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Best anti-snoring pillow 2021: The best pillows for easy breathing while you sleep on your back, side or front

Jane Hoskyn
22 Sep 2021
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Banish snoring, sleep in comfort – and save your relationship? Read our bite-sized guide to choosing the best pillow to silence the snore

"Is an anti-snore pillow what you put over their face while they're snoring?" was the response of at least one self-appointed comedian when we mentioned this article. Hilarious. The best anti-snore pillows are, of course, exactly the opposite. They're designed to open up your airways and improve your breathing, leading to not just a quieter night but also a deeper and healthier sleep. And if you sleep within earshot of someone else, it may improve their slumbers, too.

Pillows may be less novel than many anti-snore devices, and it could take some trial and error to find the right anti-snore pillow for you. But when you do meet your match, it can be life-changing. You could even combine methods for a belt-and-braces snore attack. One of our recommended pillows, for example, is specially designed to accommodate a CPAP (breathing assistance) mask, used by many sufferers of sleep apnoea, a major cause of snoring.

Read on to find out which type of anti-snoring pillow many help you breathe easier while you sleep, or skip ahead to see which pillows we recommend for sleeping in peace.

Best anti-snoring pillows: At a glance


How to buy the best pillow to stop your snoring

Why do I snore?

Chances are you're among the more than half of all UK adults who snore occasionally, especially after you've had a drink (which over-relaxes the soft tissues in your throat) or when you're feeling a bit stuffy. Or you may be one of the estimated 25% of adults who snore habitually, potentially interfering with the quality of your sleep and of anyone who sleeps nearby.

What's happening to make you snore? During sleep, your airways relax and narrow, and your tongue falls backward to create an obstruction. As you breathe, the soft tissue walls of your throat vibrate, causing the snorting or rattling sound of snoring. Your floppy tongue has basically turned you into a wind instrument.

READ NEXT: Best pillow for neck pain

How can a pillow help me stop snoring?

The best anti-snore pillows aim to align your head and shoulders so your airways are kept as open as possible.

The easiest way to achieve that is to encourage you to sleep on your side. This sleeping position is much better for opening up your airways than sleeping on your back. Luckily, we've come a long way since the days of strapping a tennis ball to your snoring partner's back to make them roll over. Instead, anti-snore pillows have moulded raised sections to encourage side-sleeping, and special S-shaped foam cores to lift the neck gently and open your airways if you sleep on your back.

READ NEXT: Best mattress for bad backs

What other features should I look for in an anti-snore pillow?

Wedge shaped pillows elevate you slightly to open up your airways. You'll know how this works if you've ever struggled to sleep lying down while bunged up with a cold, and only been able to drop off while propped up on a pile of pillows. A 2017 study confirmed that mild elevation of the head reduces acid reflux and sleep apnoea (breathing obstruction), both big snore triggers.

Memory foam is the ideal material for wedge pillows because it supports your shoulders and back and provides the right balance of firmness (for support) and softness (for comfort). "A moulded pillow with a high bit for your neck lets your body rest in a more natural and healthy position," says Gary Jones, physiotherapist at Physio 206.

Body pillows are also great for encouraging you to sleep on your side. The idea is that you rest your head on one end of the pillow and hug the length of the pillow, perhaps with one knee resting on it for perfect spinal alignment and easy breathing.

Moulded support pillows are ideal for maintaining correct spinal alignment in side sleepers. This helps to limit airway compression and reduce snoring.

CPAP-friendly pillows are designed to be used with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) masks, which can be life-changing for snorers and their partners. These pillows tend to be made from memory foam with moulded cut-outs to accommodate the mask and its breathing tubes.

The best anti-snore pillows you can buy

1. Supportiback Premium Bed Wedge Pillow: Best anti-snore wedge pillow

Price: £40 | Buy now from Amazon

Back pain specialists Supportiback worked with sleep experts and orthopaedic doctors to create a pillow of the ideal elevation and firmness for sleeping. The result is this 30 degree wedge, carefully designed to enhance sleep posture and spine alignment, soothe back and neck pain, reduce acid reflux and respiratory issues, and kick snoring to the kerb.

Unlike some memory foam pillows, which flatten slightly as they mould to the shape of your head and shoulders, this one manages to remain bouncy and fully supportive night after night, springing back to shape when you lift your head. It really envelopes your body shape as you lie against it, though, and feels like a blissfully supportive cradle. But the novel angle won't suit everyone, especially side sleepers, so if the wedge doesn't work for you you can return it for a full no-questions-asked refund within 100 days.

Key specs – Firmness: Firm/medium; Filling: Memory foam; Cover: Cotton/polyester blend (machine washable 30C); Size: L64cm x W60cm x H18 (max)

2. CompuClever Shredded Memory Foam Pillow: Best value adjustable anti-snore pillow

Price: £27 | Buy now from Amazon

Most adjustable pillows are made using layers of memory foam that you can add and remove until you find your ideal pillow height. But most memory foam is made from polyurethane, which can feel a little too warm for some sleepers. That’s why the cover of this CompuClever pillow is made with bamboo fibre for its breathability and moisture-wicking properties..

The memory foam filling can be added, removed and moulded to fit your sleeping posture, but the more you remove the softer and flatter the pillow will become, which may encourage you to roll over onto your back and start snoring. So plump up that filling, and claim 200g extra for free by signing up with your email address. If you don't get along with the pillow, there's a free 90-day trial period, no questions asked.

Key specs – Firmness: Soft/medium; Filling: Shredded bamboo fibre memory foam; Cover: Bamboo rayon fabric (machine washable); Size: 60cm x 44cm x 16cm

Also consider: Otty Adjustable pillow

If you’ve got a bigger budget to play with, the Otty adjustable pillow is a fantastic adjustable pillow. Like the CompuClever pillow above, it is filled with lots of small memory foam pieces which can be removed or replaced to adjust its height. It’s got a maximum height of 25cm, so it’s a lofty option for those that need it, and has two covers for extra comfort. It also comes with a small drawstring bag to store any unused memory foam pieces, which is a nice touch.

Read our full review of the Otty adjustable pillow

Buy now from Otty


3. Kally Anti-Snore Standard Pillow: Best anti-snore pillow for back sleepers

Price: £35 | Buy now from John Lewis

Alongside the Silentnight pillow below, Kally Sleep's hollowfibre pillow is one of two in our recommendations that uses an innovative S-shaped core to help back sleepers stop snoring, without having to change the position they sleep in. The ergonomic core tilts the neck very slightly, opening up your airways and widening the gap between your chin and chest. This helps you nod off without spluttering awake again the moment your tongue hits the back of your throat.

It really seems to work, too. Tests by the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association (BSSAA) suggest the pillow can reduce snoring by up to 50%. So while it's not a magic wand, this wonderful comfortable cushiony pillow stands a very good chance of helping you sleep in greater comfort, safety and silence. Side sleepers may find it a little too flat to offer the extra support needed when sleeping with your shoulder to the mattress.

Key specs – Firmness: Medium; Filling: Hollowfibre; Cover: Cotton/polyester mix (machine washable 40C); Size: L70cm x W40cm

Buy now from John Lewis


4. Silentnight Anti-Snore Pillow: Best cheap anti-snore pillow for back sleepers

Price: £10 | Buy now from Argos

Silentnight's pillow is constructed in a similar way to the Kally Sleep pillow, with an S-shaped foam core to support your neck when sleeping on your back. This helps to stop your chin falling down to your chest and triggering the dreaded snore when you doze off, so it can significantly improve the quality of your sleep as well as cutting your chances of snoring. And again, the pillow is endorsed by the BSSAA as being able to reduce snoring by up to 50%.

This one's quite a bit softer than the Kally pillow. That may suit you if you're a back sleeper, but it’s rather too soft and flat for side sleepers. It also lacks the bounce-back power of Kally's pillow. But at less than £8 for a good quality pillow with a hypoallergenic microfibre pillow case included, it's a fantastic buy.

Key specs – Firmness: Soft/medium; Filling: Polyester; Cover: Cotton/polyester microfibre (machine washable 40C); Size: L74cm x W48cm

Buy now from Argos


5. Tempur Ombracio Memory Foam Support Pillow: Best anti-snore pillow for front sleepers

Price: £135 | Buy now from John Lewis

Sleeping on your front may sound like a bid for self-suffocation, but it's actually better for clearing your airways and reducing snoring than sleeping on your back. So if you suffer from shoulder pain when trying to sleep on your side, try flipping over onto your tummy.

But the danger with this position is that your head will tip back and cause you neck pain, not to mention obstructed breathing. That's where this expensive but precision-engineered pillow from Tempur comes in. Its innovative and powerfully mouldable X-shaped memory foam lets you fold your arms underneath while sleeping on your tummy, without craning your neck.

You'll have trouble fitting the 60x50cm pillow into a standard case, but it comes with a lovely soft case of its own (at that price, you'd hope so!)

Key specs – Firmness: Medium/firm; Filling: Memory foam; Cover: 100% cotton cover (machine washable 60°C); Size: L60cm x W50cm x H13cm

Buy now from John Lewis


6. Kally Body Pillow: Best body pillow to stop you snoring

Price: £50 | Buy now from Kally Sleep

Meet your new best friend. Kally's human-sized pillow is an irresistible way to encourage side-sleeping and help you breathe more easily (and quietly) than if you were lying on your back.

This sumptuously soft orthopaedic pillow also takes pressure off your joints, supports your legs and knees, and adapts to the shape of your body. The hollowfibre filling and cotton blend cover are hypoallergenic and can be machine-washed for hygiene, and you can choose between nine colours including black, white, Heather Grey and a lovely calming Stone Blue. Additional cases cost a tenner apiece.

Key specs – Firmness: Soft/medium; Filling: Hollowfibre (machine washable 40C); Cover: 50% cotton, 50% polyester (machine washable 30C); Size: 160cm x 30cm x 35cm

Buy now from Kally Sleep


7. Tempur Original Pillow: Best contoured anti-snore pillow for side sleepers

Price: £105 | Buy now from Tempur

Another medium-firm memory foam pillow from Tempur, this classic cervical shape is ideal for side sleepers, who need a higher pillow (with greater 'loft') to achieve that all-important spinal alignment that keeps you breathing clearly and prevents snoring.

It comes in a choice of three sizes, from medium to XL.In the largest size, the raised section is 13cm high, providing ample support while you sleep, although the memory foam will compress to a firmer, flatter contour over time. So if you need a higher loft to bridge the gap between your shoulder and ear, you could use this pillow as your base layer and put a cooler, flatter pillow on top. Much like the other Tempur pillow featured in this roundup, it isn’t cheap. However, Tempur does offer a 30-night period with its pillows.

Key specs – Firmness: Medium/firm; Filling: Memory foam; Cover: 100% cotton cover (machine washable 60C); Sizes: 61cm x 31cm (13cm max height); also available in Medium (10cm max height) and Large (11.5cm max height)

Buy now from Tempur

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