Waterpik's SinuSense Water Pulsator for Nasal Irrigation

Clean Out Your Sinuses with Gentle Water Pressure

Update January 2016: Since this review was originally published, the Waterpik SinuSense has been discontinued. For a similar nasal irrigation product, read the Expert's review of NeilMed Sinugator.

Note from the Healthy Aging Expert: Early models of the WaterPik SinuSense leaked fluid into the battery compartment. See below for details.

Water Pik’s SinuSense Water Pulsator is designed as a nasal irrigation system.

It flushes mucus and allergens out of the sinuses using a saline solution and a battery-operated pump.

What is Nasal Irrigation?

Nasal irrigation has been recommended as a drug-free way to help nasal congestion from allergies and sinus infections, which can occur more commonly in older people because of the changing physiology of their noses.

In fact, guidelines for physicians issued in 2012 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) suggest that nasal irrigation is a more effective treatment than antibiotics. More than 90% of these infections are caused by viruses, rather than bacteria.

How Does WaterPik's SinuSense Work?

The water pulsator is a battery-operated pump that screws onto a water reservoir. When you squeeze the trigger, a saline solution is pumped up from the reservoir through a nozzle, into one nostril. The solution rinses your nasal passages and runs out the other nostril.

Directions for Use:

  • Fill the reservoir with 8 ounces (240 ml) of distilled, filtered, or previously boiled water.
  • Add a pre-mixed saline packet or use this recipe to mix your own saline solution.
  • Microwave reservoir at 5-second intervals to desired temperature (it should be lukewarm).
  • Screw battery-operated pulsator onto reservoir (3 AA batteries are required).
  • Choose desired nozzle according to the size of your nostril.
  • Lean forward over the sink.
  • Squeeze the trigger while holding the nozzle in one nostril, allowing the saline solution to run out the other nostril.
  • Once half of the solution is used, switch sides.
  • Gently blow your nose into a tissue.
  • Clean the device by washing it with soap and water.

When to Use the SinuSense

According to the manufacturer, it can be used to relieve:

  • Sinus pressure
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Nasal symptoms from flu and cold
  • It can help remove allergens like pollen and dander as well as debris like dust and smoke particles.

Do Not Use It When...

According to the package instructions, the device should not be used if:

  • Your nasal passages are completely blocked.
  • You have an ear infection or feel pressure in one ear.
  • Do not use tap water, as microbes may be present.
  • Do not use on children under the age of 6.

The Expert's Review

This is a great nasal irrigation device.

Nasal irrigation can also be performed using the traditional Neti pot, but I find that the passive rinse the Neti pot provides does not seem effective enough.

In order to flush out the nasal passages and get rid of persistent congestion, some gentle water pressure may be required.

 One inexpensive ($8-$10) option is the NeilMed Sinus Rinse squeeze bottle.

While Water Pik's SinuSense pulsator is a little pricier at $20-$40, it does a great job of gently flushing out nasal congestion while giving you control over the pressure and speed with the battery-operated pump and trigger.

Manufacturer's Replacement Program

Some models manufactured between May 2010, and July 2011 leaked water into the device's battery compartment. After this, Water Pik launched a free exchange program to replace the device at no cost to consumers.

The easiest way to tell which model you have is to check the reservoir: if it has a fill door, you have the newest model.

If it doesn't, contact the manufacturer for details. 


Anthony W. Chow et al. "IDSA Clinical Practice Guideline for Acute Bacterial Rhinosinusitis in Children and Adults."Clin Infect Dis. (2012) doi: 10.1093/cid/cir1043.


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