Updated November 11, 2020Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder marked by the brief cessation of breathing 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 your body in a neutral position and open your airways so you can breathe through the night.In our article, we share our favorite mattress options for sleep apnea sufferers and give some tips on what to look for as you’re mattress shopping.Best Mattress for Sleep ApneaBest Overall Mattress: Amerisleep AS3Best Cooling Mattress: Zoma MattressBest Hybrid Mattress: Zoma HybridBest Value Mattress: Vaya MattressBest Mattresses for Sleep ApneaMattressHighlightsPriceAmerisleep AS3HIVE® technology offers a 5-zone support system to keep the body resting on top of the mattress$1049Zoma MattressMedium feel with gel-topped Triangulex™ foam evenly supports the body$699Zoma HybridReactiv™ foam and pocketed coils create a bouncy bed with motion isolation$999Vaya MattressAffordable all-foam mattress with two light and fresh layers$599Luxi 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$1019Purple® Hybrid PremierPurple Grid™ adapts to body weight and has cooling channels to regulate temperature$2199Avocado GreenDunlop latex and pocketed coils provide targeted support and pressure relief$11891. Amerisleep AS3One of the best mattresses for sleep apnea is the Amerisleep AS3. This medium feel mattress is perfect for most sleeping styles. The three responsive foam layers relieve painful pressure points and prevent deep sinkage, so you can rest comfortably on top of the bed. Plus, they have less off-gassing, a chemical smell leftover from production. You can fully enjoy your AS3 mattress without worsening sleep apnea symptoms.The first layer is plant-based Bio-Pur®. This memory foam is proven to be cooler and more responsive than traditional memory foam. Bio-Pur® hugs the body and relieves pressure points without causing the sleeper to feel stuck. Traditional memory foam may feel too soft and cause your body to sink too deeply in the mattress, trapping heat and causing you to wake up hot.The Affinity layer is the transition layer with HIVE® technology. This 5-zone support system is made of hundreds of hexagonal-shaped segments. The layer provides firmer support to the head, back, and legs, and softer support to the shoulders and hips. You’ll love the even pressure relief from HIVE® technology.The final layer is Bio-Core®. This foam base supports your body and reinforces the top layers without developing soft spots. Bio-Core® is durable and built to withstand regular wear and tear.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 ten years. During the last ten 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—an excellent feature for those with sleep apnea. The Zoma Mattress is encased in a breathable, polyester knit cover that wicks away moisture to keep you cool.The gel memory foam layer has Triangulex™ technology. Hundreds of triangular segments form three zones of support—you’ll feel softness under your head, shoulders, legs, and firmness under your back and hips. Gel memory foam also regulates body temperature by absorbing and dissipating body heat. You’re less likely to experience uncomfortable night sweats as the material cradles your body for pressure relief.Reactiv™ is a foam with a responsive bounce that allows for easier movement and aligns the spine. Reactiv™ prevents your body from sinking too deeply into the mattress and automatically adjusts to your body.Support+ is a high-density poly-foam that prevents sagging and evenly supports the body. You’ll enjoy long-lasting comfort, a feature that can alleviate sleep apnea symptoms.The Zoma Mattress comes with 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. Zoma HybridIn addition to their memory foam mattress, Zoma also makes a hybrid model. The Zoma Hybrid is perfect for those with sleep apnea because the spring coil base prevents excessive sinking and has a slight bounce that keeps sleepers lifted rather than cradled in the bed. This model also features Zoma’s unique foam layers that cushion the joints and guard against pressure points.The cover of the Zoma Hybrid is made of a soft, stretch-knit cover with air channels that ensures body heat never builds up in the mattress. The comfort layer beneath this cover features Zoma’s gel memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. This layer contours closely to the body to keep each area lifted and aligned for a healthy spinal position. The gel infusion in this layer pulls heat and moisture away from the surface of the bed so you always sleep cool and relaxed.Beneath the comfort layer is Zoma’s Reactiv™ transition foam. This material is highly responsive and moves with the body for optimal support no matter which position you sleep in.Instead of a high-density support foam, the Zoma Hybrid has a 7 inch base of coil springs. These coils are individually wrapped for added comfort and adequate contouring. This base is also zoned to respond differently to pressure. Near the back and neck, coils are thicker and provide more stability. Near sensitive joints like the hips and shoulders, coils are thinner and softer to prevent pressure and tension build-up.As with their memory foam model, Zoma’s Hybrid comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty that covers sagging and indentations greater than 0.75 inches.4. Vaya Mattress The Vaya Mattress features two hypoallergenic foam layers that work together to provide the perfect balance of compression and support. This bed has a medium firmness that works well for those with sleep apnea because, while it hugs the curves of the body, it also has a natural elasticity that keeps the heaviest parts of the body from sinking too far into the bed. Excessive sinking can make symptoms of sleep apnea worse, but the Vaya Mattress helps combat this issue. The cover of the Vaya is made with an airy, lightweight material that moves with you as you change positions throughout the night. This cover is also ventilated to prevent heat retention.The comfort layer features Vaya’s proprietary memory foam that is more breathable than most memory foam varieties. Plus, as the muscles relax into the bed, the buoyancy of this foam keeps body weight evenly distributed so the spine can rest in a safe, neutral position. This feature is ideal for those sleep apnea because it allows for deep relaxation without putting too much pressure on the trachea.Supporting this layer is a base of high-density foam that helps maintain the structure and integrity of the mattress. Both foam layers are backed by a CertiPUR-US® certification—this ensures the mattress is free of chemicals or additives that could be harmful to human health.With each mattress, Vaya includes a 100-night sleep trial that allows you to sleep on the bed in the comfort of your own home. If you decide the mattress isn’t right for you, Vaya will offer an exchange or a full refund. Vaya also includes a generous 10-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects such as sagging or indentations.5. Luxi 3-in-1The Luxi 3-in-1 mattress is one of the first adjustable bed in a box models. The bed contains four unique foam layers. If you feel like the Luxi 3-in-1 mattress is too soft or too firm, simply unzip the quilted rayon mattress cover and switch the foam layer to create your perfect firmness level.The Luxi 3-in-1 bed is 11 inches high and includes a 1-inch memory foam topper for a plush feel. The mattress layers are 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.The top layer of LuxiTex is made from synthetic latex. Even though it’s not natural, synthetic latex mimics the same feel, like providing a responsive bounce to encourage spinal alignment. The poly-foam layer underneath enhances cushioning for optimal pressure relief in your shoulders and hips.The Shape Matching Technology (SMT) is found in the layer of memory foam pillars. Each pillar reacts individually to naturally form around the body by collapsing under 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 covered by a 10-year warranty, including any physical flaws which occur despite regular use, and any indentations greater than 1.5 inches.6. Nolah Original 10Nolah’s Original 10 mattress is a good choice if you’re a side sleeper. The supportive, pressure-relieving foam layers provide extra cushioning to the shoulders and hips. These areas are heavier sections of the body where you’re most likely to feel pressure buildup as a side sleeper. With a medium feel, the Nolah Original 10 forms to the body’s natural curves, relieving pressure points without feeling too soft.Nolah’s proprietary AirFoam™ is breathable and relieves pressure points four times better than traditional memory foam. AirFoam™ is injected with more air pockets, so the comfort layer can cradle your body without trapping heat. If you’re a hot sleeper, you can enjoy the pressure-relief from AirFoam™ without waking up hot.The high-resilience transition foam is designed to be stronger and more durable than latex. It provides bounce to make it easier to climb in and out of bed and promotes healthy spinal alignment. The high-density support layer evenly distributes body weight across the sleep surface for even wear and tear. Over time, you don’t need to worry about sagging or soft spots.Nolah has a 120-night, risk-free sleep trial and a 15-year warranty covering manufacturing defects and indents greater than 1 inch.SEE ALSO: Mattress Size and Dimensions Guide7. Purple® Hybrid PremierIf you tend to toss and turn at night, the Purple® Hybrid Premier mattress could be a great choice. The different layers instantly adapt to your body position without losing support. You’ll love being able to switch sleeping positions and fully enjoy the Purple® Hybrid Premier’s comfort.The Purple Grid™ is an exclusive material that automatically adjusts to your sleeping position. This comfort layer is set in a grid system with open channels for optimal airflow. The Purple Grid™ also isolates motion, so if you’re a restless sleeper, you’re less likely to wake up your sleep partner from movement.A poly-foam layer rests between the Purple Grid™ and the pocketed coils. This layer gives a deepened cushion without making you feel stuck inside the mattress. The poly-foam also cushions your body against the steel coils.The base layer of pocketed support coils provides targeted support. Individual coils respond better to specific sections of the body. For instance, the coils give more support to heavier sections of the body, like the shoulders and hips, encouraging spinal alignment.Purple® gives you 100 nights to try out the Purple® Hybrid Premier. If the bed isn’t for you, you can return it for a full refund. Purple® also gives you a 10-year warranty, so if you notice a visible sag that’s at least 1-inch deep, they’ll replace the mattress.8. Avocado GreenIf you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly mattress, look no further than the Avocado Green Mattress. This bed contains organic materials, from the natural latex comfort layers to the recycled steel pocket coils. You’ll enjoy the comfort and support of the Avocado Green mattress and feel good about choosing a bed made from sustainably sourced materials.The comfort layer contains Dunlop latex. Dunlop latex has a similar feel to memory foam, except it’s firmer and more responsive. This natural latex layer doesn’t conform quite as close to the body like memory foam, but it relieves pressure points and doesn’t trap heat.The pocketed coils make up the support layer. The coils are set up in a 5-zone support system, where areas under your head, back, and legs feel firmer, and areas under your shoulders and hips feel softer. This system is built to provide targeted support in areas you need for healthy spinal alignment. Also, individually-wrapping each coil in the fabric reduces noise potential from movement. You’re less likely to wake up from the sound of squeaky innerspring coils.While the Avocado Green Mattress has a medium-firm feel, you can adjust the surface by adding a 2-inch Dunlop latex pillow top for an extra fee. The pillow top changes the feel of the mattress to a medium, so if you’re looking to change your sleeping position to side sleeping, a medium is more comfortable.Avocado offers its customers a 1-year sleep trial, longer than other mattress brands, and a 25-year warranty. But, Avocado requires that you keep the mattress at least 30 days before they’ll accept any returns.What is Sleep Apnea?Sleep apnea is a severe but widespread sleep disorder. Roughly 22 million people in America suffer from sleep apnea, including an estimated 80% of undiagnosed cases.Some contributing factors to the emergence 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 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 bed 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. Still, 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 that 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.LatexLatex 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.There 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 made from rubber tree sap and polyurethane fillers for a soft, sponge-like feel.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. These beds tend to offer the right amount of comfort and support to alleviate pressure points while maintaining proper spinal alignment.Back SleepingWhile generally a good sleep position, back sleeping is 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, which alleviates sleep apnea symptoms.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 beds come with a standard 10-year warranty.Return PolicyIf 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?An adjustable base is an excellent option if you have sleep apnea or tend to snore. Elevating the upper body can reduce sleep apnea symptoms and even lessen snoring. Sleeping slightly elevated opens up your airways and removes pressure from gravity.With an adjustable base, you can even set your body in a zero-gravity position with the click of a button. The zero gravity position is where your body lies in a neutral position—body weight is evenly distributed, and you feel the least amount of pressure in your body.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 or stomachs. The firmer surface keeps the body on top of the bed and aligns the spine. Otherwise, a soft mattress can cause your spine to arch and create more pressure. You may also experience back pain and struggle with sleep.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.For example, if the mattress is too soft, your spine won’t get the support it needs to stay in alignment. Poor posture makes it harder for your body to maintain a healthy breathing rhythm. Another example is mattress materials. If the materials are not hypoallergenic or give off strong odors, they could irritate the airways and make it harder to breathe.Why is it important to treat sleep apnea?Sleep apnea impedes sleep and prevents you from entering deeper, more restorative stages of sleep. When those stages are disrupted from sleep apnea symptoms, your body cannot fully recover from the previous day’s events. You may struggle to concentrate the next day and experience daytime drowsiness. Less sleep can also worsen sleep apnea symptoms.If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to sleep deprivation, which, in turn, can lead to more serious medical conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.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, like back pain or neck strain.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 reduce sleep apnea symptoms 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.