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.
Aug 31st, 2023 •
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
- Best Adjustable Mattress — Saatva Solaire
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers — Helix Midnight Luxe
- Best Firm Mattress — Layla
- Best Mattress for Back Pain — Casper Wave Hybrid
- Best Hypoallergenic Mattress — Zenhaven Natural Latex
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Note: We’re mattress experts, not doctors. Our recommendations are not a substitute for medical advice.
Best Adjustable Mattress
- Those with allergies or breathing difficulties
- People wanting a customized sleep firmness
- Eco-conscious shoppers
Why this is a great adjustable mattress for sleep apnea:
The Saatva Solaire is a specialized hybrid mattress with an adjustable air base. You get 50 firmness settings (on each side of the mattress 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. While adjustable beds aren’t a cure-all for sleep apnea, elevating your upper body can help alleviate some of the symptoms.
This Saatva Solaire is also designed to be 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.
Saatva offers a 365-night trial period and a lifetime warranty.
- Supports back health: The Solaire has a five-zoned support system that helps with pressure relief. Its lumbar technology has the backing of the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations.
- Good for couples: The Solaire does an excellent job of isolating motion, so if your partner moves around at night, you likely won’t be awakened by their movements. It also allows you to customize the firmness on your individual side of the bed.
- Free white-glove service: Saatva will set up your new mattress and remove your old one at no charge. It also provides a year-long trial period and lifetime warranty for the Solaire.
- Pricey: 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.
Helix Midnight Luxe
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Side sleepers
- Hot sleepers
- Eco-conscious shoppers
Medium firm: 6/10
Why this is a great mattress for side sleepers with sleep apnea:
The Helix Midnight Luxe is a luxury hybrid that offers a combination of features that tend to work well for side sleepers, such as 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, which is the ideal sleeping position for sleep apnea.
The Helix Midnight Luxe is designed to to cradle your shoulders and hips when side sleeping and support healthy breathing. A five-layer hybrid, the mattress features a layer of pocketed coils that scores high in edge support, motion transfer, cooling, and durability. It’s also certified through CertiPUR-US® and OEKO-TEX to be free from harmful chemicals.
Helix comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
- Good cooling: The Midnight Luxe earns high marks for cooling, so it’s a good option for hot sleepers. Its coil-foam hybrid construction and built-in cooling cover help prevent night sweats.
- High responsiveness: The Midnight Luxe is highly responsive and adjusts quickly as you move around the bed. This gives it a bouncy feel and makes it easy to change positions.
- Good for pain: A combination of effective pressure relief and winning spine alignment indicates that the mattress is a good one for back and neck pain. It should help maintain your back’s natural curve while you sleep, while also providing sufficient cushion to cradle your hips and shoulders.
- Below-average motion isolation: We gave the mattress a 7.5/10 for motion isolation. If you sleep with a partner, it’s possible your nighttime movements will ripple across the bed and awaken them.
Best Firm Mattress
- Back or stomach sleepers who need a firmer mattress
- People with pain or inflammation
- Those looking for a lifetime warranty
Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10
Why this is a great firm mattress for sleepers with sleep apnea:
Layla is a flippable, two-sided mattress with a soft side and a firm side, so you can simply flip to your desired firmness. Both sides offer great support and help with pressure point relief by cradling your joints.
The firm side (7/10 on the mattress firmness scale) is great for back sleepers and stomach sleepers; it helps 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 improve cooling.
Layla offers a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. Both shipping and returns are free, for a hassle-free purchase experience.
- Solid pressure relief: In our pressure relief testing, we detected minimal tension buildup at key points like shoulders, hips, knees, and ribs. The mattress earned a 9/10 in this area.
- Ultra-responsive: Memory foam mattresses aren’t known for being the most responsive, but the Layla earned high marks here for its ability to bounce immediately back into position when you roll off of it.
- Above-average edge support: Another area where the Layla subverts expectation is in edge support—the mattress maintains good structure and support all the way to its corners, which is also a good sign of overall durability.
- Sleeps warm: Despite the mattress’s copper infusion, it sleeps on the warmer side and doesn’t transfer heat as well as many hybrid or innerspring models do.
Casper Wave Hybrid
Best Mattress for Back Pain
- Those needing good back support
- People with muscle pain and tightness
- All sleep positions
Why this is a great mattress for sleep apnea and back pain:
If you suffer from back pain and also have sleep apnea, you have two compounding issues to contend with—which can greatly affect your sleep. The Casper Wave Hybrid has five layers of comfort foam, latex, memory foam, and innersprings, which add up to outstanding support for both conditions.
The mattress provides the support needed for a better night of sleep for anyone with upper or lower back pain, and keeps the spine aligned for better breathing. Casper also relieves pressure on vulnerable joints, while delivering above-average cooling and long-lasting durability. It’s an especially supportive mattress for side sleepers, clocking in at 5/10 on the firmness scale.
The Wave Hybrid comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.
- Good motion transfer: We were impressed by how well the mattress isolated movements to one side of the bed. This makes it a good option for couples who sleep together.
- Responsive: A combination of innerspring coils and responsive latex give this mattress a bouncy feel that makes it easy to change positions.
- Stellar spine alignment: Sleepers with back pain will appreciate that the Wave Hybrid supports excellent spine alignment so you’re unlikely to wake with a neck or back cramp from bad sleep posture.
- Not firm enough for many sleepers: Heavier sleepers and those who like the feel of a medium-firm to firmer mattress will likely find the Wave Hybrid to be too plush.
Zenhaven Natural Latex
Best Hypoallergenic Mattress
- People with breathing difficulties
- Eco-conscious shoppers
- All sleep positions
Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7-8/10
Why this is a great hypoallergenic mattress for those with sleep apnea:
Since sleep apnea is related to breathing, a natural and hypoallergenic mattress is a great way to support—and not exacerbate—the 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—and can even repel dust mites.
This natural latex mattress is two-sided, so you can choose from luxury plush or gentle firm for the best fit and feel for your sleep style. 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.
- Impressive edge support: The Natural Latex earns a 9/10 for edge support, which is a good sign you can spread out and use nearly every inch of this bed while feeling well-supported.
- Incredibly responsive: If you like to change positions frequently throughout the night, you’ll enjoy the Natural Latex’s high responsiveness. The mattress moves easily with your body and provides adaptable support.
- Above-average pressure relief and spine alignment: The Natural Latex earns an 8/10 in both of these categories. Taken together, this suggests the mattress can help with back and joint pain by keeping your spine well-aligned and cushioning pressure points.
- Pricey: This isn’t the cheapest mattress option on our list, but given its natural latex construction and overall high quality, we think it’s worth it if you have the budget.
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
- Choosing A Mattress for Sleep Apnea
- Sleeping Positions and Sleep Apnea
- Tips for Sleeping with Sleep Apnea
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, and stopping breathing while sleeping. But there are other more subtle symptoms you may experience, without the need for a partner to report them. If you regularly feel exhausted after even a good night’s sleep—and you snore loudly—there’s a good chance you have sleep apnea. Other potential symptoms include dry mouth, difficulty staying asleep, excessive sleepiness throughout the day, morning headache, and daytime mood issues. Talk to a health care provider if you experience any or all of these symptoms.
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.
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: Innerspring mattresses are 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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
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.
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.
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.
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
|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|
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.
What’s the difference between snoring and sleep apnea?
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?
Is a firm or soft mattress better for sleep apnea?
Should you sleep sitting up if you have sleep apnea?
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.
Mattress Accessories & Bedding
Best Pillows for Sleep Apnea
Millions of Americans have OSA. The best pillows for sleep apnea keep your airway open at night, reducing snoring and allowing you to get a better night’s sleep.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in America. Learn what causes sleep apnea, symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, and treatment options for sleep apnea.
How to Stop Snoring
Learn the best ways to stop snoring permanently, including natural remedies and surgical treatments.