This or That: Mesh or Jet Nebulizers
Last updated: August 2023
Given the variety of options available for nebulizers today, I believe this to be a reasonable question. Which is better: mesh nebulizers or jet nebulizers?
If you want a rundown of the different types of nebulizers, you can check out my post here, which discusses mesh nebulizers.
In that article, I explain what jet nebulizers and mesh nebulizers are. In this article, I will describe the benefits of both and which one I like better.
Advantages and disadvantages of mesh nebulizers
I'm going to assume that most people would prefer mesh nebulizers. This is because they are about the size of an iPhone. So, like an inhaler, they can be easily stored in a pocket or purse, and you can pretty much use them anywhere.
Another advantage to mesh nebulizers is that they are relatively silent. The only sound you hear when using them is the soft hiss of the mist. You can use them when your kids sleep without waking them up. They are very convenient in this way.
The downside to mesh nebulizers is that quality mesh nebulizers, which are FDA-approved and come with a warranty, cost around $200 apiece. The warranty means that they are guaranteed to work, and if they stop working, you can send in for a replacement mesh nebulizer or parts.
You can also purchase inexpensive mesh nebulizers for under $50 in some stores. As I check online stores, I see one that is as low as $17. These are affordable, and they do create a mist.
However, most are probably not FDA-approved and do not come with a warranty. There is no guarantee they will work when you need them to work. If you want to try these, just be warned that you may want a backup. Always check their warranty before buying.
It is also important to note that insurance companies might not pay for mesh nebulizers. If you want one, you might have to pay out of pocket.
Another downside to mesh nebulizers is they must be cleaned regularly. The mist may weaken if you are not good at cleaning nebulizers (and I am not).
When this happens, they will be less effective when you need them. If you do go the mesh nebulizer route, make sure you follow the cleaning instructions.
Also, you may want to charge if you have not used your mesh nebulizer in a while. The batteries allow you to take six to ten treatments on one charge. But, if you haven't used it in a while, and it's been sitting in a drawer for three months, you may want to take it out and charge it.
That brings up one more disadvantage to mesh nebulizers. Like inhalers, they are small and easily portable, which is great, but it also means you can use them and set them down anywhere.
There have been times I have needed my mesh nebulizer but could not find it. When this happens, I resort to my old faithful jet nebulizer.
Advantages and disadvantages of jet nebulizers
The jet nebulizer itself does not make a noise. It is the air compressor that is needed to operate the jet nebulizer can be noisy.
If you use a jet nebulizer at home, you'll need one of these noisy air compressors. For some, this is a downside to jet nebulizers.
The noise doesn't bother me. If my kids are sleeping, I can just use it in the living room, or I can use it in my bedroom with the door shut.
I tolerate the noise because I think my jet nebulizer creates a better mist than my mesh nebulizer. I just feel I get better treatment with a jet nebulizer.
It is possible this may be my fault, and this is because I hate cleaning nebulizers. I know we are supposed to do it, but I know I just won't.
If you don't clean your mesh nebulizer, the mist may become weak or mostly nonexistent, and this is not good when you are short of breath and need it right away. Rather than using it, you'll have to take time to clean it first.
On the contrary, when my jet nebulizer gets dirty, I just toss it out and get a new one. If the mist from my jet nebulizer becomes weak, I toss it out and get a new one. It's easy. I just have to make sure I have a new one available. Currently, I have five unopened jet nebulizers in my bedroom closet.
If my air compressor is not working, I just plug it in and charge it. I can go ahead and use it even while it is charging.
Jet nebulizers are generally more affordable than FDA-approved mesh nebulizers. A jet nebulizer can be purchased online for under $50 on some websites.
If you have insurance, most insurance companies will buy you a tabletop nebulizer air compressor. If you can afford it, you can get a portable jet nebulizer air compressor for around $100. I got one of the portable units and love it.
This or That
Do you prefer...
The advantages of using both mesh and jet nebulizers
Personally, I like having both a mesh nebulizer and a jet nebulizer. My mesh nebulizers are nice when I'm out and about. They are nice when you have company over and want to take a quiet breathing treatment.
The same is true when you are camping and need to take treatment at night. Still, when I am at home, I find that what I use the most is my jet nebulizer.
What about you? Do you have a preference between the two? Let us know in the comments!
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