If snoring keeps you up at night, allow me to introduce you to Smart Nora, the non-invasive anti-snoring device that promises to restore some peace and quiet to your bedroom. And when I say non-invasive, I mean no bulky headgear, expensive mouth pieces, or sticky nosestrips are needed to use this handy nighttime accessory.
Not convinced? Well, keep reading because in this Smart Nora review, I’ll show you exactly how to set it up, how it works, and whether or not it can really stop you from snoring!
Smart Nora is a tech startup based in Canada, and the Smart Nora anti-snoring device is its first-ever product! The company introduced it as a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, and after gaining lots of popularity (and funding), Smart Nora hit the mainstream market in 2017.
And while this company is still relatively new, the Internet has been buzzing about Smart Nora since it launched. Of course, everyone wants to know whether or not a non-invasive device can actually prevent you from snoring (and, frankly, so do I), so let’s get into this Smart Nora review and see what it’s all about!
Disclaimer: The content on Sleepopolis is meant to be informative, but should not replace advice from your physician or medical professional. Smart Nora is not a medical device, and should not be used to treat sleep apnea. If snoring is a chronic and/or serious issue, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider.
What’s In The Box?
Before I show you how to set up your Smart Nora, let’s take a quick look at everything that’s included with your purchase. Every component of Smart Nora comes tucked inside a felt case, which is actually the base of your device. And inside this base, you will find:
- The Pebble – a small, computer mouse-shaped device that detects the sounds of snoring.
- The Pillow Insert – a device that’s slipped inside your pillowcase, and gently inflates and deflates in order to prevent snoring (much more on this later).
- Two Chargers – one for your pebble, and one for your base.
- Overhead Mount – a mount to affix your pebble to the wall above your bed.
Once you’ve got all components of Smart Nora in front of you, I suggest charging the base and pebble right away. It took about three hours for everything to fully charge, at which point I was able to unplug the pebble and mount it on the wall.
How Do I Set Up Smart Nora?
Okay now that we know what we’re working with, let’s talk set up. Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to assembling your Smart Nora, and I’ll be honest — it’s pretty simple!
- Plug the air tube on your pillow insert into the base, and plug the base into the wall.
- Then, turn the base on by pressing the power button.
- Charge your pebble by connecting it to the base with the USB cord. (Note: The base and pebble can also be connected via Bluetooth so you do not need to use the USB cable unless the pebble needs to be charged.)
- Slide the pillow insert into your pillowcase. The insert should go inside your pillowcase, but beneath the pillow itself.
- Once your pebble is charged, turn it on by pressing the power button. The folks at Smart Nora suggest mounting the pebble on your wall (about ten inches above your head) for the most accurate detection. If this isn’t an option, feel free to put it on your bedside table, as long as it’s no further than three feet away.
That’s it! Everything is officially set up and ready for action. However, I suggest testing it out before you go to sleep, just to get a sense for how it feels. Remember — the pillow insert gently inflates and deflates, and you can test it out by putting your head on the pillow, and pressing the bluetooth button on the pebble.
Okay, sleepers, now that Smart Nora is set up and ready to go, let’s get into the fun stuff!
How Does Smart Nora Work?
The pebble and the pillow insert work together in order to prevent you from snoring as soon as you start to make noise… But how?
Well, a microphone inside the pebble detects sounds of snoring, even if it’s quiet (that’s why you want to keep the pebble nearby). Then, the pebble sends a signal to the insert inside your pillow, at which point it begins to inflate and deflate.
And as the inflatable insert rises and falls, so does your head! But keep in mind that it’s a very subtle movement, and isn’t designed to shake you awake. Instead, the slight motion of your head is meant to engage your throat muscles, and get your airways working normally again.
That said, it’s important to note that Smart Nora is not a medical device, and should not be used to treat sleep apnea, or even serve as a permanent fix for the cause of your snoring. While Smart Nora is perfectly safe to use every night, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider regarding the best ways to treat chronic snoring.
That said, it’s important to note that when we sleep (especially on our backs), our throat muscles relax, our airways narrow, and that’s when snoring can start. Smart Nora is simply a non-invasive way to engage those airways without ever waking you up.
And, as someone who sleeps beside a snorer, I can tell you that this device might be particularly beneficial for couples. Speaking of which, allow me to take you through my personal experience using Smart Nora so you can better decide if it’s the best fit for you.
More: Learn more about the causes and treatments of sleep apnea.
Does Smart Nora Actually Work?
Let me start by saying that I do not snore, but my partner does! And boy-oh-boy is it hard to sleep beside someone who makes noise throughout the night. So, I was extra excited to take the Smart Nora home and test it out for myself. I used the device for a week, and though it wasn’t quite the cure-all I was hoping for, there are a few things I really liked about it.
Firstly, I appreciated the fact that it’s non-invasive. Afterall, snoring is disruptive enough (to the snorer and the person sleeping next to them) without having to wear a mouthguard, nosestrip, or headgear. I also liked that it’s super easy to set up because, admittedly, I’m not very tech savvy.
Additionally, you can adjust the “sensitivity settings” on the back of the pebble in order to make it perfectly suited to your specific environment, which I think is a clever feature. For example, if you live in a quiet neighborhood and want to make sure Smart Nora detects even the faintest of snores, turn the sensitivity setting all the way up.
Conversely, if you live in a busy town with a lot of outside noise, you might want to turn the sensitivity down so that Smart Nora doesn’t react to every little sound. There are five sensitivity settings, and if you’re not sure which is best for you, I suggest you start with the medium setting and go from there. And you’ll be glad to know that the inflatable insert itself is whisper quiet!
That said, I have to confess that I was a little underwhelmed by the effectiveness of Smart Nora. Don’t get me wrong — when it worked, I was absolutely thrilled to have temporary relief from those snoring sounds. But when it didn’t work, I lie awake tapping the pebble, begging it to make the snoring stop. And after a week-long trial, I’d estimate that Smart Nora stopped my partner’s snoring about 60% of the time.
More: Check out our guide to understanding the causes and symptoms of snoring.
But even though Smart Nora wasn’t able to keep me sleeping peacefully, it never disturbed my partner one bit! He said that the pillow insert inflated and deflated so gently, that he could barely feel the pillow rise and fall. Not to mention, he really appreciated the fact that he couldn’t actually feel the insert through the fluffiness of his pillow.
And while we were both kind of bummed that Smart Nora didn’t fully fix his snoring, it’s important to note that every body is different, we all have different sleep habits, and this device may work better for you than it did for us. That’s why I urge you to take advantage of the 30-day trial period offered with this product, so that you can personally test how well it works.
The Verdict: Smart Nora is innovative, non-invasive, and pretty comfortable! But because its ability to prevent my partner from snoring was kind of hit or miss, the search for the perfect anti-snoring device continues!
Should I Buy Smart Nora?
Now that we know how to set it up, how it works, and a bit more about my experience using Smart Nora, let’s recap the highlights:
- Easy Set Up – All in all, set up should take you about 10 minutes. It’s merely a matter of plugging things in and turning everything on. It does take the base and pebble about three hours to fully charge (when you first unbox it), but if you avoid sleep tech because you’re worried about complicated setup, take comfort in the fact that assembling Smart Nora is quick and easy.
- Non-Invasive – With Smart Nora, nothing gets attached to your head, nose, or any part of your body. In my opinion, this is the biggest draw to this device! If you’ve experimented with other anti-snoring devices in the past, you might find that this non-invasive approach is more comfortable.
- Sensitivity Settings – The pebble allows you to adjust its sensitivity settings according to your specific environment, which I think is a very useful feature. But aside from how noisy your neighborhood is, keep in mind that adjusting the sensitivity of the pebble controls how quickly the inflatable insert responds to snoring. So, if you really want to make sure that it reacts to even the softest snoring sounds, turn that sensitivity all the way up!
- Silent – The inflatable insert itself is very quiet, and I could barely hear it with my ear pressed against the pillow. If you’re concerned about the inflatable insert making any mechanical noises as it rises and falls, I assure you it does not!
- Company Policies – Smart Nora offers free shipping, free returns, a 30-day trial period and a 1-year warranty. For me, these generous policies inspire confidence that the company proudly stands by its product (which makes me feel better about spending the dough!).
More: Not sure Smart Nora is the right fit? Check out our roundup of the Best Snoring Aids.
Smart Nora Complaints
Of course, there are some things to consider about Smart Nora before making your purchase:
- Hit Or Miss – In my experience, Smart Nora did not prevent my partner from snoring 100% of the time. In fact, its ability to detect sounds of snoring seemed a little hit or miss. So, as I mentioned earlier, I definitely suggest taking advantage of the trial period in order to personally evaluate this product!
- White Noise – If you sleep with a white noise machine, fan, or air conditioner, you may find that Smart Nora has a tougher time detecting sounds of snoring. In these cases, I suggest keeping the pebble as close to your head as possible, and turning the sensitivity down.
- Price – I’ll be honest — If Smart Nora were able to completely resolve my partner’s trouble with snoring, I’d say it’s priceless. But at about $330, I can’t overstress the importance of the 30-day trial period. Afterall, it would be a shame to spend a pretty penny on a product that doesn’t work for you.
Anything Else I Should Know?
- Price – $329.00
- Free Shipping & Returns – within the U.S. and Canada
- 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee – you’ve got 30 days to love this product, or your money back.
- 1-Year Warranty
Well, now that you know the ins and outs of Smart Nora, why not take it for a test run? I mean, you do have 30 days to try it out! And in the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the answers to all your sleep needs.
How much does Smart Nora cost?
You can purchase Smart Nora directly from the company for $329.00 USD. Keep in mind that Smart Nora comes with free shipping within the U.S. and Canada, as well as a 30-day trial period.
Does Smart Nora help sleep apnea?
Smart Nora is not a medical device, and is not meant to treat sleep apnea or any medical condition. If you have sleep apnea, consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.
How does Smart Nora work?
A tiny microphone inside the Smart Nora pebble detects sounds of snoring, signals the pillow insert to gently inflate and deflate, causing your pillow to rise and fall. The slight motion of your head is meant to stimulate your throat muscles, and get your airways working normally again.
What works for snoring?
While you should always consult with your healthcare provider before making any serious changes to your nightly routine, you may find that sleeping on your side, elevating your head, and limiting alcohol intake before bed may alleviate snoring.