Do Anti-Snoring Pillows Work?

picSnoringMan2Snorers looking for a good night’s sleep have almost certainly heard of anti-snoring pillows – they’re in stores, on Amazon and late-night TV viewing is peppered with their rave reviews.

They seem like a simple (and comfortable) solution to a nagging problem. There’s no chin strap to wear, no uncomfortable mouthpiece to insert and nothing to stuff in your nose.

But are these cozy little anti-snore mechanisms effective? We found mixed reviews – as well as a few scientific reasons why they may work for some, while leaving others as afflicted by snoring as ever. Here’s what we discovered, and how to decide whether a snore pillow may be right for you.

The Theory Behind Anti-Snoring Pillows

Anti-snoring pillows: Most of these work on the principle of aligning the neck properly to facilitate oxygen flow at night. Some snoring may be caused by air constriction due to sleep position. By forming a straight line from the chin to the bottom of the neck, the chin doesn’t drop down and cramp the area.

Anti-allergenic pillows: These aren’t technically “anti-snore” pillows, but for those who can trace their snoring to allergies, hypoallergenic materials can in fact help. (Be sure to continue to take any allergy medications your doctor has prescribed.)

Neck alignment with anti-snore pillow

Image by Therapeutica

Who is a Candidate For an Anti-Snoring Pillow?

Unfortunately, simply keeping the area straight and non-restricted from the outside may not help all sufferers. How do you know if an anti-snore pillow may help for you?

These pillows could potentially help with individuals who:

  • Tend to sleep on their backs, which pushes the chin toward the chest.
  • Sleep on their sides, but tend to hunch their shoulders up at night or assume other upper body positions that may cramp the airway.
  • Need a firmer support in order to experience a good night’s sleep.

They may not help with people who:

  • Have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you suspect OSA, consult your doctor. Most reputable anti-snore pillow marketers will state somewhere on the packaging that the pillow may not work for those with OSA.
  • Have some sort of nasal or throat obstruction, including deviated septum, nasal polyps or excessive tissue in the throat or back of the mouth.
  • Have already tried different sleep positions and have found these don’t help alleviate their snoring.
  • Have some other medical condition that makes breathing difficult at night.

Three Popular Pillows – And What Customers Say

I investigated three popular anti-snore pillows. Here’s whether or not real-time users thought they were helpful.

picBrookstoneAntiSnorePillowBrookstone Anti-Snore Pillow

Brookstone has a reputation for state-of-the-art technology and above average quality. We were surprised to find that although some consumers raved about their Anti-Snore Pillow, others were less than impressed.

Cost: $59.99

Average User Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (amazon.com)

Positive Comments:

  • “This is the right pillow for me. It helps with my snoring by satblizing my head and neck.” – Janice S
  • “I bought this pillow for my husband who snores all through the night…It is a miracle as nothing else has helped elevate his snoring condition.” – momofthree
  • “I bought this pillow for my fiancee who is the by far the noisiest person in bed I have ever come across….Other than a bit of heavy breathing, this man did not snore once. Not once.” – carroyo

Negative Comments:

  • “Didn’t work at all. I lasted all of a half an hour before I had to give (my husband) his old pillow back. Brookstone refuses to refund the item because it’s considered a ‘personal item’.” – Rachel M. Kozak
  • “Major headaches in the morning. Very very uncomfortable….Could not turn my head to the side, cavity too small.” – Sharon Pierre
  • “I tried it for several nights with no success…still snored….So wanted it to work, but didn’t for me.” – kutarheel

picSonaPillowSONA FDA-Cleared Anti-Snore and Mild Sleep Apnea Pillow

This interesting device certainly looks space-age, with its unique contouring. And the FDA endorsement is encouraging, although we don’t know what, specifically, it was FDA-approved for (we couldn’t find confirmation that it’s recommended for apnea specifically).

Cost: $59.00

Average User Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (amazon.com)

Positive Comments:

  • “This pillow is aaaaamazing. My husband was snoring so much that I had to use ear plugs…(using this pillow) I can sleep through the night and not wake up from his snoring.” – S. L. Ausborn
  • “This pillow has stopped my snoring, according to my wife. I do seem to be getting better sleep.” – PanzerPink
  • “All right by me!…Overall, this pillow is terrific for me and I highly recommend it for anyone who has a problem with snoring.” – Matthew G. Sherman

Negative Comments:

  • “Bulky, uncomfortable, impractical, noisy, made my neck sore, and didn’t stop my snoring.” – Gary Weaver
  • “I thought this would help me but it didn’t. It is mushed up now. Doesn’t keep its shape well. I went back to my memory foam pillow. It actually was uncomfortable.” – Alauda Trevor
  • “I found the pillow to be too soft and (it) did little to quiet my snoring”. – Melissa Kaufman

picScienceOfSleepPillowScience of Sleep Snore No More Pillow

The distributor states that this pillow was designed by a physician. Its price is a bit easier to swallow for some consumers, while receiving the same average rating.

Cost: $38.94

Average User Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (amazon.com)

Positive Comments:

  • “This pillow saved my marriage…Buy it…it’s worth it.” – rvnv
  • “I got this pillow for my husband, who snores like a freight train, and has tried everything, including mouth pieces. From the very first night he slept with it, his snoring has subsided – great product.” – jamie_wildblue
  • “Since getting this pillow I have not snored, period. It is a miracle. I can actually sleep flat on my back and I do not snore.” – P.M. Keene

Negative Comments:

  • “The pillow was comfortable (according to my husband) but it did not stop his snoring at all.” – Jenifer Radcliffe
  • “Hit or miss.” – Alison L. Adejokun
  • “This is a nice pillow, but my husband still snores like crazy! I guess this is not the answer for us.” – Gramazona

Are Anti-Snore Pillows Worth a Try?

The above pillows have certainly worked for some users. We recommend talking to your doctor to find out if an anti-snore pillow may work for your specific snoring situation.

Interestingly, even when the pillows did not help with snoring, there appear to be some pluses consumers may not have thought of. For instance, some consumers who said the pillow didn’t help with their snoring added that it was beneficial for alleviating neck pain or other positional discomforts. Their high ratings came from this fact, leading us to believe that an anti-snore pillow was a significant life improvement for these customers.

Be careful: some manufacturers will refuse returns on “personal items.” Not all manufacturers rate pillows as a personal item, but most do. Be sure to read the return policy before purchasing an anti-snore pillow in case it doesn’t work for you.

If you find that anti-snoring pillows aren’t helpful, do look into other possibilities, such as mouth guards and chin straps, both of which may provide relief depending upon the source of your snoring issue.

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