Every year around the holiday, Oprah Winfrey publishes a list of her favorite things, and for the last 20 years, this list has been making a big difference in people’s gift-buying decisions for the holidays.
Many of this year’s items are the sort you might expect, such as the designer down coats or the Limited Edition Lip Vault lipstick set. But when we saw the anti-snoring pillow on the list, we felt we had to investigate. Did Oprah endorse this pillow because of its high effectiveness? Apparently not: the pillow seems to have significant problems, both in initial effectiveness and in its durability, according to raters.
How the Anti-Snoring Pillow Is Supposed to Work
The anti-snoring pillow system is called the Smart Nora Device. It has two parts: a Pebble that sits beside your bed, and a complicated insert system. The Pebble listens for snoring. When it detects snoring, it communicates with the air pump connected to the insert. The air pump sits on the ground by your bed and plugs into the wall. In response to your snoring, the pillow insert inflates, elevating your head slightly. This is supposed to free the airway, making it easier to breathe.
But Does It Work?
In the absence of any clinical data, it’s hard to say for sure.
The theory seems dubious. If slightly elevating the head opened the airway, it seems like anyone could get the same result by just getting a slightly larger pillow. It also seems unlikely that elevating the head slightly would open the airway no matter what position you were sleeping in. It seems likely that in any position, causing the neck to bend more, would result in constricting the airway.
The Smart Nora website claims that the movement caused by inflating the device stimulates the throat muscles. It may do that, likely in the context of the type of slight awakening you might experience due to someone elbowing you or sleep apnea causing you to wake up when breathing stops. So, if the theory is accurate, it may stop your snoring, helping others to sleep, but it may not do much for your sleep quality.
In addition, several reviewers on this independent site claimed that the pillow didn’t work, and that they had difficulty getting a refund on the product.
More Anti-Snoring Pillow Options
Since we wrote our original review of this anti-snoring pillow, the industry has expanded. Now there are many more choices for anti-snoring pillows. There are also some anti-snoring pillow inserts that let you continue to use the pillow you’re happy with, rather than having to try out some of the anti-snoring pillows, which have variable ratings in terms of comfort. Some pillows are lumpy, while others smell bad.
Therefore, we recommend that you choose carefully when getting an anti-snoring pillow. Before purchasing an anti-snoring pillow, we recommend that you:
- Get tested for sleep apnea
- Check out a company’s return policy
- Read reviews of the pillow
- Try pillows out in person
If you have simple snoring, an anti-snoring pillow might be the right choice. Just choose carefully and make sure you can return the pillow if you want. However, if you have sleep apnea, you need to seek effective treatment for the condition.
Clinically Proven Snoring Treatment
If you or others in your house are unhappy with your snoring, it’s best to look into a clinically proven snoring treatment. If the Smart Nora pillow insert is truly effective, studies will show this. But, in the meantime, we know we can vouch for the effectiveness of the snoring treatment we provide.