I have previously written about the benefit of using nebulisers at home, the fact that I have my own nebulisers has helped prevent hospital admissions and also help get me home from hospital that little bit sooner. In addition to this my portable nebuliser helps me get out and about and gives me that extra confidence to leave the house even if I am not quite 100%.
I have used various different portable nebulisers over the years and I must say that they have improved remendously, they are now very small and are almost silent while in use. I recently got my hands on the new portable nebuliser by Philips. The Philips Respironics Innospire Go is quite expensive compared to other portable nebulisers at approximately £150, however Evergreen Nebulisers are currently selling it for £139 including p&p.
So what do we get for our money?
The nebuliser comes in a stylish hard case, a charging plug and lead is provided along with 2 face masks (1 adult and 1 child), an adaptor to fit the face mask to the nebuliser mouth piece and of course there is also an instruction book included.
The nebuliser itself has an inbuilt rechargeable battery, which it is claimed will provide 30 inhalations between charges, if this is the case then I would suggest that this is pretty good. It also claims to give 1 full inhalation in approximately 4 minutes, I can confirm that this is correct. The unit is unbelievably light and comes in 2 main sections, the unit itself and the the detachable head which contains the medication chamber and mouth piece. The nebuliser itself is very easy to use, once charged all you do is open the medication chamber, empty the contents of the nebule into it, close the lid and press the start button. The nebuliser is virtually silent to operate and whether using just the mouth piece of the face mask the nebuliser delivers a nice size particle which isn’t unpleasant. The nebuliser with both parts connected stands at just over 13cm. My first impressions are that this is an excellent little nebuliser with the added bonus that it is produced by a company with the reputation of Philips.
I do have a few minor gripes which are probably more to do with personal preference. Firstly most of my previous portable nebulisers are powered by alkaline batteries, obviously this provides an additional cost, however this means that I can always pack spare batteries and I know that I will always be able to use the nebuliser. With this I would have to the the charger with me and should the nebuliser go flat I would need to find a power source to be able to plug the charger in. As I say it is just personal preference but I prefer to use alkaline batteries. I also do a lot of driving and so if the battery is rechargable an option to charge it from my car cigarette lighter plug would be nice.
Secondly is the case that it comes with, it is a very smart looking hard case which is very nice to store the nebuliser in when not in use. However the whole point of a portable nebuliser is that it is portable, the case is so big that it would not fit in a ladies handbag, it would virtually fill my backpack and is obviously way too big to fit in my pocket. Why does it not come with a travel pouch? This is actually a gripe that I have with many portable nebulisers, most come with big and bulky cases. The other infuriating thing though is despite the fact that the case is big and bulky it is still too small to fit the adult face mask. All seems a little strange to me!
Despite these minor gripes though I do really love this nebuliser but how does it compare to other portable nebulisers. Probably the best nebuliser to compare it to is the Omron MicroAir U22. The MicroAir has been the king of portable nebulisers for a number of years and is the the go to nebuliser for many asthmatics. The MicroAir is available from some pharmacies and all over the internet for wildly varying prices, it is currently available from Evergreen for £79 which is a lot cheaper than the Philips offering. It is powered by 2 AA batteries and can be used with a mouth piece or mask. A mains adaptor can be purchased at an additional cost if you would rather not use the batteries. The major difference between the 2 is that the MicroAir has the mouth piece sat vertically on top of the nebuliser and medication chamber, this is detachable. The Innospire mouth piece is not detachable and comes out horizontal / at right angle to the nebuliser just below the medication chamber. I personally prefer the set up on the Innospire. Size wise both are very similar to both carry and while in operation. The Omron is a little more complicated to set up and contains more detachable parts. During an asthma attack the Innospire is far quicker and easy to set up and operate. I also find that it is harder to get the full medication from the Omron having to keep tilting it and changing the angle to try and get the whole nebule inhaleted. Personally I prefer the Innospire but both are very good units and the big advantage of the Omron is the cost. The other nebuliser I have compared it to is my ultra portable and tiny MicroBase Pocket Airneb. The AirNeb is no widely available but is a great little nebuliser, it is only half the size of the Innospire and MicroAir and like the other 2 is virtually silent to operate. It is so small that it will actually fit in your pocket and is a similar size to an inhaler. The MicroBase operates from 2 AA batteries and again can be used via the mouth piece or face mask. The MicroBase is available from Amazon for less than £100. All 3 models use vibrating mesh technology and come with carry cases (which in my opinion are all too big).
For portability the MicroBase
AirNeb is the best of of the 3, for ease of use and for the best / most comfortable delivery of medication the Innospire Go is my preferred choice. All 3 are excellent but despite the price I would pick the Philips Respironics Innospire Go as the best portable nebuliser on the market. If the price was slightly lower I am sure that it would be the long term successor to the Omron MicroAir as the most popular portable nebuliser but at current prices I am sure that the Omron will still prove very popular for a while yet.
As I have written previously I can’t reccomend Evergreen Nebulisers highly enough (and no, I am not on commission), they offer superb advice and service on both home / mains powered nebulisers and battery power portable nebulisers. You can visit their website at the link below:
Further information on nebulisers can be found on the Asthma UK website at the following link: