The Best Nasal Aspirators to Buy in 2021

Dr. Denys Tsveiuk, MD
Reviewed by Dr. Denys Tsveiuk, MDWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on August 10th, 2021

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Is your baby’s congestion interfering with her ability to nurse, sleep, and breathe? Well, I’ve got some good (if slightly gross!) news; there are baby products available that can help de-snot your kiddo’s nasal passage.

There are nasal aspirators on the market that can work wonders at gently removing mucus from your baby’s nose. But how to choose the best nasal aspirators? Fear not, fellow parent, I’m here to make you an expert!

Children often form excess mucus when sick, have allergies or are teething.

Basically, if you have a baby, you will need an aspirator at some point. Pro tip: best be prepared by having one on hand, rather than scrambling to find one when your child’s inconsolable with a stuffy nose. So let’s have that crash course on what you should be looking for.

Types of nasal aspirators

There are three main designs of aspirators on the market. While each has its pros and cons, remember that, at the end of the day, the ‘best’ nasal aspirator is the one that works for you and your baby.

Bulb nasal aspirators

Vaguely resembling a lightbulb or turkey baster, this design is almost as old as time. Easy to use, it sports no techno ‘bells and whistles’, and is usually the least expensive option.

Having said that, bulb aspirators can be tricky to clean, and you can’t control the level of suction as well as you can with others.

Electric nasal aspirators

These tend to be more costly, though it’s not impossible to track down a good deal on one of these gadgets. They’re easy to use, can adjust their level of suction in accordance with the density of mucus causing the blockage, and can even squirt a measure of saline into the nasal passages, loosening the mucus. Some even play music to make the experience more pleasant.

A downside of electronic models is that some can be a little noisy, possibly startling your little one. Another issue with them is that the mucus can build up in the areas of a device that are hard to clean, possibly resulting in bacterial contamination. 

Oral suction nasal aspirators

Okay, this is way less gross than it sounds, I promise! These aspirators involve placing one end of the tube in your child’s nose and taking the other end in your mouth. While gently sucking out the mucus, you’ll be relieved to know there’s a filter that prevents any being imbibed at your end while you control the strength of the suction. They are also quiet, so won’t alarm your baby with motorized noises.

These models have a slightly higher upkeep cost than most others, as they come with filters that need regular replacing. And, trust me, you won’t want to skimp on that expense!

Editor’s Note: Whatever nasal aspirator you choose for your baby – classic bulb, electric, or oral suction – make sure you always keep it clean to prevent bacterial growth. If you opt for an electric one, make sure to use a minimum amount of suction to clear your kid’s nose.

Important considerations

Multiple vs. single-use

Some nasal aspirators, notably the bulb models, are inexpensive enough to be used just once or twice before being replaced without financial discomfort. However, if looking for one you can use for multiple stuffy noses over time, you’ll want to look for designs that:

  • Can be taken apart for easy cleaning.
  • Have multiple tips to accommodate your child’s growing facial features.
  • Are economic to maintain.
  • Have a good warranty; especially for more expensive electronic models.
  • Have adjustable suction settings so you can use the same device for both mild and severe nose clogs.

Cleanability

As mentioned above, the ability to clean a nasal aspirator is vital if intending to reuse it. Check that the products you are looking at:

  • Are made from materials that don’t foster the growth of mold or bacteria (e.g. silicone).
  • Can be taken apart.
  • Have dishwasher-safe parts or can be cleaned with conventional cleaning products.
  • Don’t have lots of nooks and crannies where germs or mold thrive.

Ease of use

You don’t want to spend a fortune on a nasal aspirator only to find that it’s overly complicated. Just remember that this is a mission where your primary objective is to get in and out quickly. Look for simple models that don’t take long to do the job.

Also, familiarize yourself with the model you’ve chosen till you can operate it in your sleep, because, sooner or later, you’ll be draining your kiddo’s nose in the middle of the night. Parenthood, huh?

Safe use

Provided you use these products responsibly, you shouldn’t harm your little one. Be sure not to insert nozzles too far into your kiddo’s nose, use saline, and avoid suctioning dry, packed-in mucus.

While you should always read the instructions that come with your aspirator, here is an overview of how to use the various designs.

How to use nasal aspirators correctly

Bulb nasal aspirator

  • Apply two or three drops of saline into the nose and wait a few seconds.
  • Compress the bulb end of the aspirator.
  • Insert nozzle into one nostril while gently plugging the other one with your finger.
  • Release the bulb end for suction to occur while gently moving the tip around.
  • Squeeze out mucus into a tissue.
  • Repeat steps on the other nostril.

Electric nasal aspirator

  • Fit the appropriate tip on the nozzle and adjust applicable suction settings.
  • Administer two or three drops of saline into one side of the nose and let it sit for a few seconds.
  • Gently insert the nozzle into one nostril while plugging the other.
  • Turn the device on.
  • Gently move the nozzle around in your child’s nose.
  • Repeat steps on the opposite nostril.

Oral suction nose aspirator

  • Administer two or three drops of saline into one side of the nose and wait a few seconds for it to set.
  • Place the tip of the nozzle into your baby’s nostril while holding the other side of their nose shut.
  • Place the other end in your mouth and suck, keeping in mind that the amount of suction is based on how hard you suck.
  • Move the nozzle gently around in your baby’s nose as you suck.
  • Repeat with the other nostril.

Pretty simple, right? If you’re still a little nervous about suctioning your little one’s nose, check out Dr. Amy Seery’s video for a demonstration on how to use all three of these nasal aspirator designs.

Do not suction your child’s nasal cavities more than 3-4 times a day to avoid irritating the inside of their nose. If your child spikes a fever, hold off on using a nasal aspirator, and contact your child’s pediatrician. *

Our picks of the best nasal aspirators

Best for newborns

Our opinion

Aspirator type: Oral suction
Material: Plastic
Dishwasher safe?: Yes (use top rack)

An aptly named aspirator that is the creation of a Swedish ear, nose, and throat doctor, this product is safe to use on congested kids of all ages. Yup, even on newly-born babies. It’s an affordable option made from materials that are free from BPA and phthalates. The Snotsucker (check price on Amazon) uses disposable filters, so while they’ll need replacing after every use, you’ll never have to worry about catching stray bacteria OR boogers with this oral suction model.

Replacing the filter in the aspirator is quick and uncomplicated. Simply insert it in one end of the suction straw, snap the cap back into place, and you’re ready to roll.

The nozzle forms a gentle seal on the outside of your baby’s nostrils instead of inside the nasal cavity, allowing for the gentle, non-invasive removal of all types of mucus. Cleaning this little sucker is painless, and it delivers fast results. All its perks have earned it a stamp of approval from both parents and pediatricians.

At a glance
  • Initial purchase replacement filters.
  • Filters are clinically proven to prevent bacteria from entering your mouth.
  • No need to insert into your baby’s nose.
  • You have complete control over the suction level.

Upgrade choice

Our opinion

Aspirator type: Electric (plug)
Nozzle tip material: Silicone
Dishwasher safe?: No

If you have the extra money and a baby who is often miserable from mucus, the BabySmile Nasal Aspirator (check price on Amazon) is a worthwhile investment. An impressive hospital-grade and FDA-approved nasal aspirator, you will find this device incredibly easy to operate. Simply plug it in and go to work with the suction nozzle.

You needn’t worry about accidentally turning the suction off while holding the nozzle, as the on/off switch is out of sight on the aspirator’s base. This can really help if your baby is particularly squirmy when getting their nose cleaned out. You can also adjust the level of suction with one hand without having to stop what you are doing.

Speaking of cleaning; disinfecting this machine is extremely uncomplicated. Simply take the cup off of the base, remove the lid, and disconnect the nozzle and tube. While not dishwasher safe, the parts can be washed in the sink after every use.

What we love
  • Works great on thick mucus.
  • Strong but safe suction.
  • Adults can use it, too.
Watch for

Best budget buy

Our opinion

Aspirator type: Bulb
Nozzle tip material: Silicone
Dishwasher safe?: Yes

Ah, the good old-fashioned bulb design! Timeless, simple, and effective, BoobieBulb’s (check price on Amazon) version of the bulb aspirator contains no latex or phthalates and is BPA-free. This affordable product offers plenty of sucking power and comes in ‘preemie’, ‘newborn’, and ‘toddler’ sizes.

If you are hesitant to purchase a bulb aspirator due to its reputation for being almost impossible to clean, this patent-pending design will allay your fears. The bulb actually pulls apart, making it easy for you to give it a good scrub down, while you can even pop the parts in the dishwasher.

This hypoallergenic aspirator is comfortable to hold, made from hospital-grade material, and is recommended by doctors. The space-saving design is a plus, and you can take this portable snot-sucking gadget anywhere.

What we love
  • Easy to clean
  • Good suction
  • Available in multiple sizes
Watch for
  • Bulb parts can pop apart when you are squeezing for suction.

Best For sinus congestion

Our opinion

Aspirator type: Oral suction
Nozzle tip material: Hospital grade silicone
Dishwasher safe?: No

With the Bubzi Co Baby Nasal Aspirator (check price on Amazon) oral suction model, you control the force at which the mucus is removed from your child’s nose. It’s easy to use, with the only setup being to place a tissue in the ‘booger collection’ area (remember to change the tissue after every use!)

It takes about 30 seconds to clear your kiddo’s nose, so you’re in and out pretty fast. Once the task is completed you’ll be able to give all those nooks and crannies a good scrub, as this product comes apart easily.

Constructed from BPA-free material with a soft-tipped nozzle that won’t irritate your baby’s nose, this device also comes with a carrying case to keep it clean between uses. The cost of maintaining this nose sucker for repeated uses is virtually zero, as it requires no filters or sponges.

What we love
  • Baby doesn’t have to be lying down during use.
  • No need for replacement filters and/or sponges.
  • Produces results quickly.
Watch for
  • Forgetting to put a tissue in the collection canister will result in snot getting into your mouth.

Best battery-operated nasal aspirator

Our opinion

Aspirator type: Electric (battery)
Nozzle tip material: Silicone
Dishwasher safe: No

One of the more customizable aspirators on our list, the OCCObaby Baby Nasal Aspirator (check price on Walmart) comes with three sizes of nozzle accessories, including one with a wide tipped design, unique to this brand.

There’s no need to replace parts, including filters, and cleaning is as easy as washing out the mucus-catching cup. It does require 2 x AA batteries, a set being included with your purchase. Parents report that the aspirator does not use up batteries quickly.

This medically-tested device fits snugly into a diaper bag, has an ergonomically designed handle for your comfort, and its materials have no latex, lead, phthalates, or BPAs. You can operate this aspirator easily with one just hand, and it’s quiet enough not to startle most babies. It’s safe for all ages, including newborns, and works with every type of mucus.

What we love
  • Batteries included
  • Comes with a bonus oral suction aspirator should you ever run out of batteries
  • Multiple tip options
Watch for
  • Not as much suction as some other electric models

Best electric nasal aspirator for babies

Our opinion

Aspirator type: Electric (battery)
Nozzle tip material: Silicone
Dishwasher safe?: No

The Little Martins Drawer Baby Electric Nasal Aspirator (check price on eBay) activates with the touch of a button and includes two individually-sized nozzle tips, making it ideal for babies of all ages and sizes. In fact, parents whose babies have particularly small noses rave about this model. It operates on 2 x AA batteries (included with this product,) and is FDA approved.

You need never worry about frying any motors while giving this a good scrub as it is 100% waterproof. The nozzle and cup where mucus collects are both removable, and it’s safe to thoroughly boil them to kill any potentially lingering germs.

Reviewers, please note; this is an exceptionally quiet model that doesn’t disturb children. Despite its lack of noise, the suction is strong enough to quickly handle any type of mucus your kiddo can blow your way. This aspirator includes stickers, making it look even more inviting to children.

What we love
  • Batteries included
  • Easy to clean
  • Powerful but quiet
Watch for
  • Be sure to have replacement batteries on hand if this is to be your only aspirator.

And the winner is…

Congestion is no fun for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for babies to cope with, and, when your baby is miserable, everyone in the house is along for the ride.

While all of these aspirators will help clear your kiddo’s nasal canals, my personal favorite is hands down the NoseFrida Snotsucker (check price on Amazon). I love that it was invented by a doctor who specializes in ear, nose, and throat issues and that it works on babies of all ages without invading their nasal passages. I know for a fact that it’s constructed from safe materials. It’s easy to use, my little ones having tolerated it with hardly any fuss. Furthermore, its filters are great for protecting me against germs, while replacing them is a cinch. The final selling point? It’s such a fun name!

Hey, when your baby’s sick, you need to laugh whenever you can.

Whichever nasal aspirator you choose, I wish you and your baby good health and clear noses.

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Dr. Denys Tsveiuk, MD
Reviewed by Dr. Denys Tsveiuk, MDWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on August 10th, 2021

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