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Comfortable and cozy in bed, you’re on the verge of drifting off to sleep when suddenly your partner lets out an enormous snore, jolting you back awake. They sleep on, oblivious to your frustrated wakefulness.
When you sleep with a regular snorer, however, you might have a hard time falling asleep most nights, or wake up throughout the night and struggle to get back to sleep. If only you could push a mute button on their snoring!
Well, it’s not exactly a mute button, but Mute, a nasal device from RhinoMed, may help your partner (and you) get some relief from snoring.
Snoring often doesn’t wake the snorer, but it can still affect sleep quality. It can also suggest underlying health conditions, including obstructive sleep apnea, chronic nasal congestion, or a deviated septum. Read on to learn more about how Mute can help.
Here’s a quick look at the potential benefits and drawbacks of Mute.
- Mute has FDA approval. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Mute Snoring nasal dilator. This means the organization has determined it works as intended and offers benefits that outweigh any potential risks.
- It’s small and portable. With a Mute dilator, you won’t have to worry about a clunky device on your face during sleep. The small size also makes it more convenient to take with you.
- It comes in different sizes. The Mute nasal dilator comes in small, medium, and large. You can also adjust each dilator to get a better fit. Video tutorials on the Mute website offer instructions on sizing and using the device correctly.
- You can try it without spending too much money. Interested in seeing whether Mute actually helps your snoring? Want to make sure you get the right fit? Mute offers a smaller trial pack with one dilator in each size for just $20.
- It doesn’t last forever. Mute is reusable, but not indefinitely: RhinoMed recommends using each Mute device no more than 10 times. This might work well for people who only snore sometimes, due to allergies, illness, or pregnancy, for example. Chronic snorers may prefer a long-term solution that doesn’t require regular replacement.
- It might fall out in the night. If the device doesn’t fit exactly right, it could fall out when you turn over. What’s more, although Mute is designed to be worn up to 10 times, some customers said the device stretched and began to fall out after the third or fourth night.
- It goes inside your nose. You might need some time to adjust to the feel of something in your nose as you sleep. The device could also irritate delicate nasal skin and cause discomfort.
Mute is an internal nasal dilator, which is a device you place inside of your nose to keep your nasal passages open as you sleep. This helps airflow more easily through your nasal passages, making it easier to breathe through your nose. When you can breathe through your nose without a struggle, you may notice reduced snoring, or even none at all.
The device itself is made of soft polymers, a flexible material often used to construct medical devices. Though the thought of sticking something in your nose may put you off at first, it’s designed to feel comfortable. Once you insert it correctly, you may not notice it much at all. Ribbed paddles help keep it in place and cushion sensitive nasal walls.
It comes in three sizes to ensure a comfortable fit, but you can customize the device by adjusting the ribbed paddles on either side. RhinoMed offers a sizing guide to help you determine your correct size.
Snoring happens when the tissues in your throat relax to the point of blocking your airway. As you try to breathe through this narrow airway, the tissues in your throat vibrate, causing snoring.
If you have trouble breathing through your nose for any reason — congestion, narrower nasal passages, or a deviated septum — you’re more likely to snore.
While snoring may not keep you awake, it can still interfere with the quality of your sleep. People who snore regularly often wake up feeling tired. Daytime tiredness can affect your mood and ability to concentrate, which can, in turn, cause difficulties at school, work, or in other aspects of your daily life.
Even if you don’t notice any of these difficulties, snoring can cause distress for any sleeping partners you have and prevent them from getting a good night’s rest.
You’ll receive instructions for use when you purchase a Mute dilator, but these steps can give you an idea of how it works:
- Hold the dilator between your thumb and first finger so the “arms” (which look like little loops) face you. When you hold it correctly, the paddles will point away from you.
- Carefully insert the dilator in your nose, arms first. It helps to tilt the bridge of the dilator up while inserting it. If you can’t fit the arms and paddles into your nose, the dilator is too large for you. You can open up the loops of the dilator to get a better fit. Each dilator has three different adjustments.
- To make sure you’ve put the dilator in properly, gently adjust your nostrils over the paddle. The paddles should gently rest against the inside of your nose. When the device is in your nose properly, the bridge will rest at the tip of your nose, across your nostrils. A gap between your nose and the bridge of the dilator means you need a smaller size.
- Try removing the dilator. It shouldn’t drop out easily. If you’re using the right size, you’ll feel some resistance. This helps keep it in securely.
- Always wash your hands before and after inserting the dilator.
- After removing the Mute dilator, use mild soap and warm water to clean it. Rinse clean under running water and dry completely.
- You can use each dilator for up to 10 nights.
Nasal dilators such as Mute may not work for everyone, but several different scientific studies suggest these devices may help reduce snoring.
A 2019 clinical trial considered the effectiveness of three different anti-snoring aids for 27 couples (54 people altogether).
These aids included an internal nasal dilator (Mute), a sleep position trainer (a device that vibrates to retrain what position you sleep in), and a mandibular advancement device (a device that looks similar to a mouthguard that repositions your lower jaw).
The results suggest many of the participants found the Mute nasal dilator helpful. Of the three aids, people who snored gave it the highest scores for overall rating (3.4 out of 5), overall satisfaction (6.3 out of 10), and likeliness to purchase (6.4 out of 10).
These results suggest that Mute and other internal nasal dilators may offer a method to help relieve snoring that people are willing to use. The researchers say that while mandibular advancement devices work, many people prefer not to use them.
This research, led by a third-year medical student at the University of California, Irvine didn’t recommend any specific product, but the researchers do recommend that people who have trouble snoring try these products before considering surgical treatment.
It’s important to note that while nasal dilators can help with primary snoring, or snoring not caused by sleep apnea, they may not relieve snoring caused by obstructive sleep apnea. This condition can be serious, so you’ll want to make an appointment to see your primary healthcare provider if you suspect you have it.
You may find the Mute dilator helpful if the available sizes work for you and you don’t mind sleeping with a device that goes inside your nose.
If you prefer to avoid using an internal nasal dilator, you might consider nasal strips, which are external dilators that help open your nasal passages from the outside. When you apply these strips to the bridge of your nose, the strong adhesive helps open your nasal passages so you can breathe more easily as you sleep.
If an internal dilator irritates the skin inside your nose or you simply can’t get used to the feel of something inside your nose as you sleep, nasal strips offer a less invasive option. On the other hand, if you’ve tried nasal strips already and found them less than effective, you might consider giving an internal dilator a try.
RhinoMed also makes a product called Pronto Sleep, a rechargeable vapor inhaler that works similarly to a nasal dilator. This inhaler helps open your nasal passages, just like Mute, but it also delivers a blend of essential oil vapors (tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, and valerian) directly into your nose to improve relaxation and sleep quality.
Dilators may not always work when seasonal allergies or colds cause your congestion and snoring. If you regularly experience seasonal congestion, talk with your healthcare provider about alternative treatment options.
You’ll also want to talk with your provider if you or your sleeping partner notice signs of sleep apnea, including:
- regular loud snoring
- a tendency to gasp for air in your sleep
- episodes during sleep where you breathe more slowly or not at all
- chronic drowsiness or fatigue during the day
- head pain or a dry mouth when you wake up
Keep in mind these products aren’t designed for children under 12. If your child snores, their pediatrician can offer more guidance on potential treatment options.
When it comes to customer feedback on Mute, there’s a lot of variability. On Amazon, the product has an overall rating of 3.7 stars, out of 3,381 total reviews.
Many customers love the product and say it really works — more than half of these reviews are 4- or 5-star ratings. Several people say Mute greatly reduces their snoring and helps them get better sleep. One satisfied customer reports, “My wife says when I’m wearing this device my snoring is a lot softer… to the point where she can actually sleep next to me.”
A few people mention they like Mute much better than other options, including nasal strips or decongestant sprays. According to some reviewers, once you get the dilator in properly, it may take some getting used to. But those who could feel the dilator in their nose suggest the sensation was a small price to pay for improved breathing.
Though there are more satisfied customers overall, a good 40 percent of customers say they’re not satisfied, and plenty of reviews offer a range of criticisms.
Some say none of the sizing options seemed to fit, even after adjusting the dilator. Mute either fell out of their nose immediately or during the night, or the dilator felt too painful to leave in their nose.
A few people say adjusting the dilator helped it fit better, but the paddle loops didn’t stay open once adjusted. Others call the dilator uncomfortable and hard inside their nose, and some reviewers report that it seemed to trigger nosebleeds and septum pain.
As for the dilator’s effectiveness, several reviewers say it doesn’t seem to lead to much improvement. As one Amazon reviewer puts it, “My husband still sounds like he swallowed a couple of bears and they are having a fight when he sleeps.”
The generally mixed reviews suggest that although Mute doesn’t work for everyone, it does seem to work quite well for some customers.
Our editor’s review
After reading into the clinical trial and peer-reviewed studies about internal dilators like Mute, our team wanted to try it to see if it was easy to use, comfortable, and an actual solution for snorers.
While I don’t snore, my fiancé does, and I was more than willing to sign him up for some testing.
We started with Mute’s trial pack, which comes with three different sizes to give you a chance to find the size that works best for you. The directions that came with the trial pack were super helpful, laying out exactly what to do to insert the dilator and adjust it properly.
Once we found the right size and got it adjusted, I asked him how it felt. At first he said it felt a little weird, but after just a few minutes, he said it was pretty comfortable and easy to ignore.
But the true test: Will it stop him from snoring?
I honestly expected to wake up in the middle of the night from a big snore and feel disappointed that it didn’t work. But I didn’t. I woke up the next morning and forgot we were testing it. Wait, I didn’t wake up last night? You didn’t snore!? It worked!
While our success won’t be the same for everyone (since every person and every nose is different), the trial pack is definitely worth trying because the results are immediate. You’ll know right away if it works for you or if it doesn’t.
And anything that can help improve your (or your partner’s) sleep is worth a shot in our book.
–Ruby Thompson, Associate Editor
Mute is sold over the counter, so you won’t need a prescription to purchase the dilator. You can find it in many drugstores and pharmacies, though available size options may vary by retailer.
Different retailers may also charge different prices for Mute. On Amazon, prices for a three-pack of dilators vary slightly depending on product size, though you’ll pay approximately $20 for a 3-pack of dilators and $15 for a trial pack.
Your local pharmacy may charge a little less or a little more, depending on your location and other factors. Some retailers may offer occasional discounts or sales on the product.
You can also purchase Mute from RhinoMed, if you prefer to shop from the company directly. The company charges $27.95 for a 3-pack and $19.95 for a trial pack. If you use each dilator for 10 days, Mute costs just under $1 per day, the company notes.
Mute is somewhat more expensive than similar nasal dilators or nasal strips. You can expect to pay over $13 for 30 Breathe Right strips, and $15 for an AIRMAX nasal dilator. According to some of Mute’s reviewers, however, the slightly higher price point speaks to Mute’s quality construction.
It’s understandable to feel a little skeptical about trying a nasal dilator. Most people probably don’t love the idea of sticking something in their nose and leaving it there while they sleep.
Still, many people praise Mute’s snoring aid and say it made a huge difference in their nighttime breathing, snoring, and sleep quality, so it may be worth giving this internal dilator a try.
Not convinced? That’s OK, too. You can find more snoring remedies to consider here.
Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.