Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for Best nasal strips

There are several factors that lead to nasal congestion, but regardless of the cause, having a stuffy nose is a miserable feeling. Even more frustrating is the fact that symptoms are often worse at night and end up interfering with sleep.

There are many medications available to treat this annoying problem, but they come with the risk of possible side effects. If you are searching for a drug-free way to improve your breathing, nasal strips may be the solution for you.

Nasal strips look small and unassuming, but these sticky strips that resemble bandages can offer big relief. They rely on adhesive and tension to open nasal passages; you simply place them over the exterior of your nose, just over the nostrils. As a result, nasal obstruction is diminished, allowing better airflow while you sleep.

Nasal strips vary in design and effectiveness from brand to brand, and they also come in different sizes. You'll want to consider several factors in order to find the ones which will work best for you.

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Did you know that wearing a nasal strip at night may alleviate snoring caused by nasal congestion? That’s because you will be more likely to breathe through your nose than your mouth once your passages are open wider.

Key considerations

Causes and effects of nasal congestion

Nasal congestion is caused by factors that are often beyond the sufferer’s control. Severe allergies, colds, flu, and sinus infections can cause mucus buildup and swollen, irritated nasal passages that cause that stuffy sensation. Structural problems in the nose, such as a deviated septum or narrowed nostrils, can inhibit airflow in one or both nasal passages.

Irritants that enter the nasal passages can also lead to problems. For example, breathing polluted air can lead to that stuffy-nose feeling. Many people have used nasal sprays containing medications that temporarily unblock nasal passages. However, these sprays are only meant to be used for a limited time, and overuse can result in dependency on them in order to breathe freely.

Nasal congestion and the inability to breathe without feeling stuffy can lead to other concerns. A dry throat and nose are common in individuals with obstructed nasal passages. This dryness can lead to an aggravating cough and even nosebleeds.

Snoring is also a common occurrence in individuals with nasal congestion, as sufferers are forced to breathe through their mouths during sleep. And everyone knows how difficult it is to sleep with a stuffy nose, resulting in tossing and turning and waking up frequently throughout the night. This can lead to feeling tired and sleepy throughout the day, so dealing with nasal congestion has a domino effect when it comes to the development of symptoms and quality of life.

How nasal strips improve breathing

The concept behind nasal strips is actually quite simple. Strips contain small, flexible bands embedded in soft, padded material that’s similar to a bandage. The adhesive on the strips’ exterior is used to apply it securely to the nose. Once in place, the bands pull gently at both sides of the nose in an attempt to return to their original straight shape. The resulting tension opens the nostrils, allowing better airflow. Many first-time nasal strip users are amazed at the immediate improvement provided by such a simple device.

Side effects

Nasal strips work well for most users, but they have one downside: they can be a bit irritating. That’s because the tension and adhesive can irritate the skin, causing red marks. This effect is more pronounced on users with sensitive skin. Those who experience skin irritation often see improvement as their skin adjusts to wearing the strips. Additionally, most people who try nasal strips don’t develop major skin irritations, and they find that the benefits outweigh any negative effects they experience.

How to apply and remove nasal strips

Better breathing with nasal strips begins with applying them correctly. Here are step-by-step instructions for the best application and removal methods.

  1. Wash your face. Dirt, sweat, and oil will inhibit the ability of the adhesive to form a tight bond to your skin.

  2. Dry your face. Nasal strips will stick better if your face is clean, but not if there is moisture remaining on it after you wash it.

  3. Remove a nasal strip from the packaging. Remove the liner off the back to expose the adhesive.

  4. Place the strip in the correct position on your nose. For best results, it should be situated between the bony part of the bridge of your nose and the tip, just over where your nostrils begin to flare. The sides, also called tabs, should fall down the sides of your nose.

  5. Press the strip gently but firmly in place. Rub the entire length of it for a few seconds to allow the adhesive to bond to your skin.

  6. When it’s time to remove the nasal strip, wash your face to loosen the adhesive. Pull gently and slowly on both sides (tabs), working toward the middle of your nose.



It’s important for a nasal strip to provide a good fit to be effective. Fortunately, most brands offer nasal strips in a variety of sizes, including small, small/medium, medium, and large. Regardless of the size of your nose, you’ll be able to find strips that fit and provide maximum relief.


When you shop for nasal strips, you’ll find several varieties to choose from.

  • Original or regular strips are suitable for wearers who don’t have sensitive skin or severe nasal congestion.

  • Extra-strength nasal strips prove maximum pull on nostrils and are best for severely stuffy noses and deviated septums.

  • Sensitive strips are designed for thin, delicate, or sensitive skin that is prone to irritation. They are typically clear in color, whereas other varieties are often a tan hue.

  • Scented nasal strips are infused with fragrance to help calm and soothe wearers while they sleep.

Alternative styles

Not everyone wants to put a nasal strip on top of their nose. Some alternative designs have components that insert into the lower portion of the nasal cavity with a strip of material that wraps around the columella — the exterior tissue at the base of the nose between the nostrils. Once in place, these devices add tension to keep nostrils open and air flowing more freely, just like other nasal strips.

"Nasal strips that have scents like lavender and menthol are designed to deliver relaxing aromas as you are able to take in more air through your nostrils."

Nasal strip prices

Nasal strips are available in different quantities. Prices vary based on quality and brand. (Variety, such as extra-strength or clear, typically has little bearing on the price.)


On the low end of the price spectrum, you’ll find lesser-known brands in large counts, such as 50, 100, 150, and 300. Prices range from $7 to around $28, and the larger the quantities, the better the deal.


In the middle of the price range, you’ll find better-known brands with counts of 30 to 50 strips priced between $8 and $11. Pricier, more popular brands come in packs with similar quantities and cost between $11 and $16.


If you are in the market for alternative models that don’t fit over the nose, expect to pay between $15 and $20 for multi-packs with up to four devices. Keep in mind that these products are usually reusable, which makes up for the higher cost.


  • If you are new to using nasal strips, practice finding the right position on your nose before you remove the adhesive. This will help you place your strips correctly so you don’t waste them by sticking them to the wrong part of your nose.

  • Do you have a hard time getting nasal strips to stick? Hold your fingers over the strip once you place it on your nose, pressing gently for one to two minutes. This will help the adhesive form a tighter bond to your skin.

  • Stock up on nasal strips before cold and flu season hits. That way, you will have them on hand when you need relief from the nasal congestion that comes with these common ailments.

  • If you are allergic to latex, look for nasal strips that are made with latex-free materials. Due to the prevalence of latex allergy, many brands offer this type of product.

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Although many consumers wear nasal strips when they go to sleep, they can also be worn during the day.


Q. I have sensitive skin. Can I use nasal strips?

A. Yes, but be extra careful when removing the strips. Apply warm, soapy water or lotion to loosen them, and take your time to prevent tugging on delicate skin.

Q. Can I reuse nasal strips?

A. Probably not, because once you’ve worn a nasal strip and peeled it off your nose, the adhesive will most likely lose its staying power.

Q. I have oily skin. Will nasal strips work for me?

A. They should, but you may need a little extra help removing excess oil to get them to stick properly. Use an oil-free cleanser when you wash your face, and follow up by wiping the area on and around your nose with an astringent for oily skin. Press the nasal strip firmly into place once your skin is dry, and it should stay put for hours.

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