8 Best Steam Inhalers To Buy In 2021


Steam inhalation is an ancient therapy for treating cold, congestion, and other allergies. Using steam inhalers is one of the most convenient ways to relieve nasal blocks and other respiratory problems. The market is flooded with steam inhalers that claim to offer considerable benefits. So, how do you choose the right one?

Keep reading this MomJunction post as we bring you a list of the best steam inhalers. Also, we tell you the pros and cons of each to make your selection easy and quick.

Benefits Of Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation or steam therapy is a common home remedy that provides a lot of benefits (1).

  1. Provides temporary relief: Although steam inhalers do not cure any infection, they help in relieving the symptoms of cold, cough, sinus, allergies, and other respiratory problems. The warm and moist steam eases the swollen blood vessels and irritation from the nasal passages.
  2. Natural and safe: Most of the steam inhalers use only water, which is converted to steam. Steam inhalers are safe for use by both children and adults as no chemical substances are involved.
  3. Relaxation: Steam inhalation also helps in relaxing the throat muscles and clearing congestion. It can also be used for facial spa treatment to open the pores, brighten the skin, and relax facial muscles.

8 Best Steam Inhalers

1. Vicks Steam Inhaler

Vicks Steam Inhaler

Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler comes with a soft and flexible hood that effectively delivers steam to the throat, mouth, and nose. It is effective against congestion and relieves irritation caused due to cold and allergies. You may use the inhaler with Vicks VapoPads for better results.


  • Lightweight, compact, and flexible
  • Has a variable steam control feature
  • Comes with dual scent pad slots
  • Features an on/off indicator light
  • Comes with a one-year warranty


  • Hot water may spill over if the machine is not handled carefully

2. Vicks Sinus Inhaler

Vicks Sinus Inhaler

Vicks Sinus Inhaler  claims to offer 99.99% germ-free steam to provide relief from cough, congestion, and allergy symptoms. It comes with a comfortable and soft face mask that is convenient to use. The inhaler is compatible with the Vicks VapoPads.


  • Comes with adjustable steam control
  • Features dual scent pad slots
  • Shuts off automatically when there is no water in it
  • Suitable for non-medicated, natural therapy
  • No filters required
  • Comes with a one-year warranty


  • Hot water may spill over if the machine is not handled carefully
  • Size could be small for some

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3. AVYA Portable Steam Inhaler

AVYA Portable Steam Inhaler

AVYA Portable Steam Inhaler is designed to clear any obstruction in the nasal, throat, and sinus passages, relieving you from cold, flu, sinusitis, and allergy symptoms. It delivers a warm nanoparticle saline steam and addresses complex conditions related to nasal and throat congestions.


  • Compatible with AVYA Sea Salt and Himalayan Sea Salt) solutions
  • Uses a patented vibrating mesh technology and is powered by a battery
  • Temperature can be adjusted using the built-in buttons


  • Slightly more expensive than other inhalers.

4. MyPurMist Handheld Vaporizer and Humidifier

MyPurMist Handheld Vaporizer and Humidifier

MyPurMist Handheld Vaporizer and Humidifier claims to deliver germ-free steam to relieve you from symptoms of cold, allergy, and sinus congestion. It can be conveniently used by keeping it close to your nose, throat, and sinus area. It can be switched on instantly and requires no maintenance. You may use it with the Mypurmist ultrapure sterile water refills for better results.


  • Doesn’t require boiling water
  • Easy to use
  • Delivers immediate and natural mist
  • Comes with a one-year warranty
  • Package includes a latex-free soft mask, bottle of distilled water, and portable carry bag


  • May not be long-lasting

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5. TANGXIA Handheld Vaporizer Machine

TANGXIA Handheld Vaporizer Machine can be powered by either two AA batteries or a power cable. The machine comes with a kid’s mask and an adult’s mask and is useful for treating cold and cough symptoms.


  • Uses mesh technology to give you a fine mist
  • Doesn’t make much noise
  • Lightweight and portable


  • May not produce mist if distilled or purified water is used

6. Crane steam inhaler

This inhaler from Crane can be converted to a humidifier. It offers quick relief from congestion, flu, sinus irritation, and other allergies. It comes with an auto-off safety feature, and the warm mist helps in killing bacteria in the water.


  • Easy to use and effective
  • Runs in whisper mode for around eight hours
  • No filter required
  • Adjustable steam control


  • Heats up too quickly

7. Hann Steam Inhaler

Hann Steam Inhaler

This  sinus steam inhaler by Haan works as a sauna spa steamer too. You may use it to clear congestion due to cough and cold or to moisturize and deeply cleanse your face. The inhaler uses ion automization technology, and the set includes a facial steamer, nose inhaler, handy measuring cup, and manual.


  • Features a single button for convenience
  • Comes with an automatic shutdown feature.
  • Delivers nano-ionic steam deep into the skin.


  • Takes a longer time than usual to heat up

8. Yevlldoo Handheld Steam Inhalers

Yevlldoo Handheld Steam Inhaler is specially designed to ease difficult breathing. This steam inhaler has a faster atomization rate, which helps turn the medicine into tiny particles of mist to work effectively. It comes with a removable cup that can hold up to 8 ml of medication. The device works with two AA batteries or USB cable and produces sound less than 25 dB.


  • Power indicator indicating water level
  • Easy-to-use
  • Easy-to-clean


  • Container may leak

How To Use A Steam Inhaler To Relieve Congestion?

The modern-day inhaling machines or devices are easy to use. You need to just

  • Set up the machine. If it is powered by batteries, insert them. And if it is powered by a cable, plug it.
  • Pour water in the machine and put a vaporizer if required. Some devices have a separate slot for the vaporizer pads.
  • Switch it on. You will notice the steam after a few minutes.
  • Inhale for about 15 to 20 minutes, and you would find a positive difference.

Safety Tips To Remember When Using A Steam Inhaler

Here are some safety measures that you need to keep in mind when using a steam inhaling machine.

  • Keep the machine on a steady table and not on your lap or shaky surface.
  • Keep your eyes closed to avoid irritation.
  • Make sure that there are no pets or children around when you are taking steam therapy.
  • Choose a safe steam inhalation machine (with a mask or with an enclosed surface) when you are using it for children.

How To Choose The Right Steam Inhaler?

There are different kinds of steam inhalers available in the market. You need to pick one as per your requirements.

  1. Convenience: Choose a machine that has an ergonomic design. It should be easy to set up and easy to hold. Inhalers that require only water and take only a few minutes to provide the steam could be easy to use.
  2. Size: You may find both big and small steam inhalers. Try to choose a compact inhaler that can be easily transported and stored as well.
  3. Purpose: Some inhalers are designed only for relieving cold and cough symptoms, while some are made for facials. However, a few can be used for both purposes. Ask yourself if you need a multipurpose inhaler and then pick the suitable option.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are steam inhalers safe for kids?

Buy a steam inhaler that is specifically made for kids. For instance, choose a device that comes with a child’s mask or ensure that it has an enclosure so that hot water does not spill over. Also, adult supervision is required for operating an inhaler.

  1. Is a steam inhaler the same as a nebulizer?

No, a steam inhaler is compact and usually a hand-held device that is used to get temporary relief from cold and allergy symptoms and congestion. It doesn’t require any medication as it converts water to steam. On the contrary, a nebulizer converts liquid medicine or drugs to mist so that it directly goes to the lungs. Also, a nebulizer helps to make breathing normal, while an inhaler is used to relieve congestion.

Consider the above tips when choosing the best steam inhaler for yourself. Also, follow the instructions mentioned on the box or kit so that you do not harm yourself. In case you experience any discomfort, stop using it.

We hope this list and tips help you choose the right inhaler. Let us know if you have any tips on choosing the right inhaler in the comments section below.


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1. Wongvibulsin; A Guide to Natural Ways to Alleviate Allergy and Sinusitis Symptoms; UCLA Center for East-West Medicine