If you’re struggling with difficulty breathing, or if you’re conscious about wanting to improve lung function, you may be wondering if a breathing trainer is right for you.
As a registered respiratory therapist (RRT), I used my experience, knowledge, and expertise to evaluate and review the best breathing exerciser trainers on the market. After hours of testing and research, my top recommendation is The Breather Exerciser Trainer.
If you’re on a budget, I recommend the Expand-A-Lung Breathing Device. If you can spend a bit more, you may consider Airofit Pro™ Smart Breathing Trainer. Keep reading for my full reviews of these and other top-rated breathing exercisers.
Top Recommended Breathing Exerciser Trainers:
1. The Breather Respiratory Muscle Trainer
2. POWERbreathe Plus Resistance Breathing Exerciser Trainer
3. AirPhysio Sports Edition Breathing Exerciser
4. POWERbreathe Plus Fitness Breathing Muscle Trainer
5. AirPhysio Natural Breathing Lung Expansion Exerciser
6. Breather Fit Respiratory Muscle Exerciser Trainer
7. Expand-A-Lung Sports Breathing Exerciser
8. Voldyne 5000 Volumetric Incentive Spirometer Exerciser
9. Quest Lung Performance Peak Flow Meter
Now that you’ve taken a look at our quick-list of breathing trainers, let’s dive deeper into some more detailed reviews.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Best Breathing Exerciser Trainers:
First up on our list is, The Breather Respiratory Muscle Trainer. This one is an FDA approved Class I device that has been used for over 30 years. It includes an online customized video for training which is why it’s a great choice for beginners.
It’s suitable for a wide range of customers including athletes, musicians, and even the average person who want to improve the strength and quality of their lungs.
Not to mention, it can help with certain diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis; Muscular Dystrophy; Parkinson’s; Myasthenia Gravis and Asthma. Keep in mind, please consult with your physician before using and this article is not meant to serve as medical advice.
But again, this is a very nice breathing exerciser that’s affordable and high in quality. That explains why it comes in at #1 on our list.
- Adjustable inspiratory and expiratory pressure settings
- A strong mouth seal that’s provided through its mouthpiece (prevents air leakage)
- It’s drug-independent
- Expiratory resistance malfunctions
With improved airflow dynamics, antibacterial mouthpiece, and similar features to The Breather, this trainer qualifies for the list. However, unlike the previous product, it isn’t for everyone.
It’s not advisable to use it if you have a ruptured eardrum or a cold, and it certainly isn’t for anyone with sinusitis or respiratory tract infection. Aim for optimal usage with the proper safety precautions and awareness of contraindications.
- The mouthpiece dispatches easily (for cleaning)
- Protects against bacteria during training
- The product has too many restrictions to who should use it
AirPhysio Sports is a unique lung expanding device which uses OPEP (Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure) to enhance the lung’s elasticity and detox it.
Although it’s directed for more professional use (for athletes), it potentially reduces the same symptoms as The Breather and POWERbreathe, in addition to helping patients with Cystic Fibrosis and Emphysema. And that is exactly why it solidified itself in the top 3 of our list.
- The OPEP’s vibration (15 – 40 Hz) unblocks airways by loosening mucus bonds
- Maintains the lung’s hygiene
- The seam could leak air if misplaced
This one helps more in pumping up your lung’s capacity, as well as increasing your endurance and fitness levels, thus the name.
The resistance is also adjustable through its tension range on its handle, and it comes with a nosepiece (similar to the POWERbreathe Plus Light Resistance). This helps to prevent air from leaking through the nose which could minimize positive results.
- Ergonomic design that conveniently fits your hand
- Flat edges in the mouthpiece help it seal and fit perfectly in your mouth
- Specified for inspiratory muscles only
Airphysio Natural Breathing Exerciser is specialized in mucus clearance and contains the same OPEP feature as the AirPhysio Sports Edition.
It’s also fully adjustable and boosts the lung’s strength, yet lacks a lot of the unique features present in the other trainers. This is why it falls down at #5 on our list. With that said, this is still a solid exerciser for home use.
- Assists mucus mobilization
- Reduces chances of atelectasis by induced coughing
- Overpriced relative to its qualifications
- Takes months before feeling any improvement
This breathing trainer seems is very similar to the first one that we mentioned in the #1 spot on our list. Although very similar, this one seems to be better suited for the athletic community and people who exercise and play sports.
One of the notable features is that it comes with its own mobile app which allows you to test and track your progress over time. This breathing exerciser has been shown to help improve VO2 max readings and significantly reduces dyspnea in its users.
- Offers personalized video training
- Provides effective therapy for peripheral skeletal (and respiratory) muscles
- Lightweight and portable
- The most expensive item in the list (price is almost double the Breather RMT)
It also helps increase the lung’s capacity, literally implementing what the title implied by “expanding” the lung. Moreover, its adjustable resistance is suitable for both sports elites and those who have breathing difficulties.
- A wide range of resistance levels
- Fully adjustable air-flow valve
- Mouthpiece is undetachable
- Possible chance of bacteria build-up
The product should be very familiar to all Respiratory Therapists, nurses, and medical professionals. It’s a device that is often prescribed to patients in the hospital who are in need of lung expansion therapy.
And that is exactly why it made out list of the best breathing exercise trainers. It comes with a mouthpiece and goals levels that can help you take a deeper breath in which helps to open up the alveoli in the lungs.
- Focuses more on deep breathing (with volumes up to 5000 mL)
- Promotes overall lung health
- Helps to prevent atelectasis
- Has a large volume capacity
- It’s only serves inhalation, not exhalation
- Only works on the inspiratory muscles of breathing
- Deep inhalations increases the chances of barotrauma. Please consult with you physician before using.
This device is mainly for asthmatics and oxygen users is often used by Respiratory Therapists in the hospital setting. With that said, it can be purchased and use in the home by average individuals as well.
This device measures how fast and firm you exhale and provided instant readings that tells whether or not the airways in your lungs are constricted. It’s often used before and after a bronchodilator treatment is given to see if the medication was effective.
Furthermore, it monitors peak flow results and can detect triggers and specific symptoms. In addition, it has a dual flow range for both adults and children. If this one sound interesting to you, do your research and see if it can meet your needs as a breathing exerciser.
- Full range meter measuring from 60 to 810 liters per minute
- Its scale complies with the EN 13826 standard
- Has an associated mobile medical app and customized Alarms
- The battery cap comes open (it isn’t sturdy)
- The Peak Meter opening is squared which may prevent some from forming a seal around it
What You Should Know about Breathing Exercisers:
Most of the features mentioned above are simply just traits of these products. Now let’s dive a little deeper into using the device.
Keep in mind, you should always consult an expert before buying and using, and definitely get back to them if you felt any discomfort or irregularities.
Tips for Using a Breathing Exerciser
Not all breathing trainers have the same technique, some products like The Breather Respiratory Trainer are very simple. All you have to do is adjust the dial setting and begin inhaling and exhaling. The device does the rest.
Other devices are even easier to use as they only require exhaling. You still need to know how they’re graded and what the data they produce means. This information is usually provided in the manual.
Also, if you need more detailed instruction, you can always visits the website of the company who manufactured the device.
How to Clean a Respiratory Exerciser?
- Separate it from its mouthpiece
- Wash with a mild dishwashing soap (with warm water)
- Rinse well, shake off excess water and dry out the surface with a towel
- Air-dry it, and don’t store it in humid locations
Sometimes you can use vinegar since it’s beneficial for killing germs and bacteria, but the resulting odor could be a downside. You could use disinfecting wipes as an alternative.
These can be used to clean the surface of your breathing exerciser.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Breathing Exercisers:
How Often Should I Use the Device?
It often differs, depending on the device and your medical condition. You should definitely ask your therapist when in doubt, yet most users start with six days a week, twice a day, with varying sets of breathes depending on your daily activities.
When Should I Notice a Difference?
Again, most answers will depend on the subject asking and the expert view of their breathing therapist.
However, some could start feeling a change after a week if they’ve been previously physically active, while others may have to wait for longer than a month.
How Can You Track Your Progress While Using It?
There are tons of apps to use like Wahoo tickr X, and some other devices either come with a pre-associated mobile app or have their data are easily shareable from the device itself.
Do I Need Both an Inspiratory and Expiratory Respiratory Muscle Trainer?
No, not necessarily. I did classify the lack of this feature as a demerit for some devices but that’s only because they claimed to be suitable for certain conditions that require both.
Someone diagnosed with COPD doesn’t need an expiratory muscle RMT, so you need to consult an expert regarding what you really need in order to have a clear vision of what you need.
Do They Cure Headaches?
No, most consumers have mentioned that their device doesn’t eliminate headaches. Most of the trainers’ descriptions do not entail that either.
So there you have it. Now you know about all of the best breathing exerciser trainers for respiratory and lung health. Hopefully this list will make your buying decision a little bit easier.
Our top pick is the Breather Respiratory Muscle Trainer but there are plenty of other great options for you to choose from. Just a reminder, please consult with your physician before using any of the exercisers that are listed here in this article.
Thank you so much for reading and as always, breathe easy my friend.
John Landry, BS, RRT
John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.
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- “How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing.” PubMed Central (PMC), 19 June 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137615.
- “Pursed Lip Breathing.” Cleveland Clinic, 14 Sept. 2018, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9443-pursed-lip-breathing.
- Dhungel, Upadhyay. “PubMed.” PubMed, Mar. 2008, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18700626.