Very simple-to-use machine with a compact design that's suitable for travel. Atomizes quickly and is a solid price for quality. Quiet and silent while in use. Ideal for breathing issues and nasal congestion.
Not rechargeable—must be actively plugged into a USB cable or powered by batteries. Reports of some that don't work.
Easy to use and equipped with an automatic switch-off setting when medicine is finished being dispersed. The self-cleaning function ensures that aftercare is minimal. The kit includes an adult and a child-sized mask.
Amount of vapor being dispersed starts to dissipate after extended use.
Offers 2 modes for adjustable atomization to suit individual breathing needs. Convenient small size makes for easy transportation and on-the-go use. Noise-free and unobtrusive. Affordable.
Some issues with the battery and battery door.
Quick and efficient treatment sessions—less than 7 minutes long. Small particles reach the deepest parts of the lungs, which provides additional relief. Quiet and unobtrusive function. Portable enough to carry from one room to another.
May become warm while running.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Anyone who suffers from a disease or condition that affects the lungs knows how important it is to always be prepared. You could place your head down for a good night's sleep while on vacation only to wake up gasping for air because something triggered an asthma attack. A portable nebulizer can help provide the security that allows you to live a full and fearless life.
A portable nebulizer should be lightweight and easy to operate. It must come with the proper size mask (adult or child) if the unit doesn’t use a mouthpiece. Ideally, you want to get several treatments out of each charge if your portable nebulizer uses batteries. Having a car adapter or a USB charger is also highly recommended.
The best (and fastest) way to treat medical conditions involving the lungs, such as asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, COPD, or bronchitis, is to distribute the medicine directly into your lungs. To do that, you must be able to breathe in your medicine as a fine mist that won’t further irritate your airways. A nebulizer makes this happen in much in the same way that a humidifier adds moisture to the air. There are two general types of portable nebulizer: atomizing and ultrasonic.
Atomizing: This type of nebulizer works by hitting the medicine with a small, focused jet of air that converts it into very fine droplets, making it breathable. These units are louder than ultrasonic models, and they deliver the medication more slowly, requiring longer treatment sessions. If this is a rescue treatment, that might not be a positive. However, an important part of a maintenance treatment for many of these diseases is the breathing itself, so a longer treatment session could be more beneficial in some instances.
Ultrasonic: This type of nebulizer uses high-frequency vibrations to turn the medicine into a breathable mist. Since it doesn’t use a compressor, it runs more quietly and works more quickly than atomizing nebulizers. It’s also smaller and more readily transportable, and it can offer several treatments per charge. Depending on the model, an ultrasonic nebulizer can require considerably more diligence when it comes to cleaning.
A breathing treatment with a nebulizer is often done for preventive maintenance. In this instance, you’ll know in advance when your next scheduled treatment should occur. If you’re on vacation, for instance, having a portable nebulizer is an easier, more convenient travel option. However, a portable nebulizer can also be used in place of a rescue inhaler. An asthma attack could happen when you’re not at home or near your doctor's office. In that situation, it’s essential to have a portable nebulizer because it could save your life. The smallest portable nebulizer can fit in the palm of your hand, making it easy to take anywhere, even camping, where there might not be any electricity for days.
After you've decided which type of nebulizer you prefer, there are a few other aspects to consider. Most of these are based on preference, but a few could be deal breakers depending on your situation.
The items that come with your portable nebulizer can be instrumental in helping you determine which model to purchase. These items might include a child mask, adult mask, mouthpiece, additional air filters, travel bag, and USB adapter. If there is an accessory you need in a portable nebulizer, check to be sure the one you’re considering has it.
Although this mostly depends on the type of portable nebulizer you purchase, if the noise level is a factor, check product descriptions and online user reviews.
Portable doesn't always mean small or compact; it just denotes a unit that can travel with you. If you’re interested in a handheld, lightweight, ultrasonic portable nebulizer, that is very different than a portable compressor model, which is considerably larger and would not fit in a purse.
Portable nebulizers can be powered and charged in a number of ways. If you prefer charging through a USB port, for instance, make sure that the model you’re considering has this capability.
Some portable nebulizers have a mouthpiece and masks that can be cleaned in the top shelf of a dishwasher. If this is your preferred method of cleaning, look for a dishwasher-safe portable nebulizer. Note that only the parts mentioned can be cleaned this way, not the tubing or the compressor.
It can be difficult if not impossible to get kids to sit still for an entire breathing treatment, especially one that lasts over ten minutes. If this is the case, having a portable nebulizer in the shape of a dog, panda, or elephant might be an option you want to consider.
The price for portable nebulizers is remarkably consistent.
Inexpensive: For around $30 to $35, you can get a compact, travel-size unit that comes with an adult mask and a child mask. These portable nebulizers are handheld devices that feature a rechargeable battery.
Mid-range: In the $40 to $50 range, you have your choice of everything. You can get a portable nebulizer with a compressor or one in the shape of an animal. The compressor units are larger, and some have a compartment that houses the parts when not in use.
Expensive: There is a price jump after $50. For $100 or more, you can get portable nebulizer kits that include a travel bag and additional accessories, such as multiple masks and mouthpieces, along with a variety of charging connections. Unless you have very specific needs that can only be addressed by one of these bundles, the $40 to $50 range is where you want to focus your attention.
If you suffer from a condition or disease that affects your ability to breathe, it’s crucial that you get the most out of each and every treatment. Following are a few tips to help you do just that.
Q. Are there any side effects from using a portable nebulizer?
A. The nebulizer is just a delivery system. Most of the potential side effects would come from the medication. To learn the possible side effects of the medicine that you’re taking, talk to your pharmacist. Deep breathing when you have a disease such as asthma can trigger bouts of coughing that might lead to vomiting. Additionally, breathing deeply for a prolonged period of time can make an individual lightheaded and/or hoarse.
Q. How often can I use a nebulizer?
A. Just because you can carry a portable nebulizer with you wherever you go that doesn't mean you can use it whenever you want. Usage directions, which include frequency, will come with your nebulizer medicine. If you require treatments more frequently than recommended, talk to your doctor. Overdosing on substances such as albuterol can be fatal.
Q. Is a portable nebulizer covered by my insurance?
A. Insurance can be tricky. Depending on your plan, a portable nebulizer might be covered, but that doesn't mean you won't have to pay anything for it. If money is a concern, it’s best to call your insurance company to learn how much of the cost will be your responsibility.