A nebulizer is important in relieving symptoms of respiratory diseases. This is especially true for inflammatory diseases such as asthma and pulmonary fibrosis. That said, they aren’t limited to that function, as advancements have even made them capable of breaking up mucus directly. Not only does this make you breathe more freely, but it also helps cure the disease faster.
Having a nebulizer at the ready is important to lessen the severity of respiratory attacks. However, it’s still important to consider what kind of nebulizer to use to ensure that it addresses your specific needs. In that case, let our recommendations and buying guide fact-checked by pharmacist Robi Uy help you in the search to relieve your respiratory tract.
Robi began his career in Watsons Philippines as the Senior Pharmacist in SM Mall of Asia Entertainment Mall branch. His experience as a Dispensing Pharmacist enabled him to become an expert in Community Pharmacy practice and the overall Retail Pharmacy operations. Currently, he is the Regulatory Affairs Senior Assistant Manager of Unilever Philippines. His knowledge about Pharmacy and related Regulations enables him to provide and share relevant information about regulated products such as food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices to consumers.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Table of Contents
Like inhalers, nebulizers are devices that deliver breathable medicine into your body. The main difference is the ease of use because, with inhalers, specific techniques need to be applied to be effective.
Meanwhile, nebulizers require little patient involvement–just put the mask on your mouth and breathe normally. This makes nebulizers excellent for a plug-and-use solution. It also ensures that patients can get their full dose even without direct supervision, like with children and some seniors.
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Advancements in technology have led to improvements in nebulizers as well. Nowadays, you can choose among several types. While each still provides adequate treatment, you may want to check the pros and cons of each to better tailor the product to your preferences.
Jet types are probably what first come to mind when picturing a nebulizer. They’re among the first to hit the mass market due to the reliability and affordability of their parts. The heart of their design is a compressor that uses pressurized air to move medication from the device to your respiratory tract.
These types are also known for their volume, with older models reaching as high as 85 decibels. Additionally, while effective, their drug delivery tends to be slower than other types, making recovery time last somewhat longer. If you want a cheap solution, though, these are your pick.
This relatively new innovation in nebulizer products provides one of the quietest and quickest treatments when used. These work by turning liquid medicine into a breathable mist. This then passes through a mesh cap to keep the medication in a consistent particle size.
Because of this, the medicine is much more easily inhaled and absorbed by your body. Another good thing about mesh types is that they often come in a portable form factor. Most don’t even exceed 200 grams, making these all the more appealing to use.
An ultrasonic nebulizer uses vibrations to form droplets from liquid medication. These are then swept by a built-in fan or the patient’s breath. Like jet nebulizers, these are favored for their ease of use as patients only have to breathe normally. In addition, it produces a thick mist which can reassure those who prefer having visual stimulus during treatment.
One thing to note about ultrasonic types is that they generate a large amount of heat. The machine’s temperature can rise as high as 15° C in just ten minutes, potentially degrading heat-sensitive medicine. As such, when using these types, see first how resistant your medication is against high temperatures.
Essentially, you can choose between two different form factors: tabletop and handheld. As the name suggests, a tabletop nebulizer is designed for indoor use. These are often placed atop a stable, sturdy surface--perfect for children or physically-challenged people who can't hold up a portable design. In addition, these are also cheaper and have a longer warranty.
However, for those who lead a busy lifestyle, handheld nebulizers may be the way to go. Powered by batteries and having a palm-sized design, these allow you to take your medication on the go. These also work great if you want to be ready for any respiratory attacks.
Respiratory conditions affect certain areas of the respiratory tract, often categorized as the upper tract, middle tract, and lower tract. As such, it’s important to consider where your nebulizer disperses the medicine to ensure effectiveness.
For instance, diseases like rhinitis and sinusitis typically affect the upper tract, hence requiring larger particles, as these get deposited in that area. For cases like these, you want to target a nebulizer that produces particles equal to or greater than 5 microns.
Conversely, particles below 5 microns are needed to reach the lower respiratory tract. These target other common diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. However, we recommend not going lower than 1 micron, as particles of this size tend to remain in the air rather than get absorbed.
When using nebulizers, some residual droplets of medicine may get stuck inside the machine, which leads to drug wastage. This is especially true for less efficient models like jet types. Fortunately, you can reduce the amount of residue by putting a higher volume of medication at once, and for that, you need a nebulizer with a large capacity.
However, it’s important to remember not to exceed your recommended dose to avoid any side effects. A starting volume of 4 mL administered within 10 minutes of treatment has been found to be a good rule of thumb. From there, you can repeat as necessary until you meet your dosage.
Nebulizers are meant for personal use; hence, it’s important to tailor the product according to the specific behavior of the patient. For instance, seniors who have shown signs of cognitive decline may find it hard to operate complex devices. As such, they are best paired with nebulizers that have simple on-and-off buttons.
Similarly, children who get easily bored may benefit from products with faster sessions. Whatever the case, a personalized nebulizer will ensure that the patient is getting the most out of their treatments.
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A Lightweight Take On Tabletops
Air Plus III
Automatically Adjusts Its Nebulization Rate
Molly Cow Nebulizer
Turn Treatment Sessions Enjoyable for Your Kids
N2 Portable Nebulizer
Self-Cleans With a Push of a Button
Reduce Medicine Wastage With Virtual Valve Technology
Get Quiet Treatment on the Go
Cleanse Your Respiratory Tract With This Portable Nebulizer
Nebulize Various Solutions for Different Needs
One-Button Operation for Simplicity and Ease of Use
Cardinal Compact Nebulizer
Breathe Freely With This Entry-Level Nebulizer
Omron's NE-C803 bridges the gap between tabletop and portable nebulizers. While still best when used on a flat surface, its small size and light weight make this easier to carry than its bulkier counterparts. In addition, it uses a low-noise compressor to achieve a low 45-decibel working noise, replicating the quietness of handheld nebulizers.
It does all of this without sacrificing its nebulization speed. In fact, depending on the medicine, your treatment can last somewhere between 6 to 8 minutes only! If you want the benefits of both tabletop and portable designs, this product is for you.
Over the course of a treatment, it's inevitable to change how you breathe. This can cause some medicine particles to not be inhaled, especially for nebulizers that rely on the patient's breath. Fortunately, FeelLife takes on this problem by fitting a sensor and a multi-angle spout into their nebulizer, automatically adjusting the mist thickness and particle size depending on your breathing.
You can also manually tweak it with just a press of a button! The Air Plus III incorporates other quality of life features to make treatment more comfortable. For instance, it has a self-cleaning mode to avoid blocking the spout. In addition, it also has an auto-shutdown feature every 10 minutes to prevent overdosing.
Some children get anxious during treatment sessions, especially when the nebulizer sports a bulky, industrial design. GetWell circumvents this by fitting all the parts of the machine into an adorable and lightweight cow head design. With this, your kids are more likely to be excited about their treatment.
Its nebulizing abilities are nothing to sneeze at, eitherーliterally! Because of its large particle size range, this product can address ailments from the top, middle, and lower respiratory tracts. In addition, it does this at a comfortable 55 decibels for the comfort of everyone involved.
We do understand, however, that leaving your kid with a nebulizer can be scary. Fortunately, you can rest your worries because this also supports child-friendly features, such as a one-button operation, overheat protection, and auto-shutdown, so you can get that well-deserved parenting break.
Boxym's N2 challenges the competition with features not normally seen in nebulizers. Most notably, it has a self-cleaning function that prevents the tube and mask from clogging. Additionally, it uses cold laser technology to prevent the machine from heating. As such, it can accommodate medicines that are sensitive to heat.
It also supports a liquid detection feature that prevents the machine from booting up without medicine. The same technology is used to optimize its mist production depending on whether you're using the mask or the mouthpiece.
Omron's Virtual Valve Technology allows you to get the most out of your medication. By re-depositing unused drug particles into the chamber after exhaling, this machine leads to lower medicine wastage.
Ultimately, this also means that the medicine that enters your body will be higher compared to other products. That, along with its high nebulization rate, means that you'll have a faster treatment overall.
Just note that some users have expressed that the included masks can be heavy and restrictive. Fortunately, you can always fit third-party masks that are more comfortable or use the mouthpiece instead.
With a working noise close to 0 decibels, the Amuse-E Life offers one of the quietest treatment sessions out there. Additionally, its smooth grooves fit excellently in your palms, further highlighting the comfort of its lightweight design.
It can also adjust the thickness of mist with a press of a button. With this, it's better able to distribute medicine depending if you're using the mask or the mouthpiece. However, its single-button system can be confusing for first-time users, so we suggest reading through the instructions first.
Cough Off's Portable Nebulizer targets ailments across the entire respiratory tract. From sinusitis to asthma, this one is your go-to product to breathe more freely. Plus, its medicine cup can nebulize solutions as low as 0.5 mL, making this inclusive to small doses.
However, unlike other handheld nebulizers with self-cleaning features, this one needs manual maintenance. Fortunately, it is not only easy to take apart, but it's also easy to disinfect. Just push the cup release button, separate the pieces, and soak the mask in a water-vinegar solution. Reassemble, and it's good to go again!
Using a fully ultrasonic system allows the MY-520A to process different solutions easily. In fact, it's advertised to be capable of nebulizing medicine, humidifier oils, and aromatherapy alcohol. However, we still advise against mixing toxic chemicals if you're going to use it for medical needs.
Instead, its abilities shine best when used to complement your treatment. For instance, you can nebulize a sterile saltwater solution if you're suffering from phlegm. Similarly, the same solution can relieve breathing issues of those with bronchiolitis.
Unfortunately, without a mesh cap to control particle size, this product tends to create drug wastage. This also makes it less efficient as some particles will be ineffective depending on the part of the respiratory tract they end up in. As such, when using this device, it's best to prepare extra medication.
Philip's Respironics is your pick if you want a plug-and-use product. Just put the medicine in, flick its single switch, and you're good to go. While its lack of customization may not be ideal for those who take multiple medications, this is perfect for those with an already rigid treatment routine.
Its sleek and stylish design also makes it inconspicuous even when left in the open. Just note, though, that it's not the quietest when in use. Reaching noises as high as 58 decibels, this product doesn't really offer quiet, soothing treatments.
For an entry-level product, Indoplas' Cardinal Compact Nebulizer provides adequate nebulizing capabilities. You can see this through its steady stream of mist, designed to easily enter the body through inhalation.
Some also prefer its one-button design for simplicity. This makes it a great product for children and the elderly, as they won't have to navigate through bells and whistles to get the machine working.
It does, however, get loud. A noise level of 60 decibels means that bystanders won't have a relaxing time when this turns on. Additionally, while it supports 0.5 to 10 microns, the rate it produces these is inconsistent. This can lead to a longer treatment time since the medicine is not being optimized for just one area of the respiratory tract.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
Some medications can be mixed and taken together through the nebulizer. This saves the need to clean, reassemble, and refill the nebulizer with each drug. That said, it's still best to consult your doctor first if your medicines are compatible. Otherwise, it can lead to lower effectiveness, side effects, or worse, medicine poisoning.
Depending on the medication and your overall perception of nebulizers, some side effects may include rapid heartbeat, jitteriness, and anxiety. More serious complications may include headache, nausea, chest pains, and throat irritation. When experiencing these, it's best to consult your doctor to see if it's safe to continue with your current treatment.
While you probably won't need to replace the machine itself--provided it's well maintained--note that nebulizers have parts that need regular replacements. Ideally, the air filters should be replaced monthly, while the mesh cap lasts from six months to one year.
Respiratory ailments are only one of the many risks people can face. As such, it's best to be on top of our body's overall health and well-being. This way, not only do we lessen the likelihood of catching diseases, but we are also better prepared if they do come. Check out these articles below to get yourself some protective equipment!
Author: Dane Lozano
Editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：Omron｜Compact Nebulizer｜NE-C803
No. 2：FeelLife｜Air Plus III
No. 3：Getwell｜Molly Cow Nebulizer
No. 4：Boxym｜N2 Portable Nebulizer
No. 5：Omron｜CompAir Compressor｜NE-C28
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The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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