About 50% of the population snores at some point or another. It is more prevalent in men than women, tends to run in families, and becomes more common with age. Among habitual snorers, about 40 percent are adult men and 24 percent are adult women.
Any person can snore, male or female, young or old, no matter what their physical characteristics. Several factors contribute to habitual snoring including smoking, alcohol consumption, and if you are overweight. But snoring can occur even without these risk factors.
Genetics and anatomy can also play a role in snoring. The structure of an individual’s head, neck, and throat may make one more likely to snore, regardless of other factors. Occasionally, people who aren’t regular snorers will snore after a viral illness, after drinking alcohol, or when taking some medications.
For most snorers, a specific snoring aid is required. Numerous non-prescription treatments for snoring are available on the market, including position-limiting devices, nasal dilators, chin straps, tongue training devices and anti-snore wearables. Scroll down to see our reviews of all these types of snoring aids.
This page includes alternative snoring aids. For other snoring aids, consider checking out our ratings of the best-anti-snoring mouthpieces.
The uses of salt are countless and the benefits of salt therapy have been well known since ancient times. First discovered in a Polish salt mine in 1843, the benefits of natural rock salt inside the microclimate of a cave led to a salt cave therapy known as Speleotherapy.
Salt therapy devices are designed to replicate the conditions of salt caves but in the comfort of home. They contain rock salt like the salt caves, are portable, and most effective when simulating the cave conditions. A Speleotherapy type treatment is best achieved at home by maintaining a low humidity and closing doors and windows.
The Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device emits a dry salt aerosol made from natural rock salt allowing inhalation of microscopic salt particles all night. These devices produce dry sodium chloride that is negatively charged, which means they are attracted to positively charged surfaces, and help maintain the inner airways open to reduce snoring.
SalinPlus Video Review
Types of Snoring Aids
Nasal dilators are designed to mechanically open users’ nasal passages and are available in various forms including external strips, in-nostril stents, and in-nostril cones. By increasing the diameter of the nostril, the dilators can alleviate snoring and lessen ailments such as cold and allergy congestion. While they cannot directly treat any sleep disorders, nasal dilators may help obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or people who have a nasal congestion condition.
A study published in the 2014 International Journal of Otolaryngology concluded that any sort of improvement in opening up the nasal passages, either with a nasal dilator or something else, can often improve the quality of a person’s sleep. Although they are not generally recommended for patients with severe sleep disorders, nasal dilators may be helpful for those with simple snoring associated with rhinitis and/or nasal valve stenosis.
In another investigation, published in the Archives of Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery, 11 patients with OSA or habitual snoring problems related to some other cause were tested to determine if there was a positive or negative effect of when using nasal dilators. They discovered the frequency and severity of obstructed breathing decreased significantly with the nasal dilator and substantially diminished snoring.
Nasal strips are essentially external nasal dilators. The simple construction, adhesive tape with hard plastic splints, give the look and feel of stiff Band-Aids. Fastened across the bridge of the nose, they act like a spring to pull the nostrils open slightly, preventing collapse during inhalation and therefore increasing airflow.
Several brands of nasal strips are available. The International Journal of General Medicine reports over-the-counter dilators can reduce nasal blockage and lessen snoring. However, there is no evidence showing they can help treat obstructive sleep apnea since OSA does not involve nasal blockage as much as it related to problems with the soft tissue at the back of the throat.
Other studies have demonstrated the potential benefits of nasal strips as noted in a review paper, published in the International Journal of General Medicine in 2014. The results of these studies indicate nasal strips can decrease airway resistance and increase nasal airflow during inhalation, thus alleviating snoring in people with compromised nasal breathing or nasal obstruction. They also found a variation in effectiveness based on anatomy, how the strip adheres to different nose shapes. Nasal strips may be a good alternative to using nasal decongestants, which have side effects.
They may be worth a try since they are simple to use, noninvasive, and relatively inexpensive. The only risk is skin irritation.
EPAP and Theravent
Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy is the most common therapy for sleep-disordered breathing. It has been used successfully in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) for decades.
Expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP), only recently introduced as a form of sleep apnea therapy, uses a method similar to PAP for preventing the narrowing or collapse of airways. However, instead of a machine to pump air under pressure to the airways, EPAP uses the sleeper’s own exhaling breath to build air pressure.
Although they sound similar, EPAP is different from CPAP in that it does not force air into the throat, causing stomach pain and discomfort. EPAP is a much gentler, natural alternative. Theravent is the first EPAP therapy to be cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat snoring and is available over-the-counter under the tradename Theravent Snore Therapy (Ventus Medical, Inc., San Jose, California).
Tongue Restraining Devices (TRD)
A tongue restraining device (or tongue stabilizing device) is generally referred to as a TRD or TSD. It works by holding the tongue in place to either reduce or completely stop storing. Read our reviews of Good Morning Snore Solution and Zyppah which both have features that help hold the tongue in a place to eliminate snoring.
During sleep, the body’s muscles relax allowing the tongue to fall back in the throat which can constrict or block the airway resulting in a vibration causes snoring. A TRD is designed to maintain the forward position of the tongue and therefore keep the airway open.
The TRD is made of a flexible silicone material adapted to the general contours of the teeth and dental arches. However, it does not depend on teeth for retention. The tongue is held forward by the negative pressure created in the vacuum bulb on the front of the appliance.
Freedom of movement is possible during use since the mandible is not rigidly or firmly held by the appliance. The TRD is also an excellent choice for patients without teeth, with periodontal disease or with temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Once resting in the mouth the TSD does not require any conscious effort by the user to keep it in place. No biting down on the apparatus means it will operate correctly while the patient is completely relaxed and free to move around.
A TRD is effective for patients who can breathe through their nose. It should not be worn if the nose is blocked due to a cold or allergy, or a permanent condition.
Some users may experience tongue-tip irritation and even soreness during initial use. For most patients, this subsides after 4 to 7 days. A short trial and error period may be required to find the level of suction required to comfortably attach the tongue to the apparatus.
Tongue Training Devices
A tongue-training device is designed to strengthen the dorsal muscles of the tongue and the upper airway muscles to reduce upper airway narrowing during sleep.
The current methods used to train the tongue force the tongue down and forward against your upper incisor teeth. These devices enhance the amount of tongue protrusion needed to open the upper airway. One device model improves the resting firmness of tongue muscles by forcing the tongue to push against a spring-loaded resistance as the tongue extends outward from the mouth. The core method used by the device is something called threshold-load resistance. You can calibrate and adjust this as your tongue strengthens during the training process depending on individual need. Just like any sort of muscle training, the device helps you to tone and strengthen your tongue muscles. This helps prevent your tongue from moving backward in your mouth and narrowing your airway, therefore reducing snoring.
Research has shown that 70% of all snorers only snore when they are sleeping on their back. Sleeping flat on the back causes the tongue to collapse into the airway, which obstructs breathing and promotes snoring. Side-sleeping is a preferred position because it keeps the airway open and allows snorers to breathe freely. Changing sleep positions can make a huge difference on snoring and quality of sleep. Several companies have developed alternative anti-snoring products that are based on this snoring position principle.
One of the most popular and cost-effective anti-snoring devices on the market today, the snoring chin strap offers the sufferer a potentially simple and inexpensive therapy. Chin straps for snoring have consistently proven themselves to be an effective treatment for open-mouth snoring. About 80% of all snorers do so with their mouths open.
The chin strap is easy-to-use since it simply fits around the face and head. Made of fabric, the anti-snoring device typically cups the chin with straps that go up the side of the face to the top of the head. When properly fitted, it keeps the mouth closed and jaw in the right position to prevent airway blockage.
At the onset of sleep, the muscles throughout the body begin to relax. The jaw relaxes as well, allowing the chin to drop down and the mouth open. As the tongue muscles and the tissues in the back of the throat relax the tongue can slide back, block the airway, and cause snoring. The snoring chin strap keeps the mouth closed which prevents the tongue from sliding backwards.
Extensive research and development over many years, including recent studies published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, have demonstrated when the mouth is closed and the jaw is supported by a chin strap, the lower jaw remains in an upward and forward position and the throat is kept open and free of obstructions. Sleeping with your jaw in this position helps keep the airway open and muscles tight, thus allowing unrestricted, vibration-free, breathing, all of which can alleviate or eliminate snoring.
Snoring is amplified while sleeping on the back. Many sufferers of sleep apnea have a condition known as positional sleep apnea, and their breathing intermittently only stops while on the back. Luckily, there is a remedy for this called positional therapy devices. These products force the user to sleep on the side or stomach and disallow any movement onto the back. Side and stomach sleepers can experience a reduction in snoring of 20% or more. Position trainers can be used as complementary therapy to an anti-snoring mouthpiece. Here are the best trainers we have reviewed.
Better Sleep with Thync
Thync Relax Pro uses low-level electrical stimulation to activate specific nerves on the head and neck. The company claims that carefully constructed stimulation patterns tap into the body’s own mechanisms to relax, improve mood and sleep better. Nerve stimulation techniques have been in use for decades and have been shown to be safe with substantially lower levels of side effects than pharmaceuticals.
The device is attached to the neck via a pad with electrodes. The system includes an app that offers two modes of relaxation: Thync Deep Relax and Thync Deep Sleep, both emphasize sleep improvement. For best results, Thync recommends using the device when sitting or standing.
Thync makes no claims on their website their device does anything other than improve sleep by reducing stress and initiating relaxation. It makes no references to the device as an instrument for anti-snoring or sleep apnea therapy.
Finding the Right Snoring Aids for You
With all the anti-snoring devices and therapies available on the market, the task of choosing one seems daunting. However, with such a variety there is sure to be at least one that is effective, convenient, and comfortable for you.
Most of these products require a period of adjustment to become accustomed to the therapy. Every snorer reacts to anti-snoring treatments differently, but most will require some time to be effective. Try several products until you find the one that works best for you. You can usually return the ones that don’t work. A combination of therapies, especially the non-invasive products, may give you better results.
Many of the products come with an app to track your results and for those that don’t, there are several independent apps available. Track your results for each therapy you try and discover the anti-snoring treatment that works best for you.