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Untreated sleep apnea can cause a bunch of unpleasant symptoms, including loud snoring, daytime grogginess, and fatigue.

What’s more, the lack of air while sleeping limits oxygen to the brain, which can potentially lead to serious complications.

While swapping your mattress won’t cure sleep apnea, it can help alleviate symptoms and improve your sleep quality. Read on for our top mattress picks.

Here’s an overview of common mattress types and whether they’re a good choice for people with sleep apnea.

Adjustable airbeds

Not to be confused with air mattresses, these mattresses have built-in air channels that allow you to control the firmness level. You use a remote to inflate or deflate the bed.

Because you can adjust the firmness of an airbed, you can select the right amount of support for side sleeping that keeps your spine aligned.

Some mattresses can also be paired with adjustable bases, which allow you to elevate the head of the bed, potentially limiting obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.

Foam

Foam mattresses can be made of several different types of foam, including memory foam and latex.

Foam mattresses can’t cure sleep apnea — and it’s best to avoid any mattress companies that make these claims — but they may help you sleep more comfortably on your side or stomach.

Keep in mind, though, that some people compare sleeping on a foam mattress to sinking in quicksand. Memory foam tends to feel most restrictive, but gel and other types of foam allow for greater freedom of movement.

Hybrid

These mattresses contain a mix of soft foam and supportive coils. Like quality foam mattresses, hybrid models provide plenty of support, helping you stay comfortable throughout the night. Because they contain coils and have a bit more bounce than foam, hybrid mattresses don’t isolate movement as well.

The best sleeping position for people with sleep apnea is different for every individual. There is evidence, however, that sleeping flat on the back is associated with worse obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.

It’s important to find the sleeping style that works for you, so our list includes several models made for side and stomach sleepers.

If you do sleep on your back, research suggests that elevating your head can help reduce the severity of sleep apnea. Knowing that, we looked for mattresses that are adjustable or compatible with adjustable bases, allowing you to raise the position of your head.

Here’s what else we considered:

  • Great company policies. We looked for aspects, like extended in-home sleep trials, warranties of at least 10 years, and convenient shipping and return policies.
  • Solid company reputation. Companies featured below have a positive reputation and transparent business practices.
  • Customer reviews. Every mattress we included gets top marks from reviewers.
  • Safety. Every mattress on our list complies with federal flammability standards.

Pricing guide

The prices on our list are based on queen-size mattresses. Some beds are compatible with an adjustable base. These come at an additional cost, which isn’t reflected in the pricing below.

  • $ = under $1,200
  • $$ = $1,200–$2,000
  • $$$ = over $2,000

Best hybrid mattress for sleep apnea

Saatva Classic Mattress with Lineal Adjustable Base

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 11.5 inches

The Saatva Classic Mattress is a hybrid mattress that gets rave reviews from customers, including several who used to snore but don’t anymore after sleeping on this mattress.

It’s available in three firmness levels, so you can choose a surface to accommodate sleeping on your back or stomach. The bed is compatible with Saatva’s adjustable base, allowing you to raise the position of your head and potentially limit sleep apnea symptoms.

Pros

  • comes with a 15-year warranty
  • available in three firmness options
  • compatible with an adjustable base

Cons

  • may not fit every budget due to its cost
  • adjustable base not included in the price
  • some say the plush soft option is too firm

Buy the Saatva Classic Mattress with Lineal Adjustable Base online.

Best adjustable mattress for sleep apnea

Saatva Solaire Adjustable Mattress with Lineal Adjustable Base

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: adjustable airbed
  • Height: 13 inches

The Saatva Solaire Adjustable Mattress is available in an upper-flex model that features dual-sided air chambers and a split top. You’ll need to invest in an adjustable base in addition to the mattress.

Still, the extra customization can be helpful if you have sleep apnea and your partner doesn’t. You can raise the head of the bed on your side without disturbing your partner. You can also get the firmness level just right by picking from 50 firmness options.

Pros

  • comes with a 180-night sleep trial
  • includes the ability to raise the head of the bed
  • a great option for partners with different sleeping preferences

Cons

  • expensive

Buy the Saatva Solaire Adjustable Mattress with Lineal Adjustable Base online.

Best mattress for stomach sleepers with sleep apnea

The Plank by Brooklyn Bedding

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 11.5 inches

This ultra-firm mattress from Brooklyn Bedding is made with rigid foam. It’s rated well by people who sleep on their stomach.

The firm, flat surface is flippable and intended to properly align the spine.

The mattress comes in a wide range of sizes, including hard-to-find sizes like Olympic queen, short queen, short king, and RV king. You can add an optional cooling top panel if you tend to sleep hot.

Pros

  • a great option for stomach sleepers
  • has a flippable design with two firmness options
  • comes with a 10-year warranty

Cons

  • may feel too firm for some people, especially sleepers with less weight
  • some heavy sleepers wish it were slightly firmer
  • some say each side doesn’t feel that different

Buy The Plank by Brooklyn Bedding online.

Best mattress for side sleepers with sleep apnea

Helix Midnight

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 12 inches

Like stomach sleeping, sleeping on your side is better than sleeping on your back if you have sleep apnea. The Helix Midnight mattress is specifically intended for side sleepers and people who tend to toss and turn at night.

The medium-firm surface is designed to provide pressure point relief where side sleepers need it most: at the hips and shoulders. Reviewers also say the mattress offers solid support along the edges.

Pros

  • comes with a 10-year warranty
  • designed to provide edge support
  • may offer pressure relief for side sleepers

Cons

  • some reviewers say it feels too firm
  • doesn’t have a pillow top
  • a few reviewers complain that it’s not breathable enough

Buy the Helix Midnight online.

Best affordable mattress for sleep apnea

The Purple Mattress with PowerBase

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 9.25 inches

If you don’t have wiggle room in your budget for an adjustable air bed, consider The Purple Mattress. The mattress is known for its unique construction of breathable foam material.

Though the bed itself isn’t air-adjustable, it is compatible with the brand’s adjustable base, which comes at an additional cost. The base features under-bed lighting and a massage setting, plus it allows you to adjust the position of your head.

Reviewers also say the mattress helps relieve back pain.

Pros

  • compatible with an adjustable base
  • comes with a massage feature
  • includes a 100-night trial

Cons

  • adjustable base costs extra
  • may not be as durable compared with similarly priced mattresses
  • some users say it’s too soft

Buy The Purple Mattress with PowerBase online.

Best foam mattress for sleep apnea

Zoma Mattress with Adjustable Bed

  • Price: $
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 11 inches

The Zoma Mattress features a blend of cooling gel foam and a breathable top layer to help prevent overheating, a common downside of memory foam.

The mattress is compatible with Zoma’s adjustable bed frame, which comes with a handy wireless remote, so you can adjust your sleeping position without getting out from under your cozy covers.

Pros

  • has adjustable features without the high price tag
  • comes with a 10-year warranty
  • includes a 100-night trial

Cons

  • some say it feels like sleeping on a camping-style air mattress
  • a few reviewers complain that it’s too soft

Buy the Zoma Mattress with Adjustable Bed online.

Best organic mattress for sleep apnea

Avocado Green Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 11 inches (13 inches with pillow top add-on)

The eco-friendly Avocado Green Mattress is made with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton and wool and Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certified latex. It’s also Greenguard Gold certified for low volatile organic compound emissions for easier breathing.

The fairly firm mattress is a good option for back and stomach sleepers. If you want a more plush feel, there’s an optional pillow top add-on.

Reviewers rate this mattress highly. Some people note that their sleep apnea or snoring improved after sleeping on the mattress.

Pros

  • an environmentally-friendly option
  • mattress is firm enough for stomach sleepers
  • includes a 1-year trial

Cons

  • some say it’s too firm for their liking
  • some users note it has noisy innersprings
  • a few customers report issues with customer support

Buy the Avocado Green Mattress online.

Best mattress for back pain and sleep apnea

Personal Comfort A10 Bed

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: adjustable airbed
  • Height: 15 inches

This adjustable mattress features a cooling top layer and a thick comfort layer designed for a plush feel. You can adjust the firmness to accommodate side or stomach sleeping positions.

The flex head model also allows users to independently adjust the head position on each side of the bed. This feature may be helpful if you have sleep apnea and prefer to sleep on your back.

Pros

  • has an adjustable flex head, which may help limit snoring
  • mattress also features adjustable firmness
  • made of materials designed to be cool and breathable

Cons

  • pricey
  • some reviewers say shipping is slow
  • not all customers are impressed with the smart features

Buy the Personal Comfort A10 Bed online.

When shopping for a mattress for sleep apnea, here’s what to consider:

In-home sleep trial

It can be hard to find a mattress that fits your specific need, especially if you have sleep apnea. Trying out a mattress before committing to it is a must when it comes to purchasing online.

Look for mattresses that come with generous in-home trials. Be sure you understand what the return process entails before making your purchase.

Consider reaching out to your doctor to discuss how to determine if the mattress is working for you.

If you wear equipment to sleep, make sure to wear it while testing your new mattress. You can also request an in-home sleep study in your new bed if you don’t currently use sleep apnea equipment.

Adjustable base

An adjustable base can be very helpful, especially if you sleep on your back. The base allows you to raise your head without relying on an uncomfortable stack of pillows.

But adjustable bases can also be pricey. You’ll likely save some money if you opt for a mattress and base bundle from the same company.

If you sleep with a partner, consider a split king mattress or dual-chamber bed so that you can independently adjust each side of the bed.

Carefully read the return policy. Adjustable bases don’t always fall under the same returns policy as mattresses.

Firmness level

If you have sleep apnea, sleeping on your back isn’t ideal. But if you do, opt for a firmer surface.

Stomach and side sleeping work best with different firmness levels. A harder surface is better for sleeping on your stomach. If you sleep on your side, you may be more comfortable with a mattress that has a bit of give for pressure relief.

A mattress or special pillow alone can’t treat sleep apnea.

Airway obstruction isn’t always the root cause of sleep apnea, so it’s best to talk with your doctor if you suspect your sleep is being hindered by bouts of breathlessness.

Leaving sleep apnea untreated can be dangerous, as it can increase your risk of other health conditions.

A doctor will likely recommend several options for treatment, such as:

  • quitting smoking (if you currently smoke)
  • a CPAP machine to help you breathe at night
  • a mouthpiece to help prevent your tongue or jaw from moving in a way that blocks your airway
  • facial and mouth therapy
  • surgical implants
  • other surgical procedures, like removing your tonsils

Which mattress firmness is best for sleep apnea?

Ultimately, firmness is a personal preference. Choosing a mattress that comes with a trial period can help you ensure it’s the right feel for you before living with it long term.

Can your bed affect sleep apnea?

Your bed could potentially affect your sleep apnea symptoms, but it’s not the only factor. Consult your doctor to better understand the factors that could be making your symptoms worse.

What’s the best way to sleep with sleep apnea?

Sleeping on your side or stomach is great for minimizing sleep apnea symptoms.

What’s the best mattress topper for sleep apnea?

A mattress topper is designed to adjust the feel of a mattress. A plush topper, for example, may soften a too-hard mattress. Whatever topper makes your bed most comfortable for sleeping on your side or stomach is a good pick.

Swapping out your old mattress for a new one can help improve your sleep, regardless of whether you have sleep apnea or not.

By elevating your head or changing your sleeping position, you may be able to reduce some symptoms of sleep apnea.

That said, it’s important to talk with your doctor if you consistently feel unrested and groggy after getting a substantial amount of shut-eye. Even the most advanced mattress or pillow can’t cure sleep apnea.

A doctor can help you find out the source of your sleeping troubles and recommend the next steps.


Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.