Reviewed by Donna Schwontkowski, DC, MS
Does snoring affect your quality of sleep and make you feel groggy the following day? There's a whole industry built around snore reduction and elimination but sometimes a simple solution is all that's needed to sleep better.
In this post, we'll discuss one such solution, namely nasal dilators, and help you identify the best nasal dilator so you can get a proper night's sleep again.
Rhinomed Mute Nasal Dilator
Gideon Anti-Snoring Nose Vents
Noselex Nasal Dilator
Intra-Nasal SleepRight Breathe Aid
What Are Nasal Dilators?
Nasal dilators are external or internal nasal aids that may help improve the way you breathe to reduce snoring. External dilators are adhesive nasal strips that stick to the outside of your nose. Internal nasal dilators, on the other hand, insert into your nostrils. Typically, internal nasal dilators are made of soft, pliable materials, including silicone and polymers, and are available over-the-counter and sold in a variety of stores.
If you have swollen nasal passages, a stuffy nose or a deviated septum, breathing through your nose is difficult. Nasal dilators, external and internal, could correct this problem without needing to use any type of medication or drug.
How Do Nasal Dilators Work?
Effective external and internal nasal dilators will naturally widen your nasal passages during sleep to help you breathe better through your nose.
External nasal dilator strips are thin, plastic splints covered with an adhesive bandage. When applied to the bridge of the nose, the splint reflexes and gently pulls the nasal passages open. This action increases airflow through the nostrils.
Internal nasal dilators are cushioned enough to gently lodge into the nasal cavity. After inserted, the nasal inserts go to work forcing the closed nasal passages to open and keep them open.
Are Nasal Dilators Only for Sleeping?
Not only do nasal dilators reduce snoring and offer you a better night's sleep, they may also relieve nasal congestion and inflammation caused by allergies and colds. Additionally, nasal strips or inserts can reduce shortness of breath for people who exercise. Athletes also use external nasal dilators in conjunction with mouthguards just to breathe better.
How to Choose a Nasal Dilator
Finding a nasal dilator that fits right can sometimes be tricky since nasal sizes vary, not to mention several styles to choose from including vented, ribbed, and smooth. Still, many companies make assorted packs with different sizes and styles to help you identify a nasal dilator best suited for you.
Advantages of Nasal Dilators
When compared to a popular option like nasal sprays which contain chemicals that temporarily open narrowed nasal passages, nasal dilators are a safer way to reduce snoring. Aside from experiencing short stinging sensations, with regular use, a nasal spray will start to lose its effectiveness and could cause health-related issues like nosebleeds, tiredness, throat irritation, and cough.
Furthermore, overusing nasal sprays can cause more serious issues, such as rhinitis medicamentosa — a short-term sneezing and nasal congestion reaction, as well as long-term problems, like chronic sinusitis.
Sometimes, an abrupt discontinuation of nasal sprays can cause withdrawal side effects. According to WebMD, "When you stop the spray you get headaches, sleep trouble, restlessness, and anxiety." (source).
In contrast, most nasal dilators don't contain medications or chemicals; there are no harmful or long-term side effects and they can't be overused.
Aside from being safer, nasal dilators are also more cost-efficient since they're usually washable and thus, reusable. Oftentimes, internal nasal dilators also come with handy carrying cases that make them easy to carry or store.
Disadvantages of Nasal Dilators
There are a few disadvantages to using both external and internal nasal dilators. One disadvantage is that nasal dilators don't work for everyone. If your snoring issues come from your mouth and throat, nasal dilators probably won't do much good.
The adhesive from external nasal dilators can also leave behind skin blemishes that may be difficult to clear away.
And even though internal nasal dilators are made from soft materials, they may become uncomfortable after wearing them for an extended period of time. Worse still, some people even get sores in their noses. Plus, there are occasions when the inserts may break while still in the nose.
Reviews of the Best Nasal Dilators
Snore Bastion sells as one convenient package that includes a set of eight internal nasal dilators in three different styles to create what's billed as the ultimate anti-snoring solution:
- Four vented dilators – Comes in small, medium, large and extra large sizes. Vented nasal aids don't obstruct nose hair, which helps collect particles from entering your lungs.
- Two smooth dilators – Comes in small and large sizes. Its smooth texture allows for comfortable insertion.
- Two ringed or ribbed dilators – Comes in small and large sizes. This texture helps the nose dilators stay in place overnight.
Each style is popular with customers because they help increase airflow by widening your narrowed nasal passages. They're made from a cushioned silicone that's cleanable and reusable.
The package also contains two convenient storage cases. You can use one to store your nose vents at home while the other for traveling.
Created by a team of specialists, Rhinomed's nasal dilator may improve breathing and relieve congestion to help reduce snoring.
When inserted into the nostrils, it acts as a stent that expands the nasal passages and allows air to flow through, helping you breathe easier through your nose rather than mouth. Once your nasal passages expand, the vibrations in the airways that cause snoring may decrease.
Additionally, the increased airflow in the nasal passages could improve your quality of life if you have the obstructive condition known as a deviated septum. (Note: Mute isn't intended for sleep disorders like Sleep Apnea).
According to MuteSnoring.com, clinical trials were conducted on snorers and the following results were found:
- 78% of participants breathed better
- 75% of participants snoring decreased
- 73% of participants slept better as a whole
Mute nasal dilators are made of soft, medical grade polymers. The softness and flexibility keep it in place through the night.
Mute stents are available in three sizes: small, medium and large (sold separately). Each size allows you to adjust the left and right stent to create a personalized fit. But you may find yourself wondering which size to pick, which is why Rhinomed suggests purchasing the assorted pack size the first time around (reusable up to ten times).
The Gideon Anti-Snoring Nose Vents is an upgraded version of its previous product designed to naturally reduce nose-induced snoring.
It's made of medical grade silicone that's soft, flexible, odor-free, and free of BPA (Bisphenol A).
The internal dilators are mostly invisible once you insert the two vented cups into your nostrils, with just a thin silicone strip peeking out.
Each pack contains four nose vents in different sizes, including small, medium, large and extra large, and a hygiene case intended for storage.
The dilators are intended to last one to three months after which they'll need to be replaced. To avoid infections, the dilators should be washed after each use.
Like other dilators, the Noselex nasal dilator is designed to help you get a good night's sleep by breathing better. This nasal insert is made of a medical grade silicone that fits gently into the nasal cavity to widen the passages and increase airflow.
Each package contains four nasal dilators in two different sizes and two different styles to offer you a customized fit:
- One small nasal dilator with a ribbed texture for increased stability
- One small nasal dilator with a smooth surface designed for comfort
- One large nasal dilator with a ribbed texture for increased stability
- One large nasal dilator with a smooth surface designed for comfort
To prevent infections and extend the life of these dilators, Noselex recommends cleaning them before and after each use. One cleaned, you can store them in the convenient travel case included in the package.
SleepRight's nasal inserts are one of the more popular internal dilators to relieve nasal congestion and decrease snoring.
Made of a soft, flexible and customizable latex/BPA-free plastic, these internal dilators are easy to insert for a personalized fit. According to SleepRight.com, "the flexible nasal flares gently expand your nasal passages to increase airway volume up to 58% more, which significantly increases airflow."
Each box contains a pair of three, washable nasal dilators, intended to last for 15 days each (45-day supply). But some customers use the dilators for longer periods of time without problems (so long as you wash them after every use and store them in the included storage case).
What Is the Best Nasal Dilator for You?
Of those reviewed, the best nasal dilator in our list is the Snore Bastion.
The Snore Bastion package contains several sizes and styles, which gives you a better chance at finding a nasal dilator that fits comfortably inside your nose for extended periods of time. Plus, its entire set of eight dilators is made of cushioned, pliable silicone that's washable and reusable. And unlike other dilators, Snore Bastion includes two handy cases which you can use at home and while traveling.
For these reasons, Snore Bastion is the perfect solution to increase airflow in your nasal passages and start sleeping better.
Now Over to You!
What are your thoughts about nasal dilators? Leave your comments below!