5 Highest Rated Beds for People with Sleep Apnea – Updated for 2021

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Over 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with many not realizing they suffer from this issue at all, as symptoms occur when you’re asleep. The condition can be a serious health concern if it evolves into a more disruptive disorder.

Sleep apnea can cause your breathing to start and stop uncontrollably. As this happens during the night, it’s common for the issue to go unnoticed and unresolved, which could be dangerous depending on the severity. Symptoms include daytime fatigue, snoring, and feeling tired even after a full night’s rest.

One of the quickest ways to improve this issue is to make sure you’re sleeping on a supportive mattress to foster easy breathing. Proper sleep is essential for your health and happiness, so we’ve gathered the best beds that could help you mitigate these conditions to help you sleep easily and live a full and restful life.

zenhaven small product image Zenhaven
  • Trial: 180 Nights
  • Warranty: 20 Years
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loom and leaf small mobile image Loom & Leaf
  • Trial: 180 Nights
  • Warranty: 15 Years
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Small Image Of Casper Original Mattress Casper
  • Trial: 100 Nights
  • Warranty: 10 Years
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layla mobile product image Layla
  • Trial: 120 Nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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the winkbeds small product image WinkBed Plus
  • Trial: 120 Nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Top 5 Sleep Apnea Bed Options

Zenhaven – Dual-Sided Latex

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Latex Mattress
  • Great for All Types of Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 5/10 (Luxury Plush) 7/10 (Gentle Firm)
  • 180-Night Trial
  • 20-Year Warranty

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. 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.

What stands out?

  • Research indicates that side sleeping is best for folks with sleep apnea. Still, many individuals struggle with sleeping on their sides. If you’re planning to adjust your sleeping position but unsure if you’ll follow through, Zenhaven offers two in one, letting you try one side and flip the bed over to try the other.
  • The mattress uses certified organic cotton and is OEKO-TEX® Certified, which could be good news for allergy sufferers.

Loom & Leaf – Adjustable Base Compatible

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Foam Mattress
  • Great for Back, Side, and Stomach Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6/10 (Relaxed Firm) 7.5/10 (Firm)
  • 180-Night Trial
  • 15-Year Warranty

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.

What makes it special?

  • Sleep habits can be tough to break, and if you’re an exclusive back sleeper, an adjustable mattress base may help since it fosters other sleep positions that may open your airways better. Loom & Leaf’s design works well with adjustable bases while 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. This bed uses gel-infused memory foam and breathable materials to help you keep cool. Further, a tightly stretched quilted cover helps buoyancy and support, cradling your body close to the surface.

The Casper – Spine Alignment

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Foam Mattress
  • Great for Back and Combo Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6/10
  • 100-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty

Excellent spine alignment is a feature that should be high on a mattress shopping list for anyone with sleep apnea. Casper is a well-known mattress in the bed-in-a-box industry that aims to provide what is often considered a more “universal feel.” 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 with a soft layer of performance foam that cradles your body, followed by a layer of memory foam that should contour to your shape.
  • 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.

Layla – Dual-Sided Memory Foam

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Dual Sided Memory Foam Mattress
  • Best for Active Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 4/10 (Soft) 7/10 (Firm)
  • 120-Night Trial
  • Lifetime Warranty

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 with excellent pressure relief, while the firmer side provides more buoyant support. Both sides are designed to keep you cool and well supported.

What makes it unique?

  • The Layla mattress helps with temperature control by incorporating an infusion of copper, which has excellent heat conduction capabilities and antimicrobial properties that may help reduce snoring allergies trigger that. For further cooling, 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 and stomach sleeping should both be well accommodated due to Layla’s dual sides.

WinkBed Plus – Designed for Heavy People

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hybrid Mattress
  • Best for Heavier Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6.5/10
  • 120-Night Trial
  • Lifetime Warranty

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.

Why is it special?

  • This mattress was designed to deliver a versatile Medium-Firm feel for heavier sleepers. This versatility allows the bed to feel comfortable on your side, back, or stomach, depending on your personal preference. The top layers of gel foam and latex over a zoned support system should help your spine remain well aligned.
  • The WinkBeds company prides itself on its handcrafted design and tested durability. In the company’s research, their beds only lost around 1% of loft during a simulation of 1 year of consistent use.

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. 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.

Want to know more? Check out our top memory foam beds here.


  • 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. In addition, if you want an adjustable bed, keep in mind that not all hybrids can be used on a frame that adjusts.
Illustration of Memory Foam Latex and Hybrid Mattress

Natural & Organic Materials

If you’ve already got sleep related 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.

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!

Get More Info: Best Rated Organic Mattresses

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.

Need help? Check out our complete mattress firmness scale.

Firmness Scale 1-10

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.

Learn More: 9 Tips for Sleeping Better With CPAP Mask

illustration of a woman sleeping with CPAP mask on

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.

woman sleeping in adjustable bed

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.

Read More: How to Properly Sleep On Your Side

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.

Follow Our Guide: Best Mattresses for Adjustable Beds

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.

Find Out More: Benefits of Sleeping Elevated

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.

View Our Comparison: Firm vs. Soft Mattress

Are there different types of sleep apnea?

Yes, there are three different types of sleep apnea:

  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.

For More Info: 8 Highest Rated Beds for Insomnia

A man staring out his window looking tired

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.

Find Out More: Top Rated Beds for 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.

Need more details? Check out the most common signs of sleep apnea here.

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.

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.

Resources:

Content Writer | + posts

Rachael is a content writer for Sleep Advisor who loves combining her enthusiasm for writing and wellness. She’s had a passion for writing since she was a kid when she wrote awful poetry. She’s honed her craft quite a bit since then and considers herself a lucky duck to get paid to do what she loves.

Embracing the remote work life, she occasionally takes her work on the road and lives out her travel writer pipe dream.

In her free time, she attempts to meditate regularly, rides her bike to Trader Joe’s, and enjoys trying every type of food that she can get her hands on.

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