12 Best Steam Inhalers In 2023 For Relief From Congestion, Expert-Approved

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If you frequently experience respiratory conditions such as cold and cough, you should consider investing in one of the best steam inhalers. These devices use water vapor to relieve nasal congestion, sore throat, and respiratory infections. They are convenient, have a compact design, and are portable. Here, we have compiled a list of some of the best steam inhalers that you can purchase. We have also listed the pros and cons of each one so that you can choose the one that suits your needs.

In This Article

Benefits Of Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation or steam therapy is a common home remedy. Here are some benefits of steam inhalers:

  1. 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 moist and warm 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 has other health benefits. It helps in relaxing the throat muscles and clearing congestion. It can also be used for facial steaming and spa treatment to open the pores, brighten the skin, and relax facial skin and muscles.

12 Best Steam Inhalers In 2023

1. Best For Cold And Allergies: Vicks Steam Inhaler

Vicks Steam Inhaler Image: Vicks Store

The 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.

Also Recommended By: TheVicks Steam Inhaler has also made it to the list by Paramedicsworld[1]20 Best Steam Inhalers in 2023, Paramedicsworld https://paramedicsworld.com/product-reviews/20-best-steam-inhalers-in-2023/medical-paramedical-studynotes

Product Dimensions: 3.94 x 3.94 x 5.31 inches | Weight: 7.05 Ounces


  • 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

protip_icon Do remember
Never breathe in very hot water as it can damage the lining of your lungs, especially if you have asthma (2).

2. Best For Non-Medicated Therapy: Vicks Sinus Inhaler

Vicks Personal Sinus Steam Inhaler Image: Vickshumidifiers
Now 43% Off

The Vicks Sinus inhaler offers 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.

Also Recommended By: Kansascity has also listed the Vicks Sinus Inhaler.[1]The Best Steam Inhalers for Decongestion and Easier Breathing https://www.kansascity.com/reviews/steam-inhaler/
Product Dimensions: 5.16 x 5.16 x 8.58 inches | Weight: 1.2 Pounds


  • 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
  • Filterless design
  • Comes with a one-year warranty


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

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Over 1,562 satisfied customers have left positive reviews about the product on Amazon.

3. Best With Mesh Technology: Aura Medical 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. This mesh nebulizer delivers a warm nanoparticle saline steam and addresses complex conditions related to nasal and throat congestions.

Number of Items: 1


  • 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.

protip_icon Quick tip
Unlike standard saline rinses, the Avya Portable Steam Inhaler can be pushed deep into the paranasal sinus cavities, resulting in comfortable and effective treatment.
Best For Cold And Allergies
Best For Non-Medicated Therapy
Best With Mesh Technology
Vicks Steam Inhaler Vicks Sinus Inhaler AVYA Portable Steam Inhaler
Dimensions 3.94 x 3.94 x 5.31 inches 5.16 x 5.16 x 8.58 inches-
Weight 7.05 Ounces 1.2 Pounds-
Number of Items-- 1
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

4. Best For Natural Mist: MyPurMist Handheld Vaporizer And Humidifier

MyPurMist Handheld Vaporizer and Humidifier Image: Mypurmist Store

MyPurMist handheld vaporizer and humidifier claims to deliver germ-free steam to relieve you from symptoms of cold, allergy, and sinus congestion. The handheld device can be conveniently used by keeping it close to your nose, throat, and sinus area. As per reviews, it can be switched on instantly and requires no maintenance. You may use this sinus relief device with the Mypurmist ultrapure sterile water refills for better results.

Also Recommended By: Paramedics World and Medical News Today have also listed MyPurMist Handheld Vaporizer and Humidifier in their top 10.[1]20 Best Steam Inhalers in 2023, Paramedicsworld https://paramedicsworld.com/product-reviews/20-best-steam-inhalers-in-2023/medical-paramedical-studynotes[1]7 of the best steam inhalers,Medical News Today https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/best-steam-inhaler#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

Item Weight: 2.55 pounds | Product Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 6 inches.


  • Doesn’t require boiling water
  • Easy-to-use corded steam inhaler
  • Provides cold and allergysymptom relief
  • Delivers immediate and natural mist
  • Comes with a one-year warranty
  • Includes a soft mask with a latex-free design, bottle of distilled water, and portable carry bag


  • May not be long-lasting

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The whopping 729 positive reviews on Amazon reflect the superior quality of this product.

5. Best For Kids And Adults: L L Leadlife Lead The Way Vaporizer Machine

LeadLife LeadTheWay Portable Vaporizer Machine Image: Leadlifeco

The German-engineered machine works well to provide you with the required mist with high efficiency. Also, it comes with a self-cleaning cycle, ensuring your device stays hygienic and works smoothly. Furthermore, being light, it is easy to carry anytime, anywhere.

Color: White,Blue | Batteries: 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required | Product Dimensions: 8.66 x 5.91 x 10.24 inches | Weight: 3.17 Ounces


  • Comes with an advanced mesh technology
  • Long-lasting built-in battery
  • Quiet operation
  • One-button operation


  • Might stop at times
  • Might leak at times

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 239 reviews on Amazon, it's clear that many people love this product.

6. Best Humidifying: Crane Steam Inhaler

Crane steam inhaler Image: Crane Store

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

Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.7 x 9.2 inches | Weight: 1.3 Pounds.


  • Easy to use
  • Provides effective relief
  • Runs in whisper mode for around eight hours
  • Filterless design
  • Provides cold and flu symptom relief
  • Adjustable steam control


  • Heats up too quickly

protip_icon Caution
The steam coming from boiling water can cause scalds. So, it is recommended to wait for some time before using the water (3).

7. Best Sauna Spa Steamer: 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 a manual with instructions.

Number of Items: 1


  • 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. Best Atomization Rate: 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. As per reviews, it comes with a removable cup that can hold up to 8ml of medication. The cold, cough, and bronchitis relief device works with two AA batteries or USB cable and produces sound less than 25dB.

Number of Items: 1


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


  • Container may leak

9. Best Portable: Unoseks Stem Inhaler

By utilizing the latest MESH technology, this tried-and-tested personal steam inhaler and decongestant creates fine mist to help relieve respiratory problems. This portable nebulizer fits into the pockets and hence is travel-friendly.

The device with a low-noise build, is a convenient way to relieve allergies, sore throat, or congestion while on the road.

Batteries: 1 CR2 batteries required


  • Compatible for people of all ages
  • Easy maintenance
  • Has an indicator for the airway
  • Works with batteries and USB cable


  • The power button may not work well

10. Best For Therapies And Facials: Veridian Steam Inhaler

Veridian Steam Inhaler Image: Veridian Healthcare Store

If you need a steamer for therapies and facial steaming, then this dual-steamer by Veridian is for you. Its convenient design targets the airways. The hot steam released can help relieve sore throat, allergies and congestion. These hot vapors also help open skin pores and eliminate dirt, thus preparing your skin for a skincare session.

Material: Plastic | Color: Green | Product Dimensions: 5.13 x 3.75 x 10 inches | Weight: 1.5 Pounds


  • Corded steam inhaler
  • Comes with masks of varied sizes
  • Ideal for quick inhalation therapy session
  • Lightweight design
  • Easy maintenance


  • The steam produced may be too hot

11. Best Noise-Friendly: Sweluxe Portable Steam Inhaler

Sweluxe Portable Steam Inhaler Image: Sweluxe

The cute portable steam inhaler can help your child breathe better while helping clear airways and treating respiratory ailments. It has three adjustable speeds and is suitable for liquid medicines like ambroxol, albuterol, hydrochloride, distilled water, etc. While its ergonomic and smooth shape fits little hands well, the 35-degree inclined design of the cup nebulizer optimizes steam output by reducing wastage.

Batteries: 2 AA batteries required | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 6.8 inches | Weight: 11.36 Ounces.


  • Provides a large amount of fog
  • Low noise
  • USB- and battery-powered
  • Easy to use


  • Blinking light might be slightly bright for some
  • May be slow

12. Best For Aromatherapy: Gurin Steam Inhaler

Gurin Steam Inhaler Image: Wishdirect

The Gurin steam inhaler has a convenient design and can be used by children and adults. It has an adjustable steam level that can relieve congestion and also provide asthma relief. According to reviewers, the machine can be used in conjunction with oils for aromatherapy, enabling you to use it as a diffuser for the room.

Product Dimensions: 5 x 3 x 9.13 inches | Weight: 1.2 Pounds.


  • Comes with one-year of manufacturer’s warranty
  • Has an extension tube
  • Easy cleaning due to its draining tub
  • Simple operation


  • The cord may be delicate
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

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 in.
  • Pour water in the machine and put in 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 might 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.

Dr. Safia Munawar, a GP and certified aesthetic physician, says, Besides following all these tips, follow the general instructions mentioned on the box or kit so that you do not harm yourself. If you experience any discomfort, stop using the inhaler and consult your doctor.”

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, as well as inhalers with flexible steam masks. 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 facial steaming. However, a few can be used for both purposes. Ask yourself if you need a multipurpose inhaler or a basic steam inhaler and then pick the suitable option. Remember to check with your physician before using inhalers for medical purposes.

Why Trust MomJunction?

After considering different steam inhalers’ quality, safety, and features, Vibha Navarathna, our in-house writer and reviewer of health and wellness products, has shortlisted the best ones for you after going through multiple user reviews. As these products provide a natural solution for nasal congestion or any other blockage of your respiratory system, you should pick the most suitable one. Vibha has also prepared a buying guide to make your purchase easier.

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.

2. 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.

3. Can I use tap water in my steam inhaler?

This varies from product to product. In general, the harsh chemicals in tap water may corrode the metal contents of the steamer. However, a few products are tap water-compatible. Refer to the general instructions in the manual to know about this compatibility.

4. How do steam inhalers differ from humidifiers and vaporizers?

Humidifiers release cool mist that is produced after application of ultrasonic vibrations on water. On the other hand, steam inhalers work by releasing hot mist that is produced by heating water. Steam inhalers and vaporizers are the same.

5. Can steam inhalers help with asthma?

A steam inhaler may provide relief from asthmatic symptoms. The hot vapors, when inhaled, may clear the airways and make breathing easier. However, steam inhalation may worsen asthma in a few. Hence, it is wise to know your personal triggers and consult a pulmonologist before using a steam inhaler as a relief for asthma.

The Bottom Line

The best steam inhalers are an excellent investment for your health as they allow you to deal with respiratory issues such as colds and cough naturally and effectively. The options listed here are compact, convenient, and portable, so you can take your inhaler with you during trips and enjoy relief from nasal congestion or sore throat. In addition to offering temporary relief, these inhalers can help you relax and are safe even for children. Ensure you consider factors such as size, the purpose of use, and convenience to make the right choice for your needs. Our recommendations include the Vicks Sinus Inhaler with adjustable steam control and the Aura Medical Avya Portable Steam Inhaler, featuring vibrating mesh technology. The Hann Steam Inhaler, which produces nano-ionic steam, can also be ideal.

Infographic: Points To Remember While Using Steam Inhalers

If you’re considering using a steam inhaler to treat respiratory problems, you must speak with your healthcare provider first. They can guide you on proper use and any potential risks or contraindications based on your specific health needs. Here’s an infographic with a list of do’s and don’ts to remember when using a steam inhaler.

Dos and Don'ts When Using Steam Inhalers (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Steam Inhalation Therapy: Severe Scalds As An Adverse Side Effect.
  2. Steam Inhalation: Health Navigator
  3. Fife Health and Social Care Partnership: Steam Inhalation

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