It’s no secret that I was a huge fan of the Vicks Warm Steam vapouriser! When it went off the market a couple of months ago I was more than a little bit devastated because it a truly great product for coughs and colds that I could hand on my heart tell parents that as both a Pharmacist and mum I believed in! My integrity and honesty are critical to my profession and are also what I have built WonderBaba from so it has taken me a couple of months to write this article as I have been researching, and trying out products so that I could be happy with the recommendations that I give!
I’ll start off by explaining that vapourisers and humidifiers are very similar in that they both emit moisture into the air which helps to soothe respiratory illness. The mechanism in which they achieve this is however technically different.
- Vapourisers work by using a heating element to heat water which creates steam. This steam is warm and is fantastic at soothing night time coughs and sniffles. The only downside is that the warm steam can be dangerous for small children to be around so to ensure safety from burns you must be conscious of that when using them at keep them somewhere out of reach (including the cable and socket). They are generally known as being a little easier to keep clean as the steam kills a lot of bacteria and germs that might settle and grow if the water was not heated.
- Humidifiers work by dispersing water using a small rotating or oscillating disc to divide water droplets into such a tiny size that they can then be fanned into the air thus increasing humidity. Humidifiers generally disperse a cool mist although there does seem to be some that warm up the mist first too (please read later note about Vicks warm mist humidifer!!). Humidifiers are less likely to kill bacteria through the heating process and so vigilant cleaning is crucially important!
Ok so now that we understand the difference, after research, I have chosen two very different products to review!
After my disappointment that the Vick Warm Steam Vapouriser was no longer being made I tried to find another warm steam Vapouriser and had no success! Eventually I decided to stick with the Vicks brand and to try out this Warm Mist Humidifier – so it wasn’t the vapouriser I wanted but it was the next best thing! I was in for a surprise! Mostly this was down to the fact that it isn’t actually a humidifier – it’s a vapouriser! I say this because it uses a heating element to create steam – exactly what I loved about the old product! Steam is warm and comforting and carries essential oils really well! I have no idea why this is marketed as a humidifier but in essence it’s a new and much improved version of the old Vicks Vapouriser! Here’s a list of all the the product info I feel you should know!
- Increases humidity by heating water into steam which prevents respiratory dryness and relieves coughs, colds, flu and even hay fever symptoms.
- Soothes irritated dry skin and eyes.
- Promotes sleep by improving breathing and the warm mist is comforting and soothing.
- It has a little oil well just like the old vapouriser where you can place a few drops of Olbas for children (only if baby over 3 months).
- It can be used for any age as long as you ensure the room is sufficiently ventilated and you keep it out of reach of small children who are no longer in a cot as it does produce warm mist so there is a risk of burns if they interfere with it.
- This model can be used with VapoPads for children age three years and over. These are scent pads infused with menthol, eucalyptus oil and cedarleaf oil. The pads last for 8 hours in the device and are available here!
- The humidifier must be placed on a level, firm, heat resistant and waterproof surface. I place a towel under it on the floor.
- If your room has low ventilation I would ensure the door is left open so that the room doesn’t get excessive condensation. The humidifier still works if the door is left open and it also prevents overheating which is important for teeny tiny babies who cant regulate their own temperature. Place it at least 50cm away from the walls to let it have the correct airflow.
- A great plus is that several of the parts are dishwasher friendly! Here is a
quick breakdown of the cleaning needed! The good news is that on a daily basis you just have to rinse the water tank with water and give it a little wipe. Then if your using a dishwasher just pop the appropriate parts in once per week (really easy to take apart and put back together even by my low technical standards!!) onto the top shelf and run the dishwasher on a light or normal cycle without detergent! That’s it!
- If you choose not to use a dishwasher there are full weekly clean and fortnightly disinfecting instructions in the little booklet – but I’m lazy so went with the dishwasher option.
That’s all the main points really – so whilst it is coming in just over a tenner more expensive than the old model it’s a fairly good offering in terms of value! I think the Vapopads would work out quite expensive to be honest….so I would just use Olbas for children for babies up to two or three years and then the regular Olbas oil for children over that. This model has better functionality than the old model with a low and high setting which can be changed using the simple dial. It’s worth noting that like the old model it does make noise, my kids have never minded it and if anything it has acted as white noise which is a positive thing in my book! The lower setting is slightly more quiet so you could use that at bedtime, then turn it up once they are asleep and then turn it down again when your going to bed yourself….this relies completely on them going to sleep before you though…I’ll let you work that bit out 😉
So this is just the cutest looking medical device I’ve ever seen! I couldn’t resist it and at its higher price point I wanted to see what it had to offer over the Vicks other than being adorable! The Lanaform Charly is an ultrasonic humidifier which uses a high frequency oscillator to divide water into droplets small enough to be delivered as a mist by its fanning system. Good things to know about this device include:
- Bigger capacity than the Vicks – holding a cool 5L of water which means up to 17 hours of use from one fill.
- Water can be left in the device for two days but then must be changed for fresh tap water.
- The device needs to be cleaned every three days – you can clean the tank with water or a soft cloth with vinegar. Rinse the tank clean with water before use. To clean the transducer (shown clearly in instruction book!) you drop a couple of drops of vinegar on it and leave for five mins then gently brush it with a soft toothbrush and then rinse!
- The device comes with a little oil container into which you can place a few drops of essential oils such as Olbas for Childrens.
- The big pro of this device is how quiet it is! The fan is much quieter than the vicks sound but actually it does make a little dripping noise every now and then which might make things tricky if you have a bed wetter…!
- It has a dial so that you can increase or decrease the amount of mist dispersed.
- It doesn’t give off any heat which is good from a safety point of view but obviously children are still not recommended to have access to it as its still an electrical product.
To Sum it up!
The Lanaform Charly is definitely the cuter product but in terms of function these two are both at the top of their game! They offer different pro’s with personal choice becoming important! I personally like a warm mist humidifier/vapouriser as the warm steam warms up a cold room a little which, for my children, has always provided comfort. It is quite useful to create a cosy atmosphere in our dreary climate! I can absolutely understand that some people may prefer to have a cool mist humidifier as they would rather reduce the risk of burns altogether and don’t share the same sentiment as me with regard to finding warm steam comforting. I think that’s why choice is a good thing and it is why I have chosen to stock these two very different devices which also come with different price tags. The Vicks version has a recommended retail price of €61 and we have it on offer for €54.95 whereas the Lanaform Charly has a recommended retail price of €99.75 and we have an offer price of €89.85. We offer free delivery on all orders over €40.
You can find these two products as well as the Vicks Vapopads and Olbas for Children right here in our ‘congestion’ section of our shop!
I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page or my website contact page or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.