Last updated: August 9, 2021

Our method

33Products analysed

41Hours spent

38Evaluated articles

139User reviews

Welcome to our big inhaler test 2021. Here we present all the inhalation devices that we have tested in detail. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best inhaler for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide.

Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy an inhaler.




Summary

  • You should inhale if you have a respiratory illness or a cold. You can use an inhaler or a bowl with hot water and essential oils.
  • It is advisable to ask a doctor or pharmacist to explain how to use the inhaler.
  • Inhalers can be used by both adults and children. However, make sure that your device is suitable for the particular user and, for example, that the mask is the right size for the user.

The Best Inhaler: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an inhalation device

What do you use an inhaler for?

You should use an inhaler to clear mucus from your airways or for other respiratory conditions such as bronchitis. Some inhalers can also help improve the self-cleaning mechanism of the lungs or respiratory tract.

Aromatherapie

Inhalation is used to clear the airways and promote healing. (Picture source: 123rf.com / 92767815)

How does inhalation or inhalation work?

When you inhale, you breathe in substances to loosen mucus or generally clear the airways. These substances (essential oils, aerosols, salt, ...) penetrate the respiratory tract while you inhale steam or mist via an inhalation device or by other means. There, they clear your respiratory tract of mucus, partially stimulate the self-cleaning mechanism and help you to become healthy.

Inhalation moistens only the upper airways or both the upper and lower airways, depending on the method of inhalation. This moistening loosens mucus and makes it easier to cough up, for example. If you want to know exactly how this works physiologically, it is best to ask your family doctor or a lung doctor you trust.

How often and for how long should I use an inhaler?

The inhaler itself should last a long time, depending on the quality. Basically, you should get used to a new inhaler and inhale for a short time at first (10-15 minutes). After getting used to it, you should inhale for about 30 minutes at a time. It is often advisable to inhale 2 to 3 times a day if you are ill and to continue inhaling a little after the illness has subsided.

However, depending on your condition, you should ask your doctor how often and for how long you should inhale. If you should or want to inhale with certain medications, you should check with your doctor about the frequency and duration of inhalation as well as the dose of medication.

For whom is an inhaler suitable?

In principle, inhalation devices can be used by adults and children.

It is important that you read the product description or instructions for each inhaler to find out who it is suitable for.

Not only people can inhale, but also animals. Therefore, there are also inhalation devices and therapies for animals that are based on inhalation.

How much does an inhaler cost?

There are very cheap inhalation devices starting at around 5 euros, but you can also spend several hundred euros on an inhalation device. In some cases, your health insurance will cover the cost of an inhaler and the medication it requires. It is best to check with your health insurance fund to see if this is the case for you.

Where can I buy an inhaler?

You can order an inhaler online, but you can also buy an inhaler at a pharmacy. In a pharmacy, the pharmacist can advise you on site, but if you buy the inhaler online, there is usually no need for a personal consultation.

How to buy Advantages Disadvantages
Inhaler on prescription In this case, your doctor has probably examined you and found the right therapy for you. You have more certainty that inhalation is the right therapy for you and you have someone to talk to about using the inhalers. In addition, your health insurance may cover some or all of the costs of the inhaler you cannot order the inhaler from the comfort of your own home, but must go to a pharmacy to get the prescription filled. You are not necessarily free to choose your inhaler, because there are conditions imposed by the health insurance fund.
Inhaler from a specialist shop In a specialist shop you can get competent advice and have the use of the inhaler explained to you However, you have to go to the specialist shop in person. If you don't have much time, this could be a problem for you.
Inhaler from the Internet You can order your inhaler from the comfort of your own home and compare it online with other inhalers. The inhaler is delivered to your home there is usually no need for specialist advice in online shops.

What are the alternatives to an inhaler?

Instead of buying an inhaler, you can use a bowl and a towel to inhale. You can also go to a sauna or, better, a steam bath. There you can "inhale" during the infusions. Five tips in a nutshell

  1. Drink plenty of water - 2-3 litres a day
  2. Steam bath with essential oil (eucalyptus or peppermint oil)
  3. Eat honey against congested bronchial tubes
  4. Onions - mix onion juice with honey and lemon and water and drink or eat onions plain
  5. Gargle with salt water

Decision: What types of inhalation devices are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, we distinguish between these types of inhalation devices:

  • Nebuliser inhaler
  • Metered dose inhaler
  • Powder inhaler

In the following, we explain the different types and their respective advantages and disadvantages. In this way, we want to help you find the most suitable inhaler for you.

What are the features of a nebuliser inhaler and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Nebulisers produce mist. There are nebuliser inhalers based on ultrasound or membrane. In contrast to steam inhalation, ultrasonic nebulisers, for example, can also nebulise salt so that it reaches the airways. Ultrasonic nebulisers produce a fine water mist by converting electrical vibrations into mechanical vibrations and transferring water.

Advantages
  • Greater therapeutic success due to longer inhalation duration
  • active ingredients can be combined
  • entire respiratory tract benefits from inhalation
  • lung humidification stimulates self-cleaning mechanism
  • mesh devices and ultrasonic nebulisers are often vibration-free and very quiet in operation
  • usually battery-operated
Disadvantages
  • Inhalers take 5-10 minutes per session
  • compression devices are noisy

The water droplets produced are smaller than those produced by conventional water vapour. These small water droplets can penetrate deep into the airways so that all parts of the airways can benefit from inhalation. In general, nebuliser inhalers are based on the fact that they produce mist that is finer than water vapour. This means that the inhalation goes deeper and works more or less throughout the entire respiratory tract.

What distinguishes a metered dose inhaler and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Metered dose inhalers are the form of application of the medicines, i.e. the medicines are present as metered dose inhalers that are inhaled. There are two different types of metered dose inhalers.

Advantages
  • Low breathing volume sufficient
  • Adaptable to babies and toddlers
  • Light &
  • handy
  • Suitable as an emergency spray for asthmatics
Disadvantages
  • You have to shake to get the dosage right
  • 2 ms trigger time makes optimal inhalation difficult
  • The particle spectrum of many metered dose inhalers settles in the lungs with difficulty
  • Cold stimulus when administering the aerosol
  • You can only administer small doses at a time
  • All metered dose aerosol systems contain propellant gases

On the one hand, there are metered-dose inhalers in which the drug is expelled by propellant gas, something cortisone preparations. On the other hand, there are metered-dose inhalers that do not use propellants, such as bronchodilators. In this case, the medication is usually a powder that is blown out of the device by a stream of air and can be inhaled in this way.

What distinguishes a powder inhaler and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

In powder inhalers, the active ingredient is in the form of a propellant gas-free and CFC-free powder. This active ingredient is inhaled when breathing. There are different powder inhalers. Powder inhalers facilitate the coordination of inhalation and release of the active ingredient. There are different recommendations for the use of powder inhalers. For example, some manufacturers recommend inhaling the medication quickly. Other manufacturers and technical information advocate a slow inhalation of the medication.

Advantages
  • Coordination between triggering and inhalation is no longer necessary
  • light &
  • handy
  • propellant gas and CFC-free
Disadvantages
  • Larger breathing volume (30 L/min) required
  • Unsuitable for babies, small children and asthmatics
  • Susceptible to moisture
  • Combinations of active ingredients not possible
  • Coughing irritation possible due to powder particles
  • Powder can rip out when tilted

It is best to follow the instructions for your medicine or ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you should inhale your medicine quickly or slowly. Alternatively, you can read this statement from the respiratory league on inhalation speed.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate inhalers

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate inhalation devices. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective model. In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Weight
  • Filling volume
  • Suitability for children
  • Suitability for adults
  • Mode of operation

In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a model based on the criteria or not.

Weight

The weight of the inhaler can range from a few hundred grams to over a kilogram. If you buy a handheld device, you are more likely to get a lighter inhaler. If you buy a tabletop device, it will tend to be heavier, also so that it stands firmly.

Filling volume

The filling volume varies depending on the device. Most devices have a filling volume of at least 2 ml. Upwards, the filling volume usually varies between 7 and 10 ml depending on the device.

Depending on how intensively and for how long you want to inhale, your inhalation device should have a larger or smaller filling volume. However, since you do not always have to fill it completely, you can also use a smaller filling volume in a larger device. Therefore, it is sometimes worthwhile to buy a device with a larger filling volume.

Suitability for children

Children can also use inhalers. It is important that children inhale correctly. Inhalation is suitable for children with obstructive bronchitis, respiratory tract infections, asthma, but also cystic fibrosis. Inhalation helps to loosen mucus and clear the airways.

Inhalation can also be used for babies and premature infants, because you only have to reduce the dose of the medicine accordingly. The medicine goes directly into the bronchial tubes when inhaled.

If in doubt, however, you should have your child's illness clarified by a doctor.

Suitability for adults

If the mask is big enough, you can use most inhalers for adults.

Mode of operation

There are battery-powered inhalers and mains-powered inhalers. For mains-powered inhalers, you always need a power source in the form of a socket, so they are not suitable for travelling. Battery-operated inhalers can also be operated without a power socket, so you can also use them on the move to some extent. Some inhalation methods work without electricity, e.g. the classic bowl with hot water.

Facts worth knowing about inhalation devices

How do I clean an inhaler?

Basically, you can disinfect and sterilise an inhaler. Especially if several people use the same inhaler, it should be sterilised after each use for hygienic reasons. If only one person uses the device, disinfection is sufficient. But for hygienic reasons, you should never do without adequate cleaning.

To increase the success of the therapy and to prevent re-infection, you should always clean your inhalation device after use.

Depending on the device, instructions for cleaning should also be provided. If in doubt, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

What do I fill an inhaler with?

Depending on the type of inhaler, you can fill it with dosing aerosols or powder. Sometimes you can also fill it with oil or salt. Please follow the instructions for use of your content device.

Filling material Description
(Physiological) saline solution Saline solution cleans. It also soothes the mucous membranes
Essential oils Essential oils may only be used by adults for inhalation. In children, they often cause irritation of the mucous membranes and eyes. Essential oils can also cause allergic reactions in children and, in very bad cases, breathing difficulties.
Cortisols/cortisol-like substances you should only use cortisols and similar substances for inhalation in consultation with your doctor and also in general.
Bronchodilators these substances should only be used for inhalation and in general in consultation with your doctor.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 99074450

Why you can trust me?

Reviews