There are basically two different options for constructing humidors:
- Based on MDF (medium density fiberboard), the interior is lined with a veneer of Spanish cedar and the exterior consists of a veneer of some type of hardwood (often cherry).
- The entire humidor case is manufactured of solid wood and is lined inside with Spanish cedar (sometimes the entire humidor is made of solid Spanish cedar without any interior lining).
Contrary to popular belief, solid wood humidors are not necessarily superior to veneer humidors. The higher price of the material of solid wood humidors will usually be far outweighed by the substantially more complicated construction of veneer humidors.
Since the humidity inside the humidor is much higher than the external humidity, the internal wood expands and it leads to tensions in the walls of the humidor.
Here veneer humidors have the advantage that the internal MDF will expand less with an increase in humidity. Thus, fewer tensions in the inside of the humidor will develop – tensions which might otherwise lead to cracks and deformations in the humidor’s lid. A further advantage of the veneer construction is that high gloss lacquer finishes can be better applied on hardwood veneers.
Solid wood humidors of Spanish cedar are more susceptible to dents and damages since the wood is very soft. As previously mentioned, the softness of the Spanish cedar limits the gloss and durability of the exterior lacquer. For these reasons, the construction of humidors based on MDF instead of solid wood has become the standard in humidor production.