I have used nebulisers for years, the first nebulisers I had were all mains powered, they were loud and they were anything but portable. In recent years though as technology has moved on, not only have they become smaller and more portable, they are almost silent. Yes there are still nebulisers out there which are still big and noisy (and they do a great job) but these smaller, quieter portable nebulisers have become much more popular and why wouldn’t they, you can fit them in backpacks, handbags and even in your pocket, they can be used anywhere and they are very discreet. I have written about and reviewed nebulisers previously, links to which can be found below:
Last week I received another portable nebuliser to review and so after using it for about a week now, here goes……
I will start this review by sharing a few of my personal thoughts on nebulisers and a little bit of advice.
1) Only purchase one if you know that you will be prescribed the medication to use in the nebuliser.
2) Ensure that the nebuliser that you choose is capable of delivering the medication prescribed.
3) Decide whether you want or need a portable or a mains powered nebuliser. If you purchase a portable nebuliser decide whether you prefer a rechargeable model or one which works from replaceable AA or AAA batteries.
4) Remember that the nebuliser might one day be needed to save your life, buy a decent make and model from a reputable dealer (somebody such as Evergreen or your high street pharmacy). Remember things can go wrong with them, you may need to purchase replacement parts etc. Do not buy cheap foreign unbranded models from China off of EBay.
5) Regularly clean / maintain your nebuliser.
6) If you are a heavy user, look to purchase 2 nebulisers, a mains powered one for home use and a portable (which can also be used as a spare).
So after saying all of the above, the nebuliser that I am reviewing is Chinese, unbranded and available on EBay (amongst other places) for about £30. Therefore based on my own advice I should not like this Nebuliser, I should have lots of concerns about it and I should not recommend it, but here goes.
So what do we get for our money?
2x Masks (1x adult,1x child)
1x USB cable (to charge the nebuliser)
1x Case (far bigger than needed)
1x Instruction Manual
The actual nebuliser that I have has the company / manufacturer name Feellife who are a Chinese based company. However I have found many identical nebulisers on the internet which don’t have the name Feellife on it.
The nebuliser is very small (3.7×3.7×9.6cm), light (110g) and feels solid and well made. At the top of the nebuliser is a screw cap which only needs a half turn to be removed. This allows the medication to be poured in. Once the cap is replaced all you need to do is press the power button (this has a handy sliding cover to prevent accidentally turning it on). You can use the nebuliser via a mouth piece (handy when travelling) or face mask. I found that a 5mg / 2.5ml ventolin nebule only took 5 minutes to finish. The nebuliser also has an automatic cut out after 10 mins. It easily managed the ventolin, providing a steady yet powerful mist and left hardly any residue at all. The nebuliser has a built in rechargeable battery which is charged via the supplied micro usb lead. It takes 1 hour to fully charge and that should give enough power for 1 hour (approx 12 nebulisations) operating time.
The full specifications are as follows:
Medication Cup Capacity:10 ml
Voltage: DC 4.8 V / DC 5.0V with USB cable
Charging Time: 1 hour
Working Time: 1 hour
Power Consumption: < 4.0W
Working Frequency:110 kHz ±10 kHz
Nebulization Rate: > 0.35 ml/min
MMAD: 2.5 ± 30% μm
Particle Size:1-5 μm
Sound Level: < 29 dB
So far so good, but how does it match up alongside other portable nebulisers?
Probably the most popular and well known portable neb is the Omron Micron Air (personally I am not a massive fan) and my own personal favourite the Philips Respironics Innospire Go. For a visual comparison see the picture below (L to R – Feellife, Omron, Philips)
As can be seen, the Feellife is the smallest of the 3. The Omron is pictured without the mouth piece which is fitted to the top whereas both the Feellife and Philips have the mouth piece coming out of the front of the nebuliser. Personally I prefer the mouth piece to be at the front. The Omron slightly more fiddly to set up and has more detachable parts (not ideal if you are suffering an attack and need the neb urgently in comparison both the Feellife and Philips are easy to set up and use. The Philips is the quickest of the 3, the Omron is the only 1 which uses replaceable batteries, the other 2 have rechargeable batteries.
All 3 are virtually silent and use similar technology to work. The Feellife is by far the cheapest of the 3, at approximately £30 it costs about a third of the price of the Omron, meanwhile the Philips comes in at £140. With the Omron and the Philips you get the added bonus of a brand name, warranties, replacement parts etc, the same can’t be said of the Feellife.
Ultimately you get what you pay for, I have rarely had any issues with any Omron or Philips nebuliser but when I have, they have been easily and quickly rectified. I would suggest if anything went wrong with the Feellife you round up having to buy a new one.
So can I recommend the Feellife nebuliser?
Yes I can but only as a second machine, my concerns as already mentioned previously are how reliable are cheap Chinese nebulisers off of EBay. If you use / need a nebuliser you need to be able to rely on it and even though so far this machine has worked great I can’t vouch for it long term. At £30 it is not the end of the world if it doesn’t last for years, it appears to be a decent bit of kit, it looks good and it is so small that if fits in my pocket. As can be seen below the size is comparable to my inhaler.
So it’s great to use as a portable / travel nebuliser, if it gets damaged or lost it is not the end of the world, as long as you have another one at home.
Personally I still prefer the Philips Innospire Go, it is quicker, as easy to use, as light and despite the higher price you have the piece of mind that you have s quality machine.
If you are a looking for a reliable, hardworking nebuliser and it is to be your only one I think that I would have concerns about the Feellife (only time will tell) but as a spare / back up travel nebuliser it appears to be worth the risk. I love the design, it is simple to use, ultra portable and very discreet. One small gripe I have about with almost every portable nebuliser though is why do they supply such a big case with what is such a small (and therefore portable) nebuliser?
If anybody else has one of these nebulisers please let me know what your thoughts are.
Finally if you are looking to purchase a nebuliser or need any advice then the best place to go is Evergreen Nebulisers. They stock many different types, styles and models along with various accessories and spare parts. They delivery very quickly and also offer great impartial advice and good after sales. Visit their website at the link below or give them a call.
Thanks for reading!