Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier Review – Sweet Dreams All Night Long?

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What happens when a projection of a night sky and a humidifier come together? We get the Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier from Vicks! This is nearly a hybrid of a nightlight and a humidifier, but there are a few tips and tricks I picked up during my time using it that I want to pass along.

In this Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier review, we’ll cover everything from set up to clean up and all the nuances and details that come with the machine. I’ll touch on the pros and cons of the machine and offer a peek into my experience with it.


Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier

Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier

The Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier is an invisible cool mist humidifier with a filter and independent projector that will work well in a child's room.

Mattress Clarity Score
4.40 / 5 starstarstarstarstar
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Check Price

Accessories Details


3-year Limited Warranty


Not Available

Shipping Method
Shipping Method

Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

Flat-rate return fee and restocking fee



Check out the written review with more details, photos and my experience using the humidifier below!

Key Features

  • The humidifier works by adding moisture to the air in the room – specifically cool mist. The Starry Night also has an independent projector that offers a light projection of a starry sky in the night
  • Intended for use in a child’s room
  • The Unit Size: 13.2” x 11.3” x 11.4”
  • Two settings: Max and Sleep
  • Capacity: 1 gallon of water
  • Run Time: Up to 24 hours on the lowest setting
  • Good for a medium-size room around 250-400 sq feet or slightly bigger, which should encompass most children’s rooms
  • Produces invisible cool mist
  • Can add up to two Vicks VapoPads
  • Replacement filters: Uses the Protec WF2 Replacement Filters
  • Wicking filter should be flipped every 1-2 uses and changed every 30-60 days
  • A self-regulating evaporative system that naturally adjusts output to the amount of moisture the air can hold at a particular temperature
  • Warranty: 3 years limited
  • Colors: Blue or Pink
  • Accessories: Vicks VapoPads Menthol Scent (VSP19); Soothing Sleepy Time Scent Pads (VBR-5); Protec Replacement Wicking Filter (WF2)
  • Full price $59.99

Vicks Starry Night Humidifier settings - Max Mode or Sleep Mode

How to Use the Humidifier

Select a firm, level location at least 6″ to 12” from any walls. Place the humidifier on a water-resistant surface. The mist comes out of the bottom of this humidifier so the higher the elevation the better to help the mist circulate. The mist should be directed away from any walls, bedding or furniture.

  • Remove tank and set aside. Remove the filter from the humidifier and soak the filter in cool water.
  • Remove filter tray from the unit before installing the wet filter
  • Fold filter flat. Insert wet filter into the filter tray. Place filter tray back in a humidifier.

To add a Vicks VapoPad scent pad, follow these instructions:

VapoPad in scent slot

  • Locate the scent pad slot
  • Open VapoPad sachet by tearing notch on pad bag. DO NOT touch pad with hands. If the pad is touched, do not rub face or eyes as it may cause irritation.
  • Insert scent pad with angled side facing downward into the scent pad slot. Use the bag as a holder during insertion.
  • Wash hands after touching it

To fill the tank with water:

  • Turn tank upside-down. Remove tank cap by turning counter-clockwise
  • Fill the tank with cool tap water or distilled water. Replace tank cap. Tighten by turning clockwise. Place tank back on the humidifier
  • Once the filled water tank has been placed on the unit, do not move humidifier. Doing so could cause leakage and spills.

Turn it on and begin to use it:

  • Make sure the switch is in the off position
  • Plug the humidifier in
  • Set fan speed to desired output: High – Max Moisture Low – Nighttime sound sleep mode
  • Turn the power switch to the on position to activate the starry night projector


Starry Night light projection

  • The projector is cute for kids – both my toddler and my baby love it
  • Will work well in anyone’s room, from adults to children
  • Helps add moisture to the air in your room to avoid nasal congestion or scratchy throat
  • Option to add a VapoPad to the humidifier
  • Easy to purchase at a variety of big retail locations or online
  • The initial cost is less than a filter-free option


Wicking filter in filter tray

  • The intensive weekly cleaning process
  • The distracting blue light that’s difficult to cover
  • More expensive than options with a filter
  • When the filter tray is full of water, it’s easy for it to spill out the bottom and get water everywhere
  • Additional filters will be required to buy for an extra cost every few months
  • Air is coming out of the bottom of the machine which means it won’t be that effective on the floor of a child’s room
  • May run out of water in the tank if the max setting is run overnight

My Experience

The Starry Night projection part of the Vicks Starry Night Humidifier is a big crowd pleaser with my 4-year-old and 16-month-old. They love it when I turn on the lights and watch it cycle through the colors – I can see how it’s a fun addition to a humidifier in any child’s room.

This humidifier does require a decent amount of maintenance because adults will need to ensure the wicking filter is dry when it’s not being used, soaked in clean cold water when it is being used, flipped after every 1-2 uses and replaced every 30-60 days or as needed. And that’s just the filter! The machine itself – if used weekly – also needs to be de-scaled and disinfected to ensure that no standing water has grown bacteria or mold that could be turned into a cool mist.

If parents are willing to keep this humidifier in good working order, it can be a delight in their children’s’ rooms and really help combat any allergies, asthma, nasal or chest congestion (aka helping everyone get more sleep at night!).

Based on my experience using it in my son’s rooms and my room for weeks, there are a few design features that I want to point out: mostly that there is a switch on the humidifier that allows parents to turn the Starry Night projection on or off. There’s no auto time or way to turn the projection off after the child has fallen asleep unless his/her parent is willing to creep back into the room and quietly turn it off. Both my sons loved the light but it was too bright and too distracting with the rotating colors to actually work as a nightlight in their rooms.

There is no way to direct the invisible cool mist in the room, either. It comes out of a single vent in the front of the humidifier next to the controls. It needs to be placed off the ground and away from a wall but make sure it’s not directly on a wooden dresser or nightstand because there are some vulnerabilities with this design that can lead to water leaking…

This brings me to my biggest hang-up with this humidifier which is the design of the wicking filter and filter tray. I realize that some parents may read this and think I’m over-reacting because they’ve had no issues, but I want to at least bring it to everyone’s attention. The wicking filter must be soaked in cool water and placed in the filter tray before use. The filter tray then collects all of the water that is dripping out of the wicking filter. If there is too much water, or someone jostles the humidifier while moving it to another part of the room, or it gets knocked for a second, it’s very easy for the water pooling in the bottom of the filter tray to leak out.

water pooling under humidifier

When the water spills out, it flows to a tiny hole in the bottom of the humidifier and leaks out. This is to avoid any contact with water and the machinery used in the humidifier but what it means for parents is that whatever their humidifier is on top of gets soaked.

As long as I was very careful about placing the wet wicking filter into the filter tray and placing the filter tray into the humidifier after I had it set up, with no jostling or movement, then I didn’t have an issue with leakage – but I really had to learn that the hard way, which is why I want to send this word of caution on to our readers.

In the end, this particular Vicks humidifier is not my absolute favorite, but it’s entertaining for my children and adds moisture to the air, so it’s doing its job. If the idea of messing with the filter sounds too tedious, check out the projection-free filter-free version from Vicks.

Keeping the Humidifier Clean

With consistent use, the humidifier should be cleaned weekly. The humidifier must be de-scaled and disinfected – two different processes that require different solutions. The filter must also be cared for and replaced when needed. Yes, this can be a hefty process, but it’s very important that the humidifier stays clean to avoid the evaporation of any bacterial or mold spores into the air.

Distilled water inside 1-gallon water tank

Here are the cleaning guidelines straight from Vicks. Make sure to turn off and unplug the humidifier before starting any de-scaling or disinfecting.

Scale Removal:

  1. Turn off and unplug the unit.
  2. Remove and empty the tank and base of any water
  3. Remove the mist nozzle, water tank, accessories and set aside.
  4. Fill the water tank with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, add mist nozzle, replace tank cap and place back on the base. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
  5. After soaking, using a soft damp cloth wipe the nebulizer to remove mineral deposits
  6. Gently rinse the water tank mist nozzle and base with water until the smell of vinegar is gone.


  1. Turn off and unplug the unit.
  2. Remove and empty the tank and base of any water.
  3. Remove the mist nozzle, water tank, accessories and set aside.
  4. Mix 1 gallon of water and 1 teaspoon of bleach. NOTE: Bleach may stain clothes. It is recommended that all individuals wear rubber gloves during this process to protect their hands. Pour bleach solution into the tank, add mist nozzle and replace tank cap.
  5. Place the tank on the base and let stand for 20 minutes.
  6. Gently rinse the water tank, mist nozzle base with water until the smell of bleach is gone.

Caring for the Filter:

Care instructions directly from Vicks:

When turning the humidifier off, remove the filter and allow it to air dry. It is completely normal for the filter to discolor with each use. Yellow, brown, or rust-colored discoloration happens because the filter absorbs all the minerals out of the water. Flipping the filter, from top to bottom with each filling of the tank, will get much more even saturation and the longest life out of the filter.

Never add any chemicals to the filter and don’t try and only clean the filter with cool water. Do not squeeze the filter to dry it out.

Sleep Benefits of Humidifiers

When it comes to sleep, the main job of a humidifier is to add moisture to the air, which prevents irritation and congestion that results from increased dryness. Dry air can be a natural part of a home thanks to the region of the country it’s in or it may come from turning the heat on in the house for the first time. People, especially young children, may benefit from moisture in the air to help combat allergies or sensitivities.

Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier on flat waterproof surface

For adults and kids, this can mean better sleep simply because they’re not waking up with a dry or scratchy throat, and their nasal passages will stay moist and help filter out bacteria and allergens. Plus it’ll help prevent nosebleeds, which can be a huge sleep disruptor at night.

Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier

Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier

The Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier is an invisible cool mist humidifier with a filter and independent projector that will work well in a child's room.

Mattress Clarity Score
4.40 / 5 starstarstarstarstar
Read Full Review
Check Price

Accessories Details


3-year Limited Warranty


Not Available

Shipping Method
Shipping Method

Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

Flat-rate return fee and restocking fee


Final Thoughts

Overall the Vicks Starry Night Humidifier will work as a standard humidifier in a child’s room, and the kids will certainly enjoy the projection with its rotation of colors. I do wish there were more controls for the parents, including an auto-time for the lights, being able to stay on a certain light color or being able to direct the mist in a desired area of the room.

Making sure the humidifier is clean and dry when not in use is key to keeping it in good shape, as is weekly cleaning!

Does this humidifier sound like a good fit? Comment below and leave any questions as well!


What filter does Vicks Starry Night Humidifier use?

Vicks says they use the Protect Replacement WF2 Wicking Filter - I bought mine at CVS!

How do you use a Vicks Starry Night humidifier?

After filling the tank with water and turning on the humidifier, there are two setting options to choose from: Max moisture or Sleep (lower moisture) and the projector option as well.

How do you clean a Vicks Starry Night humidifier?

The Starry Night humidifier needs to be de-scaled and cleaned weekly. To clean it, make sure to have diluted white vinegar, water, bleach, gloves, and some rags on hand. Follow the directions in the review above for more cleaning details!  

Can Vicks humidifier be used without a filter?

There is a Vicks Filter-Free humidifier that does not require a filter (see our review here) but the Starry Night humidifier does require a wicking filter. 

Katie Golde

Katie previously managed the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news. She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.