What Are the Common Types of Cigars?

Experts have estimated that the global luxury cigars market will grow to profits of $19.56 billion in 2026. So, despite pushback from health activists, the cigar market is still strong and alive. If you want to start smoking cigars, it isn’t too late.

Of course, buying a cigar can be more complex than you may think. There are hundreds of types of cigars. You might not like the first one that you pick up.

You’ll have a better chance of liking your first cigar if you research a bit first. Read on to learn about some of the different cigar options.

How Are Types of Cigars Classified?

Specific cigar products have their own individual names. However, several specific cigars can belong to one or more categories. One of the benefits of cigars is that these categories can help you predict how a product will taste and behave.

Size and Shape

Size and shape affect how long a cigar lasts. They also affect how the flavor of the cigar changes as you burn it. Shapes, as you’ll learn below, have specific names.

Sizes, however, are described with specific measurements. A cigar’s length and thickness are known together as its “vitola”. Lengths are described in inches.

Thickness, on the other hand, is described with a measurement known as a ‘ring gauge’. A cigar with a 64-ring gauge is an inch thick. Most cigars are divisions of this.

A 40-ring gauge, for instance, is 40/64th of an inch. A 32-ring gauge is 32/64th of an inch, and so on.


The wrappings around cigars are made of tobacco leaves. It may seem surprising to you to see the same type of plant take on such a spectrum of color. These variations come from the variety of tobacco strains and the methods for processing them.

These differences can have a mild to a significant effect on how the final cigar product tastes. It all depends on the type of color. Each color has its own name as well, as you’ll learn below.

Premium vs Non-Premium

Quality level is what separates premium cigars from non-premium ones. The tobacco of both types is often grown, harvested, and fermented the same way. How they’re processed further is what separates them from each other.

Premium cigars are hand-rolled, while non-premium cigars are rolled by machines. Also, non-premium cigars are often treated with chemicals to alter the taste. The taste of premium cigars is solely reliant on the curing and fermentation process.

Shapes and Sizes of Cigars

The two most well-known shapes of cigars are the parejos and the figuardos. The cigars in either category are divided further by their vitolas and/or other factors. Each of the subdivisions of the shapes also has its own individual name.


A parejo cigar has straight sides and a cylindrical shape. The two sides may be round or square (otherwise known as box-pressed). One end of the cigar (the cap) is rounded, while the other end (the foot) is flat.

Have you learned how to smoke a cigar yet? If so, you’ll know that the cap is the end that you cut and smoke from. The foot is the end that you light.

The parejo category is further divided by differences in vitolas. You can learn about some examples of these below.


This is arguably the most popular format of parejos cigar. It is usually around 5.5 inches in length and has a ring gauge of 42 inches. It takes around 30 to 45 minutes to fully smoke this cigar.


A panetela cigar type often has a unique braid on its cap. It takes around 35 to 46 minutes to smoke. It’s usually around 5 inches in length and has a 40 to 42-ring gauge.

Gigante or Presidente

Gigante/Presidente cigars have the biggest vitolas of all parejos. It can take you anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to fully finish this cigar. It’s often 10 inches in length and has a 64-ring gauge.


The term ‘figuardos’ refers to any cigar that doesn’t have a parejo shape. While most cigars are parejos, more and more figuardos are making their way into the market. Some examples of different types of figuardos are listed below.


Pyramid cigars have flat feet, but the cap is tapered to a point. The point allows the flavors of the cigar to blend when they enter the mouth.


Torpedos have tapered heads, just like pyramids. What’s different is that the taper is often ‘sharper’ than it is with a pyramid.


This highly exotic shape of figuardo cigar consists of three panetelas (see above) tied up together. Usually, these three sections are untied and then smoked separately. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find these cigar options today as they’ve fallen in popularity.

Colors of Cigar Wrappers

Cigar wrappers are usually divided into seven basic color categories. There are plenty of subdivisions of these. However, this article will keep things simple and just name and describe some of the color categories.

Double Claro

This type of wrapper has a light green color. Manufacturers achieve this by drying the leaves and locking in their chlorophyll.


Manufacturers start the claro leaf creation process by growing tobacco in the shade under cheesecloth tents. The leaves then get picked earlier than usual and get air-dried. These leaves don’t add much flavor to a cigar.

Colorado Claro

Colorado Claro tobacco leaves are left to mature and are grown in direct sunlight. This process results in a light red-brown color.


Colorado cigar wrappers exist in the middle of the seven-color spectrum of wrapper colors. They have a medium-brown to reddish-brown color. They also have a fairly full flavor and a soft and subtle aroma.

There’s More to Discover Throughout Our Site

Keep in mind that even with this knowledge of the types of cigars, you’ll probably still need to try many cigar options before you find a favorite. Be patient! The joy of smoking cigars you love is worth it.

Also, if you have some more spare time, why not spend it on learning? We’ve got hundreds more pieces all over the site. Check them out!