Sometimes it’s nice to have a piece of technology cross your desk that solves a problem you DON’T have. In my home, we’re not snorers (does everyone say that?) so when I was sent a sample of the Smart Nora anti-snoring device, I was trying to figure out how to best test it. The answer? Give it to a couple where one of them DOES have a snoring problem. Guest blogger Kevin S. graciously agreed to test out the Smart Nora for a couple of weeks, and here’s his review. -Erin
Hi. My name is Kevin, and I have a snoring problem. This is normally the part where you say “hello, Kevin,” group therapy-style. I’m a habitual snorer and the problem is bad enough that sometimes it keeps my wife awake. So when Erin asked me in to test out the Smart Nora, a snoring solution that is completely contact-free, and designed by a team of engineers, I figured, what have I got to lose?
This is the first snoring aid I’ve ever used, so while I can’t compare it to other gadgets, I’ll give you my honest opinion after using it nightly for about 10 days. Initially, I was worried about trying a snoring aid since it doesn’t take a long search online to see people wearing breathing devices that look straight out of a science fiction movie. That’s my nightmare.
The fact that Smart Nora is contact-free was music to my ears.
Smart Nora snoring solution – How it works
Here’s how it works: the Smart Nora device is placed beside your bed, with a tube attached to an inflatable pillow insert that fits under your pillow and within your pillowcase. A small microphone receiver, called the Pebble, is placed on your night stand, or can be affixed to the wall via a holster. When the Pebble detects snoring, it triggers the base to inflate the pillow insert. That raises your head, which in turn alters your airway and ideally puts a stopper on that evening’s log-sawing.
Using a device like Smart Nora means you can use your own pillow and sleep however you prefer; back or side.
Setting up Smart Nora
The setup process for the Smart Nora was simple. The base houses the inflation mechanics, the Pebble is the acoustic sensor, and the pillow insert is what adjusts your head to stop your snoring.
There’s a standard USB plug-in for connection with the Pebble, or you can also use it wirelessly via Bluetooth. Also in the package is a power jack for charging the main unit, and tubing to connect the pillow insert. The only adjustable settings in the base are for power and the pillow insert inflation height – that becomes a matter of preference. I set my pillow inflation height to the lowest of the three settings, but that seemed to be enough for me.
Smart Nora is designed for travel, but it’s not small
The team that designed the Smart Nora did so with travel in mind, and it shows. Setup and take-down are done in minutes, with the entirety of the device (save the padding around the pillow insert) fitting snugly within the base, which is about the size of a kid’s lunch box. It also comes with a few travel adapters, making that trip to Europe tolerable for your partner. The whole thing is meant to be folded away out of sight and mind, which I really appreciated in our bedroom, where space is at a premium.
Using Smart Nora stop-snoring pillow
Once unpacked and set up the first thing I noticed about Smart Nora is that before inflation, the pillow insert adds a noticeable depth to the pillow. It’s thick because it has several layers to it; you have the balloon in the middle, which fits into a harder shell, which then fits into a cushioned layer. It was designed with comfort in mind, and it is comfortable, within reason. As a side-sleeper who has an arm under the pillow, my neck was already pushed pretty far from what I might consider normal. You’ll likely notice this too, and it will take some getting used to.
The hard shell of the pillow insert (inside the plushy outer layer) is designed to change your head angle with relative consistency across your entire pillow; while that element of it makes a good deal of sense, it affected me for the first five days of my ten day trial. I wouldn’t say the latter five days were spent being completely used to the system either, but I got better with it as time went along. The user manual suggests that beyond the seventh day, it should be barely noticeable, and by and large, I agree with that assessment.
Smart Nora Pebble sensor is touchy, but you can fix that
The Pebble sensor is designed to be adjustable when you use it, and it can be made more or less sensitive, depending on how loud it is in your home, if there’s street noise coming through or if you have pets prone to making noise.
A small pair of buttons on the bottom of the Pebble lets you control the sensitivity. If the Pebble is set up on a hard surface, a quick press on the top of the device triggers the on/off bar, and a pinhole light on top lets you know it’s on or off. *The Bluetooth button on the bottom of the Pebble talks to the base unit itself without issue, and the lock feature means it will stay connected to Bluetooth no matter what.
I started the Smart Nora’s sensitivity right in the middle of the scale but ended up lowering it after my dog’s collar tag jingling triggered the Smart Nora one night.
The only other issue I noticed with the Pebble involved the holster: the Pebble can be turned on or off with a quick push on top, but only on a hard surface, but I couldn’t get it to turn on or off while in the holster. It had to be removed, turned on, and then returned to the holster. Not a big deal if you look at the holster as a storage rack to keep your bedside table clear.
Smart Nora – does it make noise?
The Smart Nora does make some noise when it’s inflating but it sounds like a low level buzzzzzzz or a small swarm of bees. After a time, the pillow will then slowly deflate. My wife didn’t hear it sleeping next to me, fortunately.
Smart Nora overall review
So, after ten days of use, did it work? To that, I give a resounding yes. My wife is the only one who could attest to that, but for my own part, for the duration of our test, she wasn’t prodding me awake once while the Smart Nora was in use – it was doing the work!
I feel like this technology was a perfect complement to our sleeping quarters, once I got over the tiny little tube that attached to the pillow insert, and the pillow insert thickness. The Smart Nora served to enhance sleep quality for both of us, and marriage quality, too; after all, happy wife, happy life!
The Smart Nora is an excellent gadget and I’d definitely recommend it. It’s well worth trying if snoring is an issue for you or your partner. It may take a short while to get used to, but that change is worth it for home, travel, and wherever life takes you.
Smart Nora Pros:
- Ease of use
Smart Nora Cons:
- Device Sensitivity
- Pillow insert width
Smart Nora sells for $299 USD from the company’s website. They do ship to Canada for free.
d it was a resounding ‘yes’ from him and his wife. I’d say that’s a pretty good barometer of its success. -Erin
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