What Temperature Should Guitars Be Stored At?

black acoustic guitar in its case, next to the tips of a man’s shoes

When you invest in a guitar, whether as an enthusiastic beginner, a seasoned pro, or a passionate collector, you’re acquiring more than just an instrument. You’re inheriting a piece of art, a piece of history, and, most importantly, a delicate item that requires care. The question on many guitarists’ minds is: “What temperature should guitars be stored at?

The Basics of Guitar Construction

Guitars are crafted from a beautiful mosaic of materials – predominantly wood, but also glue, and varnish. Temperature changes can cause these materials to expand, contract, warp, or even crack. It’s not just about aesthetics; a guitar’s sound quality can drastically change if not stored correctly.

Acoustic Guitars: The Resonance of Proper Storage

Unlike their electric counterparts, acoustic guitars possess a hollow body, making them especially sensitive to temperature variations. The resonance and tone, which are fundamental to an acoustic’s charm, can be compromised if not stored within optimal conditions. Typically, an environment between 70-75°F (21-24°C) is ideal.

black and white photo of the bridge pins on an acoustic guitar
Acoustic guitars are extra sensitive, especially given their small, and intricate wooden components.

Electric Guitars: Protecting the Power of Sound

Electric guitars come embedded with intricate electronics, including pickups, pots, and wiring. While the wooden body is still susceptible to temperature, the electronics present an additional layer of considerations. Consistent temperatures prevent not only wood warping but also help prevent potential electronic malfunctions. Aim for a temperature level that is in a similar range as acoustics: around 70-75°F (21-24°C).

Vintage Guitars: Preserving a Legacy

Older does mean more delicate when it comes to guitars. Vintage guitars have withstood the test of time and, often, have faced decades of varying conditions. The woods have aged, the glues have cured, and they require a stable environment, free from rapid temperature swings, to maintain their legacy.

Ideal Temperature for Guitar Storage

Regardless of type – acoustic, electric, or vintage – guitars generally thrive in a stable environment. The sweet spot lies between 70-75°F (21-24°C). Consistency is key; frequent fluctuations can be just as damaging as extreme temperatures.

Humidity and Its Relationship with Temperature

While this article primarily addresses temperature, it’s essential to mention its close cousin: humidity. The two often go hand in hand. Guitars are best stored at a relative humidity between 45-55%. If you’re adjusting temperatures, monitor humidity as well to ensure it stays within this range.

Real-life Consequences of Poor Temperature Management

Countless stories recount prized guitars, both new and vintage, being ruined due to temperature negligence. Warping, cracking, or electronic failures can lead not only to expensive repairs but sometimes irreversible damage.

man in workshop restringing n acoustic guitar
Poor temperature exposure can lead to expensive repairs or worse.

Tools for Monitoring and Maintaining Ideal Storage Conditions

An investment in a good quality hygrometer and thermometer is a small price to pay to ensure your guitar’s longevity. For those truly committed, specialized guitar storage furniture, equipped with temperature control, can be a game-changer.

Pro Tips for Maintaining the Perfect Temperature

  • Location Matters: Avoid placing guitars near windows, heaters, or in damp basements.
  • Balance Humidity: In drier climates, consider a humidifier; in more humid areas, a dehumidifier can help.
  • Regular Checks: Make it a routine to check and re-calibrate your monitoring tools.

Additional Considerations for Guitar Collectors and Music Studios

Music studios and collectors, who might several numerous guitars, should consider dedicated climate-controlled rooms or storage solutions. A consistent environment is essential for maintaining sound quality and instrument value.


The care and storage of a guitar are as crucial as learning to play it. Proper temperature storage ensures your instrument not only looks its best but sounds its best too.

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