More than 5 million people suffer from sinus problems each year. “Sinusitis,” one of the most common of these problems, happens when the sinus gets inflamed. Coughs, congestion, and other problems associated with the common cold or allergies can cause it. But a nose cleaner might be able to help resolve all this and more.
When you feel stuffed up and congested, it often seems like there’s nothing to do but wait it out — and hope it doesn’t develop into something worse, like sinusitis. As people say, “There’s no cure for the common cold.” While that might be true, there are ways you can treat the symptoms.
The next time you feel stuffiness coming on, what if you could reach for a solution? Today’s popular nose cleaner products promise to help flush out that stuffiness and all the discomfort that comes with it.
What Does A Nose Cleaner Do?
A nose cleaner, also known as a nasal irrigation system, flushes out the clogs in your nasal passageways. It helps restore your breathing, voice, and sense of smell to normal, as well as relieving the uncomfortable pressure, pain, and itchiness that sometimes comes with congestion.
A saline solution (saline is just salt water) and a contraption to get that solution through your nasal passageways are all a nose cleaner uses. They can also help combat the dryness you might get in your nasal passageways when you’re in dry indoor spaces, such as a home with a radiator.
Basically, you pour the solution into a single nostril, and it makes its way to the other nostril, where the water comes out along with the gunk that was clogging up your nose. That also helps flush out the allergens that get into your nasal passageways and trigger allergies.
Who Should Use A Nose Cleaner?
These nose cleaners are great for anyone who suffers from regular allergies. And if you have chronic sinus issues, you’ll definitely want to keep a nose cleaner on your bathroom shelf. However, since anyone can get a cold, they’re also useful for just about everyone.
If you have a sinus surgery procedure, it’s possible you’ll even get a recommendation for a nose cleaner from your doctor. These nasal irrigation systems can clear away the buildup that you might get after surgery.
For the average person, sinus problems might not pose such a big threat to your quality of life. Still, it can be nice to find relief from dry indoor air, or occasional colds and allergies. Those with more serious or chronic sinus problems benefit even more from these devices. A nose cleaner offers relief without having to rely on medication.
Do Nose Cleaners Really Work?
To some people, the simplicity of a saline flush might sound like snake oil. However, a lot of research exists to back up the claims.
Basically, these systems work by making your mucus thin enough so it can come out of the nasal passageways. The inside of your nose has tiny things that look like hairs, called cilia, which help move mucus through and out of your nose. Sometimes, the buildup becomes too much for the cilia to handle. When that happens, a nose cleaner can assist the cilia so the mucus makes its way out of the nostril as it should.
It’s important to get the irritants and allergens out of your nose, because the longer they stay, the more problems they can cause. A nasal irrigation system helps flush them away.
Are These Products Safe To Use?
You might have heard some fear-inducing stories about the health risks associated with popular nasal irrigation methods. However, these issues are very rare and easy to avoid if you use your nose cleaner correctly.
The FDA gives sinus rinse systems total approval, as long as you follow directions. With improper use, you might get a rare infection if you use tap water. That’s because tap water doesn’t go through the proper filtration systems to make it safe for use in the nasal passageways.
You should always use distilled or sterile water, such as water that you’ve boiled (and let cool down, of course), in your nose cleaning device. The organisms in tap water are safe to drink because they can’t survive the acids in your stomach. But there’s nothing inside your nose to kill them, so you might become infected with a deadly amoeba or another microorganism if you use tap water.
While life-threatening infections from tap water are incredibly rare, no one wants to take that chance. As long as you use properly treated water, and follow all the instructions your nose cleaner comes with, you won’t have anything to worry about. Don’t forget to clean the device each time you use it, and always use it with clean hands.
Nose Cleaning Methods
All nose cleaners use the same concept: flush out the nose with saline solution. However, the delivery method varies depending on which device you choose. The most basic methods involve manually powered devices. These devices often look like long-handled teapots. You can also use a bulb syringe as a manual nose cleaner, but the learning curve can be more difficult with these since they’re not expressly for the nose.
You’ll also see nose cleaners powered by batteries or electricity. These devices use power to propel the saline solution through your nose. In short, nose cleaning methods range from low-tech to high-tech. You might have to try a few before you settle on the right one for you.
Nose Cleaner Prices
The price of a nose cleaner varies depending on how elaborate the device is. Basic, manually powered kits that don’t come with much more than the device itself may only cost about $$ to $$. For a fancier starter kit that also includes the ingredients for your saline solution, the price runs up to about $$. However, an electric kit that includes everything you need can cost $$$ or more.
The more expensive nasal irrigation systems don’t necessarily work better. However, some people may find them easier to use.
How To Choose The Best Nose Cleaner
The best nose cleaner for you is the one that you feel most comfortable using. All of them will flush your sinuses out effectively if used correctly. However, you might get more powerful results from an electric- or battery-powered device. We recommend starting with an inexpensive, basic model, and graduating up to something fancier if the first one doesn’t do what you need.
How We Reviewed
On this list, we’ve included nasal cleaning systems of all different styles and price points. To review each one, we considered the features it comes with, as well as what consumers have to say about using it. We’ve also included pros and cons so you can get a truly balanced look at each model.
The Best Nose Cleaners of 2019
With such a wide variety of nasal irrigators on the market, it can be hard to narrow down the list. We've done the work for you: here are the top nose cleaners of 2019, from high-tech to ultra-simple.
- Fast, all-natural relief from allergies and sinus congestion - without drugs!
- Bundle includes Naväge Nose Cleaner and 38 SaltPod Capsules, and Naväge Countertop Caddy.
- World’s only nose cleaner with powered suction, Naväge flushes out allergens, mucus, dust, and germs.
The Navage system is the Cadillac of nose cleaners. This device uses suction power to pump saline into your nasal passages, and then suck it back out. For some people, this might feel less gross than just letting the dirty saline water run out of your nostril and into the sink. You’ll find this for $$ to $$$ at retailers like Amazon.
Amazon reviewers gave this system 4.1 out of 5 stars. It has some impressive features, such as the easy-to-use SaltPods for making your saline solution, as well as a stand to store it on your countertop easily.
Many reviewers note that they had better success with this model than with more basic nose cleaning systems. However, some have also said that it feels strange at first and that you might have to experiment with your technique before you can get it to work well.
- A Volume Therapeutic Saline Nasal Ir
- A volume, therapeutic, saline nasal irrigation & moisturizing system
- Soothing, pH balanced, isotonic solution with no burning or stinging
For a more simple solution, the NeliMed kit might be the perfect choice. This kit uses a simple, manually powered bottle with premixed saline packets so you can easily get the right ratio of salt to water. It sells for $ to $$ on Amazon.
Although it’s basic, the NeliMed system has an impressive 4.5 out of 5 Amazon stars. Reviewers note that as long as you use enough force to power the water through your nose, it really works. In fact, the only drawback seems to be that it’s not very comfortable to use. However, any nasal irrigator is going to feel strange, especially at first.
- Dry the device after each use
- Do not wash the device under running water like the use of an electric tooth brush
- Preservative, drug, iodine, BPA, gluten and latex free
The same brand, NeliMed, also makes a fancier version of a nose cleaner. The “Sinugator”uses battery power to pulse the saline into your nose, and also comes with some premixed saline packets. It retails on Amazon for $$ to $$.
Amazon’s customer reviews give the Sinugator 3.4 out of 5 stars. People love it for being easy to use and highly effective. However, one significant drawback is the lack of durability. Many users have found that their device will die after a certain amount of time, and even new batteries can’t revive it.
- Fits Your Nostril Comfortably | ComfyPot’s unique silicone nozzle will fit your nostril and create a comfortable seal...
- Excellent Even Flow | Flushing your sinuses should be a comfortable, enjoyable experience. ComfyPot has been designed...
- Lasts a lifetime | Unlike plastic, our ceramic neti pot will keep your sinuses clear year after year.
One of the worst things about a nose cleaner is the uncomfortable feeling of forcing water through your nasal passages. Can a device called “ComfyPot” make the process feel better? This ceramic pot uses a silicone tip that won’t feel uncomfortable when you put it in your nose. It’s also ergonomically designed, so you can easily position it correctly. It retails for just $$ to $$ on Amazon.
With 4.6 out of 5 Amazon stars, the ComfyPot sounds promising. The first benefit: it’s much prettier than other nose cleaners. The sleek ceramic design actually won’t look terrible on your shelf.
The ceramic also makes it durable, and easy to clean. Since there's nothing to feed, there’s nothing that can break or “die” inside it. Most reviewers note that it’s simple, comfortable, and effective. However, some find holding it difficult, since the heat from the water can transfer to the ceramic handle.
- Nasal Cleansing: Porcelain Neti Pot protects and refreshes your nasal passages to ensure better health and natural...
- Immune Support: this Neti Pot Porcelain enhances sinus and immune support which makes nasal irrigation easy and...
- Lead-Free Pot: is used with a nasal wash of high-grade salt and distilled water to clear away pollens, dust and other...
The Himalayan Institute offers another manual nose cleaner made of porcelain. Although not marketable with comfort specifically in mind, it’s a good basic model for those just getting used to the nose cleaner idea. You’ll find this one on Amazon for $$ to $$.
The low price is certainly a benefit of this pot, which has 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. While many reviewers state that it does the job, some note that it’s heavy and can be uncomfortable to handle and that it’s also prone to spills.
- Hygienic solid handle with no cavity to catch and hold water and germs
- Specially tapered spout fits easily and comfortably in the nostril
- Lead free, dishwasher safe porcelain ceramic
Sticking something up your nose sounds just a bit more enticing when it has “aromatic” in the name. This ceramic pot competes with models like the Himalayan Institute’s because it’s simple and inexpensive. It also sells for $$ to $$ on Amazon.
Reviewers awarded this nose cleaner 4.6 out of 5 stars. Many of them love that the ceramic is easy to clean, and that it’s pretty to look at. However, some reviewers don’t love the design. It’s also easy to spill if you aren’t careful, and the spout’s angle may not pour water out fast enough to clean some people’s sinuses.
- Natural Allergy Relief: Nasopure May Remove Allergens, Pollutants and Other Infectious Particles.
- Includes: 8 ounce Nasopure Nasal Wash Bottle, 20 Buffered Salt Packets, instructions by Dr. Hana.
- Nasopure Provides Allergy Relief Which May Reduce the Need for Allergy Medicine.
If using a nose cleaner feels like torture, this gentle option might do the trick instead. The Nasopure Neti Pot uses manual power from a plastic bottle and comes with a kit of salt packets. You can buy it for $$ to $$ on Amazon.
On Amazon, this device has 4.0 out of 5 stars. Instead of trying to fit the long handle of a teapot-shaped device in your nose, this system uses a simple plastic bottle that’s easy to position and use.
People who felt pain using traditional neti pot systems liked this method much better. They also state that it’s very easy to get good results with this device. In fact, as long as you use it correctly, this nose cleaner doesn’t seem to have any drawbacks at all.
- Kit includes nasal irrigator, storage sleeve, 10 pre-measured packets of salt, and instructions.
- Syringe delivery system allows user to controls the flow and pressure of the saline solution for optimum comfort and...
- Patented technology with silicone tip/applicator to allow for an easy and gentle rinsing experience.
Finally, this Squip system offers a different take on a manually powered nose cleaner. You’ll use the syringe-like device to squeeze water into the nasal passages. It also comes with salt packets to make saline with. You can buy it for $ to $$.
This device has 4.5 out of 5 Amazon stars. Many reviewers note that it’s effective because you can control how fast or slow the water comes out. It can offer more pressure than the ceramic pot systems do, and it’s still easy to use and clean. However, the plunger can become more difficult to push over time, so you may need to replace the device more often than some others on this list.
Which Nose Cleaner Is Best For You?
Using a nose cleaner is a very personal experience, and the best type of nose cleaner is also a very personal choice. With so many different devices on the market, how can you choose the best one?
As mentioned above, it’s best to start small and work your way up to the pricier options. The most basic kits have some of the highest reviews on this list. If we had to pick a favorite, it would be the Squip system. It’s very affordable, but works to remove difficult nasal clogs.
Of course, you might find that another system works better for you. But no matter what, we’re confident that at least one device on this list will give you the results you want. Are you ready to invest in cleaner nasal passages, or does the idea sound intimidating? Let’s talk about it in the comments!