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Last modified on November 1st, 2022
Cold and flu season is just around the corner, compounded by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, so you might be looking for natural ways to feel better. A neti pot is a popular option. Neti pots clear mucus and debris from your nasal cavities. They can help you breathe better when you aren’t feeling well, and they’re one type of nasal irrigation.
Below, we go over everything you need to know about Neti pots and our picks for the seven best options available on Amazon right now.
What Is a Neti Pot?
A neti pot is a container to rinse mucus or debris from your nasal cavity and upper nostril. You can use it to help with symptoms of colds or the flu, nasal allergies, or various sinus problems.
This home treatment is popular if you have upper respiratory congestion, and it can help you breathe if and temporarily clear out sinuses.
A neti pot traditionally looks like a teapot, but there are variations available. You use a saline solution typically instead of just water as a way to flush out and clean mucus from your nose. Using these pots is something people have done for hundreds of years.
Sometimes a doctor will prescribe a specific solution in one of these pots when patients are recovering from nasal surgery.
Benefits of nasal rinsing, mainly when you’re using saline solution, include:
- Clean nasal cavity
- Removal of things that cause inflammation and nasal irritation
- It may help your respiratory system clean itself better
- Could help with symptoms of common colds or alleviate a runny nose
- Helps with chronic rhinosinusitis
- Alleviates dry nasal passages
- Stops a stuffy nose or post nasal drip
When you’re using a neti pot, you pour the solution you’re using in one nostril at a time. Then, the solution should flow through the nasal cavity, exiting your other nostril.
The Neti pot stems from Ayurvedic medicine for respiratory conditions.
So does it work?
Evidence would suggest that, yes, using one of these pots can be a safe and effective way to eliminate at least some of your sinus symptoms without taking medication.
How Does It Work?
If you want to get into the technicalities, when you flush your sinuses out with a pot, you’re speeding up the coordination of your cilia. Cilia are tiny, hair-like structures that line your sinus and nasal cavities. When you increase their movement, then they’re better able to remove irritants and allergens that might lead to sinus issues and discomfort, as well as nasal congestion and nasal stuffiness.
Top 7 Best Neti Pots
The following are our picks for the best options available on Amazon right now, along with some details about each.
- Highly rated
- Handle-free for safety and grip
- Fits any nostril size well
- Hand-crafted in Europe
- Dishwasher safe
- Not mass-produced
This Neti pot is beautiful and functional. It’s created by a small community of artisans rather than being mass-produced. It follows the traditional Ayurvedic style.
User reviews say that people are impressed not only with the functionality of this pot but the beauty. It seems to work well for clearing out nasal symptoms, stuffiness, and allergens, according to customer reviews.
Reviews indicate it’s easy to use, has detailed instructions and cleanup is easy.
The design is sleek, and it’s easy to hold with minimum pressure.
Reviews noted that this particular pot is that you fill it twice, each time with four ounces, which is one for each nostril. You don’t have to guess whether or not you’ve done four ounces. Gentle is another word that was used to describe this pot.
- Can be used by adults and kids
- It has an even flow and no excess pressure
- Silicone nozzle
- Anti-spill opening
- Easy to clean
- Dishwasher friendly
The Comfy Pot is a popular option on Amazon, with a comfortable silicone tip that’s easy to clean. Kids and adults can use this to refresh their sinuses and alleviate pressure. It’s dishwasher-friendly, which we like. You may find relief with this nasal irrigator from sinusitis, rhinitis, and cold and flu symptoms.
This pot has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and reviewers like that the tip is removable silicone.
This pot is ceramic, so it’ll hold a bit of warmth in the solution you use to rinse your nasal passages.
Reviewers say it’s easy to use and easy to clean, and it helps them breathe easier.
- Features a rhino horn design
- You can use with fine kitchen salt and clean water
- Includes measuring spoon for salt application
- Helps with swollen mucus membranes
- Dishwasher and microwave safe
- Available in adult and junior size options
The Rhino Horn nasal cleaner is made based on ancient tradition. It’s made from non-toxic materials, and it’s refreshing and mild to use.
According to reviews, it’s BPA-free, and it’s made of a thick, durable material that you don’t have to worry much about breaking.
A downside that you might want to think about is that it’s large so it might not be as ergonomic for you compared to other options if you have smaller hands.
Many reviews say this is a fantastic product that gives a comfortable experience to help with symptoms of nasal allergies. It’s lightweight, and the water is gentle and smooth. Since you don’t have to worry so much about breaking this, it’s easier to travel with than a ceramic pot.
Overall, the reviews are great, and this is a quality product.
- Beautiful ceramic design
- Available in many color options
- Every pot is handmade and unique
- The company has been creating these pots since 1996
- Dishwasher safe
- Guaranteed non-toxic
- Individually hand-glazed
The Baraka Premium pot is beautifully handmade, and the company has been making them for decades.
We like that it’s free of lead and any harmful chemicals, and each pot is unique since it’s handmade ceramic. These are hand-glazed with food-grade ceramic and they hold ten ounces of saline solution.
These pots are made in Northern California by a small, woman-owned business.
Many reviewers describe the Baraka pot as the best Neti available, with it not only being effective to relieve inflammation and congestion but also liking that it looks like a piece of art.
Users say the shape is comfortable, and it easily stays in their hands. They also describe the nonporous surface as easy to clean.
People say they like that the spout is a tiny bit bigger than usual, so they can get more gentle water flowing through their nasal passageways.
- Bakara artisanal Neti pot
- The kit also includes an essential oil blend and two-ounce mineral salt rinse
- Soothes dry noses
- Sea salt in the irrigation solution is hand-harvested Atlantic Sea salt rich in minerals
This is the same Neti pot as the previously mentioned Bakara model, but we like that this kit includes high-quality sea salt so you can make your rinse as well as an essential oil blend to help moisturize a dry nose.
Users say they love the design, and they also like that it’s nontoxic and hand-crafted.
- Complete starter kit for a daily nasal washing routine
- Naturally and safely remove mucus, dust, pollen, and other irritants from your sinuses
- Includes the Neti-Salt wash
- Made with lead-free glaze and ceramic
- First introduced by the Himalayan Institute in 1972
According to reviews and the product description, this is an enjoyable Neti pot to use, and some even describe it as life-changing, as far as its ability to help their breathing and sinus issues. People with extreme allergies say they feel this is a good product for them.
- Large-capacity nasal wash bottle
- Made from medical-grade materials
- Easy to use with a water control valve button
- 60-degree water outlet angle
- Includes three nozzles
- It comes with 60 packs of nasal wash salt
This is slightly different from the other Neti Pot designs we included on this ranking of the best products, but we thought it was worth putting on here. First, there are three different nozzle tips with this sinus rinse kit, so you can customize the fit that works best for you. We also like that it has a 60-degree outlet for the water so that you can get deep nasal irrigation into your sinus cavities.
We like the water button, so you don’t have to squeeze the bottle, and it’s affordable and comes with 60 packs of nasal wash salt.
It has a unique nozzle design that fits perfectly into the nasal cavities.
Reviewers describe this sinus wash bottle as excellent quality and easy to use. Users say that it helps them breathe and it improves their overall sinus health. Users also describe it as being a good value, having a great design, and being easy to clean.
You only have to tilt your head slightly to get a steady flow.
How Are These Pot Used?
If you’re interested in using a Neti pot, you typically will fill it with saline solution. You can also buy pre-mixed salt mixtures, and some of our picks for the best products above come with a salt mix.
You fill the pot, and then you insert the spout into one of your nostrils. You then tilt your head to the side. The saline solution should flow up your nasal passage and then come out your other nostril.
Then, the process is repeated on the other side with your other nostril.
To make sure there’s a smooth flow of your saline solution, make sure you breathe through your mouth while you tilt your head.
There was a study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health that found patients with asthma, daily sinus symptoms, and allergies tend to have improvements with nasal irrigation.
Specific reasons people use these pots for nasal irrigation include removal of pollen and allergens, relief of nasal dryness, removal of excess mucous, helping with cold and flu symptoms, and alleviating sinus headaches. Using one of these pots can also improve your sense of taste and smell and may reduce snoring.
If you’re using nasal irrigation and your saline solution runs through your throat, you should spit it out.
Blow your nose to remove the remaining liquid.
Rinse your irrigation pot after reach use, and let it air dry.
As we’ve touched on, nasal irrigation certainly isn’t new. It’s been used for centuries by Indian Ayurvedic practitioners. Nasal irrigation is also sometimes called a nasal douche or nasal lavage.
Some people swear that along with relieving symptoms like sinus headaches, regular irrigation helps them reduce their use of antibiotics for sinus infections, as well as reducing the need for nasal steroid sprays and other types of cold remedies.
There have been many clinical trials looking at the safety and effectiveness of nasal irrigation, and it seems to work well and be well-tolerated overall.
A study from the University of California, San Diego looked at more than 200 patients. Subjects in that study had statistically significant improvements in dozens of symptoms and improvements in their subjective quality-of-life ratings.
Is Nasal Irrigation Safe?
For the most part, nasal irrigation with a Neti pot or similar device is considered safe, but there are a few notes.
First, never use this on an infant.
Second, for safe neti pot use, you shouldn’t do it so often that it starts to break down the protection of your mucus membrane in your sinuses and nasal passages, although this would be pretty hard to do.
You also have to make sure you ONLY use sterile water.
You can boil the water before using it to sterilize it. Don’t use the hot water in your nose. Wait until it’s lukewarm water before applying the pot solution.
If you don’t boil it or use sterile water, there’s the potential that you could introduce a parasite into your brain causing a brain infection. Tap water isn’t safe for a nasal rinse because it’s not treated or filtered properly. Therefore there is a risk of infection.
You can drink that water because your stomach acid will kill bacteria and protozoa, but your nasal passages can’t.
You can use sterile or distilled water you buy at the store if you don’t want to boil it. You might also be able to use water that you’ve passed through a filter, and that’s specifically designed to trap infectious organisms.
According to the FDA, to safely use any nasal irrigation device, you need to make sure you follow the instructions that come with it.
Wash your hands before using your device and after.
If you’re going to use nasal irrigation on a child, make sure the device is the right fit for them. Talk to your pediatrician first. Children two and older may be able to have you irrigate their nasal passages with pediatrician approval.
Neti pots typically are a safe and effective way to reduce cold and flu symptoms and make your sinuses feel better if you have acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis. As we’re going into flu season now and also still grappling with the effects of COVID-19, you may be looking for sinus relief, which a Neti pot might help with. Talk to your health care provider first, and don’t ignore severe symptoms.
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