The Best Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces and Mouthguards
It is estimated that over 90 millions Americans snore, and that of those, more than 35 millions snore on a regular basis. Depending on its frequency and severity, snoring can range from a minor nuisance to a serious health issue, and regardless of how serious it is, there are approaches to try to reduce it.
Snoring happens when soft tissue in the back of the throat obstructs the airway. As you try to breathe and air tries to move through, it rattles this tissue and makes noise. There are many risk factors and no single cause for snoring.
Ways of managing snoring range from crazy home remedies to expensive machines that can help keep the airway open (positive airway pressure, or PAP, devices). Specially designed mouthpieces are one way of treating snoring that tends to be effective, accessible, and affordable for many people.
In this guide, we’ll go into greater detail on all of these topics including the causes of snoring, the pros and cons of anti-snoring mouthpieces, a guide for finding a quality one, and our list of the top 5 best anti-snoring mouthpieces.
What Causes Snoring?
When sleeping, the airway at the back throat can become narrowed. When you breathe and air tries to go through this constricted airway, it vibrates the tissue in the throat, leading to the noise we know of as snoring.
This airway may become narrowed for many reasons. Often this occurs because when we go to sleep, the soft tissue and muscles that are close to the airway relax and block the passage of air. You may be at higher risk for snoring if you have any of these risk factors:
- Being overweight: heavier people have more soft tissue in the throat, making it easier for airflow to be reduced.
- Having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): this is a condition in which the airway routinely becomes completely blocked, causing snoring and disrupted sleep.
- Being older: as muscles and soft tissue relax with age, it becomes easier for the airway to become narrowed.
- Nasal congestion: when you can’t breathe freely through your nose, more air is pushed through the throat, increasing the risk of snoring.
- Nasal deformity: a nasal deformity like a deviated septum may also push more air through the airway and increase snoring.
- Large or swollen anatomy of the mouth: if your tongue, uvula, and/or soft palate are larger than average or if your tonsils are swollen, it is easier for your airway to be constricted.
- Being pregnant: tissue near the airway can swell during pregnancy, in particular during the second and third trimesters.
- Drinking alcohol: alcohol relaxes the muscles in the throat, especially if consumed closer to bedtime.
- Use of sedatives: like alcohol, these medications can increase relaxation of muscles near the airway.
- Sleeping on your back: in this position, gravity pulls on the soft tissue, bringing it down closer to where it can obstruct the airway.
Some people may have multiple of these risk factors, but be aware that having these risk factors is not a guarantee that you will snore. It only means that you have a greater likelihood of snoring.
How Do Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces and Mouthguards Work?
Because snoring happens as a result of the narrowing or obstruction of the airway, devices that help to keep the airway open may mitigate or eliminate snoring. Anti-snoring mouthpieces and mouthguards are examples of these kinds of devices.
While we use both of the terms mouthpieces and mouthguards in this article, in general, these terms are synonymous. In large part, there are two types of anti-snoring mouthpieces:
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD):
The mandible is the formal term for the lower jaw, and the mandible tends to slide back toward the back of the throat when you go to sleep. Given this, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) works by trying to keep the lower jaw in a more forward position. The device is held in place by the teeth, so a MAD can also be helpful for people who have an issue with grinding their teeth. When you are wearing a MAD, your mouth is closed, so more breathing occurs through the nose; however, some MADs have small holes that allow air to come in or out through the mouth.
Tongue Retaining Devices (TRD):
A common way that the airway becomes blocked is that the tongue falls back toward the back of the throat when you go to bed, contributing to the narrowing of the airway that causes snoring. As a result, a tongue retaining device (TRD), also known as a tongue stabilizing device (TSD), can hold the tongue in place so it does not fall into this snore-inducing position. Holding the TRD in place requires having your mouth closed and breathing through your nose, so if you have nasal congestion, using the TRD may not be an option unless it has holes for mouth-breathing.
Will a MAD or TSD help with sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea, especially obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), causes significant and persistent snoring, and many people interested in anti-snoring mouthpieces wonder if they can help reduce OSA-related snoring.
In some cases, a MAD or TRD can help with OSA if the mouthpiece is able to prevent blockages of the airway. This may depend on the anatomy of the throat and the severity of your sleep apnea. Some MAD devices are designed to be used alongside a PAP machine for addressing sleep apnea. If you have been prescribed a PAP device, you should talk with your doctor before starting to use a MAD or TRD.
Do I need a prescription?
Both types of anti-snoring mouthpieces are available for purchase without a prescription. But this doesn’t mean that you should use one without first consulting your doctor and/or dentist. Working with a health professional can make sure that using an anti-snoring mouthpiece is safe and appropriate for you, and a dentist may also be able to work with you to find the best fit in order to get the optimal results from using one of these devices.
Pros and Cons of Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces
As with most approaches to dealing with snoring, mouthpieces have benefits and downsides.
The benefits of using an anti-snoring mouthguard include:
- Low cost: in relation to PAP machines (such as a CPAP), a MAD or TRD is very affordable. While there is a significant price range, including higher prices for custom devices, some anti-snoring mouthpieces are available for around $50.
- Avoids the noise: CPAP and BPAP machines, even though they have gotten quieter over the years, are still noticeably loud. In comparison, anti-snoring mouthpieces are nearly noiseless, which is especially helpful for people who share their bed with a partner who is sensitive to noise.
- Easy to maintain: MAD and TRD mouthpieces have few moving parts and can be kept clean without much effort. Usually, to keep them clean and sanitary, you can store them in a special case or in hot water.
The downsides of using an anti-snoring mouthguard include:
- Potentially limited effectiveness: CPAP and BiPAP machines are a more proven and established way of addressing apneas (temporary pauses in breathing). Though MAD and TRD mouthpieces may help reduce snoring, their overall effectiveness may be more limited than using a PAP device.
- Side effects: as with a CPAP or BiPAP, some people find using these mouthpieces to be uncomfortable. In addition, there are risks of some side effects including increased drooling, dry mouth, and stiffness of the lower jaw.
- Limited useful life: if you are using the MAD or TRD every night, it’s lifespan will be relatively short. They are usually only built to last from 6 months up to 2 years.
What Should You Consider in an Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece or Mouthguard?
If you’ve decided to try out an anti-snoring mouthguard, you may have already found that there’s a huge number of products on the market. There are enough different brands and models that it can be hard to know which is best for you. To help narrow down your choices, ask yourself the following questions.
- What type of device do you want? A good starting point is to decide whether you want an MAD or a TRD. MADs are more commonly used, but there’s no one “best” mouthpiece for everyone. Based on our descriptions, you can choose the one that seems best knowing that most of these products come with a trial period in case you don’t like it.
- Do you value adjustability? Many MAD mouthpieces are adjustable, but TRD mouthpieces are not. Some MAD mouthguards allow for finer levels of adjustment -- including down to one-sixteenth of an inch -- so if you prioritize making these types of minor adjustments, look for this kind of design.
- What is your budget? You should be able to find a quality anti-snoring mouthpiece for under $100 and for even less if you have a small budget. If you can spend more, you can consider custom devices.
- Do you wear dentures? If so, cross a MAD off your list as it will not work for you. A TRD can still be used by people with dentures.
- Do you grind your teeth? If so, a MAD is usually more helpful in preventing this than a TRD, although some TRDs may also reduce teeth grinding.
- Do you breathe through your mouth? If yes, make sure to look for a mouthpiece that has perforations to allow you to draw breath in from your mouth.
- What is the trial period? Look for a mouthpiece that comes with at least 30 days to try it out risk-free. Because these devices may not be comfortable and don’t work for everyone, a minimum of 30 days for a trial period can help make sure you get a product that works for you.
- Is it certified? Look for a notice of certification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or from other health agencies.
The Best Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces and Mouthguards
To simplify your shopping, we’ve done the research and selected the top 5 best anti-snoring mouthpieces, and you can read about them in the table below.
|Mouthpiece||Photo||Device Type||Features||Expected Useful Life||Price|
|SnoreRx||MAD||Easily adjusted; thermal fit||Around 1 year||$99|
|Good Morning Snore Solution||TRD||Universal fit; high rate of use and success||About 1 year||$95|
|ZQuiet||MAD||Flexible hinge; ready-to-wear||6-12 months||$80|
|Sleep Silent||MAD||Custom impression; 1mm adjustments||7-9 months||$70|
|AirSnore||MAD||Custom impression; extended trial||6+ months||$50|
Anti-Snoring Mouthguard Reviews
The SnoreRX from Apnea Sciences is a MAD mouthpiece that has received excellent reviews from verified customers and from expert reviewers. It is made with hypoallergenic, medical-grade plastics that have been cleared for use by the FDA. It has an open front that allows for easy breathing through the mouth, and it excels in the area of adjustability.
It is a thermal fit device, which, through the boil-and-bite method, lets you get a fit tailored to your teeth. Then it can be adjusted in 1mm increments (less than 1/16” inch). The adjustments can be locked in, unlocked, and then completely reset. All of this combines to give you significant flexibility in working to find a comfortable setting and placement for the SnoreRX.
The downsides of the SnoreRX are similar to those of any MAD mouthpiece: it can have comfort issues, may lead to jaw soreness, and can contribute to excessive salivating. However, it comes with a 30-night trial period, so you can try out the SnoreRX, and if it doesn’t work for you, the only cost to you is for return shipping. For its quality build, adjustability, and track record, the SnoreRX falls squarely in our list of the top 5 best snoring mouthpieces.
Good Morning Snore Solution
The Good Morning Snore Solution is a tongue restraining device produced by MPowrx, a Canadian company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The device is made of silicon and draws the tongue forward so that it does not block or obstruct the airway. The device has been cleared by the U.S. FDA as well as Canadian health authorities and has been well-received by customers and has performed well in research studies examining its efficacy. As a TRD, it does not require any special fitting and can be used by people with dentures.
The biggest downsides to the Good Morning Sleep Solution are that it requires you to breathe exclusively through your nose, and it can cause drooling and a sore tongue. If you’ve never used a TRD before and want to have an opportunity to test out the Good Morning Snore Solution, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee. During this 30-day period, you can return the device if it isn’t to your liking, and you’ll receive a full refund minus shipping fees. With a price under $100, this TRD has established itself as one of the best snoring mouthguards available.
The ZQuiet is a MAD mouthpiece made with a BPA-free thermoplastic and comes ready-to-wear meaning that there is no need to do any boil-and-bite preparation before using the mouthpiece. The ZQuiet is actually shipped as two separate mouthpieces each of which has a slightly different fit, so you can choose the one that works better for you. Each mouthpiece has a hole in the front to permit breathing through your mouth, and each also has what the company calls Living Hinge technology, which allows for a more natural movement of the jaw with the mouthpiece in.
The downsides to the ZQuiet are that you have to buy two mouthpieces even if you are only likely to use one of the two. Some customers may also find that the lack of adjustability or boil-and-bite makes it harder to get a good fit. And it can suffer from the same issues in terms of drooling or soreness as other MAD mouthguards. But it comes with a 35-day money back guarantee that lets you try it out and return it if you aren’t satisfied. At a price of around $80 for two, it is still cheaper than many competitors and one of our top choices for anti-snoring mouthpieces.
Sleep Silent is a relatively new MAD mouthpiece that is made of medical-grade and BPA-free polymers and that has generated solid reviews from customers. It uses the boil-and-bite method to create a custom impression for your mouth and then can be adjusted in increments of 1mm. The mouthpiece has a hole in the front that allows you to breathe through your mouth when wearing the device. With a price of $70, it is a lower-cost option than many of the other MAD devices that are currently on the market.
The biggest negative for the Sleep Silent mouthpiece is that it has a lifespan of only 7-9 months, which reduces the benefit of its lower price tag. Like other MAD mouthpieces, it may also cause issues with soreness of the jaw and increased drooling. Customers who are not used to using a mouthguard may also find it difficult to get used to the Sleep Silent, but the company provides a 30-day money-back guarantee that offers protection for your purchase in the event that you aren’t happy with it. With its features and price, the Sleep Silent makes the grade for our top 5 best anti-snoring mouthpieces.
The AirSnore MAD mouthpiece is one of the most wallet-friendly options available on the market. At a cost of just $50, it is considerably less expensive than many comparable MAD mouthpieces. It is made with a high-grade thermoplastic that you fit to your mouth using the boil-and-bite method. This custom impression helps give you a comfortable fit. The AirSnore also has a hole in the front in case you need to breathe through your mouth, especially if you have nasal congestion.
One issue with the AirSnore is that it is not adjustable. While you can do the boil-and-bite method again in order to recreate your impression, the mouthpiece cannot be adjusted beyond that. This makes it more challenging to find the right fit and setting. It also may have a shorter shelf-life than some other products, and while it is made in FDA-cleared facilities, the device itself has not been reviewed by FDA.
The AirSnore mouthguard comes with a 60-day trial period, which is double the length of other mouthpieces on our list. When combined with its reviews and its low price, this makes it an appealing option for people who want to try a MAD.