Best Mattresses for Sleep Apnea

Snoring can drive us all crazy, whether we’re waking ourselves or share a room (or bed!) with someone who’s keeping us awake. Sometimes, snoring is harmless but It is often a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a medical condition that can potentially be very serious if it is not dealt with properly. Basically, it causes the person to start and stop breathing periodically through the night. There are three different types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea – This is one of the most common types and it happens when the throat muscles relax, blocking the throat.
  • Central sleep apnea – This type of sleep apnea typically occurs when the muscles are not getting the proper signals sent from the brain.
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome – This is also called treatment-emergent central sleep apnea and happens when a person has both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Lull - Memory Foam Mattress

Having one of these can lead to complications that include: 

  • Daytime tiredness – Waking up many times throughout the night from sleep apnea means you are not getting enough good, restoring sleep. This leads to daytime fatigue and grumpiness. You may have trouble focusing on tasks and falling asleep during the day which is problematic if you are at work or driving. Individuals with sleep apnea have a higher risk of car and work accidents. It can also lead to anger, bad moods, and depression.
  • High blood pressure or heart issues – Sleep apnea causes blood oxygen levels to drop suddenly during the night which increases blood pressure and puts a strain on the cardiovascular system. Someone with obstructive sleep apnea has an increased risk of high blood pressure and recurrent heart attack, stroke, and abnormal rhythms. For those who already have heart disease, many instances of low oxygen can cause sudden death.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – Sleep apnea leads to a higher risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic Syndrome – Sleep apnea can contribute to metabolic conditions resulting in high blood pressure, odd cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, larger waists, and possible heart disease.
  • Liver issues – Those with sleep apnea are more likely to have poor liver function, scarring, or fatty liver disease.
  • Grumpy partners – The snoring can drive your sleep partner crazy which means no one is getting enough rest. It is estimated that one in four adults has sleep apnea but many who have it go undiagnosed as they think it’s just snoring and not a medical condition. Sleep apnea needs to be officially diagnosed so it can be properly treated and the person takes steps to change their habits to help reduce the health risks.

Making Changes to help your Sleep Apnea

  • Lose weight – if you are overweight, there is extra tissue and weight that affects the back of the throat when you sleep, stopping proper airflow to the lungs. Any amount of weight loss helps and relieves symptoms when you sleep.
  • Stop smoking – Smoking is a huge contributor to sleep apnea. It causes swelling in the throat as well as fluid retention and also affects your upper airway.
  • Stay away from relaxants – Do not drink alcohol, use sleeping pills, or take other sedatives - especially around bedtime - because these things relax the throat muscles and cause them to collapse over the airway.
  • Exercise more – This not only helps you drop weight but it can also help your sleep. Yoga is good to strengthen the muscles in the airway and help with breathing.
  • Do not have caffeine or big meals before bedtime.
  • Sleep hours – Keep regular sleep hours for regular sleep.
  • Bed needs
  • Track your sleep - The first step to improving is to measure
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  • Get a good mattress that allows you to sleep on your side, elevates your head, and has good support of pressure points. An elevated bed is best. 
  • Proper head support – Maintain proper spine alignment to keep airways open. 
  • An adjustable base if possible – This allows you to elevate your head when sleeping which helps you breathe easier.
  • Pick a bed that supports the best sleeping position. 
  • Back Sleeping – Avoid back sleeping if you have sleep apnea as gravity works against you and it promotes snoring.
  • Side and stomach sleeping – These are both good postures for sleep apneas but side sleeping is best. Your bed should support side sleeping to reduce sleep apnea.

Mattress Choices

Mattresses that are best for sleep apnea are firm, allow you to sleep on your side, elevate your head, and keep your spine aligned. While having an adjustable bed is a great option, it is not always practical or affordable for many people so knowing other options is really helpful. Combining the right mattress with other lifestyle changes reduces sleep apnea and helps you get a good night’s sleep.

This mattress is great for sleep apnea. It has three layers that offer both comfort and therapeutic support needed for those with sleep apnea and promotes good spinal alignment to help with breathing. This mattress also has a layer of 1.5-inch viscoelastic memory foam injected with gel polymer to keep the sleeper cool by pulling heat away from the body as well as breathable fibers and an open cell structure for good airflow. A seven-inch core layer of polyurethane foam prevents sagging which is important for those with sleep apnea. It comes with a hundred-night trial and a ten-year warranty.

Casper offers great spinal alignment which is exactly what a person with sleep apnea needs. This may be a bed in a box but it’s a great mattress with a solid foundation designed for proper spinal alignment no matter how you’re built. The all-foam design starts with a soft layer on top to hold the body followed by a layer of memory foam to contour. The third layer adds more firmness to support midbody pressure points. Casper mattresses are great for side and stomach sleepers, both of which are preferred for those with sleep apnea. 

This is an interesting mattress for those with sleep apnea. It gives you two different options for sleeping. There’s memory foam for a comfortable sleep but it also has a soft option for those who prefer to sink a little deeper while still maintaining spinal support. The bonus is its ability to control the temperature to facilitate good sleep. It has an infusion of copper to transfer heat as well as antimicrobial properties. These things help to reduce any snoring that’s triggered by allergies and can reduce sleep apnea. 

The mattress cover also helps draw heat and moisture away from the body and can be easily removed for a quick dry clean. This is a great mattress for side and stomach sleeping. The firmer side of this Layla is good for those restless sleepers who move a lot in their sleep.

This is a 12-inch all-foam mattress that is both firm and very supportive. It relieves pressure points and has a soft top for extra sleeping comfort. The material wicks moisture away from the body so you stay cool and dry, even if you are a hot sleeper. This mattress is considered medium-firm and uses some of the best foams to provide a solid base for sleeping. It is plush without feeling like you are sinking so you get good pressure relief while also keeping your spine aligned to reduce the snoring of sleep apnea.

This is a great adjustable bed for sleep apnea designed with five zoned layers to give the support needed for pressure relief in all the important places. The material is hypoallergenic so it won’t bother allergies or sinuses which means fewer sleep apnea issues. Its both supportive and comfortable which is critical to a good night’s sleep. This mattress is 12 inches in height and contains Bio-Pur foam which is five times more breathable than memory foam. The Affinity layer also has something called HIVE technology which is a six-sided textured foam that supports the head, back, and legs with soft support to the shoulders and pelvis.

The Zoma Sports Mattress is a great choice if you are struggling with sleep apnea. It is 11 inches thick with a lot of support and it is very comfortable. It has a two-inch layer of gel-infused memory foam for relieving pressure points. The gel infusion helps to keep you cool because memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hot. While this is called a sports mattress, it is actually specifically designed for those who need a deeper sleep so it is also good for people with sleep apnea  The fabrics are breathable and wick moisture away from the body so your sleep is cool, dry, and undisturbed. 

This mattress has what Zoma calls pressure relief zones. There are eight and they provide extra support and comfort right where it’s needed. A bouncy firm top layer prevents you from sinking too much in bed. This lets you move without a lot of struggle and reduces motion transfer between you and your partner. The support, comfort, cooling, and motion control are all great and can reduce the effects of sleep apnea. This mattress comes with a 100-night trial period and a 10-year warranty.

Final Thoughts 

Getting a good night’s sleep is important to everyone but it becomes even more critical when you have a medical condition such as sleep apnea. While snoring is problematic, sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can not only disrupt sleep but also cause serious if not deadly health issues. While many think it’s simply an annoying condition, your doctor will tell you otherwise. If you have sleep apnea, you should take serious steps to combat it. One of those steps is finding a mattress that helps you not only be comfortable but also improves your sleep. 

Changing your lifestyle and sleep habits can make a huge difference in dealing with sleep apnea. When combined with losing weight, increasing exercise, using a CPAP machine, and making other healthy choices, a new bed with a good mattress is important as well. Choose one that lets you sleep cool, aligns your spine, and gives good body support on pressure points to make sure your sleep is sound and healthy. These changes reduce the health issues resulting from sleep apnea as well as some of the deadlier risks. While buying a bed and sleeping better seem like minor things when it comes to your health, they actually play a big part. Choosing the right mattress is important to your long term health and well-being.