20 Things That Will Comfort You When You're Sick and Feel Like Absolute Garbage

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There's nothing more disheartening than the feeling that a cold (or worse!) is coming on, prefacing a host of unpleasant symptoms, such as fever, sweats, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and cough. But you can take heart in the fact that there's a slew of products out there that can help you power through when you're feeling particularly under the weather, from popular home remedies for a sore throat, like a good old-fashioned throat spray or a heating pad for ultra-sore muscles to extra-soft facial tissues for a rubbed-raw nose. With the right products to use while sick, you can make the next 24 to 48 hours of feeling like garbage a heck of a lot more bearable. We scoured the web, read reviews, looked at ratings and spoke to health professionals for their input on 20 of the best items to comfort you when you're feeling ill.

How to Feel Better When Sick

In addition to getting rest, drinking lots of water and wearing loose and layered clothing, there are certain creature comforts that can lessen your discomfort, depending on your ailments. For sore throats, there are natural remedies such as Manuka honey, which might help to heal your throat pain. For a runny nose, meanwhile, devices like a Neti Pot can be used to clear your nostrils of guck and relieve sinus pressure. Have a fever or headache? A cold compress on your forehead can numb pain and reduce inflammation.

Nicole Barra, Ph.D., and researcher based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, told us she swears by mint tea if she is having stomach troubles, and often grabs a favorite honey and ginger tea when she feels the onset of a cold. "I find tea in general comforting," she says. "The warmth, the smell. Specifically, mint tea soothes by stomach while the honey tea clears my congestion."

The Best Products To Feel Better When Sick At A Glance

3 Ways to Stay Healthy When Your Spouse Is Sick

sick wedder

1.wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey

Best Overall

A hot tea with honey warms the soul and soothes a sore throat. Manuka honey, sourced from the Manuka plant in Australia and New Zealand, has antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties along with antioxidants, making it about as good as you can get. This jar of raw, organic Manuka honey comes in different sizes and is non-pasteurized, processed instead using a gentle method that the company says maintains all the benefits of the food.

sick puffs

2. Puffs Ultra-soft Facial Tissues

Best for a Runny Nose

Sniffling, sneezing and runny noses are par for the course when your system is rundown. And while a handkerchief might work for the odd achoo when you're bedridden at home, you need an ongoing supply. This set of eight boxes is perfect. When your basic one-ply tissues won't do the job, reach for these, which are two-ply for added softness. They'll fit nicely on a bedside table, and the cute box designs mean they won't be an eyesore in the living room, either.

sick ruby
Club Magic Hour

3.magic Hour Ruby Moon Tea

Best Pick-Me-Up

Whether you're sipping on this tea before you feel the onset of an illness or while you're deep in the throes of one, it's formulated to provide soothing comfort with its delicious taste. Made with immune-boosting ingredients like hibiscus, which contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects against chronic diseases, and elderberry, which has been shown to increase white blood cells, this will quickly become a staple in your ick-fighting arsenal. Described as tasting "tart" and "jammy," its natural berry flavor extracts will also delight your palette.

sick smpl
Live Smpl

4. Simpl Immunity Bar

Best for General Health

Chances are, you may not have much of an appetite while sick. But these immunity bars can reportedly help you out even before the onset of a cold. Designed to offer daily immune support through probiotics, antioxidants, elderberry and vitamin C, it's jam-packed with health-promoting properties. Add in the benefits of ingredients like flaxmeal (which is packed with protein), chia seeds (a great source of fiber) and quinoa, (a superfood that contains essential amino acids), and you've got the perfect storm of nutrition. The almonds and Himalayan pink salt found within, meanwhile, also just so happens to be quite flavorful (Assigning Commerce Editor Nicole Briese is newly addicted). We love that they're non-GMO and vegan, too.

sick nature

5.nature's Way Sambucus Elderberry Lozenges

Best for a Sore Throat

These lozenges help to ease a sore throat, as the elderberry found within provides immune support and has been shown to reduce the severity and length of influenza. This bottle of 30 is perfect to keep in the medicine cabinet whenever you need fast relief. Did we mention that it's also vegetarian, gluten-free and certified Kosher?

sick robe

6. Alexander Del Rossa Robe

Most Relaxing

For the days where you just can't with getting dressed, make things a little easier with this plush robe. Made with warm microfiber fleece, its perfect for when you get the chills, and will keep you cozy no matter how you toss and turn with its tie closure. You can also stuff all of your tissues and lozenges in its two large front pockets.

sick bed buddy

7.carex Bed Buddy Neck Wrap

Best for Aches and Pains

Pop this pad in the microwave, then wrap it around your neck to provide relief from upper shoulder and back pain (a common symptom when you're sick), and warm you up when you've got the chills. Better yet, it serves as a cold pack that you can freeze to provide cooling when you're burning up. The flexible design and convenient handles allow it to stay firmly in place, and we appreciate that it's filled with 100 percent organic material.

sick vicks1

8.vicks Steam Inhaler

Best for Congestion

A steam inhaler may help with congestion, and when it comes to this category, Vicks is a tried, true and tested brand with a long history in the business. This device works with separately purchased Vicks VapoPads to provide relief to your sinuses. Since it reportedly works in as little to five minutes, you won't have to wait for clearer breathing while you recover.

sick blanket

9. Mighty Bliss Electric Blanket

Best for Chills

Ever find yourself shivering under the blankets when you're sick? This electric blanket features three heating levels and auto overheating protection in case you get so comfy and cozy that you accidentally drift off to sleep while it's on. Made of micro-plush fibers, this machine-washable pick ultra-soft and will come in handy any time you need a bit of extra warmth or are feeling achy.

sick band

10. Sea-band Acupressure Wrist Band

Best for Nausea

If you want a natural solution for that unpleasant, queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, then look no further than these elastic wristbands. They reportedly work via a plastic knob, which is designed stimulate the P6 pressure point on the wrist (something that has been clinically proven to reduce motion sickness in some cases, according to the company). FDA-approved, they're also reusable, making them a great eco-friendly option.

sick liquid

11. Liquid I.v Powder Packets

Best for Hydration

Staying sufficiently hydrated while sick is critical, so you should consider using these packets, which the manufactuer claims will increase the amount of hydration into the bloodstream through cellular transport technology. To use them, simply mix one travel-sized powder packet in with your water and enjoy the refreshing lemon-lime taste.

sick fortnum
Williams Sonoma

12.fortnum & Mason English Mint Tea

Best for a Tummy Ache

Mint tea can work wonders if your cold involves tummy troubles, and this tin contains 15 tea bags of the stuff—more than enough to get you through a cold or two. Caffeine-free and flavorful, it's made from English mint leaves with an added peppermint infusion to settle your rumblings, so you can catch some much-needed zzz's.

sick prince

13.prince Of Peace Ginger Honey Crystals

Most Convenient

When you feel sickness coming on, it's time to grab a cup of delicious honey ginger tea. These instant tea crystals, which come 30 to a packet, provide the natural benefits of honey and ginger without all the fuss, since they're super easy to brew and stir into hot or cold water.

sick spray

14.chloraseptic Sore Throat Spray

Most Soothing

If you prefer a spray to a lozenge, this pick is one you'd do well to keep in a medicine cabinet in case of emergency. With a subtle and sweet cherry flavor, it reportedly numbs your throat in seconds with its menthol and honey, so you won't feel the pain as much. It's both aspirin- and sugar-free and safe for kids as young as 3 to use. 

sick saline

15. Simply Saline Nasal Mist

Best for Stuffiness

According to WebMd, you can alleviate stuffiness with a saline spray, and this one from Arm & Hammer aims to relieve dryness in your nasal passages as well, moisturizing them to help reduce congestion. It's drug- and steroid-free, making it a great over-the-counter solution for anyone 10 years and older.

sick gnc

16.gnc Herbal Plus Oil Of Oregano

Best for Wellbeing

Ask any grandmother, and chances are she'll swear up and down that oregano oil works for a cold—and according to a several studies, which show that it has strong antioxidants properties, grams just might be right. If you're under the weather, place a drop or two from this bottle under the tongue. While the taste isn't pleasant, it might provide peace of mind that its antioxidant benefits will help. You can also add a few drops to orange juice or another drink to sweeten it up.

sick nature s bounty

17.nature's Bounty Echinacea Capsules

Best for an Immune Boost

Does taking echinacea actually help reduce the chances of catching a cold? The jury is still out on that one. But it does support immune system health, so you might want to take it during the height of cold and flu season. This one is free of sodium, preservatives, sugar, starch and all the most common allergens, like milk, lactose, soy, gluten, wheat, yeast and fish.

sick up

18.up & Up Hot+cold Gel Bead Eye Mask

Best for a Headache

Picture this: Your head is pounding and no amount of medication will help, or you've taken medication as directed and still feel like you were run over by a truck. Or maybe your eyes are just puffy and red from dealing with all the cold symptoms. This gel bead eye mask can be warmed in the microwave for soothing heat or put in the freezer for comforting cold. It comes with a strap to keep it secured, and we appreciate that there aren't pointed corners that can scrape your face. It's like your own little spa experience at home.

sick vicks 21

19.vicks Vaporub

Best for a Cough

For decades, parents have sworn by Vicks VapoRub. This ointment is designed to be rubbed on your chest to temporarily relieve a cough and congestion, but chances are, you've heard about the old wives' tale trick of putting a touch on the heel of your foot under a sock as well. Perfect to put on before bedtime, it's got a strong eucalyptus smell, and customers say it can work to help relieve minor aches and pains, too.

sick campells

20.campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup

Most Comforting

Nothing beats a piping hot bowl of chicken noodle soup when you're feeling sick. Not only is the warmth comforting, but depending on how you feel, it might be the only thing you're up for eating. While you can't get any better than homemade, it's always good to have a few cans of this classic soup at the ready in your pantry. Made with chicken and egg noodles, it's easy to make, too: Just add water, heat and serve

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Freelance Writer

Christine Persaud has been writing and editing since the early 2000s. With a passion and deep knowledge for cooking, fitness, fashion, TV entertainment and tech, she contributes...