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The Best Baby Nasal Aspirators for Stuffy Noses

Does your little one have the sniffles? Don’t fret—a baby nasal aspirator can save the day
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Updated January 4, 2024
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The joys of new parenthood are too numerous to count, but there will come a time when it’s necessary to engage in some less pleasant parental activities. And while you might already know all about those messy diaper changes, there’s also the task of blowing baby’s nose for them. According to Jack Maypole, MD, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, children can have up to 12 colds in the first year of life alone, and congestion comes with the territory. And while there’s no need to panic over every little sniffle, children aren’t developmentally able to blow their nose until age 2, which means clearing up that stuffy nose falls to you.

Have no fear, though: When used correctly, a nasal aspirator can help baby breathe easier. (As always, talk to your pediatrician if you’re concerned about baby’s congestion or if it seems to linger.) But with all the options out there to choose from, how do you know which is the best nasal aspirator for your family? Below, we outlined our favorite options for babies and toddlers—plus, find out how to use different types of nasal aspirators.

How We Chose the Best Baby Nasal Aspirators

To simplify your search for the best baby nasal aspirator, we did the bulk of the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through options. Here are the steps we took to create our roundup:

  • We chatted with a pediatrician to learn more about baby congestion and to understand essential features and safety considerations to keep top of mind.
  • We leveraged our familiarity with leading baby brands and online retailers to ensure items are from reliable manufacturers.
  • We considered a list of factors when sourcing nasal aspirators, including ease of use, quality, value, size and, of course, safety features.
  • We also read user reviews to get the lowdown on how these products have worked for real families and didn’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Best Baby Nasal Aspirators

Overall best baby nasal aspirator

What We Love
  • Two adjustable nasal tips
  • Easy to clean
Things To Consider
  • Some parents report that the suction isn’t strong enough

Braun is one of the most trusted health and wellness brands on the market, so it’s no surprise that we’re a big fan of their electric baby nasal aspirator. It includes two different-sized silicone tips (a smaller one that’s especially good for infants, and a larger one for toddlers). You can toggle between high and low levels of power that offer either surface-level suction or deeper clearage. Plus, there’s an auto shut-off for safety when releasing either suction button. The ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold, and the motor is quiet enough to use even while baby is sleeping. When you’re done, just detach the nasal tips and collection cup for easy cleaning in the dishwasher.

Dimensions: 4.5" (L) x 2.5" (W) x 6.7" (H) | Batteries needed: Yes | Dishwasher-safe: Yes (aspirator tips and reservoir)

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Best oral suction baby nasal aspirator

Frida Baby NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator
Image: Target
What We Love
  • Disposable filters keep things hygienic
  • Easy to clean
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Some parents report that the mouthpiece comes off

When a case of the sniffles hits, you’ll want to have the Fridababy NoseFrida Snotsucker nasal aspirator in your arsenal. Created by doctors, this oral suction model has a tube-like aspirator that’s both gentle and effective. But what makes it a top-pick baby nasal aspirator? The NoseFrida creates a seal on the outside of baby’s nostril, allowing you to gently remove mucus while controlling the suction speed and intensity. The single-use hygiene disposable filters keep bacteria and germs from entering your mouth, while a clear tube lets you see how much mucus you’ve removed from baby’s nose (which is weirdly satisfying). Bonus: The aspirator is easy to disassemble and clean—it’s even top-rack dishwasher-safe!

Dimensions: 0.5" (L) x 2" (W) x 0.5" (H) | Batteries needed: No | Dishwasher-safe: Yes

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Best bulb baby nasal aspirator

Innovo Hospital Grade Silicone Twister Bulb Baby Ear Syringe and Nasal Aspirator
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$15.95
What We Love
  • Transparent bulb
  • Twists apart for easy cleaning
  • Can also be used for ear wax
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Some parents report that the suction isn’t strong enough

This baby nasal aspirator might be the most familiar looking one on the list. This silicone bulb is transparent—so you can see exactly how much snot is coming out of your little one’s nose. To use it, simply press the bottom with your thumb, insert the soft, narrow tip into your child’s nostril and remove your finger to suck all of the mucus out. Then, twist it apart for straightforward cleaning. Moreover, the see-through design allows you to ensure that it’s totally dry and free from previous remnants before its next use.

Dimensions: 2" (L) x 0.8" (W) x 2" (H) | Batteries needed: No | Dishwasher-safe: Yes

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Best electric baby nasal aspirator

Grownsy Nasal Aspirator,Baby Nose Sucker with 3 Silicone Tips
Image: Walmart
What We Love
  • Calming lights and music features
  • Adjustable suction levels
  • Rechargeable
Things To Consider
  • Doesn’t operate quietly, according to some reviewers
  • Hand wash only

Searching for the best electric baby nasal aspirator? Look no further than this top-rated option. It comes with three tips made from food-grade, flexible silicone to ensure it’s gentle on baby’s nose. You’ll also appreciate the adjustable suction levels, which effectively remove snot in no time. Plus, it’s packed with features that make it simple to use with even the squirmiest of infants. Highlights include the easy-to-hold ergonomic design, the clear LCD display and, perhaps the best part, delightful lights and calming music to make your little one a bit less anxious.

Dimensions: 6.1" (L) x 6.1" (W) x 1.4" (H) | Batteries needed: No | Dishwasher-safe: No

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Best hospital-grade baby nasal aspirator

What We Love
  • Hospital-grade design
  • Adjustable suction levels
  • Rechargeable
Things To Consider
  • Can’t operate while charging
  • Single-use filters
  • High price point

Designed in part by a pediatric ENT specialist, this hospital-grade baby nasal aspirator can be counted on to get the job done effectively. The device offers a powerful yet gentle suction that can be adjusted to three different levels and comes with a nosepiece that fits all ages. To ensure it’s fresh every time you use it, the filters are replaceable and it can easily be disassembled for straightforward cleaning. Even better, unlike other hospital-grade products on the market, this compact option is portable and rechargeable via USB, so you can take it on the go.

Dimensions: 4.8" (L) x 3.7" (W) x 2.4" (H) | Batteries needed: No | Dishwasher-safe: Yes (nosepiece only)

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Best toddler nasal aspirator

oogiebear Bear Pair: The Safe Baby Booger Cleaner and Nose Sucker Duo
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Child-friendly design
  • Soft silicone tips
  • Dual-sided nose picker for dried boogers
Things To Consider
  • Hand wash only

Convincing a cranky toddler to let you put a device up their nose can be a battle (to say the least). Our advice? Introduce them to the oogiebear—a nasal aspirator with a child-friendly design. The bulb aspirator has a soft silicone tip shaped like a teddy bear, which prevents the aspirator from going too far into baby’s nose—and may be less intimidating to children than an electric device. This set also includes a dual-sided nose picker, with a patented loop end to remove sticky boogers, and a scoop end to get rid of dried ones. The nasal aspirator itself comes apart for easy cleaning, and is super simple to operate.

Dimensions: 4.8" (L) x 2" (W) x 7.6" (H) | Batteries needed: No | Dishwasher-safe: No

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What is a Baby Nasal Aspirator?

A baby nasal aspirator—aka a snot sucker—is a device that uses suction to safely remove mucus and boogers from baby’s nose. By clearing their sinuses in this way, baby will be able to breathe easily again. There are a few different models, including oral suction aspirators, bulb aspirators and electric aspirators. We’ll outline the difference between each type below.

  • Oral suction baby nasal aspirators. An oral suction aspirator is essentially a double-sided tube. One end goes just into baby’s nose (don’t push the tip in too far), and the other end goes into the caregiver’s mouth—oral suction is used to suck out the mucus and clear any obstruction. This gentle method ensures you control the force of suction yourself. Have no fear, filters and stoppers keep the process clean and hygienic.
  • Bulb baby nasal aspirators. Frequently used in hospitals to clear baby’s nasal passages right after birth, a bulb aspirator consists of a rubber bulb and a narrow, tapered opening. To use, you squeeze all the air out of the bulb, place the tip at the entrance to baby’s nostril, and release slowly to create a vacuum suction and release mucus.
  • Electric baby nasal aspirators. Usually powered by battery, these models are designed to be the easiest to use. One end goes at the entrance of baby’s nostril, you press a button, and the aspirator suctions out the mucus. Electric aspirators may be a bit pricier than bulb or oral suction models, but many parents like that they do the job with minimal effort—plus, they’re easy to clean.

When Should You Use a Baby Nasal Aspirator?

It’s quite common for babies to have nasal congestion from time to time. Maypole says that usual symptoms include dried mucus around the nostrils, the dreaded snot bubble or strings of mucus that may drip out of the nose. That said, children react differently to congestion depending on their age and stage of development. Infants tend to breathe through their nose, explains Maypole, so when their nasal passages become gummed up with mucus, they may sputter, snort and gag at times, as they work to breathe through their nose. You may find they’re fussier than normal or having a harder time feeding at the breast or bottle. This is when a baby nasal aspirator comes in handy.

How to Use a Nasal Aspirator

Below, discover expert tips to help you use a baby nasal aspirator effectively:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after you complete the process to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Saline drops help loosen stubborn mucus. “A couple of squirts of saline spray or a few drops from an ampule applied inside the nose may soften dried mucus and make it easier to remove,” says Maypole.
  • Place the aspirator tip at the entry to the nostril. Be careful not to go too far inside the nose in order to avoid any injury.
  • After using, clean the aspirator thoroughly with soap and water to prevent any bacteria buildup.

What to Look For in a Baby Nasal Aspirator

Baby nasal aspirators are effective at clearing nasal passages, but Maypole emphasizes that you shouldn’t use them more than three times a day. Too much usage can lead to nasal irritation or nosebleeds. You should always be aware of the amount of suctioning power you use, regardless of baby’s age. Start using the lowest amount of suction and then work your way up, keeping an eye on your child’s comfort as you do so. If the process is causing baby more distress than relief, try a different route. Another effective option? Give your little one a warm bath or shower and let the steam work its magic. “The heated water vapor will help moisturize plugged mucus and trigger some vasodilation in a child’s nostrils. This effect can thin out the mucus and offer some temporary relief,” adds Maypole. At the very least, it’ll help relax your child before bedtime. If you do decide to use a baby aspirator, make sure that it’s BPA-free, phthalate-free and latex-free—just like the ones we listed above.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

Sources

Jack Maypole, MD, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and a member of the educational advisory board at The Goddard School.

Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial process.

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