Home clear aligners like Smile Direct, Byte, and many others have gained a lot of traction recently.
They’re innovative, after all: they took Invisalign’s clear aligner technology and brought it directly to consumers.
Some of those home clear aligner companies have kept that innovation rolling. How? They’ve started offering nighttime aligner treatments. But not all aligner companies are created equal, and if you google “nighttime clear aligners,” you might find yourself overwhelmed by all the choices.
That’s where this guide comes in. We’ve reviewed the top nighttime clear aligners, and by the end, you’ll have a pretty good picture of which option is right for you. You’ll be grinning before you know it.
Nighttime vs. Daytime Treatment: What Should I Know?
Take a quick glance at photos and you’ll see that nighttime and daytime treatments with home clear aligners look pretty similar. And that’s not surprising. Clear nighttime aligners and clear daytime aligners have a lot in common. They’re discreet (nearly invisible, actually). They’re far more comfortable than braces, and they’re definitely cheaper. And best of all, both nighttime and daytime treatments with home clear aligners don’t require office visits.
But there are plenty of differences, too. Daytime aligners require 22+ hours of wear each day. Basically, if you aren’t eating or drinking, you should have your aligners in…and you should brush your teeth each time you reinsert them. But with nighttime aligners, you can avoid some of that hassle. They only require 8-10 hours of continuous wear. That makes them much more convenient for busy adults. The drawback? In some cases, nighttime aligners cost more. Plus, they require a longer total treatment time. For example, Byte’s nighttime treatments usually last 5 months, but their daytime treatments can take just 4 months.
So let’s dig into our top picks for nighttime treatments.
Our Top Picks: The Best Nighttime Clear Aligners
Byte At-Night | #1
Byte’s claim to fame is their rapid treatment speeds; Byte is actually the fastest option for both daytime and nighttime treatments. They’re almost twice as fast as other nighttime treatment options. They also use their SmileScience to create a treatment plan that’s crafted to match your unique facial features—no cookie-cutter treatment plans here.
Now let’s dig into the specifics of Byte At-Night.
Byte At-Night Pricing
Byte At-Night actually costs a touch more than Byte All-Day. The sticker price is $3,399 (but Byte All-Day costs just $2,749). That’s a touch more expensive than some of the others on this list, but we think it’s worth the extra cost.
If $3,399 seems like a bit too much to pay at once, then you can enroll in BytePay. There’s no credit check. All you have to do is pay a $40 account set up fee (plus $8 per month for account maintenance), and then you’ll make 30 monthly payments of $143. That takes the cost up to $4,298, so if you can pay the total cost up front, you’ll save a decent amount.
Customer service is one area where Byte really shines. As you work through the process, you’ll get assistance from a dedicated assistant for that step: taking impressions, ordering your kit…you get the idea. And throughout your treatment, you’ll work with the same representative. So if a question ever comes up, you’ll speak with someone who knows your case inside and out.
We’ve done a little “test run” of their support team, and we got prompt, courteous responses no matter how we contacted them: email, phone, and social media. Phone is easiest and quickest if you’re in a rush to get help.
Treatment with Byte At-Night is fairly simple: every night before bed, you’ll pop in your aligners (after you brush and floss, of course). Then, you’ll need to use your HyperByte system for 10 minutes (that’s two cycles on the system’s self timer). A lot of people hold it between their teeth while they finish getting ready for bed; it’s light enough to multitask.
Quick note: Byte requires 10 hours of continuous wear. So if you’re like a lot of people and get less than 10 hours of sleep each night (kudos to you if you do), you’ll need to put on your aligners a few hours before bed. Byte At-Night actually uses slightly different aligners than Byte All-Day, too; the night trays are made with a thicker, medical-grade plastic that’s tailor-made for nighttime treatments.
Provided you wear your aligners for 10+ hours a night and use your HyperByte system as directed, you can expect to see your newly-perfected grin in 5-6 months. That’s almost twice as fast as the nighttime industry average.
SmilePath NightOnly | #2
Next up is SmilePath, which recently started offering the SmilePath NightOnly program. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, then you’ll find it in SmilePath.
They’re over $1,000 cheaper than Byte At-Night. Note: if you’re going for outright affordability, you should check out their daytime option, which is a touch cheaper. That said, SmilePath NightOnly is the cheapest nighttime option. But the price tag isn’t the only thing you should consider; let’s talk details about SmilePath.
SmilePath NightOnly Pricing
The total sticker price for SmilePath NightOnly is just $1,999. That’s only $100 more than their daytime treatments, but it’s more than $700 cheaper than their closest competitor.
That may be cheap compared to the industry as a whole, but it’s still a lot to shell out all at once. Thankfully, Smile Path offers two different financing plans. First, there’s NightFlex, a plan powered by Zip. It requires a credit check, but you’ll make 18 simple payments of $122. NightFlex Easy, powered by Partial.ly, requires a downpayment instead of a credit check. After the first payment of $299, you’ll make 12 monthly payments of just $158. Both financing plans have a total cost of $1,500, so if you can make the lump sum payment, you’ll save some money.
Thanks to a relatively small customer base, SmilePath can give adequate attention to each customer. They’ll check in with you via email on a regular basis. When we tested their support, we found that email is their slowest support channel, but chat and phone are pretty speedy. They may not have as robust of a support team as Byte or some competitors, but they do a great job for such a small company.
Just like Byte At-Night, SmilePath NightOnly has a fairly straightforward treatment process. You pop in your aligners before bed (once your teeth are clean!), and wear them for 8-10 hours straight. You can remove them in the morning. That’s all there is to it.
Provided you wear your aligners for 8-10 hours every day and switch them out as directed, you can expect to finish your treatment within 8-12 months. NightOnly treatment uses the same type of aligners as daytime treatments, too.
WonderSmile NightClear | #3
WonderSmile’s price tag falls in the middle of nighttime aligners: they’re cheaper than Byte and Smile Direct, but they’re substantially more expensive than SmilePath. At just $2,760, NightClear only costs $70 more than their daytime offering. But one important factor to note is that WonderSmile offers single-arch treatment if only your top or bottom teeth need straightening. If that’s the case, you’ll get $500 off your aligner kit.
Nearly $3,000 is more affordable than some options, but if it gives you a bit of sticker shock, don’t panic. WonderSmile offers financing, too. And unlike most of their competitors, WonderSmile’s financing is just a payment plan; it doesn’t cost anything extra. You’ll make a 20% downpayment ($552) to start. Then you’ll spread out the remaining balance across 12 monthly payments.
Customer service is one of WonderSmile’s biggest strengths. If you take a quick look at their online reviews, you’ll find that many WonderSmile customers frequently thank their support representatives by name. They do an excellent job providing individualized, personal, prompt support that customers remember it and tell others about it.
Their support channels are pretty standard: phone, email, and social media. Email often takes the longest to get a response, so if you’re in a rush it’s best to call. But most emails get a reply within 24 hours.
WonderSmile’s nighttime treatment procedure is almost identical to those of the services we’ve covered already. Each night before bed, you’ll pop your aligners in and leave them there for 8-10 consecutive hours. If you stick to that schedule, you should see the smile of your dreams in about 9 months.
WonderSmile’s nighttime treatment is a premium option, and not everyone is a candidate. If you take impressions and the treatment team decides that NightOnly aligners wouldn’t be right for you, you’ll probably still be able to use daytime aligners.
Smile Direct Nighttime Clear Aligners | #4
Of all the brands we’ve discussed in this guide (or any guide, for that matter), Smile Direct is probably the most well-known name. They were actually the first to offer nighttime treatments, too. And thanks to lots of SmileShops, they have one of the easiest start-up processes. But being the “first” doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best, right?
Let’s cover the essentials to Smile Direct’s Nighttime Clear Aligners.
Smile Direct Pricing
Smile Direct has the second highest price for nighttime treatment: $2,825. But on the plus side, that is the same price for both daytime and nighttime treatment. So there’s no upcharge to get the convenience of nighttime treatment with Smile Direct.
And if that sticker price gives you sticker shock, Smile Direct offers 100% approval financing with SmilePay. All it takes is a $299 down payment. After that, you’ll make 24 monthly payments of $119. That takes your total cost up to $3,155. So if you can swing the full price up front, you’ll save a bit of cash.
A few years ago, Smile Direct really struggled in this category. They received a bunch of negative reviews (but a whole lot of positive ones simultaneously). Why all the bad reviews? For starters, Smile Direct grew extremely quickly, and their customer service team couldn’t keep up. So for a while, it was hard to get in touch with a customer service representative.
Now, Smile Direct is making significant improvements in their customer service department. The staff at their Smile Shops are especially well-reviewed. But if you need to get in touch with the customer support team, you might experience a few delays. Once you actually talk with one, you’ll get good service. We’ve found that phone is their quickest communication channel. Email is reliable, too, but it’s a touch slower.
Smile Direct’s nighttime clear aligners are relatively straightforward: you pop in your aligners for a few hours before bedtime. That will give you the total 10 hours of wear time you’ll need to make your treatment successful. If you adhere to that wear schedule, you’ll see your perfected smile in roughly 10 months.
Smile Direct uses the same aligners for nighttime treatment as they do for daytime treatments. That keeps your costs low.
Pros & Cons of Nighttime Treatment
Nighttime clear aligners aren’t for everyone. Some companies even think that nighttime treatment doesn’t work. They believe that there is too much risk of relapse (teeth shifting back to their previous positions) during the day when you aren’t wearing your aligners all day.
Nighttime treatments are also a bit slower than daytime treatments—at least in terms of total treatment length. But usually, the minimal wear schedule each day is more convenient for busy adults; you won’t have to worry about taking your aligners in and out (and brushing your teeth) every time you eat or drink something besides water.
Before we wrap up, we should note that nighttime treatment is reserved for mild cases only. If you have a lot of gaps, crowding, or misalignments, then you’ll need to use a daytime treatment method instead.
Which Nighttime Clear Aligner Is Right for Me?
Let’s be honest: all of these companies are great choices for nighttime treatment. Byte is definitely our favorite, but depending on your priorities, a different company might suit you better. So which one should you choose?
Choose Byte if
You want the fastest results but you don’t want to sacrifice the convenience of nighttime treatment.
Choose SmilePath if
You want the most budget-friendly option, since their treatment is hundreds cheaper than other nighttime aligners.
Choose WonderSmile if
You might be a candidate for single-arch treatment and you’d like to save $500.
Choose SmileDirect if
You don’t want to take impressions on your own or you want to work with the company that has the most brand power in the entire industry.
Keep in mind that you might not be a good candidate for night-only treatment. If your case is a bit too tough for nighttime aligners, we recommend considering Byte All-Day treatment, or one of the other clear aligner services outlined in our review of the Best Online Clear Aligners in Australia.
With nighttime treatment, you can achieve the smile of your dreams…during your dreams (okay, not exactly, but by now, you get the idea). But picking the right brand for your smile can be a little tricky. Research is a necessity—kudos to you for giving this decision the careful consideration your smile deserves! Hopefully this guide has given you a better idea which clear aligner will help you meet your smile goals while you sleep.