Best Nasal Aspirators

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
247 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best nasal aspirators

Last Updated December 2019

There’s nothing more miserable for a parent than a baby with a cold. While your baby may not like a nasal aspirator, it gives you a way to clear their nasal passages so your baby can breathe easier. It’s usually worth those few seconds of discomfort to give your baby several hours of relief.

But there are several types of nasal aspirators from which to choose. If you’re not sure what type you need, you’ve come to the right place. Our shopping guide will take you through the different types and features you’ll come across as you’re searching for a nasal aspirator.

Some oral suction nasal aspirators have up to four filters to keep germs from making their way to the parent. The filters last for a few months, depending on how much they’re used, after which they can be replaced with disposable filters.

Key considerations

Types of nasal aspirators


Bulb aspirators

Bulb aspirators are the most basic models, and you may have been sent home with one when you left the hospital with your baby. They feature a single-piece squeezable bulb with an extended piece that ends in a nose top. Though simple to use, these models aren’t the most effective and may require several tries to remove an adequate amount of mucus to help your baby breathe. They must be carefully sanitized after each use as they create the perfect atmosphere for growing bacteria. However, some manufacturers have gotten around this issue by creating a bulb that can be opened for easier cleaning.

Oral suction

Oral suction aspirators have a nose tip that’s connected by a hose to a filter and mouthpiece. The nose tip goes in the baby’s nose while an adult provides suction via the mouthpiece. While this manual method might make you squeamish at first, it’s incredibly effective and lets you adjust the suction level manually. We’d like to stress that there is a filter between the nose tip and the mouthpiece to prevent the transfer of bacteria.

Battery-powered

Battery-powered nasal aspirators look similar to a digital thermometer. They often come with several nose tip sizes and multiple suction settings so they can be used for children of different ages. These models are not as hands-on as a bulb or oral suction nasal aspirator and, usually, better contain the mess of removing mucus. However, depending on the model, they don’t always provide adequate suction for thick mucus.

Electric

Electric nasal aspirators are efficient, clean, and gentle. The nose tip goes in the child’s nose while the motor provides suction. These machines typically have several suction settings to accommodate children of different ages. They’re also the most expensive option by far. However, if you have a baby who struggles with frequent colds or can’t clear their own nasal passages due to a medical condition, this type of nasal aspirator may be worth the investment.

Easy to use and clean

The Bubzi makes cleaning out the nasal passages a cinch. It’s also easy to take apart for cleaning but holds a great seal once it’s put back together. The hose and nose tip works well for newborns and infants both in size and gentleness.

Size and portability

Sometimes you just can’t stay home while your baby is sick. A nasal aspirator that can be tucked away in your diaper bag can be a lifesaver. Oral suction, bulb, and even some battery-powered models are fairly portable. Electric models, however, may be too bulky to carry with you.

DID YOU KNOW?

There are a few combination nasal aspirator designs on the market that you might want to consider. These models offer both bulb and oral suction options using the same aspirator. These models allow you to choose the most effective method of removal.

Features

  • Cleaning ease: Safety and hygiene are always at the top of the list when it comes to baby gear. Nasal aspirators present a few challenges in this area, but there are a few features that can make cleaning easier.
    • Separable bulb: Bulb nasal aspirators are notorious for harboring bacteria if not cleaned and dried appropriately. A separable bulb allows you to get inside the aspirator to clean out mucus and make sure everything dries completely before putting it back together.
    • Removable filters and collection cups: Removable filters and collection cups may either be hand-washable or dishwasher safe. They’re found on oral suction, electric, and battery-powered models.
    • Dishwasher safe components: Filters and collection cups aren’t the only pieces you’ll need to clean. Models that have nose tips, hoses, and mouthpieces that are dishwasher safe are far easier to clean and sanitize than those that must be carefully hand-washed.
  • Suction levels: Suction needs to be gentle so as not to hurt your baby. However, the suction also needs to be powerful enough to clear out thick mucus. Oral suction models offer the best suction adjustability while electric and battery-powered models may have several suction levels for good adjustability too. The suction on a bulb nasal aspirator is the hardest to control as it depends on how hard the bulb is squeezed and how quickly it’s released.
  • Waterproof components: Some electric and battery-powered models have waterproof components to make it easier to clean and sanitize the whole unit. The entire aspirator isn’t dishwasher safe, but the casing may be waterproof so you can wash all non-removable components by hand. These models may have removable filters or collection cups as well.
  • Number and size of nose tips: To get the necessary suction to remove mucus, you need a nose tip that fits your child’s nose. Models that come with several size nose tips provide versatility and longevity of use.
  • Digital display: Some electric and battery-powered nasal aspirators have digital displays that show battery life and suction level. 
  • Lights and music: Having your nose aspirated isn’t a pleasant experience no matter how gentle the aspirator. Some models light up or play music to distract your baby while the aspirator is in use.

Many baby products, including nasal aspirators, are made of BPA-free plastics and materials. This is especially important for models with dishwasher safe components as other types of plastics may release harmful substances due to the extreme heat of the dishwasher

Price

Inexpensive: Bulb aspirators are the entry-level models and start around $5 for a pack of three. That’s a pretty good deal, but these inexpensive aspirators may be only designed for one use.

Mid-range: Bulb nasal aspirators intended for long-term use start at $12. Oral suction models run anywhere from $14 to $20. There’s a wider price range amongst the battery-powered models as they can have a few extra features like several suction levels and a digital display. In general, these models cost between $20 to $35.

Expensive: Electric nasal aspirators are another story altogether. The big jump in price, think $120 to $150, comes from the use of a pump to create suction.

EXPERT TIP

Expect some resistance even from infants who can do little more than knock the aspirator out of your hands. Try swaddling a newborn or infant to prevent flailing arms. For older babies and toddlers, you may need to recruit the help of a second adult.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Clean the nasal aspirator after every use. Read and follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to make sure you gain access to all the components that need to be sanitized.
  • Thick mucus can be difficult to remove. Many manufacturers recommend using a few saline drops in each nostril to thin mucus. After the mucus has been thinned and loosened, it’s easier to remove.
  • Take your time when getting ready to suction your child’s nose. You might need to do some shifting of positions until you can find a good angle. Try to make your baby as comfortable as possible and have everything you need nearby before you begin.

Small and basic but gets the job done

This basic bulb aspirator easily fits in a diaper bag or backpack. It’s small enough to fit in the nose of a newborn but durable enough to last into toddlerhood. For those on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the simple effective design at a hard to beat price.

Other products we considered

With our top picks limited to five, we had to leave a few good models off the list. Here are a couple that didn’t quite make it that still might be the perfect nasal aspirator for your baby. First is the Nosiboo Pro Nasal Aspirator. This electric model offers several suction levels and nose tips of varying sizes. And, for an electric device, it’s fairly quiet, sounding similar to an electric breast pump. Second is another electric model, the BabySmile Nasal Aspirator. It’s simple to use and easy to clean. Most importantly, it gets the job done. Finally, is the BoogieBulb Nasal Aspirator that looks basic, but has a separable bulb for easier cleaning and sanitation.

If the thought of sucking mucus out of your baby’s nose makes you a little queasy, a battery-operated or electric model might be a better choice than bulb or oral suction. These models contain the mucus better so you’re less likely to actually touch it.

FAQ

Q: How can I help loosen the mucus in my baby’s nose?
A:
There are a number of ways to loosen mucus. Take your baby into a steamy bathroom or try having them breathe the vapors from a humidifier. You can also try a saline spray or nose drops before using the nasal aspirator. Some manufacturers even recommend using a saline spray before each use anyway.

Q: How often should I use a nasal aspirator?
A:
You can use a nasal aspirator as much as your baby needs it to breathe. However, over the course of a few days, a nasal aspirator can cause nasal irritation. Try to be as gentle as possible. As your baby starts to feel better, you should taper the use of the nasal aspirator and save your baby’s nose from irritation.

Q: Does the aspirator hurt my baby?
A:
Nasal aspirators may cause discomfort, but they don’t hurt your baby. Expect some crying and, from older babies, some resistance. If blood starts to come out in the mucus, your baby’s nostrils may have become irritated by using the nasal aspirator too much. In this case, stop using the aspirator unless absolutely necessary, to give your baby’s nose a chance to heal.

The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer

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