Best Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces and Mouthguards | Tuck Sleep

Best Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces and Mouthguards

Habitual snoring is fairly common in adults; according to the latest estimates, roughly 40% of men and 25% of women snore on a regular basis. There are no proven cures for snoring, but many people who snore can reduce their symptoms using anti-snoring mouthpieces and mouthguards. These simple devices can suppress snoring by either moving the jaw forward or pushing down the tongue. Anti-snoring mouthpieces and mouthguards usually do not require a doctor’s prescription, and are widely available; most models are priced at $100 or less.

This guide will explore snoring and anti-snoring technology in-depth, and also list some considerations for anti-snoring device shoppers, as well as our picks for the best low- and high-price models.

How Do Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces and Mouthguards Work?

Snoring occurs when the upper airway is restricted. This causes a tickling sensation at the back of the throat, which in turn results in harsh — and often loud — gurgling sounds. Several factors can cause snoring. Obesity is one of the leading causes; excessive skin and fat around the throat can significantly restrict circulation in one’s airway. Cold- and allergy-related congestion can also cause snoring, as can consumption of alcohol or antidepressants, which make the throat relax.

Additionally, many adults snore due to sleep apnea. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA), a sleep disorder characterized by temporary loss of breath during sleep. OSA occurs due to physical obstructions in the airway that hinder the breathing process; the average adult with OSA experiences dozens of apnea-related breathing-loss episodes per night. Central sleep apnea, which occurs when the brain is unable to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing, can also lead to snoring. However, most apnea-related snoring is directly linked to OSA. Sleep apnea is considered a serious condition because it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

There is no known cure for sleep apnea at this time. Many adults with sleep apnea utilize continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, which deliver a steady stream of air based on the user’s prescribed pressurization rate; or bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines, which deliver air at variable pressurization rates based on the user’s breathing patterns. CPAP primarily alleviates the symptoms of OSA, while BiPAP therapy is usually most helpful for people with CSA. These machines can be highly effective; however, they are often expensive ($200 is considered the base price) and both machine types require a doctor’s prescription. To learn more, please visit our CPAP Machine Reviews and BiPAP Machine Reviews guides.

Anti-snoring mouthpieces and mouthguards can be a cost-effective and relatively hassle-free alternative to CPAP and BiPAP machines. These devices reduce snoring by creating physical barriers between soft, vibrating tissues in the mouth and throat that cause snoring sounds. When referring to anti-snoring devices, the terms ‘mouthpiece’ and ‘mouthguard’ are essentially synonymous. Mouthpieces and mouthguards used to reduce snoring generally fall into one of two categories:

  • Mandibular Advancement Devices: Also known as MADs, these devices are the most commonly used type of anti-snoring mouthpiece. They expand the airway by moving the lower jaw, or mandible, forward, which presses down the tongue and other breathing muscles attached to the mandible. An MAD is normally molded to the user’s teeth, and some feature an adjustable lower tray that can be moved forward or backward. Some specialty MADs are designed for use with CPAP/BiPAP machines; in these cases, the device functions in the same way as a standard CPAP or BiPAP mouthpiece.
  • Tongue Retaining Devices: Unlike MADS — which hold the lower jaw in a forward position — TRDs (also known as tongue-stabilizing devices, or TSDs) pull the tongue forward and expand the gap between the tongue and the back of the throat. TRDs usually look like clear pacifiers; the tongue fits into an opening at the front, creating suction that pulls the tongue down and away from the back of the throat. TRDs do not require molding; most come in one size that is designed for all users.

The table below outlines the key similarities and differences between MADs and TRDs:

Anti-Snoring Device TypeMandibular Advancement Device (MAD)Tongue Retaining Device (TRD)
FunctionPulls lower jaw forward to expand the airwayIsolates tongue from throat to expand the airway
SizingThe device is molded or fitted to the user’s teethOne size fits all
AdjustmentSome MADs feature lower trays that can be moved forward or backward at incremental lengthsMost TRDs are not adjustable
MaterialSilicone resin and/or plasticSilicone resin and/or plastic
Breathing FunctionMost MADs allow users to freely breathe through their mouthsSome TRDs are perforated with tiny holes to allow mouth-breathing
Side EffectsJaw discomfort and stiffness
Excessive drooling
Dry mouth
Tooth pain
Excessive drooling
Dry mouth
Bruxism aid?MADs may help users reduce bruxism (or teeth-grinding) while they sleepTRDs do not help reduce bruxism to any significant extent
Denture-friendly?No; MADs should not be used with dentures because they are molded to the user’s teeth and will not move the jaw forward unless the teeth are immobileYes; TRDs do not interfere with dentures
Expected LifespanTwo years or lessTwo years or less
Average Cost$75 to $150$100 or less

MAD and TRD mouthpieces must undergo rigorous evaluations and certifications in order to meet standard requirements for medical devices sold in the U.S. Shoppers are encouraged to research the certification status for all MAD and TRD mouthpieces they consider purchasing.

It’s important to note that no one should use an MAD or TRD without explicit approval from their physician — even if a prescription is not required. Furthermore, they should contact their doctor if snoring persists despite regular and proper use of an anti-snoring mouthpiece device.

Pros and Cons of Using Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces or Mouthguards

Benefits of using an anti-snoring mouthpiece include the following:

  • Inexpensive: Compared to CPAP or BiPAP machines, anti-snoring mouthpieces are fairly inexpensive. Although custom mouthpieces can be quite costly, MAD and TRD models cost as little as $40.
  • Not invasive: MAD and TRD mouthpieces can help reduce snoring through simple mechanisms that do not require the user to undergo medical procedures of any kind. And unlike CPAP and BiPAP machines, most MAD and TRD mouthpieces do not require a prescription.
  • No noise: Unlike CPAP and BiPAP machines — which can be quite loud — MAD and TRD mouthpieces produce virtually no noise when being used.
  • Low maintenance: Both MAD and TRD mouthpieces are fairly easy to clean; users are directed to place them in hot water after each use to sterilize the device against germs and bacteria. Many users store their anti-snoring mouthpiece in a protective case.

Disadvantages of using an anti-snoring mouthguard include the following:

  • Side effects: Although they do not cause the same routine discomfort as CPAP and BiPAP therapy, anti-snoring mouthpieces have been linked to some physical side effects, including dry mouth and excessive salivation, mouth ulcers, and stiffness and soreness in the lower jaw.
  • Questionable effectiveness: CPAP and BiPAP are designed to reduce the symptoms of apnea, including snoring as well as breathing-loss episodes. MAD and TRD mouthpieces, on the other hand, are exclusively designed to reduce snoring without tackling other symptoms of sleep apnea. As a result, anti-snoring mouthpieces are considered less effective than CPAP and BiPAP therapies.
  • Short lifespan: Most anti-snoring mouthpieces are designed to be used from six months to two years — a much shorter lifespan than standard CPAP and BiPAP machines.

Considerations for Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece and Mouthguard Shoppers

Next, let’s look at some factors to keep in mind when shopping for an anti-snoring mouthpiece and comparing different brands and models.

  • Is the device an MAD or a TRD? The choice between MADs and TRDs often comes down to personal comfort preference. One point to keep in mind: MADs are often adjustable, whereas TRDs are, by definition, non-adjustable.
  • How adjustable is it? Assuming the device is an MAD, the rate of adjustment is important; some models can be adjusted by one millimeter or one-sixteenth of an inch (1/16″), while others do not offer this level of specificity. Additionally, some models feature calibrators that display the current settings, and can be reset to the original settings if a readjustment is needed.
  • How much does the device cost? Many anti-snoring mouthpieces are available for $100 or less, but custom devices may cost up to $2,000 or more.
  • Is customized fitting important to you? If yes, then an MAD — which molds to the user’s teeth — will be more suitable than a one-size-fits-all TRD.
  • Do you wear dentures? MADs are not compatible with dentures, but TRDs can easily be used with dentures.
  • Do you prefer to breathe through your mouth while sleeping? MAD mouthpieces allow users to breathe through their mouth without issue. Some TRDs have tiny holes that accommodate mouth-breathing, but non-perforated models may be problematic for mouth-breathers.
  • Do you grind your teeth? MAD mouthpieces can aid people with bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding, but TRD mouthpieces do not help with this condition.  
  • Do you snore due to sleep apnea? If sleep apnea is the main cause for your snoring, then a mouthpiece may suffice but you may want to consider a more effective method of apnea therapy, such as a CPAP or BiPAP machine. Anti-snoring mouthpieces help reduce snoring, but do not target other issues related to sleep apnea (such as nighttime loss of breath).
  • Is a prescription required? Generally speaking, simpler and lower-priced anti-snoring mouthpieces do not require a prescription, while more advanced and more expensive models may require a prescription. However, it’s important to research prescription requirements for all models.
  • What is the trial period? Some anti-snoring mouthpieces offer a trial period for purchasers, allowing them to return the product within a certain timeframe if they are not satisfied with it. Most trials for anti-snoring appliances span 30 to 90 nights in length.
  • Has the device been certified? Most devices display their certification status on the product’s packaging and/or the company website.

Best Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces and Mouthguards: Lower-cost Brands and Models

Now, let’s look at the top-rated anti-snoring mouthpieces that are currently available for purchase in the United States. The first table lists our picks for the top five anti-snoring mouthpieces that are priced lower than $90. Please note that all satisfaction ratings are generated using authentic customer and owner reviews.

Brand/ModelAVEOtsdSleep SilentSnoreMateSnoreMender 5ZQuiet
Price (est.)$89$70$42$69$80
AdjustabilityNoneNoneNone1mm to 2mmNone
Prescription Required?NoNoNoNoNo
Trial Period90 nights30 nights30 nights90 nights30 nights
Tuck Customer Satisfaction Rating84% (39 customer reviews)87% (27 customer reviews)85% (30 customer reviews)82% (21 customer reviews)87% (69 customer reviews)

Best Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces and Mouthguards: Higher-cost Brands and Models

The next table lists our top five picks for anti-snoring mouthpieces that are priced higher than $100.

Brand/ModelGood Morning Snore SolutionsleepPro CustomSnoreRXSomnoGuard APZenSleep ZenGuard
Price (est.)$105$203$99$489$97
Prescription Required?NoNoNoYesNo
Trial Period90 nights30 nights30 nightsNone90 nights
Tuck Customer Satisfaction Rating91% (458 customer reviews)89% (39 customer reviews)88% (52 customer reviews)86% (22 customer reviews)90% (154 customer reviews)

Additional Strategies and Accessories for People Who Snore

If you can’t seem to significantly reduce your snoring with an MAD or TRD device, then the following measures may be effective:

CPAP or BiPAP: As we’ve discussed above, CPAP and BiPAP therapies can be highly effective at reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea — but this strategy can be rather expensive, and these machines always require a doctor’s prescription. Additionally, CPAP and BiPAP machines produce a fair amount of noise, which may make them less suitable for people who share a bed with someone else. The table below lists some key details about CPAP and BiPAP machines.

MachineType of Apnea TargetedFunctionAverage Price
Continuous positive air pressure (CPAP)Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)Pressure increases until it reaches prescribed rate$200 to $800
Bi-level positive air pressure (BiPAP)Central sleep apnea (CSA)Pressure increases or decreases at variable rates, depending on the user’s breathing$800 to $1,700

Non-mask devices: If anti-snoring mouthpieces are largely ineffective but CPAP/BiPAP machines are too loud and/or expensive, then a simpler, non-mask sleep apnea treatment might be the best option. One example is Provent, an FDA-approved apnea treatment first introduced by researchers at Stanford University. Rather than using a sleep mask hooked up to a generator, the Provent features two disposable devices with air filters that are placed inside both nostrils. Please consult your physician for more information about Provent and other less invasive devices that help reduce apnea symptoms.

Optimal pillow loft: People with sleep apnea are more vulnerable to loud, disruptive snoring when sleeping on their backs with their heads elevated. Optimizing the thickness — or ‘loft’ — of one’s pillows can help people cut down on snoring caused by the position of their head and neck.

Pillow loft generally falls into three categories: High-loft, or thicker than five inches (5″); medium-loft, or three inches (3″) to five inches (5″); and low-loft, or thinner than three inches (3″). The following factors are important when deciding which pillow loft is best for you:

  • Body weight: Low-loft pillows are usually better for heavier people that sink deeply into their mattress; the pillow creates less of a barrier between their head and the sleep surface. Likewise, high-loft pillows may be more suitable for lighter people because they do not sink as deeply.
  • Head size: High-loft pillows may be needed to support individuals with heads that are larger than average, while those with average or below-average heads are usually comfortable on medium- or low-loft pillows.
  • Shoulder length: Broad shoulders create more space between the individual’s head and the mattress, and higher-loft pillows are usually needed for adequate support. People with narrower shoulders usually receive sufficient support from medium- or low-loft pillows.
  • Mattress firmness: Low-loft pillows are ideal for softer mattresses because they create less of a barrier between the sleeper’s head and the mattress surface, while high-loft pillows may provide better cushioning and support when used with a firmer mattress.

The following table provides a detailed description for each pillow loft category.

LoftThicknessOptimal Head SizeOptimal WeightOptimal Shoulder WidthOptimal Mattress Firmness
LowLess than 3″SmallMore than 230 lbs.NarrowSoft to Medium Soft
Medium3″ to 5″Average130 to 230 lbs.AverageMedium
HighMore than 5″LargeLess than 130 lbs.BroadMedium Firm to Firm

For more information about pillows and pillow loft, please check out our Best Pillows — Buying Guide and Information page.

Adjustable Bed: Adjustable beds enable sleepers to customize the angle of the mattress at the head and, in many cases, the foot of the bed. Inclining the head at certain angles can help cut down on snoring, and some adjustable beds come with ‘anti-snore’ presets that are specifically designed for these users.

Most adjustable beds sold today have remote or app-based controls, and can support at least 600 pounds. However, a notable downside is the price-point; most adjustable bed models cost at least $1,000, and some cost $3,000 or more. For more information, please visit our Adjustable Bed Reviews page.

Additional Resources