Our accomplished team of sleep science coaches, engineers, and product evaluators meticulously assess hundreds of mattresses using our unique product methodology. Each article is reviewed for precision, citing only credible sources. Systematically reassessing our content and picks, we align with the latest scientific literature and expert counsel. Our top-rated mattresses have been personally assessed and highly rated.
We've recently updated our top mattress picks, incorporating new insights from our professional testers. If a mattress appears on this list, you can be sure that we've personally assessed it and granted it a high rating based on our stringent evaluation standards.
- Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea Overall: Amerisleep AS3
- Brst Performance Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Zoma Mattress
- Best Value Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Vaya Mattress
- Best Hybrid Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Nolah Evolution 15
- Best Innerspring Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Saatva Classic
- Best Cooling Mattress for Sleep Apnea: GhostBed Luxe
- Best Soft Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. Thunderous snoring is a common symptom. Still, even with sleep-disturbing snores, the majority of sleep apnea sufferers remain undiagnosed.
The disorder manifests around 10 percent of women and a full quarter of men. If you know you have sleep apnea, you’re probably already taking measures to alleviate your symptoms. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) machines, mouthpieces, and other actions can all help improve breathing during sleep.
According to Professor Dagmara Dimitriou, “Lifestyle changes to manage sleep disorders such as sleep apnea should be considered for the best health outcomes. One such adjustment ought to include seeking comfort in the bedroom to increase an opportunity for better sleep.”
However, one thing many people forget is their mattress. An amazing mattress can help improve your sleep and maybe even reduce your symptoms. Combined with your doctor’s treatments, the right mattress can help sleep apnea sufferers get as deep and restorative sleep as people without a sleep disorder.
Best Mattresses for Sleep Apnea
The AS3 by Amerisleep is one of the most versatile mattresses out there. There are few mattresses on the market that beat the AS3 in terms of the sheer number of sleepers who find this mattress comfortable. The AS3 has something for everyone.
How It Feels
The AS3 was designed with almost every sleep position in mind. While it’s too soft for stomach sleepers, it’s supportive and contouring enough to accommodate back sleepers and side sleepers alike. This makes it a good option for couples who don’t want to go the split king route.
Hot sleepers will appreciate the breathability of Bio-Pur® foam. Combo sleepers will enjoy the bounce of this plant-based foam. Sleepers with allergies or chemical sensitivities may find relief in the AS3’s minimal use of synthetic chemicals. And eco-conscious sleepers will appreciate this mattress’s low environmental impact.
As we mentioned, the first layer is airy and responsive Bio-Pur® foam. This plant-based memory foam improves on the features of traditional memory foam, adapting quicker and staying cool longer.
Next is a layer of Affinity foam with HIVE® technology. Hexagons are cut into the foam, carefully placed to establish five zones of support. The shoulders and hips feel more cushioning for side sleeper support, perfect for people who want to comfortably relieve sleep apnea symptoms.
The last layer is Bio-Core® foam, a material engineered to drastically boost the mattress’s durability. With Bio-Core® as the support, the mattress is expected to last many years.
SEE ALSO: Best Mattresses without Fiberglass
If you have sleep apnea and an active lifestyle (or even if you’re just looking to start getting into physical activity to help your sleep apnea symptoms), the Zoma Mattress could be for you. The Zoma Mattress was designed to facilitate recovery. It does this using a three-layer system.
Purchase of the Zoma Mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
How It Feels
The Zoma Mattress offers a medium feel for near-universal comfort, with cooling materials for consistent comfort. Sleepers who want to rest and recover easily will find the balanced feel cushions delicate areas while supporting the body overall.
The first layer is made of Triangulex™ three-zone gel memory foam. This foam offers targeted cradling to different areas of the body to provide ideal comfort. The Reactiv™ transition layer adds responsiveness back to the comfort layer to accommodate those who like to toss and turn.
The Support+ layer offers ideal spine-aligning support to prevent back pain. All this comfort and support is wrapped in a breathable AirCloth cover to wick away heat and sweat all at once. That makes the Zoma an excellent mattress for those who are active or looking to become active.
Those who worry that they may not have enough money to afford a new mattress should check out the Vaya Mattress. The Vaya’s simple design allows them to offer an affordable mattress whose quality and durability compete with more expensive beds.
How It Feels
As a budget-friendly mattress, the Vaya bed is designed to be quite comfortable for most sleepers. Its surface is gently soft yet not too plush, with the underlying base providing responsive support for different positions.
The top layer of Vaya Comfort Foam is highly contouring, which cushions sore joints and relieves pain and stiffness. The Comfort Foam is also breathable to wick away body heat. That means even hot sleepers can enjoy the budget-friendly comfort of the Vaya.
The Vaya’s Base Foam encourages spinal alignment whether you sleep on your back, side, or both. Best of all, this durable foam means the Vaya Mattress will last a full ten years. That means you could be paying as little as only a few dozen dollars per year for amazing comfort.
Hybrid mattresses are an excellent way to relieve joint pain, as their bouncy support offers near-instant responsiveness while the top foam layer provides plenty of cushioning. The Nolah Evolution 15 goes beyond the basic hybrid design, relying on multiple foam layers to ease pressure points along the sleeper’s body.
How It Feels
The Nolah Evolution 15’s firm version offers stomach sleepers and heavier sleepers tons of lift without sacrificing support. The luxury-firm option is excellent for back sleepers and couples, while the plush option is perfect for side sleepers looking for a mattress they can sink into without worrying about a lack of support.
Highly conductive graphite infusions disperse your body heat throughout the mattress so you can sleep cool and comfortable all night long. Layers of high-resilience and high-density foams protect you from pressure without sacrificing firmness.
Finally, this mattress features patented HDMax™ coils that offer 25 percent more support than the industry standard. These pocketed coils rest on a base of eco-friendly plant fibers for added strength and durability.
Those who can’t give up the innerspring mattress but also can’t stand its issues with sagging and lack of contouring should consider the Saatva Classic. This mattress improves the feel and responsiveness of a standard innerspring with a pocketed coil layer and a thick pillow top.
How It Feels
The Saatva Classic offers a pillow top that isn’t necessarily plush, as sleepers can choose one of three firmensses. The soft option is quick to hug the body, while the luxury-firm and firm feels are less conforming but still quite comfortable for select styles.
The surface of the Saatva Classic is a 3-inch pillow top with organic cotton. Not only is the organic cotton naturally breathable and comfortable, but it’s been treated with a botanical compound that repels microbes to promote a pristine feel.
This innerspring mattress uses a combination of pocketed coils on top of open coils to provide the adaptability of a hybrid and the bounce of an innerspring mattress. The memory foam spinal zone support sheet fights sagging and keeps your back lined up.
Finally, the Classic features additional sag-fighting edge support in the form of firm foam rails. These rails increase the Classic’s life expectancy to 15 years. That’s well beyond the normal durability of an average innerspring mattress.
Hot sleepers and combo sleepers will appreciate the cooling and responsiveness technologies featured in the GhostBed Luxe. Unlike many memory foam beds, the Luxe has the opposite of a heat retention problem. It’s cool to the touch.
How It Feels
The GhostBed Luxe is just on the softer side of medium, not quite as plush as a true soft mattress. Its cooling features are even more notable, as the materials will hug the body but minimize the heat build-up that naturally results from sustained body contact.
The Luxe achieves this cooling comfort by using five layers of different cooling technology that all work together:
- Ghost Ice fabric cover
- Cooling, airflow enhancing fiber
- Top gel memory foam layer
- Ghost Ice Layer
- Bottom gel swirl memory foam layer
Under all these cooling layers, the Ghost Bounce Layer adds responsiveness to the memory foams, helping them regain their shape when you change position. The base foam layer establishes the mattress’s main support, providing refreshing rest for sleeper.
Those who like a soft feel but still need lots of support should check out Amerisleep’s AS5 Hybrid. This hybrid combines sturdy pocketed coils with super-soft foams to create a mattress that offers softer support without the same problems with sinkage that other mattresses have.
How It Feels
Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid is an amazing mattress for side sleepers and petite sleepers. It’s also a good option for combo and back sleepers and even heavier sleepers who prefer a soft feel. The coils keep you lifted even as the foams cradle you like a baby.
This mattress combines the breathability of pocket coils and Bio-Pur® foam to create a mattress that cools all the way through.
The Bio-Pur® foam that forms the top can keep even the hottest sleepers cool. One of the issues with a soft mattress is that it retains more heat. That means hot sleepers are often stuck with firmer support than they like. This is not so with the AS5 Hybrid.
The second layer of Active Flex enables responsiveness without lowering the bed’s soft feel, so it avoids feeling like a sink trap as you settle in for the night. The pocketed coils bolster this responsive feel with weightless support, and the final base foam layer promotes a sag-free structure.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the sleeping individual stops breathing throughout the night. Breathing restarts after a few seconds. But this stoppage and reinitiation of breathing cause sleep apnea sufferers to experience less restful sleep.
These waking periods are typically so short the sleeper remains unaware they’ve woken up. However, the constant interruption in sleep can lead to everything from daytime fatigue and irritability to weight gain to serious health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cognitive impairment and decline.
There are two common types of sleep apnea, and they have different causes.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. With OSA, the soft tissues in your throat collapse as your muscles relax. These soft tissues subsequently block the airways.
This prevents breathing and causes your body to partially wake itself up to reinitiate the flow of oxygen. That means people with untreated severe OSA may rarely or never experience REM sleep.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is a rarer form of sleep apnea that occurs when your brain fails to signal to your diaphragm and other muscles that you need to keep breathing during sleep. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, you’ll make no effort to breathe for short periods if you have central sleep apnea.
How to Pick the Right Mattress for Sleep Apnea Relief
Most people with this medical condition will need treatment beyond just a mattress. Common treatments for sleep apnea include mouthpieces, CPAP machines, and even surgery. However, the right mattress can complement your doctor’s treatments to help improve your sleep further.
What Sleep Apnea Sufferers Need from their Mattresses
Sleep apnea interrupts the natural sleep cycle. That means a mattress that’s designed to promote deep sleep is best for sleep apnea sufferers. A mattress that helps you sleep on your side can also help reduce symptoms. Side sleeping is considered the best position for sleep apnea sufferers. All this means you’ll need a mattress that does three things:
- Promotes spinal alignment and correct sleeping posture
- Relieves pressure and pain in joints to facilitate side sleeping
- Prevents body heat buildup to help you regulate your core temperature
Since adjustable beds are often recommended for patients with OSA, a mattress that’s compatible with an adjustable base is also a good idea. This is especially true if you’re a back sleeper who cannot switch sleep styles.
Ideal Mattress Materials for People with Sleep Apnea
Different materials offer different levels of the three comfort characteristics you need. For instance, memory foam provides the best pressure relief, but it’s not that good at temperature regulation. Innerspring mattresses provide lots of cooling, but they’re terrible at pressure relief. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each type of mattress before you decide which is right for you.
Memory foam offers lots of pressure relief and amazing contoured support because it can take the shape of your body so perfectly. However, memory foam mattresses have trouble in the temperature regulation department.
Traditional memory foam was downright sweltering. Nowadays, we have gel and copper infusions, as well as other cooling technologies. That means memory foam is not as hot as it used to be, but it’s still not as breathable as other materials.
Natural latex mattresses provide a good balance of support, pressure relief, and cooling. Latex cannot contour as well as memory foam. But it can contour well enough to provide excellent pressure relief and spine aligning support.
In addition, latex whips memory foam in the cooling department. Natural latex is naturally breathable without infusions. Latex is also more responsive than memory foam. That means combo sleepers will likely find it more comfortable because it bounces back into shape.
Hybrid mattresses combine a support core made of individually wrapped coils with one or more layers of foam. This foam can be either latex or memory foam as long as it’s at least two inches thick. Many hybrids also sport transition and base foams to help reduce motion transfer and increase stability.
Hybrids offer all three characteristics sleep apnea sufferers need for a great night’s sleep. They’re highly contouring. So they provide excellent pressure relief and spinal support. Their coils also offer enough airflow to provide superior temperature regulation. To top it off, they’re still compatible with adjustable bases despite having coils. That makes hybrids one of the best choices for those with sleep apnea.
Innerspring mattresses have an open coil support layer and a thinner comfort layer made of plush materials like cotton, wool, fiberfill, and more. Open coil cores offer the most cooling of any mattress. But it comes at a cost.
Innerspring mattresses are not good at contouring or pressure relief. Unless they have a pillow top, innerspring beds cannot contour at all. That means they can let your spine fall out of alignment. Additionally, their motion transfer problems can contribute to insomnia in sleep apnea sufferers and their partners. This means innerspring mattresses are typically not the best choice for sleep apnea patients.
Ideal Firmness Level for People with Sleep Apnea
Mattress firmness is measured on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest. Most everyone needs firmnesses between 3 and 8. And the majority of sleepers are most comfortable on mattresses in the 4 to 7 range. The ideal firmness level for all sleepers (regardless of what sleep disorders they have) depends on two key factors: sleep position and body type.
Sleep position is the number one factor in determining your firmness level. Side sleepers need the softest beds (3 or 4) to cushion their hips, knees, and shoulders to protect them from pain. Stomach sleepers need firmer mattresses (7-8) to keep the pelvis lifted and prevent lower back pain. Back sleepers and combo sleepers need middle-of-the-road firmness (5-6) that offers the right balance between support and pressure relief.
Body type is not as important as sleep style for determining your firmness needs. But it is still something you need to consider. Petite sleepers (under 130 pounds) may need to consider softer mattresses, so they don’t wind up with pain in their pressure points.
Plus-size sleepers (over 230 pounds) have the opposite problem. They may need to go up a firmness level to get enough lift to stay on top of the sleeping surface rather than sinking into it. As always, consider your sleep position as a jumping-off point for the firmness level you need. Then, add or subtract firmness from there based on your body type.
Your mattress might not be a cure-all for your sleep apnea, but having one of the best mattresses can certainly help you improve your rest. If you’re in the market for a new mattress that can help you get the best sleep despite your sleep apnea, just remember to look for the three things you need to achieve ideal sleep: support, pressure relief, and cooling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Elevating the head is known to reduce snoring and sleep interruptions caused by airway obstruction. Sleeping upright allows gravity to do the work of holding your throat tissues in place for you. That way, you can relax and drift off worry-free.
Keep in mind adjustable beds are only adequate for mild to moderate sleep apnea. If your OSA is severe enough, you’re probably going to need to combine elevating your upper body with a CPAP or other treatment options to get a good night’s sleep.
To facilitate ideal sleep, your mattress needs three things: pressure relief, support, and temperature regulation. Memory foam is great at the first two but often subpar at the third. Traditional memory foam is very hot, and even modern memory foam can have trouble with heat retention.
However, hybrid mattresses can be made with memory foam. Memory foam hybrids offer just as much contouring, just as much support, and a lot more cooling than pure memory foam mattresses do. That means they offer the trifecta of sleep-enhancing characteristics.
If you want a mattress that is compatible with your CPAP machine, either straight foam or hybrid mattresses can fit that bill. These types of mattresses offer lots of contouring and support while maintaining superb motion isolation.
The only mattress you might want to avoid is an innerspring mattress. Not only are innerspring mattresses incompatible with adjustable bases, but they also have a big problem with motion transfer. It might be hard to keep a CPAP mask on or the hose from tangling while you’re bouncing around on an open coil bed.
Side sleeping is the best position to adopt when you have sleep apnea. If you can train yourself to sleep in this position, you should. Back sleeping allows the tissues in the throat to collapse further into your esophagus. While stomach sleeping is letting gravity pull your tongue and soft tissues down, you’re trading snoring for lower back pain in this position.
Side sleeping allows gravity to pull your tongue forward and help keep your soft palate in place without placing undue stress on your neck and lower back. That’s why it’s the best option for those with sleep apnea.
Split kings can be a wonderful choice for couples with a partner who has sleep apnea. A split king allows you to have two separate mattresses in the same bed. This means each partner can choose their mattress material and firmness and customize their adjustable base settings.
If you need to sleep upright, your partner can still lie flat. Split kings help many couples continue sleeping in the same bed despite having divergent needs.