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I’ll share my opinion of the best nasal irrigation (neti pot) kits and sinus rinse for allergies in 2021. I’ll also include electric neti pot options.
If you have a chronically congested nose, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The Center for Disease Control reports that up to 40 million people suffer from chronic sinusitis. But why do so many people suffer from a chronic stuffy nose?
There are a variety of factors including pollution, allergy, and even basic anatomy (smaller nasal passages) that likely contribute to congestion.
In this article we’ll answer a few questions about nasal irrigation (also known as neti pot, sinus rinse or nasal rinse) then we’ll review the best nasal irrigation for allergies. As an allergy sufferer myself, my reviews are unbiased and I aim to help you find a solution.
Quick Answer for Best Nasal Irrigation Kit (full reviews below)
All-around Nasal Irrigation | Our pick: NeilMed Sinus Rinse
Rarely will you see a better-reviewed product. People love the NeilMed Sinus Rinse that uses a handheld spray up the nose. Water pressure can be adjusted based on the squeeze level.
Electric Neti Pot | Our pick: Navage Irrigation Starter Bundle
Navage offers a great rinse and suction nasal cleaner that reduces the mess associated with nasal irrigation. It sucks in the moisture after rinsing and makes the process more sanitary.
Best Neti Pot | Our pick: ComfyPot | Beautiful Ceramic Neti Pot Rinse
The Comfy Pot is stylish and compact much like the original Neti. The silicone tips help make cleaning easier and more comfortable and makes it a pure-play for the best neti pot.
How Does Nasal Irrigation Work
Nasal rinse works by allowing water to gently enter the nostrils and make its way deep into the sinuses where it can loosen and wash away bacteria, pollution like dust and vehicle exhaust, as well as allergens like pollen, dust mites, animal dander, mold, and smoke.
Nasal irrigation uses a saline solution that is mixed with water. The solution softens the water and moisturizes the delicate sinuses while rinsing. Nasal irrigation (neti pots) usually go into one nostril and exit the other. Some water may fall to the throat where it is spit out.
Is Nasal Irrigation Safe to Use
Nasal rinses are safe to use, however there can be risks if not used correctly. Some people decide to make their own rules when using a neti pot and trust me, that is a big mistake. If you follow the directions in your nasal rinse you will be fine. 3 things are very important:
- Always use distilled water
Even though tap water is relatively safe to drink, inserting tap water inside you sinuses could potentially cause some problems with bacteria. While your stomach is well-equipped to handle new bacteria, your sinuses are not!
- Make sure to use a saline solution
Many products come with the solution and can moisturize dry nasal passages and help reduce burning from using saline-free water. You can also make your own solution at home.
- Never force water through your nose
Traditional neti pots use gravity to gently rinse your nose. Electric pulsating nasal rinse use soft spray of water that you can control. Water should never be forced through your nostrils. Read the directions of your product and make sure to use caution while learning the process.
Before purchasing a nasal rinse, it’s wise to ask a doctor too.
How Can Nasal Irrigation Help People With Allergies
People with allergies might benefit a great deal from nasal irrigation, especially those with allergic rhinitis, post-nasal drip, itchy ears and eyes, and general stuffiness.
I’ve used nasal rinse off and on for many years and it has helped me. Occasionally my allergies block my nose and a Neti Pot provides relief and a restart for the mucus in my nose.
All people breathe allergens through their nose all day. For allergic or sensitive people pollutants like pollen, or a cat, dog or dust mites inside, and our nostrils can become overwhelmed and irritated. Rinsing the allergens out of the nose using a gentle nasal rinse can help us feel and sleep better!
Different Techniques of Nasal Irrigation
The original Neti Pots originated in Southeast Asia as an Ayurvedic cleansing technique. Traditional pots look like ceramic aladdin lamps, fairly compact, with thin spouts that are inserted into the nostrils.
Tilting the head to the side allows the water to flow into one nostril, travel up behind the nose into the nasopharynx and exit through the other nostril. Water that does not drain through the nose can be coughed out through the mouth.
These days, there are numerous options that are based on the original Neti Pot. You can choose from:
- Traditional style that we just mentioned,
- Squeeze bottles that allow you to rinse without tilting the head
- Options that feature pulsing technology or sucking technology
The traditional style is the most basic and simplest to use, while the squeeze bottle allows the user to control the amount of liquid into the nostril and stand in a more upright position. They are usually more compact and have less moving parts.
The electric options are just a little different, most have power settings that speed up the pulsation rate or water pressure. The pulsating effect aims to loosen the nostril, similar to that of a massage.
The sucking feature (shown in the Navage product) aims to reduce the amount of clean-up and collects the rinse in a reservoir. Electric nasal rinse uses either a battery operated neti pot or a plug and are slightly larger than the traditional styles. In this article we’ll provide a few options for each style.
The 7 Best Nasal Irrigation (Neti Pot) Products for Allergies
No. 1 NeilMed Sinus Rinse
“This is a great product that includes everything needed to get started, not to mention salt packets and 2 nasal rinse bottles. The pollen seasons seem to get worse every year, so if your nose is clogged from allergies this will clear it up fast. Don’t worry, the salt solution doesn’t sting, it’s actually soothing”. – Satisfied customer
- Helps nasal allergies, particularly dryness and hay fever
- Decreases sinus pressure and stuffiness
- Useful for post nasal drip
- Easy to use
- No preservatives
Rarely have I seen a product so well received by reviewers. NeilMed Sinus Rinse is the largest manufacturer and supplier of high-volume, low-pressure saline nasal irrigation systems in the world with headquarters based in Santa Rosa, California. The product is a lightweight, small size squeeze bottle. It comes in a pack 5.5 x 9.2 x 6.5 inches, weighing 2 lbs.
It was invented as an alternative to the Neti Pot and other products that force you to put your head in uncomfortable positions. The product has a single-piece with a rounded black cap that fits all nasal openings.
The squeeze bottle ensures that you have complete control over how much solution enters your sinuses. The saline solution actually cleans and moisturizes the nasal passages and cleans out mucus, and allergens like dust mites, animal dander, grass, pollen, and smoke.
The premixed packets create a balanced pH solution and do not sting. At an affordable price point for 2 bottles and 250 premixed packets, this product has proven itself to be an industry leader and users love it – just ask the 1,000 people who reviewed it on amazon.com for 5 out of 5 stars!
No. 2 Navage Nasal Irrigation: Naväge Nose Cleaner, 60 SaltPods – Battery Operated Neti Pot
I like this battery operated neti pot, mostly due to the fast that I can finally breathe! It will take a few practice sessions before it becomes easy and it also takes time to work…be consistent for a week or two then decide if it works (some people only give it a day). I recommend the Navage neti pot for people with allergies, rhinitis, sinus problem. Consider it your new daily routine for allergy relief.” – Satisfied customer
- Only nasal irrigator with gentle powered suction
- Clinically proven to relieve congestion
- Great for allergies, sinusitis, hay fever, pollution
- Utilizes saltpod capsule technology – made in the USA
- Battery powered
Most gravity-based products for nasal cleaning push saline solution into the nasal cavity under pressure and usually occurs by squeezing a plastic bottle or turning your head to a side. Although effective, they can put off many people because it is somewhat messy and let’s face it, mucus is gross. Navage is slightly different and their reviews show it works.
The man who invented the Navage Nasal System wanted a cleaner, more hygienic system using suction, not pressure. So how does Navage work?
The device sucks up all the washed mucus in a container on the device. Navage makes this product out of Brooklyn Heights, Ohio, a product of the USA!
It is a slightly larger device, measuring 9 x 8 x 7 inches and 2.9 lbs however it can easily be stored on a sink counter. It uses 2 AA batteries and saltpods must be purchased, however, each pod can be used multiple times (for more Navage reviews click below).
Most customers enjoy this product because it’s a non-messy device and removes the clean up needed from many other Neti Pot-like products. It actually makes it easy to see how much mucus is removed by the device because it is collected in a see-through container.
Considerations should be made for battery purchases and the saltpods that are a custom technology for Navage. The Navage reviews are excellent with over 800 and a seriously high approval rating, this product is another good option for people with dust mite, animal dander, and pollen allergies. As an electric product it is more of an investment than the other nasal irrigators but don’t let the Navage price turn you off – it works great.
No. 3 SinuPulse Elite Advanced Nasal Sinus Irrigation Kit
“So, I went for it. I finally bought this product after looking at it a few times. Its effect took a few days but my allergy symptoms have gone down significantly, so much that I feel almost 100% better. It’s a well-made product with good customer care and safety features that will help you use it properly. I like the fact that it does the work for you and it’s a good price. In my opinion, SinuPulse is a better buy than NeilMed. The Pulsate technology gives it a leg up on the competition.” – Satisfied customer
- Fast acting
- LED display, leak resistant design
- Button on handle for adjustable pressure control
- 30 day supply of saline solution
- 2 year warranty, FDA registered
- Multiple settings and speeds
SinuPulse was engineered in Switzerland using an electronic intellipulse technology. What differentiates this product from other pulsating nasal rinsers is it also uses a mist function which makes for a gentle pulsating cleanse.
This neti is recommended for post nasal drip, cough, congestion, sinus headaches, and nasal irritation. Even people with allergic rhinitis may find improvement using the SinuPulse.
The device appearance is squared lines and measures 9.5 x 5 x 6 inches and 2.4 pounds. These measurements make it one of our largest reviewed items (however it’s by no means big).
To operate the product just fill up the reservoir with water and saline solution, place sinus tip against one nostril, and adjust the flow of solution to your liking. Once the reservoir is half full, switch nostrils and repeat. To finish up the cleaning, very gently blow nose
SinuPulse isn’t only for sinuses, it also comes with a few bonus attachments, including 2 sinus tips, 2 throat tips with tongue cleaner attachment, 30 saline mixes, “sinus survival tips” by Dr. Rob Ivker, and a free 2 year limited warranty.
This product is similar to the Matwave CleanPro (shown below). It has much more quality review history (4.5 out of 5 and 1,290 reviews) and we rank this nasal irrigator slightly higher than the Matwave. Based on your budget, the SinuPulse is a higher price point.
No. 4 NeilMed Sinugator Cordless Pulsating Nasal Wash with 30 Premixed Packets
“I was tired of suffering from allergies, stuffiness, and sinus infections. When my nose gets inflamed it begins a downhill spiral for me and I feel terrible. I have been recommended nasal rinse a few times over the years and finally decided to give it a try. I know it’s helped others so I thought why not. I use it 2x, once in the morning and once in the evening. It helps me sleep and breathe during the day”. – Satisfied customer
- Pulsating nasal wash
- Preservative, drug, iodine, BPA, gluten and latex free
- Alternative to corticosteroids
- Battery operated neti pot
- Compact, functional design
- NeilMed alternative to their own squeeze bottle rinse
NeilMed developed this product after the original nasal rinse was popular. The pulsating nasal wash competes with other pulsating devices on the market and ranks well among them. One of the things we like best about this product is the appearance and functionality.
Most electric pulsators are plug-ins, however, NeilMed is a battery operated and can claim the title as the most compact pulsator. If you are wanting a pulsator, but need something small enough to pack on trips, or place in the medicine cabinet, then this might be the one for you. It also is listed at a more reasonable price in the $20-30 range
After 800 reviews on amazon.com, it stands with a 3.5 out of 5 star product. Most reviewers seem to like how this electric neti pot works, but many complain that it doesn’t last long. This could be due to it getting wet (the directions specifically say don’t wash it under running water as you would an electric toothbrush).
Another thing to consider, reviewers seem to think the squeeze bottle NeilMed product is a better option to go with, so unless you really want a pulsator, think about getting the 1st product listed on our reviews.
No. 5 Matwave Nasal Irrigator CleanPro N-10. FDA UL CE Cert. (2-year Warranty Electronic Neti Pot)
“Once you start using you can’t stop. I’ve used this product for a while. It took some time to get use to but after a week or your nose and mucus adjust (and appreciate also). I’ve used other Neti pots before and I can say this is superior…the pulsating really works to loosen and clean. I wish the product was more high quality rather than cheap plastic, however it works and I can recommend it to others.” – Satisfied customer
- Pulsating low-pressure system
- Helps with cleaning, moisturizing, and overall hyegiene
- Plug-in device, unrestricted use (time)
- Reduces nasal infections due to pollution and smog
- Great for people with allergies (pollen and dust mites), dry nose
- 2 year warranty
The Matwave CleanPro is another good option for nasal rinsing. It uses a pulsation rate of 800-1600 pulses per minute that can be adjusted using a nob. Although some reviewers state “it appears cheaply made” the CleanPro has good reviews and many are from people who have tried out other nasal rinses.
A purchase includes the nasal irrigator, nasal wash tips, 30 packets of saline solution (sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and xylitol), an AC adaptor, and user manual. Other brand saline solutions can also replace the Matwave brand. The design is simple and functional measuring 5.9 x 4.6 x 8.2 inches and 1.5 lbs so it can easily fit on or under the sink.
The magnetic spray wand conveniently attaches to the side of the device and connects to a reservoir. This electric neti pot comes in a blue/white color scheme and a mid-range price point around $50. The key for this product is the 2 year warranty, so you can feel at ease when buying.
No. 6 ComfyPot – Ceramic Neti Pot Sinus Rinse
“If you’ve never used a Neti Pot before, then is a good starter at a good price. I like the clean look to it and that it’s small enough to tuck away into a drawer. Warm up the water if you like, add the solution, and you’ve got yourself a handy allergy cleaner that moisturizes your schnoz.” – Satisfied customer
- Our best neti pot
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Classic functionality with an updated modern look
- 2 removable silicone nozzles
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Easy to clean and small enough to fit into small drawer
ComfyPot uses the old school approach, similar to a traditional Neti Pot, but with an updated design. The look of ComfyPot is fashionable and the addition of a soft silicone nozzle is unique from other nasal irrigations. The removable silicone nozzles make for comfortable use and it helps with cleaning or sharing the product.
ComfyPot is 10.4 oz (shipping weight), so it’s a small, portable Neti. Unlike other options, the ComfyPot does not come with saline solution packets. However, they can be purchased or made at home easily and this shouldn’t discourage anyone from buying.
Some users say they fill the ComfyPot up with water and saline solution, then heat in the microwave for 25 seconds with the silicone nozzle off. Since this product is the traditional style its easy to clean with warm water and soap
Reviewers gave this product a high ranking and many of the reviews state that “the silicone nozzle is genius and the product is comfortable to use”. It also comes at a decent price point in the high teens. It’s our best neti pot available.
No. 7 Nasopure “Nicer Neti” Pot Sinus Wash System 8 Ounce
“This is an easy squeeze type Neti and it did help me. My family has tiny nostrils so during allergy season the inflammation closes us up. The Nasopure helps reduce the inflammation by cleaning the pollen and allergens out of our sinuses. Its small, easy to use, and I felt better immediately”. – Satisfied customer
- Uses 8 oz bottle and 20 buffered salt packets
- Salt packets contain sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate
- Detailed instructions by Dr. Hana
- Removes allergens and harmful bacteria around nasal opening, making it unique to other nasal rinse devices
- Patented device allows you to control the pressure and flow of solution
Nasopure is advertised as a “nicer neti” and I see some validity to that claim. It is a smaller, handheld device made from tough plastic so there’s no reason to worry if you drop it. It’s a good alternative to the Neti Pot because you don’t have to bend over while using it (although you’ll still want to lean over the sink)
It doesn’t have to be shoved deep into the nostrils. Rather you can rest the nozzle at the opening of your nose and gently squeeze. This can be particularly helpful for people with allergies because it rinses the front of the nose as well.
Over 500 reviews give this product a 4.5 out of 5 on amazon.com. That’s an impressive amount of customer satisfaction! I believe its effectiveness and price point (in the low teens) have a lot to do with its popularity
Do I have to buy the solution and distilled water or can I make a DIY nasal irrigation (nasal rinse recipe)
If you’re familiar with Dust Mite Solutions, you know we recommend the DIY strategy when possible. It’s usually easy and cheaper to do it yourself right? Because sinus rinsing is a delicate practice and you are inserting fluid into your body, we recommend purchasing the saline solution packets.
They are ready-made and you know they are safe. Plus they are cheap to begin with. But here is a helpful nasal rinse recipe if you are a DIYer. I’ll admit, I like the fact that making your own reduces waste
- Add 1 cup (240 mL) distilled water to a clean container. If you use tap water, boil it first to sterilize it, and then let it cool until it is lukewarm.
- Add 5 tsp (2.5 g) salt to the water.
- Add 5 tsp (2.5 g) baking soda
As far as using distilled water, there is no exception, even if you have a filter at your home. Water can have various amounts of bacteria in it, and although most of it is harmless, some bacteria could cause health problems.
To make your own distilled water, boil water for 10 minutes, let cool, then store in a bottle. If you buy distilled water and you won’t have to worry (it’s also cheap and convenient but the plastic bottles are wasteful).
Nasal Irrigation Studies
A 2002 study published in the journal The Laryngoscope used a dyed solution laced with traceable markers to compare three methods of nasal irrigation. They intended to determine how much solution traveled through the nasal passages and where the solution went.
Irrigation techniques that allowed more water to reach further into the nasal passages were deemed most effective. This gives credence to nasal rinses as effective for reaching further in the nose.
In another study scientists looked at the best methods of getting nasal solution to the sinuses and used spray, nebulization, and douching (neti pot) as the methods. Douching was found to reach the deepest in the nasal passages and therefore it’s our best cleaning option.
A third study found that patients who used nasal irrigation for the treatment of sinonasal disease experienced statistically significant improvements in 23 of the 30 nasal symptoms. The improvement was also measured in the global assessment of health status using the “Quality of Well-Being Scale”.
Nasal Irrigation FAQs
How To Sterilize A Plastic Neti Pot In The Microwave or By Hand
If you’re using a plastic, rubber, or silicone Neti Pot it’s best not to clean it in the microwave. Depending on the product, some mention the microwave is ok, however, when in doubt just wash by hand with soap and water. Disinfecting your Neti Pot multiple times per week is generally a good practice.
I rinse mine with soap and warm water after each use, but I understand that many people are too busy. Washing 2x per week – in my opinion – would be adequate unless you’re suffering from a cold or sinus infection then you may be re-introducing bacteria into your system.
Another option that is generally safer than the microwave is the dishwasher. Most plastics, rubbers, and silicone can safely be cleaned with a rinse in the dishwasher without damage (read your individual instructions). I prefer to wash by hand or throw in the dishwasher – both work great.
Should I Use Nasal Irrigation Everyday
Using nasal rinse every day can be effective especially during allergy season when aeroallergens can become stuck in sinuses. Some people use in the morning and evening, however, I find that using just before I sleep gives me adequate relief into the following day.
Why Isn’t the Saline Solution Draining Out of My Nose
Depending on the type of nasal rinse you are using there could be a few different solutions.
1) With a traditional Neti Pot you’ll need to make sure your head is tilted to the side so water can enter and drain out.
2) Other products like the NeilMed Sinus Rinse require you to squeeze the bottle and gently force water through the sinuses.
3) Pay close attention to where the water is going – into the mouth or back out the same nostril. Make sure you don’t force the saline solution through the nose, be gentle.
In this article we’ve shared information covering the basics of nasal rinse, also known as a Neti Pot and nasal irrigation. We’ve also shared the best nasal rinse for allergies. If used properly, nasal rinse is a great way to fight allergies and congestion.
It can also be a healthy and hygienic practice to improve health. While most people purchase saline solution and distilled water for their rinsing, you can also make a DIY nasal rinse for relatively cheap.
Before you purchase, considerations should be made to know what type of nasal rinse you want. Traditional Neti Pots work great and have a simple functional design. Squeeze bottle Neti’s, similar to the popular NeilMed design are also a good option for people who don’t want to bend over a sink.
If you prefer electric models, we’ve also recommended a pulsating option and a suction product to help clean your nostrils. All of the products we recommended have positive reviews and are quality products.
We hope you learned about Neti Pots, and found a product you like. Check with us in the future to read more reviews that help you live with allergy. We’ll leave you with a sinus rinse video from non-other than Oprah.