What Is Vapor Calm?
Vapor Calm is an essential oil diffuser that promises to provide a wide range of incredible, all-natural health benefits, including relaxation, mood elevation, and even an improvement in your sleep.
In addition to its aromatherapy experience, the manufacturer claims the diffuser offers a choice between seven soothing lights, which you can select individually or rotate automatically to provide ambient lighting.
We’re told Vapor Calm is easy to set up and use, and is the perfect way to get started with essential oils. Just fill with water, add two drops of essential oil, place in any room (whether the bedroom, office, yoga studio, or elsewhere) and start breathing in the freshness.
All of us deal with stress at least occasionally, so we know it’s not fun. But will Vapor Calm really provide an all-natural, relaxing solution for daily stress? Even then, can you expect it to deliver a spa-like experience, as claimed on the website?
We’ll discuss what we learned during our research to help you find some answers.
Your Quick Reference Guide to Aromatherapy & Essential Oils
WebMD defines aromatherapy as “using a plant's aroma-producing oils (essential oils) to treat disease.” These essential oils can be derived from many different parts of plants, including the “flowers, leaves, stalks, bark, rind, or roots.”
Once combined with other substances, such as more oils, alcohol, or lotion, these oils can then be applied to the skin, sprayed in the air, or inhaled (as is the case with diffusers like Vapor Calm).
The Mayo Clinic reports that the clinical evidence supporting aromatherapy’s effectiveness is limited, although there have been studies that indicated it might provide some benefits related to anxiety, depression, sleep, and could even help improve the quality of life in individuals with chronic health conditions. Here’s how they explain it:
“Aromatherapy is thought to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system — the part of the brain that controls emotions.”
The University of Maryland Medical Center provides some specific examples:
“In general, [aromatherapy] seems to relieve pain, improve mood, and promote a sense of relaxation. In fact, several essential oils -- including lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, and others -- have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression.”
Furthermore, like any humidifier (ultrasonic or otherwise), adding moisture to a room could foreseeably help—especially one in a low-humidity environment—improve dry skin and alleviate congestion.
With these potential benefits in mind, let’s take a look at one way to add essential oils to your environment.
How Do Aromatherapy Diffusers Like Vapor Calm Work?
At their most basic, aromatherapy diffusers break essential oils into smaller particles, eject them, and disperse them throughout a room. According to WellnessMama, there are four main types:
- Nebulizing Diffusers – These devices turn liquid into a breathable mist, or gas. They’re reported to not require water and provide a strong concentration of oils in the air.
- Ultrasonic/Humidifying Diffusers – While these types of diffusers also create a fine mist, they do so in combination with water. As such, oil concentration is typically lower than nebulizers.
- Heat Diffusers – These circulate heated air through a pad or filter that contains essential oils.
- Evaporative Diffusers – This also uses oil-containing pads or filters, but use a mechanical fan to blow air, instead of heat.
While we didn’t test the device ourselves, the fact that Vapor Calm creates a mist and requires water indicates that it’s an ultrasonic, or humidifying, diffuser.
In general, ultrasonic diffusers tend to be less expensive than nebulizing ones. But because they use water, keep in mind that these options can eject fine mineral particulates back into the air, especially if you have hard water (and fill them with the water from your tap, of course).
Are there any other considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a diffuser? We’ll discuss these in just a second, but let’s quickly address potential side effects and price.
Can Aromatherapy Diffusers Cause Side Effects?
According to the same Mayo Clinic article cited above, “many essential oils have been shown to be safe when used as directed,” although they emphasize that “essential oils used in aromatherapy aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.”
They noted several side effects, including allergic reactions, skin irritation and sun sensitivity for topically applied oils, although nothing specifically related to inhaled oils from a diffuser (ultrasonic versions like Vapor Calm, or otherwise).
Either way, they add that “further research is needed to determine how essential oils might affect children and how the oils might affect women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as how the oils might interact with medications and other treatments.”
As always, if you have any questions, be sure to reach out to your doctor.
How Much Does Vapor Calm Cost?
One Vapor Calm device is priced at $19.99 plus $7.99 S&H, which also includes a free six-piece essential oil set: calming lavender, refreshing tea tree, relaxing lemongrass, invigorating peppermint, fresh sweet orange, and revitalizing eucalyptus.
For an additional $7.99 fee at checkout, you can obtain a second device and oil set.
All Vapor Calm orders come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H (including any fees associated with additional units purchased at checkout). To request one, you’ll need to contact Telebrands at 855-668-1655.
How Do Vapor Calm’s Specifications Stack Up?
If you search online for aromatherapy diffusers, you’ll quickly learn that you have perhaps thousands of options.
Even if you narrow your search to only ultrasonic models like Vapor Calm, you’ll still find hundreds of candidates—many of which are priced competitively, also come with various lighting effects, and can be purchased locally, potentially saving you even more money on S&H charges.
Given all these choices, what should you look for? While we didn’t encounter any formal aromatherapy diffuser buyer’s guides during our research, by comparing many different models across third-party sites, we did learn there are several key differentiating factors:
- Tank size
- Total run time
- Whether or not there’s an automatic shutoff
- Coverage area
- If they’re safe to use with citrus oils
None of these specifications were provided on the Vapor Calm website. We spoke to three different customer service representatives looking for clarification, all of which told us the product was too new and that they didn’t have these details available.
Our Final Thoughts About the Vapor Calm Aromatherapy Diffuser
Based on what we learned earlier from authoritative sites like WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, and the UM Medical Center, it appears that aromatherapy can have some real-world benefits—including the sleep, mood, and relaxation issues mentioned on the Vapor Calm website and in the product’s commercial.
There are also reams of clinical testing related to the association between light and mood, which could potentially enhance these aromatherapy benefits.
But when it comes to Vapor Calm, specifically, we think it’s not as much a question of effectiveness as it is one of value. For a total of $27.98, you’ll be able to purchase this device, along with six vials of essential oils (again, customer support wasn’t able to provide any quantities).
Comparatively, while we found some lighted ultrasonic diffusers sold online for as little as $10, these lower priced options didn’t include any essential oils, which typically cost between $10 and $20 for a set of six (or more) vials.
On the other hand, while Telebrands seems to stand behind Vapor Calm with a 30-day return policy, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll lose your initial $8 S&H charge, plus whatever it costs to send back to the company. This is even more important if you took advantage of the BOGO offer.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for other methods of addressing stress or sleep issues, be sure to read: