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Best Nasal Aspirators to Get You and Baby Through Cold + Flu Season
December 29, 2023

Best Nasal Aspirators to Get You and Baby Through Cold + Flu Season

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Best Nasal Aspirators to Get You and Baby Through Cold + Flu Season.
Best Nasal Aspirators to Get You and Baby Through Cold + Flu Season

Cold and flu season always seems to come with a whole bunch of products, especially when babies are involved. You’ve got your thermometer to keep an eye on baby’s temp, a humidifier to keep them breathing easy and, of course, lots of snuggles. Whether your baby’s cold means the occasional stuffy nose or they’re the world’s largest producer of snot, you’re going to need a nasal aspirator in your toolkit, too.

There are a few different types of nasal aspirators out there, but they all serve the same function: to help clear nasal passages by working like a vacuum to suck mucus out. To make sure your little one is breathing their best, here’s a roundup of the best nasal aspirators and how to use them.

Babylist’s Top Picks for The Best Nasal Aspirators

Read full reviews of our top nasal aspirators below.

How We Choose Our Best Nasal Aspirator Picks

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby products they love the most, then took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best nasal aspirators.

Find more information at the end of this guide:

Babylist’s Picks for the Best Nasal Aspirators

Best Hospital-Grade Manual Aspirator

If your care team used a nasal bulb on your newborn, it was probably this one. It’s a hospital favorite for several reasons: the classic bulb syringe uses manual pressure, so you can create as much or as little suction power as you need. And if baby accidentally inhales saliva or spit up, the long tip makes it a good option for clearing baby’s oral airway, too. Its one-piece construction means small parts can’t break off and become choking hazards, and the thick silicone is durable enough to last for years’ worth of runny noses.

What’s Worth Considering

The bulb can be a little stiff, so if you need to suction baby’s nose multiple times in a row, it’s a bit of a workout. And its one-piece construction means it can be difficult to clean since you can’t take it apart like other manual bulbs on this list.

Best for Controlled Suction

No list of nasal aspirators is complete without the NoseFrida. If you haven’t heard of it by now, this aspirator has a completely different take on snot sucking—literally. Rather than a bulb or a battery-powered vacuum, this aspirator uses your mouth.

With one end securely between your lips and the other end (of a thankfully long hose) in baby’s nostril, you have full control over the level of suction to clear baby’s nasal congestion. And don’t worry, there’s a filter in the hose so you won’t suck up anything unsavory.

What’s Worth Considering

If you’re hesitant about this aspirator’s method, you’re not alone. It’s completely understandable if you’re weirded out by the idea of clearing baby’s nose with your own mouth. But consider the reviews this thing has—it’s consistently one of the top-rated aspirators across retailers and review sites. Gross, but effective.

Best Electric Aspirator

This aspirator saves you a sore thumb. No constant pushing on a bulb to create suction—electric nasal aspirators work with just the press of a single button. Parents love this one from Grownsy because it has three suction levels, three sizes of silicone tips, a small light for nighttime snot sucking and soothing music to help distract nervous or fussy babies.

What’s Worth Considering

With as many bells and whistles as it has, the Grownsy is pretty bulky. It’ll take up twice as much space in your medicine cabinet and diaper bag as a lot of other options on this list. And since it’s electric, it makes a buzzing noise—it’s not too loud, but it could still startle little ones.

Best for Easy Cleaning

Even though it’s the same size and shape as the typical hospital nasal bulb, the Innovo Twister has two major things over the Briggs: it’s completely see-through, and it separates into two, easy-to-clean pieces. No more guessing at what mystery mucus lies within or if your attempt at rinsing it out was actually successful. And even though it isn’t one-piece construction like the hospital bulb, the two pieces are large enough to not be choking hazards.

What’s Worth Considering

The Twister bulb is significantly more expensive than the other manual bulbs on this list.

Best for On-the-Go

We love this bulb because it’s a compact size, easy to clean and, unlike most bulb aspirators, has a curved tip to help you get the best angle. The curved tip is especially useful for really tiny noses when the larger aspirator tips can’t fit well. The two-pack means you can keep one at home and one in your diaper bag, or one in the nursery and one in the bathroom, or wherever you find yourself reaching for it the most.

Like the Twister bulb, the Nasabulb separates into two pieces for easy cleaning, and the whole thing is transparent so you know exactly how clean (or dirty) it is.

What’s Worth Considering

Because of its smaller size and softer silicone, the Nasabulb may not be as effective as some of the others on this list. But if you’re just clearing a small amount, or if you’re more interested in portability and a squishier bulb that won’t cramp your hand as quickly, this is a great pick.

How to use a nasal aspirator

No matter which type of nasal aspirator you use, you should prime baby’s nasal passages with saline drops before trying to suck mucus out. (And be sure to use only saline drops until baby is 12 months old; saline sprays and sinus rinses aren’t recommended for tiny noses.) Nasal aspirators don’t work on dry, hardened mucus, so saline gets everything nice and moist in there so it can be removed more easily.

Make sure baby is laying down on their back before putting in the saline drops. Insert three to four drops, then wait about a minute for the saline to work its magic. Keep baby on their back for the aspirator, too. If you’re using a manual bulb, squeeze the bulb before putting the tip in baby’s nose. It’s important to squeeze the bulb as instructed for your specific product—some bulbs squeeze from the bottom using your thumb, others squeeze from the sides.

For every type of aspirator (unless specifically stated in the instructions), position the tip straight into baby’s nostril. Make sure the tip isn’t pointed toward the sides or angled down or up. Going straight in will line the aspirator up with the sinus cavity and allow for maximum snot removal rather than accidentally suctioning the nostril walls and causing inflammation.

Once the aspirator tip is inserted as far as it can safely go (just far enough to create a vacuum seal in the nostril), either release the bulb of a manual aspirator, turn on an electric aspirator or start sucking from an oral-powered type. If the tip is transparent, you should see mucus coming out right away.

After suctioning one nostril, squeeze the aspirator into a clean tissue to try and remove at least some of the captured mucus so you don’t accidentally deposit it into baby’s other nostril (ew). Then it’s time to repeat the process in the other nostril.

Keep in mind, it’s possible to cause irritation and inflammation in baby’s nose by using a nasal aspirator too often. It can be tempting to want to keep baby’s nose completely clear at all times, but doctors strongly recommend suctioning no more than four times a day.

How to clean a nasal aspirator

If you’re using the manual kind (either the bulb kind or the mouth-powered kind), clean the entire aspirator with hot, soapy water and let it air dry after each use. You don’t want mucus sitting there over time and breeding bacteria.

If you’re using an electric aspirator, only wash the removable tip in hot, soapy water. Be careful not to get the aspirator wet, as most aren’t waterproof.

Amylia Ryan

Associate Editor

Amylia Ryan is the Associate Editor at Babylist, specializing in the topics of health, wellness and lifestyle products. Combining a decade of experience in writing and editing with a deep passion for helping people, her number one goal in her work is to ensure new parents feel supported and understood. She herself is a parent to two young children, who are more than willing to help product test endless toys, books, clothes, toiletries and more.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.