Vicks is a leading, well-known company many people turn to when they’re feeling under the weather. The company has worked for centuries to provide relief to ailments such as the common cold and coughs, and they even produce excellent humidifiers that combine with their medications for an added boost. However, they’re also great for taking care of your houseplants.
In this Vicks humidifier review, we’ll show you everything you need to know about their popular filter-free cool mist humidifier and show you how it matches up to the competition. Whether you use the unit for your health or your houseplants, you can add humidity to a room with ease.
What is a Vicks Humidifier?
The Vicks Filter-Free Cool Mist is a 1.2-gallon humidifier that adds moisture to the air in order to relieve discomforts caused by dry air or illness, such as congestion and cough. It’s also known by the product number of V4600.
Vicks is a famous company known for its vapor rub, which is a magical cure for coughing fits. People typically place the gel on their chest to breathe in the aroma. However, the North Carolina-based brand themselves has worked to help people with colds, coughs, and sinus issues when they’re sick.
However, the manufacturer much more today. Now they make their line of reliable humidifiers, but the best part is that you can use the medicated vapor in your humidifier for added relief. The humidifier comes with a predestined place to enter the medication, and Vicks also creates their own Vicks VapoPads to insert into the machine for comfort while the unit runs. Most Vicks humidifiers are built to work with up to two VaporPads. Use the simple controls to control the vapor easily.
If you want to include Vicks VapoRub pads with your humidifier, they come in two primary scents: lavender and rosemary or menthol. All you have to do is place the medicated pad(s) into the drop-down container. The door on the side of the humidifier slides open, and the medication adds 8 hours of cold relief and a pleasant aroma.
Vicks’ humidifiers also come with a huge water tank. This tank benefits you in a couple of ways. First, the larger opening and overall size of the water tank is easy to refill. It’s also large enough that you won’t need always to refill it with water, and you can expect the humidifier to run throughout the night. Second, the mist production happens consistently the entire time the unit is on.
The base is white, while the blue tank is see-through so you can quickly glance to check the water level. The transparent tank holds around 1.2 gallons of water, which makes the unit four pounds at the maximum weight. The unit comes with a simple carrying handle to move the water reservoir from room to room, and a large inlet allows for easier refills and cleaning. This large water tank provides at least 30 hours of continuous run time (some accounts claim they can easily make it to 33 hours on the low).
While the humidifier is running, the super-quiet ultrasonic ceramic plates help to reduce noise. The humidifier also won’t overheat. Like most models, it comes with an automatic shut down when the water level drops too low.
The main reason many people select this filter other than the Vicks VaporPad combination is for the filter-free design. You’ll never have to buy filters every 3-6 months again. With this model, you only need to buy a single Protect demineralization cartridge to get rid of any white mineral dust laying around the room. There are multiple levels with an easy turn dial to control the mist release function, and the dial is backlit at night for added visibility. You can even adjust the mist to point in your direction of choice.
Setting up the Vicks humidifier is easier than ever, and the company offers a videoto walk you through the steps. Placement is critical, as the unit must be on a hard, water-resistant surface like a tabletop that’s at least 12 inches from the wall. The tank lifts from the base, the cap twists off easily, and you simply fill the tank with water before replacing the lid and placing the unit back on the bottom. Turn the dial to your desired setting, and the mist should begin pouring from the top.
- Size – 13 x 9.5 x 10 inches
- Water tank volume – 4.5 liters or 1.2 gallons
- Weight – 7.5 pounds
- Voltage – 110 volts
- Run time – up to 30 hours
- Control method – dial controls
- Levels – 3 speeds
- Room size – Medium (100-500 square feet)
- Mist type – cool mist
- Refill type – bottom fill, wide opening
- 3-year limited warranty
- Quiet operation
- Automatic shut off
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The listing price for the Vicks Ultrasonic Cool Mist humidifier starts around $80 on the Vicks website. Options are also available for sale through Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Home Depot.
Vicks comes with an excellent warranty for peace of mind as well. While many companies only offer a year or two worth of protection, Vicks humidifiers come with a 3-year warranty. It’s a limited warranty that applies only to defective workmanship or materials, and you must register your humidifier with the manufacturer. Buying from Amazon still allows you to take advantage of this warranty.
How Vicks Compares
Unlike other popular Vicks humidifiers that offer warm mist, this cool mist option is safer if you have toddlers or kids running around the home. Warm mist humidifiers are basically the same as allowing a boiling pot of water to sit in a room for an extended time, and they may be easily bumped or knocked over. Cool mist humidifiers, on the other hand, don’t face this issue. The cold is refreshing, but it does lead to mildew or mold in the humidifier if you don’t regularly clean the unit.
Compared to another popular humidifier, such as the TaoTronics, Vicks is a top contender with the sick. They’re both perfect for medium-sized rooms and work great, but they’re made for different purposes. While TaoTronics is ideal for many needs and situations, Vicks’ humidifiers combine with their popular medication to provide a boost.
TaoTronics doesn’t hold up to Vicks humidifiers, however. While the TaoTronics cool mist humidifier is a top performer, the design and controls are more complicated looking. Tao offers a nightlight, but you don’t need this feature on the Vicks humidifier because the single dial control is backlit. A nightlight might be nice to have for a child’s bedroom, though. Vicks also offers aroma through their VaporPads and can run for a longer period of time.
The Vicks humidifier is also easier to clean and maintain than TaoTronics, which requires a new filter every 4-6 months. It may also run slightly quieter. Both humidifiers, however, are easy enough for a beginner to work with ease. TaoTronics does come with some nice runtime features, however, such as the timer. But when it comes to aesthetic appeal, Vicks has it all.
The Levoit LV600HH is another top competitor on the market, but even it doesn’t hold anything to Vicks. Levoit humidifiers are easier to clean than TaoTronics, but the wide opening Vicks offers blows both options out of the market. Cleaning the TaoTronics is an overall nightmare. However, Levoit also offers a worse warranty than TaoTronics humidifiers. Vicks is much better than both competitors in that regard.
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Levoit humidifiers, however, perform well in large rooms. They cost a bit more than the competition as well because they come with bonus features like an LED screen display with information on your home’s humidity and a remote to control the whisper-quiet humidifier from a distance. Levoit can hold more water as well, which results in at least 36 hours of continuous running. Plus, you can add essential oils into your Levoit humidifier via an aroma box designated for their use.
Vicks offers the best warranty out of the options available. Unlike most competitors on the market today, Vicks stands behind their products with a 3-year limited warranty. Most humidifiers sold today only come with a year-long limited warranty, and options like the TaoTronics offers an extended warranty to make this time over two years. Levoit also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is nice. However, a three-year warranty is the most extended option available.
Pros and Cons
In this Vicks humidifier review, we’ve already pointed out just how great it is not to need regular filter replacements. The filter-free design allows for more natural cleaning as well. This impressive unit can run for an extremely long time, and the cool mist is easily controlled using the simple dials. Although, it’s not as quiet as the TaoTronics model, it’s still much more silent than most humidifiers as well.
Cons to using this Vicks humidifier are slim. It’s a well-made unit that’s great if you’re feeling under the weather. There are some tiny features missing in this unit than other models on the market though, such as a nightlight. The control dial is backlit, but no nightlight is available to help see how the humidifier is functioning at night. Although, the design doesn’t require a nightlight as much as the TaoTronics humidifier, which has a display and button controls to operate the unit.
However, you should never use Vicks in a humidifier if it’s not 100% safe for your child. Babies and young children under the age of two should never be exposed to Vicks medications, whether applied to their chest or in a humidifier. If your child is over two years of age, there are multiple benefits to using Vicks VapoRub (or VaporPads in a humidifier) as a remedy for cold symptoms or upper respiratory infections. The soothing vapor helps you sleep as well.
Finally, you may need to purchase added cartridges if you notice white powder along surfaces near your humidifier. This means you have a build-up of minerals in your water, and you must buy the cartridge separately to keep the unit running smoothly.
You must also clean the humidifier at least once per week to keep mold from growing inside the water tank, which is a common issue with cool mist options. Follow the cleaning instructions on the manual very carefully.
Otherwise, you may notice a build-up of pink mold or mineral deposits may build up inside the unit, causing it to stop working. The wide opening makes cleaning more accessible than ever but staying consistent is a huge issue with a Vicks humidifier. If you keep it clean, however, it will last years to come.
- Filter-free, so you won’t need regular replacements
- Works for up to 30 hours
- Variable humidity controls
- Cool, visible mist
- Quiet operation
- Holds up to two Vicks VaporPads for added comfort
- Easy to clean thanks to the wide opening
- Extra-long warranty
- No nightlight
- Needs cleaning at least once per week
- May need to buy a cartridge for mineral deposit build-up
- Shouldn’t use the medicated pads with kids under two years old
In this Vicks humidifier review, we’ve explained the main features and setup process of this popular model. Compared to other top brands, Vicks holds up due to the easy-to-clean filter-less design of the water tank and the stunningly extended warranty. You won’t need to buy filters every few months, and the cleaning process is easier than ever, thanks to the wide opening. Vicks humidifiers look sleek, and the design works as well as it appears.
Featured Photo via Flickr