Anti snoring devices

We Tried It: 3 Popular Anti-Snoring Devices

One of the editors on the Wirecutter sleep team has tested dozens of mattresses, but she still misses her Japanese futon.

I Tried 6 Anti-Snoring Devices. The Smart Nora Worked Best.

A person sleeping on their side.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with nasal polyps, and I regularly snored like a wild boar. I’ve had the polyps removed, but the snoring continued. I’m not alone: According to a chapter on snoring in Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (Fifth Edition), “about 40% of the adult population” snores.

Janet Hilbert, MD, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Yale School of Medicine’s Center for Sleep Medicine, explained that weight gain, alcohol intake, nasal obstruction (from colds and allergies), and even your sleep position can all cause snoring. It’s also a symptom of a disorder called sleep apnea (PDF). Sleep apnea occurs when your airway is blocked or constricted while you sleep, and it can result in poor sleep, high blood pressure, memory issues, cardiovascular concerns, and other serious health problems.

“You can die from it, and it is a risk factor for so many other diseases,” said Erica Carleton, then an assistant professor of human resources and organizational behavior at the University of Saskatchewan, who has studied sleep disorders and disruptions in the context of work. “If you snore and it’s pretty consistent, it is something that is likely necessary that you look into.” Testing often includes going to an all-night sleep clinic, where doctors will monitor not just your sleep behavior but also your heart rhythms and oxygen levels, Hilbert explained.

Of course, snoring isn’t always a sign of sleep apnea. “In a classic study of the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in adults aged 30-60 years, habitual snoring occurred in 28 percent of women and 44 percent of men,” Hilbert wrote in an email. But just 19% of those female habitual snorers and 34% of the male habitual snorers had sleep apnea. Other, less serious factors contribute to most snoring.

If your doctor has ruled out sleep apnea—which is often treated with a CPAP machine—you might consider one of the many over-the-counter options that claim to help curb snoring. Three years ago, I tried six of them. Only one worked well enough for me that I continued using it—sporadically—over the next two years. Ultimately, losing weight seemed to help my snoring best, and I have since passed the device onto another staffer.

To get a baseline measurement of how much I was snoring without any intervention, I used SnoreLab (iOS, Android), a highly rated app that listens for snoring sounds, records clips, and analyzes your resting audio. After calculating an average of 10 nights’ worth of intervention-free snoring readings to get a starting “sleep score,” I slept with each anti-snoring device for several nights and tracked my SnoreLab results against that baseline.

What worked best: Smart Nora

The Smart Nora sleep system, shown next to a bed and stored in its case.

The Smart Nora’s microphone—the tabletop device that looks like a white computer mouse—also works mounted to a headboard or wall. Photo: Michael Hession

The Smart Nora sleep system's pillow insert, shown on top of a bed pillow.

The pillow insert, shown atop this pillow, easily tucks into most standard pillowcases. Photo: Michael Hession

The Smart Nora’s microphone—the tabletop device that looks like a white computer mouse—also works mounted to a headboard or wall. Photo: Michael Hession

The Smart Nora sleep system, shown next to a bed and stored in its case.

The Smart Nora sleep system's pillow insert, shown on top of a bed pillow.

Anti snoring devices

Smart Nora

Cut my snoring in half (when I used it)

When this mic-enabled system detects snoring sounds, an under-bed base station sends a burst of air up into a pillow insert, lightly shifting how your head is positioned.

Buying Options

If you don’t have sleep apnea and still snore, your doctor may suggest positional therapy. “The worst position is on your back,” said Carleton. “When you sleep on your back, that actually compresses your breathing system more, and it makes it more likely for you to have those gasping sounds or to snore.”

Technically the Smart Nora doesn’t flip you onto your side, but it does slightly move your head when it catches you snoring, in practicality often resulting in your shifting from your back to your side. To accomplish this, the system includes a wireless, mic-equipped device that can sit bedside or be mounted on a wall to detect snoring. Once it does so, the Smart Nora device communicates with an under-bed base station that pumps air through a tube to an insert that lives inside your pillow.

To gently adjust your sleeping position, the under-bed system sends a puff of air to the pillow insert. In this sped-up video, the system is cranked up all the way for maximum effect. Video: Michael Hession

Occasionally, that gentle pillow motion did wake me up, which caused me to switch positions. Controls on the base station allow you to adjust the pillow-elevation level so you’re less likely to be jolted awake if all you need is a tiny nudge. The mic device also has an adjustable sensitivity setting, if your room is noisy or you’re just finding your pillow to be inflating more often than you want it to. I took a break from using the device (or any other anti-snoring device) for a while after we first published this article, before going back to it for follow-up. It continues to work for me as well as it did during my initial testing.

It may sound bizarre, but the Smart Nora was the most effective device I tried, cutting my total snoring in half, according to my SnoreLab sleep scores. At $360, it was also the most expensive device.

I did test five other, less-costly options, though none of them worked as well for me (and as of 2023, most had been discontinued).

How the Smart Nora has held up

After two years of using the Smart Nora, I dropped some weight—and apparently, my snoring habit. In October 2022, I passed the device onto Amie Wong, Wirecutter’s senior analyst of Data and Insights, who has a partner who snores. She says she likes it, even though her partner doesn’t. “It causes his head to slip a bit when it inflates. This is made worse since we use silk pillowcases, which are a bit more slippery than normal pillowcases,” she says. “The actual insert itself is also smaller than the pillowcase, which can cause it to move back and forth within the pillowcase itself, which makes it uncomfortable to sleep on.” (Amie suggested that one solution could be to sew a pocket into your pillowcase where the device can securely sit.)

Despite the issues, Amie’s partner says he will continue to use the Smart Nora, as long as it makes her happy. “I think the pros outweigh the cons, ultimately,” she says. “It’s been better for me than waking up in the middle of the night to jam ear plugs into my ears because my partner’s snoring is too loud!” We recommended that Amie and her partner try different pillowcases or even pillows, and will report back if there are any changes.

Other things I tried

These devices were originally tested in 2020; as of 2023, several have been discontinued.

Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band (discontinued)
This band straps a small electronic device to your chest. When it senses that you’re on your back, it vibrates so that you reposition yourself. According to American Academy of Sleep Medicine spokesperson Nitun Verma, MD, when you sleep on your back, your chin and tongue are pulled down by gravity, making the space behind your tongue smaller and promoting snoring. As far as I know, I don’t usually sleep on my back, so this Philips device wasn’t a good option for me. Also, I couldn’t always tell whether the band was working because the controls were confusing.

REM-Fit Zeeq Smart Pillow (discontinued)
This memory-foam pillow pairs with a smartphone app that detects snoring and causes the pillow to vibrate, prompting you to shift positions. (The Zeeq can also stream music, white noise, or podcasts from your phone via Bluetooth, if you find such audio helpful for falling asleep.) The pillow comes with extra shredded memory foam you can stuff inside to help mask the electronics; out of the box, it’s comfy, although it is difficult to squeeze into a standard pillowcase. The Zeeq’s vibrations didn’t reduce my snoring.

Venyn Original Nose Vents (discontinued)
Venyn’s Original Nose Vents are basically tiny silicone funnels that sit inside your nose to dilate your nostrils. The set comes with four different sizes to optimize the chances of a perfect fit. They didn’t totally keep me from snoring, but they did reduce my noise output by a third during one of the three nights I used them; the other two nights I saw lesser decreases. I disliked how they made the inside of my nose crusty each morning, though. It sounds gross, but the vents are easy to clean with soap and warm water.

Breathe Right Nasal Strips Lavender Scented, $12 for a pack of 26 at the time of publication
This stiff, bandage-like adhesive strip pulls the sides of your nose to open your nasal passages. It promises instant relief from congestion—and it delivered that, although I’m not sure whether the result was due to the actual strip, the pressure needed to apply it, or the pleasant lavender smell. However, by morning, the strip was always peeling off, which may explain why I found no significant change in my snoring overnight.

Copeaky Anti Snoring Chin Strap (discontinued)
This device looks like something you might wear for a wrestling match: The chin strap pushes your mouth shut so that you’re forced to breathe through your nose. It doesn’t come with instructions, but I managed to squish my face into this thing and (somehow) fall asleep, only to wake up at 3:00 a.m., uncomfortable and drenched in drool. It also did nothing for my snoring.

This article was edited by Tracy Vence and Kalee Thompson.


1. Erica L. Carleton, PhD, then assistant professor of human resources and organizational behavior at the University of Saskatchewan Edwards School of Business, Zoom interview, January 15, 2021

2. Janet Hilbert, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, Yale School of Medicine, email interview, January 18, 2021

3. Christopher Li, Victor Hoffstein, Snoring, Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (Fifth Edition)

4. Nitun Verma, MD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, phone interview, January 22, 2020

Further reading

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We Tried It: 3 Popular Anti-Snoring Devices

After years of sleeping next to a snoring partner, can putting an end to noisy nights really be as simple as clicking “Buy It Now” on Amazon?

Our willing guinea pig tried all three devices at once — not advised if you want to be able to breathe.

We’ve all seen those devices. You know, the ones in infomercials and Instagram ads that are somehow each “clinically proven” to be a miracle snoring solution.

I used to roll my eyes every time I came across a commercial for one of these contraptions. But then I started to live with someone who snores.

I can’t count how many times I’ve been jolted awake in our San Francisco home thinking “the big one” just hit California, only to realize the rumble that shook me out of my dream was simply my husband, John, snoring less than a foot away.

Suddenly, those ads for over-the-counter snoring gadgets began to look pretty promising.

So, after a particularly noisy night, we recently looked at some of the top options on Amazon and decided to give three different devices a try.

Anti Snore Chin Strap

Anti snoring devices

The first device we ordered gave us both a good laugh when it arrived. John tried it on the second we opened the package, and yes, the Anti Snore Chin Strap looks every bit as ridiculous as you think.

It’s a simple neoprene strap that fits under the chin, wraps around the sides of the head, and fastens with adjustable Velcro straps at the back.

The purpose of the strap is to hold the wearer’s mouth closed as they sleep in order to keep open-mouth snoring from occurring throughout the night.

2 in 1: Anti Snoring and Air Purifier

Anti snoring devices

Made of plastic and medical-grade silicone, this anti-snoring gadget comes in a reusable case and is supposed to fit snugly in the wearer’s nostrils.

The packaging claims the front “snore reduction vents have been scientifically designed to maximize airflow through the nasal passage ways” and the silicone prongs that are inserted into the wearer’s nose “comfortably fit different size of nasal passages.”

Right out of the box, the 2 in 1: Anti Snoring and Air Purifier gave off what John described as a “gross plastic chemical smell” when he held it up to his nose. In fact, it was so strong he couldn’t try it on until we thoroughly washed it with soap and warm water twice to reduce the harsh scent.

Breathe Right Nasal Strips

Anti snoring devices

These clear plastic adhesive strips are worn over the bridge of the nose and have “spring-like” bands that lift the nasal passages, supposedly opening them wider to improve airflow.

Each strip is individually packaged and has a peel-away backing (similar to bandages) for easy application over the nose.

However, because these disposable strips are only good for one use each, there’s quite a bit of unnecessary waste associated with this product.

Anti Snore Chin Strap

Share on Pinterest It wasn’t the most comfortable. Photo via Jase Peeples

Though the Anti Snore Chin Strap is advertised on its packaging as being made from a “breathable” and “comfortable” material, John found the device made his head feel “a little too warm” in the spots it covered about 15 minutes after he put it on.

He described it as, “not the worst thing, but definitely not comfortable either.”

Shortly after John fell asleep that night, he began to snore. However, I quickly noticed the sound of his snoring was different. It came in starts and stops, a choppy noise that wasn’t like his normal snoring at all.

In fact, it sounded like he was having a more difficult time breathing.

Concerned, I woke him up and had him take it off. Not only did the Anti Snore Chin Strap fail to stop John’s snoring, it was now keeping me awake with worry it would interfere with his breathing while he slept.

2 in 1: Anti Snoring and Air Purifier

Share on Pinterest This seemed to make breathing more difficult. Photo via Jase Peeples

The instructions that came with the next device we tested claimed it would keep the wearer’s airway open to “improve nose breathing and reduce snoring.”

However, aside from being Instagram gold (John looked like he was wearing scuba diving gear straight out of a science fiction film when he shoved this thing in his nose), the 2 in 1 device was completely useless.

In fact, John said he had more difficulty exhaling out of his nose with the device in, making it more difficult for him to fall asleep.

Once he did fall asleep, the device kept falling out as he tossed throughout the night. The two ribbed silicone tubes that gently hug the wearer’s nasal septum don’t apply enough pressure to hold the device in place as they toss and turn throughout the night.

It neither improved his breathing, nor did it reduce his snoring.

Breathe Right Nasal Strips

Share on Pinterest The most famous anti-snoring device seemed to help. Photo via Jase Peeples

The final treatment we tried was also the one we were most skeptical about: Breathe Right Nasal Strips.

Though they did not “stop” John’s snoring, I was pleasantly surprised to see (and hear) they did seem to mildly reduce the severity of it.

John did snore a little more quietly and he felt he could breathe easier through his nose when he wore the strips.

I was happy we found something that seemed to make a small difference, but I wanted to know more.

Why did the nasal strips seem to affect John’s snoring when the other devices failed? And why didn’t any of these devices turn out to be the “snoring solution” their bright packages claimed they were?

Why do we snore anyway?

Dr. Brandon Peters-Mathews, a board-certified physician in both neurology and sleep medicine who currently practices at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, explained that snoring occurs due to the vibration of tissues within the throat when the airway muscles relax during sleep.

“Most commonly, this is due to turbulent airflow affecting the soft palate, uvula, or base of the tongue,” Peters-Mathews said.

“Difficulty breathing through the nose may predispose toward mouth breathing and snoring. If the mouth comes open at night, the lower jaw and tongue may shift backwards, affecting airflow through the throat,” he added.

So, could snoring be dangerous?

“If snoring occurs infrequently without other associated symptoms, it alone may not be problematic,” Peters-Mathews said. “However, it is often a sign of underlying problems breathing during sleep. It may be a warning sign of associated sleep apnea (a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts).”

When I told him about our experience using the different devices we tried, Peters-Mathews said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome.

“Both external and internal nasal dilators may increase airflow through the nose and reduce snoring,” he said. “Unfortunately, these would not be expected to adequately resolve associated sleep apnea.”

He also advised against using a chinstrap to treat snoring. He pointed out that while a chinstrap may stabilize the jaw in a forward position, mouth breathing could become necessary if a nasal obstruction is present or if the person has difficulty breathing through their nose.

This seemed to explain why the sound of John’s snoring changed when he tried the chinstrap. He may have been having difficulty getting enough air through his nose and was struggling to breathe. I was doubly thankful I had him take the device off when I did.

Instead of turning to over-the-counter devices, Peters-Mathews advises that all chronic snoring should be evaluated by a sleep physician.

He said “even mild or intermittent snoring may be a problem if it is associated with other symptoms” such as:

  • gasping at night
  • unrefreshing sleep
  • frequent waking up
  • peeing more than once at night
  • teeth grinding
  • night sweats
  • morning headaches
  • daytime sleepiness
  • memory problems
  • depression
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • atrial fibrillation

“These findings may be suggestive of sleep apnea. It is best to err on the side of caution and get it checked out,” Peters-Mathews said. “Treatment options may include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, an oral appliance from a dental specialist, or even surgery. Fortunately, effective therapy can resolve snoring and improve sleep.”

Basically, no. None of the devices worked well enough to put into regular use.

Since our experiment, John has undergone a sleep study, but the doctors didn’t identify a clear cause for his snoring.

At the moment we’re still looking for a snoring “solution,” but I don’t think we’ll be relying on Amazon this time.

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Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.