A nagging cough. A red, stuffy nose. An overwhelming need to curl up in bed and pull the covers over yourself! We all know the feeling. When you or your child has a cold, the flu, or allergies, it can make you feel absolutely miserable. That’s when you need the soothing relief and comfort of a vaporizer.
What’s a vaporizer?
A vaporizer is a type of humidifier: its purpose is to add moisture to the air in your room. A vaporizer uses electrodes to literally vaporize water in the unit’s water chamber. This vaporized water then comes out as a warm, pure steam for you to breathe in – and relax in!
Why use a vaporizer?
A warm steam vaporizer provides multiple benefits, especially when you feel sick:
- The moisture of the steam helps relieve your cough and reduce congestion in your chest and sinuses.
- ·Proper humidification with a vaporizer can also reduce the irritation in your nose, eyes and throat, triggered by a cold or allergies.
- The steam’s heat provides extra comfort when you’re unwell (AKA when you need it most), wrapping you in warmth.
For fast, medicated relief from your cough, you can also put Vicks VapoSteam in the medicine cup that’s built into your vaporizer. Breathing in the warm moisture plus the Vicks VapoSteam, a medicated cough suppressant, is like a one-two punch to break up your congestion.
Can you use a vaporizer when you’re not sick, just as a humidifier?
Vaporizers aren’t just for times of illness! You can use a vaporizer just like you would a regular humidifier to help add moisture to your air. In fact, using your vaporizer year-round can help you:
- Breathe more comfortably at night by keeping your nasal passages and throat moisturized, so you can have a more restful sleep.
- Keeping your humidity levels between 40-60% helps reduce the survival of flu and certain viruses in the air and on surfaces.*
- Make your room cozier and more comfortable – you can even use Vicks VapoPads or essential oils with your vaporizer to enjoy a relaxing scent.
How do you use a vaporizer?
Vaporizers are extremely simple to use – just fill with water and turn the unit on, and out comes the comforting steam you want. Plus, there are no filters to replace. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using your vaporizer:
- Fill the water chamber with tap water, not distilled water – the water needs to have minerals in it in order for the unit to produce steam.
- If you don’t see steam after 10 minutes, your water may not have enough minerals – add 1-2 pinches of salt to the water to encourage steam production.
- Be sure to empty, rinse out and dry your vaporizer every day that you use it. Also perform simple weekly cleaning as directed in your Vicks Vaporizer owner’s manual, which can be fonud on the product's detail page here.
And remember, a vaporizer works by boiling water during usage: for safety, always keep your vaporizer on a firm, flat, water-resistant surface that is at least 4 feet away from the bedside and out of the reach of children.
What if you just want aromatherapy, not warm steam?
Sometimes all you need to feel better or sleep more peacefully is a relaxing scent. If you don’t need the moisture of a humidifier but want a comforting scent, there are a few special types of vaporizers that can help:
- The Vicks Waterless Vaporizer can be used with Vicks VapoPads to release the soothing scent of Vicks without any steam, all from a small tabletop unit.
- Even more compact, the Vicks Soothing Vapors Plug-in Waterless Vaporizer can also be used with Vicks VapoPads. Just plug it into an outlet to start enjoying the aromatherapy.
Whether you want to ease your cold or just make your space more comfortable, you can’t go wrong with the simple, effective moisture of a vaporizer. Try yours out today and start enjoying the benefits of proper humidification!
* Studies by Environmental Health and Engineering (Environmental Health 2010,9:55 and Environmental Health 2019) show that keeping air at relative humidity levels between 40-60% can reduce the survival of flu and certain viruses on surfaces and in the air. When used as directed, most humidifiers achieve and maintain 40-60% RH. Helen of Troy has not tested on and makes no claim about the ability to reduce the virus that causes COVID-19. Certain trademarks used under license from The Procter & Gamble Company or its affiliates.