Carewell's Best Nebulizer Machine: What to Look For & Product Recommendations

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Fri Jun 07 2024.

Doctor demonstrating a nebulizer.

Caring for a child or another loved one with a respiratory illness often requires a nebulizer. These machines are necessary for administering certain medications, but selecting one that meets your needs can be daunting.

Here at Carewell, our Care Team regularly gets questions about nebulizer machines. We’ve created this buying guide to make research and shopping a little less stressful. Below, we explain what a nebulizer machine is, explain key features to look for, and highlight some of our best-selling nebulizer machines.

What Is a Nebulizer?

“A nebulizer is a medical device that turns liquid medication into a fine mist, making it easier to inhale into the lungs,” explains Ramit Sambyal, MD, a general physician with more than 10 years of experience. “Think of it as a personal inhaler. It delivers medication precisely where it’s needed, bypassing the digestive system for swift, effective relief.”

Are There Different Types of Nebulizer Machines?

Dr. Sambyal says there are three types of nebulizers, including:

Compressor nebulizers

Compressor nebulizers are the most common type. “They use compressed air to break up the medication,” explains Dr. Sambyal. “These nebulizers are generally more affordable than other options, but can be noisy.” 

Ultrasonic nebulizers

“These nebulizers utilize high-frequency sound vibrations to generate mist. They are quieter than compressor models, but more expensive and may not work with all medications.” 

Mesh nebulizers

“Mesh nebulizers for the medication through a mesh membrane to create a mist,” Dr. Sambyal says. “They are portable, quiet, and fast, but tend to be the most expensive option.”

Things To Consider When Shopping for a Nebulizer

Choosing a nebulizer that meets your or your loved one’s needs requires patience and research. If you rush the process, you may end up with a machine that isn’t right for your situation. Thankfully, you can avoid this by focusing on several factors, including:


What do you plan on using the nebulizer for? Consider whether you stay at home most of the time or frequently travel. “Compressor models are typically the bulkiest, while mesh nebulizers are more compact and ideal for travel,” Dr. Sambyal says. 

Noise level

All nebulizers make noise, but some are louder than others. If your loved one has dementia or another medical condition that affects sensory perception, you may want to choose a nebulizer that’s quiet so as not to make these sensory challenges worse. Dr. Sambyal says that ultrasonic and mesh nebulizers are quieter than compressor models.

Medication compatibility

Not all nebulizers are equipped to deliver certain types of medication. Therefore, it’s important to consult with your loved one’s doctor or pharmacist for specific advice. 

Ease of cleaning and maintenance

Nebulizer machines have several parts, including an aerosol mask, a medication cup, tubing, and a compressor. Ensure the nebulizer you choose is easy to clean. Without proper maintenance, mold, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms can build up and put your loved one at risk. 

Warranty and customer support

All of the nebulizers we sell have excellent reputations, but malfunctions can still arise. Dr. Sambyla recommends “choosing a reliable brand with good customer services, in case any issues arise.”

Carewell’s Best Nebulizer Machine

Choosing a nebulizer is a big decision, so we’ve compiled a shoppable list of our top recommendations. Those featured are a mix of our top-rated and best-selling nebulizers. Whenever possible, we’ve included real user feedback under the heading “Hear it From a User/Caregiver.” 

1) Drive Medical Power Neb Ultra, Nebulizer Kit

This compressor nebulizer kit contains everything you need to administer respiratory medications hands-free. It features a nebulizer machine, a disposable mouthpiece, a “T” adapter, and a reservoir tube. The system is lightweight, making it ideal for travel or transitioning between rooms.

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Easy to use

  • Portable and lightweight

  • Has a quiet piston pump so users can relax during treatments

Hear it from a caregiver

“This nebulizer is very easy to use and lightweight enough to travel. I use it daily for chronic bronchitis, sometimes up to three times a day. It works very well.”

- Mary A.

Hear it from a caregiver

“This nebulizer works great. The power is strong allowing the liquid to be changed for inhalation quickly. The setup and clean up is easy.”

- Erma C.

Drive Medical Power Neb Ultra Nebulizer Kit, 18080, 1EA
Drive Power Neb Ultra Nebulizer Kit

Price: $29.30

2) McKesson Compressor Nebulizer System

This compact, lightweight McKesson nebulizer is designed for patients who are on the go. It delivers medication in a consistent particle size of less than 5 microns, ensuring your loved one receives the optimal dosage. The system allows for several different mask sizes, including infant, child, and adult.

Key Benefits & Features

  • Capable of pressure up to 30 psi

  • Includes 6 feet of oxygen tubing

  • The noise level is 65 decibels (about as loud as normal conversation)

Hear it from a caregiver

“The machine is much quieter and a lot smaller than all of the other electrical ones I have seen. The size of this is amazing, whether I take it with me to a friend's house or onto the plane for vacation!! The quality and strength are amazing!!! Overall [I]  LOVE LOVE LOVE this product!”

- Sam

Hear it from a caregiver

“I needed this nebulizer desperately. My previous one was broken & I didn't want to pay a monthly rent fee to a supply company. I picked out this one & it works great. Also was delivered quickly. The small size makes it easy to stash nearby but is ready to perform when I need it.” 

- Nan M. 

McKesson Compressor Nebulizer System, 16-3655LT, 1 System
McKesson Compressor Nebulizer System

Price: $28.25 - $157.22

3) Schuco Compressor Nebulizer

This Schuco compressor nebulizer features a unique design for enhanced airflow and suppressed sound. Members of our Caregiving Community say it’s also incredibly easy to clean! The nebulizer includes a compressor, a standard mouthpiece, a nebulizer, and 7 feet of clear oxygen tubing.

Key Benefits & Features

  • Very quiet

  • Easy to clean and maintain

  • Compact and portable

Hear it from a caregiver

[This nebulizer] works very well and made breathing treatments a breeze.”

- Chandrika M. 

4) Aura Portable Aerosol Nebulizer 

This portable aerosol nebulizer is our most compact offering. It’s battery-powered and fits comfortably inside of your pocket. Even better? It delivers medication quickly, with most treatments lasting just five minutes. And, it can be used for children or adults. 

Key Benefits & Features

  • Virtually silent

  • Delivers every last drop of medication (no waste!)

  • Includes the nebulizer, an adult and child-sized facemask, a mouthpiece, a mask adapter ring, an AC power adapter, and a carrying case

Hear it from a caregiver

“I bought this to replace a cheap nebulizer I purchased from Amazon that broke after two uses. [It] really helps calm my cough and lungs from allergies.”

- Theresa S. 

Aura Portable Aerosol Nebulizer
Aura Portable Aerosol Nebulizer

Price: $160.49

5) Traveler Compressor Nebulizer

Here’s another excellent nebulizer option if you spend lots of time traveling. The compressor system delivers most treatments within 10 minutes and has a 45-minute battery life, so you don’t have to charge it after each use. The machine weighs less than two pounds and comes in a compact carrying case.

Key Benefits & Features

  • Easy, one-touch operation

  • Includes: compressor, disposable and reusable nebulizers, five extra filters, extra filter door, tubing adapter, adult and pediatric masks, AC adapter, DC car adapter, carrying case, instruction guide and instructional DVD

  • Compact and lightweight for easy transport 

Hear it from a caregiver

“It is small enough to carry around with you or plug in the car when traveling, and small enough to be out of the way when not in use. I love the fact I can take mine with me and get 6 uses before the battery needs to be charged.”

- Tammy P. 

We Also Carry Nebulizer Accessories

Already have a nebulizer but need to update your oxygen tubing or facemask? We can help with that, too. In fact, we carry various nebulizer accessories, including replacement filters, medication cups, and more! 

Shop Nebulizer Accessories

Get Fast, Free Nebulizer Shipping with Autoship

If you or your loved one have a respiratory condition, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, you need to have a nebulizer and other related supplies on hand. We offer fast, free shipping on orders $49+ to support family caregivers. Signing up for Autoship is an easy way to ensure you have adequate respiratory supplies when you need them most. Some products even qualify for an additional 5% off!

Need Help Choosing a Nebulizer? Get In Touch!

Do you have a specific question about one of the nebulizers featured above? If so, please, reach out! Our Care Team is available 24/7 and here to help. Whether you’ve experienced a problem with a shipment or simply want advice on the best nebulizer for your loved one’s needs, we’re here to support you. Call (800) 696-CARE or send an email to

Best Nebulizer Machine - Commonly Asked Questions

1) How often should I clean my nebulizer machine?

How often you clean your nebulizer machine depends on the type and usage. However, Dr. Sambyal says a good general rule of thumb is to “clean all parts after each use with warm soapy water or a manufacturer-approved disinfectant. Afterward, rinse thoroughly and air dry completely. Replace tubing and filters regularly, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.”

2) What health conditions can benefit from a nebulizer?

You or your loved one may benefit from a nebulizer if you’ve been diagnosed with one of the following conditions:

  • Asthma

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • Chronic bronchitis

  • Pneumonia

  • Allergies

Nebulizers can also be useful for common respiratory infections, including the cold, flu, and COVID-19.

3) Should I see a doctor before buying a nebulizer?

Yes. Dr. Sambyal says you should always consult with a doctor before buying or using a nebulizer. That’s because certain respiratory conditions benefit from other types of treatment. “Your health care provider will determine if a nebulizer is the right treatment for you and prescribe the appropriate medication,” he says.

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.