Mandolins and Humidity

March 25, 2016

Proper humidity for the mandolin.

A mandolin should be stored between 45%-50% humidity and a temperature of 70 or so Degrees.

Either of these can move up or down, but if humidity is not between 40% - 60%, you should take steps to protect your mandolin.

This is also true of temperatures (60-80 degrees F.).

Naturally there will be times when your mandolin will be exposed to extremes. This might be an outdoor show in the summer where both temperature and humidity levels are high. This can not be avoided, and after all, the mandolin is meant to be played. The best you can do in this case is make a smooth transition. Do this by leaving the mandolin in the closed case while it slowly adjusts to the new environment.

What we are most concerned about is the day to day storage. The more often your instrument is not kept in ideal conditions, the better the chance of damage.

First up is determining the actual relative humidity.
Rather than guess at the environment, invest is a hygrometer. Nice digital units do not cost much and are one of the best investments you can make in the care of your wooden instrument. 

Here is a top choice for your instrument room:


At this price, there is really no reason not to have one! 


Here at Folkmusician, we have always used standard household humidifiers to protect our instruments. With hundreds of instruments at stake, it is critical that we preserve the inventory. Let the instrument dryout could be a costly mistake.

While you may not have hundreds of instrument to protect, even a small collection would be worthy of humidifying a room, or the whole house.  In our experience, you typically want a humidifier that is rated for at least twice the square footage of the area you will be humidifying. Humidifiers are rated at maximum output, and we like to run ours on low and not have it kicked in 24/7 (and not have to refill it everyday).  :)

A hygrometer and a guitar humidifier will keep your mandolin playable for many years.


Do not under estimate the importance of this. Many wonderful instruments are ruined by improper humidity levels.

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