When you are unable to breathe freely through your nose and throat during sleep – you snore.
According to Sleep Education, 40 percent of adult men and 24 percent of adult women are chronic snorers. That’s a huge chunk of the adult population.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the volume of a regular snore is 38 decibels?
Anti-snoring pillows are explicitly designed to prevent you from snoring. A popular anti-snoring product, these pillows have a certain shape that adjusts your neck in the proper position. These pillows allow air to pass from your mouth and nose into your lungs without blockage.
What This Article Is All About?
But that’s not all.
Anti-snoring pillows do more than just stop your snores. They align your neck and spinal cord during sleep and prevent acid reflux or sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea.
So, how exactly do anti-snoring pillows work?
Let’s find out.
How Does an Anti-Snoring Pillow Work?
Manufacturers claim that anti-snoring pillows have a particular design that allows them to align your spine and the airway to clear path for airflow.
People snore when their airways are obstructed – usually by a loose tissue in the back of their throat (like the tongue falling back). So when the air passes through your mouth, it causes the tissue to vibrate, which is what essentially causes snoring.
Pro tip: You’re more likely to snore if you sleep on your back. Try to sleep on your side.
But how does spine alignment play into this?
It’s simple. When the pillow aligns your spine and angles your neck, the loose tissue at the back of the throat is pulled tight. This way, the air passes more freely, and because the tissue is taut, it does not cause vibration.
This is actually proven by a multitude of research studies. Studies show that the use of positing-adjusting pillows significantly reduces snoring severity and snoring index (the number of times you snore per night).
However, contrary to popular belief, anti-snoring pillows don’t always work for everyone.
Let’s see how.
For Back Sleepers
Most of the people who sleep on their back already know that in this sleeping position, the chances of snoring multiply. But if you can’t help sleeping on your back, an anti-snoring pillow can help.
If you’re not a hardcore, wake up the bed partner, chronic snorer, there’s a good chance these pillows will work for you.
You should look for an anti-snoring pillow that provides sturdy support under your neck. It must also have a concave section to conform to the shape of your head comfortably.
The ultimate purpose of this pillow is to pull your head back, angle your neck, and open your air passage for easy breathing.
For Side Sleepers
Sometimes, sleeping on the side will relieve you of snoring. Most people have tried this change in their sleeping habits and found success.
But if you are a side sleeper who still snores, there are anti-snoring pillows out there to help.
Anti-snoring pillows are for heavy snorers, and their primary purpose is to correct your posture while you sleep. These pillows will angle your head, so it is slightly downward.
This posture will keep your tongue from blocking the air passage, effectively ceasing snores.
For Stomach Sleepers
For most stomach sleepers, anti-snoring pillows do not work. They only support the side and forward sleeping positions. So if you are a stomach sleeper, you may need a thinner pillow to maintain neck and head alignment.
Yet, most experts claim sleeping on your stomach may eventually put an end to your snoring. When you lie on your stomach, the side alignment of your neck with your head decreases the risk of blocking airflow.
So sometimes, sleeping on your stomach may be an effective way to stop snoring.
However, there are side effects of sleeping on your stomach. According to Mayo Clinic, sleeping on your stomach will put stress on your back and spine.
Pro-tip: Alcohol causes extra relaxation of your throat weef4fehich causes snoring. So, it may not be a good idea to go legless from boozing-up just before sleep.
Does an Anti-Snoring Pillow Really Work? Top 3 Claims
Anti-snoring pillows are widely available, and they claim to make snoring go away. But are these claims really true?
Anti-snoring pillows are an economical option for snorers to put an end to their nocturnal habits. Here are three claims every anti-snore pillow manufacturers makes:
- Adjust sleeping posture and encourage the sleeper to lie on their side.
- Provide neck and head support to aid breathing.
- Adjust body alignment and correct the posture of the sleeper.
So, do these claims verify?
Read on to find out!
# 1: Do Anti-Snore Pillows Make You Sleep on Your Side?
Sleeping on the side is like a recovery position for snorers.
A recovery position is when an unconscious person is moved into a position that would help them breathe easily.
In other words, anti-snoring pillows encourage sleepers into positional therapy. Sleeping on their side will keep the airway from getting blocked and put an end to snoring.
# 2: Do Anti-Snoring Pillows Support Your Neck?
Do you ever wake up with a crick or soreness in your neck?
According to the NHS, neck pain is a common consequence of sleeping in an awkward position. But how does that affect your snoring habit?
When your pillow does not provide proper support to your neck, your head rests on your shoulder. This awkward angle obstructs the airway and causes snoring.
Anti-snoring pillows provide adequate support to your neck to make it easier for air to pass through without obstruction.
# 3: Do Anti-Snoring Pillows Correct Your Posture?
Proper body alignment is necessary for a snore-free sleep.
Research shows that anti-snore pillows keep your neck from bending, align your spine, conform to your head, and support your shoulders to make breathing easy and comfortable.
As a result, your airway allows easy respiration, and you sleep without snoring.
What Are the Features of an Anti-Snoring Pillow?
All anti-snoring pillows share common features that make them perfect for snorers. Let’s have a look at them:
- Hypoallergenic material
- Washable and set for machine dryer
- Travel-sized for easy transport
- Shaped to provide adequate alignment to your head, neck, and shoulders.
Top 7 Types of Anti-Snoring Pillows
There are plenty of different types of anti-snoring pillows. Each offers something the other may not. Listed below are all the types of anti-snoring pillows.
- Inflation or smart snoring pillows
- CPAP mask pillows
Now, let’s explore each one of these in detail.
# 1: Wedge
These are triangular shaped pillows that elevate your head a few inches off the surface of the bed. Wedge pillows are extremely popular among snorers because the shape allows easy passage of air through your nose and mouth.
A wedge pillow will align your head, neck, and spine to keep your posture as straight and unbending as possible.
Wedge pillows the same size as regular pillows are available in stores, and you can easily shop for them.
Not only do these pillows keep you from snoring, but they also help with other health issues. People suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) also benefit from the steep incline offered by wedge pillows. The position lowers the acid production in the body.
You can find wedge pillows in different materials such as latex or memory foam.
# 2: Contour
A contour pillow molds to your head for maximum comfort during sleep. After thorough research, contour pillows have a wave-like design to help mild snorers and individuals suffering from sleep apnea have a restful sleep.
The pillow holds your head in place and supports the back of your neck so your head does not fall onto the chest or shoulders. This way, it effectively keeps your airways open for easy breathing.
Constructed from memory foam, contour pillow shapes after your head and supports your posture.
Here’s a tip for side sleepers
The raised and rounded parts of a contour pillow are a perfect fit for your neck and shoulders. It will cradle your head and keep your air pathways open.
So, if you’re a side sleeper, maybe a contour pillow will help.
# 3: U-shape
Shaped like travel neck pillows, they support your head and neck to reduce snoring. The curved part of the pillow supports your head and takes off significant weight from your neck and shoulders.
Pro tip: A u-shaped pillow is especially useful for back sleepers.
# 4: Foam
There exist two different types of foam pillows:
- Latex Foam
- Memory Foam
Memory foam is super soft and comfortable. Over time, it retains the shape pressed on it. So, if you’re a stomach sleeper, we wouldn’t recommend a memory foam pillow.
Latex is comparatively firmer. It’s also flatter and stockier than memory foam but will contour to your head and shoulders all the same. Latex pillows are best for back and side sleepers. They keep your airway open, and your body aligned for a snore-free sleep.
# 5: Full-body
Full-body pillows support more than just your head. They also support your neck, shoulders, back, and pelvis.
They prop your head up, straighten your posture, and open the air pathway to ease airflow.
# 6: Inflation or Smart Snoring Pillows
Also referred to as smart anti-snoring pillows, inflating pillows with their sonic sensor technology and self-inflation are all the hype in Australia and worldwide. Whenever the pillow detects your snoring, it automatically adjusts the position of your head to put an end to it.
The adjustment of your head stimulates your throat muscles, which contract to cease snoring temporarily. Some inflating pillows only lower or raise your head when the sensors detect snoring. Some may even move your head side to side in case the snoring gets worse.
The change in position is slight, and the subtle movement does not disturb your sleep. Usually, smart anti-snoring pillows offer no extra head or neck support. These pillows are pretty useful, and most buyers seem satisfied with the results.
# 7: CPAP Mask Pillows
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. These pillows cater to those who need CPAP machines during sleep. The machine pumps air through the nose, which forces your air pathways to open up. CPAP machines offer treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
People suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea experience breathing difficulty due to physical obstruction in their air pathways. This happens when throat muscles relax and constrict the airways.
These pillows don’t improve snoring or sleep apnea on their own, as shown by research. They only make wearing CPAP easier as wearing CPAP can be quite daunting and uncomfortable.
What Are the Positives and Negatives of Anti-Snoring Pillows?
Now, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of anti-snoring pillows:
|You do not need to wear them||May not always be effective|
|Correct your neck, back, and shoulder problems||Not easy to carry with you|
|Open up air pathways during sleep||Larger than other anti-snoring products|
|Can improve the quality of your sleep||Not always suitable for stomach sleepers|
Who Should Use an Anti-Snoring Pillow and Who Should Avoid It?
If you have a snoring issue but do not want to use the anti-snoring devices, you can use an anti-snoring pillow. It’s a more appealing choice when compared to other options because it’s less intrusive and very economical.
If you’re averse to putting a device in your mouth or using chin strips, an anti-snoring pillow is a good choice for you. But you must know that anti-snoring pillows use positional therapy to open up your airways, and they may not be for everyone, especially if there’s an underlying cause to your snoring.
You can use it anytime you go to sleep. However, it may not be convenient to lug around a pillow with you during travel, so that’s one downside to using an anti-snoring pillow.
Even though most manufacturers claim that their anti-snoring pillow works for a stomach sleeper, that’s hardly ever the truth. Other than that, anybody can use an anti-snoring pillow.
Pro-tip: Quit smoking. Cutting down on ciggies may reduce snoring.
Snoring is a common problem that affects millions of people in Australia alone. There are effective anti-snoring devices available like Tongue Retaining Devices (TRDs), Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs), chin strips, nasal dilators, and anti-snoring pillows.
Like other anti-snoring devices, it may take you some time to familiarize yourself with anti-snoring pillows, and there still may not be a guarantee that your snoring will cease. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t give it a try!
Regardless, we all are different. Some might respond to anti-snoring pillows, and some may not. These pillows are affordable, so it won’t hurt to try.
The most essential point is to give prime importance to your comfort. No matter what you do, make sure you are comfortable during sleep.