There are multiple benefits to using a nose plug when swimming. While plugging your nose while swimming might seem like the last thing you want to do when you already have limited time to breath, a nose plug, also known as a nose clip, can help with several things from stopping water from getting up your nose to helping you maintain buoyancy in the water.
Benefits of Using a Nose Plug While Swimming
Using a nose plug is not just for synchro swimmers or kids who don’t like the feeling of water getting up their noses. They have become increasingly popular with competitive swimmers, particularly backstrokers, who want to maximize their underwater dolphin kick off the start and keep the water out of their nose while racing.
Here are some of the benefits of using a nose plug while swimming:
1. Stops water from going up your nose
Having water go up to your nose and enter your nasal cavity while you are swimming is uncomfortable and annoying and the best way to prevent this is to wear a nose plug/clip. Water enters the nose while swimming due to several reasons: while swimming backstroke, when you aren’t exhaling properly during a flip turn, and wearing a swimmer’s snorkel.
A nose clip will prevent the water from going up your nose while swimming backstroke and can help with breath control during a flip turn to avoid water streaming up your nose.
2. Helps to extend underwater time off starts and turns
Wearing a nose clip makes it easier to extend your underwater dolphin kicking off the wall on your starts and turns. A faster underwater dolphin kick can shave seconds off your time but holding your breath repeatedly for enough time to get enough kicks to improve is difficult.
Wearing a nose plug can help you hold your breath long enough to improve your underwater kicks and help make the transition into your breakout smoother. It can also help to prevent water from entering your nose on a flip turn.
3. For use with a swimming snorkel
Most swimmers find it difficult to purge water properly when first using a swimming snorkel, so using a nose plug helps with this and maintains proper air pressure in the face holes. Using a swimming snorkel and a nose plug can feel restricting at first and takes some getting used to, but once mastered, it helps while swimming and doing flip turns with a swimming snorkel.
4. Helps maintain buoyancy
Keeping the air in the lungs helps with buoyancy in the water and maintaining the correct body position while swimming. A nose plug will help keep the air in the lungs and the body to stay buoyant in the water, which, in turn, provides less drag and resistance.
The Best Nose Plugs for Swimming
I tried and tested a host of nose plugs and clips for all types of swimming from playing in the pool and leisure swimming to competitive training and racing. Here are some of the best nose plugs for swimming:
Speedo Liquid Comfort Nose Clip – Best Overall Nose Plug for Training
The Speedo Liquid Comfort Nose Clip is the best overall nose plug for training. This nose clip has a stylish overall design that is comfortable, durable, and provides good performance. One of the best features of the Speedo Liquid Comfort nose clip is that it is designed with a universal fit that makes it suitable for face shapes and both leisure and competitive swimmers.
The nose plug has a frame made with lightweight, durable and high-quality nylon material to perfectly fit the shape of your nose, providing great hydrodynamics in the water, and optimize overall swimming performance. Soft TPR (thermoplastic rubber) pads provide a secure fit so that no water enters the nose while swimming and TPR’s abrasion-resistant material prevents any skin irritation from occurring. The nose plug is available in three neutral color options – white, dark gray, and blue, and it comes with a cool little case to keep your clip safe.
- Lightweight and comfortable design with hydrodynamic contours
- Universal fit for all face shapes
- Soft TPR pads promise a secure fit
- Comes with a little case for safe-keeping
- Non-adjustable so might not fit some nose bridge sizes
Speedo Competition Nose Clip – Best for Racing
The Speedo Competition Nose Clip has long been a favorite nose plug for synchro swimmers as it has a tight and secure fit and doesn’t let any water enter your nose. This nose plug is also a great clip for competitive swimming and racing.
Designed specifically for competition, the Speedo Competition Nose Clip is one step up from the Speedo Liquid Comfort Nose Clip and has a rubber-coated stainless steel wireframe with a low-profile, hydrodynamic fit. The one-size-fits-all frame is made from stainless steel and is adjustable to fit all nose bridge sizes.
This nose plug also has TPR padding for a comfortable fit on the nose and is available in two colors with a small case for safe-keeping.
- Rubber-coated stainless steel wireframe
- Hydrodynamic and low-profile fit
- Soft TPR pads offer comfort and a secure fit
- Comes with a case for safe-keeping
- It may be a bit tight for training
Arena Nose Clip Pro
The Arena Nose Clip Pro is a high-quality nose plug that is ideal for both training and racing. This super comfortable nose clip is made from PC-TPR material with a memory plastic frame and promises comfort, stability, and durability in the water.
This nose plug has soft pads where the clip touches the nose that provide extra comfort and ensures a snug fit while swimming. It’s also a great choice for using a swimming snorkel during training. It’s available in a few color options and comes with a little storage case to keep your nose clips safe and secure.
- Premium, high-quality design
- PC-TPR material and memory plastic frame promises a great fit
- Soft TPR pads offer a secure and stable fit in the water
- Several color options
- Comes with a cool case for security
- There is a possibility of slipping off
TYR Ergo Swim Clip
This is a super-looking nose plug with a low-profile, ergonomic design. Created by Olympic Bronze Medalist Steve Furniss for competitive swimmers, TYR is a well-known brand and uses the latest in design evolution and technology to produce this high-quality nose clip.
Made from premium polyurethane, the frame is extremely durable and resilient, as well as lightweight, flexible, and super comfortable. This material also makes the nose plug hypo-allergenic (fungus-resistant) and impact resistant to bacteria, oil, and water.
This sleek-looking nose plug comes in five different colors ranging from neutral colors of black and white to electric lime and bright pink and it’s a great choice for recreational, competitive, and synchronized swimmers.
- Low-profile, ergonomic design
- Premium polyurethane frame
- Lightweight and flexible
- Hypoallergenic and latex-free
- Several color options
- Can be used for both training, racing, and synchronized swimming
- Not a great fit for children
Cressi Swimming Nose Clip
The Cressi Swimming Nose Clip is a good choice if you have an oily nose as it provides a great grip. It provides a snug and secure fit while swimming and prevents water from entering the nose. The frame is made from stainless steel and has silicone pads where the clips touch the nose.
The simple and effective design is easily adjustable and it’s durable and long-lasting. It also comes with a little carry case to store your nose clip when not in use.
- Comfortable, adjustable design
- Made from stainless steel and silicone for superior comfort
- Silicone pads are very durable
- The nose clip is fully adjustable to fit all nose sizes
- Storage case included for safekeeping
- Doesn’t float if it slips off
FINIS Nylon Nose Clip with Silicone Pads
FINIS produces outstanding swimming equipment with innovative designs, good quality, and great features. The FINIS Nylon Nose Clip with Silicone Pads has all these aspects with high quality and sleek design and a cool little storage case.
It is made from super-durable silicone and boasts innovative clamp technology that provides a secure and stable fit while swimming. This nose plug can be used for leisure swimming, competitive training and racing, and synchronized swimming. It’s also a great choice for using a swimming snorkel during training.
- High-quality, anatomic design for training and racing
- Super hydrodynamic in the water
- Innovative clamp technology provides a super secure fit
- Made from durable silicone makes it long-lasting
- May slide around a bit if the fit isn’t snug
AquaSphere Silicone Nose Clip
The AquaSphere Silicone Nose Clip is a high-quality, dual-density nose plug that features an anatomic bridge design and soft TPR pads for a comfortable, adjustable fit. This premium grade nose-clip has a universal fit that makes it optimal for both adults and children, as well as leisure, competitive, and synchronized swimming.
The nose clip’s silicone design provides a secure, and comfortable fit and makes it durable and long-lasting. It is super resistant to chlorine and salt, and the soft silicone pads are very comfy on the nose.
One of the great features about this nose plug is that it comes with a very cool protective case with drain holes for getting rid of excess water and a TPR band that can be attached to your swimming bag. The protective case is also large enough to hold your nose plug and earplugs.
- High-quality, dual-density materials
- Anatomic bridge design and soft TPR pads make it very comfortable to wear
- Universal fit for adults and children
- Silicone pads ensure comfort and durability
- Chlorine and salt-resistant
- Great carrying case with drain holes and TPR band
- Breaks easily if pulled too far apart
Hurdilen Swimming Nose Clip with Waterproof Silica Gel for Kids
The Hurdilen Swimming Nose Clip with Waterproof Silica Gel for Kids is the best nose plug for swimming for kids. They come in a bumper pack of 14 nose clips in a variety of fun colors, so the kids can use a different color every time they swim.
This nose plug is made from soft silicone and has a PC frame with an ergonomic, tailored design that fits the bridge of all nose sizes and promises a tight and secure fit. This is a great choice for beginner swimmers and can be used for fun swimming or competitive training. The Hurdilen Swimming Nose Clip with Waterproof Silica Gel for Kids is suitable for children aged seven years and up.
- The ergonomic, tailored design makes for a secure and comfortable fit
- Made from soft silicone
- Best for beginner swimmers
- Comes in a pack of 14 nose plugs in different colors
- Very tight fit so may not be comfortable for larger nose bridges
Splaqua Swimming Nose Clip with String
The Splaqua Swimming Nose Clip with String may be old-school but still works well. This nose plug has a latex strap that keeps the nose plug in place when diving into the water, and latex padded edges that make wearing the clip very comfortable. The nose plug can be adjusted to fit all sizes from children to adults.
This is a good nose plug for children to use in swimming lessons or adults learning how to swim who don’t want water up the nose. These nose plugs can be purchased in a pack of five, which is convenient for a family of swimmers.
- Latex material makes for a soft, comfortable fit
- Adjustable nose piece
- Universal fit for adults and children
- Silicone pads ensure comfort
- Some people may not like the strap around the head
Mia Russell is currently the head swim coach at Aquasharks Swimming Academy in South Africa. She has worked as the head swim guide at SwimQuest Open Water Swimming Holidays in London and was previously a Swim Coach at Cybersmart Aquatics. She has a AIDA International Level 3 Freediving Certification, PADI Open Water Advanced Certificate, SSI Level 1 Free Diver Certificate and RYA Beach Lifeguard Certificate.