Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: July 22, 2021
Vicks humidifiers do more than just add some extra moisture to the dry air in your home. These models are also designed to be used with the brand’s medicated vapor products, easing your congestion and helping you get a better night’s rest when you’re sick. Vicks has been around since the 1980s, so they’ve become a trusted brand when it comes to relieving those cough, cold, and sinus issues. Their humidifiers are no exception.
If you’re looking for the best Vicks humidifier for your family, there are a few features to check out to ensure you have the right one for your needs. One is the coverage area, which tells you the maximum room size to use it in for optimal performance. The tank capacity shows how much water it will hold. The runtime refers to how long it will run on one tank of water before needing a refill. How loud it runs is also important, especially if you’re using it in a bedroom. The dimensions of the model will help you decide where you can place it.
To help you decide which model is the best Vicks humidifier for your home, we’ve checked out every one this brand has to offer. Then we picked the top products, rated them in our comparison table, and wrote up in-depth reviews for each one. We also added a buying guide at the bottom to give you all the information you need to choose a Vicks humidifier for your home.
There are several reasons that the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier is one of the best-rated Vicks humidifier models on the market. First, it has a large tank that holds 1.2 gallons of water. This tank has a sturdy handle on it to make it easy to carry and fill. The lid on the opening is a bit tight and may be hard to open, but this also may reduce leaks.
This unit is very quiet, so you can use it in bedrooms, offices, or anywhere else without disturbing anyone. It also has a long runtime of up to 30 hours, so you won’t have to fill the tank very often. If it should run dry, the auto shut-off turns the unit off until you fill it again. The tank is also clear, so you can always keep an eye on the water level inside it.
There is a dial on the front that lets you adjust the humidity level as needed depending on the air in your home. The cool mist output is also adjustable, so you can turn the spray in the direction you’d like it to go.
Another handy feature is the Dual Scent Pad slots that allow you to use up to two VapoPads for that extra congestion and sinus relief during the cold and flu season. There aren’t any filters to change either, making this model extra convenient.
What are our favorite features?
Variable humidity control
Adjustable mist direction
Wide tank opening
What could be better?
The tank lid is a bit tight
Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier – Best Vicks Cool Mist Humidifier
Type: cool mist
Coverage area: small rooms
Water tank capacity: 0.5 gal.
Runtime: up to 20 hours
Dimensions: 8.3 x 9.1 x 8.3 inches
More features: no filters are required; compatible with Vicks VapoPads
The Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier has a compact size that makes it perfect for the smaller rooms in your home. It also has a smaller tank at only 0.5 gallons but a runtime of up to 20 hours on the lowest setting or about 8 hours on the highest one. This is controlled with a knob on the front that allows you to adjust the output as needed, with a bright indicator light to show you it’s on.
As well as being a small unit, this model is also very quiet, making it the best Vicks humidifier for a newborn to get a proper night’s rest. It also won’t disturb your other children or even you and your partner while you sleep so that it can be used in any room you need it in.
The water tank is easy to fill from your tap or using distilled water if that’s what you prefer. When it runs dry, the humidifier shuts down automatically, preventing damage to the unit. The tank is also transparent, so you can monitor the water level from anywhere in the room, filling it whenever needed.
This model comes in both blue and pink, so you can pick the one you like best. It also has an integrated scent pad heater in the front below the dial, which allows you to add a Vicks VapoPad if needed.
Vicks Starry Night Cool Moisture Humidifier – Best Vicks Humidifier for Baby
Type: cool mist
Coverage area: medium rooms
Water tank capacity: 1 gal.
Runtime: up to 24 hours
Dimensions: 13.2 x 11.3 x 11.4 inches
More features: starry night projection; Vicks VapoPads compatible
The Vicks Starry Night Cool Moisture Humidifier is a great model for any kid’s bedroom, regardless of their age. This humidifier uses evaporative technology, which means there is a wicking filter inside that draws the water from the base of the machine. Then a fan blows the cool, moisturized air out in the room.
The filter also traps the minerals and pollutants that are in the water and keeps them from being dispersed into the air. These do need to be replaced every month or so, so be sure to consider this extra cost when purchasing this Vicks unit.
The large tank has a wide mouth opening, so it is easy to fill and simple to clean. This big tank also holds up to a gallon of water, giving you a runtime of up to 24 hours for less filling.
Another feature that makes this the best humidifier for baby is the starry night light, which projects stars and the moon onto the ceiling. This light shifts through a few different colors, some of which are a bit bright for some children. The stars can be turned on or off at any time. There are also blue LED lights on the dials for a dimmer light if needed.
This Vicks humidifier can be used with Vicks VapoPads as well for extra congestion relief or a soothing scent for a more relaxing night’s sleep.
Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier – Best Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier
Type: warm mist
Coverage area: medium/large rooms
Water tank capacity: 1 gal.
Runtime: up to 12 hours
Dimensions: 12 x 7.9 x 14.2 inches
More features: filter-free; tank handle
If colds and sinus problems are an issue in your home, you may want to try out the best Vicks humidifier with medicine added to help relieve the cold symptoms while hydrating the air. The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier fits the bill, with a medicine cup included in the top of the machine that you can use with Vicks VapoSteam or other liquid inhalants to help ease congestion or just add a nice scent to your room.
This model has a one-gallon tank that is easy to fill, thanks to the handle located on the bottom. This tank is also clear, so you can always see the level of the water. If the tank runs dry, the auto shut-off kicks in, reducing damage to the unit.
There are two mist settings, low and high. The low has a runtime of about 12 hours, so it is great for overnight. The high setting only lasts about 4-5 hours, but you likely won’t be using this setting too often, so this may not be an issue.
This model is safe to use for every member of your family, releasing a warm mist that is up to 95% free of bacteria. It is also lightweight and won’t take up too much space so that you can place it on a dresser, desk, or table in any room you need some extra moisture in the air. Cleaning should be done weekly to reduce scaling.
Part of the reason the Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer has such a great low price is its simplicity. It doesn’t have a bunch of dials and buttons to deal with but still has everything you need in a decent humidifier.
This unit includes a vaporizer that boils the water, producing the warm vapor that is then released into the room. This helps to relieve any congestion or coughing, clearing your sinuses and helping you get through the day and night.
The tank is large, with a 1.5-gallon capacity, giving you a maximum runtime of 24 hours. There are no dials to adjust the vapor produced, though you can increase it if needed by adding a bit of salt to the water in the tank. When the tank runs dry, the auto shut-off kicks in. Triple wall insulation on the tank keeps the unit at a safe temperature to touch.
There is a large nightlight on the top of the unit, which comes on automatically when you plug it in and can’t be turned off until you unplug it again. The light isn’t overly bright, though, so it likely won’t disturb most people’s sleep.
For some extra relief when you’re under the weather, there is a dual scent pad slot for adding one or two Vicks VapoPads. A medicine cup lets you add Vicks VapoSteam or some of your favorite essential oils.
What are our favorite features?
Great low price
Triple wall insulation
What could be better?
Need salt to control the vapor amount
No on/off switch for nightlight
Things to Consider
The dry air in your home can lead to congestion and clogged sinuses and even cause bloody noses if left unchecked. That’s why so many people are buying the best Vicks humidifiers for their homes. These models add some extra moisture to the air, relieving those coughs and congestion. Vicks humidifiers also help reduce issues from colds or other sinus problems, adding an extra benefit to an already reliable unit.
Why Vicks is a brand you can trust
The Vicks brand has been in business since the 1890s, so they have gained the experience needed in the health market to earn the trust of their customers. They started with their VapoRub, which relieves congestion and coughing in people of all ages. It’s no wonder they are one of the leading experts in sinus relief and cold medication.
If their humidifiers were only designed to add moisture to the air, it wouldn’t make them stand out from the other brands on the market. That’s why Vicks has included the use of their medicated vapor in the form of a liquid or a pad to their units. One or both of these products can be used with each of their humidifiers, giving you some extra relief in an easy-to-use product.
Features to consider while choosing a Vicks humidifier
If you’re in the market for a new humidifier and have chosen the Vicks brand to meet your needs, check out the following features to ensure you are getting exactly what you need in your new model.
When it comes to Vicks humidifiers, there are two main types to choose from, warm mist and cool mist. Both of them add moisture to the dry air of your home but do so in different ways. The warm mist humidifiers boil the water inside the reservoir and release the steam into the air. Some models include filters to trap the deposits in the water rather than releasing them into the air.
The cool mist humidifiers have three different types. Evaporative models, like the Vicks Starry Night Cool Moisture Humidifier, have a wick to soak up the water, then a fan blows over it to disperse the moisture into the air. Ultrasonic units have a vibrating nebulizer that emits water. Impeller models use rotating disks to produce the mist.
There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing the right type of humidifier for you, it is all a matter of personal preference.
The coverage area of a Vicks humidifier refers to the maximum size a room should be for the unit to perform properly. Many models have the maximum square footage listed, but the Vicks models usually just specify the room size. For instance, the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier is best for medium-sized rooms. This is a bit vague, so if you’re unsure which model would be best for a specific room in your house, keep the following in mind.
Small room Vicks humidifiers work best in rooms up to 300 square feet, medium room models are for rooms between 300-499 square feet, and large room units are for rooms of 500-999 square feet.
Water tank capacity
The water tank capacity tells you how much water the humidifier can hold with one filling. Some smaller models, like the Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier, have small tanks of about 0.5 gallons. Larger tanks, like the 1.5-gallon one on the Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer, hold a lot more water, so you likely won’t have to fill it as often.
The runtime tells you the maximum amount of time a humidifier will run before the tank runs dry. A couple of things affect the runtime of any model. One is the size of the tank since those that have more water obviously can run longer than those with little tanks will. The mist speed is another one since running it on high will use the water up much faster than using it on the lowest setting.
One of the most popular places to use a Vicks humidifier is in the bedroom, to help relieve congestion and sinus issues while you sleep. The louder it is, the more disruptive it will be, and the less rest you’re going to get. Units like the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier are built to be extra quiet, so even on the highest setting, it will produce very little noise, similar to a white noise machine.
Dimensions and weight
The size of the humidifier you choose will likely depend on the size of the space you want to place it. If you’re using it on a dresser or desk, you need to make sure it fits well in that area. You also want to make sure you have enough room to keep it a few inches from the wall to ensure it will run properly.
The weight refers to how heavy the model is when it is empty. Unless you’re carrying the entire unit around with you, this shouldn’t be an issue. You do want it to be heavy enough that it won’t be easily moved by small children or pets, though, especially if it is on a surface off the ground. Adding the full tank of water will also add to the weight, so keep this in mind as well.
You want a good warranty with any product you buy. The longer it lasts and the more it covers, the better off you are if the Vicks humidifier you’ve purchased starts to fail or never works at all. The issues covered under Vicks warranty are defects in the material or the workmanship. They will repair the product or replace it if repairs are not possible.
There are a few extra features that come with some Vicks humidifiers that make them a bit more convenient. These include the controls, which should be easy to use. An auto-shutoff turns the machine off if the tank is empty. Filters clean out the particles from the water before it disperses the moisture into the air. Some models, like the Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer, include nightlights, making them great for kid’s bedrooms. The easier it is to clean the unit, the less time you have to spend on maintenance, which is extra convenient.
Tips to maintain your humidifier
If you want your Vicks humidifier to perform well for several years, there are a few things you need to do to maintain it, including:
Change the water daily to reduce the growth of mold and bacteria.
Use distilled or demineralized water in the tank for less white dust expelled into the air.
Clean it thoroughly every day.
Only use natural cleaning solutions or recommended cleaning products.
Only run the unit when needed.
If it includes filters or cartridges, clean or change them regularly.
Both warm and cool mist have an equal effect on any cold or congestion your baby may be suffering from. This is because, by the time the mist is actually inhaled by the baby, it has matched the room’s temperature, making it quite safe for the baby to breathe. The only issue some parents may be concerned with is the temperature of the vapor as it leaves the machine, which could be too warm for a small child. Keep it out of their reach at all times and this should take care of this issue.
The main advantage of having a filter in your humidifier is that it can remove some potential irritants from the air before it is sent out into the room. These must be carefully maintained, though, so be sure to clean them or change them out regularly to ensure there is no mold or bacteria growth on the filter itself.
This depends on the humidity level in the room when you first turn it on. If it is a particularly dry winter day, the humidity level in your home will be quite low, so the unit will need to run for at least a few hours to reach the desired humidity level. If the level in your home is only slightly lower than needed, you may be able to reach a comfortable humidity level in only an hour or two.
Vicks is a trusted brand in cold and congestion relief, so it’s no wonder their humidifiers are so popular. We do have our favorites, though, including the following units.
Our top choice is the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier, which has a 1.2-gallon tank and an amazing 30-hour runtime. It features a large tank with a carry handle, a dual VapoPad slot, and a variable control for humidity adjustments. It is also very quiet so can be used even in a nursery at night.
The Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier is also a great option. It is compact, with a 0.5-gallon tank, but can still run for up to 20 hours. It includes a variable control dial with an indicator light, an auto-shutoff, and a scent pad heater for a VapoPad. This quiet model also comes in two colors.
The Vicks Starry Night Cool Moisture Humidifier is perfect for the little ones, thanks to the starry night projection. This evaporative model uses a wicking filter to add moisture and remove unwanted particles at the same time. It also has a large tank opening and allows the use of VapoPads for extra congestion relief.