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Best baby nasal aspirator to help babies and toddlers breathe clearly

If you’ve ever experienced life with a snotty baby, then you know you’ll try absolutely anything to ease their suffering. When Calpol isn’t quite cutting the mustard, it’s time to reach for the next weapon in a parent’s armoury - the baby nasal aspirator.

By Laura Martin | Last updated Jan 6, 2023

Mother and baby using nasal aspirator

Soothing a baby or toddler with a cold or a bunged-up nose is one of the more testing and frustrating parenting challenges. Your child’s nasal passages are at their narrowest when they’re a baby, but they’re too little to understand nose-blowing, and their age means they’re always coming into contact with new viruses and allergens, making them more susceptible to an attack of the bogies. After you've taken precautions and checked their temperature is at a safe level with the best baby thermometer to ensure they're not running a fever, you'll likely be wanting to find effective ways to ease their symptoms.

Older babies learn to breathe through their mouths when their nose is blocked, but for a baby younger than three months this is a tricky thing to master, particularly when they’re feeding so regularly. When tricks of the trade such as a warm bath with the best bath toys to distract your little one, or using a humidifier aren't helping unblock those tiny, snotty noses, fear not - there are handy tools out there to help do just that.

The best baby nasal aspirator will help you clear your little one’s nasal passages from mucus and relieve congestion so that they can breathe, eat and sleep more easily. But there’s an enormous amount of nasal aspirators to choose from and it can be tricky to know which one will be best for your child. To help you make your decision, we’ve researched the top nasal aspirators on the market and come up with our pick of the best according to consumer reviewers, experts and Mumsnet users – the largest online network of UK parents.

While using one of these nasal aspirators won't make your baby's cold go away any faster, it will help relieve their symptoms so they'll be back to exploring in their best playpen or, if they're a little older, toddling around with their baby walker in no time.

Here are the best nasal aspirators for babies and children UK 2023.

1. Best overall nasal aspirator: Nosefrida Baby Nasal Aspirator and Filters

Nosefrida nasal aspirator

Price on writing: £10.79 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Newborn+ | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Thousands of parents rate it as the most effective nasal aspirator out there
  • Fantastic value for money

Reasons to avoid

  • You do need to be able to suck hard to make the aspirator work effectively – its power is only as good as you make it
  • Some parents say that it’s more effective on visible runny noses rather than very bunged-up, hard-to-reach nasal passages

What Mumsnet users say

“I use a Nosefrida and it works well. You don't need to shove it up the baby's nose! Just sits at the end of the nostril and you suck without risk of getting snot in your mouth.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user RegalRags)

“I've found a Nosefrida best along with the Calpol saline spray. Then just pluck any visible boogers out with either your finger or a safety cotton bud.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter LucaFritz)

“We've got a Nosefrida and it's brilliant. We seem to get pints of snot out of my daughter with it. You do have to suck quite hard, but there's no danger of getting any snot in your mouth!” (Rated by Mumsnet user KitMarlowesCodpieceOfthigh)

Our verdict

Suitable for use even on newborns, the Nosefrida Baby Nasal Aspirator (lovingly referred to as 'the snotsucker') is a BPA-free nasal aspirator that’s designed to remove mucus from your baby's airways without damaging their delicate mucus membranes.

Simply pop the tube into your baby’s nostril, suck the mouthpiece and watch the magic happen! Parents report that it works best when used in conjunction with a saline nasal spray to help loosen the mucus first, so you might want to consider buying one of these too.

Each Nosefrida 'snotsucker' includes four replacement hygiene filters, plus an additional 20 hygiene filters, which we think is enough to get you through at least two or three colds.

Looking for more baby health essentials? We've also investigated the best baby toothbrush for little ones, as recommended by parents.

2. Best budget nasal aspirator: ANYDAY John Lewis & Partners Baby Nasal Aspirator

ANYDAY John Lewis & Partners Baby Nasal Aspirator

Price on writing: £3 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Age suitability: Newborn+ | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean

What to know

  • Some parents say bulb aspirators lack the power of manual or electric alternatives
  • Not dishwasher safe

Our verdict

If you are looking for an affordable aspirator (or even a backup in case your go-to snot sucker is ever out of action) then you could do worse than invest in this budget option from John Lewis & Partners.

This silicone bulb aspirator is suitable from birth and helps when your little one has a cold, which could mean you both end up getting a good night’s sleep. The care instructions are straightforward, just clean inside and outside the aspirator with warm soapy water and rinse well. Job done.

Unlike the Nosefrida Baby Nasal Aspirator, the ANYDAY does not use disposable filters, saving you even more money while also reducing your carbon footprint.

For more tools in your baby care arsenal, don't miss our guide to the best baby shampoo too.

3. Best battery nasal aspirator: Braun Healthcare Nasal Aspirator 1

Braun Healthcare Nasal Aspirator 1

Price on writing: £28 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Newborn+ | Batteries: 2x AA

What we love

  • Easy to use
  • Very easy to keep clean
  • Comes with batteries included

What to know

  • A bit on the pricey side
  • Only two suction speeds - you may find they aren’t strong enough for really stubborn bogies

Our verdict

If the mere thought of using a manual nasal aspirator gives you the ick, then this battery-operated offering from healthcare giant Braun is a great alternative.

Quiet and comfortable, the Braun carefully removes horrible blockages using two gentle settings. It comes with two different-sized tips to ensure the right fit for little nostrils. A handy storage bag ensures all the pieces are kept in one place. Both tips and the collection cup can be popped into the dishwasher for easy cleaning too.

The only real downside is the Braun costs quite a bit more than the ANYDAY and the Nosefrida. But for convenience, ease of use and easy cleaning, you may think those pennies are well spent.

Don't miss our guide to the best baby nail clippers for more essential baby care items.

4. Best infant nasal aspirator: Benny Nasal Aspirator

Benny nasal aspirator

Price on writing: £12.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Newborn+ | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Works quickly to give almost instant relief to bunged-up noses
  • It comes with a universal adapter so it can be attached to any vacuum cleaner
  • Doesn’t need any additional batteries

What to know

  • Noisy and may alarm some babies

What Mumsnet users say

“They told me to buy an attachment […] for my hoover to sook the snot out. I was quite horrified but tried it on myself first to make sure it didn't suck brain matter out in the process. It was amazingly effective but both children were absolutely terrified when the hoover snot sucker came out.” (Type of aspirator rated by Mumsnetter calabalamuc)

Our verdict

If you like the idea of a nasal aspirator like the Nosefrida but are concerned that you don’t have the suction power to make it work, then how about harnessing the power of that other household device you use for sucking up unwanted nasties?

We refer, of course, to your vacuum cleaner. This clever nasal aspirator attaches to your vacuum and uses its suction strength to bring out the bogies and clear your little one’s nasal passages in an instant. It does sound like a terrifying concept, we grant you, but don’t worry – it self-regulates the amount of power it takes from your hoover, and many happy customers attest to its success.

However, if you would rather take a more gentle approach to snot-suction, perhaps you should consider an alternative such as the Braun Healthcare Nasal Aspirator 1.

5. Best nasal aspirator for a newborn: Snufflebabe Nasal Aspirator

Snufflebabe nasal aspirator

Price on writing: £8.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Newborn+ | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Less invasive than some
  • Silent to use
  • Doesn’t require batteries

What to know

  • You have to power the device yourself which some users may find difficult
  • Not dishwasher safe - wash with warm soapy water only

What Mumsnet users say

“I use the Snufflebabe one. Got it off amazon. Works well!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter CJ1990)

“I used a Snufflebabe and it was brilliant.” (Rated by Mumsnetter SaucyTrout2k)

Our verdict

The only nasal aspirator available on prescription from your doctor, the award-winning Snufflebabe Nasal Aspirator is great for use on a newborn.

It works in the same way as the Nosefrida in that you power it with your own suction, and there’s also a Snufflebabe Nasal Saline Solution you can buy separately to help with softening the mucus before use.

Unlike other nasal aspirators, the design of this device means that you don’t need to place it actually inside your baby’s nostril, making it that little bit less invasive and an all-round easier experience for everyone. A special built-in filter prevents any nasty gunk getting into your mouth too. They'll be back to playing with their best toys for newborns in no time!

6. Best nasal aspirator for toddlers: NUK Nasal Decongester

NUK Nasal Decongester

Price on writing: £4.35 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Not specified | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Great value - you get change from a fiver!
  • Easy to use

What to know

  • Can’t be cleaned in the dishwasher
  • Some parents say it is a bit on the large size for tiny babies - but great for toddlers

Our verdict

Say bye bye bogies with this simple snot sucker from NUK. It’s pretty straightforward to use, just hold the decongester up to one nostril, pump the ball gently to extract the mucus. Quick, easy and great for wriggly toddlers.

Unlike the nozzles and collection cup on the Braun Healthcare Nasal Aspirator 1, the NUK Nasal Decongester is not suitable for dishwasher cleaning. However, the NUK decongester comes with a replacement nozzle and the whole thing can be cleaned with warm, soapy water.

The manufacturer also warns against sterilising the decongester in a microwave or steam steriliser as it may cause it to explode. Which obviously isn’t ideal.

7. Best nebuliser: Omrom Total 2-in-1 Nebuliser

Omron nasal aspirator

Price on writing: £38.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Child, adult | Batteries: None, plugs into mains

What we love

  • Provides powerful and fast relief from serious congestion caused by chronic respiratory illnesses
  • Comes with two sizes of mask – one for kids and one for adults

What to know

  • Expensive
  • Users report that it’s rather noisy
  • Not designed for babies

Our verdict

If your child suffers from a chronic or more serious condition which causes congestion and build-up of mucus, then you may wish to invest in a more heavy-duty product to help with their breathing on a regular basis. This nebuliser from Omron has a nasal shower which helps your child to breathe freely all year round by providing nasal irrigation and nebulisation treatment for most respiratory conditions.

Simply pop the mask over their face and let them inhale the vapour which, in turn, will rinse away allergens and reduce the dryness and irritation that leads to inflammation and congestion.

The nebuliser works well with a simple saline solution, or you can also use it to give your child their respiratory medication if required.

8. Best silicone nasal aspirator: NeilMed NasaBulb

NeilMed NasaBulb

Price on writing: £9.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Not specified | Batteries: None

What we love

  • BPA and latex-free
  • Easy to keep clean
  • Can be easily sterilised in the microwave or using boiling water

What to know

  • Cheaper bulb nasal aspirators available
  • No different-sized heads so no options for smaller/bigger children

Our verdict

Simple but effective, the NeilMed NasaBulb is made of soft silicone, meaning it is gentle on the most delicate of nostrils while still managing to do the business when it comes to snot removal. And, unlike the NUK, the NasaBulb can be safely sterilised in the microwave or by using boiling water.While impressively robust, it comes apart easily for easy cleaning too.

The NasaBulb is transparent so you can see exactly what is being sucked out of your baby’s nose, which is utterly fascinating or horrifying, depending on your viewpoint. 

Read next: When your little one is feeling better, we've rounded up the best baby toys for their development and entertainment – all rated by real parents.

9. Best eco-friendly nasal aspirator: Vital Baby PROTECT Nasal Decongester

Vital Baby PROTECT Nasal Decongester Aspirator

Price on writing: £5.49 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Newborn+ | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean and sterilise

What to know

  • Some parents report that the suction is not as strong as other aspirators

Our verdict

The Vital Baby PROTECT Nasal Decongester is 100% BPA, phthalate and latex-free, and a soft, silicone tip means it is kind on little noses. Unlike manual aspirators, such as the Nosefrida, you won’t need to keep buying disposable filters too, meaning it's kind to the planet, as well as your pocket.

Just a gentle squeeze on the soft base is all you need to clear your baby’s airways, allowing for a comfortable night’s sleep or, once they're feeling less stuffy, letting them enjoy toy time on their play mat again. The ‘wings’ on the decongester also make it easy to control.

It is easy to clean and sterilise too. Just pop in onto the top rack of your dishwasher, and then sterilise using UV, microwave, steam or cold-water sterilisation.

How do nasal aspirators work?

Most nasal aspirators work by using suction to remove mucus from your child’s nasal passages. They are particularly useful when your child is still too young to blow their nose, which is a skill they usually acquire at around three or four years old.

There are several different types of aspirator on the market. Each requires a tip to be placed in or around the entrance to your child’s nostril. The suction then draws the mucus out.

Some nasal aspirators use the suction from your own mouth, some use a hand pump, some are electric and some attach to your vacuum cleaner. There are merits and disadvantages to each type of nasal aspirator.

Are nasal aspirators good for babies?

Nasal aspirators are good for babies, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s directions and don’t overuse them. Nasal aspirators help to clear the airways, allowing stuffy babies to sleep and feed more comfortably. 

Are nasal aspirators safe for babies?

Nasal aspirators are considered a safe and effective method of easing congestion in a baby’s nose, when used in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Most manufacturers recommend that their nasal aspirators should only be used up to three times a day, as excessive use may lead to further nasal irritation.

A nasal aspirator should be cleaned after each use to prevent a build-up of bacteria which could lead to infection.

Read next: Discover the best baby bouncer, tried and tested by MNHQ

Can a nasal aspirator hurt a baby?

When used correctly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, a nasal aspirator should not be able to hurt a baby. Certain types of nasal aspirator, such as a bulb suction device, have been known to harm baby’s nostrils when not used carefully.

Our recommended bulb suction device, the American Red Cross Nasal Aspirator has a special guard specifically to prevent over-insertion.

How often should you suction a baby’s nose?

Most manufacturers recommend that their nasal aspirators should only be used up to three times a day, as excessive use could lead to further nasal irritation and nose bleeds.

How can I unblock my baby's nose naturally?

If you are unsure about using a nasal aspirator, then you could always try saline solution to thin out the mucus and wipe it away. Some parents find that particularly stubborn snot can be shifted by using saline solution and a nasal aspirator together.

Step-by-step guide on how to clean your baby’s noise

  • Use a saline solution if required to help thin out and loosen hard dried snot
  • Choose a manual, bulb or battery-operated nasal aspirator and hold it by the affected nostril
  • Suck out the snot
  • Repeat process on the other nostril

As you can see from our list, all nasal aspirators are slightly different. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully. 

Which nasal aspirator is the best?

We recommend the Nosefrida Baby Nasal Aspirator as the best nasal aspirator on the market. It comes recommended by thousands of parents who rate it as the most effective nasal aspirator out there. 

What is the best nasal aspirator for babies and children?

How we chose our recommendations

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve investigated, tried and reviewed thousands of products. Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations.

We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.

Recommendations from real parents

Before we recommend new products, we always see what brands and models our trusted Mumsnet users love and have vetted themselves.

Expert guidance

We always ensure our information represents the latest recommendations from experts so you can rely on it, and we research each product thoroughly to ensure it follows the latest expert advice and stands up to scrutiny. Here we consulted reputable sources such as consumer watchdog Which? and took note of what they looked for in nasal aspirators and which ones they were recommending to their readers.

Consumer feedback

We also scour the internet, leaving no stone unturned to check out real reviews from customers who have bought the products themselves and given both positive and negative feedback. 

Celebrated best products

Finally, we cross-referenced all of the above information to make a longlist of the best nasal aspirators for babies and toddlers currently on the market.

From this list, we chose a shortlist of the 10 best nasal aspirators for babies and toddlers that we felt offered a range of design, functions and price points, to ensure there was something for everyone.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Read next: Best tummy time toys

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Main image credit: Nosiboo