So you’re finally gonna shut your mouth shut? About time!
I’ve gone through the hard work of taping my mouth shut with all kinds of tape so you don’t have to.
What’s the Best Tape to Use for Mouth Taping?
There are a lot of different kinds of mouth tapes out there, many of them either don’t stick very well, leave residue, or cost too much.
1. Hostage Tape
Hostage tape is the new kid on the block that I’ve fallen in love with!
This tape is made out of a stretchy fabric with a hypoallergenic acrylic adhesive.
It sticks to both skin and facial hair quite well but just like most adhesives, they stick best when you really press them down, so make sure to rub it in once you have it placed.
And applying it is easier than most other tapes I’ve tried due to the flexibility of the fabric and the way you release it from its protective paper.
Grab their 30-day supply package and they them out! If you don’t like it you can send them back for a refund via their 30-day guarantee.
We love our hostage tape!
It’s super easy to use and sticks extremely well, even onto facial hair (I would know).
This tape can also be worn during exercise to promote nasal breathing!
2. Silicone Micropore Tape
Alright, cheapo. I see you!
Perhaps 50 to 80 cents per day is too much for mouth tape? I fully understand that!
And that’s why we have a budget recommendation!
Medical tape is the way to go!
When it comes to medical tape, there are really two main categories:
The white acrylic tape above is usually what’s recommended, but… it leaves behind a nasty residue. And when we kiss our partners, eat food, and lick our lips seductively, we can accidentally ingest that!
So my recommendation is the silicone tape! It does not leave behind a residue. And for that, it wins our budget recommendation.
Silicone Micropore Tape
Using this medical silicone tape is a bit less convenient than Hostage Tape.
But it’s much cheaper, closer to $1 a month rather than $30!
If you’re going the medical tape route, I highly suggest buying a tape dispenser to go with it!
This makes things so much easier. Trust me.
Not only is it easier to find the end of the tape, but it’s much easier to rip off the piece you want this way and there is less chance of you ruining the adhesive before putting it on.
Just get it and thank me later.
Medical Tape Dispenser
An absolute must-have if you’re going to use medical tape.
It comes with a roll of acrylic tape, try it out if you want!
Check out our article How to Stop Mouth Breathing for more ideas on how to enhance your breathing at night.
What is Mouth Taping?
Mouth taping is a very simple practice, where you, well you tape your mouth shut.
It is most often done at night while sleeping to encourage nasal breathing and to limit mouth breathing.
However, some people actually use mouth tape during exercise to promote nasal breathing then too!
Mouth Taping Benefits
Mouth taping prevents the mouth from opening wide at night while you sleep, this simple act can lead to a whole host of benefits.
1. Improved Breathing
Taping the mouth shut can encourage breathing through the nose, which is the body’s natural way of breathing during sleep. This can lead to better oxygenation, which may improve sleep quality and overall health.
Check out our article on nasal vs mouth breathing if you’d like to learn more!
2. Reduced Risk of Sleep Apnea
As your mouth opens your jaw falls back into your throat. As this happens it becomes much easier for the esophagus to become obstructed, limiting airflow.
In some people, the throat can become completely obstructed leading to what is called obstructive sleep apnea.
Mouth tape can of course help keep the mouth closed and help diminish this effect on esophageal narrowing.
3. Reduced Snoring
Snoring is often caused by the vibration of tissues in the throat and nasal passages when air passes through them.
When you breathe through your nose, it’s more efficient and relaxed and tends to decrease the possibility of vibration and snoring.
4. Better Oral Health
The saliva in your mouth contains all kinds of enzymes and proteins that keep your it clean and keep the bacteria under control.
If your mouth is open all night even if you’re not breathing through it, all of that saliva will dry up, which can lead to an uncomfortable dry mouth but more importantly it can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and BAD BREATH. *gasp*
Does Mouth Tape Actually Help You Sleep Better?
While we have anecdotes of people’s sleep improving after they start taping their mouths, does science bear this out?
Is there even any science?
What the Science Says About Mouth Taping
I could only find a few studies that implemented mouth taping, and they all involved sleep apnea outcomes.
In the first study, which took place in 2014, 30 participants were instructed to sleep with a porous oral patch or POP.
The POP resulted in a significant decrease in both snoring events and apnea events.
There were other noted changes as well, for example before treatment with the POP, 83% (25/30) of patients had a dry mouth when awaking, and 53% (16/30) of patients drooled during sleep.
However, after using the POP drooling and dry mouth completely disappeared!
The only other study I could find on mouth taping was recently published in 2022.
This study involved 20 participants who suffered from mouth dryness, mouth breathing, and sleep apnea events.
Interestingly the mouth tape used in this study was a small piece of 3M silicone micropore tape, the same kind we recommend!
Once again we see that closing the mouth theoretically opens the esophagus wider, preventing breathing issues.
The mouth-taping intervention above was shown to significantly improve the apnea/hypopnea index (AHI), apnea index (AI), and hypopnea index (HI) in most participants.
Researchers noted that most of these improvements were seen during supine sleeping when gravity is most likely to negatively impact those susceptible to OSA.
Snoring issues were also largely resolved in many of the participants:
And there we have it!
While these studies are small, the concept is pretty straightforward and logical.
If you can breathe through your nose well, mouth taping will almost certainly result in better breathing, sleep quality, and oral health throughout the night.
Tips for Using Mouth Tape
- Wear it during the day: If you’ve never taped your mouth at night, wear some during the day so that you can get used to the sensation before you try to fall asleep like this.
- Dry your lips: If you have any moisture under the tape it will likely come off during the night, so make sure your lips are dry first!
- Puff out your lips a little bit: This can give you a bit more surface area to work with. It really all depends on how much skin you have both above and below your lips.
- Make sure everything is dry! Since you don’t have quite as much room to work with, again, ensure that your lips are dry by dabbing them with your shirt or your teddy bear or something.
- Go easy on the beard oil: If you oil up your beard around your lips too much the tape won’t stick as well, so keep that in mind!