15 Easy Remedies for a Stuffy Nose

Kathleen Wong | Jan 27, 2020 Healthy Living
15 Easy Remedies for a Stuffy Nose
Image: iStock


No one likes a stuffy nose -- not parents and definitely not their kids. A stuffy nose can ruin an otherwise perfect day. Not only are pockets full of tissues, but one's brain probably also feels foggy, and now breathing must be done through the mouth. It's so unpleasant that it begs repeating: A stuffy nose is a mood killer. 

Apparently, having a stuffy nose doesn't necessarily mean nasal passages are boogered up. It actually is caused by inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses, and that can be due to having something such as a cold, allergies, or even the flu. This is why even though someone blows and blows, that person still ends up with a stuffed mose again a little while later.

So, what's a person to do? With soccer practice, deadlines and other events, we can't just go through life with an unpleasantly stuffed nose. Here are 15 foolproof, easy ways to ease a stuffy nose so parents can do what needs to get done.

  • Get a Humidifier 


    A humidifier can help relieve a stuffy nose with the touch of a button. The machine vaporizes water so the air becomes more moist. When that's the case, swollen blood vessels can relax a little, and the mucus in the nose thins out.

  • Put a Compress On It

    woman compress

    A warm compress held up to the forehead can help widen pathways and loosen up the mucus that's causing such unpleasant congestion. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before going to bed or going about the day. 

  • Get Steamy

    woman steam

    Steam can help clear up sinuses -- but it's not necessary to get in the shower. Boil some water, pour it into a bowl, cover the head with a towel and breathe in! Those who want to have a shower at the same time can stand -- or even hold baby -- while they enjoy a nice steamy shower.

  • Use a Neti Pot

    neti pot woman

    A neti pot, which is like a small teapot for the face, can help loosen and wash out mucus from nasal airways. Mix warm, distilled water with salt and baking soda to flush out all the gunk. Trust us -- it sounds scarier than it actually is, and those who try it will feel better afterward!

  • Get Ginger


    Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that could help a stuffy nose. Add some to tea or boil some to help make a warm compress to sit on the face for about 15 minutes. This can help break up the mucus. Also try breathing in the steam from the pot while the water is boiling for some extra help. Just don't get too close.

  • Take a Hot Shower

    hot shower

    There's nothing more relaxing than a steaming hot shower, huh? The steam and hot water from a shower can help loosen up any congestion in the nose and reduce inflammation, which ultimately helps make it easier to breathe.

  • Sip Peppermint Tea

    peppermint tea

    Although it's always good to hydrate when someone is feeling under the weather, peppermint tea might have some properties to help clear up the nose. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps thin out mucus. Those who are mint fans will enjoy the taste.

  • Get Spicy With It


    Turn up the heat by noshing down on some spicy food. Go for red pepper flakes, spicy ramen or cayenne pepper to help break down the mucus. Those who are real daredevils can even try eating a tiny bit of wasabi for a major sinus clearing, but don't say there was no warning about its hotness.

  • Sleep On Your Back

    woman bed sleeping

    We have all experienced the kind of torture that is sleeping with a stuffed nose. Insider recommends those with stuff noses sleep on their back so that the mucus can drain out instead of clogging up (which happens when side sleeping). Consider adding another pillow for propping for maximum drainage.

  • Don't Blow

    mom child blowing nose

    This might sound counterintuitive, but those with stuffed noses should try to hold off on blowing every other second. According to Harvard Health Publishing, blow through one nostril at a time -- and as gently as possible. Forcing a blow can irritate nasal passages and cause even more congestion. No thank you.

  • Hydrate

    water sink

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. By consuming lots of fluids, the mucus will thin out and make it easier to drain. And by lots, we mean even more than the typical eight glasses of water per day that's recommended. Yes, this may mean having to run to the bathroom every hour, but being able to breathe a little easier is totally worth it.

  • Consume Soup

    woman eating soup

    Not only will the steam from the hot soup help clear up a stuffed nose, but the right soup will also help someone get hydrated. It's a win-win for the sufferer and a lose-lose for the stuffed nose. Search for recipes that include anti-inflammatory ingredients such as ginger, garlic, and turmeric for an added immunity boost.

  • Suck On a Menthol Cough Drop

    woman cough drop
    Image Source/iStock

    Remember when we said mint and menthol can help with a stuffed nose? Those who are on the go and need some quick relief should try sucking on a menthol cough drop. It's the same concept as rubbing some Vick's VapoRub on the chest.

  • Use a Saline Solution

    child saline solution mom

    A saline solution of a small amount of salt and distilled water can easily flush out excess mucus and provide some relief. Parents should use a small bulb syringe if they're helping out a child or try one of those handy dandy saline sprays.

  • Give a Face Massage

    woman face massage

    Getting a quick facial massage can help provide some sweet relief. Apply some pressure to the area on the bridge of the nose between the eyes. This will increase circulation and help break up the mucus.

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