Waterless vs. Water Vaporizers


Consumers have several choices when it comes to vaporizers. They can go with the cold and hot mist water units or use waterless vaporizers, some of which are much smaller than traditional units. Waterless vaporizers provide some major advantages over water vaporizers, but there are still certain caveats with the waterless units. People must weigh the pros and cons of both types of units when choosing a vaporizer.


  • Waterless vaporizers force air through scented pads, permeating a space, such as a child's bedroom. Consumers can choose from several scents, including eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary. The scented pads are placed on trays underneath the top lids of these units. The scented pads usually last up to eight hours. The oils help relieve cold or flu symptoms such as chest congestion and a stuffy nose. Contrarily, on water vaporizers, water is sifted through steam or mist. Users must add salt or baking soda to activate the units. The steam or mist serves similar purposes: to alleviate respiratory problems.

Advantages of Waterless

  • Waterless vaporizers offer some unique advantages over the water devices. They are much easier to use and clean, for instance. Carbon residue can build up in water units. Owners may have to not only wash these units out but also rid the water container of debris. Water vaporizers are susceptible to mold. Constant use of a water vaporizer can ruin the paint on the walls and ceilings. Kids may spill the water in the water vaporizers, which can destroy the carpet over time. Waterless vaporizers are usually smaller and much lighter than water units, which makes them less cumbersome. Waterless vaporizers are also quieter.

Disadvantages of Waterless

  • A downside to the waterless vaporizer is the effectiveness of the scented pads versus steam. Vapor rubs or scents usually trick the brain into breathing through the nose, according to the Mayo Clinic. Respiratory sufferers may not actually be getting the relief they need. Contrarily, steam helps reduce nasal congestion, thin mucus and clear sinus cavities, according to Rutgers Health Services. Waterless vaporizers may cost more in the long run. The scented pads usually cost $8.00 to $10.00 each, and they can only be used once. Table salt and baking soda are much cheaper and last much longer.


  • Doctors at the Mayo Clinic do not recommend scented vapors for children under 2 years old. People have been known to be allergic to chemicals in certain scents, especially those who are predisposed to chemical allergies or weakened immune systems. A couple dozen waterless units were recalled in 2005 because due to fires, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. People can be injured with water vaporizers, as the steam is extremely hot. Ask your doctor for a recommendation on which vaporizer to use.

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