When you’re sick, and you have a cough, finding the best cough drops is essential. If you get a subpar product, you'll have subpar results, and it's unlikely you'll get any relief from your symptoms. With so many cough drops on the market, it can be challenging to find the ones that will work best for you. Luckily, we're here to take the pressure off. 

We researched the best cough drops on the market to help you get through your illness with a little more sleep and a little bit less stress. We’ll walk you through some of the questions you may have about cough drops, give you the essential information about our favorites, and compare the top contenders to help you decide which drops are best for you.

Comparison Table

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Product FAQs

two cough drops

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Cough drops may seem straight forward, but there's probably a lot you don't understand about how these products work and what makes an excellent drop. To help you better know what you're buying, we answered a few of the questions we hear most often.

1.

How exactly do cough drops work?


There are a couple of different ways in which cough drops can work. Some suppress your cough symptoms, while others make your coughing more productive by breaking up mucus in your lungs. Some drops also utilize potent numbing agents like menthol to help numb your throat temporarily to reduce cough from irritants in that area.

Some cough drops don’t address the cough directly, but instead, work to fight off the underlying illness that is causing the cough in the first place — elements like zinc, Echinacea, vitamin c, and silver help in this process. 

2.

What ingredients should I avoid in cough drops?


Although there is plenty of evidence that honey and sucrose help to suppress coughs, other sugars and sweeteners can have the opposite effect on your cough. Unfortunately, the trend of fun flavors in cough drops has also lead to more sweeteners in these products, so you need to pay special attention to the ingredients in your drops to avoid them.

3.

What are the best ingredients to help with a cough?


Although menthol is the most common ingredient in cough drops that studies prove is effective, there are several others that help in their own way as well. Honey, for instance, is a popular one that really works. Sucrose, eucalyptus oil, pectin, silver, licorice extract, and tragacanth are all ingredients that are proven to calm your cough as well.

candies and fresh mint

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Some cough drops contain local anesthetics to help numb your throat instead of more natural ingredients. It’s important to understand that cough drops are over the counter medications, and therefore not regulated by the FDA, so you may want to avoid foreign ingredients since you can’t necessarily be sure if they are FDA approved substances.

How We Reviewed

We wanted to make sure we were giving you only options that we were sure would work for the majority of consumers, so we were very ingredient-focused in our reviews of the best cough drops. We looked for drops that contained fewer sugars and preservatives, and more of the active ingredients we discussed above.

We also wanted to make sure that the cough drops on our list were fairly widely available. Even a couple of days waiting for your drops from Amazon Prime can feel like an eternity when you’re sick. Running down to your local grocery store or pharmacy makes a lot more sense. The cough drops on our list are all available nationwide at most stores. 

Overall Price Range


You can purchase store brand cough drops for under two dollars, but many of the drops on our list are somewhere between five and ten dollars for a pack of 25 drops. Of course, you can get smaller and larger packages as well, which will affect the price. There is one notable standout on our list, and that is the Thieves drops which cost a whopping $26 for 30 tablets. 

Cough Drop Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Cough Drops

cough drops in individual wrapper

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When choosing the best cough drops it's important to keep ingredients high on your priority list. Make sure that you select a brand and type with less sugar, especially processed sugars, and more of the active ingredient that can help with cough suppression; most often menthol or honey.

Another vital thing to keep in mind when shopping for cough drops is the flavor. Buying cough drops is only step one; you'll also have to suck on them. If you buy a cough drop pack that you hate, you'll have a hard time consuming them, and you won't get their benefits.

Finally, you'll want to keep your budget in mind. Although most cough drops aren't too expensive, some are. If you decide the more expensive brand works best for you, make sure you search for deals and compare costs at various retailers and online before you buy. It might be helpful to keep some on hand rather than buying them quickly when you're already sick. 

Top 6 Cough Drops

Below we feature our top six best cough drops based on the criteria we discussed above. Not every product will work for every person since all of our bodies are different, but we are confident that one of the products on our list will work for you and help you to tackle that persistent, frustrating cough. 

Ricola Original

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Ricola is probably one of the most well-known names in the cough drop game, and for a good reason. This household brand has been around for more than a century because it works well, and the recipe hasn't changed over the years. Ricola still has very little sugar, but high quantities of menthol and other high quality, natural ingredients to help soothe your cough symptoms and heal you quickly. 

PR​​​​OS

  • Tried and true brand
  • Inexpensive and more accessible to find than most other brands
  • A mixture of 10 different herbs
  • Least amount of sugar of all others on our list

CONS

  • Cannot use on children under six
  • Not a sweet flavor like many modern drops
  • The square shape can be challenging to hold in your mouth

Key Features

  • 10 Swiss herbs
  • Menthol
  • Original variety comes in only one flavor

​Where to Buy

Amazon or any grocery store or pharmacy

Honees

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Honees cough drops are solid drops with liquid inside, kind of like those strawberry candies your grandma probably kept in her purse for you as a kid. These drops contain more than just honey and other cough suppressing ingredients. They also contain vitamins C, B6, and B12 to help your body with the energy and immune function it needs to kick your cold. 

PR​​​​OS

  • Gluten, dairy, yeast, and wheat-free, and vegan
  • Comes in both lemon and honey flavors
  • Immune boosting ingredients in addition to cough suppressants
  • No GMOs or artificial ingredients

CONS

  • Cannot use on children under five
  • Not as widely available as some other brands
  • The liquid inside the drop may seep out before opening the product, creating a sticky situation

Key Features

  • GMO-free
  • Menthol and honey
  • Eucalyptus oil

​Where to Buy

Amazon, Shop Rite, Bed Bath and Beyond

Fisherman’s Friend Original Extra Strong

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If you're really looking for some throat numbing, cough suppressing power, look no further than Fisherman's Friend. These drops contain at least three different local anesthetics as well as capsicum, which create a slight pain in your mouth to divert pain from your throat. These are an excellent option if you have a cough and sore throat together as well. 

PR​​​​OS

  • Five ingredients dedicated to pain relief and cough suppression
  • Very little sugar
  • Refreshingly bold peppermint will clear sinuses temporarily as well
  • Come in other flavors like cherry
  • Not sticky and won’t melt like other drops

CONS

  • Powerful mint and licorice flavor that may be unappealing to some
  • Some flavors may contain aspartame
  • Pricey compared to other brands on our list

Key Features

  • Menthol
  • Cherry and refreshing mint flavors available
  • Capsicum and licorice

​Where to Buy

Amazon, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart

The ORIGINAL All Natural Silver Lozenges

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These all-natural lozenges contain silver, honey, and lemon, which means they not only help to suppress cough, but they may also shorten the length of your illness overall. These drops are great for daily use to get your daily dose of silver for its immune-boosting power. 

PR​​​​OS

  • Silver promotes immune function while honey coats throat for cough suppression
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Developed by a naturopathic doctor with a degree in toxicology
  • Available in multiple flavors

CONS

  • More sugar than any other ingredient
  • Hard-to-find list of ingredients
  • High price
  • No menthol; more focused on immune support than cough suppression

Key Features

  • 30ppm silver solution per drop
  • Available in a variety of flavors
  • Honey acts as a main cough suppressant 

​Where to Buy

Amazon, Rite Aid, Walmart, Vitamin Shoppe

Thieves Cough Drops

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Let's be honest, we all probably have a friend that sells or uses Young Living Essential Oils like it's going out of style. Whether or not you buy into the total lifestyle, the Young Living Thieves lozenges are worth a try. These drops combine the power of menthol with healing essential oils to create a fantastic blend of symptom relief and overall healing. 

PR​​​​OS

  • Stevia leaf extract is the only source of sugar
  • Eucalyptus, lemon, and peppermint oils are all proven to help with cough
  • Less intimidating flavor profile than most on our list
  • Easy to find from Young Living dealer or in regular retail stores

CONS

  • Most expensive drops on our list
  • Flavor differences are based only on slightly higher percentages of specific oils
  • Flavor can be too strong, especially for younger children

Key Features

  • Menthol
  • Essential oil blend

​Where to Buy

Amazon, Young Living sales representative

Wedderspoon Organic Manuka Honey Drops

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If you’re looking for a smooth taste and a completely organic product, this is the only one on our list. Wedderspoon’s Organic Manuka Honey Drops are delicious and contain extra immune boosters to help you kick your cold faster than most. They are allergy-friendly and contain no preservatives to give you peace of mind. 

PR​​​​OS

  • Manuka honey is a proven cough suppressant that is easier to handle than menthol
  • Contains bee propolis for added immune support
  • Comes in a form with Echinacea to help fight off illness
  • Very inexpensive for a fully organic product

CONS

  • Most sugar of all others on our list at eight grams per serving
  • Harder to find than many more popular brands
  • No full ingredients list available, even on the product itself

Key Features

  • Totally organic
  • Manuka honey
  • Bee propolis
  • No preservatives

​Where to Buy

Thrive Market, Walgreens, Amazon, Walmart.com

Comparison Table

We want to make sure you can see the features these products provide side-by-side before you decide which of the best cough drops is right for you. Below you’ll see a comparison of each of the six products we reviewed. 

Product

Main ingredient:

Flavors Available: 

Ricola Original

Menthol

Original

Honees

Honey

Honey Lemon and Honey Original

Fisherman’s Friend Original Extra Strong

Menthol

Refreshing Mint, Cherry, Original

The ORIGINAL All Natural Silver Lozenges

Silver

Original and Ginger Spice

Thieves Cough Drops

Menthol

Original

Wedderspoon Organic Manuka Honey Drops

Organic Manuka Honey

Eucalyptus, Lemon, Ginger

Final Verdict

When you’re sick, and you have a cough, finding the best cough drops is essential. If you get a subpar product, you'll have subpar results, and it's unlikely you'll get any relief from your symptoms. With so many cough drops on the market, it can be challenging to find the ones that will work best for you. Luckily, we're here to take the pressure off. 

We researched the best cough drops on the market to help you get through your illness with a little more sleep and a little bit less stress. We’ll walk you through some of the questions you may have about cough drops, give you the essential information about our favorites, and compare the top contenders to help you decide which drops are best for you.

Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com