Are you one of the 15 million Brits who snore? Or perhaps you’re a long-suffering partner of a snorer? Then this one’s for you...
Snoring has a number of causes, and can be a serious health problem. Partial blockages anywhere between the tip of the nose to the vocal cords can create this vibration in the airways, resulting in loud noises.
Ultimately, while snoring can’t be completely stopped, it can be managed. Lifestyle factors such as quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol and losing weight can all help reduce snoring. Sleeping position also plays a part, with doctors recommending side sleeping as the best position to reduce snoring.
“Many people who sleep on their back suffer from snoring, as in this position, the chest is under the most pressure,” says Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep expert for mattress company, Silentnight. “Try sleeping on your side to open up your airways and you should see an improvement in your levels of snoring.”
Many anti-snore pillows are designed to help train snorers to sleep in this position, while others help to improve airflow and reduce congestion by lifting the head.
We put nine anti-snore pillows to the test. We used the SnoreLab app to record the frequency and intensity of snoring with each pillow. Our reviewers also considered comfort, feel, material, eco-friendliness, price and the overall quality of sleep they got while using the pillow. Testers tried the pillows for at least three nights.
It’s important to point out that if you always snore with your mouth open, the snoring may be caused by vibrating palatal tissue. This won’t be affected by your sleeping position and therefore you’ll find most anti-snore pillows ineffective.
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Levitex offers a new breed of memory foam pillows. This unique foam feels as supportive as memory foam, but is more lightweight, pushing the head up, instead of cradling it. So, the description of “gravity defying” feels quite appropriate.
The pillow is designed to fit perfectly in the hollow of your neck and shoulder when lying on your side, with four different sized pillows to accommodate small to extra large bodies. The foam is not temperature sensitive, so you’ll sleep soundly from summer to winter. Levitex warns that it may take up to two weeks to acclimatise to the unique feel, however, after just three nights our reviewers were sleeping through the night.
Our reviewers gave the pillow top marks in terms of comfort, restfulness and feel, waking up each morning without any shoulder or neck pain. The form and design made side-sleeping a breeze all night, resulting in a low snore score every night.
Panda memory foam bamboo pillow
The Panda offering looks and feels like a high-quality pillow thanks to its super-soft bamboo cover and thick memory foam fill. Bamboo is a naturally sustainable material, and the pillow comes plastic-free in a recyclable cardboard box, giving this pillow added eco-friendly credentials. It’s also naturally antibacterial and inhospitable to nasty critters such as dust mites and bed bugs.
Our reviewer loved the firmness of the memory foam and the height was perfect for side-sleeping. What’s more, the shape means that it works well as a general use pillow when reading or sitting up in bed. In terms of snoring, it was one of the better performers, with a lower-than-average snore score every night it was tested.
Putnams anti snore bed wedge pillow
This versatile pillow wedge can help to reduce snoring, as well as aid sufferers of hiatus hernia, rhinitis, glaucoma, vertigo and respiratory problems. The wedge works by elevating the torso on a slight incline, opening up the airways.
After a few restless nights trying to get used to this pillow, we found the wedge was extremely effective at reducing snoring. When used in conjunction with an anti-snore pillow on top, the wedge provided a good night’s sleep for both the snorer and partner. Our reviewer also reported breathing easier in the morning thanks to unblocked sinuses.
The uniquely shaped pillow comes with its own pillowcase, and although it’s bulky, it can easily be propped up vertically against the wall for bedtime reading. While it’s not super high, it does create a slight barrier between couples, which might not be ideal for everyone.
Slumberdown anti snore medium support pillow
At just £14.99, the Slumberdown pillow is the most affordable pillow we tested, and one of the best. Not only did it provide a comfortable night’s sleep, but the S-shaped inner foam core was unobtrusive and supported the neck. Snore scores were slightly reduced, and in the morning our reviewer woke up feeling rested and refreshed. Overall, the price-to-performance ratio is quite high.
Wellpur olden pillow
This pressure-relieving memory foam pillow from Danish brand Wellpur promises a super-comfy night’s sleep. With just enough pressure to keep your neck elevated, it’s also soft enough to relieve pressure against your ear. Plus, at 55 cm long, it gives you an extra bit of space for larger bodies.
The tester had been using the Wellpur pillow for some time. After a year of daily use, this pillow has not lost any of its firmness or shape. The dense memory foam supports the neck and shoulder and bounces back to shape every morning. We always woke up feeling well-rested in the morning. While snoring was reduced when side-sleeping, the pillow didn’t prevent back-sleeping, meaning snore levels were higher on average than others. Overall, it’s a high-quality pillow for sleeping in any position, and its firmness gives sufficient neck support.
Silentnight anti-snore pillow
This anti-snore pillow from Silentnight has been recommended by the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association thanks to its internal foam core, which helps to open up your airways to improve breathing.
“Silentnight’s anti-snore pillow is designed with an ergonomically shaped foam core that supports the head and neck, so the sleeper is positioned in a way that improves breathing ability, resulting in less mouth and throat vibrations, so less snoring,” says the brand’s sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan.
Our reviewers found the pillow to be fairly comfortable, although the low profile doesn’t give as much neck support as some others when side-sleeping. It’s the standard UK pillow size, so it will easily fit into all your existing pillowcases.
PosiForm high-end anti-snoring pillow
This futuristic-shaped pillow from PosiForm is designed to gently guide your head to roll sideways into the side-sleeping position. This high-quality Swiss-made pillow is covered in an extremely soft bamboo cover. With a thick ridge running through the middle of the pillow, it’s virtually impossible for sleepers to remain on their back – much like the old “tennis ball taped to the back” trick.
Although our reviewers loved the neck, ear and forehead support, the unique contour may take a while to get used to. If you are willing to stick with it, it is a great option for those who need help with side-sleeping training.
Kally Sleep anti snore relief pillow
The Kally anti-snore pillow features an internal S-shaped core, covered in soft fill. It’s very lightweight compared with some others we tested. This size would be best for light frames who prefer low-profile pillows. The inner core is not very pronounced, meaning it’s comfortable to sleep on in any position, but didn’t seem to have a big impact in reducing snoring. Snoring was recorded throughout the night, although at a slightly lower intensity overall.
Ecoden bamboo charcoal pillow
The Ecoden pillow is precisely moulded to eliminate neck pain regardless of which sleeping position you prefer. A groove runs through the middle that cradles the shape of your neck to relieve stress. While, each side has convex panels that help to take the pressure off your shoulders when side-sleeping, and keep them relaxed when sleeping on your back.
Its 70-degree incline helps to open up the windpipes and reduce snoring and sleep apnoea, though our reviewers felt it tilted the head too far back. While the pillow is high quality, the various mouldings meant it was hard to find a comfortable position throughout the night and didn’t make a significant reduction to snore volume. On the plus side, Ecoden offers a free 30-day trial with free shipping and free returns worldwide, so you can give it a try risk free.
The verdict: anti-snoring pillows
Overall, we couldn’t go past the Levitex pillow. Not only is it one of the best options for reducing snoring, it also helps to alleviate pressure on the neck and shoulder when side-sleeping. With four different sizes, this high-quality pillow will be sure to stand the test of time, making it a great investment.
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