Vicks V200 Vaporizer

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Things are Getting Steamy in the Bedroom

Oct 29, 2005 (Updated Oct 30, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Durability:

Pros:Large easy to fill tank, almost silent

Cons:Water is a little difficult to drain

The Bottom Line: A vaporizer can go a long way toward easing kid's cold symptoms. The Vicks V200 Vaporizer is a great choice!


I still remember when my oldest had her first cold. She was 6 weeks old and I felt helpless listening to her try to breath through her stuffy nose. Most medication isn’t safe to give such small babies so I was stuck with saline nose drops, an aspirator and our brand new Vicks V200 Vaporizer.

Is it a Vaporizer or Humidifier?
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference in how humidifiers and vaporizers. Both add moisture to the air. A vaporizer does this by heating the water in a tank and sending the stream out into the room, while humidifiers use only cool water.

Which one you want depends on your application, but for a cold I feel that a vaporizer is generally the better choice. The cool water of a humidifier is a breading ground for mold and bacteria, which no one wants to be breathing especially when sick. Since the water in a vaporizer is heated and sterilized a cleaner mist is emitted into the room. Since a vaporizer does run warm extra care needs to be taken to prevent burns. Of course while the heat can be soothing and nice in the winter it may be too much when treating a summer cold, although I’ve never found it to be a problem since our home is air conditioned.

The Basics of the Vicks V200 Vaporizer
The Vicks V200 Vaporizer is a two piece unit, a plastic water tank and the heating unit. The tank is semi-transparent so you can see the water level and measures about 1’ X 2’ and is 8” high. It holds 2 gallons of water and a handle is molded into the tank to make it easy to carry. The heating unit is blue and features a nightlight and a medicine cup. It fits easily in the water filling hole in the tank. The Vicks V200 Vaporizer comes with a 5 year warranty.

It‘s All in the Design
For the price, about $17, this is a pretty well designed and easy to use vaporizer. Filling the tank with water is easy through the large hole in the tank, and Vicks has made it easy to know when you have put in enough water. There area two maximum fill lines, one on top and one on the base. If you are filling the tank from a sink you will need to hold the tank horizontally and read the fill line on top. If you are filling the tank from the tub spout you can hold the vaporizer vertically, and even hang it from the spout, and read the fill line on the bottom of the tank. I can then use the built-in handle to carry the tank vertically and not spill a drop of water. Like with most vaporizers you need to add a pinch of salt to the water to get it to steam properly.

The heating unit slips easily into the hole that also serves for filling the tank. On the heating unit is a medicine cup that can be filled with liquid menthol inhalants to further help relieving cold symptoms. You also have the option off adding medication directly to the water. There is a night light on the unit. It really isn’t bright enough to function as such, but it is a great hey-I’m-still-plugged-in light. And speaking of the plug, the 3 foot cord is white. I like this because there is no chance that I am going to accidentally unplug the clock!

My only complaint with the design is that the water is a tad difficult to empty. The water hole is in a recessed area of the tank. So when you turn the tank upside down to empty it the water has to roll uphill before draining out the hole. It would be so much easier if the hole was at the high point of the tank, that way when it is turned upside down the area around the hole would act as a funnel and aid in draining the water.

Our Experience
Once I have the unit plugged in the bedroom starts to steam up in less than 10 minutes. Since the steam is warm and heat rises, I usually put out vaporizer on the floor. This does make the large glowing orange “night light” a great feature so I don’t have to worry about tripping on the vaporizer when I go in to check on my kids at night. Usually after about 1/2 an hour of running our average sized bedrooms are comfortably "vaporized."

Now that my girls are over the age of two I also usually either add some Vicks VapoSteam to the water or Kaz Inhalant in the medicine cup of the vaporizer to get that camphor scent in the air as well as the couch suppressing and decongestant properties. Once the steam is going the tank and heating unit are warm, but not hot to the touch. Care should still be taken because the water and the unit inside the water are hot!

Having the vaporizer on always seems to make my kids feel better and sleep better. I can’t say for certain that it is the steam or the medication but anything that helps my kids get some sleep when they aren’t feeling well is good by me. The vaporizer is almost silent when it runs so it doesn’t disturb anyone’s sleep.

The large 2 gallon tank holds enough water to run for 24-36 hours. Even though I know that I should change the water every night I wait until it is empty to clean it. That means I get 2 or 3 nights of use out of one filling and by then my kids are generally feeling better so I just clean it up and put it away until the next cold hits. I wash out the tank with some detergent and then complete dry it. I also soak the heating unit in some vinegar to remove any deposits that may have formed from the minerals in the water.

I like to run the vaporizer for myself when I have a cold. My husband hates the smell of camphor so I usually just run it for the steam. It always seems to help at least a little with m cold symptoms, and yes I like that warm feeling the bedroom takes on when the vaporizer is running.

Should You Buy the Vicks V200 Vaporizer?
If you are in the market for a vaporizer to help ease cold symptoms then this is a great one. It is easy to fill and holds a lot of water for long continuous operation. Operation is nearly silent. I like that camphor can be either added directly to the water or in the medicine cup. I have been using the Vicks V200 Vaporizer for 4 years now and it was a great purchase.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 16.99
Noise Level: Almost noiseless


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