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Types of Pillows Used for Snoring Cessation

By Haylee Foster ; Updated August 14, 2017

Snoring can range from occasionally troublesome to completely disruptive for family life. It also can be a sign of potentially serious health issues such as sleep apnea. There are many possible remedies for snoring, and it’s important to speak with your doctor to determine what is causing your snoring and what mode of treatment, if any, is best.


Snoring is the result of obstructed breathing while sleeping. Specialized pillows to alleviate snoring might be effective in repositioning the head and opening the airway. According to Howard Makofsky, a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist, using a pillow as therapeutic treatment for snoring can be part of a broader treatment plan.

Side-Sleeping Pillow

The side-sleeping pillow is for people who sleep on their side; it elevates your head slightly to reduce snoring. A study published in the “Sleep and Breathing” medical journal found a side-sleeping pillow to be effective in reducing the number of sleep apnea events per hour in mild to moderate sleep apnea patients. It also decreased or eliminated snoring in the same patients. Some side-sleeping pillows have slots for those who like to sleep with their arm under the pillow.

Cervical Pillow

A cervical pillow, also called an orthopedic pillow, provides neck support to open the airway when you sleep on your back. Modeled after the head-tilt, chin-lift method of opening the airway in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, this type of pillow reduced the number of sleep disturbances in a study reported in the “Sleep and Breathing” journal. According to an article published in “The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice,” a cervical pillow helped keep upper airways open and can be a treatment for snoring as well as sleep apnea,

A Wedge Pillow

Wedge pillows are triangular, firm pillows that let you sleep in an elevated position. Doctors often recommend these to patients with reflux problems, but they also can benefit people who snore. According to “RT Magazine,” sleeping while elevated causes your tongue and jaw to move forward, which opens the airway and reduces the incidence of snoring.


Back pillows attach to a pajama-type shirt and keep you from rolling onto your back. Theoretically this could reduce snoring, though there is no research on this kind of pillow. Similarly, body pillows might help you sleep comfortably on your side, which might reduce sleep apnea or snoring.

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