Fast Facts About Cigar’s Shelf Life And How Long They Last Before Expiring

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Justin R.

Cigar Enthusiast, Chief Editor

how long do cigars last
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Few things in life get better with age. Thankfully, cigars are one of them. Like some liquor and wine, your cigars will get better with age as long as you use proper storage techniques. Knowing the different stages in the aging process of stogies is vital if you want to keep your cigar collection fresh.

Here at Cigar Amigo, we’ve dug deep into the research of aging and storing cigars. It’s our mission to provide cigar enthusiasts with valuable information on how to store cigars so they remain fresh as long as possible.

By the end of this post, you’ll know everything there is to know about aging cigars and how to maintain the right storage conditions for your collection.

How Long Do Cigars Last? 

Cigars will last anywhere from a couple weeks to a lifetime depending on your storage method. You can keep your premium cigars in a humidor and enjoy them a decade later with proper maintenance. That said, a cigar can go bad in a few days if stored incorrectly.

The length of the shelf life of your stogies depends on their brand, size, and type of tobacco. Some stogies can last a while outside of a box where other cigars will dry up in just a few days.

Cigar smokers that want to enjoy their stogies as long as possible need to fully understand the cigar aging process.

How Long Will a Cigar Stay Fresh?

Stogies can’t last long outside of a humidor, no matter how well you seal them in another container. Premium cigars need the right humidity levels to retain their freshness and flavor. If you don’t have a humidor, you can expect to have dry cigars in a matter of a few days.

If you don’t own a humidor, you can use a humidification pack or Ziploc bag temporarily. However, it’s highly advised that you obtain a humidor if you want your stogies to stay fresh for a long period.

How Long Do Cigars Last on the Shelf?

How Long Do Cigars Last on the Shelf

When it comes to shelf life, you want to do extensive research before you buy. This is especially true if you want to buy a premium cigar set. The shelf life of a cigar depends heavily on what kind of cigar you buy.

For example, some cigars need to be aged for months or even years before they are ready to be smoked. You may have noticed while shopping for stogies that some cigars have already been aged before being sold to retail stores. These stogies tend to be more expensive than those that haven’t been aged for a lengthy period.

If you’re not in a rush to smoke your cigar, find a younger one so you can start aging it in your humidor. By looking into the brand, tobaccos, and size, you can get a better idea of how long it will last in your possession.

How long will cigars last in a box?

When cigars are sent out in factory boxes, they will typically last around one month. As a result, you should smoke your cigars within a month if you don’t plan on putting them in your humidor.

How long does an unopened cigar last?

Many cigars come in sealed metal or glass tubes to help them retain the right humidity levels. However, these aren’t that effective for long-term storage.  After tobacco is exposed to the elements, the natural oils in the cigars will eventually dry out.

As a result, you should keep all your unopened cigars in a container if you don’t plan on smoking them over the next couple of days. Humidors work best, but you can also use short term humidifiers like a Ziploc bag or Boveda packs.

How long do cigars last without a humidor?

Most cigars will last in a plastic wrapper about three days without a humidor. So, if you are just buying one or two cigars at a time, a humidor may not be necessary.

Owning a humidor is an integral part of being a cigar lover. Not only do they help retain your cigar’s flavor, but they also are a neat place to keep your stogie collection. These containers are typically made from Spanish cedar wood, and contain both a hygrometer and humidifier.

Cigars need to be kept in a place with the right temperature and humidity levels. Too little moisture, and the cigars become dry and unenjoyable. However, the cigars will also be ruined with too much moisture.

It’s hard to match the right temperature and humidity conditions without a humidor, so they are essential if you want your cigars to taste good long-term.

Do Cigars Expire?

Do Cigars Expire

How long do cigars last and do they expire? With the right humidity level and optimal conditions, cigar lovers can enjoy their collection for decades. Moreover, a good cigar will only get better throughout the years. That said, dry cigars don’t taste good and aren’t enjoyable.

So, anyone looking to hold their cigars for many years needs to store them in a container with a reliable humidification source.

Old cigars & Stale cigars

Old and stale is exactly what you’ll get if you don’t stow away your cigars with the right temperature and humidity conditions. That said, people make mistakes and you may find yourself with a dry and unpleasant cigar.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to try and re-humidify your dried out stogie. Here’s what to try before throwing away an old a stale cigar:

  • Place your cigars in a sealed container, cellophane or Ziploc bag
  • Pour distilled water into a small bowl and place it in the cellophane, container or bag (use only distilled water to avoid mold or bacteria from growing)
  • Set your container somewhere stable that’s not too hot or cold (also avoid putting it under direct light)
  • Check your stogies once a week to see if there’s been any progress or for signs of mold.

Do Black and Milds expire?

Black and Milds are cigars made from pipe tobacco and sold in retail stores. They are most recognizable by their wood tips and sweet flavor variety. Like other stogies, they will eventually dry out while being stored in the right conditions.

That said, Black and Milds may not need the additional humidity that other larger stogies require.


Enjoying the outstanding flavors crafted by an expert cigar maker is one of the best feelings out there. That’s why you must understand everything about storing cigars in the right temperature and humidity level.

So, think about how you’ll keep your stogies the next time you visit a cigar shop. If you pay attention to the factors above, you should be able to keep your stories fresh for as long as you need them.