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Comparison of Alfin Pure Sea and NeilMed Nasal Rinses

Allergy Relief: Afrin Pure Sea vs. NeilMed

Using a neti pot is a simple, natural way to combat allergies and nasal congestion, but sometimes you need a little extra power in your nasal irrigation. I just tried two sinus rinse products, which can easily be found in a drugstore. Afrin Pure Sea ($12) and NeilMed Sinus Rinse ($11.50).

The Afrin saline solution is made from purified sea water, from St. Malo Bay off the coast of northern France. The water is isotonically treated, making the concentration of salt similar to that of your body; it is also preservative free. The four-ounce bottle comes with a detachable applicator to be cleaned between uses. To use, press down on the applicator once the tip is positioned inside your nostril, while leaning over a sink or in the shower. I tried the medium stream, but it is available in gentle stream as well.

To learn about the NeilMed product and to see how the two compare,


The NeilMed is a little more do it yourself. You mix salt packets, 50 come with the nasal irrigator, which holds eight ounces of water. The salt packets are considered isotonic and are preservative free. You fill the irrigator with warm distilled water, mix in the salt, and then squeeze the bottle placed against a nostril, over a sink, to rinse your nasal passages.

I feel both these products work, but the NeilMed worked a bit better. Since you exert pressure on the bottle, you have more control over the force. The NeilMed is also more economical, because I believe you will get more applications per package. I found the press-with-cap of the Afrin a little awkward when using my left hand for my left nostril. On the plus side for the Afrin, you don't have to heat or distill your own water, which can be a pain. I used tap water with the NeilMed — who keeps distilled water on hand? While waiting for the water to heat up, I wasted a lot of water and live in a drought zone. The Afrin would also work well if you're traveling and are unsure of the availability or water quality in your destination.

The NeilMed is ultimately more eco friendly as well. You can buy extra packets of salt without purchasing another irrigating bottle. Plus, the water comes from your home or nearby instead of being shipped from France.

Have you tried either of the products? If so, share what you thoughts in the comments section below.

Join The Conversation
Grace1980 Grace1980 7 years
I have not tried any of these products. I am though a firm believer of Flonase (over the counter) to help me with my allergies. I came across some articles on Flonase about a yr ago at "kiwi drug" which has awesome news. SO lets just say I have very very bad seasonal allergies and this stuff is what only seems to work.
soleilandjune soleilandjune 8 years
I have sinusitis and nothing has worked as well foe me as the Neilmed sinus rinse. Seriously, I felt less congested than ever. Sudafed doesn't even give me those results. Plus, my sense of smell got better!
geo637 geo637 8 years
I still make my own with purified water/salt & a bulb syringe. Works for me, but I might try one of these now that so many people have tried and liked them.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I use the NeilMed bottle. I swear by it.
BloodyFuFu BloodyFuFu 8 years
I use the NeilMed sinus rinse and love it. Due to severe allergies I've tried many things over the years and this one is really easy to use and really helps if used regularly. I just use water from a home filter and heat it in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for less than a minute. The idea of microwaving the plastic bottle wasn't all that pleasing to me. Seriously, it works. If I'm taking my medicine and using this I feel much more in control of my symptoms. If I only take allergy medicine I'm a still a complete mess. Take it from me, I'm allergic to all airborne allergens except mold!
chibarosa chibarosa 8 years
I've used the NeilMed bottle every day for the past 3 years, and I don't know what I'd do without it.
rinerlt rinerlt 8 years
i swear buy the neilmed sinus rinse and have turned my friends and family onto it too. i have always just used tap water and it works just as well. my doctor recommended it when i had a sinus infection, but it works for anyone with allergy/sinus problems. :-)
craving_vintage craving_vintage 8 years
You can buy distilled water by the gallon.
redsilkshoes redsilkshoes 8 years
The Afrin wins, hands down. I've tried them all and this one is it.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I haven't tried the sinus rinse, but I have a Neilmed neti pot that I really like. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who doesn't use distilled water. I just use plain old tap and it hasn't done me any harm.
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