Abstract: Methods previously used to distinguish between water adsorbed on external surfaces and in the interlamellar space of Na-montmorillonite during adsorption and desorption of water vapor have been extended to a set of homoionic Li-, Na-, K-, Rb- and Cs-montmorillonite. The textural and structural features have been investigated at different stages of hydration and dehydration using controlled-rate thermal analysis, nitrogen adsorption volumetry, water adsorption gravimetry, immersion microcalorimetry and X-ray powder diffraction under controlled humidity conditions. During hydration, the size of the quasi-crystals decreases from 33 layers to 8 layers for Na-montmorillonite and from 25 layers to 10 layers for K-montmorillonite, but remains stable around 8–11 layers for Cs-montmorillonite. Each homoionic species leads to a one-layer hydrate, which starts forming at specific values of water vapor relative pressure. Li-, Na- and K-montmorillonite can form a two-layer hydrate. By comparing experimental X-ray diffraction patterns with theoretically simulated ones, the evolution of structural characteristics of montmorillonites during hydration or desorption can be described. Using structural and textural data, it is shown that during adsorption: (1) the rate of filling of interlamellar space of the one layer hydrate increases with the relative pressure but decreases with the size of the cations; and (2) the different hydrated states are never homogeneous.