I love the idea of a smart pillow – they should be comfortable and don’t require you to wear anything around your mouth or head. That being said, I find that most smart pillows are so bulky that it’s hard to carry them around anywhere, and they’re definitely not as comfortable as my regular pillow. This smart pillow doesn’t have that problem.
The Smart Nora was made by a man who was inspired by his father’s attempts to stop himself from snoring. The prototype was created in his garage and tested on his friends – who liked them so much they didn’t want to give them back! The product was then made through a Kickstarter campaign, which saw 3,426 people donate $832,523.
When a product is designed by someone who has experienced snoring for themselves, I have more faith that it’s going to be comfortable and effective. The fact that it was financially backed by people who believed in the product makes it even more interesting. I was very excited to try this product, and had high hopes that it would help stop my snoring.
The Technical Stuff
I really think this idea is genius – instead of creating a whole pillow filled with technology, this anti-snoring device works with your regular pillow to help counteract snoring. You put it inside the pillow you normally use, so you get the comfort of your preferred pillow along with the anti-snoring technology.
The product comes with a pillow insert that is connected to a pump, and a “pebble.” When the pebble device detects snoring noises, the pump gently and quietly inflates the pillow insert to lift your head and stimulate your throat muscles, which should get rid of your snoring.
While the product is obviously designed for snorers, the company also target another large group of people who are affected by snoring – the partners who sleep next to snorers and lose sleep due to the noise. The pump is almost silent, and company research shows that this smart pillow inflates to stop snoring before most partners even wake up, meaning both people can remain asleep.
The pillow is able to be used by any adult with a snoring problem, and is customizable for different needs. In the case of a household with two snorers like mine, the sensitivity and placement of the pebble can be adjusted, so the pillow insert only inflates when needed.
While it’s possible that a partner’s snore might trigger the other person’s device, the movement is so quiet and gentle that the occasional false inflation shouldn’t be a problem.
I love that this device has a lot of customizable options, including adjusting the height to which the pillow inflates, the sensitivity of the pebble, and an option 30-minute delay before the pebble begins to “listen” for snoring noises, which gives you time to fall asleep.
You can use this anti-snoring appliance without an app, but an iOS app is being developed to go along with the pillow, with an Android app planned for future release. In the meantime, there are other apps that I can use to help track my snoring.
The Smart Nora pillow insert is not FDA regulated or approved, or intended as a medical device. There doesn’t seem to be any concrete clinical evidence to back up the product that I can find. However, this anti-snoring insert has attracted a huge amount of media attention, and many positive reviews. It wouldn’t have even gotten off the ground without the Kickstarter investors!
The founder also talks a lot about the informal testing done by volunteers known personally to the family. He says that most people entrusted with a prototype were very reluctant to give it back, so even the earliest models were effective and sought after.
While the product does not seem to have been formally tested, it is still relatively new to the market. In the meantime, I would advise you to read reviews and take advantage of the 30-day risk-free trial to decide if this product will work for you.
The pillow was easy to order and arrived very quickly. The Smart Nora comes in a soft case and includes a pillow insert that is connected to the case by a tube. The tube is connected to a small, near silent pump that stays inside the case. The system also includes a “pebble” device that contains the microphone designed to detect snoring.
The flat pillow insert is designed to be tucked into a pillowcase under your regular pillow. As the device is flat when uninflated, your preferred pillow should remain just as comfortable as normal. I unpackaged the contents and attached all the parts together.
I attempted to try the pillow straight away, before realizing that the different components needed charging before use. I consulted the manual and began charging for use later that night. These are the basic steps I used to set up my new anti-snoring pillow:
- Remove all the items from the soft case (except for the pump).
- Attach the tubing to the base unit.
- Plug in the power cord into the wall and into the base unit.
- Press the power button on the base unit to turn on.
- Connect the pebble to the base unit via the USB cable.
- Charge the pebble until the green light stops flashing.
- The panel is inserted under any queen-sized pillow
- Check the panel is centered correctly under the pillow
- Unlock the pebble and turn it on.
- A solid white light means it is powered on correctly.
- Press the Bluetooth button
- The base is stored under the bed, and for best results, the pebble should be mounted on the headboard, about 4 inches away from your head while sleeping.
A blue flashing light means that the pebble has lost Bluetooth connectivity. A red light on base or pebble means the battery is low.
Because the device doesn’t require an app to function, I downloaded my own sleep tracker to monitor the quality of sleep during the night. I had previously tested my snoring to compare it with my results using the Smart Nora.
On the first night, I hadn’t properly adjusted the device and forgot to set the 30-minute timer to give me time to fall asleep before it started working.
The pebble picked up on the noisy fan and my partner’s occasional light snore, and I did lightly wake up a few times when the pillow inflated.
However, my snoring did decrease.
The following night, I adjusted the sensitivity of the pebble and moved it to within 4 inches of my usual head position.
I also set the inflation height so that it didn’t rise as high, which I found more comfortable. I also remembered to set the 30-minute timer.
With all these changes, I only woke once due to the inflation, and my app showed that my snoring had been greatly reduced.
My partner was also very impressed and got a full night’s sleep.
The Smart Nora costs $299, which I understand might seem quite expensive – although occasionally discounts are available. The website offers payment by credit card, Apple Pay or PayPal.
Really, whether the price tag is too expensive depends on the seriousness of your snoring. Some people claim to have spent thousands searching for effective and comfortable solutions to their snoring, so if this product is going to eliminate snoring for a chronic snorer, it’s probably worth the cost.
The pillow insert ships to many countries around the world, but only offers free shipping to the U.S. The company offer a 1-year warranty on parts and manufacture, in case of an unexpected fault in materials or workmanship.
The company also offers a 30-day risk-free trial. The customer has 30 days from the date of delivery to contact customer support if the pillow insert is not working for them. In that case, the company offers a full refund, and even sends a shipping label, so the consumer does not pay for the return shipping.
You should use the product for at least 7-14 days before making the decision, as it takes some people time to get used to the movement.
My Last Words
I think that the Smart Nora pillow insert is very cleverly made, and it was effective at reducing my snoring. The design is simple, especially when compared to other anti-snoring smart pillows on the market – but for many people, the simplicity is a strength.
It makes the device easy to travel with, easy to adjust, and very comfortable to use.
Being able to use a standard pillow is one of the best aspects of this anti-snoring device. It doesn’t require any intrusive devices in your mouth or around your nose, and it doesn’t require adjustment of jaws, necks or sleeping position.
However, it can be combined with other anti-snoring devices if you think you need the extra help.
The Smart Nora pillow insert is a highly sought-after piece of anti-snoring technology that could reduce or eliminate snoring. With so many positive reviews and high-profile media exposure, any snorer (or sleeping partner to a snorer) looking for a comfortable, effective solution should consider this product.
I definitely think it’s worth the money, and with a risk-free trial available, what do you have to lose?
Official website: www.smartnora.com