Top Adult Diaper Briefs Reviewed

Top Adult Diapers Reviewed

 

 

 
If you or a loved one has to deal with ongoing or occasional incontinence, you know how important it is to find a product that allows someone to go about their daily routine in comfort while providing the best protection.
 
 
 Drawing on a variety expert advice and owner reviews, this report on adult diapers recommends the best incontinence products for users with differing needs, while providing important shopping tips for making the right choice.
 

 

Best Overall Adult Diaper

 

Widely regarded as one of the best high-absorbency adult diapers, the Molicare Super Plus brief is an excellent answer to daily incontinence.
 
Its super-absorbent core makes it ideal for overnight use or heavy bladder and bowel leakage, and reviewers say the padded panels make for a comfortable fit.

 

These briefs also feature DryPlus polymer fiber filling and standing anti-leak guards for containment. All in all, expect both protection and comfort.
 

 Pros

  • Highly absorbent
  • Comfortable padded panels
  • Hardly ever leaks
Cons
  • A little bulky
  • Plastic covering can irritate skin
  • Larger sizes may run small

 

Extremely absorbent and infinitely wearable, the Molicare Super Plus Adult Diaper gets strong feedback from wearers and experts.

 

If you’re looking for quality coupled with peace of mind, this diaper can offer you excellent leakage protection, effective odor control and a comfortable fit.

 

 

Performance

Protects all through the night, and then some. In XPMedical.com’s comparative absorbency test, the Molicare Super Plus took in a total of 46 ounces of fluid — an admirable yield, in league with some of the other most absorbent brands of adult briefs.

But the Super Plus truly shines in the test’s “wicking distance” category. Outdoing the other contenders, it absorbed fluid over the space of 18 inches, allowing much of the padding to be used before needing to change.

Other experts fall in line, rating these adult diapers tops in absorption and freedom from leakage. John Davis at IncontinentSupport.org notes that because of its high absorbency, the Molicare Super Plus is a particularly good choice for overnight use.

 

 

Ease of Use

A secure, snug fit. The general consensus seems to be that the Molicare Super Plus briefs are comfortable to wear, although a review by the IncontinenceSupport.info warns that the brand’s sizing at the larger end of the spectrum is somewhat skewed. (They advise taking four to five inches off the size specifications for the larger sizes.).

 

 

Odor Absorption

High-tech materials keep odors at bay. The Super Plus’ three-part absorbent core is designed to neutralize odor, and most wearers seemed satisfied with this feature, as it went mostly unmentioned in user reviews.

IncontinenceSupport.info says that while the Molicare Super Plus is a relatively pricey product, it’s worth its cost for the “peace of mind it gives me in leakage and odor control protection.”

 

 

Best Adult Diapers for Extended Wear

 

 

If you need an adult diaper for heavy incontinence or for extended wear — up to 10 hours or more — the Dry Care ConfiDry 24/7 should receive serious consideration.

These land at the top of the charts in testing for absorbency, and experts laud their comfort and performance.

Fit is described as comfortable and accurate, and Dry Care ConfiDry are among the most absorbent products you can buy.

If there’s a downside, it’s that these are relatively bulky, and that the plastic shell is a little noisier than most, so the self-conscious might be hesitant to wear them for all occasions.

 

Best Discreet Budget Adult Diaper

 

 
Attends Briefs Waistband Style adult diaper has an absorbent core that’s effective for light to moderate incontinence, and the elasticized waistband allows for a customized, comfortable fit.
 
 
It’s discreet enough to wear under most clothing without detection, giving added piece of mind to the self-conscious. Though not rated as highly by some as premium adult diapers, Attends Briefs are also substantially less expensive than other top choices.
 

 
Pros
  • Discreet under clothing
  • Good absorbency
  • Comfortable fit
  • Budget priced
Cons
  • Tend to bunch up with activity
  • Plastic sometimes crinkles

 

Attends Briefs Waistband Style draw kudos for their snug fit and discreet appearance under clothing.

While the Attends don’t measure up to briefs like the Molicare Super Plus (Est. $25 for a pack of 14) when it comes to absorbency and capacity, they still perform admirably for light to moderate incontinence or single wettings.

Their elasticized waistbands, soft leg gathers to prevent leakage, and contoured shape make them quite comfortable for extended use.

Attends are also priced less than most premium adult diapers.

 

 

Performance

Good protection for more moderate needs. According to the adult-diaper retailer XPMedical.com, which tests its products in a lab, the Attends Brief Waistband Style has a total capacity of 18 ounces, which is a decent enough absorbency rating for those with light to moderate issues, but pales compared to what top rated diapers can accommodate.

But what the diaper lacks in capacity it makes up for in discreetness and comfort, experts say.

Its plastic outer covering is designed to prevent leakage, another plus. User reviews aren’t uniformly positive, but enough give it a thumbs up to qualify Attends Waistband Briefs as a dependable, discreet solution for many situations.

 

 

Ease of Use

All in all, a discreet, comfortable brief. Attends Briefs generally receive excellent reviews for comfort and fit. XPMedical.com says the product has “a unique square leg cut that looks odd but is comfortable for most people.” The soft, stretch waistband and six tape tabs allow for a customized fit, and users generally say that the diapers stay in place well.

I did see a few comments, however, regarding the plastic outer covering crinkling, though most say it’s quiet enough.

Some users also noted that the diapers have a tendency to bunch up around the crotch after physical activity.

 

 

Odor Absorption

Odor neutralizers are up to snuff. Attends Briefs Waistband Style features super absorbent beads meant to quickly lock in fluids and prevent odor, according to Walgreens.com. User reviews there and elsewhere back that up, noting no issues with odors escaping.

 

 

Best Pull-On Disposable Underwear

 

For those with mild to moderate incontinence, Abena Abri-Flex Premium Air Plus pull on disposable underwear provide both protection and dignity.
 
Just like standard underwear, they can be pulled on and off — or can be torn away quickly for easy clean up.
 
Elastic in the waistband assures a good fit, while elastic in the crotch prevents leakage.
 

 

 
Pros
  • Cloth-like outer covering is breathable, soft
  • Good absorbency
  • Easy to remove and discard
Cons
  • Not effective for severe incontinence

 

Abena Abri-Flex Premium Air Plus pull-on disposable underwear is designed to mimic normal underwear, offering more dignity and freedom than adult diapers. Experts and users praise the fit and comfort level.

Though not rated to be as absorbent as the best standard adult diapers, users are nonetheless pleased how well these deal with daily or even overnight incontinence issues, yet are snug enough to fit under clothing without embarrassment.

 

 

Performance

High absorbency, low leakage. Abena Abri-Flex Premium Air Plus is available in a variety of sizes and absorption levels, maxing out at 74 ounces for the highest level 3, or Extra (depending on the packaging) variety, says retailer NationalIncontinence.com. That’s as much or more than all but the most absorbent adult diapers, making Abena Abri-Flex a good alternative for everyday use by those with mild to moderate incontinence.

Users seem very pleased — ratings for the various sizes and absorbency ratings are high, with much praise around them being discreet to wear while providing excellent absorption and leakage protection.

 

 

Ease of Use

Comfortable to wear; quick to remove. Abena Abri-Flex pull-ups can be put on or taken off like standard underwear, and the elasticized waistband and crotch area make for a snug but comfortable fit. In addition, just like Tranquility Premium Overnight Underwear (Est. $55 for a pack of 64), Abena Abri-Flex has tear-away side-seams for easy removal and disposal.

 

 

Odor Absorption

Core material reduces the risk of unwanted smells. Abena Abri-Flex Premium Air Plus has an advanced super-absorbent core designed to securely trap fluids, preventing the release of odors. Reviews are relatively silent on how well it works, though I spotted no complaints of odor issues.

 

 

Best Overnight Pull-On Underwear

Tranquility Premium Overnight Underwear garners high praise from owners and expert reviewers alike for its good absorbency, comfortable fit and ease of use.
 
Absorbency is excellent and the pull-ons are available in a wide range of sizes.
 
Though their thickness makes them best for overnight uses, those with heavy incontinence could consider them as an alternative to a standard adult diaper.
 

 

 
Pros
  • Holds over a quart of liquid
  • Soft, breathable fabric
  • Tear-away side seams for easy removal
  • Comes in many sizes, including XS
Cons
  • Relatively thick
  • Sizing sometimes inaccurate

 

If you’re looking for a highly absorbent nighttime or extended wear diaper with the ease and simplicity of a pull-on, Tranquility Premium Overnight Underwear should be at the top of your list.

With its effective “Peach Mat” construction to contain odors and disperse urine, this product will provide you with reliable protection all through the night, and its tear-away sides will ensure quick, easy removal in the morning.

 

 

Performance

An undergarment that doesn’t underwhelm. With an absorbency level of 34 ounces in its larger sizes, the Tranquility Premium Overnight disposable underwear is a high-capacity diaper ideal for nighttime or extended use.

John Davis at IncontenentSupport.org generally recommends against pull up underwear, especially by those with fecal incontinence, but makes an exception for Tranquility, adding that they are “the best pullup I have found so far.” Davis notes that the standing leak guards and leg gathers are effective in controlling leakage — a major issue for those who toss and turn at night.

 

 

Ease of Use

The simplicity of a pull-on with the absorbency of a high-capacity brief. Tranquility Premium Overnight disposable underwear is designed with tear-away side seams to allow for easy removal, and it also features a cloth-like outer backing that ensures discretion and quiet movement. The fabric is soft and breathable.

Users generally praise the comfortable fit of the underwear for overnight or extended day usage, though some add that the sizing can be off; some trial and error might be needed to find the right fit.

 

 

Odor Absorption

Impressive inner core stops odors in their tracks. Tranquility Premium Overnight appears to control odors remarkably well.

The product contains Tranquility’s “Peach Mat” construction, a patented, super-absorbent composition designed to disperse urine, keep the skin dry and repress odors.

This inner material neutralizes urine pH, preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi in order to protect the skin and eliminate bad smells. Users who comment on that feature give it a thumbs-up for effectiveness.

 

 

Best Disposable Incontinence Pads

 

Whether you need a little protection, or a lot, there’s a size and absorbency of Abena Abri-San Premium incontinence pads to meet your needs.
 
You can use it with close fitting standard underwear for maximum discreetness. Capacity varies greatly by size, yet is good considering the relative slimness of each.
 

 

Pros
  • Can be worn with regular underwear
  • Good for mild incontinence
  • Discreet under clothing
Cons
  • Not as leak-proof as adult diapers

 

If your incontinence is mild to moderate and you don’t want to wear a brief-style diaper or disposable underwear, reviewers say Abena Abri-San pads are one of the most absorbent pads on the market.

While the Abena Abri-San is constructed with a leak guard and a waterproof plastic backing, the product is not nearly as leak-proof as a brief-style adult diaper fastened with tape. Pads, however, are less bulky while still offering reasonable protection.

 

 

Performance

A great solution for occasional or mild-to-moderate incontinence. According to adult diaper retailer NationalIncontinence.com, the largest version of the Abena Abri-San Premium, the Abri-San X-Plus, absorbs a total of 114 ounces — a shockingly high capacity for a disposable pad.

However, the pads may be better suited to people with mild to moderate incontinence than those with severe incontinence because they can be prone to leaks, users say.

 

 

Ease of Use

Lightweight, comfortable, and easy to remove. Abena Abri-San Premium pads aren’t as bulky as traditional disposable diapers, so they can be worn discreetly inside regular underwear or optionally under specially designed washable mesh pants.

The largest sizes provide nearly the same absorbency levels as the best full adult diapers without the hassle of tape tabs.

Abena Abri-San’s design also allows for easy removal, as users can simply tear them out of the host underwear and replace them without getting undressed.

 

 

Odor Absorption

Double absorption core designed to neutralize smells. Abena Abri-San Premium pads contain a two-layer, super-absorbent core designed to protect the skin and prevent the development of unpleasant odors. However, we did not find enough feedback to rate how effective the pads are in controlling smells.

 

 

Best Booster for Added Protection

 

 

If you’re in need of an extra dose of protection, the Tranquility TopLiner Booster Pad can extend the capacity of your primary diaper, helping you get through the day without needing a change. The pad’s design allows it to fill first, and only transfer liquid to a host diaper once its capacity is exhausted.

 

Pros

  • Great for extra protection
  • Lightweight
  • Soft material
Cons
  • Material is a little thin

 

Booster pads like the Tranquility TopLiner aren’t designed to be used alone, but rather to increase the capacity of a primary incontinence product, such as adult brief-style diapers and disposable pull-on underwear.

The TopLiner is designed to fill to capacity before transferring the liquid to the primary protective garment. It fits well inside adult diapers and is easy to remove.

 

 

Performance

Extends the capacity of any diaper. While the Tranquility TopLiner Booster Pad is strictly a supplementary means of protection against incontinence, it’s effective in increasing the capacity of a primary diaper so that even those with the heaviest incontinence can get through the night or day without needing a change.

Reviews say that the regular size TopLiner absorbs a total of 10.9 ounces before liquids begin being transferred to the primary diaper. Users are generally pleased with the additional absorbency these incontinence booster pads provide.

 

 

Ease of Use

Extra absorbency in a hassle-free package. Users describe the TopLiner as easy to put on and dispose of, although a small minority criticize the pad’s fit inside briefs. IncontinentSupport.org gives the Tranquility Topliner a recommendation, saying the pad fits better within the primary diaper than other booster pads and provide as much boost as double diapering, but with less hassle.

 

 

Odor Absorption

Little feedback, but a little boost couldn’t hurt. The Tranquility Topliner Booster Pad is designed to boost the absorbency of a primary disposable brief or undergarment, thus preventing skin irritation and controlling odor.

The pad does not appear to contain any components meant specifically for odor neutralization, but its essential function should, in theory, inhibit the diffusion of unwanted smells. However, no reviews mention anything about the Tranquility Topliner’s ability to absorb odors.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!

 

 

 

How to Buy Adult Diapers

 How to Buy Adult Diapers

Protection differs among various styles of adult diapers

 

Millions of adults struggle with chronic fecal or urinary incontinence on a daily basis. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of quality products on the market designed to meet their needs.

The most common solution to total bowel or bladder control loss is the brief-style disposable adult diaper.

Of all the types of incontinence products out there, these protective undergarments offer the most consistent leakage protection, the highest absorbency and the most security.

 

Molicare Super-Plus Briefs Size Medium Pk/14

Molicare Super-Plus Briefs

 

They generally feature a cloth-like or plastic outer surface, a highly absorbent inner core, leg elastics, and either tape tabs or hook-and-loop fasteners. Brief products by Abena, Attends, NorthShore and Molicare consistently outshine other competitors in this category.

 

Alternatively, pull-on disposable protective underwear products work like regular undergarments by pulling on and off, and they are meant to offer more dignity and freedom than brief-style diapers.

 

 

Abena Abri-Flex Air Plus Pull-Ons, Extra, Medium M3, 14

Abena Abri-Flex Air Plus Pull-Ons

 

 

However, pull-ons often don’t have the capacity or protection to handle severe incontinence.

 

 

Disposable incontinence pads, much like female menstrual pads, are designed to be worn inside regular underwear.

Abena Abri-San Premium, X-Plus 11 Pad, 16 Count

Abena Abri-San Premium, X-Plus Pads

 

They are generally not absorbent enough to protect against major bowel incontinence, but they can provide adequate protection against urinary incontinence.

 

 

Absorbency booster pads are worn inside a primary diaper for supplementary protection.

 

Tranquility TopLiner Booster Pad Medium Diaper Inserts Case/100 (4 bags of 25)

Tranquility TopLiner Booster Pad Medium Diaper Inserts

 

When they fill to capacity, wetness passes through them and into the host garment, extending the longevity of the main diaper. Many people with severe incontinence rely on booster pads for extra overnight protection.

When it comes to adult incontinence products, the general rule is that high absorbency comes at the cost of discreetness. For the most part, the higher a diaper’s capacity, the bulkier it’s going to look under clothing. It’s almost always a trade-off, although some are slightly less conspicuous than others.

Finding the best adult diapers

 

There isn’t a lot of informative testing out there on adult diapers, and I based much of these findings on owner reviews and ratings.

The best website by far for testing and reviews is XPMedical.com, an online retailer specializing in incontinence products. Owner Gary Evans and a small staff perform exhaustive testing on their products, and their ratings have a good reputation in the online adult diaper community. Their diaper reviews are detailed and specific, and information on each style includes wet and dry measurements, features, results of wetting and rewetting tests, cost per diaper and comments on overall quality and effectiveness.

I also considered the reviews done at IncontinenceSupport.info. They are more anecdotal than scientific, and I’d be happier I we knew more about those who administer the site, but the reviews are based on hands-on testing and cover most aspects of what those who need adult diapers should know before making a selection.

To name the best-reviewed adult diapers, I considered performance (how well the diaper retains contents, how well it absorbs fluids and how well it protects against leaks), ease of use (comfort, fit, convenience of removal) and odor absorption (whether the product neutralizes odor and how long the protection lasts). My top picks for disposable briefs, pull-on underwear, incontinence pads and booster pads all receive favorable reviews from experts and strong feedback from owners.

What the best adult diaper does

 

  • Absorbs and retains liquid. Absorbency and leakage protection are the most important things to consider when buying a new brand of adult diaper.
  • Proves easy to use and comfortable to wear. If the underwear or disposable brief doesn’t fit snugly, it could lead to leaks or discomfort.
  • Neutralizes odor. Most styles and models of adult diapers contain an absorbent core that has been designed to suppress odors, although the effectiveness of this feature varies widely.

Know before you go

 

Consider your personal needs. A light pad may provide enough protection for mild stress incontinence, and a standard diaper may work well enough if it’s changed after each use. For those with severe incontinence or those who want to use a single diaper for multiple wettings, a premium diaper is the most reliable choice.

 

Choose a diaper that’s compatible with your clothing. Although premium diapers are the most effective, they can also be bulkier. While the increased bulk shouldn’t be an issue for those who wear fairly loose clothing, a less absorbent style or a highly absorbent pad worn inside close-fitting underwear will be more discreet under tighter clothing.

 

Pull-on underwear allows for easy removal. Users say pull-on underwear or pads are far easier to pull up and down than adult briefs, which need to be refastened on each side after a trip to the bathroom. Another option is to place a booster inside a brief and change the booster as needed while leaving the brief in place.

 

Start with a sample pack. Because of the variation in people’s body shapes and lifestyles, experts say there’s no incontinence product that works for everyone. Many makers and/or retailers offer small sample packs — usually two or three diapers — at a reduced price, so you can try the product before you commit to a larger order.

 

What about the backing? Adult diapers are available with either a plastic or a cloth-like paper outer shell. Experts say that plastic does a better job containing moisture and odor. However, plastic can sometimes make a crinkling sound when users move about.

 

Buy the smallest size that fits well, unless you need extra protection. Adult diapers and disposable pull-on underwear come in a range of sizes from extra small to extra-large and beyond. The snugger the fit, the less likely leaks will occur. Larger sizes, however, offer more absorption.

 

Try new products out at home first. An incontinence product that works well for one person’s body shape may be uncomfortable or leaky for someone else. Experts caution that even a top-rated brief, pull-up or pad should be tested in a private setting before being worn out in public.

 

Value Expectations: The Dollars and Cents of it

 

The cost of adult diapers varies widely based on retailer, quantity and size, so it’s difficult to pin down exact numbers.

In general, you can expect to spend between 60 cents and $2 per diaper, but buying in bulk can sometimes reduce the price.

Another great way to save is to buy booster pads, which are much more affordable, so that the primary garment needs to be changed less often.

What’s to Come

 

On the whole, adult diapers are trending toward a slimmer, more discreet fit. According to an article by the online retailer DiaperBuys.com, “More diapers are beginning to look like underwear and lack the significant padding of previous products. These diapers and briefs still provide the same absorbency and protection but allow for a more discreet appearance.” As brands develop increasingly effective chemicals and crystals for liquid absorption, the need for bulky diapers is gradually declining.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!

 

 

 

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Top Adult Diaper Briefs Reviewed

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Coping With Incontinence

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

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How to Choose and Purchase Urinary Catheters

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How to Give a Sponge Bath in Bed

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

To My Friends Who Still Have Their Mothers

 

This will be my first Mother’s Day as a motherless mother.

For what it’s worth, my personal insight is this: as affectionate, imperfect, difficult – even dysfunctional – as your mother-daughter relationship may be, it still has a value you will only fully recognize when you are motherless.

I found this article by Jessica Wolstenhom on the Huffington Post recently, and felt like, in many ways, it could have been written by me. My story is a little different from Jessica’s in that my mother was terminally ill for two years after her diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver (caused by non-alcoholic fatty liver).

Whether sudden or a long goodbye, whether a wonderful relationship or a difficult one; the eventual loss of your mother will change your perspective on life, and inevitably leave you with at least a few regrets.

I hope those of you who still have your mothers will take this advice to heart. 

 

 

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Dear friends who still have their mothers,

It came like a thief — 10 months almost exactly from the day she was diagnosed until the day she left us. Cancer has a way of doing that, robbing its victims and their families of health and freedom. One day we’re doing life together, making plans for the future — and the next we’re fighting this battle and eventually saying goodbye.

I never imagined I’d lose my mom this way or so soon. I couldn’t have planned or prepared for it. Her fate swooped in like a thief and took her away before I ever had the chance to fully realize what was happening.

And because of my faith I stand with peace and continue to hope but still…

This Mother’s Day, I am — for the first time — a mom without a mother. I will receive cards and gifts and lots of love, but I cannot give them. I cannot express my gratitude, despite her imperfections, with lavish love. I cannot thank her for all she taught me about being a mom, both good and bad. I cannot share how much she’s impacted my life, as a mom and a wife and a woman.

So dear friends who still have their mothers,

Whether you walk extremely close or there’s a valley of difference between you, reach out to your mother this week.

Whether you see eye to eye or you can’t agree on much of anything, look your mother in the eyes if you can and tell her how special she is.

Whether she’s loved you well or lacked in affection, tell her how much you appreciate her and linger in love through words or embrace.

Whether she’s been your role model or she’s shown you what not to do, tell her how much you’ve learned from her.

Whether she’s been a near perfect mother or a much less than perfect one, she’s still here and that fact alone leaves so much potential for you both.

Call her, embrace her, surround her with your love whether it comes easy or along with tons of baggage.

Reach out for reconciliation if you are estranged.

Reach out in compromise if you are indifferent.

Reach out with time and attention if you are busy.

Reach out with affection if you are reserved.

Reach out with generous love even if you already do it regularly.

This time last year, I never dreamed I’d spend Mother’s Day without my mom. Please, don’t let another day slip by without connecting with yours.

Happy Mother’s Day, friends. May you find grace to give and receive so much love.

 

Jessica Wolstenholm Jessica Wolstenholm is an author and freelance writer who blogs about motherhood and life at graceformoms.com
 

Related:

Coping With Grief

Full Reviews – Best Air Humidifiers For Skin and Breathing Problems

 

Full Reviews – Best Air Humidifiers For Skin and Breathing Problems

 

 

Humidifiers: Air moisture eases skin issues and breathing symptoms

 

Humidifiers can ease problems caused by dry air. But they need regular maintenance. Here are tips to ensure your humidifier doesn’t become a household health hazard.

 

See my full reviews below, including

 

 

 

Dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips — humidifiers can help soothe these familiar problems caused by dry indoor air. Humidifiers can also help ease symptoms of a cold or another respiratory condition.

But be cautious: Although useful, humidifiers can actually make you sick if they aren’t maintained properly or if humidity levels stay too high. If you use humidifiers, be sure to monitor humidity levels and keep your humidifier clean. Dirty humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria. If you have allergies or asthma, talk to your doctor before using a humidifier.

 

What are humidifiers?

 

Humidifiers are devices that emit water vapor or steam to increase moisture levels in the air (humidity). There are several types:

 

  • Central humidifiers are built into home heating and air conditioning systems and are designed to humidify the whole house.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist with ultrasonic vibration.
  • Impeller humidifiers produce a cool mist with a rotating disk.
  • Evaporators use a fan to blow air through a wet wick, filter or belt.
  • Steam vaporizers use electricity to create steam that cools before leaving the machine. Avoid this type of humidifier if you have children; hot water inside this type of humidifier may cause burns if spilled.
 

 

Ideal humidity levels

 

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. The amount of humidity varies depending on the season, weather and where you live.

Generally, humidity levels are higher in the summer and lower during winter months. Ideally, humidity in your home should be between 30 and 50 percent. Humidity that’s too low or too high can cause problems.

 

  • Low humidity can cause dry skin, irritate your nasal passages and throat, and make your eyes itchy.
  • High humidity can make your home feel stuffy and can cause condensation on walls, floors and other surfaces that triggers the growth of harmful bacteria, dust mites and molds. These allergens can cause respiratory problems and trigger allergy and asthma flare-ups.
 

 

How to measure humidity

 

The best way to test humidity levels in your house is with a hygrometer. Anyone who has breathing issues and is concerned about air quality in their home should own one of these inexpensive gadgets.

 

This device, which looks like a thermometer, measures the amount of moisture in the air. Hygrometers can be purchased online,  at hardware stores and department stores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humidifiers, asthma and allergies

 

 In addition to helping with COPD and asthma, The National Institutes of Health recommends the use of humidifiers to help relieve congestion from the common cold, flu and sinus infections, as well as symptoms of dry eyes, eczema, itchy skin, dry nasal passages, cracked lips and nosebleeds due to dry air, allergies or asthma.

However, if you or your child has asthma or allergies, talk to your doctor before using a humidifier. Increased humidity may ease breathing in children and adults who have asthma or allergies, especially during a respiratory infection such as a cold. But dirty mist or increased growth of allergens caused by high humidity can trigger or worsen asthma and allergy symptoms.

 

 

When the air’s too damp:

Dehumidifiers and air conditioners

 

Just as air that’s dry can be a problem, so can air that’s too moist. When humidity gets too high — common during summer months — it’s a good idea to take steps to reduce indoor moisture.

There are two ways to reduce humidity:

  • Use an air conditioner. Central or window-mounted air conditioning units dry the air, keeping indoor humidity at a comfortable and healthy level.
  • Use a dehumidifier. These devices collect excess moisture from the air, lowering humidity levels. Dehumidifiers work like air conditioners, without the “cooling” effect. They’re often used to help dry out damp basements.
 

 

Keep it clean: Dirty humidifiers and health problems

 

Dirty reservoirs and filters in humidifiers can quickly breed bacteria and mold.

Dirty humidifiers can be especially problematic for people with asthma and allergies, but even in healthy people humidifiers have the potential to trigger flu-like symptoms or even lung infections when the contaminated mist or steam is released into the air.

Steam vaporizers or evaporators may be less likely to release airborne allergens than may cool-mist humidifiers.

 

 

Tips for keeping your humidifier clean

 

To keep humidifiers free of harmful mold, fungi and bacteria, follow the guidelines recommended by the manufacturer. These tips for portable humidifiers also can help:

 

  • Use distilled or demineralized water. Tap water contains minerals that can create deposits inside your humidifier that promote bacterial growth. And, when released into the air, these minerals often appear as white dust on your furniture. You may also breathe in some minerals that are dispersed into the air. Distilled or demineralized water has a much lower mineral content compared with tap water. In addition, use demineralization cartridges or filters if recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Change humidifier water often. Don’t allow film or deposits to develop inside your humidifiers. Empty the tanks, dry the inside surfaces and refill with clean water every day if possible, especially if using cool mist or ultrasonic humidifiers. Unplug the unit first.
  • Clean humidifiers every three days. Unplug the humidifier before you clean it. Remove any mineral deposits or film from the tank or other parts of the humidifier with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which is available at pharmacies. Some manufacturers recommend using chlorine bleach or other disinfectants.

 

  • Always rinse the tank after cleaning to keep harmful chemicals from becoming airborne — and then inhaled.
  • Change humidifier filters regularly. If the humidifier has a filter, change it at least as often as the manufacturer recommends — and more often if it’s dirty. Also regularly change the filter in your central air conditioning and heating system.
  • Keep the area around humidifiers dry. If the area around a humidifier becomes damp or wet — including windows, carpeting, drapes or tablecloths — turn the humidifier down or reduce how frequently you use it.
  • Prepare humidifiers for storage. Drain and clean humidifiers before storing them. And then clean them again when you take them out of storage for use. Throw away all used cartridges, cassettes or filters.
  • Follow instructions for central humidifiers. If you have a humidifier built into your central heating and cooling system, read the instruction manual or ask your heating and cooling specialist about proper maintenance.
  • Consider replacing old humidifiers. Over time, humidifiers can build up deposits that are difficult or impossible to remove and encourage growth of bacteria.

 

Today’s Best Humidifiers Reviewed

 

 

Best Ultrasonic Humidifier

 

 

 

The SPT SU-4010 is an ultrasonic tabletop humidifier that can produce either warm or cool mist — enough to humidify 500 square feet of space. The moisture output can be adjusted with a manual dial, but there is no built-in humidistat. It does well in expert tests, and users say that this humidifier produces plenty of good, fine mist, and it runs quietly.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Variable humidity
  • Produces cool or warm mist

Cons

  • No humidistat
  • May leak
  • Some durability problems
 

The SPT SU-4010 is an excellent option for those looking for a top performing ultrasonic humidifier at an easy to swallow price. It’s compact, effective and can emit either cool or warm mist. There aren’t too many bells or whistles on this model, but provided you pay close attention while filling its tank, it should satisfy most users’ needs.

Ease of use

Minimal features, but simple and effective. The SPT (formerly Sunpentown) SU-4010 humidifier is an excellent pick for those users who are looking for a straightforward machine with both cool- and warm-mist options. The large control knobs are easy to use, and users praise the SPT’s dual nozzles, which rotate 360 degrees to pinpoint where you want the mist to go. Some experts say that cleaning is a chore, but others note that ease of cleaning is above average compared to most ultrasonic humidifiers.

 

Moisture output

Fine mist, few issues with dust. This ultrasonic model can produce either warm or cool mist, enough to humidify 500 square feet of space. The moisture output can be adjusted with a manual dial, but there is no built-in humidistat.

 
Users say that this humidifier produces plenty of fine mist. Its demineralization cartridge (called the Ion Exchange Filter) seems relatively effective as we saw fewer complaints of dust residue than with other ultrasonic humidifiers, though the SPT SU-4010 is not completely immune from that issue.
 

Noise

A low humming, but otherwise quiet. Most reviewers agree that the SPT SU-4010 is incredibly quiet. It generates a low humming noise when on, but most owners and reviewers say that it is only nominally noticeable.

 

Ownership

Some durability concerns. User feedback for the SPT SU-4010 is mixed, but very much in line with most ultrasonic humidifiers, including those that cost twice as much. While most owners are generally happy with the SPT SU-4010 humidifier, questions about durability, and reports of units that failed prematurely, are easy to spot. We also found some owners that noted problems with leaking.

Others say this can be easily fixed by simply paying closer attention to the washer when screwing the cap back on (it sometimes can become knocked out of place). The value of the SU-4010 compared to other options comes in for kudos.
 
 

Best Humidifier for a Large Room

 

 

 

Ultra-large Capacity: 3.0L water tank can support 33 hours continuous use at the “Weak” level and 12 hours continuous use at “Strong” level.

 

 

Ultrasonic: Humidifying immediately right after starting, producing no heat, so suitable for both young and old.

 

Sensor Control: Built-in sensor can sense the indoor humidity, then enables the humidifier to auto control.

 

 

 

Auto Swing: Swing 45° the left or right for wide-range humidification.

 

 

Aroma Diffuser – you can use medicated liquids in the pullout tray on the back that has a small pad. These would be 100% pure essential oils (not included) to drop onto the pad.  Be careful when you pull the tray out—it does not have stops and can fall to the floor.

Do not put oils into the water tank because it will corrode the parts—only put on the small pad.

 

 

7 Colors Night Light: 7 available colorful lights together with the white light so it works like a night light at bedtime and creates romantic atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

Best Cool Mist Humidifier

 

The Honeywell HCM-350 cool mist humidifier is an evaporative tabletop humidifier with sufficient output to handle medium sized rooms — 400 to 500 square feet, depending on who you ask.

This humidifier is a little bit louder than some ultrasonic humidifiers, and can only output cool mist, but it is effective, easy to clean, and there’s no white dust residue from minerals in hard water to worry about.

 

Pros
  • Effective
  • Easy to clean
  • No white dust residue
Cons
  • Large footprint
  • No humidistat
  • Cool mist only

 

The Honeywell HCM-350 cool mist humidifier earns very positive reviews thanks to its effectiveness, ease of use, and ease of cleaning.

There are few features, including no humidistat to monitor and maintain room humidity, but operation is simple and straightforward.

It’s a great choice for those with hard water: This is an evaporative humidifier so there are no issues with white dust settling on your furniture (the byproduct of minerals in the water) — a drawback with competing ultrasonic humidifiers.

 

Ease of Use

Basic, but it works well. While the Honeywell HCM-350 may not have as many features as other top-reviewed models, reviewers say that it’s simple to use — just a single dial to set fan speed — and efficient. The water tank has a wide mouth and is easy to fill — and a sturdy built-in handle makes carrying the tank a snap.

One feature it does have is a UV lamp to kill germs, but experts say that its effectiveness is dubious, making this more hype than help — just as well as the bulb tends to burn out quickly and replacements are hard to find.

There’s a filter that needs to be periodically replaced, but it’s inexpensive. One expert reviewer dings the HCM-350 saying that it is difficult to put back together once the filter is saturated because it won’t hold its shape.

One of the big pluses experts largely agree on is that the Honeywell HCM-350 is designed to make ongoing maintenance easier than with most competing humidifiers. “The Honeywell didn’t have any of the difficult-to-reach areas and small spaces that some of the ultrasonic humidifiers had, and we could easily fit our entire hand into the water tank to clean it,” BabyGearLab.com reports. As an added plus, the tank and the base are dishwasher safe.

 

Moisture Output

Plenty of moisture for medium sized rooms. This humidifier is rated to humidify a space of around 500 square feet, though TheSweetHome.com says it’s best with rooms of 400 square feet or less — which covers all but the largest rooms.

The tank, to some reviewer’s concern, holds only a gallon of water; because of this, the machine can go through two full tanks a day at maximum output. However, the positive side of this is that larger tanks are heavier to carry, harder to fill as they many not fit under some sink spigots, and more difficult to clean, notes John Holecek at TheSweetHome.com

 

Noise

In the ear of the beholder.  I saw split opinions regarding noise. As an evaporative unit, noise levels will certainly be higher than with an ultrasonic model.

TheSweetHome.com tests sound levels from one meter away and says that while the HCM-350 is loud enough to be noticed, it’s not loud enough to be objectionable at top speed, and drops down to barely noticeable levels at medium speed.

Holecek adds that the pitch of the sound helps minimize any issues. “It’s a pleasant white noise that sounds like a box fan on a medium to low setting,” he says.

BabyGearLab.com downgrades the HCM-350 quite a bit more over its noise, while conceding that, “During in-home testing, we actually found the Honeywell’s fan noise at the lowest setting to be soothing and felt that some parents may appreciate the added “white noise” benefit.”

A third expert weighs in on noise level and rates it at “very good” at its highest fan speed, but offers little additional insight.

So there are certainly a variety of opinions when it comes to noise level.  The consensus appears that it is similar to a fan at lower settings, and not particularly irritating.

 

Ownership

Well-made to reduce leaks. TheSweetHome.com likes that the tank on the Honeywell HCM-350 is made from a single piece of plastic, without the seams that seem to develop leaks over time with other humidifiers — and something that will help make sure the HCM-350 survives to the end of its generous three-year warranty, Holecek says.

Because this is an evaporative humidifier, there are no issues with a fine white dust settling on furniture; a byproduct of minerals in water, especially hard water, that’s unavoidable with ultrasonic models (even those with good filtration), and the source of lots of user complaints with such models.

The HCM-350 is large compared to some ultrasonic models — so large that it might be a tight fit on some nightstands.

User feedback, while not universally positive, is better than we generally see with most humidifiers, including a 4-star rating at Amazon.com based on more than 1,500 reviews.

 

 

Best Cool Mist Humidifier for a Small Room

 

Compact and cute, the Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 humidifier is another excellent choice.

With a small, three-quarter-gallon water tank, you won’t see as much moisture output as larger machines. Still, reviewers say that thanks to its quiet operation, variable mist settings and easy-to-use design, this is a nice option.

There are 1,850 consumer reviews on Amazon, where it has earned a 3.5 star rating, as well as 149 answered questions.

 

Here are two particularly helpful reviews from verified purchasers:

 

Very quiet, very nice cool mist humidifier

I’ve used a few different types of humidifiers over the past couple years, and my favorite so far has been a warm mist/vapor humidifier, like the simple boiling water kind you get from Vicks. Those humidifiers put out a lot of humidity, they’re easy to refill, and they don’t make everything in a room get a white powdery coating.

Ultrasonic/cool mist humidifiers often make a white powder coating appear on some surfaces if you have hard water (like I do), but they are quieter (no boiling or fans), they don’t raise the ambient temperature, and the mist can be directed via the vent at the top. They also don’t use filters, so there is no maintenance or extras you have to purchase other than a simple weekly (at least) cleaning.

This humidifier has simple controls (on/off switch on the back, mist level knob on the front), and a neat little port on the top that you can direct in two different spots. I usually just keep both vents pointed in the same direction.

Refilling is easy; just grab the translucent top part, turn it upside-down, unscrew the drain plug, and fill in a standard-size sink.

If I set the level to low/medium, I can use the humidifier up to a full day or so before a refill. If set on high, it only seems to last about 8-10 hours. Also, the humidifier shuts itself off if it senses no more water.

RECOMMENDATION: If you need a simple cool mist humidifier, like one for a baby’s room, this is a great option–especially if you only need to have it on for a small part of the day (otherwise you’ll be refilling it a lot).

TIP FOR LONGEVITY: Make sure you follow the included cleaning instructions, especially with regard to cleaning mineral buildup every week. If you don’t this humidifier will probably only last a year or less (especially if you have hard water at your home, and don’t use distilled water to humidify the air). If you clean it weekly, expect years of use.


My top choice, though not perfect
 

Pros: I love that I can turn it on high and get a room humidified fast. (When needed, I can leave it on high for an our or two to get one kid’s room humidified for bed time and then move it to another kid’s room). I love that I can turn it on low and leave it for two days running without touching it. And that there are settings in between high and low. I love that it doesn’t have a filter to deal with and to purchase regularly! I have used a filtered ultrasonic humidifier in the past, and besides having the filter to deal with, I disliked that it was so slow to humidify a room. After a day it was fine, but when a child is sick at night, you want the humidifier to work immediately.

Cons: The plastic tank is very thin. Others have complained about it leaking after a while. I had mine for half of a season and then it was knocked over from a high shelf and broke. That is understandable from how hard it fell, but I worry about how long my new one will last. The tank is also a little awkward to fill. It would be nice if it had a flat top or a better handle. But it’s not bad.

I didn’t clean my first one as often as I should have, and then I did have a hard time keeping it clean. The second time around, I rinse it all every time I change the water (or sometimes sooner if I have it on low), and rinse with vinegar once a week as it explains in the instructions, and have had no problems keeping it clean.

The switch is easy to move from low to high, and I have had the problem of a child turning it up to high at night without me knowing, and things being a little too humid the next morning.

I spent a lot of time looking at humidifiers, and I am very happy with this purchase for the reasons mentioned and with the relatively low price. (It was about $30 when I bought it.)

 

 

Best Whole House Humidifier

 
The Essick MA1201 is an evaporative humidifier that can put out up to 12 gallons of moisture per day, enough to humidify 3,600 square feet of space. Its humidistat allows you to adjust the humidity in 5-percent increments, and its double-fill tank system reduces the number of trips you must make to the sink.
 
Professional tests indicate that the AirCare MA1201 produces very good moisture output, although it is much louder than most humidifiers. Users say this machine is easy to fill, and that its value is terrific.
 

Pros

  • Covers up to 3,600 square feet
  • Built-in humidistat
  • Easy to refill

Cons

  • Loud
  • Humidistat might not be accurate
  • Flimsy housing

 

The Essick MA1201 is a good bet for a budget-friendly whole house humidifier. The 3.6-gallon water tank means infrequent refilling. The moisture output is excellent. Plus, bonus features like the automatic shut-off, check-filter message and electronic display are welcome additions. Consumers do lament the flimsy, cheap construction; cost of replacement filters; and say that despite an “ultra-quiet mode,” this machine is very loud — yet this humidifier still gets excellent feedback overall.

 

Ease of use

Simple design and easy-to-use controls: The Essick AirCare MA1201 whole house humidifier is an excellent pick for those looking to humidify a large space. The simple digital controls and built-in humidistat allow users to easily control the moisture level in their homes. Owners appreciate the automatic shut-off, check-filter message and the water refill light. A few reviewers claim that the humidistat is calibrated poorly, meaning that you might need to experiment with the settings to get the best results.

 

Moisture output

Large, easy-to-clean tank: The Essick AirCare MA1201 is rated for up to 3,600 square feet — nearly five times the space of a traditional tabletop model and enough to provide humidity for even a large home. We found excellent user feedback on the room coverage offered by this model. The 3.6-gallon tank allows for up to 12 gallons of moisture output per day.

 

Noise

It’s loud. Perhaps the most common complaint about the Essick MA1201 is that this evaporative humidifier is very loud. Many reviewers claim that this machine can be heard from another room. The humidifier does feature an “ultra-quiet mode,” but users say that even in that mode the machine is quite noisy.

 

Ownership

Good value, but iffy build quality: Many reviewers say the plastic housing is flimsy, but also say that in spite of the poor build quality, this humidifier does perform quite well.

Some reviewers who said that the unit lasts only through a few seasons with continual use, but others seem quite pleased with the durability of this product. We also saw some accounts that the LCD control panel stopped working after just months of use. Some did note that the humidifier tank does require regular cleaning, but it does a relatively good job at bacterial and mold growth regulation.

 

 

Best Warm Mist Humidifier

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier
  • Automatic Shut-off
  • 1-gallon capacity; operates up to 12 hours on a single filling
  • Quiet operation. Soft glowing nightlight.
  • 2 Comfort settings
  • Medicine cup allows the use of Vicks Vaposteam or Kaz Inhalent to produce a medicated vapor that soothes
 
Here is the Vicks Humidifier review which Amazon readers consider most helpful:
 
An Honest Review
 

I love Amazon because of the reviews. For the most part, the reviews are honest, detailed and very helpful, especially when a true defect or some other “quirk” is described. However, many of the reviews for this item are really…bizarre! I have to wonder what some of these reviewers were actually thinking. Also, are they are realistic in their expectations? It is what it is – an inexpensive humidifier. It WILL make some noise, It will NOT humidify your entire house, it WILL require cleaning and care, it will NOT last forever, etc.

1) This item is being shipped from a warehouse to your home. If it arrives broken, cracked, leaking or damaged in any way, contact Amazon- they offer one of the best return policies around. This is an issue with whoever shipped it, not a reason to leave a one-star rating.

2) This is a HUMIDIFIER and uses tap water and electricity to create a heated mist. Should you be horrified to find mold or mildew? NO. Does it require regular maintenance and cleaning? YES. There is no way around it. If you allow water to sit, mold will grow. If you use tap water, there is a good chance you will have mineral deposits. Inspect the humidifier each time you fill it.

When you re-fill the tank, give it a good rinsing out. It if smells, add a teaspoon of bleach, swish it around and dump it out.

If it has deposits around the heating element, pour vinegar into the bottom, let it sit for a few hours, take a small toothbrush to it and rinse it out.

If it has deposits on the plastic pieces, remove them from the unit and soak them in vinegar, same as above. It is not difficult to disassemble at all.

It is a fact of life, humidifiers need to be cleaned and maintained.

3) This is a very INEXPENSIVE humidifier. Is it helpful to compare it to a humidifier that costs 5x as much? NO. That is like comparing a Toyota Corolla (MSRP 25K) to a Bentley Continental (MSRP 175K).

4) This is an electrical device. Like anything that uses electricity, it has the potential to start a fire. Even though it has an automatic shut-off, I wouldn’t bet my house on it. Pay a little attention to it and treat it like any other electrical device.

5) Seriously, having to carry it by it’s handle with the plug on top is a big issue? Would you carry a bottle of water (or any liquid with a screw cap, for that matter) upside down? As for the leaking, screwing the cap on tightly and carrying it by it’s handle would probably help.

6) Will it last for a lifetime? NO. Does any inexpensive product last beyond a few years? NO. Will the gaskets dry out if it is stored for long periods of time? It’s entirely possible. Again, this is an INEXPENSIVE humidifier.

BOTTOM LINE: It is very reasonable priced, does a good job and lasts a couple of years if you take care of it. I am about to make my 4th purchase of this exact humidifier. I read the reviews to see if anything changed or if a better, similarly priced unit was introduced into the market. The answer is NO. This is the best deal for the money.

****UPDATE**** 11/19/2011 Almost one year later, last week I pulled out the humidifiers and gave ’em a nice, thorough cleaning, set ’em up and they are working perfectly. I am going on at least my 5th New England winter with the first one I bought, and it still works like new – whisper quiet, zero leaking, couldn’t be happier for the price! From the looks of it, Amazon’s price hasn’t changed much either (although it does fluctuate day-to-day). It’s still the BEST YOU”LL FIND in this price range!

 
 
Although experts generally say cool-mist humidifiers are better for most purposes, the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier is an option if you want to make a room feel warmer during the winter.
 
The Vicks humidifier has two vapor settings and, while some noise complaints are seen, others seem not to be bothered.
 
The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier has an automatic safety shut-off (though some say this feature can be unreliable) and a nightlight.
 

One caution: I read several reports of leaks with this model and some users find this humidifier difficult to clean.

 

 

Regardless of the model you choose, you must clean it regularly. Otherwise, you run the risk of spreading bacteria and mold, which can exacerbate allergies and asthma symptoms.

Choosing one of the newer models that come with built-in antibacterial technology will help keep the water clean so you don’t have to wash the unit as frequently, but even the newer models will still require occasional cleaning.

Also pay close attention to the moisture level of the room. Some humidifiers automatically adjust their output based on the moisture level, others let you set the level. It should always be between 30 percent and 50 percent or, again, you run the risk of increasing mold and bacteria growth.

 

 

You may also be interested in:

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids

The Best Air Purifiers for COPD

Portable Air Conditioners – What to Consider

Oxygen Therapy for COPD

All About Portable Oxygen

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Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Review

The Medical Benefits of Adjustable Beds

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a reason adjustable beds are associated with hospitals. Simple changes to the way you sleep can have a profound effect on your health.

 

Adjustable beds allow you to get a more restful sleep and, when properly positioned, can alleviate many aches and pains and medical issues, including:

 

  • Lower back pain and sciatica: Adjusting the bed up or down redistributes the pressure across your body, which can help alleviate lower back pain and sciatica nerve pain. Additionally, you can actually stretch your back from bed, by positioning it upright and slowly lowering it down.

 

  • Heartburn & Acid Reflux: Elevating the head while sleeping helps the stomach retain acids that might otherwise travel up the esophagus and cause heartburn.

 

  • Diabetes: While an adjustable bed cannot cure diabetes, it can provide relief from some of the side effects of this disease. For example, diabetes can cause poor circulation, particularly in the legs. Elevating the legs during sleep can alleviate this condition.

 

  • Asthma: Sleeping in a slightly upright position takes stress off of the lungs, which can help those who suffer from asthma, COPD or sleep apnea.

 

  • Arthritis: Painful rheumatoid arthritis can be comforted by regular therapeutic massage. Many adjustable beds are equipped with massage functions that provide relief when you need it.

 

 

The Lifestyle Benefits of

Adjustable Beds

 

 

Health benefits aside, adjustable beds are now associated with luxury.

While they appear like a standard bed (and can be paired with frames and linens to suit your style), they offer so much more.

 

  • Reduce or eliminate snoring: Your sleeping partner will thank you. Raising the head of the bed seven degrees can eliminate snoring by supporting your spine and respiratory system.

 

  • Read, eat, and watch television: Stacking pillows behind your back is a short-term fix when you want to read or watch television in bed, as they constantly have to be fluffed and readjusted for comfort. An adjustable bed allows you to sit upright and offers more spinal support and comfort than pillows.

 

  • Massage: The benefits of regular massage are countless. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and relieves tension headaches and eyestrain among many other advantages. With some adjustable beds, you can gain these benefits with a nightly massage that will also prepare you for a more restful night’s sleep. (Also see my TOP 10 Massage Chairs Reviews)

 

  • Zero Gravity: You’ll have to try this feature in-store to fully appreciate it, but most adjustable beds now have a “zero-gravity position” that makes it feel as though you’re sleeping on air.

 

  • Couples Comfort: You want to stay up late into the night, finishing off your latest mystery novel. Your sleeping partner has an early meeting and needs to get some shut-eye. Some adjustable beds let you both have your way with each side operating independently.

 

 

 

How to Buy an

Adjustable Lifestyle Power Base

 

 

An adjustable bed is an investment that can change your life. When you sleep better, you feel better and perform better.

 

There are just a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to upgrade to an Adjustable Lifestyle Power Base.

 

 

  • Choose Your Mattress First
    Adjustable bases pair with a variety of mattresses, including memory foam, latex, and even some traditional coil mattresses. Be sure to find the mattress that will best suit your body type and sleeping style prior to choosing an adjustable base.

 

  • Test the Bed
    It is important to test the adjustable base before making a purchase. Each model offers different capabilities. Talk with a salesperson to find the right one to suit your needs. You’ll also want to make sure the base does not emit any squeaking or other noises during movement.

 

  • Purchase from a Reputable Company
    The more bells and whistles a product has, the more that can break. Do your research and make sure the base you are considering is made from heavy steel and the rollers from an indestructible material such as metal or nylon.

 

  • Read the Warranty
    Make sure you understand the product warranty before purchasing an adjustable base. The warranty should be comprehensive and offer technical support for at least one year. Don’t assume the warranty covers everything. An adjustable bed has a lot of moving parts—they may not all be covered under the warranty. Ask your salesperson to spell it out.

 

 

 

 

 

A Review of the

Leggett & Platt Prodigy Adjustable Bed Base

 

Prodigy 2.0 Adjustable Split King Bed Set Sleep System Leggett & Platt, With Luxury 12-Inch GEL Memory Foam Mattress (manufactured by gelfoambed)

 

The Prodigy adjustable bed completely redefines and modernizes the bedroom for an interactive, customizable comfort solution optimizing smart sleep and bedroom activity from a bed that knows exactly what you want.

 

This is not your grandparent’s adjustable bed. But it is the hottest bed – adjustable or not – on the market.

 

The first bed to break through ordinary technology, Prodigy adjustable beds delivers features that consumers really want. Truly a 21st century adjustable bed, The Prodigy adjustable bed is iPhone compatible and has many features the modern user will enjoy. The Prodigy’s Whisper Quiet DC motor accommodates up to 600 lbs and features a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

 

The Prodigy adjustable bed from Leggett & Platt is an intricate combo of intelligence and beauty and the wealth of features are discussed here…

 

If you are still in the initial research phase, and would like to learn about the best adjustable beds, take a look at this comparison of the Prodigy vs several other Leggett & Platt adjustable bed models.  You can also see a wide variety of adjustable beds made by different manufacturers here at Amazon.

 

 
 

Immerse yourself in intensely gratifying pleasure as you lay on your Leggett and Platt Prodigy bed whose full-body massage will become your new guilty pleasure.

 

You’re not just going to be getting your muscles pampered and intensively soothed with massaging wave technology, but you will also be giving yourself a wholesome treat… Your head section and leg areas are the most vulnerable to exhaustion. It therefore comes as a welcome functionality from your adjustable Prodigy with a dual-action massage for full body relief that targets your upper head and body area, as well as the lower leg and foot areas.

 

Different adjustable positions of the Prodigy adjustable bed

 

Should you come across other Leggett & Platt adjustable beds do remember that only the S-Cape bed, Prodigy bed, and Premier series have the full-body massage feature which is conspicuously missing in the ShipShape adjustable bed whereas the Premier adjustable bed includes an additional pulsing massage action that’s not featured in any of the other 3 lines. That’s why the Premier series is regarded as one of the best adjustable beds in the market.

 

Mechanically, the 4 legs of the Prodigy adjustable base stand in dual-lock casters that make rolling and moving the bed seamless and easy so you don’t have to choke your lungs out.

One of the key features of the Prodigy bed is its superior motor function for adjusting positions of the bed. With this motion control, the Prodigy is capable of lifting up to 600 pounds on its form (a bigger lifting capacity than the ShipShape’s 450 pounds = 204 kilograms).

Further, the Prodigy adjustable bed lifts quietly thanks to its Whisper Quiet HD ™ motor for high performance.

Feel free to flex your adjustable bed through any number of multiple positions from flat-level up to 60 degrees for the upper head section and up to 45 degrees for the lower leg section.

By default, the Prodigy bed ships with in-built settings for bed positions and you could easily give these a try before further customizing your tailor-made positions. The standard “Flat” position is included in the factory settings and it doubles as a safety feature which could quickly be activated with the touch of the dedicated “Flat” button on the remote control.

Bed adjustments are not limited to the lying vertical orientation. You can also conveniently adjust the height level of the bed by either raising it a little more off the ground, or by lowering it closer to the ground.

 

 

BUYER’S TIP: How can you keep the adjustable bed motors fully functional and well-maintained?

Just make sure you do not exceed the lifting capacity by loading the bed with more than 600 pounds when adjusting the bed’s positions as you risk damaging the operating motor. In the case of the Leggett & Platt Premier series, you’ll have an extra 100 pounds of lifting capacity on your adjustable bed.

 

 

The Prodigy bed uses lifting motors to lift the bed base but these motors are not designed for continuous usage. The manufacturer’s recommended use described for reliable motor function and full life expectancy is that the lift motors do not be used for more than 4 minutes within a span of 40 minutes – given as a duty cycle of about 10 percent.

Should you prefer, you could also opt for the other available sizes in leg casters which offer additional lengths for your custom needs, with the option of 3 inch and 7 inch casters that come separately.

The Prodigy bed employs signature Wallhugger® technology which basically ensures that the balance between your bed’s adjusted position and the distance between the bed and wall are kept optimal. So whenever you adjust your bed, it automatically readjusts its placement in your night stand so that there’s no gap between your adjustable base and the wall.

With Leggett & Platt’s Whisper Quiet technology, you can noiselessly shift and adjust positions of your bed even in the middle of the night without causing a rattle.

This is especially important for families with little ones, where the baby shares the room where the adjustable bed is placed. It would be counterproductive to be able to adjust your bed for a better sleep, only to end up waking the baby for no sleep that night! This is the risk with the ShipShape bed and S-Cape adjustable beds which, although not noisy to adjust thanks to their quiet motors, do not feature Whisper Quiet technology. And it’s not just the baby in the room that stands to benefit from not being woken up when adjusting your adjustable Prodigy bed…this includes the partner sharing the bed right next to you – that’s just how sophisticated and noiseless this technology is! Comparable to this technology is the notable Silent Drive ™ technology which is featured in the Serta Motion range of adjustable beds.

Of course the remote control further makes this a deal worth considering…

 

 

 

The Remote Control

 

 

 

The Prodigy bed comes coupled with a wireless two-way remote control whose LCD screen panel and LED backlighting ensure that you can make any bed adjustments with least effort and no trouble even when it’s pitch dark.

 

 

 

 

You will probably most enjoy this remote control feature if you’re upgrading from a ShipShape bed to a Prodigy bed since going from using a wired remote controller to a wireless one, two-way, with an LCD display is convenience stepped up. The chugging wiring for the ShipShape remote control can be a nuisance and even risk tripping over as you maneuver about your resting space. You would simply use the Remote Locator feature of the Prodigy bed to quickly trace the remote controller when you’ve misplaced it.

Perhaps one of the most valuable functionalities of the Prodigy remote controller is its programmability and built-in patented wake-up integrated alarm clock.

The integrated clock doubles as a wake-up timer and alarm clock utility. How nice would it be, if you could replace your conveniently irritating alarm clock with a massage alarm which basically sets off the alarm by giving you a gentle massage (with some nice audio to boot) in the name of waking you up!

Programming your favorite positions on the Prodigy adjustable bed is a simple process you can do via the two-way remote. You’re allowed up to 4 programmable bed positions so you can set a favorite posture for working on your laptop in bed, watching television in bed, and your optimal sleeping positions – the freedom of comfort is all yours!

You should use the Prodigy bed remote with four AAA batteries and be sure to check if a battery replacement is necessary when you notice that the remote control is no longer illuminating.

 

How big is the Leggett & Platt Prodigy adjustable bed?

 

Leggett & Platt’s Prodigy base decently measures 82 inches long by 62 inches wide by 9 inches height (with the specific assembled length, weight and height measuring in at 80 inches by 60 inches by 7.63 inches).

This adjustable base can comfortably fit the big king size mattress, a smaller queen size mattress or the standard full size mattress.

You are not limited with the bed fitting capacity for any of the standard mattress sizes in the market for use with the Prodigy bed base which caters for the following ranges: Twin mattress, XL Twin mattress, Full mattress, XL Full mattress, Queen mattress, Split Queen mattress, Split King mattress and the Split California King mattress.

 

 

Some more features of the Prodigy adjustable base

This ‘smart’ adjustable bed is donned in stylish yet minimalistic grey patterned fabric that makes for universal upholstery… Which means that the clever use of neutral color, and blended pattern enables you to add the furnishing to your room without interfering with the rest of the décor as it matches well in any background.

Who would’ve thought that your bed can automatically intervene when you snore at night? Well, the Prodigy adjustable bed features a Snore Control feature that’s highlighted in the remote control.

With the simple touch of the Snore button, the bed automatically adjusts to the preset optimal button 3 position where the head section is raised 7 degrees and remains in that position for 30 minutes, before the base goes back to preset position 1 thereafter as a trick that should keep the snoring at bay.

The tiered product warranty of the Prodigy adjustable bed is worth noting as you have 3 warranty provisions available for a limited 1 year period, 3 year limited warranty and an extended 20 year limited warranty that comprehensively covers your Leggett & Platt acquisition.

 

Summing up, I recommend the Prodigy adjustable bed for an interactive, customizable comfort solution optimizing smart sleep and bedroom activity from a bed that knows exactly what you want. 

The Prodigy’s Whisper Quiet DC motor accommodates up to 600 lbs and features a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

 

 

The Prodigy adjustable bed is iPhone compatible and has many features the modern user will enjoy.

 

You may also find the following video on the Leggett & Platt Prodigy helpful: in this video , you’ll learn all about the Leggett and Platt Prodigy adjustable bed base with wireless remote and massage.

 

 

 
 

 

 

MedSlant Acid Reflux Wedge Pillow with Memory Foam, 32 X 30 X 7 - Inch

You may also be interested in wedge pillows, which are shaped to provide support to the upper body or elevation to the legs. 
Wedge pillows can also be very helpful to people with acid reflux, congestion, poor circulation,foot and leg problems (including swollen ankles), hernias, and back pain.
 
 

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Massage Chair FAQs

 

Massage Chair FAQs

 

 

 

What is a Massage Chair?

A chair that is designed specifically for massages is a massage chair. Old-style massage chairs give access easily to the head, back and shoulders of the person receiving the massage.

 

 

See The Top 10 Massage Chairs Reviewed

 

Robotic massage chairs use electric vibrators with motors to do the massage.

Shiatsu massage chairs use massage-type methods using kneading, pressing, soothing, rolling, percussion, compression, tapping, and stretching. These procedures imitate the hands-on sensation of a professional massage therapist providing relief from muscle-related problems, headaches, stiffness and other physiological troubles.  The shiatsu massage uses pressure points on your body to clear energy channels between those pressure points for relaxation and relief from discomfort.

Zero-gravity chairs imply the position of zero-gravity. No, you will not be going into outer space where there is no gravity to experience “zero-gravity”. A zero-gravity chair is the reclining position of the chair that imitates the position of the astronauts when taking off for space. These chairs are in the same position—parallel to the floor and you lay in a horizontal position for even distribution of your weight on the chair.

This is supposed to relieve stress on your body. By doing this, you will achieve a more penetrating and concentrated massage involvement. You can feel the sensation of weightless from the lack of stress on your body. This posture of being horizontal stimulates circulation in your legs reducing swelling in the legs and ankles.

You might not feel weightless, but in the reclining pose you will feel comfy and enjoy a penetrating deep massage. The chair is expensive. $4000 and up might be justified for a chair to be used in the privacy of your home anytime you want to jump on board.

Floor Space Needed for the Massage Chair
Massage chairs that recline can be bulky and take up considerable space.  There is no set floor space defined for the chair you are considering For a reclining chair, you will need space from the wall that is the height of the back of the chair when flat. Each manufacturer will give the chairs dimensions, including the back height.
 
Some massage chairs have wheels to move from place to place and different rooms. If you purchase a chair with an ottoman, the circular base is usually 24-inches. The ottomans with legs, are the square of the cushion size. Manufacturers give the dimensions of ottomans as well. All dimensions are available for you to compute your space requirements.
How much is a massage chair?
Prices vary by type and brand. You can find nice chairs for a few hundred dollars to high-end models with all the bells and whistles for over $8000.
 
However, you can also find models for under $500. Amazon has great deals, discounts, bonuses, and coupons to bring cost down.
Where to Buy a Massage Chair
You can look in the phone book, however, if you do not live in an area that sells massage chairs, you cannot see the chairs in person and do a test drive.
 
Online is a viable place to look and Amazon is the best place to check where they offer many deals to lower your cost. You can read customer reviews, compare prices, and read the specifications.
 
Weight of Massage Chairs
Check specific brands you have an interest in. Chairs vary in weight according to the components. The weight of a person using the chair will be shown as well.
Electrical Power or Massage Chairs
The USA uses 110/120-Volts and 50/60 Hz and the amperage varies by chair. Outside of the USA the electrical is 240-Volts and sometimes chairs can be converted from 110/120-Volts with an adapter. Massage chairs use about 55-Watts at about $1 per month.
Shipping
Most companies and Amazon ship via ground transportation using reputable freight companies. The freight companies will not deliver inside your home or business. They will leave the box curbside or on the porch due to insurance liability. This is not different from UPS or FedEx policies. The freight company will call you at the phone number you gave when ordering when they are near the delivery location. The tracking information will be emailed to the address you provided.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Preserving Alzheimer’s Patients’ Dignity

 

Preserving Alzheimer’s Patients’ Dignity

 

 

When someone close to you has dementia and spends an increasing amount of time in a confused state, it can be difficult to remember the person they were before the disease began to take control.

 

However, it’s important to remember that he or she is an adult, not a child, and deserves to be treated as such.

 

Honoring your loved one’s wishes, including helping him or her maintain a similar lifestyle to the one they had before they got sick, will bring him or her a lot of comfort and reassurance.

 

Here are some ways to help those with dementia patients maintain a sense of dignity:

Don’t Condescend

 

When you’re actively caring for someone, including helping them through the basic activities of daily life, it can be hard not to take a parental tone. This can come across as condescending, disrespectful, or make the person you are caring for feel like a child. Watch your tone and word choices, and try to speak to your loved one as an equal whenever possible. Avoid using words like the following:

 

  • Diaper: Regardless of what form they take, refer to undergarments as underwear. You don’t need to call attention to their protective or “special” qualities unless your loved one has specific concerns about making it to the bathroom as needed.

 

 

  • Potty: Use the words your loved one commonly used pre-dementia to refer to toileting. “Do you need to use the bathroom?” is a perfectly adequate phrase for all stages of life.

Ask Leading Questions

 

Set your loved one up for conversational success by replacing open-ended questions with ones that are easier to answer. For example, says something like “Mom, tell Kathy how much you enjoyed raising your 10 children,” instead of “Mom, tell Kathy how many children you have.”

 

Recommended:

The Validation Breakthrough – Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias

 

 

Use “Therapeutic Fibbing”

 

“Therapeutic fibbing” is a concept designed to relieve the guilt that often comes from lying to a loved one, even when that lie may very well be the kindest thing you can say to them in that situation.

 

Those with dementia often struggle with logic, rational thought, sequencing and emotional control. Therapeutic fibbing may be appropriate when telling the truth would cause pain, anxiety or confusion, or when the person with dementia is experiencing life in a different “time zone.”

 

For example, say your wife wants to drive to the grocery store, but you do not believe that she is a safe driver due to her dementia. Instead of telling her that she’s no longer safe to drive, you could tell her that the car is in the shop for repair, tell her that you’ve misplaced your keys or tell her that you’ll drive her to the store, since you need to go out anyway.

Plan Successful Outings

 

When you care for someone with dementia, it’s easy to become isolated out of fear that social situations will be difficult and stressful. This does not have to be the case! With some planning and thought, an outing can be rewarding and a welcome change of pace from the routine of the day.

Planning an Outing

 

When you have control of an outing, consider the following factors:

 

  • Distance: How far away is it? Is this a trip that is tolerable or even enjoyable for everyone?

 

  • Time of Day: When does the person you care for tend to be in the best spirits? Is it early morning, lunch-time, or after an afternoon nap? Plan extra time to get there.

 

  • Setting: Does the person enjoy watching others, children in particular, in a restaurant or park? Or does the person you care for react negatively to ill-behaved children or extra stimulation?

 

  • Food Choice: Does the restaurant have foods that are easy to eat, cut, etc.?

Preparing Your Loved One

 

Some people do well with advance notice of an event, while others will only grow anxious and ask repeatedly when an event is happening. Some will not remember the event, no matter how many times you remind them. Use your best judgment about what your loved one is able to handle.

Preparing Others

 

Prepare others for the special needs of your loved one. This can be done by calling ahead to the restaurant and speaking to the manager, or by discreetly speaking with the host or hostess before you are seated.

 

You could also make a customized card and bring it with you to the restaurant. Hand the card discreetly to the hostess as you enter the restaurant and ask that they also share the information with the server for your table.

 

Information to include on the card includes things like whether you will be ordering for them, how you would like the server to speak to the person you care for, and any special seating needs.

 

 

Relax & Enjoy

 

 

If you are nervous about things going well, that anxiety will be projected onto the person with dementia. One of the many effects of dementia is the loss of filters, making them much more affected by the emotions of people around them. If you are able to remain calm and anticipate an enjoyable event, you are more likely to be able enjoy yourself.

 

Please share your tips and experience with Alzheimer’s care in the comment section.

 

Recommended Reading:

Surviving Alzheimer’s

66 5-Star Customer Reviews

 

 

 

Recommended Viewing:

Still Alice

Still AliceAlice Howland (Julianne Moore), happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words.

 
When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Also starring Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish.
 
 

 

 
  • Winner of an Academy Award for Best Actress (Julianne Moore)
  • Winner of a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Julianne Moore)
  • Winner of a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Julianne Moore)
  • Winner of a SAG Award for Best Actress (Julianne Moore)
  • Winner of a Critics Choice Award for Best Actress (Julianne Moore)

 

 
 Still Alice is also available in paperback.
 
       

The #1 Alzheimer’s Care Tip

Alzheimer's caregivers

Reminders and reason just won’t work

When caring for an older adult with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s instinctive to try to bring them back into reality.

When they say something that doesn’t make sense, you’ll want to remind them of the facts or ask them to remember previous conversations or events.

What most caregivers don’t know is that this approach often makes the situation worse.

 

Logical explanations cause agitation and anger

Having Alzheimer’s or dementia is scary and confusing for your older adult. Using logic and reason to explain why you’re right and they’re wrong is likely to make them agitated, defensive, angry, or act out with difficult behavior.

Instead, the best thing you can do is not try to bring them back into reality.

 

Do’s and don’ts for how to respond

When your senior says something that doesn’t make sense or is completely untrue, use these do’s and don’ts to help you respond in a way that keeps them calm.

These tips have been tried and tested by an Alzheimer’s support group leader with 20+ years of experience.

 

Do

  • Respect and join them in their new reality – it’s the one their brain has created
  • Respond to the emotion or intention behind the words
  • Gently distract them with an activity they enjoy
  • Redirect the conversation to a pleasant, positive, or neutral topic
  • Use therapeutic fibbing – agree with things that aren’t true or bend the truth in harmless ways if it calms the situation
  • Without words, find ways to assure them that they’re safe and cared for – hugs or gentle touching often works well

 

Don’t

  • Force them to live in our reality
  • Respond with logic and reason
  • Pay strict attention to their words – they may not actually mean what they say
  • Keep trying to convince them to see or do things your way
  • Say “Don’t you remember?”
  • Say “No, you’re wrong.”
  • Say “Don’t do that.”
  • Tell them that people they’re talking about or wanting to see have already passed away

 

Don’t be discouraged if your attempts to soothe or redirect don’t work every time. This is a skill that improves with practice. In time, you’ll figure out what works best for your senior.

 

Bottom line

Using reason and logic to explain reality to someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia doesn’t work. Paying attention to the emotions rather than the words helps you uncover their true needs.

Instead of arguing, shift the mood to something more calm and positive. You’ll thank yourself when you don’t have to get into the same screaming match for the 38th time.

 

Recommended:

Amazon’s No. 1 Bestseller in Caregiving & Health Services

Creating Moments of Joy

Jolene Brackey has a vision. A vision that will soon look beyond the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and focus more of our energy on creating moments of joy. When a person has short-term memory loss, his life is made up of moments. But if you think about it, our memory is made up of moments, too.

We are not able to create a perfectly wonderful day with someone who has dementia, but it is absolutely attainable to create a perfectly wonderful moment; a moment that puts a smile on their face, a twinkle in their eye, or triggers a memory.

Five minutes later, they won’t remember what you did or said, but the feeling you left them with will linger.

396 Customer Reviews

 

Do you have experience or tips you can share about caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s disease? Please share in the comment section.

 

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Air Purifiers for COPD

Best Air Purifiers for COPD

 

 

Full Reviews of High Quality Air Purifiers for Your Indoor Air

 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer.

The most common forms of the disease are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. About 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, and experts estimate another 12 million remain undiagnosed.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says exposure to air pollution particles may aggravate COPD and be responsible for COPD-related hospitalization and premature deaths.  Recent research suggests air pollution may play a role in the onset of COPD as well.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends reducing exposure to air pollutants at home and work to prevent early development of COPD.

The right air cleaning system can effectively remove a large percentage of the particles associated with COPD problems indoors. But the wrong air cleaner can be ineffective or, even worse, dangerous.

 

 

Important Considerations for a COPD Air Purifier:

 

 

Choose “mechanical filtration” air cleaning technology.

 

This is the air purification technology recommended by the American Lung Association, and includes HEPA-filtration systems. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. Mechanical filtration systems remove particles from the air by capturing them on filter materials. The particles then remain in the filter until it is replaced.

In order to make a HEPA filter, glass fibers are used, arranged in a unique configuration so that air is able to pass through the filter while large contaminants such as allergens, mold or dust are captured.

The pollutant particles are captured using several different principles. For the most part particles come into contact with the filter, and are then trapped based on the principle of adhesion while clean air is free to circulate.

Other cases include contaminants being trapped after achieving partial contact with the glass fibers, or being pressed up against the filter because of the strong air flow inside the purifier.Furthermore, airborne particles are attracted by other particles which are already trapped by the HEPA filter.

Thanks to these various ways of stopping contaminant particles before they are able to pass through, HEPA filters can collect 99.9% of airborne impurities as long as they’re larger than 0.3 microns in diameter.

Since most contaminants fall into that category, just imagine how much of an impact these filters have on the quality of air you breathe.

 

Dust, allergens, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mildew and mildew spores are all eliminated with the use of a HEPA filter (especially useful for people who suffer with COPD, asthma or hay fever).

 

 

Don’t buy air cleaners that produce ozone. Ozone is a lung irritant that can damage the lungs, and is especially dangerous for those with COPD or other respiratory conditions. That’s why the American Lung Association and others warn consumers to avoid these devices.

 

 

Avoid air purifiers that use ionization to clean the air.

Ionizers generate ions that attach to airborne pollution particles, giving them a charge so that they then attach to nearby surfaces such as walls or furniture. Even air purifiers that combine ionizers with filters or air-cleaning “plates” can release thousands of charged particles into a room. The EPA says air cleaners that generate ions can increase the particles being deposited into your lungs and absorbed into your bloodstream.

 

Choose an air purifier that is proven to protect against ultrafine particles.

Ultrafine particles represent 90 percent of all the particles in the air you breathe, and are considered by scientists to be the most dangerous of all. Yet they are so small many air purifiers can’t stop them.

 

 

 

Ultrafine particles pass rapidly into the human circulatory system and reach internal organs. Individuals with COPD may be at greater risk than healthy individuals when exposed to ultrafine particles. See my list below of the the very best air purifiers for COPD, which will clear your inside air or ultrafine particles.

 

 

Do not rely only on CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings.

 

This rating system was designed and is promoted by a trade association of appliance manufacturers, and while CADR ratings are useful, it’s their limitations that can mislead people shopping for effective purifiers:

 

  • Small Particle Filtration Effectiveness Not Shown – CADR numbers do not adequately inform customers of a purifier’s ability to filter out very small particles. Yet these are the most numerous, and often the most dangerous, pollutants. Looking at an air cleaner’s Clean Air Delivery Rate, you cannot tell how effective it is in dealing specifically with these tiniest bits of matter. Many air purifiers eliminate larger particles very well but are almost completely incapable of removing smaller ones from circulation.

 

  • Gas Filtration Not Measured – The test does absolutely nothing to measure a purifier’s ability to rid the air of gaseous pollutants, such as dangerous Volatile Organic Compounds. The three CADR numbers all refer to particulate pollution only, which is very different from gaseous pollution. Air purifiers vary wildly in their ability to deal with the latter. Because cleaning gas pollution requires different mechanisms from cleaning solid particle pollution, a purifier’s effectiveness at reducing gas is completely unrelated to its effectiveness at reducing particles.

 

  • Doesn’t Show Decline in Effectiveness Over Time – Because the test is so short, it does not account for the fact that some purifiers will decline in effectiveness over time.

 

  • Purifiers Run At Their Highest Settings – Fourth, in the ANSI/AHAM AC-1 test, purifiers are always run on their highest setting. But users will often use lower settings to reduce noise, and this can drastically reduce the efficiency of an air cleaner.

 

CADR Conclusion

 

  • CADR is one tool to measure the effectiveness of air purifiers. It should neither be ignored, nor considered the only important factor in determining the value of an air cleaner. Instead, potential customers should check for CADR numbers as one of a number of things to keep in mind, along with other factors such as long-term durability and the ability to filter out gasses and odors.

 

  • CADR only measures tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen

 

  • CADR formulas only measure the ability to remove 80% of tobacco smoke assuming one air exchange per hour

 

  • CADR does not measure the effectiveness of filtering the size of particles

 

5 Top Air Purifiers for COPD


 

Best Overall: BluAir 503 Hepa-Silent Air Purification System

 

Pros
  • Exceptionally quiet at low speed
  • Ability to clean air in large areas
  • Captures particles down to 0.1 micron
  • Energy Star-qualified
Cons
  • Noisy at high speed
  • Filters must be changed every six months

 

 

If you want an air cleaner that excels at both particle removal and odor suppression, the Blueair 503 is a top choice. It’s got the capacity to handle large rooms and clear them of allergens and other particles quickly.

You’ll want to spring for the optional SmokeStop filters if odor suppression is at the top of your list; they are judged to be highly effective. The Blueair 503 is also a quiet worker at all but the top speed. Despite the presence of an ion generator, no ozone is produced — another plus.

 

The Blueair 503 is a solid performer capable of cleaning moderately large rooms, such as a living room. Though not inexpensive — especially if you opt for the SmokeStop filters for better odor suppression — both the purchase price and ongoing operating costs are lower than some other well-regarded air cleaners. The Blueair is both fast and effective, tests say.

The five year warranty is another plus — but you’ll need to register (free) to get that and remember to change the filters as recommended.

 

 

Breaking it down

 

Performance

Noticeable improvement in air quality. The Blueair 503 is capable of filtering air from medium to large rooms, up to 580 square feet according to its AHAM rating, though some experts say that 400 square feet — or the size of a typical living room is more realistic.

Testing at TheSweetHome.com revealed that the 503 was the fastest of any air purifier tested, making it an especially good choice for busy spots. According to testers at one professional consumer organization, the Blueair 503 does an excellent job at removing dust, pollen and cigarette smoke at its highest setting, and a good job at the low setting.

The best results in removing odors requires use of the optional SmokeStop filters (Est. $150 per set), but with those in place, the 503 is competitive with the best air purifiers in that regard.

More than 70 percent of owners posting reviews to Amazon.com give this unit a perfect 5-star rating, and it earns an overall grade of 4.5-stars after 80 reviews.

Several owners point out that they notice a difference in allergy symptoms within hours of turning the unit on. The Blueair 503’s filter is capable of removing 99.7 percent of particles down to 0.1 microns in size.

Ease of use

Easy to use, simple filter changes. TEditors of AllergyBuyersClub.com give the Blueair 503 a perfect 5-star rating for ease of operation and filter changing.

The filters do require replacing every six months, although a filter-change indicator lets owners know when it’s time for a replacement and the task is said to be easy.

This air purifier weighs about 35 pounds, but caster wheels make the Blueair 503 easier to move from room to room.

Noise

Low noise in most regards. In one professional test, the Blueair 503 gets only a fair rating for noise level at the highest speed setting, but an excellent score for noise at the low setting.

However, Ed Sherbenou at Air-Purifier-Power.com says that at speeds where the 503 will most often be used by most owners, the noise level is actually relatively good compared to similar devices.

Most owners posting reviews to Amazon.com say the Blueair 503 is so quiet that it can be used in bedrooms at the lower speed settings without disturbing sleep. There are a few detractors who complain that it’s too loud, however.

Cost of ownership

Filter changes every six months add up. The Blueair 503 is one of the more expensive room air purifiers available, although it costs less than some other premium models, such as the IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus.

Its filters (Est. $80 per set) must be changed every six months, which contributes to the overall cost of ownership — and that goes up even more if you opt for the SmokeStop filters instead.

The Blueair 503 is backed by a five-year warranty in case of defects or malfunctions, but you must register the air cleaner to qualify (free), and be able to prove that you’ve kept up with the filter replacement schedule, so hang on to your receipts.

 

 

 

Best Premium Air Purifier

 

The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus earns some mixed reviews, but it’s highly prized by experts and owners who are the most troubled by chemical sensitivities and odors.

 

 

Pluses include superior filtration that removes particles down to 0.003 microns in size – better than a HEPA filter. It can handle rooms up to 900 square feet.

 

Pros

  • Superior odor and chemical removal
  • Effectively removes allergens
  • Does not emit ozone

 

Cons

  • High operating costs
  • Not as effective in removing particles

Bottom line

The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus gets rave reviews from many experts and owners for its superior allergen-removal capabilities, though a lukewarm reception from some for its particle removal effectiveness and its cost. The latest version of this air cleaner is rated to remove particles even smaller in size than standard HEPA filters can handle, though that performance is not always borne out in testing.

 

The Plus portion of this unit is the addition of a V5 filter for odor and chemical removal, and the HealthPro Plus is a top choice in that regard. Though this New Edition is quieter than previous models, some reviewers say it still gets pretty loud on the highest setting.

 

Breaking it down

Performance

Great for odors, so-so on particles. Multiple reviews, both professional and owner-written, say the IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus is a terrific choice for those suffering from chemical sensitivities.

It’s been revamped with a HyperHEPA filter to capture particles tinier than a normal HEPA filter can — down to 0.003 microns in size, but well-documented testing by The SweetHome.com reveals only okay results when it comes to removing particles from the air.

IQAir is the educational partner for the American Lung Association and was used by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority during the 2003 SARS outbreak.

Ease of use

Advanced controls with presetting features. The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus comes in sturdy packaging and is easy to set up. The package includes optional casters for moving the unit from place to place easily if needed. The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus offers advanced controls that are intuitive to use, navigating the unit’s six speed settings and other features.

Editors at AllergyBuyersClub.com say, “While we did not see the need for the remote control, we were impressed with the ability to set the machine to go on and off at certain pre-designated times and fan speeds. The four key touch pad displays the programming timer status, filter life and status, and fan speed.”

Noise

New Edition is quieter, thanks to upgrades. A few owners and experts say this air purifier can be loud when run on its highest setting. Upgrades over the previous IQAir HealthPro Plus reportedly made the current version 32 percent quieter.

Cost of Ownership

Multiple filters to replace. The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus is expensive, and it has several filters that need to be replaced periodically: the prefilter (Est. $80) every six to 18 months, gas and odor filter (Est. $90) every one to two years and the HyperHEPA filter (Est. $200) every two to four years.

 

 

A few reviews point out that, because the filters are all on different replacement schedules, it does offset the cost of having to replace multiple filters simultaneously. In one test, energy consumption was a serious concern as it used considerably more power than competing models.

 

 

Best Cheap Air Purifier

 

The Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure air purifier is one of the quietest air purifiers available — it’s even tolerable for nighttime use at its lower speed setting.

 

 

Despite its low price, The Whispure is very effective at removing dust and allergens from the air. It uses both HEPA and carbon filters for removing light odors and chemicals.

 

Pros
  • Great pollen/dust/smoke clearing
  • Includes HEPA and carbon filters
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Costly replacement filters
  • Carbon prefilter works for light odors only
  • Air output can feel drafty

 

Bottom line

 

The Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure air purifier is a solid performer that costs less up front than some premium air cleaners, although it’s less effective than some in clearing odors or chemicals from the air.

But when it comes to particle removal, the Whispure is top-rated in professional reviews and gets excellent ratings from owners, who say there’s a noticeable difference in air quality and a reduction in allergy symptoms. Another plus is that the electronic controls make it a cinch to use.

 

Breaking it Down

Performance

Noticeable improvement in air quality. The Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure air purifier gets top marks in one major test, where it exceeds expectations for filtering dust, pollen and cigarette smoke out of the air on high and low fan speeds.

Ed Sherbenou of Air-Purifier-Power.com isn’t impressed by its effectiveness at getting rid of odors or chemicals, but does say that it is “a good choice for seasonal pollen, housedust, or mold allergy sufferers.”

Editors at AllergyBuyersClub.com say the Whispure “significantly reduced the particle count in the room” and note its “impressive” ability to clean large rooms considering the size of the unit.

Hundreds of owners contributing to sites like Amazon.com concur, noting that the Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure noticeably reduces dust particles in rooms and eliminates allergy and asthma symptoms.

Ease of use

Intuitive electronic controls. The Whirlpool Whispure is easy to use, with electronic controls and a “nicely-labeled” dashboard, according to editors at AllergyBuyersClub.com. Editors also point out the convenience of the five-stage filter status indicator, noting that it lets you know when the filter is reaching the end of its life in ample time to order or purchase a replacement. Owners posting feedback at user review sites say the controls are simple to use and appreciate the various options for fan speed, which aids in noise control.

Noise

Quieter than most, even on highest setting. This Whirlpool air purifier is quieter than other air cleaners on both its high and low settings; it was the quietest portable air conditioner tested in one expert test and receives praise from editors at AllergyBuyersClub.com for its quiet operation. Most user reviews concur, though some dissenting voices can be seen at Amazon.com

Cost of ownership

Expensive replacement filters. The initial cost of this air purifier is less than that of premium air cleaners. However, replacement filters are expensive and can wind up costing as much as half of the original purchase price per year, Sherbenou says. The Whispure’s five-year warranty is good, and should offer some peace of mind for owners.

 

 

Best Air Purifier for Small Rooms

 

The Honeywell 50250-S is an effective option that’s rated for small spaces up to about 390 feet.

 

 

It offers excellent performance at removing dust, pollen and smoke at its high speed and still performs well at its lower speeds.

This Honeywell is one of the least expensive air purifiers available, and its HEPA filter is long lasting and inexpensive to replace.

Pros
  • Low purchase price
  • Good dust/pollen/smoke removal
  • Long lasting, cheap filters
Cons
  • Small coverage area
  • Noisy on high speed
  • Not Energy Star-qualified

Bottom line

The Honeywell 50250-S is best used in small spaces, and does a good job of removing dust and other allergens from the air.

The biggest complaint surrounding this unit is that it’s noisy, noticeable even at low speeds.

A near identical version, the Honeywell 50250-N, is said to have permanent filters, but that’s more marketing than reality as its filters, too, need to be replaced. That matters little as the filters in both models last a long time and are relatively cheap.

 

 

Breaking it down

Performance

Good for small rooms. The Honeywell 50250-S is best used in small rooms as it’s not powerful enough to clean rooms with larger capacity.

The Honeywell air purifier takes in air from all sides of its cylindrical design, expelling clean air out the top, but it doesn’t pull as much air through its HEPA filter as more expensive models, such as the Blueair 503, experts say.

Still, notes Ed Sherbenou of Air-Purifier-Power.com, this air cleaner offers “a lot of power for the money.” Testers from one professional consumer testing organization say the Honeywell 50250 is excellent at removing dust, pollen and cigarette smoke at its high setting, and also does a good job at the low setting.

Ease of use

Easy use with filter indicator lights. Filter indicator lights let users know when it’s time to change out — or at least vacuum — the filter for maximum performance.

The unit itself is fairly large, according to Sherbenou, and it needs to sit a minimum of three feet away from a wall. Therefore, it will take up some available space in the room.

It’s lightweight (just 20 pounds) and has a carrying handle at the top for easy transfer from room to room. Replacement filters are easy to find online or in stores.

Noise

Noticeable noise on low, quite loud on high. Sherbenou praises the Honeywell’s cleaning power, but says he rarely will use it in his bedroom because of the noise.

One professional testing organization gives the Honeywell 50250 a rating of Poor for its noise level at the highest fan speed setting, and a slightly better rating of Good for noise at the lower speed settings.

Cost of Ownership

Affordable filters, low up-front cost. The Honeywell’s long-lasting HEPA filter should be vacuumed twice a year, but Sherbenou says it will eventually have to be replaced.

The Honeywell also uses an odor-reducing carbon prefilter (Est. $15) that should be replaced every three months. It’s not Energy Star qualified, but power draw isn’t terrible — about as much as two standard light bulbs, Sherbenou says.

 

 

 

Best Furnace Filter

 

Furnace filters such as the Filtrete Ultimate Allergen 1900 cost significantly less than air purifiers, and experts say they can be just as effective for many users.

The Ultimate Allergen 1900 is part of a series of Filtrete filters that are designed to remove coarse to fine particles from the air distributed by a hot air heating system and/or central air conditioning.

Owners say they notice a difference in allergy symptoms, and these filters add zero noise to the home.

 

Pros
  • Treats whole house
  • Excellent at capturing dust and pollen
  • Good at removing cigarette smoke
  • Maintains good airflow
Cons
  • Pro-installed filters trap smoke better
  • Can’t be used with hot-water heating systems
 

Bottom line

Slipping a filter into your home’s forced-air heating/cooling system is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to clean the air, experts say — sometimes eliminating the need for a stand-alone air purifier.

The Filtrete Ultimate Allergen 1900 gets excellent reviews from both professional review sources and users, with many noting a significant reduction in allergy symptoms.

 

 

Breaking it down

Performance

Excellent at removing allergens and smoke. Filtrete filters, including the Ultimate Allergen 1900, do an excellent job of trapping dust and pollen in one expert comparison test and a good job at cigarette smoke removal, too.

The 1900 in the model number is its microparticle rating, with higher numbers indicating a finer microparticle removal capability.

Filtrete filters are available with ratings as low as 600 MPR all the way to 2,400 MPR (microparticle rating). All rate well in user reviews, and several, including the Ultimate Allergen 1900, score well with the pros as well. Anecdotally, users report that they dust less, sneeze less and need less allergy medicine after they installed a Filtrete filter in their home heating/cooling systems.

Ease of use

No stand-alone air purifier unit required. Filtrete filters (made of pleated electrostatically charged fiber) are inexpensive, disposable and easy to find at discount and home improvement stores. They work in an existing furnace to replace standard furnace filters for a higher level of filtration.

All of the Filtrete filters allow very good airflow to the furnace, according to one expert test, but you should change the filter every three months to keep it from clogging up.

The most common issue cited by owners posting feedback to Amazon.com, however, is that these filters may cause some furnaces to overheat.

Noise

Zero additions to home noise levels. One major benefit of Filtrete filters, which work with an existing furnace, is that they don’t add any additional noise to the home. This is true of all furnace filters. In fact, one professional testing organization doesn’t even offer ratings for noise levels on do-it-yourself furnace filters, whereas room air purifiers are rated for noise levels at both low and high settings in the same review.

Cost of Ownership

Costly among furnace filters, but worth it. Filtrete filters vary in cost depending on their size and MPR rating, and some cheaper still options are available, but the majority of owners posting feedback to Amazon.com are more than happy to pay the additional cost for the allergy relief these provide. One professional review notes that while the filter price is relatively high, overall operating costs are relatively low.

The manufacturer rates the filters as having a three-month life span. Compared to a stand-alone air purifier, which can cost several hundred to well over one thousand dollars and still require periodic filter replacements, Filtrete filters seem reasonably priced, many say.

 

 

 
 
Remember that doctors often advise you to limit your exposure to pollutants in the air that can aggravate COPD. From dust and pollen to paint fumes and chemical vapors, a wide variety of particulate can inflame airways and worsen breathing conditions.
 
HEPA air purifiers help to reduce these things by filtering out these pollutants, both particulate and chemical vapors. Keeping your house clean and reducing dust are also basic but helpful measures that can help anyone coping with COPD.

Using a HEPA filter in your home can remove most airborne particles that might make COPD worse. But the particles suspended in air are not the only ones in your home.

There are far more in your rugs, bedding, and drapes, and resting on countertops and tabletops, so it’s important to keep these areas clean. It’s also important, when possible, to get rid of the source of irritants. For example, the only effective way to keep tobacco smoke out of your home is to not smoke.

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Air purifiers can be an important part of a plan to remove irritating particles from your home.

Removing irritating particles from your home should also include:

  • Vacuuming frequently
  • Replacing carpets with wood, tile, or vinyl flooring
  • Keeping pets outdoors if you are allergic to pet dander or at least away from your sleeping area
  • Changing bedding frequently and washing sheets in hot water
  • Replacing draperies and curtains with roll up shades
  • Using plastic covers over mattresses and pillows

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

Physical Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Natural Options For Managing Asthma

Oxygen Therapy for COPD

Portable Air Conditioners – What to Consider

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids

 

Misconceptions About Sciatica Pain

 

 

Misconceptions About Sciatica Pain

 

 

The term sciatica is often used incorrectly to explain leg pain, low back pain and other sciatica symptoms.

It’s a condition so widespread that many people think they can self-treat it or just follow another person’s advice for how to relieve the pain.

However, as this article will explain, there are many myths and misconceptions about sciatica, and patients are well-served to fully understand what can cause sciatica, warning signs that it may be a dangerous condition, and the full range of treatment options, including sciatica exercises.

Sciatica is a relatively common form of leg pain that is often misunderstood by patients. There are frequent misconceptions about what the term sciatica means, why sciatica occurs and how to find relief from the low back pain and leg pain.

 

 

The Truth: Sciatica is a Symptom, Not a Diagnosis

 

Contrary to what many patients believe, sciatica is actually a set of symptoms rather than a diagnosis for what is causing the pain.

Especially for more severe cases, the cause of the low back pain and leg pain needs to be correctly addressed in order to relieve discomfort.

Sciatica means that a patient’s sciatic nerve is being compressed by another spinal structure, usually causing pain in the low back, on one side of the rear and/or down the back of the leg. Sciatic nerve irritation usually occurs at the L5 or S1 level of the spine.

The clinical diagnosis (and the focus for treatment) would be whatever problem is actually causing the nerve compression and the sciatic pain.

 

The most common low back problems that cause sciatica are:

 

  • Lumbar disc herniation – where the inner core of a spinal disc in the low back extrudes and places pressure on a nerve root; also called a pinched nerve, slipped disc, bulging disc or protruding disc
  • Lumbar degenerative disc disease – when weakened discs in the low back allow excess motion in the spine and cause irritation of the nerve roots
  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis – where one vertebral body slips over another and pinches a nerve root
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis – in which a narrowing of the spinal canal in the low back pinches nerve roots, sometimes as the result of a bone spur
  • Lumbar subluxation – a term describing an altered position of the vertebra in the low back and the functional loss that results
  • Other causes – Although less common than those listed above, there are several other conditions that can cause sciatica and require medical attention. For example, patients who have a spinal tumor or infection should seek help immediately.

 

 

Truth: The Sciatica Experience Can Be Different for Each Patient

 

 

Sciatica pain can run from the low back, down the back of each leg and sometimes into the feet and toes. Other sensations associated with sciatica may include tingling and/or a burning or prickly feeling, usually only on one side of the body.

Patients typically feel different types of sciatic pain depending on the location of the nerve compression.

The severity and duration of pain from sciatica also vary among patients. Some find sciatica pain severe and debilitating, while others experience it as irritating and intermittent.

Many patients recover from an episode of sciatica within a few weeks, but there is no hard and fast rule.

Depending on the particular cause of the patient’s sciatica, the leg pain or low back pain could worsen over time and/or take much longer to be relieved.

 

 

Truth: Serious Problems and Damage Can Occur (Though Rare)

 

Pain from sciatica results from damage to the patient’s nerve tissue.

In the vast majority of cases, the nerve damage is not permanent.

However, the following signs indicate that there may be a more serious problem that requires immediate medical attention:

  • Patients who feel weakness or numbness may require surgery, and any patient experiencing these symptoms should seek professional attention.
  • Patients who experience bowel or bladder incontinence (inability to control the bowel or bladder) and/or increasing weakness or loss of sensation in the legs should see a doctor immediately.

 

 

Truth: The Sciatic Nerve Runs From The Low Back To The Toes

The sciatic nerve is located in front of the piriformis muscle (deep in the rear), including the lowest two nerves that exit from the lower spine (L4 and L5) and the first three sacral nerves (S1, S2 and S3).

Each of the nerves has two branches, one on each side of the spine. The root of each nerve exits the spine between two vertebra in the low back, travels down the back of each leg, and branches out to the leg and into each foot. The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the human body.

Sciatic pain that radiates along this nerve can be excruciating and debilitating for many patients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truth: Sciatica Leg Pain is Caused by a Problem in the Low Back

 

Patients often feel leg pain from sciatica, which leads them to believe that there is something wrong with their legs.

However, because the sciatic nerve extends through the low back, legs and feet, a problem causing nerve compression in the low back can cause low back pain and feelings of pain through the legs, feet and sometimes the toes.

 

 

 

Truth: The Causes of Sciatica Are Not Genetic

 

 

As explained above, sciatica is the result of a problem in the low back that can develop from aging or from a spinal injury. These conditions are not passed on genetically, as patients may mistakenly believe.

There is no truth to the idea that sciatica is handed down from generation to generation.

 

 

Truth: Piriformis Syndrome Feels Like Sciatica – But It Isn’t The Same

 

Piriformis syndrome is a condition that is often confused with sciatica. When the piriformis muscle becomes tight, it can irritate the sciatic nerve. This causes sciatica-like pain, tingling and numbness that often run from the low back to the rear, down the leg and into the foot.

 

 

Although the discomfort from piriformis syndrome feels similar to sciatica, the two have different causes. With piriformis problems, the pain is not caused by a compressed nerve root where it exits the spine as occurs with true sciatica.

Correctly identifying the cause of the pain is important because the treatments for each type of pain tend to be very different.

 

 

Truth: Pain From Arthritis and Joint Problems Is Not True Sciatica

 

 

The pain from arthritis or other joint problems is actually more common than sciatica, and they are often confused.

In reality, sciatica and arthritis are classified as different types of pain. Radicular pain like sciatica is caused by a pinched nerve.

In contrast, referred leg pain from arthritis is dull, achy and often moves around and varies in intensity.

Although the leg pain from arthritis may feel similar, it is not truly sciatica. Distinguishing the correct problem is important because the treatments for each type of pain often differ.

 

 

Myths About Sciatica Options

 

Patients who have sciatica are best served by a treatment plan that is individualized based on the patient’s symptoms, diagnosis and response to various treatments.

The process of finding relief from low back pain and leg pain associated with sciatica can often require some trial and error. Some patients may find certain treatments more effective than others.

 

 

Truth: The Causes of Sciatica Must Be Treated on an Individualized Basis

 

Because of the many conditions that can compress nerve roots and cause sciatica, one patient’s treatment options may be very different than those of another.

A combination of treatment options is often the most effective course, and many patients will try some combination of the following treatment options:

 

  • Physical therapy and chiropractic treatments can help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  • Alternating heat therapy and ice massage therapy can help to relieve acute pain from sciatica.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, i.e. ibuprofen, naproxen or COX-2 inhibitors) or oral steroids may be used to help relieve inflammation.
  • Epidural steroid injections can reduce inflammation around the nerve root and the associated low back pain.
  • To help control the low back pain and leg pain while undergoing other nonsurgical treatments, patients may take pain medications.
  • Surgery may also be considered as a treatment option, usually (but not always) following a course of conservative treatments.

 

It is important to note that what works for one patient may not work for another, even if they have the same back problems.

For example, a patient who has sciatica from a herniated disc may not find relief from conservative treatments and then will choose to undergo lumbar surgery.

Another patient with sciatica from a similar type of herniated disc may find sufficient low back pain and leg pain relief through conservative treatments, including physical therapy, chiropractic, heat and ice therapy, injections and/or medications.

 

 

Truth: Sciatica Can Last For Much Longer, Depending On The Cause

 

Many cases of sciatica go away within a few weeks using conservative treatment methods. However, this is not the case for all patients. For some, sciatica can last much longer, even for several months.

After back problems are diagnosed, the duration and intensity of treatment will need to be adjusted on a patient-by-patient basis.

 

 

Truth: Surgery May Be The Best Treatment Option For Some Patients

 

Patients should avoid having surgery too soon or too late. Although many patients hope to avoid surgery, for some, surgery might be the best (and quickest) option for pain relief.

If the conservative (non-surgical) treatments (such as exercise and physical therapy, chiropractic, injections, etc.) have not helped, the patient’s pain is severe, or if the patient has lost a significant amount of function, surgery may be considered as the most effective treatment.

The appropriate surgical procedure depends on the condition causing the sciatica.

For example, microdiscectomy (microdecompression) may be useful for a herniated disc, while lumbar laminectomy (open decompression) is a common surgical treatment for spinal stenosis. These two procedures have high success rates for relieving patients’ pain.

 

Truth: Exercise Is Usually Critical To Help Heal the Problem Causing Sciatica

 

 

Some patients believe that staying in bed and avoiding physical activity is the best idea when sciatica occurs. For the initial flare up of sciatica, bed rest is usually fine for a day or two.

However, avoiding activity any longer can typically lead to a downward spiral where episodes of pain lead to inactivity, leading to more pain, and so on.

Without proper exercise, low back muscles become weak and deconditioned, leaving them less able to support the back and the spine.

Keeping the hamstrings flexible by stretching is particularly important for sciatica patients, because tight hamstrings add stress to the low back, which can aggravate low back problems.

Exercise also helps exchange nutrients within the spinal discs, keeping them healthy and preventing injury that can cause sciatica.

Patients should develop a gentle exercise program that includes stretching, strengthening and low-impact aerobic exercise.

 

Recommended: Stop Sciatica in 8 Minutes – Completely Cure Your Sciatica Naturally in Less Than 7 Days.

sciaticaebook.jpg

 

Remember that even after sciatica is relieved and other back problems have been treated, the exercise routine should be maintained to keep the back healthy and to help avoid future problems.

Before beginning an exercise program, patients should always consult a health professional. Once the cause of sciatica is diagnosed, the professional can advise the patient about which exercises will be most appropriate and which should be avoided.

 

 

Truth: It Is Best To Consult a Professional Before Self-Treating Sciatica

 

 

Patients with sciatica should not attempt to self-treat their condition without consulting a health professional.

 

 

Establishing a correct diagnosis is the first step towards sciatica relief, as the sciatica treatment options and precautions are different for each diagnosis.

A professional can also detect any serious problems early on and take action to prevent permanent damage or injury.

 

 

As described above, there are many myths about sciatica that patients often believe to be true. However, by gaining a clear understanding of their condition, patients will be better equipped to work with a spine specialist to determine the causes and the best course of treatment for sciatica.

Combining his or her own knowledge with the expertise of a spine specialist is usually a patients’ best strategy for obtaining long term relief from sciatica.

I highly recommend the Stop Sciatica system.  There is a 2 month money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free. 

My husband, Mark used this program, along with his accupressure mat and sessions in our massage chair.  He feels that all three factors helped him to heal.  While you may find relief in 7 days (as the book cover says), I recommend being patient and giving the system at least 3 weeks before you pass judgement.  If you end up feeling that it’s not for you, just request a refund.

 

sciaticaebook.jpgMoney back for sciatica treatment

 

 

You may also be interested in:

What Caregivers Should Know About Sciatica Pain

Aleve Direct Therapy TENS for Back Pain Review

Top 10 Massage Chairs Reviewed

Solving Painkiller-Induced Constipation (OIC)

Blue Emu and Australian Dream – Which One is Better?

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