Pillows to stop snoring have a small amount of evidence and may well be worth considering if you have the type of snoring that is very much influenced by your position. These pillows can help increase the time you spend in a non-snoring position and reduce the time your bed partner spends trying to roll you there.
Many like the idea of a different pillow as they are generally comfortable, easy to buy and often less than £100. Some much less. With any purchase though it is nice to get your decision right.
Snorgo is an alternative newer therapy that is evidenced based at stopping snoring. Like pillows, it doesn’t require you to wear anything at night. Better than pillows, it may help your snoring long term and is half the cost of many pillows too. You may also like our other articles to find out more about snoring in general, click the link to find out more.
Pillows to stop snoring – Introduction
It is far too easy to not get around to addressing your snoring. There are a few reasons for that. Firstly, you may be embarrassed. You are not alone if so. Snoring is socially considered mildly taboo and mildly ‘silly’. The reality is anything but that. Both the sufferer and their bed partner can have health impacts as a result of snoring. Lack of sleep is not healthy and should always be addressed. Snoring’s relationship with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) offers more reasons to consider its importance. OSA causes an increase in mortality from many causes such as heart attacks and strokes. The NHS website offers insights into when to consider OSA.
If you are considering a pillow to stop snoring you will no doubt want to know what is the evidence for your purchase; the types; whether they are right for you and how they compare to alternative treatments. If so – read on as we’ll address the current thoughts.
Pillow to stop snoring – How do they work
Snoring pillows generally claim to work in one of two ways (or both). The first is where we feel the evidence most lies. This is that it extrapolates evidence that lying on your back increases the risk of you snoring. This occurs because lying on your back closes your airway down slightly.
When semi-conscious in sleep are tongues are very relaxed. Being relaxed, they flop backwards and mildly restrict our airways. The classic snoring noise is produced by vibrating and usually floppy, throat (palate) tissue.
By maintaining a side sleeping position we have a chance to keep the airway slightly more patent and thus prevent snoring. The challenge is a pillow that is comfortable and yet actually supports that.
The second claim is similar but offers to increase the opening of the airway by supporting the neck slightly. We question this a little more.
You will notice once you shop for pillows to stop snoring that they often come in roughly two shapes. One is wedge-shaped and the other has a divot down the middle of two ridges. This divot is for your head and if you slept on your back the lower ridge would support your neck slightly. The problem is most people tend to roll when asleep. If you sleep on your front this lower ridge then pushes into your throat and has a potentially detrimental effect.
Some pillows combine these two facets to greater or lesser degrees.
What we do raise is that pillows will always struggle to force you to be somewhere you don’t want to be. You are likely to be stronger than your pillow! There are papers however claiming that pillows do work in small trials.
Are pillows for me?
We have not been able to find any large trials showing separation in those who will most likely and those who are unlikely to benefit from pillows to stop snoring. What we can do is expand upon evidence.
Let’s be honest here we all like to claim we “only snore when we roll on our backs”. For most, as described above, there is a good reason why it may well be worse in that position. Many do snore on their side too. If that is the case, snoring pillows are less likely to work for you.
Anti-snoring pillow – the claim versus the reality
A more difficult question is how much you are likely to ‘fight your pillow’. If you are 18 stone and rock around at night like you are on a dance floor, it is unlikely a 12oz wedge pillow will quite do the trick. If a touch of gentle pressure is all you need to roll over then it may well just be enough.
Best pillow to stop snoring
We aren’t a formal review site but we do like the subtly different shape and designs offered by the Posiform anti-snoring pillow. The addition of a midline ridge makes perfect sense in also turning your head to roll over. Of course – that would mean your head was starting roughly in the middle of the pillow and not bouncing around elsewhere. Formal reviews have concluded the same.
If you are in the market to dip your toe into trying a pillow you might much prefer a budget option. This Slumberdown anti-snore pillow takes some beating. At the time of writing, you could get 6 of these for the cost of Posiform.
What are the alternatives to a pillow to stop snoring?
The first alternative to consider whenever you are exploring snoring problems if lifestyle. We know – it is hard! Changes to the things we do (or don’t do) in life are never easy. These things though are often important for a variety of health reasons too. Consider speaking to a healthcare professional about issues before embarking.
1. Stop smoking – Smoking worsens snoring
2. Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing body mass – especially once it goes from around the neck, can help. Exercise directly before bed isn’t usually the best for people.
3. Exercise. Exercise directly reduces the risk of snoring. Always exercise safely and within your means. Seek professional advice if unsure.
4. Reduce or stop alcohol. Again, this must always be done safely if you are a heavy drinker. Alcohol is however a reason most are aware directly increases snoring.
Lifestyle factors are discussed more in this article: How to stop someone snoring without waking them.
Snorgo – An alternative to pillows to stop snoring.
Snorgo has been shown in more than one independent trial to reduce snoring in over 75% of those using it according to both snorers and their bad partners. It is registered with the GMDN as a ‘Sleep Disordered Breathing soft palate exerciser’. It is used in the daytime for a couple of minutes three times a day and can very quickly stop your snoring by directly strengthening muscles which help to keep the airway open. Unlike other devices, it is great value at £35 and doesn’t require electricity to strengthen the area.
Conclusion for a pillow to stop snoring
Our website has been slightly damming of some options to stop snoring, such as stop snoring sprays. Less so with pillows to stop snoring. These have evidence to work for some people. We can see that is you are aware that your position appears to be the main reason for your snoring, then you could explore them. Placing yourself in the right position can help support your airway. If a pillow is all that needs then they are able to help.
Don’t forget about alternatives though. Lifestyle changes and the newer Snorgo may well be better investments in your future.
Dr Pete Naylor is the inventor of Snorgo, a patented snoring cure made in the UK recommended by medical doctors.
Wirral CCG Chair 2014 – 2016
General Practitioner (GP) 2000-2017
National Institute for health and Care Excellence National GP representative (Diagnostics) 2012 – 2018
Associate Medical Director ICE Creates 2018 – 2020
Senate Council Member Merseyside 2014 – 2017
Forensic Medical Examiner Merseyside/Wirral 2005 – 2008
Youth Justice Management Board Wirral 2015 – 2017
NHS Doctor 1996 – 2017
GMC registered Doctor 1996 to present
Master of Science in Medical Leadership Birkbeck University and Royal College of Physicians. (Awarded Merit) 2013
OPP Myers Briggs Trainer, 2010. Subsequently also completed Step 2 to further support training
Diploma in Occupational Health, 2006
Diploma in Child Health, 2000
Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, Sheffield University, 1996
Bachelor of Science, Psychiatric Neurobiology, Sheffield, 1995. Work produced papers on mRNA and Brain Plasticity.
Outstanding Innovative and Inspirational Leader 2013 Northwest Leadership Academy (Given for commissioning work with Wirral Health Commissioning Consortium.)
Vision Award 2012 (National award): Best Long Term Condition Initiative for WHCC
North West Respiratory Best Practice Award 2012: Self Care Award for WHCC
Diploma in Occupational Health – annual award