Best Mattresses for Sleep Apnea of 2023

The right mattress can lead to a better night’s sleep for sleep apnea sufferers. See our top picks.

By Sheryl Grassie

Nov 23rd, 2022

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Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes interrupted breathing during sleep. If you’re among the millions of people who suffer from sleep apnea, rest assured that the right mattress can make a real difference in getting the restful sleep you need.

We’ve tested and reviewed some of the best products on the market to bring you our top picks for best mattresses for sleep apnea. Compare our selections and check out the information in our buyer’s guide, including tips on how to improve your sleep.

Best Mattresses for Sleep Apnea: Our Top Picks

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Saatva Solaire

Saatva SOlaire
Saatva Solaire

Best Adjustable Mattress

Best for:

  • Those with allergies or breathing difficulties
  • People wanting a customized sleep firmness
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
customer rating

5/5

our score

8.6/10

firmness

Customizable

trial period

365 days

The Saatva Solaire is a specialized hybrid mattress with an adjustable air base. You get 50 firmness settings (on both sides in queen size or larger), so you can really dial in your ideal firmness level. Also, you have the option of pairing this mattress with Saatva’s Lineal Adjustable Bed Base to elevate your head and feet.

This Saatva Solaire is also very eco-friendly. It has a quilted cover of organic cotton and a top layer of OEKO-TEX certified Talalay latex, two of the most natural and non-toxic materials available. There’s also a layer of memory foam for pressure relief and body contouring.

The Solaire is a high-tech luxury mattress with a price tag to match. Still, Saatva offers a 365-night trial period and a lifetime warranty. You also get free white-glove delivery and set-up.

Read our full Saatva Solaire mattress review. You can also check out our roundup of best adjustable bed frames.


Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix luxe product shot 1
Helix Midnight Luxe

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Best for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
customer rating

4.5/5

our score

8.7/10

firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

trial period

100 days

The Helix Midnight Luxe is a luxury hybrid that offers an appealing combination for side sleepers: medium firmness, good pressure relief (8.5/10 score), and great spine alignment (9/10 score). These qualities help make the Midnight Luxe a fine choice for people who sleep on their sides, the ideal sleeping position for sleep apnea.

The Helix Midnight Luxe is designed to provide relief for side sleepers and support healthy breathing. It is made without harmful chemicals and certified through CertiPUR-US® and OEKO-TEX to keep you breathing healthy all night. This 5-layer hybrid features a layer of pocketed coils that scored high in edge support, motion transfer, cooling, and durability.

Helix comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.

Read our full Helix Midnight Luxe mattress review or check out our roundup of best mattresses for side sleepers.


Layla

Layla room 1
Layla

Best Firm Mattress

Best for:

  • Back or stomach sleepers who need a firmer mattress
  • People with pain or inflammation
  • Those looking for a lifetime warranty
customer rating

4.5/5

our score

9/10

firmness

Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10

trial period

120 days

Layla is a flippable, two-sided mattress with a soft side and a firm side. You can simply flip to your desired firmness. Both sides offer great support and help with pressure point relief.

The firm side (7/10 on the mattress firmness scale) is great for back sleepers and stomach sleepers to help keep the spine aligned and breathing pathways clear. If you have sleep apnea and sleep on your back, this mattress is a great choice. The Layla mattress also features memory foam infused with copper, which can reduce inflammation and improves cooling.

Layla offers a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. Both shipping and returns are free, for a hassle-free purchase experience.

Read our full Layla mattress review. Also, see our roundups of best firm mattresses and best flippable mattresses.


Casper Wave Hybrid

casper lifestyle shot 1
Casper Wave Hybrid

Best Mattress for Back Pain

Best for:

  • Those needing good back support
  • People with muscle pain and tightness
  • All sleep positions
customer rating

4.5/5

our score

9.1/10

firmness

Medium: 5/10

trial period

100 days

If you suffer from back pain and you also have sleep apnea, you have two issues to contend with. The Casper Wave Hybrid has five layers of comfort foam, latex, memory foam, and innersprings for an outstanding support combination that can help with both.

It offers someone with upper or lower back pain the support they need for a better night’s sleep and keeps the spine aligned for better breathing. Casper relieves pressure points, is cooling, and long-lasting. It’s especially supportive for side sleepers at 5/10 on the firmness scale.

The Wave Hybrid is highly durable and responsive, which means it lasts and keeps its shape and has great bounce back for tossing and turning. The mattress also comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.

Read our full Casper Wave Hybrid mattress review or see our roundup of best mattresses for back pain.


Zenhaven Natural Latex

zenhaven new
Zenhaven Natural Latex

Best Hypoallergenic Mattress

Best for:

  • People with breathing difficulties
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
  • All sleep positions
customer rating

4.9/5

our score

8.4/10

firmness

Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7-8/10

trial period

365 days

Since sleep apnea is related to breathing, a natural and hypoallergenic mattress is a great way to support your condition. The Zenhaven Natural Latex is made by Saatva from all-natural latex, wool, and cotton for a healthy, toxin-free mattress. Natural latex is derived from rubber trees. Latex foam is naturally hypoallergenic, cooling, and responsive. It also repels dust mites.

This natural latex mattress is also two-sided. You can choose from luxury plush or gentle firm for the best fit. If you find that one side is too soft or too firm, just switch to the other side.

The Zenhaven Natural Latex comes with a 365-night sleep trial, a lifetime warranty, and free white-glove delivery.

Read our full Zenhaven Natural Latex mattress review or take a look at our roundup of best hypoallergenic mattresses.


Buyer’s Guide to Mattresses for Sleep Apnea

An estimated 25 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea in its various forms. The good news is that sleep apnea is very treatable, with medical care and some adjustments in your sleeping environment and sleep habits. In this guide, we’ll cover the following:

How Sleep Apnea Affects Sleep

Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs only during sleep. Muscles at the back of the throat relax and obstruct airways causing a momentary blockage. As soon as this happens the body wakes itself to get you breathing again. As you are continually woken from sleep, you may fail to get enough deep sleep and overall sleep quality becomes compromised.

Let’s look at the different types of sleep apnea and how they affect sleep.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea is caused by a disrupted or faulty connection between the brain and the muscles. The muscles don’t get the message to keep the body breathing, so they regularly or periodically stop, causing apnea episodes. This kind of sleep apnea originates from a number of different conditions and is a less common form of apnea where the airways are not blocked.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

With obstructive sleep apnea, the breathing passage or airway becomes narrowed and blocks the ability to breathe. The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is excess weight. The tissues in the throat and neck relax during sleep and the extra tissue can block breathing, causing the apneic episode. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common type of sleep apnea.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Complex sleep apnea syndrome is an uncommon reaction to being treated for obstructive sleep apnea in which the body manifests the symptoms of central sleep apnea. It is considered a combination of both types that happens in the initial stages of treating obstructive sleep apnea with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. The body may occasionally initiate a secondary reaction in addition to the obstructive sleep apnea, resulting in the complex sleep apnea syndrome diagnosis.

Related: Sleep Disorders: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments

Choosing a Mattress for Sleep Apnea

With sleep apnea, the recommendation is to sleep on your side, elevate your head, and sleep on hypoallergenic materials. You also want a supportive and comfortable bed to aid good quality sleep. Here’s a list of other things to take into consideration:

Materials and Design

  • Innerspring: An innerspring mattress is constructed with a core layer of springs sandwiched between layers of foam or a pillow top. These beds offer lots of bounce but little contouring. If you find them comfortable, however, there is nothing to say they are bad for your sleep apnea. Look for an organic cotton or hypoallergenic comfort layer to support better breathing.
  • Memory Foam: Memory foam mattresses have amazing support for side sleepers. They are body-contouring and pressure-relieving and work best for sleep apnea at a medium firmness. Since weight can be associated with sleep apnea, you don’t want too soft a foam where you will sink and not be supported. You also may want to check for non-toxic certifications.
  • Latex: Latex foam is similar to memory foam in its ability to contour and support, but it’s a natural material. Look for an all-latex mattress and not a blend if you want the most eco-friendly material. Latex mattresses are also great for side sleepers and can be constructed with other natural materials like wool or organic cotton.
  • Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses are constructed with multiple materials. Memory foam or latex foam layers may be combined with springs or coils as a primary base layer. The best hybrid beds offer great support and pressure relief, and many use non-toxic foam or all-natural latex to help you breathe easier during sleep.

Firmness

For most people with sleep apnea, the ideal firmness range runs from medium to medium-firm (5/10 to 6.5/10 on the firmness scale). The heavier parts of your body are more likely to sink too far into a super-soft mattress, possibly leading to an obstructed airway. Stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and people who weigh more than 230 lbs might need the support of something firmer, in the 7/10 to 8/10 firmness range.

Related: Best Medium-Firm Mattresses

Pressure Relief

Pressure relief is a key performance category for any mattress, including a good mattress for sleep apnea. The neck, shoulders, and lower back benefit greatly from a mattress that gently cushions the muscles and joints in those pressure-sensitive areas. Memory foam tends to provide the best pressure relief, thanks to its body-contouring properties, with latex foam coming in second.

Sleep Trial

Anyone who buys a mattress to help them address a specific medical condition like sleep apnea can benefit from a lengthy sleep trial. A trial period gives you time to see how your body reacts to the new mattress and decide whether you want to keep it long-term. Most online mattress brands offer sleep trials ranging from 100 days to an entire year.

Sleeping Positions and Sleep Apnea

There are good and bad sleep positions for sleep apnea. Ideally you need a position that keeps your throat open and your airways clear, which is easier to accomplish in some positions over others.

Side Sleeping

Side sleeping is the recommended position to reduce or eliminate apnea episodes. If you naturally sleep on your side, you are less likely to have sleep apnea in the first place. If you don’t sleep on your side, or are a combination sleeper, you can work on becoming a side sleeper by choosing this position and buying a bed that supports it. Memory foam, latex foam, and hybrids with good pressure point relief can help.

Related: Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Back Sleeping

Back sleeping has long been considered a great sleep position for back pain and spinal alignment and all-around good sleep. Not so when it comes to sleep apnea. This is the position that is most likely to cause throat closure and induce both snoring and sleep apnea. If you’re a back sleeper, make sure your head is properly elevated with a good pillow or an adjustable bed frame. The right mattress at a medium-firm firmness can also help.

Related: Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Stomach Sleeping

Sleeping on your stomach can reduce both snoring and sleep apnea, so it’s good in that respect. It is not, however, a recommended position because it has other drawbacks. It can throw your spine out of alignment and cause neck tension that can be problematic throughout the day or cause daytime fatigue. Even though it relieves sleep apnea it is not suggested in general.

Related: Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers

Tips for Sleeping with Sleep Apnea

If you think you have sleep apnea, make an appointment with your doctor and explore your options for getting tested. In addition to medical treatment, you can also address your symptoms with the appropriate mattress and bedding accessories.

CPAP Machine

In widespread use for sleep apnea patients is the CPAP machine or continuous positive airway pressure device. This is a machine with a face mask, worn at night, that pumps air and keeps your airways open.

It can eliminate sleep apnea and keep you sleeping all night. You will need to have your doctor refer you to a sleep clinic where you will be evaluated for an OSA score or how many apnea episodes you have per hour. Sleep apnea treatments will then be considered including lifestyle changes or a CPAP machine. Insurance normally covers the costs.

CPAP Pillow

Especially if you sleep on your side or in a position where the CPAP mask comes in contact with your pillow, you may want to consider a CPAP pillow. These are specially designed to help keep the mask in place while you sleep and are readily available from retailers or online.

They are often made from memory foam with added features like cooling gel and have a contours that works perfectly with the shape of a mask.

Adjustable Bed Frame

A bed base that adjusts up and down like a hospital bed can really impact your sleep apnea. Sleeping with your upper body elevated helps keep your throat from closing and keeps your airways open.

Adjustable bed frames work especially well with memory foam or latex foam mattresses and many mattress companies sell them. Consider adding one to your mattress purchase to really help with sleep apnea.

Wedge Pillow

If you want a simple solution to adding elevation while you sleep, try a wedge pillow. They are very comfortable and angle the body to reduce breathing difficulties. Wedges are a great option to try before investing in a larger item like an adjustable bed base.


Recap: Our Picks for Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea

Mattress Award MA Score
Saatva Solaire Best Adjustable Mattress 8.6/10
Helix Midnight Luxe Best Mattress for Side Sleepers 8.7/10
Layla Best Firm Mattress 8.8/10
Casper Wave Hybrid Best Mattress for Back Pain 9.1/10
Zenhaven Natural Latex Best Hypoallergenic Mattress 8.4/10

Summary

The right mattress can help reduce episodes of sleep apnea. There are numerous things you can do to improve your sleep apnea, starting with a supportive mattress and the right sleep position. Check with your doctor about a treatment plan and treat yourself to a bed that supports both your sleep disorder and a good night’s sleep.

FAQs

Snoring and sleep apnea are closely tied and often experienced simultaneously. Snoring is the sound that comes from the vibrating of your respiratory structure when it is partially blocked. When these airways become fully blocked repeatedly throughout the night, you have sleep apnea.

With blocked airways, you stop breathing and experience an apneic episode. When you snore, you may not be getting as much oxygen as needed, but you don’t stop breathing. What causes snoring can lead to sleep apnea and other health problems like heart disease.

Related: Snoring: Is It Serious?

With sleep apnea you want a mattress that is not too firm and not too soft, but right in the middle. The firmness scale goes from 1 to 10, 1 being very soft, and 10 being quite firm. Aim for something in the middle like a 5 or 6.

Related: Best Medium-Firm Mattresses

Sleeping sitting up is not a recommended sleep position. You sleep better in a prone position where the body is more fully able to relax and sleep deeply. For sleep apnea, a 40-degree angle of your upper body using a wedge pillow or an adjustable bed base is considered ideal.

Finding the right mattress can improve not only your nights but also your days.

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