Vaporizer vs Humidifier: Which Is the Better Option for Croup?

You hear the barking cough of your child at 2 a.m. Neither you nor your child is getting any sleep, which is not going to go well for your early morning presentation at work.

You’ve tried over-the-counter cough medicine, but it’s just not working. The cough is actually getting worse.

It must be croup.

A friend tells you that you can help ease your child’s croup cough by putting a vaporizer or humidifier in their room. But which one should you choose?

Let’s take a look at a comparison of a vaporizer vs humidifier.

What Is Croup?

Before you can start to look at ways these devices can help croup, you should first understand what causes croup to begin with.

This is no normal cough. It’s usually caused by an infection, which is often viral. The viral version affects your child’s voicebox, causing the telltale sound of croup. It can start off innocently like a regular cold, and then progress with a mild fever.

There’s another version of croup called spasmodic that comes on more suddenly. The medical world is still deciding the cause of spasmodic croup, such as allergies or stomach reflux.

Regardless of the cause, the sound of a croup cough is alarming to any parent. It can also be accompanied by wheezing, making it seem even worse.

Some cases of croup may require medical intervention, especially if the condition doesn’t improve or the wheezing gets more intense. It can be treated with a steroid medication taken orally.

However, for milder cases, croup can also be eased with home remedies. That brings us back to asking what’s the difference between a vaporizer and a humidifier.

Both vaporizers and humidifiers will add moisture to the room’s air, which can help ease cough and cold symptoms. Having low humidity in your child’s room can also lead to nosebleeds and other issues.

Tip: adding an electric space heater to a room when it’s colder can increase the capacity for moisture in the air. However, if you add heat without a humidifier or vaporizer, it will make the air feel drier.

On the flipside, a cold blast of air from a freezer or the outside air has also been shown to temporarily ease symptoms.

The Steam Vaporizer

In general, vaporizers use heat to create continuous steam. However, even though there’s a heating process, the steam itself is usually not very hot when it leaves the machine.

The Pros

One big difference between a vaporizer vs humidifier is that with a vaporizer, you can add inhalants that produce soothing vapors (like menthol or eucalyptus). These inhalants can help provide more comfort to your child.

You can find vaporizers that have added features such as an auto shutoff when the water reservoir is low, as well as a nightlight which is especially helpful in a child’s room.

The water capacity of vaporizers can be quite high, up to 1.5 gallons or more. That means it can run for 24 hours or more without requiring a refill.

Because of the heat generated by a vaporizer, they are quite good at minimizing mold and mineral buildup. Also due to the heating process, the moisture itself coming from a vaporizer can be more hygienic than that of a humidifier.

The Cons

A vaporizer may become a burning hazard for kids and pets if it tips over, due to the heated water inside. Note that some vaporizers have safety features to regulate the water temperature.

You have to be sure to read any warnings on the labels of inhalants, as they often aren’t recommended for younger children and babies.

The Cool-Mist Humidifier

Many types of humidifiers don’t rely on heat to create steam (there are warm mist versions similar to vaporizers, but this will focus on the cool mist). Instead, cool mist units use vibrations to distribute a cool mist into the air.

The Pros

You don’t really have to worry about anyone getting burned by a cool-mist humidifier because there’s no heating involved. This is especially important when you’re putting a unit in your child’s room to soothe croup and other ailments.

Because the water doesn’t need to be heated before it’s shot into the air, you will probably save electricity compared to a vaporizer.

Many humidifiers can swivel back and forth during operation to better fill the room with mist.

You can also find humidifiers that have built-in lights.

Humidifiers come in all shapes and sizes, but you can find units that will run continuously for 24 hours or more without refilling.

The Cons

Because cool mist units use a motor to disperse the water, they can be noisy as well. The cool mist can also make the room feel a bit colder.

As there’s no heating involved with a cool mist humidifier, you will have to be prepared for more maintenance. They need to be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.

The water you put into a humidifier should also be distilled first to remove any impurities. This is not as much of an issue with a steam vaporizer.

Vaporizer vs Humidifier: Which Is Better for Croup?

There’s no clear winner between a vaporizer vs humidifier when it comes to battling croup, although some experts tend to lean towards cool mist due to safety concerns with hot vaporizers. However, choosing the best one for you might be a matter of which one is within your budget and gets the job done.

Cool, moist air from a cool mist humidifier can help reduce the swelling involved with croup. Instead of using a steam vaporizer, you can also try running a hot shower and letting your child breathe in the steam from it. This has been shown to relax vocal cords and reduce wheezing.

Regardless of which one you choose, you should take precautions if your child has asthma. Humidity in the room should be kept between 30 and 50 percent.

Adding a humidifier or vaporizer is one way to make life better at home. Another way to improve the air in your child’s room is by adding a HEPA air purifier, which you can read more about on our site.

Taking these steps can help prevent certain illnesses, or help them on their way quicker.

The 8 Best Quiet Space Heaters for Any Room

heater on the floor

With global warming and other climate fluctuations, temperatures have dropped since 2016.

This means more and more people, especially in colder areas, are using space heaters to warm their bedrooms, office spaces, and apartments.

But what makes a good heater and why do consumers often prefer this over central heating?

The best space heaters are quiet, portable, safe to use in small spaces, relatively inexpensive, and have a long run time. They’re also easy to maintain and/or clean, if necessary. Some of the best quiet space heaters even come with extra features, like digital interfaces, remotes, or various heat ranges (to accommodate for really cold areas).

Depending on what you’re looking for, there’s a heater that will fit your home and personal preferences. Here is a list of the eight best quiet space heaters for any room.

What Do All of the Best Quiet Space Heaters Have In Common?

Finding the best quiet space heaters is honestly a matter of personal preference; however, there are some basic features you have to consider.

First, you’ll have to think about the space you’ll be putting the heater in. Every space heater needs a three-foot perimeter on all sides to protect from any accidental overheating or burning. If you’re heating a smaller space, you might not need all the bells and whistles of a larger or more advanced brand.

You’ll also want to consider the amount of energy your space heater will potentially use, and what makes the most sense for your room(s) size.

Heaters also vary in design. For example, there are indoor propane heaters or silent space heaters that are electric, too. It’s best to survey your room and consider the different options before deciding on what space heater is right for you.

Now that you’ve given your rooms some thought, here are the best quiet space heaters for purchase.

1. The Dr Infrared Portable Heater

When it comes to quality heating, this is one of the best space heaters on the market.

This 1,500-watt heater weighs around 24 pounds, making it light enough to be transported to and from any room. It’s on the lower end for energy use (12.5 amps). It also has a built-in energy-saver mode and 12-hour shut-off feature to help conserve electricity.

There’s a digital display and remote, too.

2. The Cadet Baseboard Hardwire Heater

For a less portable, but still extremely powerful option, this baseboard heater is inconspicuous and hides along the lower portion of your wall.

Like the Dr Infrared, this baseboard heater is also 1,500-watt, but it’s far less expensive (and intrusive) which may be a draw depending on your space. The length measures about 72 inches and it weighs under 14 pounds.

It comes in white and uses a thermostat for temperature regulation.

3. The DeLonghi Safe Heat Oil-Filled Radiator

The difference between a traditional space heater and an oil-filled one is that oil-filled options are often cheaper but take longer to heat up. They’re argued to retain heat longer than other brands, though, but are typically heavier (and thus less portable).

This quiet space heater has three heat settings, an anti-freeze setting to prevent damage to the inner oil chamber. Though it’s oil-filled, it’s completely safe for children/pets because the surface temperature is low and the oil chamber is sealed inside.

The wattage of the DeLonghi is from 500 to 1,500 watts. There is an auto shut-off to maintain consistent temperatures. This can be beneficial if you spend a lot of time in the same room you where have the heater.

4. The Hurricane Radiant Heater

The Hurricane is another oil-filled option with three heat settings, remote, and wheels to help with transferring it from room to room.

It has 1,500 watts of heating power and weighs under 19.5 pounds. Although this is a great quiet room heater option, the only downside is that the remote control beeps, which is less preferred by some users looking for complete silence.

5. The DeLonghi HMP1500 Mica Panel Heater

This DeLonghi panel heater is both functional and stylish. Perhaps slightly less intrusive than other brands (with the exception of the Cadet Baseboard Heater) it functions as a single panel and takes up far less space.

It can function in two ways: mounted directly to a wall, or on wheels for more portability.

On the front of the heater is a thermostat with a slider scale to regulate temperature. It uses 750 to 1,500 watts and there’s an internal thermal ‘cut-off’ that prevents overheating.

The unit weighs under 16 pounds and measures 27 by 10 by 22 inches. It comes in both black and white.

6. The Vornado VH10

The Vornado is a small, but powerful unit with two heat settings (ranging from 750 to 1,500 watts). The entire unit weighs 5.1 pounds, making it the lightest this list. It also has an easy-carry handle on top to allow for even easier transport.

The Vornado also comes with a built-in tip-over switch feature, which means that if the heater is bumped or knocked over for any reason, it will automatically stop to prevent burning.

7. The PuraFlame 1250W Portable Electric Heater

If you’re into cozy vibes, this space heater functions like an electric fireplace (and looks like one, too!)

The 9-inch PuraFlame heater has an LED interface for the flame effect. (Note: This can also be turned off if you prefer a solid black look). The PuraFlame has an adjustable thermostat that generates 1,250 watts and uses 120 volts. It weighs about 8 pounds and has an easy-carry handle as well as a safety feature for tipping.

It’s best for smaller rooms, 400 square feet or less.

8. The Fahrenheat FUH54

Although this is a slightly more expensive option, this Fahrenheat space heater can cover up to 1,500 feet (which is a considerable amount in comparison to other brands). The wattage is adjustable, from 2,500 to 5,000 watts and the heat range is 45 to 135 degrees.

The heater comes with a 4-wire plug, wiring harness, and a ceiling bracket, too, so that it can be mounted to a wall space. This makes it one of the most versatile options on this list because it’s small and can literally fit anywhere.

Purchasing a Heater That’s Best for You

Now that you’ve seen the best quiet space heaters, it’s time to figure out what’s right for you and your living arrangements.

Although you might be tempted to grab the highest wattage or lowest price, it’s important to consider your room(s) size, run time, and how often you’ll need the heater (based on your climate and location).

To read more about electric heaters and how to find the perfect one, click here.

Vacu Vin Wine Saver vs Concerto

Should you buy the Vacu Vin wine saver or the Concerto? Read on to learn about which choice is best for you.

It’s no secret, Millennials love their wine. In fact, 42 percent of all wine drunk by people in the United States is drunk by Millennials. With the average cost of a bottle of wine surpassing $10 a bottle, it makes sense that wine buyers would want to make sure that they preserve the remaining wine in the bottle.

But how do you do that? Try the old spoon in the bottle trick? Put the wine in a water bottle?

The best way to preserve wine is to use a wine stopper. But which one works the best? Read on for a review of the Vacu Vin Wine Saver versus the Concerto.

Why Do You Need a Wine Saver?

As much as we enjoy wine, it’s actually a pretty temperamental product. As it stands, most wine is only good for approximately 3-5 days after it is opened. And that’s if it’s stored properly.

Of course, different types of wine have different lives after they are opened. Sparkling wine is by far the shortest — it will only last 1 to 3 days if it is stored with a sparkling wine cork in the fridge. Boxed wine lasts the longest, up to 28 days if it’s stored in the fridge.

Why does wine go bad so soon after it’s opened? The answer lies in its chemistry.

When you open a bottle of wine, it exposes the wine to oxygen. Oxygen interacts with the wine and begins turning the wine into vinegar. That doesn’t mean that all oxygen is bad for wine, however.

In small doses, oxygen is great for wine, particularly right before you drink it. You can pour wine through an aerator to help develop the flavors or just give it a few good swirls. If you decant wine, you should plan on drinking the entirety of the wine you decant because it cannot be stored.

So how do you preserve your wine? Sticking the cork back in it is not an option because the cork is porous and allows oxygen in the bottle, thus accelerating the decomposition of the wine. Side note, this is also the reason why should store unopened wine on its side — because the cork is moistened and expands to reduce the amount of oxygen getting in the bottle.

Thus, the key to a quality wine saver is one eliminates the amount of oxygen in the bottle after you open it. It should also be easy to use so you don’t accidentally trap oxygen in the bottle. With these facts in mind, we reviewed both the Vacu Vin Wine Saver and the Vacu Vin Concerto Wine Saver.

Vacu Vin Wine Saver

The Vacu Vin Wine Saver is the original product in the Vacu Vin line. It comes in a super affordable kit that includes the sealing pump and two wine stoppers. You can also upgrade to a combo package on Amazon that comes with the sealing pump, two gray, two blue, two pink, and two purple wine stoppers, as well as the Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Wine Cooler.

The product description claims to remove air from the wine bottle. In turn, it extends the life of your wine up to a full week. All you need to do is insert the wine stopper into an open bottle of wine (they’re universal), then place the pump on top of the stopper and pump until you hear a “click” sound.

The pump is manual, so it will require a minimal amount of arm strength. It is solid black, approximately 5 inches tall, and has two solid 1.5 inch long handles on each side of the pump.

So, does it work? The Vacu Vin Wine Saver is an absolute winner in the kitchen. Not only does it work well and extend the life of your favorite wine, but the seal is solid enough that you can store open bottles of wine on their side in the fridge.

Between the low price point and the effectiveness of the product, this is a great option for any cost-conscious wine connoisseur.

Vacu Vin Concerto Wine Saver

The Vacu Vin Concerto is the next generation of wine saver from Vacu Vin. This wine saver operates almost identically to the original Vacu Vin Wine Saver. It consists of a wine pump and four gray wine bottle stoppers.

Like the original, you place the wine stopper in a wine bottle, put the pump on top of the stopper, and pump until you hear a click. If you want to remove the stopper, just squeeze it until you hear a hissing sound and then remove it.

This wine saver is more elegant than the original. The pump is a bit taller than the original and has a thin, rounded handle circling the pump. It comes in black, white, and red.

Unlike the original, the Concerto does not come in varying packages. If you want extra stoppers, you can purchase them separately.

Overall, the Vacu Vin Concerto Wine Saver is another solid option if you’re wanting to add something a little bit more elegant to your wine collection. The pump and stoppers last a long time, and replacement stoppers are inexpensive.

Cheers to Wine!

Both the Vacu Vin Wine Saver and the Vacu Vin Concerto are great options for keeping your wine as fresh as the day you opened it. If you like to stick to the basics, then you’re just fine going with the original Vacu Vin. But if you’re interested in more elegant kitchenware or different color options, then you should opt for the Concerto.

As with wine savers, it’s important that every item in which you invest is super high quality. Our blog helps you make informed decisions about everything you buy. If you want more super helpful product reviews, check out the rest of our blog for reviews of everything from milk frothers to reusable straws!

Happy sipping!

The Top 5 Best Healthy Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles

We consume over one million plastic bottles per minute. You’re probably thinking that most plastic bottles are recycled. But you’ll be surprised to discover that over 90 percent of plastic bottles are actually not recycled.

What’s the problem with plastic bottles? More like – where do we start?

The plastic contains a chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA), which has been proven to be harmful to human health.

Plastic bottles often end up in our oceans, where they wreak havoc on marine life and the environment.

Lastly, plastic bottles are made from a petroleum product, which is a fossil fuel which causes global warming.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom.

There are a number of alternatives to plastic water bottles that are safe and healthy to use. To find out more, let’s take a look at some of the best examples of plastic-free reusable water bottles on the available.

1. Hydro Flask

The Hydro Flask is a stainless steel and BPA free.

But it’s also insulated a vacuum sealed, which means that it keeps hot beverages hot and cold drinks cold. You can drink on the go, at the temperature you want it.

Your coffee or tea should stay hot for around 12 hours, while your ice-cold water will stay cold for around 24 hours.

They are available in many different sizes and colors.

So, what’s the catch? As a result of the vacuum seal, they’re not dishwasher safe.

2. Lifefactory Glass Bottle

The Lifefactory glass bottle is a 22-oz BPA-free glass water bottle. It comes with a flip cap. It’s also available in a number of different silicone sleeves, including turquoise, ocean blue, and many others.

Although it does not insulate as effectively as the Hydro Flask, it’s dishwasher safe. Therefore, it’s easy to clean compared with other options.

This is a great reliable bottle, however, because it’s made of glass, it might not be suitable for children. If it breaks, the pieces of glass could be dangerous.

3. Klean Kanteen

The Klean Kanteen is one of the top innovators in the world of reusable water bottles. The company provides strong and sturdy water bottles that have vacuum insulation, and they’re made of stainless steel. Plus, it’s BPA-free polypropylene.

Some of the water bottles available on the market nowadays can be rather expensive for the average consumer. With Klean Kanteen, you get an affordable but basic water bottle.

If you want to drink coffee or tea, you can keep your drinks hot in the bottle for around 20 hours. While ice-cold water stays that way for up to 48 hours. It’s also available in a wide range of colors.

4. Bkr Tutu Water Bottle

BKr is a company that specializes in great-looking water bottles. With really simple and stylish designs, the small mouthpiece makes it easy and comfortable to drink from wherever you are.

It includes a silicon casing, which means it doesn’t get scratched easily. This allows you to get a tight grip of the bottle when you’re drinking. This avoids any knocking over on your table or dropping it on the floor.

It’s also dishwasher safe and it’s totally free of chemicals. If you’re looking for an eco-solution to your water bottle problem, this could be it.

5. Root Corkcicle Classic Canteen

Root 7 is a company that produces beautiful and functional items. This futuristic looking Corkcicle Canteen bottle is no different.

It might look like a cocktail shaker, but the stainless steel bottle also comes in a variety of different bright and wonderful colors. But if you want a classic look, stick to the brushed steel design.

The drinking bottle allows you to keep your cool drinks at the same temperature for up to 25 hours. While your hot beverages will stay hot for around 12 hours. The 16oz option is available but bigger or smaller bottles are also available on Amazon.

The vacuum lid allows you to throw the bottle into your luggage without worrying that it’ll spill on your stuff. Lastly, you can also place the bottle in the dishwasher when it’s dirty.

Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles

The present number of single-use plastic water bottles that we’re using is simply not sustainable. That’s why it’s important we switch to a reusable drinking bottle.

But why stick with plastic?

There are many potential health hazards of drinking from plastic containers even if they’re regularly washed. Plus, there are so many other great materials from glass to stainless steel that do a better job.

With our list of alternatives to plastic water bottles, you can purchase a bottle to meet your drinking needs. If you want to like to read more product reviews, check out our website.

Save the World One Reusable Straw at a Time: A Guide to the Best Reusable Straws

Since 2015, over 30 million people have viewed the Youtube video of the sea turtle with a straw stuck up its nose. As our understanding of the damage plastic pollution is doing to our oceans and environment, the war against single-use plastic straws has gone from strength to strength.

A number of companies, from Starbucks to Disney, have committed themselves to eliminate the use of single-use plastic straws. Along the trending Twitter hashtag #StopSucking, a number of celebrities have vowed to stop using single-use straws.

And yet, whether it’s a cold brew, a cup of OJ or a freshly-made Manhattan, the pleasure of sucking your drink through a straw is wonderful. That’s why you need to switch to a reusable straw to sip your drink the classy way.

Keep reading for our guide to the best reusable straws on the market.

1. Seraphina’s Kitchen Extra Wide Reusable Silicone Smooth Straws

Seraphina’s Kitchen reusable straws are generally more expensive than many other options. However, the wider stem allows for a greater variety of drinks.

If you enjoy a thick and fruity smoothie in the mornings or a fluffy milkshake on a sunny afternoon, this is the straw for you.

The straws are made from a lightweight silicone material. It’s guaranteed food-safe. Plus, they’re really easy to clean with the provided brushes, or by placing them in the dishwasher.

Each straw is 25cm, or just under 10 inches long, which makes them ideal for long frappucinos or cocktails. With 6 straws, you can make a couple shorter for smaller drinks or for children’s drinks just by cutting them. The straws are also suitable for hot and cold drinks.

If you want to travel with the straws, or you want somewhere tidy to store them, a microfiber pouch is included. This allows you to store the straws even if they’re a little bit wet from your last sip. You can select your favorite from bold bright ones to the cooler pastels colored straws.

2. StrawGrace Handmade Glass Straws with Coloured Tips

StrawGrace straws are handmade from glass. They are 9 inches long by 10mm wide, which makes them particularly suitable for taller glasses.

You know the glass tubes you used in science labs in school?

It’s the same type of non-toxic glass. So you can be totally confident that they won’t break while you’re drinking through one of the straws. However, don’t drop these straws since they could break if they hit a hard floor.

Are you tired of your brother using your straw?

With the brightly colored tips, you can identify which straw is your one by the color. It also means that they look great when you’re sipping from one.

If you’re worried about your reusable straw getting dirty, it’s easy to see when the straws need cleaning because of the clear glass.

When the straws get dirty, you can throw them in the dishwasher. If you get pieces of chunky fruit from your smoothie stuck in the straw, use the provided brush to remove it.

3. Senhai Stainless Steel Drinking Straws

Can you imagine hosting a dinner party and wowing your guests with these stainless steel straws for gin and tonics?

The Senhai drinking straws are available in a wide range of different sizes that include the following:

  • Tall/straight
  • Short/straight
  • Tall/angled
  • Short/angled

Whatever type of glass or drink you’re having, there’s an appropriate straw for every purpose. However, since metal conducts heat, avoid using these straws with hot beverages. Again, two brushes are included and the straws are dishwasher safe.

If you’re on the move, you can store the straws in the drawstring bag that comes with the package. The Senhai straws are one of the more affordable reusable straws available. You can purchase a set of 8 for as low as $7.99.

4. Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Straws

You have probably already heard of the Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle.

The company was one of the first to identify a market for top-quality reusable water bottles. Now they’re back with a reusable straw that challenges our addiction to plastic in another way.

You can get a pack of 4 Klean Kanteen stainless steel straws and a cleaning brush. However, unlike the Senhai stainless steel straws, these ones have a silicone tip. Therefore, they are also suitable for hot beverages, such as tea and coffee.

These straws are angled too, so you don’t have to lean over to take a sip of your drink. And if you don’t like anything too bright, Klean Kanteen straws could be the ones for you – they come in black or colors.

5. Aardvark Eco-Flex Paper Straws

These paper straws by Aardvark provide an alternative to single-use plastic that can be used multiple times if you look after them properly. However, they don’t really solve the problem of too much waste.

Although you can use the straws more than once, they begin to break after a few uses. However, if you’re having a party and need a high number of straws, but you want to avoid plastic. These Aardvark straws are more affordable than the other options on this list.

Switch from Plastic to a Reusable Straw

It’s time to throw away (we mean recycle) your final single-use plastic straw and switch to the reusable option.

Not only will you do your bit for the environment by saving on waste and the stop the pollution in our oceans. By purchasing your own reusable straw, you’ll also improve your drinking experience.

For more product reviews like this one, check out our blog.