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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.
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:
The table below outlines the key similarities and differences between MADs and TRDs:
|Anti-Snoring Device Type||Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)||Tongue Retaining Device (TRD)|
|Function||Pulls lower jaw forward to expand the airway||Isolates tongue from throat to expand the airway|
|Sizing||The device is molded or fitted to the user’s teeth||One size fits all|
|Adjustment||Some MADs feature lower trays that can be moved forward or backward at incremental lengths||Most TRDs are not adjustable|
|Material||Silicone resin and/or plastic||Silicone resin and/or plastic|
|Breathing Function||Most MADs allow users to freely breathe through their mouths||Some TRDs are perforated with tiny holes to allow mouth-breathing|
|Side Effects||Jaw discomfort and stiffness|
|Bruxism aid?||MADs may help users reduce bruxism (or teeth-grinding) while they sleep||TRDs 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 immobile||Yes; TRDs do not interfere with dentures|
|Expected Lifespan||Two years or less||Two 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.
Benefits of using an anti-snoring mouthpiece include the following:
Disadvantages of using an anti-snoring mouthguard include the following:
Next, let’s look at some factors to keep in mind when shopping for an anti-snoring mouthpiece and comparing different 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/Model||AVEOtsd||Sleep Silent||SnoreMate||SnoreMender 5||ZQuiet|
|Adjustability||None||None||None||1mm to 2mm||None|
|Trial Period||90 nights||30 nights||30 nights||90 nights||30 nights|
|Tuck Customer Satisfaction Rating||84% (39 customer reviews)||87% (27 customer reviews)||85% (30 customer reviews)||82% (21 customer reviews)||87% (69 customer reviews)|
The next table lists our top five picks for anti-snoring mouthpieces that are priced higher than $100.
|Brand/Model||Good Morning Snore Solution||sleepPro Custom||SnoreRX||SomnoGuard AP||ZenSleep ZenGuard|
|Trial Period||90 nights||30 nights||30 nights||None||90 nights|
|Tuck Customer Satisfaction Rating||91% (458 customer reviews)||89% (39 customer reviews)||88% (52 customer reviews)||86% (22 customer reviews)||90% (154 customer reviews)|
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.
|Machine||Type of Apnea Targeted||Function||Average 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:
The following table provides a detailed description for each pillow loft category.
|Loft||Thickness||Optimal Head Size||Optimal Weight||Optimal Shoulder Width||Optimal Mattress Firmness|
|Low||Less than 3″||Small||More than 230 lbs.||Narrow||Soft to Medium Soft|
|Medium||3″ to 5″||Average||130 to 230 lbs.||Average||Medium|
|High||More than 5″||Large||Less than 130 lbs.||Broad||Medium 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.
For more information on snoring and snoring treatment, as well as sleep apnea, please visit the following Tuck.com pages:
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