Pack
Boveda is a US-based firm situated in Minnesota. Their primary business is to manufacture guitar equipment and the primary focus is evident in their product quality and design. This 2-way Humidity Control by Boveda will be enough for almost 3 to 6 months and control your guitar’s humidity completely.
As per their claims, the Boveda 2-way Humidity Control will provide 45-55% humidity to your guitar. According to standards, the guitar needs 35-55% humidity to withhold its quality of sound and tone. Hence, even the numbers prove that the 2-way Humidity Control does the job.
Interestingly, this one is not a sound hole humidifier. It is a guitar case humidifier. So basically, all you need to do is put them in your guitar case and that is pretty much about it. There is no extra installation or fixing needed. However, there is only one catch. These humidifiers have to be in a closed environment at all times. Like, your guitar case needs to be closed, always. Sure, you can open it to pull your instrument out or keep it in, but the case needs to be closed immediately. Moreover, the feedback system these small things have is pretty interesting. How would you know when have they gotten dry? They will get hard. Touch them every once in a while, and you will realize when they need a refill. Again, that is super, super easy.
Roveda’s 2-way Humidity Control makes sure your guitar is never over-humidified. Like it is just not possible. Why? Because they use a natural process called reverse osmosis. It uses salts to naturally control water vapors under the aforementioned percentage. If that is not a brilliant design, nothing is.
4. Oasis OH-1 Original Guitar Humidifier
OH-1 from Oasis is another brilliantly simple design for humidification purposes. This product is nothing but a cylinder with a slim, flat horizontal head. It is supposed to sit inside the sound hole in your guitar and the flat head stays over the strings. You can put it down there any way you like but ideally, you should insert in between the strings G and D, which are 3rd and 4th string on a guitar. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
The design otherwise is also pretty basic and simple. It has a sponge that is made of a composite material. Water soaked into it turns into a little harder substance, more like a gel maybe. It is because of this thick substance that there are absolutely no chances of leakages in the design. The level of this substance inside the sponge is also clearly visible, so you will pretty easily know when to refill the humidifier. A syringe is given with the humidifier that is used to refill it, so no dipping it in water is required. It is three and a half inches in length, which tells that it sits deep down your guitar and moisturizes every bit of it perfectly. However, it is also necessary that you check the depth of the sound hole in your guitar. Usually, it is more than 3.5 inches but checking certainly does not hurt. It should be at least that. Also, interestingly enough, the humidifier will stay in its place irrespective of the position of your guitar and case. You can keep the case upright and it will tell work perfectly.
In a nutshell, this humidifier probably has the best usability ever. It is small, simple, and pulls the job off smoothly without any errors.
5. Oasis OH-6 Case Humidifier
Pretty similar to its predecessor, OH-6 is an upgraded version of the OH-1. That is in the sense that OH-1 was only made for guitars but OH-6, being a case humidifier, can be used for any stringed or orchestral instrument. It is installed in the case and would work for an electric solid body, electric hollow body, Oudh, violin, harp, Rebab, or pretty much any instrument that needs humidification.
In design, it is more or less similar to the OH-1. It is cylindrical in shape, almost the same size, and comes with a syringe. The water, again, turns into a gel-like substance so there are no chances of spillage. It also shows the level of water so you would not have to take it out and check. Behind it, unlike the OH-1, is a clip. This clip fixes very firmly to any part of the case and then the magnets come in action. There are two of them, one on the clip and the other on the humidifier. So, once you clip it wherever you want inside the case, the magnets firmly grip each other. You can move your case as much as you want to, you can keep it horizontally or upright. Nothing will affect the humidifier. It is not going to leave its place. However, it is advised that you keep your case closed unless you need to pull your instrument out or put it back. Generally, it will need three syringe fills to fill the humidifier completely for the first time. After that, you can just follow the levels.
6. D’Addario Humidipak Automatic Humidity Control System
Okay, so this one is even simpler than the ones you have read about till now. D’Addario always lives up to its name.
This is a pack of humidifiers made for acoustic guitars. There is absolutely no installation needed. It comes with two pouches. All you have to do is put one of them in each pouch and put one pouch on the sound hole of your guitar and the other on the headstock. There are two pouches because usually one design takes care of the entire guitar. But in this one, the one at the sound hole would not work for the neck and headstock. Hence, two pouches.
Moreover, the most mesmerizing part about this product is the fact that it can not only increase but also decrease humidity levels! It will also absorb moisture if it is too much for your guitar. Which is also probably the reason why they claim such a precise percentage range: 45-50%. According to standards, the humidity levels for guitars should be between 35% to 55%. The product’s range does not only fall in the standard range, but it is impossibly precise compared to other humidifiers.
It is also pretty easy to figure out when to replace them. The humidifiers become crisp and crunchy. Just keep checking them once in a while and whenever they feel like this, replace them. The pack will last for about two months plus or minus, depending upon the geographical region, duh.
7. Herco HE360 Guitar Humidifier
Natural solutions to problems have always proven to be the best. That was probably Herco’s motto while developing this product. The design is nothing that you have seen till now or might have ever imagined. It is not a plastic-coated sponge that goes in the sound hole of your guitar. It is also not a circular thing that would cover the sound hole. It is not even a pouch that you might have to put on the headstock, and it is also not something you can clip in the case. Then what is it? It is clay. Yes, clay!
This is the smartest a company has ever been in manufacturing a humidifier. Clay can release moisture as needed by the surrounding. And that was Herco’s solution right there. It is clay in a plastic box that you fill water in. Once it absorbs it, remove the excess water, and place it anywhere you like in your guitar case. That is pretty much about it!
But you will have to keep checking it time and again. If you feel the clay is gotten dry, it is time to refill it. It has an insanely long life, it is natural and 100% safe, it works in gig bags, and it can be used for any wooden instrument at all.
8. D’Addario Acoustic Guitar Humidifier
Well actually, D’Addario does not manufacture this one, Planet Waves does. Planet Waves is another company in the D’Addario Group, and this guitar humidifier is probably an inferior solution to the same problem. While the upper segment might be able to easily afford the Humidipak by D’Addario, this one is for the middle and lower segment. It is not as sophisticated and hence, cheaper.
The design itself is just like other usual humidifiers. It is a plastic case that has a sponge inside it. Soak it in water and put it inside the sound hole in your guitar. It slowly starts to release the moisture as per the need, it does not usually drip and holds a certain amount of water so refills are needed after quite a while and not as frequently as some other humidifiers.
9. Soarun Acoustic Guitar Humidifier
No major changes in the design. It is a plastic container that has a sponge in it. Well, it does not even come as a surprise because this design is kind of a standard when it comes to humidifiers. And when you follow standards, your customers do not need additional learning or guidance to use the product. Your product is like any other product, but you compete in the market with your quality.
Soarun has sort of done the same. Although the design is completely identical to the standard humidifier design, the sponge that they use is extremely dense. The plastic container has holes on the sides, so you do not even need to pull the sponge out to refill. Just submerge the entire thing in water and pull it out. According to Soarun, the sponge in the humidifier would not need more than 3 teaspoons to be filled. It fits in between the strings and goes inside your sound hole, just like the standard design. And it might not need a refill for a month or so.
10. Arion In-Case Humidifier
Talk about innovation. Arion probably wins the humidifier race because their design, in fact, the entire product is pretty different from others.
Arion’s in-case humidifier is a simple cuboid measuring 6 by 1 by 1.6 inches. It is a transparent plastic body with a red cap and a small instruction “full-line” on it. It has a solution inside it that is Arion’s proprietary innovation. It has some hydrogels, but other ingredients are unknown. This solution does not need any distilled water, and this is probably the best feature of this humidifier. It works perfectly well with tap water. You might be wondering how does the vapor travel when it is a plastic casing, yeah? No worries. It is not just any plastic; it is specifically designed for this purpose. It has microscopic pours in it that let the vapors leave but in an extremely controlled fashion. Once you fill the humidifier, you typically would not need to worry for about 3 months. The life of the humidifier itself is in years if you use it decently. Needless to say, it is an in-case humidifier, so it simply sits inside your case. No extra technicalities involved.
Guitar humidifiers have some basic features to judge them on. They are ease of use, refill frequency, life, and the price obviously. In the varying designs of humidifiers, what you will check first will be easy of use. How easy it is to understand how it works? How easy it is to fit it in the guitar or the case? How easy it is to pull it out and refill? These are some questions you might want an answer for before you move on to something else. Then, you move to refill frequency. Some humidifiers need refilling every third day and some work fine for 3ish months. So, it all depends. And obviously, the one that needs the least number of refills per year should ideally be your choice. And then you check the simpler factors, the life, and the price.