Last Updated: May 22, 2023 @ 3:25 pm.

What's the best nasal aspirator? The second most common reason parents call a doctor for infants is nasal congestion! (The #1 reason is fever). To the rescue come nasal aspirators, which promise relief for unhappy kids. But do they really work? We tried out several gadgets that promise relief for nasal congestion and consulted with pediatricians about best practices. Here are our picks—plus a simple remedy that doesn't involve a gadget! As always, we recommend consulting with a doctor about your baby's congestion and whether an aspirator is recommended.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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Best Nasal Aspirator

Tops in performance
We loved this aspirator's light (for nighttime use) and music (which helps distract a fussy baby). Yes, it works well, plus is lightweight. Caveat: cleaning can be difficult.

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Best Nasal Aspirator: Watolt’s Nasal Aspirator

We tried out nasal aspirators on babies with stuffed-up noses to figure out which ones work best. Watolt’s nasal aspirator came in tops in our testing, based on ease of use, effectiveness and affordability. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• Lighted tip. We found this aspirator easiest to use at night, thanks to a built-in light. That prevented us from having to turn on the overhead lights, which makes a fussy baby even more fussy!

• Musical distraction. This aspirator also has optional music, which helped distract babies already uncomfortable from congestion. That actually worked well in our testing!

Light weight with three levels of suction.

What Needs Work

• Cleaning can be difficult. The design of this aspirator makes it difficult to clean, in our opinion. We found it difficult to take apart for cleaning.

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Best Easy-to-Clean

Suction tip great at sealing
Compared to others we tried, this model is easiest to clean—and it works well. But it can be noisy, which scares some kiddos.
$29.99 ($10.00 / Count)

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Best Easy-to-Clean: OCCObaby Nasal Aspirator

This aspirator suggests using a saline solution first before suctioning and that is wise advice—it’s a good way to break up congestion. Here’s an overview:

What We Liked

•  Easy to clean. Compared to others we tested, the OCCObaby was the easiest to take apart and clean.

• Easiest to use solo. Some nasal aspirators require an extra set of hands to work well; this one is easier to use if you are solo parenting a sick child. 

What Needs Work

• Can be noisy. That can scare some kiddos, we should note!

• Suction inadequate, say critics. There is a split opinion on this—when we tested it, we thought the suction was adequate . . . especially if you close the other nostril while using. However, others feel this one isn’t as strong as competitors like the Watolt model reviewed earlier in this article.

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Best Parent Favorite

No batteries, easy to use
This low-tech solution to relieving congestion is simple but effective. Works better for wet, runny noses. Caveat: sometimes requires a second set of hands.

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Best Parent Favorite: NoseFrida

The “NoseFrida Snot Sucker” (their words, not ours) is a low-tech solution to relieve congestion. One end goes in baby’s nostril. Then this is attached to a tube, which a parent sucks on to remove mucus. Yes, there is a filter to prevent this from backing up into your mouth! We know, yuck.

NoseFrida has a cult-like parent following—fans just love this thing since it is effective and non-invasive. And there are no batteries to worry about. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Good for wet, runny noses. NoseFrida says it works best when used with saline spray, which makes sense as that helps break up congestion, aspirator or not!

Portable. This solution is easy to take on the road, in case your child has a cold while traveling.

• Quick and easy. In our testing, the NoseFrida did what it promised—and was fast.

What’s Needs Work

• Filters only work against bacteria, not viruses. That means if your child has a viral infection and you suck that air into your mouth, there is a risk the parent could get sick as well.

• Not a kid favorite. Note we said this is a PARENT favorite—kids are not so wild about it, based on our testing and research. Other nasal aspirators have built-in distractions (music, for example). This one doesn’t.

• Requires extra set of hands. Because you have to make sure the end that goes into your baby’s nose has a good seal, you may need an extra set of hands to have it work well. That’s because you have to then hold that part that goes into your mouth at the same time. If you are solo parenting a sick child, this may not be the best solution.

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Best For Older Kids

Effective and affordable
Loved this aspirator for runny noses—quick and effective. Also nice: music feature is great to sooth babies. Given the large size, however, this works better for toddlers and older kids, in our opinion.
$39.99 ($39.99 / Count)

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Best For Older Kids: Grownsy Baby Nasal Aspirator

For toddlers’ noses, we liked this nasal aspirator best. It did an excellent job and is easy to clean. We liked the three different suction modes and the music feature is soothing.

What We Liked

• Easy to use.

• Simple to clean.

• Great for runny noses.

• Music is great for fussy kids.

• LED warm light.

• Waterproof.

What’s Needs Work

• Not great for stuffy noses.

 • A bit noisy.

• Better for older toddlers, not as ideal for youngest babies.

Simple remedy: Saline drops/sprays

If you ask pediatricians what they recommend to treat nasal congestion in infants and toddlers, they will universally recommend saline nose spray. Little Remedies Nasal Spray is a good example. Saline drops or sprays are a mix of salt and water and that’s the easiest (and most gentle) way of breaking up mucus in the nose.

Not only are saline drops affordable, they don’t run the risk of side effects. Getting overzealous when using a nasal aspirator can irritate the lining of the nose and possibly cause nosebleeds.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing baby care items like nasal aspirators, since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward safety, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews.

Photo credit for image at top of article: Sabine van Straaten

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