Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Sleep apnea, a disorder where airways are blocked during sleep, is a common problem in the United States. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 adults have it but go undiagnosed because they feel it’s only snoring and not a more serious sleep disorder. Luckily, it’s treatable and manageable with simple lifestyle changes.
In this guide, we list our favorite mattresses and offer helpful suggestions on what to look for in a mattress. We also offer information about sleep apnea and steps you can take to reduce its effects.
30 Second Summary: Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea
- Amerisleep AS2 — The Amerisleep AS2 is our Editors’ Choice as the best mattress for sleep apnea because its clinically proven zoned support promotes healthy spinal alignment and helps you sleep better.
- Zoma Mattress — The Zoma Mattress uses zoned support and gel memory foam to promote a cool and comfortable sleeping experience. The mattress comes with free shipping, a 100-night trial, and a 10-year warranty.
Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea
1. Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea Overall: Amerisleep AS2
The Amerisleep AS2 is our top pick for best mattress for sleep apnea. Its 5-zoned layer offers much needed support with comfortable pressure relief. Plus, all the materials are hypoallergenic, which won’t aggravate allergies or sinuses, helping reduce sleep apnea symptoms like snoring.
When looking to mitigate the side effects of any sleep disorder, support and comfort are key. This is what the AS2 does so well. It has a height 12” and contains the following layers: Bio-Pur® foam, proven to five times more breathable than traditional memory foam, Affinity layer with HIVE® technology – a six-sided textured foam that acts as a 5-zoned system that lends more support to the head, back, and legs and softer support to the shoulders and hips, and long-lasting Bio-Core® support foam.
The AS2 can be paired with Amerisleep’s top adjustable bed, the Adjustable Bed+. Amerisleep also offers a more basic, less inexpensive model, but we love the Adjustable Bed+ for its features such as under-bed lighting, rolling wave massagers with three settings, and programmable presets.
You can control the adjustable bed with the included wireless remote or by using your smartphone or voice commands to Alexa or Google Home.
- Five-zoned support layer
- Advanced cooling foam
- Soft, breathable cover
2. Best Memory Foam Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Zoma Mattress
The Zoma Mattress is 11 inches of comfort and support. It features a 2-inch layer of gel-infused memory foam to provide the pressure-relieving benefits of memory foam without any risk of you sleeping hot.
Zoma refers to their mattress as a “sports mattress” and targets its product towards athletes or those who live an active lifestyle. People who are active need deeper sleep (and more of it) to help them recover.
What Zoma does for athletes, also makes it a great mattress for nearly everyone. By combining comfort and support, the Zoma Mattress works towards helping you sleep better and recover faster.
The Zoma Mattress comes with free shipping, a risk-free, 100-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty.
- Gel-infused memory foam
- A firmer midsection for spinal support
- A 7-inch core for longevity
3. Best Budget Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Vaya Mattress
The Vaya Mattress is made right here in the USA with CertiPUR-US® certified foams. The medium feel of this two-layer mattress will appeal to all kinds of sleepers, including side, combo, and some back sleepers.
The top layer of the Vaya is an open-cell foam called Vaya Comfort Foam. Unlike other memory foams that trap heat, this one lets air circulate freely, preventing you from waking up hot and sweaty. The open-cell design also makes this layer super responsive, so even as you change positions in the night, this foam will bounce back, keeping you from sinking down uncomfortably.
The support layer of the Vaya, called Vaya Base Foam, ensures the soft layer above it doesn’t develop sags or soft spots. Instead, it keeps the surface even and supports your spine. With the Vaya Mattress, you can wake up pain-free.
The Vaya Mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial, 10-year warranty, and as always, free shipping and free returns.
- Open-cell Vaya Comfort Layer won't trap heat
- Sturdy Vaya Base Foam keeps your spine aligned
- Stretchy, breathable cover keeps you cool
4. Best Memory Foam Alternative Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Original Purple® Mattress
Purple® has made a name for itself by offering a flexible material that’s completely separate from traditional memory foam. Their mattresses rely on Purple Grid™ material for adaptable cushion. As the name suggests, Purple Grid™ is made of square-shaped channels that bend with the body, relieving pressure and promoting airflow.
Purple®’s original mattress is under 10 inches tall and contains three layers inside a SoftFlex cover. SoftFlex is a plush knit fabric that stretches with the Purple Grid™, while also making it easy for air to circulate through the mattress.
Underneath the top layer of Purple Grid™ is two layers of poly-foam, known as the Dual Layer Comfort Foam. The middle layer has a soft feel with a dense structure for durability, while the base layer is firm and dense for sufficient support.
Many reviewers have praised the Purple® mattress for making it easier to deal with chronic pain and insomnia, with the bed promoting restorative rest. If you want to improve your sleep quality and decrease the effects of sleep apnea, the Purple® mattress is a good way to catch up on your Z’s.
A Purple® Mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
- Grid-like comfort layer offers cooling, flexible comfort
- Two layers of underlying poly-foam for compression and support
- Durable materials encased in a super-soft cover
5. Best Latex Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Avocado Green
Shopping green is a growing concern among individuals, which is where latex mattresses like the Avocado Green come in. The bed is made with natural and sustainable materials, from its organic cotton and wool covering to the latex comfort layer and steel coils.
The Avocado Green stands 11 inches tall. Sleepers can add on a 2-inch pillow top to give the mattress a softer surface, excellent for people transitioning to side sleeping to reduce sleep apnea symptoms. Still, other sleepers enjoy the firm feel without the pillow top, with one reviewer calling it an “indulgent firm.”
Cotton and wool stay cool naturally, wicking away heat and moisture for uninterrupted sleep. Plus, the wool batting works as an organic fire barrier. Certified organic latex underneath the wool provides pressure relief and compression.
The mattress’s pocketed coil core is arranged to provide five zones of support, creating different levels of comfort for the back, hips, and shoulders. These coils establish a floating feel for a cloudlike sensation that side sleepers will love.
The mattress is also hand-tufted, so Avocado doesn’t have to rely on potentially harmful adhesives to hold the mattress together.
Latex hybrids can be heavy mattresses, so Avocado has helpfully included a set of handles to make moving the bed easier. We do want to stress that these handles should not be used to flip the mattress, only to make rotating it or changing sheets easier tasks.
The Avocado Green Mattress is backed by a year-long trial and a 25-year warranty.
- Optional pillow top for a plusher sleep experience
- Natural latex paired with upcycled steel coils
- Year-long sleep trial and extensive warranty
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common and serious condition in the United States. An estimated 22 million Americans experience it, but roughly 80% of cases are left undiagnosed. Individuals of any age can develop sleep apnea, including children and infants, however, the following individuals are at a higher risk:
- Men over the age of 40
- Adults who are overweight or obese
- Those with thicker necks; men – 17”, women – 15”
- Inherited narrow airways, larger tongues and tonsils
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Frequent nasal congestion due to allergies or sinus problems
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Chronic snoring
- Daytime sleepiness
You may also experience headaches from sleep apnea. A sleep apnea headache usually has a dull pain to it when you wake up that should last an hour or two. Normally it’s focused above your eyebrows and you should feel it on both sides of your head. When you have untreated sleep apnea, these kinds of headaches can be a daily occurrence.
During sleep apnea, breathing is paused for 10 seconds, which can occur roughly 30 times per hour during the night. When breathing stops, the brain signals the body to wake up to force airways open. These waking periods are so minor, most don’t remember doing it. However, the body does, and the results of this constant waking leave individuals suffering from daytime fatigue with lower levels of oxygen in the blood.
In severe cases of sleep apnea, you might experience more than 30 sleep disturbances in an hour. Moderate cases of sleep apnea have 15 to 30 breathing pauses per hour, while mild cases have 5 to 15. A sleep study can determine how severe a case of sleep apnea is.
Types of Sleep Apnea
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious medical problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, and stroke. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
The most common type of sleep apnea is caused by blocked airways due to the tongue falling back and/or collapse of soft tissue at the back of the throat.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
The brain fails to send signals to the muscles that help the body breath. Breathing stops not because of the collapse of soft tissue, but because the muscles are not receiving signals from the brain to contract, allowing air to flow to the lungs.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CompSAS)
Combination of both Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea. Soft tissue collapses at the back of the throat, and breathing muscles don’t receive signals from the brain.
What’s the Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Snoring?
It’s important that sleep apnea and snoring are not taken as the same. While snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea; just because you snore, doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea. Quite common, it can affect both men and women.
Typically caused by relaxed tissues in the throat, the partially blocked airways will vibrate in the pressurized and limited space, creating sound (snoring). This phenomenon can result in either soft or loud snoring. In cases of sleep apnea, breathing will actually stop for a few seconds up to three minutes. Both snoring and sleep apnea can be caused by obesity, larger tongues, aging, and neck thickness.
If you’re unsure of your condition, set aside a journal and record your sleep patterns and daily symptoms. Then bring it to your next appointment. This practice can help give your doctor more details about your sleep issues and help them determine if a sleep study is needed.
Why Material Matters for Sleep Apnea Patients
For those who suffer from sleep apnea, seeking a mattress can be a tricky business. Two features that you want to keep a lookout for are the type of material contained in a mattress and the level of firmness a mattress has to offer. These features will offer the right amount of support to those affected by sleep apnea. It also encourages breathing by reducing the risk of other respiratory conditions.
Materials found in a mattress need to help encourage breathing. We recommend choosing memory foam or latex – both are hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant, resulting in less of a chance to develop allergies and asthma. If you do have allergies, then a hypoallergenic mattress won’t aggravate your symptoms at night.
Since most sleep apnea patients sleep on their sides, largely due to CPAP machines, they need the right amount of support. They need contouring to relieve pressure points in the hips and shoulders.
We recommend medium firmness – it cushions and prevents sinkage, but also has a level of softness that offers comfort and proper spinal alignment.
Best Types of Mattresses for Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from sleep apnea and are on the hunt for the best mattress, keep in mind the different types of mattresses before you buy. As stated above, we recommend memory foam or latex. There are also some exceptional hybrid models that would be good choices as well– Although, less effective.
Extracted from rubber trees, latex begins as natural sap whipped into a light, airy material. There are two types of latex; Dunlop and Talalay. The difference between the two, is during the Talalay process, rods are strategically placed in the latex, providing better comfort and support to the body.
It’s hypoallergenic, encouraging better breathing at night. If looking into a latex mattress, avoid synthetic latex. It has a petroleum base and produces an off-gassing odor, which could aggravate symptoms of sleep apnea.
Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam offers superior pressure point relief– crucial for those who sleep on their side. It supports the body by cradling the hips and lumbar area for healthy spinal alignment.
Be sure to choose high-quality memory foam and avoid “bargain” deals. Many low-priced memory foam beds may seem like a steal, but in actuality end up sagging after a year of use.
Hybrids consist of an innerspring base with latex or memory foam comfort layers. Hybrids may not be as prone to dust mites as innerspring mattresses, but hybrids still have a higher risk than memory foam and latex mattresses. If looking for an adjustable bed, some hybrids may not be compatible with an adjustable base. Check with the mattress manufacturer before finalizing a purchase.
Sleep Apnea Sleep Tips
These helpful tips can help reduce sleep apnea symptoms and encourage better breathing. Overall, it can increase the level of oxygen intake and improve your health.
“Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.” The most common sleep apnea treatment, it’s a special machine that provides consistent oxygen through a face mask. CPAP machines are designed to keep airways open during the night.
A good choice for those who use a CPAP machine. A CPAP pillow allows space for face mask and hoses. It offers excellent support to the head and neck.
Side sleeping is the healthiest and most popular sleep position. It decreases snoring, acid reflux, and heartburn. Sleeping in this position can also help reduce the number of sleep apnea episodes.
Wedge Pillow or Wedge Mattress Topper
If an adjustable base is not in your budget or if not interested at this time, a wedge pillow might be a good choice. Wedge pillows elevate the upper body to open airways. This is especially ideal for those who prefer to sleep on their back.
Adjustable Bed Frame
While side sleeping is encouraged, many prefer sleeping on their backs. This sleep position may worsen symptoms of sleep apnea. To remedy this, an adjustable bed might be a good option.
An adjustable bed frame is compatible with many different mattress types. It elevates the upper body to open airways with the click of a button. Not only is it an ideal tool to reduce sleep apnea symptoms, it can also reduce snoring and improve blood circulation. If you sleep with a partner, split king adjustable beds allows each individual to adjust the position of their bed to their own personal preference.
It’s vital that you choose a mattress based on your sleep position. This allows for better comfort, support, and ultimately, a good night’s rest. For those who are affected by sleep apnea, sleep position is crucial in symptom reduction and improved health.
As the healthiest sleeping position, side sleeping is highly encouraged for those who suffer from sleep apnea. This position allows better spinal alignment, improved oxygen intact, and reduces the symptoms of sleep apnea. It’s also more comfortable for those using a CPAP machine.
Those who sleep on their backs are at a higher risk to develop and worsen sleep apnea symptoms. This is largely due to the tongue falling back and the collapse of soft tissue at the back of the throat. We highly recommend switching to the side sleeping position.
If, for whatever reason, you are unable to do this, we encourage you to invest in a wedge pillow. The raised elevation to the upper body will not only open airways, but prevent airway obstruction. For greater customization at a higher price, you can also pair a mattress for back sleeping with an adjustable base.
While better than back sleeping, stomach sleeping is still not an ideal sleeping position. Breathing may improve with reduced snoring, but the additional pressure placed on the lower back goes against its natural curve. Back pain and an increased risk of sciatica can occur as a result of stomach sleeping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress?
The right firmness for you depends on your sleeping style. A softer mattress suits side sleepers and petite people. A firmer mattress is better for back and stomach sleepers, along with heavier individuals.
Does an adjustable bed help sleep apnea?
Yes, an adjustable bed can make living with sleep apnea easier. Raising the upper body minimizes the collapse of soft tissues in the throat that leaves a sleeper struggling to breathe. Many adjustable beds have an anti-snore preset that elevates the body, keeping gravity’s effects from worsening sleep apnea symptoms.
What’s the best sleep position for sleep apnea?
Side sleeping is easily the best way to ease sleep apnea naturally. When you lie on your side, your airway remains clear and makes it easier to breathe. Lying on your back increases your chances of obstruction, thanks to gravity pushing down on the throat’s soft tissues.
What can aggravate sleep apnea?
Lying on your back can worsen sleep apnea because it makes it easier for your throat’s soft tissues to collapse and block your airway. Weight can bulk tissues around your airway, making a blockage more likely. And sometimes a simple anatomic abnormality such as a narrow airway or enlarged tonsils can increase your chances of sleep apnea.
What’s the best mattress for back sleepers with sleep apnea?
Back sleepers with sleep apnea need to be careful. Lying on your back can worsen sleep apnea by making it easier for your throat’s soft tissues to collapse and block your airway. Elevating the upper body can mitigate the worse effects of back sleeping and minimize sleep apnea symptoms. We recommend a medium to medium-firm mattress with an adjustable base or a wedge pillow for back sleepers.
What’s the best mattress for side sleepers with sleep apnea?
Side sleepers need a mattress that cushions their shoulders and hips—after all, no one wants to eliminate sleep apnea symptoms but wake up sore and stiff from pressure build-up. Soft to medium feel mattresses usually offer sufficient amounts of cushion for side sleepers. Some mattresses even include targeted pressure relief to a side sleeper’s sensitive areas.
Research and Resources
In making this article we…
- Compared 20 different mattresses looking at the healthy support they offer.
- Read dozens of customer reviews about their experiences on different mattresses.
- Spent 17 hours writing and editing this article to deliver the most value-driven content to our readers.
Did You Find Your Next Bed?
While not life-threatening, sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems. Managing this condition can improve your lifestyle. It starts with the right mattress.
A quality mattress will conform to the body and support the spine to prevent back pain. Stick to hypoallergenic materials, like latex foam, to avoid aggravating sleep apnea symptoms. We hope this guide helps you achieve a good night’s sleep and made you more aware of the risks of sleep apnea.