Anti-Snoring Pillows

Anti-Snoring pillows are a pretty popular stop snoring product that have been in use for a long time. There have been a lot of sleep studies done on some of these products, and some of them have been proven to work quite well. Basically, anti-snoring pillows are pillows that have been shaped a certain way to help prevent snoring.

A lot of sleep aid pillows are not just created to help prevent snoring, either. A lot of them are also designed to help align the spinal cord and support the neck during sleep. Some have even been specifically designed to help prevent other problems that can hinder sleep… such as acid reflux or sleep apnea.

There are several different types of anti-snoring pillows, including the ‘wedge’ pillow and the ‘contour’ pillow.

A lot of people mistake ‘sleep aid pillows’ for ‘anti snoring pillows,’ because they sound similar… but they are not necessarily the same.

How Are Anti-Snoring Pillows Meant To Work?

Anti-snoring pillows are basically designed to stop snoring by aligning the spine… and subsequently, the airway.

Anti-Snoring Pillows Work

A lot of snoring is caused by soft palate vibration, which happens when the loose tissue in the back of the throat collapses in, obstructing the airway. This makes the tissues vibrate as the air passes through, which is what causes snoring. So by helping to align the spine and keep the neck at the appropriate angle, the idea is that these pillows can help to keep the tissue pulled tighter… which will open up the airway more and help to prevent snoring.

Now, with that being said, it is important to distinguish between pillows specifically designed to stop snoring, and pillows that are just designed to help you sleep better. A lot of pillows are designed to help the spine… but there are not as many that were actually designed to stop snoring. So, there is a difference.

Do We Believe That They Work?

We have heard quite a few good things about these pillows… but we also see them as being a bit less effective than some other, more extreme methods. The great thing about anti snoring pillows is that it really doesn’t get any less invasive than this. For the most part, they look like a regular pillow. You don’t have to wear anything extra, put anything into your mouth, or apply anything to your body.

You just buy the pillow and sleep on it. So this product is an awesome first-line product to try if you don’t want to jump into anything more intense right away. Then, if it doesn’t work, you can move on to more extreme measures.

We do not see this type of product being quite as successful as a mandibular advancement device or tongue retention device… mostly because those types of devices, while a lot more invasive, can make more precise, focused adjustments to help correct the problem.

The Positives

Here are the upsides for the Anti Snoring Pillow…

  • Very minimally invasive
  • Very easy to get used to
  • Can also improve sleep quality in other ways
  • Can be used by pretty much anyone who would use a regular pillow

The Negatives

Here are the downsides as they pertain to this device…

  • Cost can be high when you compare how much they cost with how much regular pillows cost
  • Does not always really help the problem
  • Must be bought regularly (pillows in-general should be replaced every six months)
  • Can be an expensive product to try because if it doesn’t work, you will be out quite a bit of money that you might not be able to get back
  • Bulkier and larger than other stop snoring products, which makes them more challenging to travel with

Who Should Use Anti-Snoring Pillows, And When?

Pretty much anyone who uses a regular pillow can also use a stop snoring pillow. But this type of product will probably appeal more to people who are really set against a more invasive type of product or device. So, if you have qualms about putting a product in your mouth, wearing something different, applying strips to your face, etc… then this might be the best first-try product for you.

As for when you should use it, you would probably want to use it anytime you sleep. This also means that you might have to take it with you when you travel… which is a bit of a downside, as these pillows tend to be larger and bulkier than most other anti-snoring products.

But… they can also work wonders in the right situations, and can prove to be well-worth the extra hassle!

Who Should Avoid Using This Type Of Product?

People who do not usually sleep with a pillow may not like this type of product. But aside from this… almost anyone who uses a normal pillow could also likely adapt to using an anti-snoring pillow.

Are Anti-Snoring Pillows Proven to Work?

There have been a few studies done to determine what part (if any) a sleeper’s pillow may play in the severity of their snoring.

One such study can be found here. It was published back in 2017, and is called The effect on snoring of using a pillow to change the head position. It was basically a randomized, interventional, controlled crossover study that studied whether or not the position of someone’s head (as dictated by their pillow) had any affect on snoring severity.

And as it turns out, there was a difference!

A ‘significant reduction in snoring’ took place when the pillow was adjusted appropriately… showing us that there may be more to the idea of an ‘anti-snoring pillow’ than most people realize!

The main thing to remember about anti-snoring pillows is that they are situational. Since they work indirectly on the source of the problem (the problem generally originates in the soft palate), snoring pillows will probably tend to get better results in less-severe circumstances. In other words… if your snoring is too bad, you may need to find a different type of snoring remedy, or at least use a different kind of remedy in conjunction with it.

The History Of The Pillow

To learn about the origins of the anti-snoring pillow, we first must explore the origins of the ‘pillow’ itself! Nowadays, a pillow is a commodity that we almost take for granted. So many people use them that it would almost be weird to imagine a world where they didn’t exist!

It is believed that pillows first came onto the scene in 7,000 BCE, in early Mesopotamia. These earliest pillows would likely have been made of stone, and were probably far less comfortable than the pillows we use today!

Back then, it is believed that pillows were invented not as a comfort item, but as as means to keep bugs from crawling into people’s ears!

The ancient Chinese also used pillows, though they definitely decorated them more than the Mesopotamians did. Despite the fact that Chinese pillows were more ornate, however, they were still made of hard materials. Wood, bronze, bamboo, stone, and porcelain were the ‘norm’ in that part of the world.

The ancient Greeks and Romans actually pioneered some of the earliest ‘comfort’ pillows. They did this by stuffing their pillows with reeds, straw, or even cotton to make them more comfortable to sleep on. These pillows were still rudimentary, but they were a step closer to the modern versions we have today.

When the middle ages came around, mankind saw some strange beliefs arise regarding pillows. Men were considered ‘weak’ if they slept on pillows… and before long, it was only considered ‘proper’ to use them if you were a pregnant woman or a king!

Finally, with the beginnings of the industrial revolution, pillows came back in style… and it was not long before every man, woman, and child in the developed world had a pillow under their head at night.

It is unclear when the first anti-snoring pillow came onto the scene… but it is no secret that the position of the head and neck can play vital role in reducing snoring problems. There have been many modern anti-snoring pillows released to the market in the past few decades, though some have worked better than others.

There Are So Many Anti-Snoring Pillows on the Market… How Do I Choose One?

This is a very good question, and one that we hear a lot. There are a LOT of anti-snoring pillows on the market… so finding the one that’s right for you can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you make the most informed purchase for you!

1… Remember That You Should Sleep on Your Side

A lot of anti-snoring pillows are actually designed to keep you from sleeping on your back, which promotes snoring and often makes it worse. But the bad thing about sleeping on your side is that it tends not to be as good for your spine as back-sleeping is. This is why many of the best snore pillows offer support for the head and neck that promotes side-sleeping.

So look for a pillow that would make sleeping on your side easier and more comfortable.

2… Shoot for Comfort

One of the best rules for finding the right anti-snoring pillow for you is to focus on comfort. Your snoring may or may not get better as you use the pillow… but one thing that you NEED to make sure of is that you are comfortable. A pillow that does not make you more comfortable is not going to help your snoring problems! So if in doubt, go for something that will make you more comfortable, and see how it does at reducing the severity of your snoring problems.

Then, you can work from there to try to dial-in better results.

3… Special Pillows May Be More Expensive, But They May Also Work Better!

There are a lot of anti-snoring pillows out there that feature ‘wild’ designs. We usually see ‘normal’ pillows as either square or round. This is practical, but it is not always the best shape to promote clear breathing.

There are wedge pillows, pillows with special contours, and even pillows with openings in the middle to promote better neck support… and all of these can be effective. So be prepared to think ‘outside of the box’ as you shop for your first anti-snoring pillow, and don’t be afraid to go for something that looks a lot different from what you’re used to!

4… Read Reviews and Research!

No two pillows are going to work exactly the same, and everyone’s situation is a little bit different. But still… with that in mind, it is such a good idea to research and read-up on any product before you spend money on it! Look at the perks, look at the features, get non-biased reviews from a few different sources, check the product website, learn about the company, find out if there have been any studies done on the product to verify its effectiveness, etc.

A LOT of companies are GREAT at selling things… but that doesn’t always mean that those products are going to WORK! So do your due diligence, and try your best to figure out which option might be the best for you!

A little bit of homework could go a long way toward getting you the best product for you!

5… Look For Money Back Guarantees

We love products that come with money back guarantees. We truly feel that reputable companies will not shy away from offering extra insurance like this on their products… and we highly recommend that you try ‘guaranteed’ products first, before moving on to pillows that don’t come with a guarantee of any kind.

It is really just common sense. If a product is tried and tested, wouldn’t the company believe enough in it to offer you your money back in the event it doesn’t work?

Can You Pair Stop Snoring Pillows With Other Products?

We get this question a lot, and are always glad to answer it!

Yes, you can absolutely pair an anti-snoring pillow with other products. In fact, we actually encourage this… as it really only increases the odds of your snoring getting better.

Some of the most popular types of snoring remedies to pair with special snoring pillows include…

  • Mandibular Advancement Devices
  • Tongue Stabilization Devices/Tongue Retaining Devices
  • Nasal Dilators
  • Nasal Strips
  • Anti-Snoring Throat Spray
  • Anti-Snoring Chin Straps
  • CPAP Therapy

You can sometimes even use more than two devices along with a special pillow. For example, we’ve heard of people using an MAD, nasal strips, and a special pillow to help eliminate snoring problems. It really all depends on what you find to work the best for you!

What About ‘Smart’ Pillows?

Lately, we’ve heard a lot of people talking about ‘smart’ anti-snoring systems… and some of them are centered around pillows or devices meant to fit underneath your pillow. One very good example of a device like this is the Smart Nora. We’ve actually reviewed the Smart Nora, which is a system that utilizes an expandable pad that you place underneath your pillow. When the system detects snoring, it raises and lowers the pillow to slightly engage your throat muscles… though it does so without waking you up.

We actually really liked the Smart Nora, and believe that smart solutions like this are far better than the ‘old fashioned’ pillows that we’ve had up till now.

The Smart Nora, and other types of ‘smart’ systems, are still new and a bit on the expensive side… but in our mind, the are well worth the extra cost, and we would absolutely recommend that you take a look at them!

Final Thoughts

Anti-snoring pillows are definitely a unique type of product with a solid place in the market. The fact that they are so minimally invasive is what makes them so popular… even though they don’t necessarily work for everyone.

For best results, try to find a pillow that is not only made with quality materials, but that also comes from a reputable company. These types of products can also be useful as a supplement to other stop snoring methods, to help make them more effective… so that is an upside to them as well.

There are A LOT of them on the market, but with a bit of research… coupled with some trial and error… you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that will at least out-perform your regular pillow. And even that is a feat worth the trouble!

Updated 1.25.2018

Josh Sigafus Editor

Joshua Sigafus is just a writer trying to make the world a better place. You can find him on Facebook.