The best hay fever tablets to fight the sneeze

Non-drowsy and strong hay fever tablets guaranteed to help you battle the pollen this summer.

woman blowing nose in a field of flowers

by Angelica Daujotas |

Summer should be one of the best time of the year, with bank holidays galore and warm-weather picnics, but there's literally quite nothing worse than the idea of summer for hay fever sufferers. That's why hay fever tablets are our saviour.

Hay fever is extremely common with an estimated one in five people in England suffering from the irritating symptoms during the spring and summer months.

Related: The best dehumidifiers

Your hay fever should not have to mean you pull out of plans or limit yourself every year, with the right hay fever and allergy relief for you, one simple tablet a day could be exactly what you need.

Shortlist of the best tablets for hayfever relief

What are the types of hay fever tablets?

Antihistamines are the medicines most commonly used to relieve allergy symptoms such as hay fever. There are many types of antihistamines, but they can be divided into two groups:

Non-drowsy - non-drowsy antihistamines are less likely to make you feel sleepy – such as cetirizine, fexofenadine and loratadine.

Drowsy - antihistamines that make you feel sleepy, such as chlorphenamine (including Piriton), hydroxyzine and promethazine.

Read more information on antihistamines at NHS.uk.

Related: The best sunscreen for kids

Five ways to ease the sneeze

We listened to experts at LloydsPharmacy to pick up some top tips and super insightful information on how best to fight hay fever this summer:

LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist, Anshu Kaura, provides her five top tips to cope with hay fever symptoms this summer.

1. Be pollen aware

“If you have hay fever, your allergies will be worse when the pollen count is high, so plan ahead and stay indoors during peak pollen times if possible. On weeks when the pollen count is high or very high, it would also be advisable to avoid grassy areas, particularly in the early morning, evening or night, when the pollen count is highest."

2. Targeted treatments

“In terms of treatments, there is a range of solutions such as eye drops, nasal sprays and antihistamine tablets or syrups to treat symptoms. If you are looking for an alternative treatment, try using the LloydsPharmacy Allergy Reliever along with your usual allergy medicines. Your local pharmacist will be able to help advise you on the best treatments as most people require a multi-method approach for hay fever."

3. Avoid going out too early or too late

“The severity of hay fever symptoms will depend on the pollen count at the time, and there are many reasons why the pollen count fluctuates. The pollen count will fluctuate depending on the season, time of day, weather and atmosphere. During hay fever season, the pollen count will be at its highest early in the morning and late in the evening; this is due to pollen rising during the day with the hotter air, before falling as it cools down again in the evening."

4. Shut your windows and doors

“You should keep your windows closed when possible, even at night and when you’re driving in the car, as this will help you to avoid coming into contact with pollen. This is especially important in the early morning and evening when pollen is released. If you’re still experiencing symptoms indoors, a good air filter that can be used in the home could be a worthwhile investment."

5. Cover up

“If you frequently experience itchy and watery eyes, treatments that directly target the area may be most effective. It is also advisable to wear sunglasses on high pollen count days. Sunglasses which have a wraparound effect can be most beneficial to reduce pollen directly affecting the eye area. In addition, the masks we’ve all become accustomed to wearing during the pandemic can actually be beneficial for those of us who have allergy symptoms too, as well as potentially protecting against pollution."

Finding effective hay fever relief that works for you and your schedule can be difficult, especially if you're going through and trying the hundreds on offer.

Effective relief for you is out there, we just have to find it. Check out our top picks of the best hay fever tablets available to buy online right now, and get yourself one step closer to a sneeze-free summer this year.

The best tablets for hay fever relief

With over 10,000 five star reviews on Amazon, it comes as no surprise that these hayfever relief tablets have made it onto our list of the best. Allacan provides fast and effective 24-hour relief in adults from the annoying symptoms of hayfever and indoor allergies. Easy to take, with just one tablet a day (half a tablet for children aged 6-12 years), this six month supply will provide you hay fever relief all spring and summer.

Active ingredients: Cetirizine hydrochloride.

Suitable for: Adults and children aged six plus.

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Clarityn provides all-day 24-hour relief for hayfever and allergies and is non-drowsy in the majority of users. Clarityn allergy can get you back to feeling normal and free from allergy symptoms with a single daily dose. When your allergy season starts, take a Clarityn a day for powerful, all day symptom relief.

Active ingredients: Loratadine.

Suitable for: Adults and children aged six plus.

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

For effective relief of seasonal and pet allergies, take one easy-to-swallow tablet daily. Cetirizine is classed as a non-drowsy antihistamine, so you can take one of these and continue to tackle your day sneeze-free and itchy eye-free, full of much-needed energy.

Active ingredients: Cetirizine Dihydrochloride.

Suitable for: Adults and children aged six plus.

Benadryl Allergy One a Day helps to provide relief from hay fever symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes, itchy and runny nose and sneezing. Contains cetirizine, which at the recommended dose does not normally cause drowsiness.

Active ingredients: Cetirizine hydrochloride

Suitable for: Adults and children aged 12 years and over.

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Get relief from hayfever symptoms instantly with this option from high-street pharmacy Boots. Containing an active ingredient, Chlorphenamine Maleate, these tablets are best suited for night-time and at-home relief, as the ingredients are known as drowsy antihistamines. Get these antihistamine sleeping tablets if you find you suffer most in the night and guarantee yourself a good night's sleep.

Active ingredients: Chlorphenamine Maleate.

Suitable for: Adults and children aged six plus.

Recommended by pharmacists for effective non-drowsy relief, this budget-friendly option from Tesco is a real hit. At only £2.75 these one-a-day tablets work to relieve symptoms of hay fever and other allergies such as rash, itching and urticaria (hives).

Active ingredients: Loratadine

Suitable for: Adults and children two years of age and over, weighing more than 30 kg (usually a child over the age of nine years)

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Verdict: The best tablets for hay fever relief

It is vitally important to remember that different tablets will work differently for everyone, so it really is right you find the perfect tablet relief for you. That being said, with its dazzling reviews the best tablets for hay fever relief would have to be the Allacan Cetirizine Hayfever Allergy Tablets.

Trusted by thousands nationwide to battle hay fever symptoms every year, these tablets are strong and non-drowsy so they let you carry on with your days as close to normal as possible with just one tablet daily.

FAQs:

What are the symptoms of hay fever?

Common symptoms of hay fever include:

• A runny or blocked nose

• Itchy, watery and red eyes

• Sneezing

• Worsening of asthma symptoms (wheezing and breathlessness)

• An itchy throat

What are the common side effects of hay fever tablets?

Side effects will differ from brand to brand and depend on the active ingredients featured in each tablet. There are however common symptoms of any antihistamine, these are:

• Feeling sleepy and tired

• Headaches

• Feeling nauseous and dizzy

• Sore throat

• Itching or a rash

• Feeling agitated

Always be sure to follow your doctor's instructions and read all information provided to avoid such symptoms.

Do hay fever tablets work?

Although there is no cure for hay fever, hay fever relief tablets will lessen the symptoms and provide relief to the user. According to LloydsPharmacy, these antihistamine tablets work by altering the way the body reacts to histamine, a chemical released by the body when it thinks it is being attacked by a harmful substance. It is histamine that causes the symptoms of hay fever, such as a runny nose and watery eyes.

What are antihistamines?

Antihistamines are medicines often used to relieve symptoms of allergies, such as hay fever, hives, conjunctivitis and reactions to insect bites or stings.

The best food for dogs with allergies

All of the best spring cleaning essentials in one place

The best multivitamins to help you feel your best

Angelica Daujotas is a Commercial Content Writer at Bauer Media, where she reviews products for sites like What's The Best, Yours, Mother&Baby and Closer.

Subscribe to the What’s The Best Newsletter to keep up to date with more of the latest reviews and recommendations from Angelica and the rest of the What’s The Best team.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us