Vocal steamers use distilled or demineralized water vapors to soothe your voice. These handy tools can provide singers and voice actors with many gigs relief from long bouts of singing and talking that can cause irritation to their vocal cords over time. Steamers also provide relief to anyone suffering from allergies and throat inflammation from environmental irritants like pollen and dust.
Many singers including pop star Ariana Grande endorse the use of a vocal steamer. While steamers are an innovative way to keep your voice healthy in addition to warmups and staying hydrated, there are some downsides to them that you should be on the lookout for.
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Most vocal steamers are portable and great for touring when you're on the road doing performance after performance. They also tend to be pretty easy to use despite how the packaging can be intimidating. Some vocal steamers like the Mypurmist brand even come with a hands-free option for you to use while multitasking.
Since vocal steamers are pretty new on the market, many of the products still have a few kinks to fix when it comes to long-term usability and features. I've had a few steamers that worked well for a month or two, but then crapped out on me. Some sellers also may overcharge when it comes to different models, especially upgrades that claim to do their job better than the last release, while customers say nothing really changed and it was a money grab.
You will want to wait at least 30 minutes after steaming to really start your singing process, especially if you will be singing for a long period of time. Compared to the lubrication that hydration with water or tea can bring you, steamers can work a bit quicker.
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You shouldn't need to use a vocal steamer for more than 10 to 15 minutes a day. While most products will say you can use it as often as needed, they will likely recommend only one 15 minute session max per 24-hour period.
Similar to steamers, a vocal nebulizer can do wonders for your voice. Nebulizers are like steamers but are heavier duty, carrier vapors deeper into your throat, and on the downside, they can be easily overused and go too far, resulting in doing more harm than good over time. Steamers are better to use in the long run.
Humidifiers focus more on ridding the environment of dry air that can cause a dry and irritated throat. While humidifiers are more proven to be helpful for singers, a steamer can help with more variety of irritation causes specifically when it comes to your vocal cords. On the other hand, humidifiers can help with dryness all over your body and not just for your voice.
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