The Best Guitar Humidifiers & Case Hygrometers

The Highest Rated Guitar Humidifiers & Case Hygrometers

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Wood is susceptible to humidity changes, expanding or shrinking in response to moisture in the environment. And since guitars are made mostly of wood, they need to have stable moisture to prevent structural damage or deformity.

This is where guitar humidifiers come in, they help stabilize humidity by absorbing or releasing moisture in the air as needed. Hygrometers also help because they provide accurate humidity readings, so you can make adjustments where necessary.

Here we look at market favorite guitar humidifiers and hygrometers, September 2022 Edition, divided into three sections for your convenience: Humidifiers, Hygrometers and Humidifier + Hygrometer Bundles.

The Best Guitar Humidifiers & Case Hygrometers

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

The Best Guitar Humidifiers

MusicNomad MN300 Humitar Acoustic Guitar Humidifier

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 1250+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$15
MusicNomad MN300 Humitar Acoustic Guitar Humidifier

Cons

  • Applies some stress on the strings
  • Can't be secured inside the case

Pros

  • Anti-drip sponge
  • More water absorption
  • Easy access top cover
  • Intuitive and easy to maintain

What makes the MN300 better than other sponge humidifiers is its special sponge and intuitive design.

The "Humid-i-Bar" sponge absorbs more water than other sponges that I've tried. This ability to hold more water allows it to work consistently longer, reducing the need for water refills. I'm also impressed with its anti-drip design, even when fully soaked, water doesn't leak. Only a few drops of surface water drips back down to the bowl. This makes me confident that the sponge really is safe for guitar use.

The sponge goes inside a case that's very easy to use, and comes complete with an easy to open top cap with basic instructions. It is designed specifically for soundhole mounting. It is thin enough to slip in-between strings, and thick enough to be held up by string tension. The top portion has flaps that allow the unit to rest on the strings. Being soundhole mounted allows it to more efficiently maintain the humidity of acoustic guitars, and this is exactly what I use it for. Note that it does apply a bit of stress to the strings, bending them sideways out of their regular position. But in my experience, it's not bad enough to cause any substantial problems - see my video below to see for yourself.

Since the sponge doesn't leak, you can actually place the Humitar inside the guitar case, just make sure that it is placed where it won't accidentally scratch or damage the guitar. You can place it in the space below the headstock, or inside internal pockets - as long as the case is stationary.

Humitar Package
Humitar MN300 Packaging.

Easy maintenance is another big reason why I give the Humitar my thumbs up. All I have to do is open the top cap, and press on the sponge to feel if it's soft or hard. If it's soft, it still is working fine, if is getting harder, then I can quickly pull out the sponge and soak it in distilled water. Taking out the sponge quickly also allows me to check for discoloration that could be symptoms of problems like mold, dirt and debris. The sponge's light color makes it easier to see problem spots. Maintenance is easy and fool proof.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the MN300, highly recommended for guitarists that want an efficient and easy to use humidifier.

Specifications

  • Weight: 2.9 oz
  • Suspension: Held By Strings
  • Longevity: Medium

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Gearank Alexander Briones 94/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Demo

Here's a short video I made showing you the steps to set it up for the first time.

MusicNomad MN303 The Humitar Instrument Case Humidifier

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 375+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$17
MusicNomad MN303 The Humitar Instrument Case Humidifier
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Guitar Humidifier.

Cons

  • 3M adhesive can damage your case
  • Not as effective as soundhole humidifiers

Pros

  • Attaches to the inside of a case
  • Easy to check via popup top cap
  • Intuitive design
  • Non-dripping sponge

The MusicNomad MN303 Humitar Instrument Case Humidifier functions similar to soundhole humidifiers, but there is a key difference, rather than being suspended on your guitar’s strings, this one can attach to the inside of your guitar case.

The humidifier itself is not much different to the MN300, having the same non-dripping sponge, and compact plastic enclosure with easy open top cap. What allows it to stay secure inside a case is the included "case holster". This holster holds the humidifier on one side, while the other side has a strong 3M adhesive which allows it to stick to a particular spot inside the case.

MN303 Holster
Holster with Adhesive - Image Courtesy of MusicNomad.

The obvious downside to the case holster is that once it sticks, it cannot be easily removed or moved around. So you have to consider the position carefully before sticking it to the inside the case. It should be positioned in a way that does not have direct contact to your guitar, which usually is within the space under the headstock. On the flipside, its simple adhesive design makes it stable and reliable, and there's no need for any complex modification done on your case. You can also easily detach the humidifier from the holster, so as long as you don't need to move the holster, you won't have any problems.

Since it sits in the case, it can be used with essentially any stringed instrument, making it a great tool for multi-instrumentalists. Positioning is flexible, you don't have to worry about it damaging your guitar or strings, as long as you attach it where it doesn't come into direct contact with the guitar. The downside to this design is that it may not be as efficient as soundhole humidifiers where it works within the body, it may not be enough for use in locations with extreme humidity changes.

Checking the sponge of the MN303 is a snap. Simply pop open the top and touch the sponge, if it’s soft leave it and if it’s hard, take it out. As always, be sure to use distilled water with your humidifier.

Specifications

  • Weight: 3.2 oz
  • Suspension: Sits in Case
  • Longevity: Medium

Oasis OH-1 Guitar Humidifier

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 950+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$20
Oasis OH-1 Guitar Humidifier

Cons

  • May not fit inside tight cases
  • Needs to be pulled out to check moisture

Pros

  • Compact syringe profile
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Non-dripping cloth exterior
  • Very efficient at absorbing and releasing moisture

Instead of using a sponge, the Oasis OH-1 uses a special type of gel to humidify without leaking water on your instrument. This allows it to work just as well as sponge types, while having a smaller profile that's easy to position and maintain.

The OH-1 looks and operates much like a syringe, with a stabilizer bar that allows it to sit on top of your instruments' strings. Once it's properly setup, it is designed to maintain 45% to 55% relative humidity inside the guitar body, when outside humidity is within 25% to 40%.

Maintenance work is quite simple, you just need to open the top cap and pour in just enough distilled water. The water is then absorbed by the Humigel crystals inside, these crystals are super water absorbent, and they serve as the humidifier's sponge. The exterior is made from a special cloth that prevents excess water from leaking out while allowing evaporated moisture to pass through.

Oasis OH-1 Refilling
Needs refilling - Image Courtesy of Oasis.

The Humigel crystals lose their water absorbing capability after some time, so they will need to be replaced. Refilling the media differs depending on humidity levels in your area. If you're not careful, the gels can also fall out of the syringe, in this case you'll have to remove what's remaining and replace everything via a Humigel replacement kit.

The compact design also makes it viable for acoustic guitars with smaller, or distinctly shaped soundholes, like those from Ovation guitars. Note that the cap is a bit thick, and might not fit inside tight cases. The downside to its special media is that there's no easy way to check if it needs refilling. You'll have to push the strings to the side and pull it out gently to not damage its special cloth like exterior. Once pulled out, you can check if the OH-1 has shrunk and needs refilling of water.

The versatility of the OH-1's small profile makes it a safe pick regardless of the type of guitar you own.

Specifications

  • Weight: 0.8 oz
  • Suspension: Held By Strings
  • Longevity: Long

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Acoustic Life Tony Polecastro 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

The Best Guitar Case Hygrometer

At their simplest, hygrometers provide a measurement of humidity, but most come combined with a thermometer to give you a temperature measurement as well.

MusicNomad MN305 HumiReader Hygrometer, Humidity & Temperature Monitor

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$33
MusicNomad MN305 HumiReader Hygrometer, Humidity & Temperature Monitor

Cons

  • One more guitar related gadget to worry about

Pros

  • Can work as soundhole or in-case hygrometer
  • Accurate reading when used on the soundhole
  • Great for checking effectivity of humidifier
  • Can double as room hygrometer

The MusicNomad MN305 HumiReader Hygrometer, Humidity & Temperature Monitor is a great, no frills in-case thermometer and hygrometer. It comes in a compact size and shape that's similar to the MusicNomad Humitar MN300, which makes it easy to use and store if not needed.

Its main selling point is that it can actually rest in your guitar strings, giving you a more accurate reading of the humidity your guitar is experiencing, compared to room hygrometers. And more importantly, it's small enough to sit on the strings together with the Humitar, so you can get readings and humidify your guitar at the same time.

Aside from being soundhole mounted, this unit comes with a mounting holster, similar to the Humitar MN303, allowing it to be stored in the case. The holster has a 3M adhesive that lets you stick it inside a safe spot within a guitar case. Just make sure that it's positioned properly where it doesn't come in contact with your guitar. Aside from being a soundhole and in-case hygrometer, you can also leave it sitting out in your room if you happen to need a room humidifier.

MN305 Holster
Holster with Adhesive - Image Courtesy of MusicNomad.

While this isn’t a must-have feature, the MN305 also comes with a reminder of the proper humidity level and temperature for a guitar. It’s a huge help if you’re not used to having to humidify your instruments, because the unit itself will always remind you what the proper temperature and humidity ranges are for your instrument. Using a hygrometer also allows you to check the effectiveness of humidifiers, and the readings can also be indicators for refilling your humidifier.

The main downer is that it's one more guitar related gadget to worry about, which complicates guitar maintenance. But it is a necessary compromise for those who want to better protect their expensive instruments.

If you're looking for a versatile hygrometer that can rest on the soundhole or in-case, then this one is for you.

Specifications

  • Weight: 0.3 oz
  • Features: Humidity Readout, Temperature Readout

The Best Humidifier + Guitar Case Hygrometer Bundle

These are packages that have a Humidifier paired with a Hygrometer and can be cheaper and more convenient than buying them separately.

MusicNomad MN306 Humidity Care System

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 325+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$40
MusicNomad MN306 Humidity Care System with Humidifier and Hygrometer

Cons

  • Two more extra pieces of gear to worry about
  • Comes with only 1 mounting holster

Pros

  • Includes humidifier and hygrometer
  • Soundhole or in-case mounting
  • Simple and straightforward operation
  • Efficient humidification + accurate reading

The MusicNomad MN306 combines their best selling products, the Humitar (MN300) and Humireader (MN305), in an affordable bundle.

Both of them made it to this list as standalone units based on their individual ratings, and getting them in a single package allows you to save some money, and get everything that you need to protect your guitar from humidity in one go. And since they have similar form factors, use and maintenance is simple and straightforward

The Humitar MN300 is a soundhole mounted humidifier, with a special Humid-i-Bar sponge inside that's good at absorbing and releasing moisture without leaking water. It is designed primarily to sit on the strings and humidiy the guitar right inside the soundhole. The Humireader MN305 is a hygrometer that is similar in shape to the MN300. It can also sit on the strings to provide more accurate reading. More importantly, both of them can fit into a regular sized soundhole, so you get the benefit of a hygrometer and humidifier.

Humitar Sponge
No leak Humid-i-Bar sponge

The MN306 bundle also comes with a mounting holster, which allows you to secure either the humidifier or the hygrometer inside a guitar case. The holster has an adhesive that lets you stick it on to an open area inside the guitar case, usually near the headstock support. With this, you can reduce the extra tension that's being applied on the strings by just having one of them on the soundhole. It would've been nice if it came with two mounting holsters, so that both the humidifier and hygrometer can be mounted in-case.

MN306 Together
Humitar and Humireader together - Image Courtesy of MusicNomad.

The downside to this set up is that you're complicating guitar maintenance with two new tools. But these tools are important if you want to make your previous acoustic guitar last long.

If you're looking for an affordable way to measure and maintain your acoustic guitar's humidity levels, then check out the MN306 package.

Overall

Specifications

  • Weight: 3.2 oz
  • Suspension: Sits in Case
  • Longevity: Medium

Things to Consider When Buying a Guitar Humidifier or Guitar Case Hygrometer

If you’re not sure why you need a humidifier, or you just want to brush up on your knowledge before you throw any money down, check out the sections below.

Why Do I Need To Humidify My Guitar?

The first thing you need to know about your guitar is that, like any other piece of wood, it swells and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. An excess of humidity causes your guitar to swell (as do hot temperatures) and too little humidity causes it to contract (cold causes the same thing). This can cause cracks in your guitar, potentially destroying your instrument.

Climate and Humidity

As a general rule, when it comes to temperature if you wouldn’t want to sleep where you're keeping your guitar you probably shouldn’t keep it there. There isn’t a definite temperature range, but your guitar should be kept at a temperature that would be comfortable for you.

When it comes to humidity, your guitar should be kept in an environment with somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% to 40%. You can measure the amount of humidity in a room (or your guitar case) with a hygrometer.

Which Guitars Are Most Susceptible to Humidity?

All solid woods are susceptible to humidity, because they’re a solid piece of wood flexing. If they flex too much, or too often, cracks occur. While solid wood instruments generally sound better, guitars made with laminate woods are more resistant to humidity because the instrument is made up of layers of wood. Because it’s made up of layers as opposed to being one solid piece, a laminate instrument will flex in situations where a solid wood instrument would break.

The Best Way To Humidify Your Guitar (And How to do It)

The best way, by far, to humidify your guitar is to use an in-case humidifier alongside a digital hygrometer. The smaller the volume the easier it is to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity. If you leave the door open to your room, or if the heater kicks on in the middle of the night, your guitar can begin the process of drying out. If this happens consistently you can still end up with cracks in your instrument even if you’re using an in-room humidifier.

To humidify a guitar in your case, all you have to do is buy an in-case humidifier, supply it with water, and stick it in your case. The only thing you need to be aware of is that, for humidifiers that use a sponge, you want to dampen the humidifier (not flood it). Water can wreak havoc on your instrument, so take care when using a humidifier.

Best Guitar Humidifier Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2017 and the current edition was published on September 6, 2022.

We looked through all the Guitar Humidifiers and Guitar Case Hygrometers available from major online American music gear retailers and selected the most promising to put on our short-list to produce Gearank Ratings for - you can see many of them in our Music Gear Database. We then gathered and analyzed relevant ratings, reviews, forum discussions and videos including the most recent feedback up to September 2022. All the data we gathered added up to over 13,800 sources (12.2% more than the previous edition), all of which were then processed via the Gearank Algorithm to produce rating scores out of 100 for each of them. Finally, we selected the highest rated options to recommend above. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

After having had encountered humidity problems first hand, I've been diligently using humidifiers on my guitars. I personally prefer the simplicity and reliability of sponge based humidifiers like the MN300. To make sure it works consistently, I set weekly reminders to check on the sponge.

Contributors

Alden Acosta: Product research.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: By Gearank.com incorporating photographs of the D'Addario GH, Oasis OH-1, Oasis OH-2C and a photograph by Wicker Paradise which was used and modified under a CC BY 2.0 license.

The MN300 Demo video is by Alexander Briones and has been embedded in accordance with YouTube's Terms of Service.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers, except for those that contain the Gearank logo which were made by us.

Comments

Does my acoustic humidifier

Does my acoustic humidifier have to be in the case, or can the guitar be left hanging on the wall?

These types of humidifiers

These types of humidifiers have to be with the guitar in the case.

To hang a guitar on the wall you would need to get a room humidifier instead.