Updated May 13, 2020Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where breathing is repeatedly paused during sleep. It usually manifests in loud snoring, waking up with a headache or dry mouth, or gasping for air during sleep.One solution to help ease sleep apnea symptoms is to change out your mattress. The right mattress can place you in a better position to breathe through the night.In our article, we share our favorite mattress options to help those with sleep apnea and provide a guide on what to look for in the best mattress for sleep apnea.Our Top Mattress RecommendationView on AmerisleepRead AS3 customer reviewsAS3 Highlights100-night sleep trial20-Year WarrantyDesigned to reduce pain pointsHeat reducing mattress coverComes in King, Queen, Twin, Full, and SplitsOur Runner-UpView on ZomaRead Zoma customer reviewsZoma Highlights100-night sleep trial10-Year WarrantyDesigned for faster recoveryTriangulex™ technology promotes healthy postureComes in King, Queen, Twin, Full, and SplitsBest Mattresses for Sleep ApneaMattressHighlightsPriceAmerisleep AS3Affinity with HIVE® technology offers a 5-zone support system to keep the body resting on top of the mattress.$1199ZomaMedium feel with gel-topped Triangulex™ foam evenly supports the body.$750Idle Double Sided Latex2-sided design provides both a medium and a firm side to suit any type of sleeper.$2149Luxi 3-in-1Removable layers allow sleepers to customize the feel of the mattress.$1094Nolah Original 10AirFoam™ allows for more airflow and relieves pressure points without deep sinkage.$10191. Amerisleep AS3The Amerisleep AS3 is a medium mattress, composed of three layers of supportive, proprietary foams. The AS3 mattress is wrapped in a mattress cover made of a soft, breathable fabric designed to promote air circulation to keep you cool throughout the night. The mattress includes 3 inches of Bio-Pur®, 2 inches of Affinity with HIVE® technology, and 7 inches of Bio-Core®.Bio-Pur® is a plant-based foam that is more breathable and more responsive than memory foam. Bio-Pur® hugs the body and relieves pressure points without causing the sleeper to feel stuck.The Affinity layer uses HIVE® technology, a 5-zone support system made of hundreds of hexagonal-shaped segments to provide firmer support to the head, back, and legs, and softer support to the shoulders and hips.Bio-Core® is a foam base that supports the body and reinforces the top layers without risk of sagging. Bio-Core® is a durable foam, built to last.All the layers are produced through eco-friendly methods to cut down on emissions and provide hypoallergenic materials— perfect for those with sleep apnea. Open-cell Bio-Pur® also dispels heat for a much cooler, more comfortable sleep.Amerisleep offers a 100-night sleep trial with free returns. The company also has a 20-year warranty wherein Amerisleep will pay for any replacements or repairs during the first 10 years. During the last 10 years, they will replace or repair the mattress at a prorated charge.2. ZomaWhile the Zoma mattress is geared towards those with an active lifestyle, the 5-zoned support system keeps the body evenly resting on the surface— a great feature for those with sleep apnea. The Zoma mattress is encased in a breathable, polyester knit cover. The Zoma mattress is 11 inches tall and contains 2 inches of Triangulex™, 2 inches of Reactiv™, and 7 inches of Support+.Triangulex™ contains hundreds of triangular segments to form 5 zones of support— softer support for the shoulders and hips, with firmer support for the head, back, and legs. Triangulex™ is also topped with cooling gel to absorb and evenly distribute body heat.Reactiv™ is a latex-like foam with a responsive bounce to allow for easier movement and align the spine. Support+ is a high-density poly-foam that prevents sagging and evenly supports the body.Zoma has a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty, covering full repairs and replacements for any manufacturing defects or indentations greater than 0.75 inches.3. Idle Double Sided LatexThe two-sided construction of the Idle Double Sided Latex mattress allows you to flip the bed to switch between medium and luxury firm— a great choice for sleep apnea patients with changing preferences.The mattress starts with a 1-inch layer of wool quilted into the organic cotton mattress cover for added softness and to act as a natural fire retardant. Next is a 3-inch layer of gel-infused Talalay latex for a cooler, plush feel. The hypoallergenic material encourages better breathing and won’t aggravate allergies.6 inches of individually-wrapped steel coils evenly support the body with excellent edge support, so sleepers won’t roll off the bed. Another 3 inches of gel-infused Talalay latex and 1 inch of wool follow after the pocketed coil layer.Natural latex is sourced directly from the sap of rubber trees— to create Talalay latex, polyurethane fillers are added to the sap to create a softer, sponge-like feel. It’s innately antibacterial and hypoallergenic, which promotes easy breathing and lessens the symptoms of sleep apnea.Idle Sleep offers an 18-month sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. The warranty covers manufacturing defects and visible indentations over 1.5 inches. The company also extends free shipping on any returns and refunds.4. Luxi 3-in-1The Luxi 3-in-1 mattress is one of the first adjustable bed in a box models. The four layers can be swapped into a different order by simply unzipping the quilted rayon mattress cover. The entire mattress is 11 inches high and includes a 1-inch memory foam topper for a plush feel. The mattress includes 1.5 inches of LuxiTex, 1.5 inches of poly-foam, 3.5 inches of memory foam pillars, and 3.5 inches of base poly-foam.LuxiTex is made from synthetic latex to provide a responsive bounce and to prevent sagging. The poly-foam layer acts as another comfort layer to cushion the body.The Shape Matching Technology (SMT) is found through the layer of memory foam pillars— each pillar reacts individually to naturally form around the body by collapsing under certain levels of pressure. As a result, the pillars evenly support the body while relieving pressure points to increase overall comfort.Luxi offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 1,000 night pledge, a free consultation to help you rearrange the mattress layers for a good night’s sleep. All purchased mattresses are also covered by a 10-year warranty, covering any physical flaws which occur in spite of normal use, and any indentations greater than 1.5 inches.5. Nolah Original 10Nolah’s Original 10 mattress is composed of different types of supportive, pressure-relieving foam. The mattress is covered in a breathable, natural viscose material that wicks away moisture and contains 2 inches of AirFoam™, 1 inch of high-resilience foam, and 7 inches of high-density base foam.With a perfect medium feel, the Nolah Original 10 mattress cushions the body’s natural curves. AirFoam™ is more breathable and relieves pressure points four times better than traditional memory foam.High-resilience foam is designed to be stronger and more durable than latex, providing a responsive bounce for easier movement and spinal alignment.Nolah has a 120-night, risk-free sleep trial and a 15-year warranty, which covers manufacturing defects and indents greater than 1 inch.SEE ALSO: Mattress Size and Dimensions GuideWhat is Sleep Apnea?Sleep apnea is a serious, but very common sleep disorder. Roughly 22 million people in America suffer from sleep apnea, including an estimated 80% of undiagnosed cases.Some contributing factors of sleep apnea include small upper airways, large tongues, a small jaw or overbite, a larger neck (17 inches thick in men, 15 inches thick in women), and overweight individuals. While sleep apnea is most likely to occur in male adults 45 years and older, it can happen to anyone of any age.Types of Sleep ApneaThere are three types of sleep apnea; Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), and Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CompSAS). During sleep apnea episodes, breathing stops for up to 10 seconds. In response, the brain signals the body to wake up so it can receive more oxygen— this process occurs up to 30 times a night, leading to daytime fatigue. Most sleepers are unaware of this happening because the pauses are so brief.Obstructive Sleep ApneaObstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. It’s caused when soft tissue collapses at the back of the throat due to gravity, obstructing airways so individuals can’t breathe.Central Sleep ApneaCentral sleep apnea is less common and occurs when the brain stops sending signals to the muscles to breathe. Muscles can’t contract to allow airflow.Complex Sleep Apnea SyndromeComplex sleep apnea syndrome combines both obstructive and central sleep apnea— soft tissue collapses at the back of the throat and the brain struggles to send signals to the throat muscles to breathe.Difference Between Sleep Apnea and SnoringJust because you snore, doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea. Snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, but snoring is caused by partially relaxed tissue that vibrates in the limited space, creating sound.Sleep apnea is an actual pause in breathing, where the sleeper is not receiving any oxygen because airways are completely blocked.Sleep Apnea TreatmentSleep apnea is usually diagnosed through a sleep study— staying overnight at a sleep clinic while machines monitor your body’s signals and reactions as you sleep. If you do have sleep apnea, some common treatments are a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), an electronic device with a face mask designed to keep airways open at night. Other solutions include lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise.If left untreated, sleep apnea can escalate into more serious health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and stroke.What Sleep Apnea Sufferers Should Look for in a MattressWhen on the hunt for the best mattress to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms, check with your doctor first for possible recommendations. Then, take a look at the different mattress types. Always choose a mattress based on your preferred sleep position and check out what type of sleep trial, warranty, and return policy is available for potential options before purchasing.Mattress TypeEach type of mattress offers its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks— the type of mattress you choose ultimately comes down to personal preference. For example, while some sleepers may appreciate the hug-like sensation of memory foam, others may not.Memory FoamMemory foam mattresses are one of the most popular types of beds on the market today. Their body-contouring, pressure point relief reduces aches and pains while isolating motion. Plus, memory foam sleeps silently, resulting in fewer disruptions from movement.A drawback to memory foam is its heat retention properties— the dense materials don’t allow for much airflow, but manufacturers have taken steps to fix this problem by incorporating cooling technology, like partially replacing petroleum with plant oils or infusing memory foam with gel.A typical memory foam mattress includes a comfort layer of memory foam and a support layer of high-density foam.InnerspringInnerspring mattresses are the most well-known types of mattresses. Innerspring mattresses have a responsive surface with good edge support, so sleepers won’t roll off the bed. Cooling is provided through the open structure of the coiled support layer.An innerspring mattress contains a thin comfort layer of foam or fiberfill, usually in the form of a pillow top, and a support layer of steel coils. The downside to an innerspring mattress is its lack of pressure relief because of the thin comfort layer. Another issue is the small amount of motion isolation due to the steel coils.LatexThere are two types of latex foam— synthetic and natural. Synthetic latex is created through a chemical process, while natural latex is made from rubber tree sap. Dunlop and Talalay are two forms of natural latex— Dunlop latex is 100% natural and is denser and more durable than Talalay. Talalay latex is partially made from rubber tree sap then filled with polyurethane fillers for a soft, sponge-like feel.Latex shares similarities to memory foam— conforming pressure-relief with excellent motion isolation and no noise potential. The difference is latex sleeps cooler and has a responsive bounce.While latex is more natural, it does come at a higher price tag depending on the material. Latex mattresses are also heavier and can be difficult to move.A latex mattress generally contains a comfort layer of latex foam and a support layer of either high-density foam or latex.HybridTo create the perfect mattress, manufacturers combined memory foam and innerspring, resulting in the hybrid. Hybrid mattresses offer the benefits of both types of beds— pressure relief and motion isolation from memory foam and cooling, edge support, and a responsive bounce from an innerspring.With all the benefits hybrid mattresses have to offer, they also have drawbacks including heat retention from memory foam and less pressure relief and noise potential from pocketed coils.A hybrid mattress contains a comfort layer at least 2 inches thick and a support layer of pocketed coils. The comfort layer is made of latex, memory foam, or poly-foam.Sleeping PositionYour preferred sleep position can either reduce sleep apnea symptoms or make them worse. Side and stomach sleep positions are better than lying on your back because there’s less risk of obstructed airways.Side SleepingSide sleeping is noted as the most popular sleep position and the healthiest— it opens the airways and allows for better oxygen intake which can reduce sleep apnea symptoms. The soft tissue in your throat is more stable when you lay on your side, making it less likely to collapse. Side sleeping can also reduce snoring.The best mattresses for side sleepers are medium-soft, medium, or medium-firm, as these beds tend to offer a good amount of comfort and support to alleviate pressure points while maintaining proper spinal alignment.Back SleepingWhile generally a good sleep position, back sleeping is actually the worst for sleep apnea— gravity causes the collapse of soft tissue at the back of the throat, cutting off the airways, and can also cause the tongue to fall to the back of the throat. Loud snoring and difficulty breathing ensue.Switching to the side position would be better, but for those committed to sleeping on their backs, adding a wedge pillow to elevate the upper body can encourage better breathing and reduce sleep apnea symptoms.Stomach SleepingStomach sleeping is not recommended because of the large amount of pressure placed on the spine, leading to neck strain and lower back pain. However, one benefit to stomach sleeping is better breathing and reduced snoring, alleviating symptoms of sleep apnea.Sleep Trials, Warranties, and Return PoliciesSleep trials, warranties, and return policies act as assurances to the customer of a sound purchase. Always read the fine print before committing to a purchase and avoid any mattress that lacks a warranty.Sleep TrialA sleep trial allows customers to try a new mattress within the comfort of their own homes instead of dealing with pressure from salesmen in a crowded store. Sleep trials often range from 90 to 120 nights but can be longer or shorter. If the customer isn’t satisfied with the mattress, most companies will arrange to have the bed picked up and donated to charity before issuing a full refund.WarrantyA warranty protects a mattress from manufacturing defects and sagging greater than 1 inch, although this measurement varies depending on the brand. Most mattresses come with a standard 10-year warranty.Return PolicyIn the event that a new mattress does not include a sleep trial, the next best thing to look for is a return policy. Return policies typically last up to 30 days— about the same time it takes the body to adjust to a new mattress. If the customer isn’t happy with the bed, they can return it for a full refund.Other Things to ConsiderCan an adjustable base help sleep apnea?Yes— elevating the upper body reduces the symptoms of sleep apnea in preventing soft tissue from collapsing, and may also reduce the risk of a person developing sleep apnea.Is it better to sleep on a firm or soft mattress?A firm mattress is a better option, particularly for those who sleep on their backs. Back sleepers need a firmer feel to keep their bodies on top of the sleep surface and align the spine.Can a mattress cause sleep apnea?Even the most uncomfortable, sagging mattresses cannot cause sleep apnea. However, poor-quality mattresses can worsen pre-existing sleep apnea and make it hard to get peaceful, undisturbed sleep.Why is it important to treat sleep apnea?Sleep apnea impedes sleep and prevents you from entering deeper, more restorative stages of sleep. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to sleep deprivation, and when you go sleep deprived for long, it can lead to numerous health conditions.What’s the best sleeping position for people with sleep apnea?While sleeping on your back is the worst for sleep apnea, side sleeping has been considered the best for those with sleep apnea. Sleeping on your side keeps your airways open so it’s easier to breathe. While stomach sleeping can also help with sleep apnea, it’s not a healthy or recommended sleeping position due to the number of other issues stomach sleeping can cause.ConclusionDealing with sleep apnea can be difficult. It disrupts your nights and leaves you tired during the day. Thankfully, sleeping on the right bed can make a big difference. Finding the best mattress for sleep apnea is a simple solution that can effectively lessen the symptoms of sleep apnea and lead to a full night’s rest.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.