Plasmapheresis is widely performed as treatment for patients with Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) in the acute phase. As tryptophan-immobilized column-based immunoadsorption (Tr-IA) is a safer method than either double-filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP) or plasma exchange (PE), we investigated whether or not Tr-IA is as effective as other methods, and should be selected as the procedure of choice in patients with GBS. We retrospectively compared clinical outcomes, using Hughes grading, in GBS patients treated with Tr-IA, DFPP or PE. The outcome in the Tr-IA group was also compared historically with patients treated by PE in seven previous studies. We studied 34 patients with GBS: 20 were treated with Tr-IA, 11 with DFPP, and 3 with PE. The age, sex, duration from onset to initiation of treatment, and Hughes grade at entry did not differ among the Tr-IA, DFPP and PE groups. There was no significant difference in outcomes among these three groups, nor was there a significant difference between the outcomes in the Tr-IA and DFPP groups with respect to subgroups of Hughes grade at entry. Also, our Tr-IA group did not show a different outcome from the previously reported patients treated with PE. The frequency of complications in our Tr-IA group is significantly lower than that in both our DFPP group, and in the previously reported cases of patients treated with PE. Tr-IA, DFPP and PE have almost the same efficacy in patients with GBS, but Tr-IA is recommended as the plasmapheresis method of choice because of its safety.