Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier Review

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Are you on the hunt for a new humidifier? Humidifiers are a great way to add more moisture into the air of your bedroom to prevent waking up with dry skin, a scratchy throat, or nosebleeds.

Let me introduce you to the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier. I personally tested out this humidifier and in this review, I’ll go over some of its key features, how to use it, and some frequently asked questions.

Short on time? Skip ahead to my review summary.

Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

The Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier has a one gallon capacity, can run for 30 hours, and has a scent pad door to add Vicks VapoPads.

Is the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier Right For You?

Let’s start off with some quick recommendations of who I think will like and dislike this humidifier.

Who Should Try the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

  • If you want to control the direction of the mist from your humidifier, you’ll appreciate that this one features a directional mist outlet which you can spin to change the direction the mist flows in.
  • If you don’t want to be bothered with replacing a filter, this filter-free humidifier could make a good match for you.
  • If you like menthol products for relieving the symptoms of a sore throat, you will be interested to know you can add Vicks VapoPads in this humidifier for soothing menthol vapor mixed in the mist.

Who Shouldn’t Try the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

  • If you want a humidifier with dishwasher-safe components, this won’t be the best choice. All the pieces of this humidifier must be hand washed.
  • If you are easily disturbed by light at night, this humidifier might not be the best pick for you. It has a night light which turns on automatically when the humidifier is running and can’t be turned off.
  • If you are looking for a super quiet humidifier, this might not be the perfect match. While not extremely loud, I was able to hear this humidifier when it was turned on.

Key Features of the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

The Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier is made up of two main components: the tank and the base.

The tank of the humidifier has a capacity of 1.2 gallons. The cover on the top of the tank features a directional mist outlet, which you can rotate to control the direction of the mist. There’s also a carrying handle on the top of the tank, to make it easier to transport. On the underside of the tank is the opening of the tank, where you can fill it with water. This opening is designed wide to make filling up simple, which I can attest to — I found it quite easy to fill the tank up.

When full, the humidifier can run for 30 hours. It also features an auto shut-off mechanism that will detect when the tank is empty and cease running.

The base of the tank features the control knob and the scent pad door, which allows you to add Vicks VapoPads for soothing menthol vapor in the mist. When you purchase the humidifier, you’ll receive one sample pad to try. Each pad provides up to eight hours of menthol vapor. Many people turn to menthol products for relief from a sore throat or congestion, as it creates a cooling sensation and increases the amount of saliva in your mouth.

 The control knob has variable humidity control, meaning it allows you not only to turn on the mist, but to control the level of mist. It also features a green night light which turns on automatically when misting.

As the name suggests, this humidifier does not use a filter, which simplifies cleaning and maintenance. It is an ultrasonic humidifier, meaning it uses a nebulizer which moves at ultrasonic speed to break the water into droplets, which are released as mist.

The total unit size of this humidifier is 9.5 inches by 12 inches and it is designed for use in a medium-sized room.

How To Use The Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Now that you know the key features of this humidifier, let’s go over how to use it.

Setting up the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

When you first take your Vicks Filter Free Humidifier out of the box, be sure to take a look at the instructions and safety information provided by the manufacturer. This will provide you with all the information you need to safely and effectively operate your humidifier. Then, you can get started.

  1. Place the humidifier in your desired location. Be sure to choose a firm, level location that is at least six inches away from the wall. It’s also a good idea to choose a water-resistant surface.
  2. Remove the tank from the base and unscrew the cap on the opening of the tank. Fill up the tank and replace the cap. Remember that the top of the tank features a carrying handle, which may be helpful in carrying the tank once it’s full of water, as it will be heavier.
  3. Replace the tank onto the base and plug in your humidifier. If you are adding Vicks VapoPads for a soothing menthol vapor, open the scent pad door and place the pad(s) in. The scent pad can hold up to two VapoPads. Close the scent pad door.
  4. Finally, turn the control knob to your desired level of mist. You can control the direction of the mist by rotating the directional mist outlet — just be sure the mist isn’t directed right at a wall or any furniture.

Cleaning the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

If you have ever owned a humidifier before, you likely know cleaning them is important. Because a humidifier projects mist into the air of your room, it’s important to ensure there is nothing dangerous mixed into that mist, such as mold, bacteria, and minerals.

Vicks recommends two different types of maintenance for your humidifier: descaling and disinfecting. Scale is the buildup of minerals from the water and removing that scale is important to keep your humidifier properly functioning. And disinfecting ensures no mold or bacteria growth occurs in your humidifier.

Here’s the recommend descaling process:

  1. Turn your humidifier off and unplug it. 
  2. Take the tank off of the base and pour out any remaining water in both the tank and the base.
  3. Take the mist nozzle off the tank and remove the cap. Fill the tank with one cup of distilled white vinegar. Then replace the cap and mist nozzle and place the tank on the base. Allow it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Once it has finished soaking, take a soft, damp cloth and wipe down the nebulizer (the round disk in the base) to remove any mineral buildup.
  5. Finally, gently rinse the water tank, mist nozzle, and base with water until the smell of vinegar is gone.

And here is the disinfection process:

  1. Turn your humidifier off and unplug it. 
  2. Take the tank off the base and remove any excess water from both the tank and base.
  3. Remove the mist nozzle and cap from the tank.
  4. Mix one gallon of water with one teaspoon of bleach and pour the solution into the water tank. Replace the mist nozzle and cap.
  5. Place the tank back on the base and let it soak for 20 minutes.
  6. Once it is finished soaking, rinse the tank, mist nozzle, and base with water until the smell of bleach is gone.
Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

The Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier has a one gallon capacity, can run for 30 hours, and has a scent pad door to add Vicks VapoPads.

Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier Price

Price is an important consideration as you are shopping for a humidifier. There is a fairly wide range of prices that are common for humidifiers, from as low as $20 all the way to over $200.  The Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist humidifier’s full retail price on Amazon is $64.99, which is a pretty mid-range price for a humidifier. 

Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

The Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier has a one gallon capacity, can run for 30 hours, and has a scent pad door to add Vicks VapoPads.

My Final Thoughts About the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

All in all, I thought this was a good humidifier that was fairly easy to use. I appreciated the addition of the directional mist outlet on this humidifier. I like being able to control the direction of the mist, so I can ensure it is directed towards me as I’m sleeping and away from the walls or any furniture. This is particularly helpful if you can’t place the humidifier very close to your bed.

I also liked that this humidifier is filter-free. While filters can be great for ensuring the water is clean, I like the simplicity of this humidifier’s filter-free design. Filters have to be repurchased and replaced, so it can be an added cost and added level of maintenance. Plus, the ability to add Vicks VapoPads is a unique feature that I appreciate. If you love the relief Vicks menthol products can have, you can add the VapoPads when you are feeling a little stuffy.

However, one feature I didn’t love was the night light, which emits ambient light. While some sleepers may like having the night light feature, I personally didn’t like that there was no way to turn it off. If you are easily disturbed by light at night, this feature may be bothersome.

Also, none of the pieces of this humidifier are machine washable. The cleaning process for this humidifier is fairly simple, but the ease of putting parts in the dishwasher can simplify it even further. Some humidifiers have parts that can go in the dishwasher, but this one does not.

Finally, while Vicks advertises this humidifier having “quiet operation,” I found it to be somewhat noisy. It was not anything extreme, but this was not one of the most quiet humidifiers I have tested.

Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier Policies and FAQ

Does the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist humidifier have free shipping and returns?

Yes, this humidifier is eligible for free shipping on Amazon. However, it is not eligible for returns — it can only be returned if it is defective.

Does the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist humidifier work without a filter?

Yes, this humidifier is completely filter free. It is an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier, meaning it uses a nebulizer that moves at ultrasonic speed to split the water into droplets, which form a mist.

What kind of water should I use with the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier?

Only cool water should be used with this humidifier. You can use tap water but if you live in an area with hard water, you may want to purchase a demineralization cartridge or use distilled water.

What should I do if my humidifier is on but no mist is coming out?

When this humidifier is working properly, it produces a visible cool mist. If you don’t see any mist, that’s an indication that something is not working. First, be sure to check that the humidifier is plugged in and turned on. If it is, there could be a buildup that’s blocking the mist. Try descaling your humidifier and see if that solves the problem.

Why is there white dust on my humidifier?

If you live in an area with hard water, that means there is a higher concentration of minerals in the water. When the nebulizer turns the water into mist, the minerals are in the mist, as well. Once the mist comes out of the humidifier and lands around it, it will eventually dry and leave the minerals behind, which results in white dust. It is not harmful but can be prevented with a demineralization cartridge, which will have to be purchased separately. You can also use distilled water to prevent this.

What does a humidifier do?

Humidifiers increase the humidity level, or amount of moisture in the air. They are popular for use while sleeping because sleeping in a low humidity room can cause your skin and mucous membranes (lining of nose, mouth, lungs) to dry out, which can lead to dry air discomforts like waking up with a scratchy throat, nosebleeds, or chapped lips. A proper humidity level can keep your nasal passages moist, promote better breathing, and offer temporary relief from respiratory issues.

Can I use the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier in kids rooms?

Yes, the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier is safe for use in your child’s room.

Does the Vicks Filter Free Humidifier come with a warranty?

Yes, Vicks’ parent company Kaz offers a 3-year limited warranty on this humidifier.

What other air humidifiers does Vicks sell?

Vicks offers a pretty wide variety of humidifiers, in addition to this one. If you like this one but it’s a bit too large, they do offer a Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist humidifier, which has a half gallon tank. Otherwise, they have products such as the Vicks Warm Mist humidifier, the 3-In-1 SleepyTime humidifier, the Starry Night Cool Moisture humidifier, and the EasyCare+ Top Fill Ultrasonic Cool Mist humidifier.

Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier

The Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier has a one gallon capacity, can run for 30 hours, and has a scent pad door to add Vicks VapoPads.

Other Products to Try

Amelia Jerden

Amelia Jerden

Amelia is a Staff Writer for Sleepopolis. She primarily covers bedding and sleep accessory products in reviews, how-to guides, and more. You can also find her over on the Sleepopolis YouTube channel. Amelia is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with double majors in media and journalism and in dramatic art. Outside of work, Amelia can usually be found on a hike, traveling to a new city, or at her local thrift store.