Whether you've recently bought a guitar, or are a seasoned guitar owner, you need to protect your investment. We all know the heart pumping, stomach dropping, nauseating feeling when you fear something horrible has happened to your instrument. Without a guitar humidifier, that same gut wrenching reaction may occur when you open your guitar case and see a giant crack on the body of your guitar. Use this guide to find the best guitar humidifier to protect your investment.
No time to read? Here are our Top 5 Guitar Humidifiers:
Music Nomad MN300 Humitar (Editor's Choice)
Before the guitar you know and love today came into your arms, it was built in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. Wood can swell or shrink depending on the level of humidity in the air. Guitar factories and stores are pros at keeping the environment regulated. Unfortunately, when your guitar comes home you run the risk of exposing it to environmental dangers.
What can happen without a guitar humidifier?
- Prominent top grain (resembles the look of corduroy)
- Rough fret ends that stick out past the end of the fretboard
- Fret buzzing
- Loose braces, bridges, or neck joints
- Separation along the glue joints
- Changes in how the guitar plays
- A big ole crack in your guitar
The above symptoms occur because of the dryness in the air. If you live in a climate where you turn the heat on in your home, you'll want a humidifier. Winter weather makes the air dry and cold. Furnaces dry out the air even more, which sucks the moisture out of the guitar wood.
What are my guitar humidifier options?
The industry produces a variety of products to prevent the above symptoms from happening. We will cover three of the most popular methods to keep the wood of your guitar happy and healthy.
- Sound hole humidifier - covers the sound hole or sits between the sound hole and the strings
- Guitar case humidifier - sits in the case, typically under the headstock to keep the entire case regulated
- Room humidifier - regulates the humidity in the entire room
What is a sound hole humidifier?
The sound hole humidifier is the most popular and inexpensive guitar humidifier. Essentially, a wet sponge is kept in a reservoir that allows moisture to escape and humidify the body of your guitar.
A downside to the sound hole humidifier is that you'll have to re-wet the sponge on a regular basis. This will depend on the season, time of year, and region of the world you live in. We've found that depending on the product, you'll need to re-wet the sponge every 6-14 days.
Be careful! You want the humidifier damp, not wet. If the sponge is too wet, water will drip out of the reservoir and into your guitar. Then you have the exact opposite problem you were trying to prevent.
What is a guitar case humidifier?
The guitar case humidifier is the same concept as the sound hole humidifier, but instead attaches to the inside of your instrument case. This adds humidity to the entire instrument (as opposed to just the body like a sound hole humidifier).
What about a room humidifier?
A room humidifier is not specific to guitars, or even instruments. It simply adds moisture to the room. There are other health benefits to having a room humidifier in your home too. Increasing moisture in the air reduces airborne illnesses, improves your sleep, and makes it easier to breathe. Seems like some pretty good reasons, right?
If you have a guitar (or guitars) hanging on your wall, a room humidifier can be a great option to keep moisture in the air. You'll need to also buy a humidity monitor. This is so you can gauge how much (or how little) water is in the air. Room size is also a factor when considering a humidifier.
What's the BEST guitar humidifier option?
We have found that the tried and true method is actually a combination. Consider purchasing both a guitar case humidifier and a sound hole humidifier. This will ensure enough moisture is in the body of the guitar and at the headstock. If you often have your guitar out of the case, or on a stand, having a good sized room humidifier will make sure your guitar is in tip top condition.
You want to keep the room at 40-50% humidity. The best way to gauge the humidity in the room and make it constant is through a digital hygrometer. That way you'll know the exact level of humidity in the room.
The Music Nomad Humitar
The Music Nomad Humitar is a great sound hole humidifier. It can hold enough water to last you 10 days before it needs a refill. Inside is a super absorbent, anti-microbial treated sponge nestled softly inside a plastic container. The Music Nomad Humitar slips between the strings and sound hole. Bonus: Also comes in smaller sizes for ukuleles!
It has an anti-drip material which prevents any water leakage or damage. It's one of our favorites, because you can quickly check to see whether it's dry or not by flipping the top of the container. This product is a one buy only, you don't need to buy replacement sponges or containers, which saves you time and money.
- Easy to use
- Anti-Microbial sponge
- No replacement packs needed
- Refill every 10 days
- Needs to be in a case
D'Addario Acoustic Guitar Humidifier
The D'Addario Humidifier slowly releases moisture back into your guitar. This sound hole humidifier is incredibly easy to use. It hangs on the strings of your guitar so it doesn't touch or scratch the surface of your precious baby.
Again, you want to make sure the sponge is only damp and not dripping wet, otherwise you'll have another problem on your hands. Make sure to change out the sponge regularly, Adrienne used hers for so long the sponge got a little moldy.
The D'Addario Humidifier is low price option at a steal of a price, there is no reason not to buy it.
- Crazy cheap
- Easy to use
- Sponge can get moldy
- Need a case
The Oasis Case Humidifier
The Oasis Case Humidifier comes in what looks like a toothpaste container. Instead of a water and sponge, it has a special gel which holds up to 500 times its water wait. The gel is made of special crystals that expand into an absorbent paste. The cool part is it collapses in on itself when it's time to refill, which we think is kind of cool.
You don't need to worry about leakage, because this sucker is air tight with not one, but two levels of leakage protection.
- Won't leak
- Uses gel instead of water
- Will dry out quickly
- If it gets too dry it's tricky to refill
Martin Guitar Humidifier
The Martin Guitar Humidifier is a little tube to absorb and release humidity in your guitar. This little tube is actually a water suction system that can hold up to ten times it's weight in water. The tube is covered in tiny holes that allow the moisture to slowly emit into the inside of your instrument. Just put the tube through the sound hole and rest the end on the strings.
- Easy to use
- Low price
- Have to re-wet it every couple days in dry climates
Kyser Humidifier for Acoustic Guitars
The Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier is placed over your soundhole and regulates the humidity inside your guitar. You don't have to keep your instrument in the case, which makes it great for those that want to display their guitars on the wall or keep it out.
It fits the sound hole on standard body, dreadnaught, and jumbo sized guitars. It may not fit tightly on bigger sound holes, but it will still help and regulate the moisture inside your git. It even works on lutes and ukuleles.
- Can keep your guitar outside it's case
- Cool looking design
- May not fit perfectly over the soundhole
- Can be tricky to refill and insert
If you're a starving musician and don't have two guitar picks to rub together, check out Larry's quick do it yourself version of a guitar humidifier. All you need is paper towels and plastic lids (his are specifically from a container of chocolate covered cherries).
Do I have to spend money?