|“||Every time you take damage, your vitality will be reduced. When it becomes zero, you will lose one Kirby.”|
|— Kirby's Dream Land 3 instruction manual|
Health (also called Vitality, Stamina, strength, or life force) is the visual representation of how many hits Kirby can take before he loses a life. All playable characters have this and bosses, mid-bosses, and in some games, enemies have their own separate health bars shown while fighting them.
Most of the time health is represented by vitality bars that disappear as Kirby takes damage, while boss characters get a gauge; though in Kirby Super Star, its remake, Kirby: Squeak Squad, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land onward (excluding Kirby and the Rainbow Curse) Kirby and his helper use a gauge for their health as well.
Kirby most often has a default of 6 vitality bars, but it changes from time to time. In Kirby's Adventure and Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, when played on extra mode, Kirby has only 3 vitality bars. In Kirby's Dream Land 3, he has 10 health points. In Kirby & The Amazing Mirror he could raise his vitality up by 4, for a total of 10 vitality. In Kirby: Canvas Curse, Kirby starts with 4 vitality and can increase it to be up to 7 vitality. In Kirby: Squeak Squad, Kirby could also increase his health gauge.
Most games have food items that recover lost health by various increments. The most famous of these is the Maxim Tomato, a large red tomato with an "M" on it that recovers all of a character's health and is said to be Kirby's favorite food. Another common health item is Pep Brew, a bottle of soda that generally recovers only a third of Kirby's health. Kirby can also share recently-eaten health power-ups with a helper or another player in a move called "Face-to-Face" by touching them a short time after eating it.
|Main article: Vitality Heart|
Hidden in certain Treasure Chests are Vitality Hearts. There are four of them, and they each increase Kirby's health by one vitality bar. Vitality Hearts return as an item that increases Kirby's health. However, it is not seen as an actual item and is only obtainable through Medal Swap. The iconic Vitality Heart also makes an appearance as a painting by Paint Roller in the sub-game Paint Panic.
|“||Kirby begins with six bars of vitality. When injured by an enemy, his vitality will decrease by one or more bars depending on the enemy that injures him.”|
|— The number of Kirby's vitality bars. • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
|“||The life meter is reduced as Kirby takes damage.”|
|— Game Screen • Kirby's Dream Land 2 Instruction Booklet|