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Nebulizer vs. Inhaler: Which One to Choose

Nebulizer vs. Inhaler: Which One to Choose
Akanksha Nigam

People with respiratory issues like asthma, cystic fibrosis, or COPD use nebulizers or inhalers. Although both devices deliver medication effectively into the lungs to relieve discomfort, there are differences between the two.  

Nebulizer vs. Inhaler 

A nebulizer is a device that converts a liquid drug into a mist and then delivers it to the patient's lungs. This mist is supplied via a mask that covers the nose and mouth or by a mouthpiece. A nebulizer machine breaks down the mucus in the lungs, making coughing easier. 

The nebulizer machine consists of the main component, a mask, and tubing and is usually used at home. Unlike before, many portable nebulizers are available now. 

Medicine is added to a cup attached to the machine, and the patient inhales the mist. The treatment takes up to 20 minutes, and the user can perform other activities like reading a book or simply relaxing while using the nebulizer. 

On the other hand, an inhaler is a compact handheld device that delivers a puff of medication directly into the lungs and can be carried around in your purse or pocket. It takes practice to use an inhaler effectively. There are three types of inhalers: 

  • Metered-dose inhalers - Activated by squeezing the trigger, they deliver a fixed amount of medicine to the lungs. 
  • Controlled inhalers reduce inflammation and can be used multiple times in one day. They help avoid flare-ups during physical activity. 
  • Dry powder inhalers deliver powder medication to the lungs. These inhalers are more suitable for adults and children with mobility issues. The user needs to breathe strongly for the medication to reach the lungs. 

Some people have trouble using an inhaler. An attachment called a spacer is available to aid these users. A spacer is a hollow plastic tube that contains medicine. It is attached to the inhaler and the mouthpiece and delivers medication easily. 

Where to buy a nebulizer and an inhaler? 

HPFY hosts a wide array of nebulizers and spacers. Here are some of our best sellers: 

1. DeVilbiss Traveler Portable Compressor Nebulizer System 

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved Made in USA Made In USA

Useful in treating cystic fibrosis, asthma, and COPD patients. It delivers medication efficiently to the lungs. Consistent and concentrated delivery ensures the drug penetrates deeply.  

Features of DeVilbiss Traveler Portable Nebulizer

  • Easy, one-touch operation. 
  • Delivers treatment in approximately 10 minutes. 
  • Small, lightweight, and portable. 
  • High-capacity medication bowl. 
DeVilbiss Traveler Portable Compressor Nebulizer System



2. Pari Trek S Portable Compressor Nebulizer Aerosol System

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

If you have an active lifestyle, this is the product for you! It delivers fast and effective medication on the go and can be used for adult and pediatric patients. This system is suitable for at-home, hospital, and clinic treatments. 

Features of the Pari Trek S Portable Nebulizer Aerosol System

  • Extremely quiet piston pump compressor. 
  • Portable, lightweight, and compact. 
  • Compatible with cigarette-style sockets. 
  • A handy carrying case makes it convenient to take treatments anywhere. 
Pari Trek S Portable Compressor Nebulizer Aerosol System



3. Philips Respironics InnoSpire Essence Nebulizer System

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

With the SideStream and Active Venturi System technology, medication is delivered quickly where it is needed most. 

Features of Philips Respironics InnoSpire Essence Nebulizer System

  • Treatment time of 5 to 7 minutes. 
  • Fewer parts to assemble and clean. 
  • Easy to attach tubing designed for arthritic patients. 
  • Compact, lightweight, and blends gracefully into the home environment.  
Philips Respironics InnoSpire Essence Nebulizer System



4. Monaghan AeroChamber Plus Z STAT Anti-Static Valved Holding Chamber

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

The anti-static valved chamber prevents medication waste along with consistent and effective medication delivery. Suitable for adults and young adults, it is designed for use with an inhaler for constant medication.   

Features of Monaghan AeroChamber Plus Z STAT

  • Responds to shallow and low-volume breathing also. 
  • Patient-centric design. 
  • Reduces drug deposits in the mouth and throat. 
  • A clear chamber enables proper visualization. 
Monaghan AeroChamber Plus Z STAT Anti-Static Valved Holding Chamber



5. Respironics OptiChamber Diamond Anti-Static Valved Holding Chamber

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Designed to be used with inhalers for effective lung medication. It allows the caregiver to measure breath count and breath hold. The mouthpiece can fit a detachable mask for the patient's comfort. 

Features of Respironics OptiChamber Valved Holding Chamber

  • Low-resistance valve allows free breathing. 
  • A one-way valve prevents accidental exhalation into the chamber. 
  • A flow alert whistle monitors the speed of breathing and alerts the user in case of fast breathing. 
  • One size design fits most. 
Respironics OptiChamber Diamond Anti-Static Valved Holding Chamber



6. Monaghan Aerobika Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure Therapy System

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

A trusted medium of drug-free and natural clearance of the airways, this system creates positive pressure and oscillations simultaneously to move mucus to the upper airways and out. This device is user-friendly and can be used at any angle. 

Features of Monaghan Aerobika PEP System

Monaghan Aerobika Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP) Therapy System



While the method of treating a respiratory issue is different for nebulizers and inhalers, it is important to have both devices at hand for emergencies. Since the objective is to loosen the mucus and move it upwards, your healthcare provider might suggest you use both products.  

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Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

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