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In the United States, around one-third of adults usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Sleep apnea, which disrupts a person’s breathing at night, is a potential cause of lower quality sleep. A supportive mattress may help people adopt a different sleeping position to ease the condition.
Mattresses cannot cure sleep apnea, but having proper support for the body while sleeping may help open a person’s airways and ease symptoms.
Using information from the
- Best for keeping away allergens: TEMPUR-Adapt Memory Foam
- Best for contouring to the body: Nectar
- Best for keeping the body cool: WinkBeds MemoryLux
- Best for back or stomach sleepers: Saatva Classic
- Best dual-sided: Layla Hybrid
- Best to pair with an adjustable base: DreamCloud
There is no definitive best mattress for people with sleep apnea. However, mattresses may aid people with sleep apnea by helping them adjust their sleeping position.
According to a 2015 study,
In the study, the researchers found that 10 people with OSA experienced a 50% reduction in symptoms after sleeping on their stomachs with their heads facing down. The participants used special memory foam mattresses that support stomach and side sleeping positions.
It is important for people to note that stomach sleeping has potential drawbacks. While there are some benefits, such as reduced snoring and less obstructive apneas, stomach sleeping can strain a person’s back and neck. This can lead to poor quality sleep and aches and pains in the morning. Therefore, stomach sleeping is rarely encouraged.
As mentioned, side sleeping is the best sleeping position for people with sleep apnea. Our list features mattresses designed to be comfortable for side sleepers.
Each mattress is made entirely of memory foam or a hybrid of memory foam and coils to contour to the body and support side sleeping positions.
Several other factors we consider when choosing products are:
- company policies
- customer reviews
- company reputation
Most memory foam mattresses are not specifically for sleep apnea relief. However, their ability to support the spine to make side sleeping more comfortable may help people with the condition.
Best for keeping away allergens
TEMPUR-Adapt Memory Foam
This medium-firm memory foam mattress has a soft layer that reportedly cushions and supports the body, alongside a support layer that provides stability and pressure relief for the joints.
The company says the mattress comes wrapped in a cool touch, antimicrobial knit cover protecting against allergens, such as dust mites, animal dander, and mold.
Best for contouring to the body
Nectar offers a five-layer memory foam mattress that claims to contour to the body while supporting the shoulders, hips, and knees.
The company says this medium-firm mattress contains medical-grade viscoelastic foam that meets CertiPUR-US standards. This means it does not contain harmful chemicals, such as flame retardants.
It comes with a soft and breathable quilted memory foam mattress cover that reportedly helps dissipate body heat.
Nectar offers customers a year-long sleep trial, and every mattress includes two pillows, a mattress protector, and bed linen.
Best for keeping the body cool
The GravityLux mattress has four distinct layers. The company describes the top layer as containing 2 inches (in) of gel-infused foam that disperses body heat and wicks away sweat. The AirCell memory foam layer reportedly contains shock-absorbing air capsules that prevent motion transfer.
The company states the middle foam layer provides targeted support with softer foam under the shoulders and legs and firmer support under the hips and lower back. The bottom layer claims to provide lifetime durability.
Hybrid mattresses combine memory foam and spring coils. The memory foam cushions the body, while the coils determine the firmness.
These mattresses do not treat sleep apnea, but by keeping the body aligned, they may make it possible for a person to breathe more easily at night.
Best for back or stomach sleepers
This mattress combines the comfort of a plush foam topper with the durable support of individually wrapped coils.
The company says the mattress also has a firm memory foam layer that provides extra support for the lumbar region. The mattress sits on top of 416 tempered steel support coils, which reportedly offer additional airflow, support, and long-lasting durability.
Saatva offers three firmness options: soft, luxury firm, and firm. The luxury firm model claims to suit most sleep styles. The firm mattress is suitable for back or stomach sleepers.
This hybrid mattress combines layers of copper-infused gel memory foam, 6 in pocketed coils, and breathable foam that the company says provides zoned support.
It is dual-sided, so people can have plush or firm support by simply flipping the mattress. According to the company, this makes the Layla Hybrid mattress suitable for all sleep positions.
Layla offers a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty on its products.
Best to pair with an adjustable base
This mattress comes with a cooling cashmere and foam top and a gel memory foam layer that follows the body’s contours. The denser foam layer underneath prevents people from sinking into the mattress.
According to the company, a layer of individually wrapped innerspring coils provides targeted support that adapts to the body. The base layer adds stability and durability.
This mattress is compatible with most adjustable bases. People can also purchase an adjustable base directly from the DreamCloud website.
When shopping for a mattress for sleep apnea, there are several factors a person should consider:
An adjustable bed may also relieve symptoms by allowing a person to sleep with their head slightly elevated. This can reduce symptoms such as snoring.
For people sharing a bed with a partner, it may be beneficial to consider mattresses that split or feature dual chambers for each individual to adjust their side to suit.
There are several different firmness levels for mattresses, varying from soft to very firm. A person’s sleeping position can help determine what mattress firmness may work best for them.
Are there other sleeping materials that can help with sleep apnea?
Alongside a supportive mattress, people with sleep apnea may also benefit from an adjustable bed base. Adjustable bases allow a person to change the angle of their bed, such as by elevating the head.
For some people, elevating the head can improve breathing and alleviate snoring.
What treatments are available for sleep apnea?
Depending on the severity of a person’s sleep apnea symptoms, a doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device
- oral appliance therapy, or a mandibular advancement device (MAD)
- positional therapy, or wearing a waist device that assists side sleeping
- evaluation by an otolaryngologist
Can lifestyle changes help sleep apnea?
The following lifestyle changes may also improve a person’s general sleep quality:
- avoiding processed or fast foods
- drinking fewer sugary beverages
- refraining from smoking
- avoiding alcohol
- maintaining a moderate body weight
- changing sleeping position
- exercising regularly
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that can lower sleep quality and make a person excessively tired during the day.
A mattress cannot specifically treat sleep apnea. However, a mattress that supports a person’s head, neck, and body for side sleeping may help someone breathe more easily.
Additionally, adjustable bed bases can elevate the head during sleep, which some people find reduces snoring and airway blockage.