Despite the availability of many devices and procedures that aim to manage the problem, sometimes snoring is incurable. The market for products that prevent snoring and reduce the risk of airway obstructions is large, but results can vary significantly depending on the user. For some, they don’t work at all. This can be frustrating for affected parties, especially non-snorers that may lose sleep because of the noise. If your partner has tried anti-snoring devices, snoring pillows, or even surgery and still has a snoring problem, there are alternate solutions you can try to block snoring.
Methods of Blocking Snoring
If trying to eliminate the source hasn’t worked, try blocking the sound. Some individuals find that using a simple pair of earplugs blocks snoring. However, many others need more creative solutions. If sleeping on the couch doesn’t appeal to you or you can’t escape to a guest room, try listening to music or to mobile apps with prerecorded nature, water, or storm sounds. If you’re willing to invest in more expensive solutions to reduce snoring noise, purchase a pair of isolation or noise-cancelation headphones. White noise machines are another blocking device you can try.
Snoring’s Sound Frequencies
The average frequency range for snoring is approximately 45 to 55 decibels (dB), which is around the same loudness as a normal conversation. For comparison, the sound of a vacuum cleaner averages around 70 dB, and a chainsaw is roughly 100 decibels. Loud snoring is snoring that exceeds the 45 to 55 frequency and reaches levels of 65 dB or more. If your partner’s snoring is around 60 dB, more often than not, you’ll need a capable solution to eliminate the noise of snoring.
Our Testing Methods and Goals
To determine the most effective way to block sounds such as snoring, we used the Sound Meter App for Android and tested various against snoring videos on YouTube. Our goal is to provide readers with the best value solution to block or reduce snoring noises, so we kept parameters the same on each test and had multiple users assess the comfort of each item. We bought the products we examined from Amazon or individual retail sites.
What is the Most Effective Method for Blocking Snoring?
If you want a simple, direct way to eliminate all noises (including snoring), you could always get a pair of $1,000 custom earplugs tailor-made for snoring. Gun enthusiasts often buy these to block noise while shooting. There are also $300 to $400 white noise earplugs available, but there are cheaper and better ways to achieve the same results. While there’s nothing wrong with choosing expensive, high-end products, they don’t always work and many have mixed reviews from users.
At first, we thought we would find a single earplug or product that blocks snoring. However, during our testing trials, we realized that no one product can completely block noises, although some are better than others. After testing items individually, we decided to mix and match products you can wear simultaneously. For example, you could wear sleeping earmuffs and earplugs or use a white noise machine while wearing earplugs. Read on to see the results.
Products We Tested
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After testing them individually, we tried pairing products together to take snore blocking even further. Since the product with the highest snore blocking capabilities was the Hearos with a 33 NRR rating, we decided to use it in conjunction with other sleep-friendly products. The Hearos are cheap and comfortable, but if you don’t like the feel of foam earplugs, the Decibullz molded earplugs are another choice. Ohro’s wax earplugs are also comfortable and won’t leave your ears sore in the morning. We analyzed the effectiveness of the following combinations:
SleepPhones w/Ambient Noise + Earplugs
Although this combination isn’t the most comfortable, it completely blocks average snoring levels. However, you might notice snoring if it’s considerably loud. Buying the SleepPhones and Hearos Earplugs together will be a bit pricey, but they work better than the white noise machine or the app.
Sleep Earmuffs + Earplugs
The Sleep Earmuffs and Hearos earplug combo works best for non-snorers who don’t like wearing earplugs. This pairing works well to block average snoring levels, but loud and extreme snoring noises may bleed through.
White Noise Mobile App + Earplugs
For these trials, we used the White Noise Free App for Android, the most popular background noise app in the Play Store. We tested the products with Ocean Waves and with Rainforest background sounds at a high volume. The only problem with these settings is the white noise could wake the snorer. We’re assuming the snoring is about 4 ft away from the white noise sound, and the non-snorer is one foot away.
Marpac Dohm-DS All Natural Sound Machine + Earplugs
The Marpac Dohm is a dome-shaped white noise machine that’s easy to use and promises to help drown out irritating noises. We placed the white noise machine about 1.5 ft away from the partner and set it to the highest volume possible. This was the best performing combination. When used together, these products provide a comfortable and effective solution to eliminating low-level snoring noises across the sound spectrum.
To successfully block or eliminate noises like snoring, place the classic Marpac white noise machine about 1 to 2 ft away from you on a nightstand and play it on highest volume that feels comfortable. Then, insert foam earplugs with a rating of NRR 31 or higher. This is the best solution we found for price, comfort, and success.
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We didn’t test Bluetooth wireless earbuds with white noise streaming from a mobile app. Theoretically, you could play white noise all night while using the earbuds’ noise cancellation technology. This could offer promising results, so please let us know if you try this. Wire-free earbuds prices tend to fall between $50 and $300.
Make sure to use a combination of items. These products won’t do much to reduce snoring noises on their own, but when paired with other devices, they can make snoring significantly less noticeable. You also don't want to sacrifice comfort for quietness. Products that block noises aren’t worth buying if you can’t wear them to bed. Just use something that gets the snoring volume down to a level where you can sleep. Using 100% sound reduction products could cause you to miss a phone call, the fire alarm or other emergency sounds during the night. For sleepers who don’t enjoy wearing earplugs for extended periods, keep the products on the nightstand and put them on if snoring occurs.
In conclusion, no single device completely reduces snoring sounds. Therefore, you may need to try a few products simultaneously to successfully block snoring. While you consider noise blocking products, have your partner try more anti-snoring devices. Results vary by person, so many individuals give up after only trying a few. Smart pillows may help, so be sure to try them as well. If your partner is having trouble finding a capable anti-snoring device, have them read our reviews on anti-snoring mouthpieces.