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Vicks manufactures two steam inhalers that can help relieve the symptoms of sinusitis, which is inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. These devices are lightweight, and people can adjust how much steam the inhalers produce.

This article discusses Vicks steam inhalers, including their pros and cons. It also explores alternative brands and treatment options.

Vicks manufactures products that can help relieve respiratory conditions, such as nasal congestion, coughs, and sore throat.

Some of the products that Vicks sells include:

  • steam inhalers
  • sore throat sprays
  • cold and flu relief caplets
  • nasal balms
  • moisturizing mists

Vicks has only one review on Trustpilot and an average customer rating of 3.7 out of five stars. The author of the review praises the company’s products.

Reviews of the Vicks Portable Steam Inhaler and the Vicks Personal Sinus Steam Inhaler on Amazon give the products average ratings of 3.6 and 4.3 out of five stars, respectively.

Positive reviews state that the products are easy to use and help relieve symptoms of allergies, such as nasal congestion.

However, those who left negative reviews say that the product does not work as well as they thought it would. Several customers also state that they could not feel the steam coming out from the devices.

Additionally, some customers note that they experienced leaking and that the devices broke after several uses.

Vicks steam inhalers are devices that deliver steam into a person’s nose and throat. This may ease irritation and congestion.

The company states that its steam inhalers can provide symptomatic relief in up to 15 minutes. Additionally, people can use Vicks VapoPads, which release a menthol scent when the devices are in use.

Before purchasing Vicks steam inhalers, individuals may wish to consider some potential pros and cons of these devices:


  • The devices are lightweight.
  • They have an adjustable steam control.
  • They have an automatic shut-off function.
  • They are compatible with tap water.


  • Customer reviews state that the inhalers can break from the heat they produce.
  • Customer reviews note that the inhalers may leak water.
  • Customer reviews state that the inhalers can take a lot of time to heat up.
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Vicks produces two steam inhalers. Both inhalers aim to relieve nasal congestion by releasing steam into a person’s nose and throat. Below, we describe each of these devices in more detail.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

Sinus Inhaler

Vicks claims that the Sinus Inhaler provides natural relief for people who have sinusitis, allergies, coughs, or colds.

This product features a filterless design, variable steam control, and latex-free mask.

The company states that this inhaler can provide relief in 5–15 minutes.

People can use tap water with this inhaler. Additionally, the company notes that individuals can use Vick VapoPads to release a menthol scent while using the device.

The dimensions of this product are 5.11 x 12.87 inches (in).

At the time of publication, the Vicks Sinus Inhaler cost $49.99.

Portable Steam Inhaler

This inhaler also features a filterless design, but unlike the Sinus Inhaler, it does not come with a face mask.

The device is lightweight, portable, and dishwasher-safe, and the company includes five VapoPads with each purchase.

The dimensions of this product are 8.19 x 5.51 in.

At the time of publication, the Vicks Portable Steam Inhaler had a list price of around $14.

To use the steam inhalers, people can follow the general advice below:

  1. Add plain tap water to the water chamber.
  2. Turn on the steam inhaler.
  3. Adjust the amount of steam as needed.
  4. Breathe in the steam.

Vicks provides with each purchase step-by-step instructions on how to use its inhalers.

People can purchase other steam inhalers online, including:

  • Veridian Steam Inhaler: This steam inhaler works with distilled or tap water and provides treatments of up to 9 minutes. The inhaler is latex-free and heats up in 1 minute.
  • Mypurmist Free Ultrapure Steam Inhaler: This cordless, handheld device does not require any maintenance and uses HEPA filters to remove particles from the air. It is suitable for individuals aged 12 years and older.
  • Crane Cordless Rechargeable Steam Inhaler: This cordless, rechargeable inhaler requires spring water. The device provides warm or cool mists, and the batteries last up to 2 hours after charging.

Learn about the best steam inhalers here.

Alternatively, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the following when treating nasal congestion:

  • using a warm compress over the nose and forehead to relieve pressure
  • using a nasal decongestant or saline spray
  • breathing in steam when in the shower

Learn more about home remedies for sinus infections here.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) recommends people consult a doctor if they experience any of the following:

  • sinusitis that does not improve after 1 week
  • sinusitis symptoms that are severe
  • no symptom relief after taking pain relief medication

Additionally, a person should contact a doctor if they have recurring sinusitis.

Sometimes, doctors may recommend that an individual see an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist. A doctor may refer a person to an ENT specialist if they:

  • have sinusitis after 3 months of treatment
  • only have sinusitis on one side of the face
  • have recurring sinusitis

A doctor may prescribe or recommend a steroid nasal spray, antihistamines, or antibiotics. In rare cases, a person may require surgery.

Below are some frequently asked questions about steam inhalation:

Is steam inhalation therapy effective?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), steam inhalation is one of the common treatments for sinusitis. The AAFA also notes that people use this therapy option three to four times per day.

However, a 2016 study found that steam inhalation is ineffective. The researchers behind the study observed that steam inhalation had no significant effect on symptoms of sinus congestion apart from relieving headaches.

Are steam inhalers safe to use?

While steam inhalers are generally safe to use, research has found that those who use steam inhalers are at risk of scalding injuries when the user comes into contact with hot water.

People should read the manufacturer’s instructions before using their device.

If a person sustains a burn, they should immediately do the following:

  1. Remove the heat source.
  2. Run the burn under lukewarm or cool water for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove any clothing or jewelry that is not stuck to the skin.
  4. Keep your body warm.
  5. Cover the burn with plastic food wrap.
  6. Use pain relief medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Learn more about how to treat scalds here.

If a burn is large or deep or blisters, people should seek immediate medical attention.

For safety reasons, it is also important to follow manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning the device.

Moreover, a person should utilize clean water with each use to prevent any complications of infections via airborne inhalation of bacteria or fungi.

Vicks is a company that manufactures products for individuals with sinusitis, cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion. The company’s steam inhalers come with various features, and a person can use them with the VapoPads, as they provide more comfort.

People who still do not feel better or whose symptoms develop only on one side of their face should contact a healthcare professional to discuss further treatment options.