The best portable nebulizer

Allen Foster

Your doctor cannot tell you if your portable nebulizer is covered by your insurance plan; only a call to your insurance company will let you know how much of the cost will be your responsibility.

A nebulizer turns liquid into a fine mist that can be inhaled. This is the fastest and most effective delivery method for individuals who require medicine that's used to treat the lungs. A portable nebulizer allows you to administer treatments in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

The best portable nebulizers are reliable, easy to operate, and easy to clean. In particular we recommend TTstar's Cool Mist Inhaler, which is our favorite portable nebulizer because it's bundled with five filters and has built-in storage for accessories.

Considerations when choosing portable nebulizers

Atomizing vs. Ultrasonic

There are two main types of portable nebulizers:

Atomizing: An atomizing nebulizer hits the medicine with a powerful, focused stream of air that converts the liquid into a fine mist. This process is louder, and it delivers the medication more slowly than an ultrasonic nebulizer.

Ultrasonic: An ultrasonic nebulizer uses high-frequency vibrations to accomplish the task of turning the liquid into a mist. These models don't require a compressor, so they can be smaller and much quieter than atomizing nebulizers. Additionally, the medication can be delivered more quickly. The biggest disadvantage of this type is a great deal of care must go into the cleaning of the nebulizer.

Power source

Some portable nebulizers must be plugged into an outlet to operate while others can be powered by a couple of AA batteries. If there are times when you may need to use your portable nebulizer away from a power source, such as while you are camping, you will need a model that is powered by batteries.


An adult mouthpiece is different from a child's mask. Be sure the nebulizer that you're considering has accessories that are appropriately sized for the individual who will be using it.

Built-in storage

Some portable nebulizers feature a built-in compartment for easy storage of your accessories, so you know where they are when you need them.

Noise level

If noise is a concern, you will want to consider purchasing either an ultrasonic nebulizer or an atomizing one that's more quiet.

Portable nebulizer prices

A portable nebulizer can cost as little as $30 for a travel-size unit and as much as $100 for a kit with multiple mouthpieces and a travel case. To find the best value, look in the $40 to $50 price range.


Q. How often should I use my portable nebulizer?

A. A nebulizer is a machine that's required for administering medicine directly into your lungs. How often you can safely use it is determined by the type of medicine that you need. Your doctor will write you a prescription that details how often you should perform a breathing treatment.

Q. How often do I need to clean my portable nebulizer?

A. To keep your portable nebulizer germ-free and working properly, you should lightly clean it after every use. A more thorough cleaning can be done at the end of the day. An in-depth cleaning should be performed at least once each week. Remember, the tubing and the nebulizer itself are not to be cleaned.

Portable nebulizers we recommend

Best of the best: TTstar Cool Mist Inhaler

Our take: A comprehensive nebulizer kit that includes accessories that allow all ages to effectively use this medical device.

What we like: Besides tubing, a cup, a mouthpiece, and two different size masks (adult and child), this nebulizer includes five air filters. The convenient design allows all of the accessories to be stored in the built-in compartment.

What we dislike: There can be minor issues with how well the accessories fit together.

Best bang for your buck: Wave Medical Products Compact Vaporizer Cool Mist Compressor

Our take: A compact, easily portable nebulizer that comes with a travel bag and a number of accessories.

What we like: This nebulizer is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The unit comes with everything you need, including a three-year limited warranty.

What we dislike: The nebulizer is so compact that there's no convenient built-in place to store the accessories.

Choice 3: Cotify Portable Mini Vaporizer

Our take: A quiet travel-size nebulizer that features one-hand, one-button operation.

What we like: This device is extremely quiet and small enough to fit in your pocket. The nebulizer can accommodate adults or children, and it can either run off of a USB cable or two AA batteries (not included).

What we dislike: Using the cable and the AA batteries at the same time will damage the unit.

Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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