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Calpol vapour plug review by Druggist.Online
Children's health,  Drug reviews: use, side effects, effectiveness

Calpol vapour plug review

Calpol vapour plug is a non-medicine device designed to help your child to breath easily by releasing aromatic oils of lavender, camomile and menthol when they congested or/and have symptoms of cold. Calpol vapour plug can be used for babies from 3 months of age.

Calpol vapour plug review: the device

As the name suggests, Calpol Vapour Plug, comes in the form of a plug, which is placed inside a standard electrical socket. Vapour plug has a nightlight which comes on when lights are off. Calpol vapour plug uses aromatic oils containing lavender, chamomile, menthol, camphor and eucalyptus, all contained inside small refill pads, which are placed inside the plug. Each pad lasts for up to 8 hours.

Calpol vapour plug review: ease of use

Calpol vapour plug is easy to use. Once you slide refill pad into the designated space on the device, just plug it in into the socket and you are all set. The aroma of oils will become noticeable after few minutes.

I used Calpol vapour plug on a number of occasions when my daughter was ill/congested and had difficulty breathing through the nose due to her symptoms. I must admit the aroma of the oils does the trick, each time and my daughter was able to breathe much more easily and have a better night’s sleep.

How menthol, chamomile, and lavender help with cold symptoms?

The mechanism of action by which menthol helps to alleviate respiratory discomfort has been described in a number of studies. It is believed that menthol acts on cold receptors which are present in nasal passages and upper airways. Cooling sensation reduces respiratory effort (Nishino et al, 2017), but also changes the perception of breathlessness by proposed actions in the central nervous system (Schwartzstein et al, 1987).

Inhaled lavender and chamomile cause feeling of relaxation, has calming effects and reduces respiratory rate (Sayorwan et al, 2012).

Calpol vapour plug review – drawbacks:

  • The nightlight is very bright. I don’t think it’s necessary to have it or at least it would be nice to control it with on and off button.
  • No control over how strong you want the aroma to be. If your baby room is small you may find that the aroma gets very strong and you need to keep the door open.
  • Refill pads are not the cheapest, for a pack of 5 you need to pay around £5. Since one refill last about 8 hours you may find that once pack does not last long.

Overall this is a good product with ingredients that have proven to improve breathing and relief symptoms of cold and congestion. It may not be the most cost-effective product available, but simplicity and ease of use bring the advantage. At the end can you put a price tag on your child’s comfort?

Other options for management of congestion in babies and toddlers

Looking for more treatment option for the management of blocked noses in babies or toddlers? Please read my review of the most popular products available for the management of congestion in babies and toddlers.


Nishino T, Tagaito Y, Sakurai Y. (1997). Nasal inhalation of l-menthol reduces respiratory discomfort associated with loaded breathing. Available at: Accessed on 06/04/19

Sayorwan W, Siripornpanich V, Piriyapunyaporn T, Hongratanaworakit T, Kotchabhakdi N, Ruangrungsi N. The effects of lavender oil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity. Available at: Accessed on 06/04/19

Schwartzstein R. M., Lahive K., Pope A., Weinberger S. E., Weiss J. W. (1987) Cold facial stimulation reduces breathlessness induced in normal subjects. Available at: Accessed on 06/04/19

I am a community pharmacist working in UK. I blog about drugs, health and pharmacy.

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