There’s no question that young adults today lead busy lives — it’s always one thing after the next. And when your calendar and to-do list are packed, wearing clear aligners all day long might seem like a tall order. To help you out, SmileDirectClub, Byte, NewSmile, and AlignerCo each developed aligner plans that only require nighttime wear.
That’s right. These plans only require ten hours of continuous daily wear instead of 22. Sign me up, right? But before committing, evaluate your options to determine which of these three nighttime treatments, if any, are a good fit. This guide has everything you need to make your decision.
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Best Nighttime Aligners: At a Glance
|Advertised Average Treatment Plan Length
|$299 down, $84/month (36 months)
|$250 down, $89/month (28 months)
|$190 down, $78/month (36 months)
|$445 down, $150/month (6 months)
|Uses thicker, more grind-resistant plastic than standard aligners
|Same as standard aligners
|Same as standard aligners
|Same as standard aligners
|Aligner Kit Includes
|HyperByte, whitening, one set of retainers
|Whitening, dental scan at a SmileShop location
|Impression kit, whitening, one set of retainers
|Impression kit, whitening, one set of retainers
How Are Nighttime Aligners Different?
With SmileDirectClub, NewSmile, and AlignerCo, they aren’t. You’ll receive the same aligners whether you choose daytime or nighttime treatment. The only difference is how long you’ll wear them. On a standard schedule, you’ll wear each set of aligners 22 hours per day for one week before moving on to the next one. With nighttime-only treatment, you’ll often wear each set ten hours per day for two weeks instead of one.
Byte, however, develops their nighttime aligners differently from their daytime ones. They use a thicker, grind-resistant plastic and designs their treatment plans specifically for nighttime-only wear.
Which Providers Offer Nighttime Aligners?
SmileDirectClub was the first to advertise a nighttime-only treatment option, then Byte, AlignerCo, and NewSmile followed suit. However, their treatment plans aren’t exactly the same. If you’re considering nighttime treatment, it’s a good idea to examine each program before choosing one over the other.
Unlike some competitors, Byte designs their At-Night aligners specifically for nighttime-only treatment, using thicker plastic than they do for their standard ones. And let’s not forget the HyperByte, the device whose gentle vibrations Byte claims can help achieve a more comfortable aligner fit. Some studies also suggest devices like this can help teeth move slightly faster.
Byte says their average treatment plan length is just 4–5 months (or 5–6 months for Byte At-Night). However, it comes at a higher price — $2,399 compared to their regular $1,999 price.
Interested in Byte At-Night?
If you’re set on nighttime-only treatment, we think Byte is a great option. While other providers use the same aligners for daytime and nighttime treatment, Byte designs their At-Night aligners specially for nighttime-only treatment, which could be worth the slightly higher-than-average price.
SmileDirectClub has been in the home aligner game longer than just about anyone. They hit the market in 2014 and have transformed over two million smiles since then, so they have a lot more experience than newer companies like Byte and AlignerCo. And with SmileDirectClub’s 100+ SmileShops offering free teeth scans — plus their partnership with 1,000+ dental offices — it’s easier than ever to get started with treatment.
They were also the first home aligner company to offer a nighttime-only option, although their Nighttime Aligners aren’t any different from the ones they use for their standard treatment. You simply wear them for shorter amounts of time per day on a longer overall timeline. For nighttime-only treatment, you’ll wear each aligner set ten hours per day for two weeks before moving on to the next set, and the entire process takes ten months on average (compared to the usual 4–6).
Plus, their Nighttime Aligners are compatible with their CarePlus option, which includes in-person visits from a local dentist, a special customer care team, and four sets of retainers for $3,900.
They’re younger than the other companies listed here, but NewSmile has quickly established themselves as an impressively affordable at-home aligner brand that features app-based oversight, interest-free financing, and nighttime-only treatment.
Much like SmileDirectClub, NewSmile’s Night Aligners use the same design and materials as their standard, all-day ones. You’ll just wear them ten hours per day instead of 22, and for 8–10 months instead of 4–6.
This plan also costs $100 more: $1,695 instead of $1,595. Even so, Night Aligners are still less expensive than Byte or SmileDirectClub. They have two financing options. One requires a credit check, but no down payment, and it’s $64 per month for 36 months. The other approves everyone, regardless of credit score. It requires a $190 down payment, then 36 monthly payments of $78 — so it’s more expensive in the long run.
All at-home aligner treatments are relatively cost-effective, but AlignerCo is hands down the most affordable. Their prices are $1,000+ less than some of the competition, plus they offer flexible financing plans.
AlignerCo’s nighttime option (called NightOnly) provides the same aligners that you’d receive from their standard daytime plan. You just wear them on a different schedule: ten hours per night, changing aligner sets every two weeks. Unsurprisingly, the entire process takes slightly longer: 6–8 months, according to the company.
NightOnly treatment costs $1,195, which is slightly higher than AlignerCo’s standard $995 price tag. But even at that price point, they’re still the cheapest nighttime treatment on the market. Payment plans are available too. If you don’t mind a credit check, SmileFlex requires 12 monthly payments of $99. And if you’re not confident in your credit score, SmileFlex Easy requires a $445 down payment, then six monthly payments of $150.
Advantages of Nighttime Aligners
If you didn’t think that at-home clear aligner treatment could get any more convenient, think again! Nighttime-only aligners take this convenience to a whole new level. Just look at a few of the advantages:
1) Nobody Has To Know
There’s no doubt that clear aligners are already much more discreet than traditional metal braces. Modern clear aligners blend in very well and are hardly noticeable unless you’re getting up close and personal. Still, they’re not completely invisible and can sometimes create a slight lisp. Looking for the most low-key treatment? Nighttime-only usage means that you won’t have to wear anything during your workday, lunch outing, social gathering, or any other daytime activity. You’ll only wear your aligners overnight, while no one else is around.
2) Worry-Free Eating and Drinking
Every time you eat or drink, you’ll need to remove your aligners, since foods and beverages can stain or damage them. After you finish, you’ll have to brush and floss before replacing them to maintain good oral hygiene. Since most people eat several times throughout the day (excluding the intermittent fasters out there), you’ll be removing and reapplying your aligners often. Unless you’re a frequent midnight snacker, nighttime treatment lets you avoid this whole routine. You can simply pop them in after dinnertime and forget about them until the next morning.
3) Easy to Incorporate Into Your Evening Routine
Forming a routine is the easiest way to stay consistent with your aligners. This consistency is vital for ensuring your treatment’s effectiveness, no matter which company you choose. Otherwise, your aligners could stop fitting correctly, which can extend the duration of your treatment by several months and require costly modifications to your aligner plan.
Nighttime-only treatment makes it incredibly easy to follow a plan. Whether you’re a night owl or an early riser, it’s pretty effortless to introduce nighttime aligners into your bedtime routine. After brushing your teeth and flossing, simply pop in your aligners and do your typical nighttime activities. Wash your face, read a book, journal, catch up on some work, do the dishes, or just climb right into bed. In the morning, you can remove your aligners and go about your day.
Drawbacks to Nighttime Aligners
At this point, nighttime-only aligners might sound too good to be true, but they’re not without flaws. Before you make your final decision, it’s important to understand the drawbacks that come with this unique treatment schedule.
1) Longer Correction Time
Byte claims that their nighttime-only treatment plans will last roughly 5–6 months on average, which is slightly longer than their standard daytime option. SmileDirectClub says their Nighttime Aligners take ten months on average, NewSmile says theirs typically take 8–10, and AlignerCo says their NightOnly aligners usually take 6–8.
One study found that aligners worn all day moved teeth twice as fast as ones worn just overnight. So if you’re hoping to improve your smile ASAP, whether for a specific event like a wedding or because you just can’t wait for your new, more comfortable smile, you’re likely better off going with an all-day treatment plan. It might require more discipline, but you’ll enjoy a shorter overall treatment timeline.
2) Treatment May Be More Uncomfortable
Since Invisalign developed the first mass-market clear aligner treatment, plans have required patients to wear them 22+ hours per day. This hasn’t changed in two decades because there’s a good reason for it. When you remove the aligners, your teeth start to shift back to their original positions. The longer you go without them each day, the more your teeth shift. Not only does this slow down treatment, but it also puts additional strain on your teeth, continually shifting them in and out of their new positions. This back and forth can cause additional discomfort, and if you’re a light sleeper, it could mean some restless nights.
Regardless, for years, dentists and orthodontists have been advising their patients to keep aligners in place as much of the day as possible. It’s not just to speed up treatment, but also to support a safe and healthy adjustment process. If you’re cautious about your teeth, this is something you’ll probably want to consider before signing up for a nighttime-only plan.
3) Only Suitable for Minor Misalignments
In general, at-home aligners are better suited for milder cases of crowding and spacing. As an even less intensive treatment, nighttime-only aligners are not designed to treat more severe cases.
Byte and NewSmile require special approval from their dentists and orthodontists for their At-Night treatment. If you have a substantial issue, there’s a good chance you might be ineligible for nighttime-only treatment. Even if you qualify, you might not achieve the same quality of outcome that you could with regular, all-day aligners.
Plus, because of the additional back-and-forth wiggling involved with nighttime-only plans, your teeth may be more likely to shift back to their original positions after you wrap up treatment. It’s an especially big risk if you don’t consistently wear your aftercare retainer — which is a good habit no matter which provider and treatment you choose.
Is Nighttime Aligner Treatment Safe?
Your teeth are valuable, so you never want to jump into treatment without being 100% sure that it’s safe. SmileDirectClub, Byte, NewSmile, and AlignerCo say their nighttime-only aligners are safe, but you should still understand the potential risks.
As we mentioned above, every orthodontic treatment comes with a small risk of dental root damage. Plus, when you’re not wearing your aligners, your teeth are liable to start shifting back to their original positions. So, wearing them for fewer hours per day could cause more back-and-forth movement. If you still have questions or concerns about nighttime aligners, customer support can be helpful.
Which Nighttime Aligners Should I Choose?
If you’ve come this far and you’re all-in on nighttime aligners, your next task is choosing a company. As always, choosing an orthodontic treatment is a highly personal decision that depends on your unique goals and priorities. First, submit an impression kit or teeth scan to determine whether you’re a suitable candidate for home aligner treatment. If your condition is more severe, you might see better results from an in-office option like Invisalign.
If you’re a candidate, great! If you’re on the fence between nighttime and standard aligners, we recommend standard, all-day treatment for most cases because it’s faster and has a longer track record of successful results.
Byte At-Night: Our #1-Recommended Nighttime Aligners
If you’re set on nighttime-only treatment, Byte At-Night could be a great option. Not only do they say their nighttime treatment plans are an average of 5–6 months, but Byte also provides a personal advisor to every customer. And after your treatment wraps up, Byte guarantees your smile for life, as long as you replace your retainers every six months and wear them as directed.
Nighttime-only treatment is an exciting development in the world of home aligners, and a potential game-changer for anyone who would have difficulty wearing their aligners 22 hours a day. While it might take longer to see your desired results, and there aren’t a lot of reviews out there, nighttime-only aligners provide a more flexible, convenient option for getting the smile you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for nighttime aligners?
If you have a mild case of crowding or spacing and no jaw misalignments, then you’re likely eligible for nighttime treatment. To find out for sure, you’ll need to complete and submit an impression kit or visit a SmileShop.
Do nighttime aligners cost more?
For SmileDirectClub? No. For Byte, NewSmile, and AlignerCo? Yes. SmileDirectClub’s nighttime treatment uses the same aligners as its standard daytime treatment, so the price is identical ($2,250). Byte At-Night uses aligners specially designed for nighttime treatment and provides fast results, so it costs slightly more ($2,399). NewSmile and AlignerCo don’t use special materials in their NightOnly aligners, but they still charge more — $1,645 for NewSmile and $1,195 for AlignerCo.
Which company should I choose for nighttime aligner treatment?
In our opinion, SmileDirectClub, Byte, NewSmile, and AlignerCo’s nighttime treatments can all be solid choices, but we recommend Byte. By providing a free high-frequency vibration device, a lifetime guarantee, and solid customer service, they’ve developed what we think is one of the best clear aligner treatments out there.
How long do I need to wear my aligners each night?
10+ hours. We realize that you probably don’t sleep for ten hours, so just pop them in a couple of hours before bed and you’ll be good to go.
Can I switch from daytime to nighttime aligners mid-treatment?
SmileDirectClub might let you change treatment schedules in the middle of your treatment since both options use the same aligners. Byte won’t, since they use a different type of aligner for nighttime treatment. NewSmile and AlignerCo don’t say whether they allow mid-treatment switches, so it’s best to ask them directly if you’re considering it.
Do nighttime aligners hurt?
Most customers find home aligners fairly comfortable. Nighttime aligners allow your teeth to shift back and forth a bit more, which can cause some additional discomfort. But you’ll be asleep most of the time you’re wearing them anyway.