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I suffer with terrible sinus problems. I had a lot of investigations into their origin and it was found I have an oversympathetic autonomic response system so I overreact to environmental stimuli - namely weather or air con! This has had an impact on my quality of life as I am in a lot of pain so I have shopped around to try different remedies and gadgets to try and ease the pain when I have a bad episode. I heard that warm steam can help as can increase the blood vessels in the nostrils and nasal cavity which can help, also Vicks is very useful as a decongestant for the sinuses and nose. I purchased this from Argos, for £30. The unit itself is quite large, it holds 4 litres of water. It is white on the unit itself and made of white plastic. The water tank is clear and has a blueish tinge to it. It features a timer so you can set it to run for a specified amount of time. I have used this to run the unit prior to my return from home to make sure the room is of optimum humidity on my return. This has worked well. It is suitable for a room sized up to 50m2. Any larger, the humidifier will not be able to humidify properly. It has two speed settings and generates warm steam. It is very quiet in operation, I can run this whilst I am sleeping and this does not impact on my sleep. You can dishwasher the parts which is handy as saves you having to wash them manually. There is a backlight to the unit but this is not too bright. The medicine cup is handy - you can use olbas or other menthol oils which then mix with the steam and help with decongestion. This is a useful product to have at home, I use it when I have a cold also and use at night and the oil and steam make breathing more comfortable.
In desperation after spending most of the winter suffering from various lurgies that turned into chest infections for me, and irritating coughs and sniffles for my daughter, I bought one of these. Initially cost was the main driving force but when I researched a humidifier I also took into account tank size and ease of refilling. My daughter and I still co-sleep and when we have colds etc we often wake each other up with snot or coughing etc so this seemed to do the job at a good price. The product comes in a card box with good instructions. It is very easy to set up and go. The tank part just lifts off and there is a large screw top that you remove to fill it up. The tank has a integral handle which enables you to easily place it under a tap. Lid replaced, it is as easy as slotting the tank back onto the base and turning it on. The tank part is not fixed as such but fits into the base easily. The dial on the front has two settings, one for higher steam and one for lower. We generally use the low setting as it means the humidifier will happily run from 8pm-11am if needed without running out of water. When this is turned on you get a green glow around the dial control and a darkish blue light from the tank itself which makes a nice backlight without being too bright for sleeping. When you turn it on you will hear nothing for about a minute and then it starts to sound like a quiet kettle. It stays with this noise for as long as it is on and we have not found it to be too loud or annoying in the least. The cable is long enough to reach from the large table in our bedroom down to the plug socket leaving some spare so siting this should be easy. The unit is well built and looks like it would last a long time. The humidifier produces a very decent amount of steam, particularly on the high setting. It also heats the room which is an added benefit in winter. This works as a large vapouriser which is preferred to cold mist humidifiers due to the fact that the steam produced is pure and bacteria free. The unit brings the level of humidity in the room to a healthy level. In centrally heating houses the air is often very dry which can be hazardous for those with asthma and skin complaints. Babies with croup respond very well to steam and the typical remedy used to be taking them into the bathroom and running a hot steamy bath with the door closed so that they could inhale the moist air. With this humidifier you would not need to do that which is especially good for exhausted parents or people with mobility issues like me. An added bonus to this machine is that when you have a cold you can add olbas oil or essential oil of peppermint to the medication cup which releases the vapours into the room with the steam to ease blocked noses and chesty coughs. If you are stressed and having trouble sleeping then you could use essential oil of lavender. The tank is easy to clean and the manufacturers say that it is dishwasher safe ( have never tried this). The most user friendly aspect of the Vicks humidifier is that it has an auto shut-off feature, so that when the tank becomes empty the humidifier will just stop working. No fear of overheating at all. Both myself and my daughter love this. The air "feels" so much better when we use this even if we do not have a cold and I run it around 5 nights out of 7 just because I like it so much. This machine has proved to be invaluable when we have coughs and colds and it helps both of us sleep better. I cannot recommend it enough. The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier is priced on Amazon at £28.99 (free postage) and comes with 2 years warranty.
My son has been very congested since he was born, especially at night, this is when it seemed worst, but it may be because it is quiet and I can really hear him breathing noisily more! After searching on the internet about his symptoms, quite a few people had found a humidifier helped their baby, so I purchased this one off Amazon, and this has been a brilliant buy, not just for my baby, but for me and my partner too! I paid £35 for this off Amazon,and I am pleased with it, although I think it was expensive for what it is. I think £25 would have been a much better price. When it arrived I was really surprised at how big and bulky it was. I thought it would be a small thing from the pictures on the website, but it is actually massive. This humidifier stands around 30cm high and about 20cm wide. The cable it comes with is a decent length, and I have always been able to reach it from the socket to where I want it. This comes with two settings, a high and a low setting. I am surprised at how noisy this humidifier is, if we have it on in the front room, you can hear it above the TV, and it is a nightmare in our bedroom at night! Especially the high setting, it is unbelievably loud, and a constant noise, it is like a kettle boiling in your room all night long, although I have learnt to sleep with it now, and it doesn't bother me but it did annoy me at first, I like to have a silent room to sleep in! The low setting is quieter and easier to sleep to. This humidifier works by filling the tank with water, it boils the water and lets of steam into the room. You wouldn't believe how much steam the high setting gives off, it is not a subtle release of steam! The low setting is much more preferable, as it lets off steam a little slower, there is not a huge cloud of it in the room, and is much more easier to have on due to the reduced noise. This lights up at night, a nice blue colour,so is great as a night light. I find I have to fill the water up every morning, and every night when I have it on all the time, it does use up water very quickly. Although it is so easy to fill the tank up, it just slots off, and you fill the water up from the bottom of the tank. This has never leaked when using it, although if you knock into it whilst it is on the floor, you do get water coming out of it, so you need to be careful where you put it. It doesn't get too hot, so I can take it upstairs with me at night straight after I have turned it off. I noticed a massive difference in my son after the first few nights of using this. I used it to help him breathe easier, and in the top of this humidifier you can put a small amount of vicks or olbas oil in the chamber at the top, so it circulates in the room with the steam. I have found this so useful myself, when I had a cold, it helped me breathe so much easier at night. I have found myself sleeping a little better, and I used to always need a drink of water by my bedside for during the night as the room used to get really dry, and I haven't needed a drink in the night for months since using this, it has really made a difference in our bedroom. The first night I used it, in the morning, the room was so warm, and the windows were steamed up, so I now leave my door open slightly, and a window open slightly too, or the room gets so warm in the middle of the night, it is like having the heating on, it really does heat the room up. This humidifier is brilliant for people struggling with the environment of their room at night. It is also great for when you have a cold as you can add vicks or olbas oil etc to it. This is one of the best purchases I have made for me and my baby, and I would buy another if this was to break. If you are looking for a warm mist humidifier, definitely give this one a go, as long as you can put up with the noise!!
My friend recommended this humidifier to me when my son had a bad cold and cough, we used it at her house when we stayed over and it was so effective that we bought one for ourselves when we got home. I purchased the humidifier for £35 at Boots about a year ago. The humidifier comes with a variable humidity output with 2 settings, is Dishwasher safe water tank for easy cleaning, has an automatic shut off and a 2 years warranty. It produces pure, warm steam that is free from bacteria, minerals and other impurities, and provides perfect humidity for an improved well-being of people, pets, plants, furniture. There is no cure for the common cold. True, but there are things that we can do as parents to make children feel better. Using a humidifier is one of them. One of the first things doctors recommend when a child comes down with a cold is to use a humidifier, as this can help loosen congestion and soothe a sore throat. Proper humidification is especially important for children since their smaller nostrils get bunged up more easily. More generally, the regular use of a humidifier can help keep you and your family healthy. Maintaining the right amount of moisture in your home improves the ability of your respiratory system to expel germs from the body. Proper humidity levels in the home can also ease other types of discomfort caused by dry winter air, such as a dry nose and throat, itchy skin, and dry eyes. The humidifier is fairly easy to use, you just fill up the tank with tap water, slot it onto the base (it will only work if it clicks into place properly) and then you switch it on. With two settings you can have a fair amount of steam, even with the lowest setting. I usually put the humidifier on the lowest setting about 20 minutes before my son goes to bed, to get it going and leave it on all night when he has a cold. It lasts around 12 hours. It definitely does him some good as before we had it he would wake up frequently through the night when he had a cold, but when we use the humidifier, he tends to sleep through most of the time. The unit is quite bulky, I put it on the floor with a tray underneath as sometimes it leaks a tiny bit. There are a few negatives to the product; firstly it is very noisy, even though on the box it says it is quiet, so for those that need silence to sleep this would not be very good. Secondly it can leak a little bit and thirdly although it is easy to use, it is difficult to clean, once you take the jug unit off the base and try and clean the spring bit I found it tricky to get back together. Overall I would recommend this product to others, as it has done the world of good for my little boy when he has s cold, it is easy to use and fairly well priced. I will award it 3 stars owing to the few negative points raised above.
Our little boy must have only been about 2 months old when he got his first cold and because he was so young there was very little we could do for him. We were advised by the Health visitor to sit in the bathroom with the hot water tap running as the steam would help. After having tried this as soon as I got home (desperate to help my poor little boy and to get some peace). I soon realised that it may take some hours to get the steam she was talking about and also that as we have a water meter it may also be an expensive way of easing his discomfort. Nevertheless it was worth it for our little boy. So after sitting in the bathroom for what seemed like half a day I decided to have a look for a humidifier and found the Vicks warm mist humidifier in the Argos catalogue it certainly sounded like what we needed and priced at £42.99 we thought it was worth trying. It was very easy to put together and start using and it didn't seem to take long for the room to be pretty steamy. We also noticed that it was making the room warm and this was a bonus as it was the end of November and rather cold. But this is something to bare in mind in the warmer months as it really does make a difference in temperature. To begin with (as advised by the Health visitor) we did not use any medicine oils since then however we have put drops in the medicine holder and found it to work very well. Although the holder is small it is large enough to do the job!. The system is easy to fill up and easy to clean, and the water tank is a really good size (4 litre) and therefore lasts a long time without having to re fill it. However it is not very quiet when in operation (even on the lower setting) and nowadays when we use it we tend to put it on for an hour or so before bed and then turn it off until he is fast asleep as we think the sound makes it harder for him to settle. I think it is a really good product for infants especially and hopefully as he grows we will be able to keep using it providing we can keep it out of his reach!
Apparently a baby catches on average between 6 and 10 colds in their first year- luckily for us I don't think my son was quite as unfortunate to get 10 of them but he did have his fair share and after a few snotty episodes, I found myself looking into what there was out there that could help alleviate the symptoms. The options for babies are somewhat limited as obviously their little systems can't cope with stronger medications, so you're then left with using calpol, various smelly vapour based products and humidifiers. A humidifier, as I discovered, is an electrical device which increases the level of moisture in the air- this helps to keep the mucus membranes in the nasal passages moist, thinning the mucus and allowing it to drain more easily, thus easing congestion and breathing. Unpleasant sounding I know, but as babies can't blow their noses, this sounded to me like a good way to help my little one be less uncomfy during the night (and hopefully result in a better nights sleep for Mummy and Daddy as well!) There are two types of humidifier available, cool mist and warm mist, both of which do the same job but have various pros and cons attached. The cool mist type really needs to be used with filtered water as otherwise bacteria in the water can be released into the air. You don't get this problem with the warm mist type as the water is boiled to create the steam, however this means it can also be a hazard due to the possibility of scalds and burns. Warm mist is generally considered better for relieving colds, but if you have older children you may be better off with the cool mist type to avoid nasty accidents. We decided on the warm mist variety as Elliot was only a few months old at the time so it was easy to keep the humidifier out of his way. Having a few Argos vouchers burning a hole in my pocket, I looked to see if they stocked any humidifiers and decided on a warm mist version, which was made by Vicks, a brand which I felt was reassuring proof that the appliance was specifically designed to combat colds. The reviews on the Argos website were also glowing and it seemed to be a very effective product. From what I remember, it was on offer at the time for around £30, but is currently retailing at Argos for £36.99. After a few days, the humidifier arrived in a fairly nondescript cardboard box with a photo of the appliance on the front and I set to work reading the instructions and putting it together. Assembling the various pieces was quite straightforward, however it did require some careful reading to make sure I'd got it entirely right. The base of the humidifier is made of strong white plastic in an oval shape and inside is a reservoir where the water collects from the tank. The water is then heated by a metal element to boiling and the resulting steam goes up through a chimney-like tube on the side and out into the air. On top of the chimney sits a plastic lid, with a little well in it where you can place vapour producing medicine if you wish. The water tank has a strong handle (very useful as it's pretty heavy when full of water) and a black plastic plug in the bottom, which you unscrew and then fill with as much water as you require (it holds four litres so can easily be left on all night.) You then replace the plug, which has two little prongs in it, and click the tank easily on top of the base. You know that the plug has clicked into the reservoir and the prongs have been pushed up as you get a rather satisfying series of loud glugging noises from the tank. On the front of the base of the humidifier is a circular dial, which you turn anti-clockwise to switch it on. This particular model has two levels of humidification, a normal speed and a higher speed, which may be helpful to relieve very bad congestion. To switch to normal speed, the dial is turned until it clicks into place on a little grey dot on the outside of the dial. At first it seems as if nothing is happening, but slowly you start to hear a hissing/fizzing noise as the water is heated and before long the noise becomes a consistent bubbling, very similar to a pan simmering on a stove. If you look closely, you can also see a fine steam coming from the chimney part of the appliance. To turn on to the higher speed, you move the dial anti-clockwise again until it clicks on two little grey dots. This causes the bubbling noise to increase in volume and you can easily see the mist coming from the chimney- obviously make sure you never put your skin near this part as you'll end up with very nasty burns (that's my mummy voice talking!) Also on the dial is a 're-set' light, which illuminates if the water tank is empty and automatically shuts the humidifier off. This is a great safety feature, which prevents overheating and reduces the likelihood of the unit catching fire. Something else which persuaded me to buy this model was that it boasted an integrated night light- although Elliot didn't need one when he was well, I did wonder if it might help to settle him if he woke up in the night with a stuffy nose. I have to say that I found the night light to be very disappointing as it turned out to be just a light up ring around the dial, which glowed green when the unit was switched on. It produces such a small amount of light that Elliot didn't seem to even notice it. I also think it's a bit annoying that you can't operate the light independently of the humidifier as I would have rather just had the humidification on its own. One downside of this humidifier and I imagine of nearly every other model, is that they do produce a noise, some of course worse than others. At first, the noise from this one seemed very quiet to me when I turned it on during the day, however any noise at night time always seems twice as loud and although Elliot slept through it, I found it quite distracting even though I was in the next room. I also found that there were times when it stopped Elliot from dropping off, so I would have to wait for him to fall asleep before switching it on. This meant that we never ended up using the humidifier for any longer than a few hours at a time as I would get fed up with the noise in the night and have to turn it off. If your child is quite a light sleeper, then it may be worth researching into 'silent' models as you could end up wasting your money on something that just keeps them (or you!) awake (mind you I'm not convinced that anything electrical can be silent!) You also unfortunately have to clean this humidifier on a regular basis, something which I'm not that keen on as I've got enough cleaning to do as it is. The instructions suggest cleaning the water tank daily, a weekly clean of all the parts, followed by disinfecting of some of the parts on a fortnightly basis. I'm presuming that this is only for when the humidifier is actually in use as ours has been sat in the spare room without being cleaned for a few months now. I tend to give it a good going over and disinfect it the day before I intend to use it again, however it then normally is only used for a few nights (with a good rinse of the tank each day) before the cold improves, at which point I give it a quick clean before it goes back into storage. It is important to keep it clean to avoid releasing bacteria and mould into air, which could end up having a detrimental rather than positive effect on the health. Of course the most important thing to ask is, does it actually work? Well the truth is, it won't miraculously cure coughs and colds overnight but it did seem to help alleviate Elliot's symptoms a little. It may produce a more dramatic effect if you can live with the noise and keep it on all night. Personally, I think in our case it was a bit of a waste of money as we struggle to leave it on for more than a few hours due to the noise, in which case we could probably get the same effect from leaving a damp towel on the radiator. Through a process of trial and error, we have so far found good old olbas oil left on a baby wipe on the radiator is the best thing for helping his breathing, so I'd say give that a try before spending any money on gadgets!