6 Highest Rated Beds for People with Sleep Apnea – Updated for 2019

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Over 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and most people don’t even know they have it.

This condition is a sleep disorder that causes someone’s breathing to stop and start uncontrollably. Sometimes the person wakes up fully, but the majority of the time, the person isn’t even aware that they’re being roused from sleeping dozens, and even hundreds, of times each night.

These interruptions are called “micro-arousals,” and can rob you of approximately one-third of your beauty rest every night.

You can imagine how this would negatively impact your sleeping habits and health. It’s even more troublesome than snoring!

There are several ways to treat this disorder and minimize its effect on your life. One of the quickest and easiest tricks is to simply make sure you’re sleeping on the right bed and in the correct position.

In this article, we’ll share our top picks for best mattresses for sleep apnea.

zenhaven small product image Zenhaven
  • Trial: 120 Days
  • Warranty: 20 Years
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loom and leaf small mobile image Loom & Leaf
  • Trial: 120 Days
  • Warranty: 15 Years
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casper small product image Casper
  • Trial: 100 Days
  • Warranty: 10 Years
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layla mobile product image Layla
  • Trial: 120 Days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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luxi medium image Luxi 3-in-1
  • Trial: 100 Days
  • Warranty: 10 Years
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the winkbeds small product image WinkBed Plus
  • Trial: 120 Days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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Top 6 Sleep Apnea Bed Options

Zenhaven – Dual-Sided Latex

Highlights:

  • Dual-Sided
  • Certified Organic Cotton
  • OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • 20-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Zenhaven is a dual-sided all-natural latex brand from Saatva, a company that set out in 2010 to introduce a line of luxury mattresses that would be sold online.

Zenhaven’s latex is manufactured using the higher-end Talalay process, which typically produces a more consistent and lighter feeling material that cradles your body nicely.

What stands out? There are several features of Zenhaven that might appeal to someone who suffers from sleep apnea, including hypoallergenic materials, zoned pressure relief, and good spine alignment. Latex is naturally resistant to molds, bacteria growth, and dust mites, which can trigger snoring, and Zenhaven’s ventilation process has strategically punched holes in five different zones to ensure you receive the right pressure relief where you need it while maintaining a comfortable position for your spine.

Research indicates that side or stomach sleeping is the best for folks with sleep apnea, but the support and comfort needs of these two positions can be very different because side sleepers tend to prefer softer mattresses while stomach sleepers typically gravitate towards the firmer beds. If you’re not sure what position will work best for you, Zenhaven can help you try one and flip the bed over to try the other, if you want to compare.

Learn more about Zehnaven bed here.

Loom & Leaf – Adjustable Base Compatible

Highlights:

  • Certified Organic Cotton
  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • 15-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Luxury memory foam has come a long way over the past few decades, and Saatva’s memory foam brand Loom & Leaf provides some exceptionally high-end features that you wouldn’t find in a memory bed 20 years ago.

The company also has designed an adjustable base called the Lineal to complement their mattress line, which may provide the perfect sleep for those with sleep apnea.

What makes it special? Sleep habits can be really hard to break, and if you’re an exclusive back sleeper, converting overnight to side or stomach sleeping may be close to impossible. Adjustable base sleeping may be the direction to go since it opens up a new variety of positions that may better help keep your airways open, and Loom & Leaf’s design works really well with adjustable bases while still maintaining an exceptional support system for spine alignment.

Those concerned about overheating or sinking too far into memory foam should love Loom & Leaf’s updated approach to a memory bed. Gel-infused memory foam, a heat-wicking gel panel, and more breathable materials should all help you keep cool, and the overall sinkage of the bed is mitigated somewhat by the tightly stretched quilted cover that cradles your body closer to the surface so you shouldn’t disappear into the foam or feel stuck.

Find out more about Loom and Leaf in our full analysis that you can see here.

The Casper – Spine Alignment

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Designed and Assembled in the USA

Excellent spine alignment is another feature that should be on the mattress shopping list of anyone with sleep apnea.

Casper is a well-known mattress in the bed-in-a-box industry that aims to provide what is often termed as a more “universal feel,” and their most recent addition to their flagship design is aimed squarely at promoting good spinal alignment, regardless of your shape.

What is its best feature? Casper’s all-foam design starts out with a soft layer of performance foam that cradles your body, followed by a layer of memory foam that should contour to your shape. The third layer, which transitions from the comfort layers to the base, is zoned so that there is a touch of extra firmness in the bed’s center where your hips rest.

Many mattress designs compensate for the extra weight many people carry in their midsections by making the entire mattress firmer, which can cause pressure points to build up around the shoulders and hips, especially for side sleepers. Casper’s versatile design should work for both stomach and side sleepers, and both of these positions are considered ideal for people with sleep apnea.

Need to know more? See our full analysis of the Casper.

Layla – Dual-Sided Memory Foam

Highlights:

  • Dual-sided Firmness
  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

If you like the idea of memory foam but aren’t sure how deep you’d like your body to be cradled, you might consider a dual-sided choice like Layla so you can try them both and compare.

The softer side will offer a deeper hug while the firmer side’s aim is a gentle cradle, but both are designed to keep you cool and help you wake refreshed.

What makes it unique? To assist with temperature control, the Layla mattress has incorporated an infusion of copper, which has excellent heat conduction capabilities as well as antimicrobial properties that may help reduce snoring that is triggered by allergies. For further temperature control, the cover is integrated with a proprietary also helps wick away heat and excess moisture, and this fabric can be zipped off and dry cleaned.

Comfortable side sleeping and stomach sleeping should be accommodated by the different feels of Layla, though you may have to flip it over to test drive both sides to find the best fit. If you change positions a lot and ease of repositioning is important to you, you may find the firmer side of Layla better suits your preference.

See more details in our in-depth overview here.

Luxi 3-in-1 – Great for Couples

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Night Trial
  • 1000-Night Pledge
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Charity Initiatives
  • Made in the USA

Following a sleep apnea diagnosis, your doctor may have suggestions for adjustments can make to your sleep space or your sleep preferences to help you better manage your condition.

If you sleep with a partner, they may have to adjust their sleep style as well, unless you consider shopping for a customizable mattress like the Luxi 3-in-1 that allows you to select different feels for you and your partner.

What is its best feature? The company’s proprietary “Shape Matching Technology” is designed to adjust to any shape to provide uniform pressure relief regardless of weight. Furthermore, the firmness of the bed can be customized between a Soft, Medium, and Firm, by unzipping the cover and reordering the layers at home.

In addition to the at-home customization, Luxi can work with individuals before and after they order their bed to further adjust the design so it can deliver the support and comfort that is needed to sleep comfortably and manage a condition. This feature is covered by the company’s 1000-night pledge that was put in place to keep mattresses out of landfills by tailoring firmness to each individual’s needs and body type.

Find out more about Luxi 3-in-1 in our complete overview.

WinkBed Plus – Designed for Heavy People

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • OEKO-TEX® Standard 100
  • 120-Day Trial
  • “Any Reason” Guarantee
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Sleep apnea is a common condition among heavier individuals, and mattresses that aren’t built to accommodate and support additional weight may develop sags and dips that can exacerbate your condition.

WinkBeds Plus, a reimagining of their flagship WinkBed mattress, was designed with the specific needs of heavier individuals that weigh over 300 pounds.

This mattress was designed to deliver a versatile Medium-Firm feel for heavier sleepers, who often experience other mattresses in the Medium-Firm range as much softer than people whose weight is in the average range. This versatility allows the bed to be comfortably enjoyed both on your side and your stomach, depending on your personal preference. The comfort layers of latex over a zoned support system should help your spine remain well aligned.

Why is it special? The WinkBeds company prides itself on their handcrafted design and tested durability. In the company’s own research, their beds only lost around 1% of loft during a simulation of 1 year of consistent use. This longevity helps to ensure that the bed’s exceptional support system will not develop sags that could affect spine alignment.

Need to know more about the support system of the Winkbed Plus? Check it out here.

Sleep Apnea Mattress Buying Considerations

Construction & Build Material

If you’re dealing with this condition on a nightly basis, you’re probably wondering if there’s a perfect mattress to ease your symptoms (maybe you saw our best overall list and you found a section that talks about this?). The good news is that there are solutions that are more likely to help, no machinery required.

Before we get to that, let’s quickly review the options available, and we’ll discuss how each one might affect you.

  • Memory foam: This material is increasingly popular because of its superior pressure point relief. When you lie down, especially on your side, the weight of your shoulders and hips sink more deeply into the bed than your other body parts. Because of this, you need a bed that absorbs the weight and provides a comfort. Firm beds and innerspring mattresses tend to lack pressure relief, making them a less ideal choice for this purpose.

A word of caution about memory foam, though. It should be high-quality to prevent you some sagging into the surface of the bed. If you get a bargain bed at a rock bottom price, it’ll likely start sagging within a year or two, throwing off your body’s alignment and exacerbating your condition. We suggest you to check out our top memory foam picks here and learn more about this material and support.

  • Latex: The top choice of many is latex, specifically the natural, not synthetic. The reason is that natural latex is made from the sap of a rubber tree, so it’s all-natural. It’s also hypoallergenic. Preventing allergies is crucial because it makes for easier breathing during the night. The reason some people avoid synthetic latex is that it’s made from a petroleum base, and the chemical compounds can affect breathing.
  • Hybrid: These types of mattresses combine an innerspring base or core with a memory foam or latex surface. There are several top-quality beds in this category (you can see our top hybrids here). In addition, if you want an adjustable bed, keep in mind that not all hybrids can be used on a frame that adjusts.

Natural & Organic Materials

If you’ve already got breathing issues, the last thing you need is a mattress that makes gives you allergies and makes breathing even more difficult. That’s why we recommend natural and organic materials as opposed to synthetic varieties for that particular need (you can see our top rated organic picks here).

Here’s why: Synthetic mattresses often contain chemicals known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These release into the air and are linked to allergies, asthma, and respiratory conditions. If you’ve ever heard the term off-gassing, that’s what happens when you buy a synthetic mattress and it releases these compounds into the air.

If organic is over your budget, check the product description for something that is hypoallergenic. There are several midrange foam mattresses that fit this category.

Other allergy sources hiding in your mattress include dust mite feces (gross, right?) and mold and mildew. While many foam and latex beds are naturally dust mite resistant, innerspring mattresses provide a favorable breeding ground for these creatures. Yet another reason to choose foam or latex!

image of a memory foam bed with decorative pillows

Firmness

Most people with apnea sleep on their sides, especially if they have a CPAP machine. This position requires a mattress that offers ample support, but also enough contouring to relieve the pressure points at the hips and shoulders.

We typically recommend something right in the middle for firmness. The bed should be firm enough to cushion you and prevent you from sinking too deeply into the mattress, but soft enough to keep you comfortable and in proper alignment.

Sleep Apnea Sleep Tips

If you’re not getting enough rest due to your condition, there are a few tips that can help relieve symptoms and hopefully decrease the number of episodes you experience each night.

Use CPAP Therapy

CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.” Basically, that means that the patient wears a mask that delivers the ideal amount of air pressure into the patient’s lungs. To determine this setting, the patient has to visit a sleep lab and then get a CPAP machine.

The machine works by helping to keep your airway open, since the most common type of apnea is OSA, which is the relaxing of the throat muscles, causing a collapse of the airway. By delivering a stream of air at an ideal pressure for the patient, the force of the air keeps the pathway open.

This type of therapy has been around for about 30 years, and it makes you wonder how people survived before this invention. Over the years, the machines have become more modern and high-tech looking, and once someone invests in one of these devices, they marvel at how they ever lived without having one.

Use an adjustable bed frame

While it's generally recommended to sleep on your side if you have any breathing difficulties, some people strongly prefer to lie on their backs. As you can imagine, this position can be problematic. However, an adjustable bed frame helps make this position doable.

By elevating your head and upper body, you allow for your air pathways to remain open throughout the night. If you don’t have an adjustable bed frame, and you’re resistant to investing in one, a wedge pillow propped underneath your shoulders can also help.

adjustable bed in bedroom

Sleep on your side

Sleeping on your side is beneficial even if you don’t suffer from a sleep disorder. Not only does it decrease your chances of snoring and acid reflux, but it’s also been shown to cut the number of apnea episodes in half.

If you prefer sleeping on your back, refer to the previous section about how to make that position work for you. Back sleeping has some health benefits, but even people without OSA or CSA can wake up from breathing problems or their own snoring when they lie down in that position.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will an adjustable bed help with sleep apnea?

Yes, an adjustable bed can help because it keeps your upper body, head, and neck elevated. By having your upper body raised above your torso, it reduces the chances of your throat muscles relaxing and obstructing air flow.

Another benefit of an adjustable bed is that it can aid in digestion. If you’re in the habit of going to bed shortly after dinner, then having a frame that adjusts can help put your body in an elevated position to encourage digestion and prevent heartburn and acid reflux.

If you decide to get an adjustable bed, make sure that the mattress and frame are compatible.

Is sleeping upright good for sleep apnea sufferers?

Yes! A study published on PubMed looked at the effect of mattress elevation at the head of the bed on obstructive sleep apnea. They found that there was significant improvement in the amount of oxygen saturation in the patients studied along with increased sleeping efficiency and a decrease in the number of apneas (pauses in breathing) in a given night.

Should I pick a firm or soft mattress for sleep apnea?

We recommend something in between. If the mattress is too firm, it’ll cause discomfort, especially when you lie on your side. But, if the surface is too soft, you’ll sink in too deeply, and that will also negatively affect your sleep.

When you’re shopping online and reading the product descriptions, look for a firmness level of about a 5.

young couple sleeps on the bed

Are there different types of sleep apnea?

Yes, there are three different types:

  1. Obstructive (OSA): The most common type, affecting 4% of men and 2% of women. It’s characterized by the muscles in the throat relaxing to a point where it physically obstructs breathing.
  2. Central (CSA): Instead of a physical or mechanical issue going on with the body, central has to do with your nervous system and it’s the effect of the brain not signaling the body’s muscles that control breath.
  3. Mixed: This condition occurs when a patient has both types of apnea. Not a lot of research has been done to determine the cause, but there is a link between people who use CPAP machines and then go on to develop CSA. There are recommended settings that your doctor will discuss with you to ensure that your CPAP machine doesn’t contribute to CSA.

Is Insomnia Connected?

Research calculations suggest that over 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, but 80 percent of these cases go undiagnosed, which can have serious consequences for sufferers. Though many of the symptoms of this condition occur while you’re sleeping, one possible indicator is chronic insomnia, or consistent difficulty falling asleep at night.

Making small corrections to your sleeping space to best suit your body and condition can definitely go a long way towards alleviating the symptoms. Adjustable mattresses can hold your head up and make it less likely that a pause in your breathing wakes you up at night. Beds better able to accommodate side sleeping may also be a direction you might consider, as this position is supposed to help cut down on episodes and improve your rest (you can check our top beds for people who deal with insomnia here).

Can a Herniated Disc Cause This Condition?

There are two different kinds of sleep apnea, obstructive and central. The most common is the former, which is typically caused by muscles in the throat relaxing and blocking airways. The less common central sleep apnea is caused by nerve damage where the brain is not communicating properly with the muscles that manage breathing processes when you’re asleep.

This nerve damage can have several different causes, and herniated discs are only one of them. Treatment of this condition or proper management of its symptoms can reduce the likelihood that you develop sleep apnea.

Learn more: Our Guide and Top Rated Beds for People with Herniated Disc

Is Snoring a Potential Symptom?

Do all snorers have sleep apnea? In short, no. Not all folks who snore suffer from this condition, but those that do almost always snore.

Research indicates that roughly half of snorers have a more serious condition that may require medical intervention. If your snoring is loud enough to disturb your partner’s sleep, it may be indicative of a much larger problem, and you might want to speak with a healthcare provider to receive a more definitive diagnosis.

Read more: Our full guide and top bed picks for people who snore

Is Sleep Apnea Connected to Allergies?

When your nasal passages are inflamed during an allergic reaction, you may experience difficulty breathing naturally. If your breath is consistently and repeatedly obstructed while you sleep, this may be characterized as a condition called Sleep Apnea and this can be further aggravated by allergies. Research has established that there is a definite link between the two conditions, and that reducing inflammation in the nasal cavities can decrease your risk of developing OSA and experiencing day-time fatigue.

Learn more: Our bed picks for people with allergies

Conclusion


Scientists are in general agreement that sleep apnea is on the rise. Part of the increase is due to higher rates of obesity, but there are other contributing factors as well. For example, some dental conditions, like having a large overbite, can also cause this condition. There’s also the belief that better screening tools have led to more people being diagnosed.

Left untreated, this condition can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and accidents due to sleepiness. Consult with your doctor if you suspect you have this disorder, and in the meantime, you might find some relief with the helpful tips outlined in this article.

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

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The Sleep Advisor