Update: We no longer recommend Zyppah due to several customer complaints. You can buy the VitalSleep instead.
I've tried a lot of anti-snoring products. Without exaggerating, I'd say that I've probably purchased several dozen over the years. Some of them were great, and others weren't worth the packaging that covered them.
Part of the reason that I started reviewing anti-snoring devices was to take my firsthand knowledge and share it with the world. Not only could I steer people away from the bad products, but I could also direct them towards the good ones.
Today, I'll be focusing on the latter. I want to review two great anti-snoring mouthpieces, the VitalSleep and the Zyppah, and I want to give you an idea of how they compare and contrast one another.
Buckle up, everyone, and let's get started.
Mouthpiece Comparison Chart - Zyppah v/s VitalSleep
I'll be throwing a lot of information at you about these two products. Should we look at a simple comparison chart to make sense of the madness?
Boil and bite technology
Money back guarantee
A Quick Lesson About Snoring
Before I dive into technical details about anti-snoring products, let me give you an overview on snoring itself.
Most snoring is caused by obstructed breathing during the night. This might be the result of your throat muscles relaxing and narrowing your airway, or it might be because of your tongue rolling backwards and forming a kind of blockade against incoming oxygen.
Anti-snoring mouthpieces are designed to keep your airway open as you sleep. There are two basic kinds:
Mandibular advancement devices (MADs) keep your jaw at an advanced angle.
Tongue retaining devices (TRDs) hold your tongue in place.
So, what do these things have to do with the VitalSleep and the Zyppah?
How They Work
The VitalSleep is more of a "traditional" anti-snoring mouthpiece while the Zyppah uses a cutting-edge hybrid design. It's hard to declare a winner in this area since they're so different, but I give the edge to the Zyppah.
The VitalSleep is a mandibular advancement device. You wear it to bed and allow it to hold your jaw in an "advanced" position that will keep your airway open overnight.
The Zyppah is also a mandibular advancement device, but it comes with a bonus tongue strap that has elements of a tongue retaining device. In addition to holding your jaw at an angle, it will also keep your tongue from rolling backwards in the night.
Not many products offer a hybrid MAD/TRD design like the Zyppah, so it stands out from the crowd with its innovative technology. It offers the utility of multiple devices with a single mouthpiece.
However, you might not like the sensation of a tongue holder and a jaw holder working you at the same time. You might prefer a simpler, more straightforward product like the VitalSleep.
There's no right or wrong answer here. I've given the win to the Zyppah because of its ingenuity, but ingenuity might not matter to you. It's your decision to make in the end.
Fitting, Boiling, Molding and Adjusting
While the Zyppah isn't exactly a slouch when it comes to fitting options, the VitalSleep definitely offers more bang for your buck.
There are several ways that an anti-snoring product can be fitted into your mouth. Here's a breakdown, including where each product falls on the spectrum:
Size: This is the basic length, width and weight of the mouthpiece. The Zyppah only offers a single "universal" size, but the VitalSleep can be ordered in both a large and small size.
Adjustability: Some MADs allow you to adjust the exact degree of their jaw advancement. The Zyppah doesn't, unfortunately, but the VitalSleep does. You can pop-and-lock its lower dental tray between 1 - 7 millimeters until your jaw is pushed into the position that you desire.
Boil and Bite: This is something offered by both the VitalSleep and the Zyppah. Since they're made of a supple, flexible material known as thermoplastic, they can be molded to fit the unique shape of your mouth. Simply dunk them in hot water to soften them up; then bite down into their dental trays to leave a customized impression of your teeth. Rinse with cold water to re-harden their material and make the impression permanent. Viola! You have a custom-fitted mouthpiece, and you didn't even have to visit the dentist.
As you can see, the VitalSleep offers three different ways to customize its fit while the Zyppah only offers one. In this area, the VitalSleep is king.
Outlasting the Competition
The VitalSleep has a longer shelf life than the Zyppah, but the Zyppah might be easier to handle in terms of upkeep, and this can effect the product's longevity.
Durability is important in an anti-snoring product. For starters, you don't want to spend a lot of time molding a mouthpiece if it's just going to need a replacement in three months. You don't want it to start breaking down and causing problems when you sleep, either. A worn-out product is one that will let snores through.
Let's take a look at the longevity of today's products.
According to its manufacturers, the VitalSleep will last for 12 months or more. It will eventually need to be replaced because your teeth will grind down its thermoplastic. The good news is that the VitalSleep comes with a year-long warranty that offers free replacements, so if you start to notice your mouthpiece looking a little thin, just contact the company and get a freebie.
As for hygiene, the VitalSleep can be cleaned with a regular toothbrush and toothpaste. Just make sure that you're cleaning it after every use. The bacteria of your mouth can create a white film over an unwashed mouthpiece.
The manufacturers don't offer a shelf life for the Zyppah. They just say that it will last for "months" if properly cared for by the user. I've taken a look at customer reviews, however, and most of them agree that the Zyppah starts to wear down between 6 - 9 months. Some people had better luck with a longer-lasting mouthpiece, but the general average seems to be less than a year.
Cleaning the Zyppah is easy. It's another mouthpiece that can be scrubbed with an old-fashioned toothbrush and toothpaste. You can also soak it in denture cleaning solutions as long as the ingredients are relatively gentle.
Another option is the Z-Clean, a special anti-bacterial sanitizer offered by the Zyppah brand. All you have to do is spray it on the mouthpiece and rinse it off after it foams. If you don't have time in your morning routine to deal with brushes and denture tablets, a quick-acting spray might be just what you need to keep the Zyppah in good shape.
Will It Work For You?
The Zyppah is more user-friendly, especially for beginners, but the VitalSleep might appeal to people who have tried and failed to find relief with other anti-snoring products. This one is a draw.
The VitalSleep gives you a lot of choices. From its multiple sizes to its calibration options, it's a mouthpiece that you can customize down to the millimeter. This is great if you want to control every aspect of your sleep experience, but it might be a little intimidating if you've never used an anti-snoring device before.
By contrast, the Zyppah might be a little more welcoming to first-timers. The tongue strap makes it easy to figure out how it fits into the mouth, and its "universal" features give it a one-size-fits-all assurance.
However, if you find that the Zyppah doesn't work for you, there isn't much that you can do about it. You can only adjust it so much. You might become limited by the basic design that first attracted you.
I'm calling a draw for this particular head-to-head. Both products have their pros and cons, so there's no way to determine a winner. The best mouthpiece for you will depend on your personal standards of comfort and convenience.
What's the Bottom Line?
If you're looking for a mouthpiece that combats snoring on multiple levels, go for the Zyppah. It offers both jaw alignment and tongue manipulation with a unique hybrid design that's unlike almost everything else on the market. It's also user-friendly and easy to clean with a special sanitizing spray.
If you're looking for a highly customizable product, go for the VitalSleep. It can be sized, fitted, molded and adjusted down to the millimeter, so you can fiddle with its settings until it's perfectly calibrated to stop your snores. It will also last a long time, and it comes with a nice warranty that includes free replacements.
I can't tell you which product is right for you. You'll have to make that decision for yourself. Hopefully, however, I've given you some clarity about the advantages and disadvantages of these two anti-snoring products.
You may also consider these alternatives: