Best Nasal Aspirator for Baby

When your little one gets a runny or stuffy nose, it quickly becomes obvious that a standard tissue is not the tool of choice. At first glance, nasal aspirators and the process of using them can seem a bit icky, but they usually work like a charm to quickly help your baby breathe more easily and comfortably.

Toddler having their nasal mucus removed with an aspirator

As you’re shopping for the best nasal aspirator for baby and toddler noses, our helpful tips can give you an idea of which features to look for, and our in-depth reviews can help you find the right aspirator to clear up your child’s tiny nose in a snap.

Our Top Picks at a Glance

Note: There’s a lot more information below but clicking the above links will take you to current prices, further information and customer reviews on Amazon.

What is a Nasal Aspirator?

Nasal aspirators also go by the more colorful term of snot sucker, and the name says it all.

These devices use a variety of means to create negative pressure that literally sucks the mucus out of your baby’s nasal passages.

Some aspirators are better suited for thin or visible nasal mucus, but some other products pack a surprising punch that can help you dislodge and remove stubborn mucus from high inside your baby’s nose.

Why Do You Need One?

Your child needs your help to get rid of nasal mucus for a couple of different reasons.

Infants and Toddlers Cannot Clear Their Own Secretions

Reaching for a tissue is an automatic reaction for most adults, but your baby is almost completely helpless to deal with their mucus independently.

The sneeze reflex helps young children keep their nasal passages clear of everyday dust and normal mucus, but sneezing alone will almost certainly be insufficient if your baby has a cold or allergies.

Infants are Nose-Breathers

Young babies breathe primarily through their noses up until somewhere between three and six months of age. Your newborn’s preference for nose-breathing is the result of a more compact anatomical structure that makes it easier for them to breathe while breastfeeding or drinking a bottle. As your baby grows, their throat structures also mature and your child develops the ability to breathe through their mouth.

Due to the fact that your newborn does almost all of their quiet breathing through their nose, it’s not hard to understand why a baby with blocked nasal passages feels so awful and cries frequently. In fact, while your baby has a clogged nose, the only way they can breathe is to cry.

The Three Types of Nasal Aspirators

Oral Suction

Oral aspirators take advantage of a parent’s own ability to produce negative pressure. While the ick factor can be an initial deterrent to some parents, the ability to fine-tune your suction pressure makes these aspirators among the best.

An oral aspirator has a collection reservoir with a soft suction tip at one end and a long, flexible tube with a parent mouthpiece at the other end. Position the suction tip in your child’s nostril, use your lips to form a seal around the mouthpiece and draw a firm breath. You are creating the negative pressure that will pull the mucus out, and the reservoir prevents anything from reaching your mouth.

Electric Suction

These models use a battery-powered electric motor to generate negative pressure. Turning the suction on or off is usually very easy with the touch of a button, and you can usually maneuver and control the aspirator with just one hand.

A couple of downsides to these models is that they can be a bit noisy, and they can also lose suction power when the batteries start to get low.

Bulb Syringe

Bulb syringes are small rubber devices that consist of a thin, tapered tube at one end and a large, hollow round end.

After depressing the bulb end and holding it closed with your thumb, position the small tip just inside your baby’s nostril. Releasing the bulb causes it to return to its normal rounded shape, creating a vacuum effect at the same time.

Even though bulb syringes are easy to use and widely available, they don’t always deliver reliable results. Additionally, it can be very difficult to keep the syringe clean since you can’t see the inside of the bulb end or rinse it easily.

Oral and electric aspirators usually have stronger suction and deliver better results, so bulb syringes aren’t recommended for frequent use.

How Do You Use a Nasal Aspirator?

Unfortunately, chances are high that your child will dislike and forcefully resist suctioning. Advance prep and correct technique could help make your child more comfortable and help you get the job done a little faster.

Position your child comfortably

Even if they scream and squirm the whole time, placing your baby in a comfortable position on a stable surface may help both of you relax a little.

Some aspirators require you to use both hands at the same time, so laying your baby on their back is probably going to be your best option. Another option could be to have an adult helper hold your baby during suctioning.

Use saline drops or spray

These products can make your suctioning job much easier and quicker by providing safe moisture to hydrate dried mucus or thin out thick mucus.

Pure saline drops or sprays contain no medication, so you can use them whenever you need without having to worry about monitoring dosages. Make sure to look carefully at the package since saline products can sometimes look similar to medicated nasal sprays.

After positioning your child, follow the package directions on how many drops or sprays to use in each nostril. Wait at least 30 seconds for the saline to start working before suctioning.

Always replace your baby’s bottle of saline after an illness to avoid the risk of re-infection, and never use the same saline bottle on more than one person.

Use the proper angle

It’s a common perception that the nasal passages follow the shape of the outer nose and extend upwards. In reality, the nasal passages actually run parallel to the roof of the mouth and extend back towards the throat.

Do not insert the aspirator in an upright angle. If you do, you will probably almost immediately run into the top of the nasal wall. Not only will this reduce the amount of mucus you extract, but you also run a greater risk of irritating nasal tissue. Instead, gently insert the tip into the nose horizontally.

Avoid overusing an aspirator

A newborn has delicate nasal tissue that can be more prone to irritation than those of older children or adults, and overusing an aspirator could lead to swelling or bleeding. Moreover, your baby’s nasal passages are tiny to begin with, and even minor swelling from irritation could potentially make it harder for your baby to breathe properly.

Don’t be afraid to use an aspirator if your baby needs some help clearing mucus, but make sure you only suction when it’s necessary.

Features to Look For

Safe and Effective Levels of Suction

You obviously want enough suction power to actually pull the mucus out, but applying too much negative pressure can damage delicate nasal tissue. This potential for harm is especially true for newborns.

One of the best features of an oral aspirator is that you can control the amount of suction you use on your baby, and you can adapt your negative pressure to your child’s varying needs.

If you choose an electric aspirator, a model that offers a few levels of suction can be a good idea. The lower suction levels are usually more suitable for newborns, while a toddler typically requires a bit more power. Most electric aspirator manufacturers understand the potential danger from excessive suction pressure, so they cap the power at a safe level.

Easy to Handle and Use

No one wants to worry about keeping a grip on small pieces or going through a series of steps to start the suction when they also have to hold a squirming child steady.

Whether you prefer an oral or an electric model, be on the lookout for aspirators that are large enough for you to hold securely and easily. If you are looking for an electric model, make sure the power button is easy to access with one hand.

Safe, Comfortable Suction Tip

Most aspirators have soft, flexible suction tips that help make suctioning as comfortable a possible for your child.
Some suction tips are appropriate for young children in all age groups, while others have a more specialized design for specific ages. A tip with a wide base is often the best choice for newborns since this design can help prevent the aspirator from accidentally going too far into a tiny nose.

Thinner, longer tips are usually best for older infants and toddlers. These tips typically allow you to aim the suction pressure more accurately and target specific areas in your child’s nose.

Easy to Clean

Besides just being gross, using an aspirator that has dried mucus on it can re-introduce germs into your baby’s nasal passages, possibly leading to an extended or repeated illness.

Look for an aspirator that is easy to disassemble so you can rinse and wash each individual piece. Washing with warm, soapy water immediately after use should be enough to keep your aspirator clean and safe, but models that can tolerate sanitizing with boiling water or the dishwasher are a definite plus.

Our Choices for the Best Nasal Aspirator for Baby

Bubzi Co Baby Nasal Aspirator

This oral aspirator has a small, simple design that delivers effective suction while still being easy to use.

The soft silicone tip has a narrow opening that fits easily and gently fits into your child’s nose, and the wider section just below the opening makes this a safe option for newborns.

To clean the aspirator after use, just pop off the canister’s cap and hand-wash the reservoir and suction tip, then allow the clean pieces to air-dry. When your baby needs suctioning again, reassembly is as simple as snapping the pieces back together.

One great feature is that you don’t need to use a filter in the reservoir canister. Thanks to a smart design that places the mouthpiece tube behind an internal canister barrier, the extracted mucus in the reservoir does a pretty good job of staying where it belongs. However, while the canister’s design goes a long way towards preventing any mucus from reaching your mouth, making sure you hold the canister correctly is still important if you don’t want to end up with an unpleasant surprise.

Packing this aspirator is easy thanks to its small size and a hard plastic storage case, and not having to worry about batteries or an electric power source can make your life a little easier if your child needs some suction help away from home.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 3 inches long and 0.5 inches wide
  • Power source: Manual
  • Cleaning: Hand-wash in warm water
Things We Like
  • Easy to clean
  • Includes storage case
  • No filter to change
  • The soft tip is gentle on baby’s nose
Things we don’t like
  • The canister may not trap everything if held at an improper angle

Summary

Despite its small size and simple design, this aspirator is surprisingly effective and easy to clean. The included case and filterless canister also make this aspirator a great traveler.

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OCCObaby Baby Nasal Aspirator

This kit from OCCObaby includes both an electric and an oral aspirator, so you have plenty of options for the task at hand.

The electric aspirator comes with three suction tips, and changing between them is quick and easy thanks to their soft, flexible silicone construction. The long-reach tip is thinner and has a bit of extra length that allows you to clean farther inside your baby’s nose. For stubborn stuffy noses, use the power suction tip to quickly clear your baby up. A specially-shaped gentle tip prevents you from accidentally pushing the tip too far up your baby’s nose, and this option can be especially ideal for newborns.

The electric aspirator generates a gentle suction pressure that should be safe and comfortable for your baby. However, the suction may not be strong enough to clear hardened or very thick mucus. OCCObaby recommends that you use saline every time you suction and that you allow the saline about 60 seconds to work after administering it.

Keeping your aspirator clean is a breeze. Remove the silicone tip and unscrew the collection reservoir, and wash all pieces by hand with warm, soapy water.

You can easily use this aspirator with one hand thanks to a compact design and easy control button, so you are free to use the other one to steady your baby’s head or provide some comforting touch.

The included oral suction device is a nice addition, and it can be a great back up to pack in the diaper bag. However, the design can allow for mucus to enter the mouth tube more easily than some other aspirators, so keep an eye on your positioning.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product weight: 10.1 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 1.8 inches tall and 7.5 inches long
  • Power source: Two AA batteries (included)
  • Cleaning: Hand-wash in warm water
Things We Like
  • Multiple specialized tips
  • The gentle suction pressure is safe for newborns
  • The single piece is easy to use
  • Unscrews for easy cleaning
  • Oral aspirator included
Things we don’t like
  • The suction pressure can be too light to be effective in some situations
  • You need to use the oral aspirator with great care

Summary

This electric aspirator has a convenient design that is easy to use with just one hand, and the multiple suction tips let you choose the right tool for the job. The suction pressure can be a bit too gentle for some babies, so always make sure to have plenty of saline on hand.

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Nosiboo Pro Nasal Aspirator

Developed using input from otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialists), the Nosiboo Pro offers adjustable negative pressure that is similar to hospital-grade units.

Three levels of suction let you choose the right one for your child’s needs and individual anatomy. Even at the highest setting, the negative pressure is still at a safe level that shouldn’t cause any tissue damage when used properly.

The suction head is large compared to most other aspirators, but the flexible tip is small enough to fit in even a newborn’s nose comfortably. The rounded reservoir is easy for an adult’s hand to grasp securely, so you should be able to easily direct the suction tip to the right spot while you hold your child with your other hand.

Thanks to a clever design that prevents any mucus from entering the tubing, the only pieces you need to manually clean are the tip and collection reservoir. Both pieces are simple to detach and clean with warm, running water.

The suction generator is fairly powerful, and it does create a bit of extra noise. The sound level isn’t so loud that it will damage your child’s hearing, but it may startle them when you first turn the machine on.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product weight: 3.62 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 7.5 inches long, 7.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches tall
  • Power source: Standard wall outlet
  • Cleaning: Hand-wash in warm water
Things We Like
  • Adjustable suction pressure
  • Maximum suction is still safe for regular use
  • Easy to clean
Things we don’t like
  • Suction generator is a bit noisy

Summary

This aspirator delivers powerful but safe suction, and the thoughtful suction head design is easy to both maneuver and clean.

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BabyComfy Nasal Aspirator

The BabyComfy aspirator may look overly simple, but don’t be fooled by appearances. This product contains several smart features, is beyond easy to clean and delivers effective suction.

The large, egg-shaped canister separates into two parts with a simple snap motion. You can fully disassemble this product to quickly clean each piece individually.

Most aspirators are fairly easy to wash by hand, but BabyComfy went one step further by making this product dishwasher-safe. The hot steam from a dishwasher cycle provides an extra layer of sanitizing, not to mention convenience. A mesh drawstring bag keeps all of your parts together in the dishwasher or in a diaper bag.

Thanks to its generous size, you shouldn’t have to fumble around trying to get a good grip while positioning and using the aspirator. However, you’ll probably still need to use both hands to suction, at least until you master the technique.

Another great benefit is that a standard facial tissue functions as a filter. Not only are tissues inexpensive, readily available and easily disposable, they also do a great job of effectively blocking moisture and germs from getting into the parent mouthpiece.

You have your choice of two silicone tips in a standard and a newborn size. Both tips fit easily over the suction port, so they are quick to change or remove for cleaning.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product weight: 0.64 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 1.8 inches long, 2.8 inches wide and 3.2 inches tall
  • Power source: Manual
  • Cleaning: Hand-wash in warm water or place in the dishwasher
Things We Like
  • Uses a tissue as a filter
  • Rapid disassembly makes for easy cleaning
  • Safe to run through the dishwasher
  • Includes a mesh storage bag
  • Includes a standard and a newborn suction tip
Things we don’t like
  • Requires two hands to use

Summary

Packed with smart and convenient features, this aspirator does a great job of gently and effectively clearing mucus on newborns and older babies alike. Easy to disassemble and clean, you can even put this aspirator into the dishwasher for steam sanitizing.

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NoseFrida the Snotsucker by Fridababy

Thanks to a replaceable filter and thoughtful design, this oral aspirator may help you overcome any lingering fears you may have about getting a mouthful of your baby’s mucus or germs.

The suction head is a long, straight tube that is easy to position in your child’s nose, and the design also places the mouthpiece tubing far away from the results of your suctioning.

Another layer of protection is the specialized filter that sits directly in front of the parent tubing. While these filters are great at preventing the passage of fluids or microbes, they are not washable, and you will need to purchase a stock of replacement filters.

Rather than going slightly into your child’s nostril like most other aspirators, the NoseFrida barely goes beyond the nostril opening to form a seal. The one-size-fits-all suction tip works for newborns through toddlers, and having fewer pieces to deal with is a plus. On the other hand, one potential problem is that the design makes for a somewhat delicate seal, and you may run into trouble effectively suctioning an energetic older infant or toddler.

The filter and mouthpiece tube easily detach, so rinsing the canister tube out after use is a snap. For deeper cleaning or sanitizing, you can also put the disassembled pieces in the top dishwasher rack.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 7.1 inches long and 1 inch wide
  • Power source: Manual
  • Cleaning: Hand-wash in warm water or place in the dishwasher
Things We Like
  • The elongated design and filter keep the parent mouthpiece tubing clean
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Creates effective suction
  • Easy to position and operate
Things we don’t like
  • Specialized filters are an additional expense
  • The suction tip is a fixed size

Summary

This aspirator effectively clears your baby’s nasal passages, and the microbial filter prevents mucus or germs from reaching the parent mouthpiece. The wide suction canister is easy to rinse clean, and you can also sanitize the pieces in the dishwasher.

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BEBUL Baby Nasal Aspirator

Not just your basic aspirator, BEBUL built in several smart features that can help make your suctioning job a little easier.

Choose one of the three suction pressures to get the one that is safest and works best for your child. A small display screen lets you keep track of the current suction setting.

If your little one has a special dislike for getting their nose cleaned, this aspirator takes a little of the pressure off of you by making distracting sounds and lights. Set the musical volume at one of three levels, and choose the red, blue or purple lights. The light feature can also come in handy as a flashlight so you can get a better look at the nasal situation that you’re dealing with. Four buttons on the front panel let you engage or disengage the suction and choose your desired settings easily.

This aspirator includes two silicone suction tips. The newborn tip has a safety ledge to prevent it from entering the nose too far, and the toddler tip is narrower and allows for more targeted suctioning.

A total of five pieces make up the washable upper apparatus. Each piece detaches for thorough cleaning with warm, soapy water, but the setup can be a bit tricky to assemble and disassemble.

BEBUL also included a hard plastic case that makes sanitary storage or packing the diaper bag one less worry.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product weight: 10.8 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 6.8 inches long and 2.7 inches wide
  • Power source: Two AA batteries (not included)
  • Cleaning: Hand-wash in warm water
Things We Like
  • Distracts your baby with music and lights
  • One-handed operation
  • Two suction tips
  • Storage case included
  • Three suction strength settings
Things we don’t like
  • Multiple pieces to assemble and keep track of

Summary

With three options for suction power, fun music and entertaining lights, this aspirator lets you choose the suction you need while also helping distract your baby.

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Conclusion

Our favorite product is the BabyComfy Nasal Aspirator.

The oral suction design lets you make sure you get the proper amount of suction power each time, and you never have to worry about replacing batteries. We love that using a standard tissue still gives you the benefit of a filter without the need for buying expensive, specialized extra pieces.

Two suction tips let you tailor the fit to your baby’s nostril size, and the pieces are extremely easy to disassemble for cleaning and then quickly reassemble for the next use. On the subject of cleaning, each piece is simple to hand-wash, and you can also use the mesh storage bag to keep all your pieces together during a sanitizing trip through the dishwasher.

Your turn to tell us your thoughts about nasal aspirators! Did you prefer an oral or an electric model? Do you have any other suctioning tips that make the task a little easier? Would you recommend any other models? Share your opinion in the comments!

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