Night-time Aligners: byte vs. SmileDirectClub

Written by Chris Pearson GDP Registered Dentist

Clear, at-home aligners are absolutely sky-rocketing in popularity, with more providers and more treatment plans available than ever before. Included in this range are treatment plans for aligners designed only to be used at night.

Some people may have jobs or hobbies that prevent them from wearing clear aligners for the required minimum time, which is usually 22 hours per day. That’s where these alternative plans come in, which typically require aligners to only be worn for 10 hours per day, perfect for overnight while you sleep.

Currently, the two major providers offering this treatment option are byte and SmileDirectClub. But which is better? We’ve compared the two across some key categories so you can make your mind up on which one to choose.


How much do byte At-Night aligners cost?

If you decide on byte’s At-Night aligners, the total cost for your treatment, if you decide to pay upfront, is $2,245. This includes everything you’ll need for your treatment after you’ve already paid for you impression kit, which costs $100 normally but is usually on offer for around $30.

If you decide to pay using finance, then byte’s own bytepay plan gives you the option of making 29 monthly payments of $98 following a $415 down payment, for a total cost of $3,257.

Both of these options are more expensive than the standard byte treatment plan for all-day aligners, which costs $1,895 upfront or $2,756 if you pay in instalments ($83 per month after a $249 deposit). That’s because byte claim that the aligners are thicker, to speed up the process, and so cost more to manufacture. HSA, FSA and CareCredit are all accepted and if you aren’t sure whether your dental insurance will cover your aligner treatment, byte say they’ll do the work to find out for you.

How much do SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Clear aligners cost?

SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Clear aligners cost $1,895 if you decide you want to pay upfront. You’ll need either a 3D scan or a home impression kit upfront though. If you opt for the scan at a SmileShop the appointment is free, while an impression kit costs $59, which is often discounted to $29. If you want to pay in instalments, you’ll pay $85 per month for 24 months with a $250 deposit, giving a total cost of $2290.

Not only that, but it’s exactly the same price as if you paid for the all-day aligners. With SmileDirectClub there’s no premium for choosing the at-night option. And SmileDirectClub also accepts HSA, FSA and CareCredit as well as insurance, helping to make it even more affordable.

So, which is more affordable?

SmileDirectClub is the clear winner when it comes to price. Paying upfront, you’ll save $350 by opting for SmileDirectClub’s nighttime aligners, or if you wanted to pay in instalments, you could save almost $1,000 rather than choosing byte’s at-night aligners, and you’ll be paying over a shorter period of time too.

Winner: SmileDirectClub


How long does treatment last with byte-at-night?

The speed of your treatment with byte at-night aligners, and indeed with any set of clear aligners, will depend entirely on the issues you’re having with your teeth and how severe they are. Treatment time will vary for everyone.

However the average treatment time for byte’s at-night aligners is 5-6 months, providing you wear the aligners for 10 hours every evening and you use the HyperByte tool (which you’ll get as part of your treatment plan) for at least 10 minutes every day. This compares to byte’s all-day aligners which have an average treatment time of 3-4 months.

How long does treatment last with SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Clear aligners?

Again, it will depend on your individual case, but the average treatment time for SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime aligners clocks in at around 10 months. This is compared to a 6 month average if you were to use the all-day aligners. Similar to byte, you’ll need to wear the nighttime aligners for at least 10 hours every evening – so make sure you aren’t just putting them in before you sleep, and removing them as soon as you wake up, otherwise you won’t see results.

So, which is more effective?

Byte is by far the winner when it comes to effectiveness. Byte’s all-day aligners are the fastest-working in the market, and so it’s no surprise that the at-night aligners are the same. Your treatment could be complete in half the time compared to SmileDirectClub’s nighttime aligners, so if you want your new smile quicker, byte may be the way to go.

Winner: byte


How good is the service provided by byte?

Customer service is key with byte – they rave about their customer reviews and the results they’ve achieved. The same applies with their at-night aligners – you’ll have access to customer support whenever you need it, and anyone who isn’t eligible for treatment will get a refund on their impression kit.

If you aren’t happy with the results during your treatment you’ll also be able to get ongoing support, while your new smile has a lifetime guarantee, provided you’ve followed all the instructions. If your teeth start to move back, you could be eligible for free aligners to correct them again.

How good is the service provided by SmileDirectClub?

The customer service offered by SmileDirectClub is also praised by many past clients. It’s easy to get in touch if you need to, and they’re more than happy to help guide you through your treatment so that you feel confident with how it’s progressing.

You’ll get a 30-day returns policy on your aligners, if a qualified dentist says that they won’t benefit you, and once your treatment is complete you’re also protected by a guarantee if your teeth start to shift back, provided you’ve followed the instructions throughout the process and can demonstrate that.

So, which offers the most reassurance?

It’s a tie here – both byte and SmileDirectClub really care about their customers and offer plenty of ways to get in touch, plus a refund if you aren’t suited to treatment and a guarantee once your new smile is complete. SmileDirectClub takes a softly-softly approach while byte aims to be a little more brash about how good they are but ultimately you can feel confident that both deliver outstanding results.

Winner: Tie


How easy is it to get started with byte?

The treatment offered by byte is completely remote. You’ll place your order online, and have an impression kit shipped to your home. Once you’ve made your own molds, you’ll ship them back to byte. All support is done via video call, email or other online/remote communications, so if you wanted to speak to someone in person, you won’t be able to. You can get byte at-night aligners shipped to all 50 states, so no matter where you live in the US, treatment is available.

How easy is it to get started with SmileDirectClub?

In short, it’s super-easy to get started with SmileDirectClub, and there are flexible options to suit you. You can visit any Smile Shop for a scan, which will take around 30 minutes. It’s free too – so all you’re paying is the gas to get you there! You can find your nearest SmileShop on the SmileDirectClub website.

Alternatively, the at-home impression kit is also available. Once you’ve ordered it, the kit will be shipped to your home where you’ll make your own molds. As with any home impression kit, it’s a little trickier to handle on your own, but it’s ideal if it’s not possible for you to get to a Smile Shop. Smile Shops are in the 48 mainland states while kits are shipped to all 50.

So, which has the best availability?

SmileDirectClub edges this one, on account of offering the same at-home service as byte but with the option of free Smile Shop visits for anyone who’d prefer to put their molds in the hands of the professionals. If you want flexible availability to suit you, SmileDirectClub has you covered.

Winner: SmileDirectClub

Options & Additional Services

What’s included with byte at-night aligners?

When you received your shipment from byte, you’ll have all of the aligners you need for your treatment plan, and your first set of retainers. Keep them safe, as if you lose or damage them you could set your treatment back and you may need to pay for replacements.

You’ll also get some extras with your package. Included with all byte treatment is the HyperByte tool. This vibrating tool helps to move your treatment along by softening your gums, so that your teeth are easier to move. Tools such as this can retail for up to $900 with orthodontists, so by getting one included with your treatment it’s potentially great value, especially as it means faster results.

You’ll also get an initial supply of BrightByte. This is a 3-in-1 teeth whitener, aligner cleanser and breath freshener. Use it during your treatment to whiten your teeth as you straighten them, and keep your aligners looking clear and fresh. Further bottles are available to purchase, starting at $20.

What’s included with SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Clear aligners?

Your SmileDirectClub aligners will all be shipped to you in one package too – so again, make sure they’re kept safe for the duration of your treatment. You’ll also get your first set of retainers too.

However that’s it with SmileDirectClub – there are no other extras included for no extra charge. SmileDirectClub does offer a whitening service but it’s completely extra, so you’d need to order it separately, and it isn’t designed to be used in conjunction with your aligners – although it may work well with night-time aligners.

The only other options are around your payment flexibility, as discussed above.

So, which offers the best extra services?

Both byte and SmileDirectClub have a range of extra services, but byte just steals this one with its included whitener, cleanser and breath freshener, with extra bottles available at a low cost. You can get all your treatment done at once, and keep your aligners in the best condition, if you opt for the BrightByte service, which you get to try as part of your treatment anyway before you commit to spending more of your hard-earned dollars.

Winner: byte

So, which is best overall?

Byte wins: 2 (Effectiveness and Extras)

SmileDirectClub wins: 2 (Affordability and availability)

Ties: 1 (Reassurance)

Overall, there isn’t a clear winner – because the services offered are aimed at different people and it depends what your priority it.

If you want the fastest treatment possible, choose byte. You’ll be finished your treatment in half the time, thanks to the thicker aligners and the use of the HyperByte tool, which means you’ll have your new smile much faster than SmileDirectClub can promise you. With the optional BrightByte too, you can whiten your teeth and protect your aligners at the same time.

However, if cost is most important to you, then SmileDirectClub is by far the winner. Depending on how you pay, you could save up to $1,000 compared to byte’s at-night aligner treatment, which you could use towards other treatments such as intensive whitening. Also, if you don’t trust yourself to take your own impression then SmileDirectClub has the edge, since you can visit a SmileShop for a free appointment to get a 3D scan taken by a licensed professional.

You’ll know whether you want a new smile faster or you’d rather save the money. Whether you choose byte or SmileDirectClub, both offer plenty of reassurance and excellent customer service to ensure you get the treatment you desire, or a refund if you aren’t eligible. So if you want clear aligner treatment without having to wear them for 22 hours per day, both byte and SmileDirectClub are an outstanding choice.

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