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The Best Snoring Mouthguards for Soothing Disrupted Sleep and Annoyed Partners

Prior to 1947, when L.A. dentist Rodney O. Lilyquist slimmed down a piece of plastic into a nighttime wearable, mouthguards were mostly associated with burly athletes and hot-headed boxers who had the foresight to avoid a trip to the dentist along with their life-altering concussions.

Now, millions of folks don’t think twice about shoving a piece of plastic in their mouth before passing out to the delight of previously sleep-deprived, accompanying bedmates. The question becomes how viable of a solution snoring mouthguards are for all types of snorers, from light purrers to wall shakers, who should deploy them, and when.

“Whether it’s snoring or apnea, the underlying issue is that the throat is too small for somebody’s body,” Board-Certified ENT Dr. Madan Kandula told Spy. “Thus, the back of the throat is vibrating and creating that sound. And if it’s sleep apnea, the back of the throat is actually shutting down and stopping people from breathing.”

Mouthguards for snoring work by taking the lower jaw and slightly pulling it forward. The goal isn’t so much to open the mouth, but instead to hold the lower jaw — and by extension the tongue — forward, thus creating more space in the back of the throat.

“There’s a weird dynamic with snoring,” Kandula says. “It’s the sound of your body crying for help when you’re sleeping at night, because it’s not working like it should or has been damaged. But the number one reason for people to want to seek treatment for their snoring is actually not because their bodies are hurting, it’s because they’re tired of hearing about how annoying they are.”

SPY’s Recommended Snoring Mouthguards

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KMIIMET Snoring Mouthguard

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Vital Sleep Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece

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SmartGuard Anti-Snore Mouthguard

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Psinzmk Anti-Snoring Mouth Guard

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Psinzmk Comfortable Snoring Mouthguard

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Can Mouthguards Help With Snoring?

Dr. Bailey considers a mouthguard or oral appliance a first-line therapy for snoring and strongly recommends those that are custom-made by a sleep-trained dentist. Dental and physician oversight help specify how snoring or apnea are disrupting a patient’s sleep, and the extent to which therapies are effective.

“You really want a sleep-trained dentist that’s collaborating with a sleep physician,” Bailey says. “Patients should be tested after they receive the appliance to ensure it’s titrated to an efficacious level. Then it can be adjusted and retested to ensure that oxygen and heart rate and other sleep parameters have improved.”

Nevertheless, some people may want to try an over-the-counter mouthguard out of curiosity as a first step to deciding whether or not sleeping with something in their mouth is a comfortable, realistic solution for them.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Snoring Mouthguard

In that case, look for a mouthguard that is specifically designed for use while sleeping. Although athletic mouthguards look similar, they serve different functions and can thus have slightly different features.

An effective snoring mouthguard should be moldable or adjustable to ensure a snug fit. It’s important to find one that cradles both the upper and lower teeth but has space to allow air to pass through the two trays.

And perhaps the most important feature of any snoring mouthguard is a warranty or guarantee that allows returns even if the item isn’t defective. Many companies offer guarantees of at least 30 days, with some extending all the way to 90 days.

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The KMIIMET mouthguard uses a gear-lock system with three settings: standard bite, overbite or underbite. Trays for the upper teeth and lower teeth are fitted individually and then locked together to provide a firm, sturdy and customizable fit. It also provides ample room for air to pass between the two trays to ensure ease of breath while sleeping.


This mouthpiece allows for custom teeth impressions, providing a snug fit for nearly any mouth. An incrementally adjustable lower tray allows individuals to fine-tune airflow and comfort by customizing how far the mouthguard pushes the lower jaw forward.


Smartguard’s mouthpiece is one of the few that allows the jaw to open and move freely both vertically and horizontally. It easily accommodates for narrow and wide mouth arches during the fitting process and adjusts for bite length using a 6-setting bar system.


While it offers little in the way of customization, this mouthguard completes the task of pushing the lower jaw forward to open the airway at the back of the throat. Constructed from medical-grade silicone, this odor-free device does allow for a basic bite fit, and includes an opening at the front of the mouth to allow airflow while sleeping.

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Made of a more flexible and elastic silicone than most other options, this mouthpiece comes ready to use straight out of the box. It’s a good alternative for people who find that other mouthguards put too much pressure on their gums, though the lack of customizability significantly increases the likelihood that you’ll have to settle for a good fit instead of achieving a perfect fit.

Are Mouthguards Worth It?

Over-the-counter mouthguards are a great first step to test the waters of whether it’s a realistic solution for someone’s sleep routine. Sleeping with a mouthguard in can be uncomfortable, so it’s a good idea to try it out with an affordable even imperfect version before committing to an expensive, custom-made one from a dentist or other professional.

It’s important to note that mouthguards are not an effective treatment for sleep apnea, which is an important distinction as sleep apnea specifically refers to breathing that starts and stops while someone is asleep. It’s a serious medical condition that’s connected to snoring and should be treated by a medical professional.

“I think the challenge is that most people who snore don’t have sleep apnea, but almost everybody who has sleep apnea snores, and it can be really deceptive,” explains Dr. Kandula. “Meaning that if somebody has sleep apnea that’s not getting treated properly. And we’re trying to do some kind of over-the-counter things that minimize the snoring, but we really haven’t treated the sleep apnea. That’s sort of just putting a bandaid on it.”

Over-the-counter mouthguards can be an inexpensive and immediately accessible intervention for snoring, but if it persists a professional should be consulted about more intensive interventions.

“If simple over-the-counter things aren’t working. There are almost assuredly medical treatments that can work,” Dr. Kandula says. “Snoring is a condition that’s very common and very, very treatable. It’s just a matter of finding the right treatment option that fits the situation at hand.”

How to Buy a Mouthguard for a Partner

Nobody wants to feel shamed or picked on, so broaching the subject with a partner requires some tact and diplomacy. Teasing them into trying a mouthguard or gifting them one out of the blue aren’t intervention tactics that are healthy for relationships.

But sleep specialist Dr. Omavi Bailey encourages couples to embrace conversations about addressing snoring, because he sees it as an issue that can help maintain healthy relationships.

“When someone’s sleep is so poor due to their partner’s snoring, they wake up irritable and upset. Their day is pretty much trashed because they’re tired from not being able to sleep at night,” he says. “The partner who snores or has sleep apnea is also tired because they got poor quality sleep so they both wake up irritable. That’s going to lead to conflict because when you’re irritable, you don’t have good executive functioning or control of your emotions.”

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