7 Best Guitar Humidifiers in 2018 – For Maintaining the Perfect Humidity Level

Guitars are usually constructed in an environment where humidity is meticulously controlled.Guitar manufacturers and luthiers know that the slightest change in relative humidity could cause wood to warp or swell before the guitar is even finished. Guitar stores are then entrusted with the finished product and they are (normally) good at keeping guitars safe from temperature and humidity extremes.

When you buy a guitar, maintenance is down to you as the guitar once you get that guitar home. Unfortunately a lot of guitar owners, despite spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on their guitar, don’t give humidity a moment’s thought. The consequences can be seriously bad for the longevity of your guitar. Consequences of not regulating humidity can range from negatively affecting the tone of your guitar, all the way to cracks appearing, wood warping or in extreme circumstances even frets loosening up.

Picture of lifeguard guitar humidifier

In this article we’re going to walk you through all the things you need to consider when purchasing one of these humidifiers, starting with whether you need one in the first place. From there we’ll discuss the different options available and we’ll show you the best humidifiers on the market.

If you’re in a rush, here’s a quick overview of what we review:

At a Glance: Our Choice of the Best Guitar Humidifiers on the Market

PREVIEW PRODUCT FEATURES

D’Addario Accessories Humidipak Two-Way Humidification System – Automatically Adjusts to Maintain Constant 45% Relative Humidity Level Within Guitar Case – Protects Instrument from Humidity Damage

D’Addario Humidipak – Two Way Control Humidifier
  • Convenient, easy to use
  • Includes headstock and soundhole pouches
  • Can be used as both a guitar case and soundhole humidifier
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Music Nomad MN300 Humitar Acoustic Guitar Humidifier

MusicNomad’s ‘The Humitar’ – One-way control humidifier
  • Soundhole and a Case Humidifier
  • Reusable sponge
  • Relatively low cost
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Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier - for acoustic guitars

Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier
  • Highly effective body hydration
  • Neat and tidy
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Oasis OH-6 Case Humidifier

Oasis Instrument Humidifier
  • Automatically collapses when it needs replacing
  • Stays stable in your case
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Martin Guitar Humidifier

Martin Guitar Humidifier
  • Very simple design
  • Consistent hydration
  • Reusable
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Pure Enrichment PEHUMIDIF MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, Blue

MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
  • Humidifies an entire room of guitars
  • Strong hydration power
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InnoGear 2nd Version Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Ultrasonic Diffusers Cool Mist Humidifier with 7 Colors LED Lights and Waterless Auto Shut-off for Home Office Bedroom Room

InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser & Cool Mist Humidifier
  • Releases soothing scent whilst humidifying room
  • Humidifies several guitars at once
  • Very quiet device
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Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

Ok let’s get started. Here’s what we cover in this article, jump directly to a section of interest or preferably start from the top and work your way down to ensure you make the right purchasing decision.

What is a Guitar Humidifier?

Before we get to whether you need one or not, lets quickly clear up what a humidifier is and what they do.

Guitar humidifiers are small devices that you affix to your guitar in various ways (that we’ll go into later in the article) that regulate the level of humidity in and around your guitar

 

How Do They Work?

In general, guitar humidifiers work by regulating the amount of water in the atmosphere surrounding either the guitar’s body, case or the entire room you store your guitars in. According to Taylor guitars, Humidifiers are designed to provide conditions of 47% humidity for optimum guitar playability.

 

Do I Really Need to Regulate My Guitar’s Humidity?

Many of us live in states and cities that are built in dry, arid environments. In summer, air conditioning is on, then when the temperature drops, we turn on heaters and radiators which dries out the air in our homes. If the relative humidity in your home drops to under 30% for long enough, damage to your guitar’s body wood can start to take place. Fluctuation in humidity is a big problem: if where you live experiences extreme or even moderate humidity fluctuations, your guitar may suffer.

Humidity in a guitar factory is a constant 45%. By heating your home, your indoor humidity can get as low as 20%. Wood just doesn’t enjoy that drop in hydration. Without ever dropping your guitar or banging it against a wall, you may find it suddenly has a crack like the San Andreas fault.

 

Common Issues with Extreme Dry or Wet Environments

Both dryness and dampness have drastic effects on a guitar. Let’s explore each:

Dry Environments

In an extreme arid, dry environment common issues include:

  • neck bow (where a slight curve in the guitar neck brings the fretboard away from the strings)
  • lower string height (which causes buzzing notes)
  • cracking of the neck and/or guitar body
  • sunken guitar top
  • glue to dry out and wood to separate, major joints to become loose and frets to stick out
  • poor instrument tone

Maybe you’d read that a dry environment may even enhance your guitar’s tone? Well, ageing can cause cell crystallization and hardening of a guitar’s body wood – which results in a louder, more dynamic sound – but remember, this has nothing to do with dryness, which is responsible for irreversible, structural damage to guitars.

Wet Environments

In very humid, wet environments you run the risk of the swelling of the guitar’s body and neck wood. This warping effect creates changes in the guitar’s bridge and action and can even reduce the quality of sound that the tone wood produces. If the guitar becomes too moist, the bridge rises and the action becomes high and difficult to play.

The following illustration from Taylor demonstrates the effect of both the dry and wet environments…

Humidification_Body_Illustration_large

How Do I know If I Need a Humidifier?

Ok so hopefully you appreciate the need for getting a humidifier, it’s depends where you live. So how do you know if your climate is too damp or dry?

You could try guessing the humidity in a room, but that’s not ideal for obvious reasons. A much easier, accurate method is to use a hygrometer or thermometer to record the relative humidity and temperature surrounding your guitar.

Basic devices such as the Inkbird Digital Thermometer and Hygrometer are low cost, and will monitor your room or guitar case by accurately measuring humidity and temperature passively. More advanced options include the D’Addario Humiditrak, which is placed in your guitar case and notifies your phone (via Bluetooth) if the relative humidity surrounding your guitar becomes too high or low (we review the D’Addario Humiditrak below, so read up more down below).

 

Are Humidifiers Only for Acoustic Guitars?

In short, no. However, it is true that acoustic guitars are more likely to experience humidity issues because they are fragile, and require their body wood to be in good condition for quality tone and volume production.

Although electric guitars rely more on pickups and amplifiers to produce their tone and volume, they are still made of wood and susceptible to cracking, so benefit from being stored in optimum humidity surroundings.

 

Buying Guide – How to Choose the Right Humidifier for You

We’ve already covered what they are, why you might need one and how to work out whether you need one or not. Assuming that you do, we’ll now look at considerations when purchasing a humidifier. As you’re about to find out, there’s quite a few different types of humidifier available.

Types of Humidifier

There are broadly three types of humidifier: soundhole humidifiers, guitar case humidifiers and room humidifiers.

Soundhole Humidifiers

Soundhole humidifiers are by far the most popular type of humidifier. These humidifiers are based around relatively simple technology: the hydrating component usually consists of a removable sponge, which is either placed within the guitar’s soundhole alone or inside a container to provide one-way humidification to the guitar’s body wood. Sponge based humidifiers can be replenished with water once dried out, and reused over again.

Some types of soundhole humidifier (see the Humidipak product review below) allow two-way control of humidity – by letting water vapor out in dry environments and by absorbing excess water in more humid conditions.

Soundhole humidifiers can be placed inside the guitar’s soundhole and sealed to humidify the body, or wedged between the G and D strings to humidify the body, neck and case. Due to being single instrument use, soundhole humidifiers are usually most suited for players with maybe one or two displayed guitars rather than a roomful.

Guitar Case Humidifiers

Guitar case humidifiers work using a similar concept to soundhole humidifiers, but are designed to hydrate your guitar whilst enclosed in it’s case. These humidifiers sit in the guitar case alongside your guitar, usually next to the head stock and rehydrate it by releasing water vapor when necessary.

Case humidifiers are a great option for the busy, touring guitarist – always on the move, as they don’t need to be dismantled before playing!

Room humidifiers

Room humidifiers are often a general household necessity in homes suffering from extremely high or low humidity, however they can also help maintain your instruments quality. A huge bonus of using this type of humidifier is that they can stabilise the atmosphere of an entire room and therefore can tend to several guitars at one time.

 

Things to Consider Before You Buy

Where Are You Storing Your Guitar?

Will it be kept in its case, on the wall or on a stand? If you’re going to be storing your guitar in a case, then unsurprisingly a case humidifier will be the most convenient option for you. On the other hand, if you like to be able to display your guitar, a soundhole or room humidifier is the best way to maintain its quality.

How Many Guitars Do You Own?

If you have one or two guitars, a soundhole or case humidifier would be the most maintainable option for you. If you own more than four guitars, and store them in one room, a room humidifier would definitely be more convenient than topping up several sponges with water regularly.

What’s Your Budget?

Soundhole and guitar case humidifiers can be relatively cheap, and you can even have a go at making your own with a wet cloth and plastic container. Room humidifiers on the other hand can cost a lot more. It’s probably worth working out how much money you’re looking to spend beforehand to help filter your search.

What’s the Climate in Your Home?

Do you have the heating on a lot, or store your guitars near a fireplace? Perhaps your room suffers from damp? Remember you may be having to replenish the water in a humidifier more regularly if you live in a very dry home, or that the opposite may apply if your home is more humid. You need to know how much hydrating power you will need before buying, as some humidifiers have more to offer than others.

Additionally, sponge based soundhole and case humidifiers provide constant hydration, so may need to be monitored regularly to ensure they are adequately moist. It’s worth mentioning that the sponge should never be dripping wet, as getting water inside your guitar could actually cause damage!

Are You Planning on Going Away for a While?

Not all guitar humidifiers are made to provide hydration for long periods of time, especially if you live in a very hot, low humidity climate. If you’re going away for a holiday, it may be worth providing some extra hydration to your guitar. You could do this by using an additional case humidifier to use along with your soundhole humidifier, and sealing your guitar in its case.

What Type of Guitar Case Do You Use?

It’s worth bearing in mind that a soft case or fabric style case, will leak out any water vapor that is provided by a humidifier. If you’re going to store and humidify your guitar correctly, you’ll need a hard case with a good seal, to prevent dehydration.

 

Product Round up & Reviews – The Best Soundhole, Case and Room Guitar Humidifiers​

Hopefully, after reading the first half of this article you should have basic understanding of good guitar care in regards to humidity and temperature. For players that want to maintain the quality of their guitar to high standard, a guitar humidifier is definitely a must. To make your search easier, we have reviewed some of the best guitar humidifiers on the market. Opting for any of the below is going to help your guitar stay at factory conditions, and maintain great playability for longer.

Best Soundhole Humidifiers

D’Addario Humidipak – Two Way Control Humidifier

D’Addario Accessories Humidipak Two-Way Humidification System – Automatically Adjusts to Maintain Constant 45% Relative Humidity Level Within Guitar Case – Protects Instrument from Humidity Damage

This D’Addario Humidipak is the result of a partnership between Planet Waves and Humidipak. This humidifier can actually function as both a soundhole and a case humidifier and provides two-way humidity control by releasing or absorbing water vapor depending on atmospheric humidity. This way, the Humidipak maintains a constant 45% relative humidity, an ideal climate for wooden instruments.

This particular kit comes with three Humidipaks and two soft mesh pouches – one for the headstock and one for the soundhole. The mesh pouches help prevent any damage occurring your instrument’s finish. The D’Addario Humidipak is a relatively low cost and will usually last between two to four months, depending on your particular location and environment.

The simplicity and convenience of this humidifier, make the D’Addario Humidipak best suited for beginner guitarists – this product is practically impossible to use incorrectly and least likely to damage your guitar! The D’Addario Humidipak may also suit very busy or touring guitarists, as literally no time or effort is needed to use this product.

PROS

  • Convenient, easy to use and mess free – no need to top up a sponge with water
  • Unlikely to cause accidental water damage to your guitar – hydrating element self-contained
  • Includes headstock and soundhole pouches, so can be used as both a guitar case and soundhole humidifier
  • Easy to know when to replace – Product becomes hard once humidifying element is completely used up

CONS

  • To gain full advantage of this humidifier, you need a hard case to store your guitar in
  • Lacks any sort of humidity measuring device – so there’s no way of knowing relative humidity inside the guitar body
  • Not reusable – You will have to keep buying packs to replace old product

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MusicNomad’s ‘The Humitar’ – One-Way Control Humidifier

Music Nomad MN300 Humitar Acoustic Guitar Humidifier

A favourite with many guitarists, the Music Nomad’s ‘Humitar’ fits into the guitar’s soundhole with a very low profile. This humidifier uses a sponge based technology to hydrate instruments in dry environments. This is a great advantage over units with higher tops, such as the Oasis Humidifier (below), which can hit the top of the guitar case before you close the lid. With such a low profile, the Humitar doesn’t have this issue.

The Humitar’s low profile makes it a great humidifier for the travelling guitarist, or anyone that stores their instrument in a case. It is also pretty low cost in comparison to others, especially room humidifiers, making it a great investment for those shopping on a budget.

Another bonus of the Humitar, is that it’s Humid-i-bar sponge allows this humidifier to be reused, making it a great long-term investment for any buyer. The Humid-i-bar Sponge also holds 10 times its weight in water and implements a unique anti drip technology. The Humiditar’s longevity therefore makes it perfect for the novice guitarist, or those that don’t have the time to check humidity levels every few days.

PROS

  • The low profile of the unit allows the Humiditar to be used as both a soundhole and a case humidifier
  • The synthetic sponge holds a lot more water than a typical sponge and is drip resistant to prevent water damage
  • Reusable sponge – The Humiditar will be a single, one-time purchase as there is no need to buy replacement items

CONS

  • Like any humidifier that fits in the sound-hole, the Humiditar can be a bit fiddly to fit (but that criticism can be levelled at any of them)
  • Recommend only for use with only distilled water – you may have to purchase a bottle of this as an extra for best results
  • No digital hydrometer attached – you’ll need to buy this separately to monitor humidity effectively
  • Only humidifies one guitar at a time – people with multiple guitars may need a room humidifier to save time

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

 

Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier

Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier - for acoustic guitars

If you have your guitar displayed on a stand or wall mount, you’ll want to consider investing in a Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier.

This humidifier provides hydration by covering the entire sound hole, allowing uniform humidity distribution to the guitar’s body wood. The Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier comes in two sizes 3 3/4″ and 4 1/8”.

The beauty of the Kyser Lifegaurd Humidifier, is that it keeps moisture circulating inside the guitar’s body, whereas other humidifiers, such as the D’Addario Humidipack (see above) are less efficient, leaving most of the sound hole exposed to external dry air.

The Kyser Lifeguard humidifier is a great choice for those shopping on a budget, being a relatively low-cost product. This humidifier is most suited to intermediate players, with just one or two guitars, rather than a roomful, as fairly regular maintenance is required to keep this humidifier hydrated.

PROS

  • Highly effective body hydration – The Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier is a fantastic humidifier for players that keep their guitar outside it’s case
  • Neat and tidy – Fits across the guitar’s sound-hole snuggly
  • Low cost – great for those shopping on a budget
  • Long lasting hydration – Retains moisture for several days
  • Reusable – Just add water to the humidifier to hydrate the guitar again

CONS

  • You may struggle to fit the Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier on a different sized soundhole – This humidifier only fits two sizes of soundhole: 3 3/4″ to 4 1/8”, so product may need modifying to fit soundholes with measurements in between those specified
  • Potential for excess water to damage to guitar – you’ll need to remove excess water properly to prevent drips
  • No digital hydrometer – you’ll need to purchase one separately to monitor humidity
  • Only hydrates the guitar body – Can’t be used in the guitar case to hydrate neck and headstock

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

 

Best Guitar Case Humidifiers

Oasis Instrument Humidifier

Oasis OH-6 Case Humidifier

The in-case Oasis Instrument Humidifier, is perfect for the guitar that needs ‘in case’ care and hydration. These humidifiers are expertly designed to raise the humidity level of your guitar’s neck and body wood.

Even if you live in an extremely dry climate, for example the Gobi Desert, experts say this humidifier can add an extra 10% humidity if required, due to its specialised humidifying crystal salts.

Although the Oasis Instrument Humidifier is more expensive than some of the soundhole humidifiers on the market, it has a lot of beneficial aspects. For example, this model lets its owner know when rehydration is required and offers two levels of protection to prevent damage by leakage and overfilling.

The Oasis Instrument Humidifier also contains neodymium magnets, which allow easy placement and reattachment of the device inside all types of guitar case. Conveniently, this humidifier also comes with a 10cc syringe to help the guitarist fill the humidifier with water.

This humidifier is perfect for guitarists that live in more arid climates, or serious players with expensive guitars that need very safe humidification to protect their instrument.

PROS

  • Automatically collapses when it needs replacing, so it’s obvious when more water is needed
  • Has a magnetic strip and metal clip which makes the Oasis Instrument Humidifier easy to keep safely and stably in your case
  • Convenient syringe included to allow simple but accurate refilling with water
  • Extra-hydrating – can supply an extra 10% humidity to a guitar body, which is great for players living in very dry climates

CONS

  • Can dry out relatively quickly, so you’ll need to check the device regularly to make sure it’s well hydrated
  • Can take a while to resuscitate if allowed to completely dehydrate.
  • Doesn’t include a hygrometer, so you’ll need to purchase one separately to check the humidity is correct
  • For best results distilled water should be used to top up this humidifier, so you’ll need to purchase some separately

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

 

Martin Guitar Humidifier

Martin Guitar Humidifier

The tube shaped Martin Guitar Humidifier is a great option for those wanting to purchase a guitar case humidifier on a budget.

This product starts hydrating your instrument once the tube has been filled with distilled water and fitted between the strings, into the guitar’s body.

The hydrating element of the Martin Guitar Humidifier is highly effective due to being made from super fine material, which allows it to absorb up to ten times it’s weight in water.

To maintain consistent hydration, the tube also contains several tiny pores that slowly emit moisture into the guitar’s body and case.

The tubes are sourced from the finest non-vinyl and non-allergenic resin, making this product soft enough not to exert pressure around the soundhole and strings, and sufficiently sturdy to minimize contact with the inside parts of the guitar.

The Martin Guitar Humidifier is very similar to other tube-shaped humidifiers, such as the Dampit series, and can be reused by simply topping up with fresh water before the humidifier is completely dried out.

This humidifier is probably the best option for the travelling/ gigging guitarist or those shopping on a budget, due to its price and effective moisturisation as a guitar case humidifier.

PROS

  • Very simple design – Easy for beginner guitarists to place and refill
  • Very reasonable price – One of the cheapest guitar humidifiers on the market
  • Consistent hydration – Tiny pores allow an even flow of water vapour into the case, until water runs out
  • Reusable – No need to buy extra product or replacement items

CONS

  • Lacks any sort of humidity measuring device
  • May damage guitar if excess water is not removed properly before use
  • Becomes difficult to rehydrate if adequate moisture is not maintained
  • Requires topping up with distilled water for best results

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

 

Best Room Humidifiers

MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Pure Enrichment PEHUMIDIF MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, Blue

Although more expensive than the above case and soundhole humidifiers, the MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier can maintain the humidity of an entire roomful of guitars, rather than just one or two.

This humidifier’s ultrasonic mist technology enables continuous, safe moisturisation of the air in a room for up to 16 hours, so all your guitars can get consistent humidification without risk of damage.

MistAire’s high and low speed mist settings also make this humidifier highly adaptable to different atmospheres and climates, ideal for guitarists living in a variety of regions.

Additionally, the MistAire Humidifier can hold 1.5 litres of water, which is provides ideal coverage for medium sized rooms such as bedrooms and offices. It’s worth mentioning that the range may not be so great for larger living/ dining rooms.

Conveniently, this humidifier also offers an automatic shut off technology. This allows the device to turn off automatically when water level is low or if the water tank is removed, preventing damage occurring to the machine.

The MistAire Humidifier comes with a handy disk cleaning brush and a two-year warranty for peace of mind after purchase.

This humidifier is most suited to players with multiple guitars in arid environments, due to its ability to deliver intense hydration to an entire room at a time.

PROS

  • Humidifies an entire room of guitars, rather than just one at a time
  • Adjustable mist settings to adapt to atmospheres with a variety of humidity levels
  • Strong hydration power – Can deliver a moisture output of 150 milliliters per hour
  • Shuts down once water level is low, to protect machine from damage
  • Two-year warranty

CONS

  • Only lasts 16 hours – not ideal for those going away for a week or two
  • May not humidify larger rooms
  • Doesn’t include hygrometer to monitor humidity
  • Will eventually need to clean tank to remove mould build up
  • Can be noisy, due to less advanced ultrasonic technology

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

 

InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser & Cool Mist Humidifier

InnoGear 2nd Version Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Ultrasonic Diffusers Cool Mist Humidifier with 7 Colors LED Lights and Waterless Auto Shut-off for Home Office Bedroom Room

The InnoGear Cool Mist Humidifier is a unique product in that it quietly humidifies your home whilst diffusing the fragrance of relaxing essential oils.

To add even more luxury, this humidifier switches between several colours: green, blue, red, yellow, pink, and white whilst diffusing.

As well as being pretty and relaxing, this humidifier is also convenient, and will shut off automatically when it has run out of water

The two modes: intermittent mist (30 seconds on and 30 seconds off) and continuous mist mean that the InnoGear humidifier is well suited to humidify small to medium sized rooms, in different climates.

This InnoGear humidifier has a smaller capacity water tank than the MistAire room humidifier, and holds about 100ml. Its advanced ultrasonic technology allows diffusion to take place for three hours in continuous mode and six hours in intermittent mode.

This humidifier is best suited for guitar players with multiple guitars, living in more temperate climates… and with a love of fresh scent!

PROS

  • Unique product, releases soothing scent whilst humidifying room
  • Technology shuts down humidifier automatically when it has run out of water to prevent damage to device
  • Humidifies several guitars at once
  • Reusable – Just top up with water to start hydrating your guitars again
  • Very quiet device, uses advanced ultrasonic technology to diffuse water vapor without noise.

CONS

  • Relatively small holding capacity in comparison to other room humidifiers – will need topping up with water at least every six hours, especially if you live in a hot, dry country
  • Have to purchase essential oils separately
  • No hygrometer included, so you’ll need to purchase one separately to monitor the room’s humidity
  • May not humidify large living spaces, should be placed in small to medium sized rooms

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

 

So Which Should I Buy?

Although relatively simple devices, humidifiers are a necessary addition to every guitarist’s gear selection. They work by stabilising the relative humidity in a room or in the guitar’s body, and prevent major structural damage to your instrument by the atmosphere.

We’ve already discussed the pros and cons of the best humidifiers on the market, but which do we recommend overall?

All the humidifiers we reviewed have their strengths however, if you’re looking for a soundhole humidifier, Music Nomad’s ‘The Humitar’ is simple to use – just soak in water, reusable and low profile, making it easy to transport whilst in a case too.

If you aren’t keen on inserting anything into the guitar’s body, we recommend the ​‘Oasis Instrument Humidifier’ for it’s ability to add an extra 10% humidity if required, due to its specialised humidifying crystals. It’s magnetic clip and attachment device also make it practical and easy to secure anywhere in your guitar case.

If you have several guitars on stands or hanging on the wall, the ‘MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier’ is the best option for you. This room humidifier enables continuous, safe moisturisation of the air in a room for up to 16 hours, making sure all your guitars get consistent humidification without risk of damage.

That said, you can’t go wrong with any of the above. The most important thing is to get a guitar humidifier before it’s too late, literally ​before the cracks start to appear!

 

 

Featured image by James Manners / CC BY-2.0

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