Anti-snoring Chin Straps – Do They Work?

anti-snoring chin strapOf all the anti-snoring devices available, chin straps are one of the easiest to use. The simplest form of an anti-snoring chin strap consists of a cup made of fabric to provide support to the chin, and straps that go up the sides of the face and around the top of the head. One such popular chin strap (as seen in this picture) is My Snoring Solution.

Before you buy a chin strap, it is important you understand how it works, because this will help you decide if it is the right device to help you stop snoring.

Sleep, Chin Position and Snoring

Have you ever noticed what happens between the time you lie down in bed and actually fall asleep? Generally, the cycle of events that unfold is something like:

  • You are alert and still awake.
  • Your brain begins to slow down, and you may experience some peculiar and vivid sensations such as a sudden jerk, or a feeling that someone is calling out your name.
  • You slip into a state of drowsiness or light sleep which is actually the transition from being alert to falling asleep.
  • You go into deeper sleep, your heart slows down and body temperature dips.
  • You go into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep where the brain becomes more active than during the previous stages, but the muscles become deeply relaxed.

During the stage when the muscles go into deep relaxation, they become completely flaccid and incapable of movement. This applies to the muscles in the jaw, too, and so the chin tends to drop down, leaving the mouth hanging open when a person goes into deep sleep.

In addition to this, the tongue and other tissues in the throat also tend to fall back, blocking the airways and causing the typical snoring sound to emerge from the mouth.

How Chin Straps Work

When you wear a chin strap before sleeping, it acts like a sling that serves to hold your jaw firmly in place. Thanks to this, the mouth stays closed and this forward position of the jaw reduces the risk of the tongue and throat tissues falling back to block the airways. The end result – there is no snoring.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are advised to use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, your doctor may ask you to also use a chin strap. CPAP therapy forces air into your throat through a mask and the pressure of the air flowing in helps to keep the airways open.

If you are the type who sleeps with the mouth open, this can prove counterproductive – the air entering your throat through the mask escapes out of the mouth and does not perform the intended function of keeping the airways open. This can actually worsen the sleep apnea and therefore, doctors advise sleep apnea patients who sleep with the mouth open to use a chin strap in combination with CPAP therapy.

How Effective are Anti-Snoring Chin Straps?

Chin straps are one of the simplest anti-snoring devices you can find; however, this does not necessarily mean they are the most effective. Actually, rather than asking if anti-snoring chin straps are effective, a better question to ask is if they are right for you.

This question has an easy answer – considering the way in which the chin strap works, it proves effective for people who snore through the mouth.

You also have to consider how you sleep before deciding to use an anti-snoring chin strap. The strap is most effective if it stays in position throughout the night. If you tend to toss and turn in your sleep, how likely is it that the strap will stay in place? Think of this before you choose this device and find out about the different designs on offer.

There are some types of anti-snoring chin straps (such as My Snoring Solution) that have a sling-like design and have longer and wider straps – these are more likely to stay in place without sliding off as compared to the devices with compact straps.

Another point to consider is the cause of your snoring. If your snoring is because of nasal congestion or due to sleep apnea, it will not respond to chin straps; in fact, it could be downright dangerous to be using such a strap. Here’s why …

When to Avoid Chin Straps

If your nose is blocked due to an allergic condition or because of an infection such as sinusitis, you unconsciously breathe in through the mouth to compensate for the inability to breathe in through the nose. This is the body’s way of ensuring there is enough oxygen entering your lungs.

If you wear a chin strap in such conditions, your mouth is forced shut and this means you do not receive the required amount of oxygen during sleep and this can result in serious complications for your health.

Another important aspect to consider – many people have undiagnosed sleep apnea; what you think of as snoring may actually be sleep apnea. In such circumstances, if you wear an anti-snoring chin strap, you are actually contributing to the low oxygen levels caused by the sleep apnea and this can prove dangerous.

So, if you want my final verdict on anti-snoring chin straps, here it is: Ask your partner if you sleep with your mouth open. If it sounds like the snoring comes from your mouth, then try a chin strap. If you snore with your mouth closed, or through your nostrils, it won’t work.

When you shop, find a sling-like version, try it on and see if it is a good fit before buying – remember, you have to sleep with it on the entire night, night after night. Ask your partner to observe if the snoring subsides by using the anti-snoring chin strap. If it does, that’s great!

However, if it doesn’t, or if your partner says the snoring has been replaced by a choking or gasping sound, please visit a doctor at the earliest to find out if you have a more serious sleeping condition.

Places to find chin straps

You usually won’t find a place in your local mall that sells chin straps designed to stop snoring. It’s best to ask your doctor, or research online.

I myself don’t snore due to my mouth being open (I use a mouthpiece instead). However, a good friend who does snore through his mouth uses the My Snoring Solution chinstrap. He found that it was the only one that wouldn’t come off during the night, because of the straps around the top of the head and behind the ears. So that’s definitely one product I would check out.

35 thoughts on “Anti-snoring Chin Straps – Do They Work?

  1. Your write-up is the best I have come across; especially the warning that it is dangerous to use chin straps if one has sleep apnea or nasal congestion. I have both conditions & can vouch that chin straps DEFINITELY do not work if one has either sleep apnea or nasal congestion or both. You are correct that CPAP machine is not as effective if one is a mouth breather. But, having used one for 10 years, it is still better than nothing.

    In my view the most effective device would be a stent that can be inserted through the nostril, extending down to the throat past the soft tissue into the back of the throat. This guarantees free airflow. There is a German product that functions like this which I plan to try.

    • Thanks, Richard. I’ve heard of the stent, from Alaxo. I don’t think it’s here in North America yet. If it guarantees better sleep, it could definitely be an option!

      • Any news on whether the stent from Alaxo is already in the USA?. If not, any estimate on when it will be?

        • I checked, and there’s still no date. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes years to get approved.

    • Hello Richard, Please help me to understand have you tried anything different than CPAP machine which you found is helpful for sleep apnea. My father is having this problem and he got a nose injury while using CPAP and he quit using it. But none of the medicines or anything too have helped him. Please share your thoughts, could be helpful, thanks

    • H’lo Richard, I have suffered now for so long, that I am willing to try that german product that you mentioned. Would appreciate if you would share a little more info. on the product.

      Thank you. Ricardo M.

  2. If a person has sleep apnea and uses a prescribed CPAP mask, this keeps air flowing continuously into the nose and air passages. So then wouldn’t it would be safe to also add a chin strap if necessary, if the mouth drops open during sleep?

    • Yes, this would be safe. However, if the person is undiagnosed and doesn’t use a CPAP mask, using a chin strap could be harmful. I would check to rule out sleep apnea first.

  3. I did go to a sleep clinic because I snore pretty loudly (started when I turned 21), wake up feeling sleepy, and my sister recorded my sleep and I would stop breathing occasionally, however the sleep doctor I went to said I don’t have sleep apnea. Heart issues run in the family and I was worried about getting it and it’s also embarrassing to have to sleep elsewhere and risk the chance of me snoring…(even sitting in a bus I would catch myself snoring).

    Two nights ago I decided to use a 3M Surgical tape to keep my mouth close since I apparently am a mouth breather…my partner said I didn’t store at night (and no choking sounds either). Now I might consider getting the straps (my mom has the same issue as well)…but still working on getting a second opinion from a specialist cuz I think the doctor was wrong about me not having sleep apnea.

  4. If you need a chin strap the Cpap mask you should use covers your nose mouth and chin so no other strap is required

    • sorry, but i beg to differ with you. i use a cpap and am a mouth breather. have had problems with my sinuses (it seems) my whole life. i am 65 yrs old. i am soooo tired of waking up and having my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, and/or being so dry i couldn’t make any spit if i was on fire. i take a lot of meds, so i’m sure this is contributing to my dry mouth. i tried a silly little skinny chin strap from the doc, but that didn’t work at all. kept sliding down my hair. i am seeing an ENT late this month (for a persistent enlarged lymph node in my neck) and hope to get him to address the issue of my left nostril always being stuffed up. i had deviated septum surgery back in 2001 and it seems as if it certainly hasn’t gotten any better, only worse. my tongue and the roof of my mouth are actually sore from being stuck together and having to ‘pull them apart’ every morning.

  5. I am currently on a Cpap Machine. the probably with this machine is we the power go out I can’t use it.That’s why I was thinking about trying the chin strap.I just won’t to know what you all think please reply back

    • The Cpap machine creates air pressure that keeps your muscles from collapsing in your mouth and throat, which is the main cause of sleep apnea. The chin strap keeps your jaw secure, so it is only effective if you snore because your mouth is hanging open. Here’s a good article I found (click PDF when you go to it) –

      • Yes having used a chin strap to alleviate sleep apnea for four nights I find it definitely helps

  6. Hello,
    I need an opinion please. I use CPAP machine and the mask covers my nose and mouth. I am flying to Europe and I will be in the air est. midnight until 7:00 am. and again when I come home. I am told by my husband that I snore and that it’s loud. I would very much like to sleep on the flight but more importantly, I do not want to disturb other passengers that are on the plane. Is a strap worth a try? I cannot purchase a battery. I am taking the CPAP on the trip and will be using it each night in the hotel.
    Thanks for responding.

    • I use my c-pap on the plane all the time. Just ask to be placed next to a full outlet.

  7. I use a cpap machine and find that my head seems to drop forward and down, which causes me to gasp for air through my mouth, waking up in the morning with a very dry mouth and throat. Not feeling rested. I think this is a wonderful idea as I was just thinking last night “if only there was a way to keep my chin up at night!!”
    Thank you and I will definitely look into this!!

  8. My son is 41 and has a real problem with mouth snoring. He had his tonsils and adenoids removed and it helped tremendously, but he is still so tired and sleepy all of the time and falls asleep when he is sitting around any time of the day. He also has been gaining a lot of weight. He has no insurance to be tested for sleep apnea and I am frantic to get him help. He doesn’t have the money to be checked out medically, so I was hoping it wouldn’t be dangerous to have him use the chin strap. What do you think?

    • This could work. Just make sure he doesn’t have a stuffy nose due to sinus issues that could cause problems … though he would wake up if the nasal passages were blocked and he wasn’t getting any air.

  9. Using a tempurpedic contour pillow will keep your neck back and your chin up. There are many contour pillows out there, but I find the tempurdeic to be the firmest.

  10. i snore very loud, i haven’t had a doctors check out , i know that my mouth is open when i snore i do need help i will try to buy the chin strap to see if it works i wake up at nite numerous times so i need help

  11. I’ve had the same CPAP machine for over 12 yrs. and I think it’s no longer doing the job. Short of a sleep study, high cost and deductible if my insurance will even pay for it, how would I know if the strap is doing the job as a CPAP?

    • Chinstraps are good for open-mouth snoring, but not sleep apnea, which has different causes.

  12. Hello Sir! I’m a commercial truck driver, and 2yrs ago, due to my neck size, which is 18″, I had to have a sleep study done, so I could obtain my annual re-certification to continue driving. I was told that I had Sleep Apnea, and used the CPAP machine until I changed jobs, and I no longer had insurance to pay for it.
    I now have insurance, and had to do another sleep study last month , again to be re-certified, but this time I was told my breathing while sleeping was not obstructive, and I do not have Sleep Apnea. I don’t know which sleep study was/is correct. I plan on using a chin strap regardless, and the one you mentioned from My Snoring Solution seems like the perfect fit for me. Better Safe Than Sorry, Yes?

  13. My wife complains about snoring and I have had the sleep study that came back negative. What’s more I snore in any position. Side, stomach and especially the back. Any suggestions for further investigation would be helpful. I had sinus surgery last year and it helped clear up my airways and sinus drainage passes through much more quickly instead of lingering and making me sick. I do snore worse when congested.
    I am at a loss.

    • If you snore with your mouth open, a chinstrap could help. It’s much more comfortable than a dental device.

  14. I hd a c-pap for less than two years. It no longer will run for more than 10 minutes at a time, and then it cuts off. So, I bought another, and after six weeks or so, getting up, I pulled it to the floor (on the carpet). Now, it does not work properly either. It will blow air only when the door to where the water is put in is open. Then even with the door open, the air goes into the room, not into my mask. Repairs from the company are over $300. Does anyone know how to find a repairman for a C-PAP? I am diagnosed with sleep apnea, but snore with my mouth open. Could I just use a chin strap? Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

    • Hello Ted,

      Though I myself don’t use a CPAP machine, for my friend, all repairs can be done through the medical center where he bought it from, and insurance covers it (I’m assuming you checked your insurance). $300 does sound about right, though, because it is a specialized service, unfortunately.

  15. I have tried the CPAP machine and I did not like it. It made my nose sore and red. I sleep with my mouth open and my husband has told me that I snore. I have caught myself snoring at times. I have thought about trying a chin strap. The my snoring solution seems like a good one but it is very expensive.

    • It is a bit expensive, but you get two, and it is made of high quality neoprene. You do have a 90 day refund policy, minus a 25% environmental disposal fee (as the straps can’t be sold again for hygienic reasons)

  16. I’m convinced I have sleep apnea after reading all about it my symptoms are all there. Trouble is, my boss also has it. He wears a mask and there are strap marks on his face everyday til nearly lunchtime. I work on a reception and don’t want these marks on my face. So I am avoiding going to the doctors to get diagnosed. Do all CPAP machines cause these strap marks please?

    • Most likely the straps are too tight. If you do need a CPAP machine, talk to your doctor, who will show you how to use it properly. When it’s properly used, the seal on the mask will fit your face just right, and the straps can stay comfortable enough to not leave marks.

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