A case-control study was conducted at our secondary referral hospital to compare the efficacy of microdebrider-assisted turbinate reduction (MATR) with laser-assisted turbinate reduction (LATR) and to evaluate their efficacy according to types of hypertrophic inferior turbinates. All patients who underwent only inferior turbinate surgery for refractory nasal obstruction were included. The required minimum follow-up period was 3 months postoperatively. Thirty-seven patients were enrolled in this study-22 in the MATR group and 15 in the LATR group. The patients were subclassified into mucosal (n = 14) and bone (n = 23) hypertrophy groups. Subjective (visual analogue scale) and objective (endoscopic score) assessments were performed prior to surgery and 3 months after surgery. Generally, the visual analogue scale and endoscopic score were significantly improved after surgery, in both the MATR and the LATR groups. In the MATR group, the visual analogue scale and endoscopic score improved regardless of type of hypertrophy. However, in the LATR group, these measurements improved only in cases with mucosal hypertrophy. We conclude that both MATR and LATR are good surgical techniques in patients with chronic hypertrophic inferior turbinates who have substantial nasal obstruction. However, MATR is superior to LATR, especially in cases with bone hypertrophy.