What’s The Best Mattress For Someone With Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
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Sleep Apnea

Figures show that sleep apnea affects around 1.5 million people in the UK, and estimates suggest over double the amount are undiagnosed (our guide to sleep disorder symptoms is helpful if you haven’t had a professional diagnosis yet).

When it comes to sleep apnea treatment, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the most reliable treatment, but wearing a mask at night isn’t the only way to relieve your symptoms.

Although no mattress can cure sleep apnea, a mattress firm enough to stop you from sinking could be the answer. A firmer mattress will help keep your airways open, reducing the intensity and frequency of apnea.

A firmer mattress is also necessary for sleeping on your stomach, which is recommended for those with sleep apnea. This study found stomach sleepers have a 50% reduction in apnea symptoms.

However, a firm mattress isn’t the only thing you can do to reduce sleep apnea symptoms – you can also sleep with elevation!

A 2017 study into sleeping elevation found that sleeping at a 7.5-degree tilt reduces obstructive sleep apnea by over 31% on average. This means an adjustable bed could be just what you need to transform your sleep.

What is the right mattress for sleep apnea?

It would help if you had a mattress you sleep on top of rather than sink into, so the firmest mattress you can bear. However, you don’t want an uncomfortable sleep surface, so you need a squishy material for the comfort layer.

Firmness

Firmness is relative to body weight, so a medium mattress feels firm to someone weighing less than ten stone but soft to someone over twelve stone. It would help if you match the mattress to your body weight – here are our recommendations:

  • Under 130lbs – medium-soft
  • Under 160lbs – medium
  • Under 210lbs – medium-firm
  • Over 210lbs – firm
  • Over 250lbs – extra firm (orthopaedic)

The heavier you are, the firmer the mattress needs to be.

Most people with sleep apnea do best with a medium-firm or firm mattress. If you’re not sure, go down the medium-firm route.

Materials

The best mattresses for sleep apnea are memory foam and latex foam mattresses with either a hybrid or sprung composition.

Memory foam is squishy and springs back slowly, while latex foam is bouncy and springs back instantly. Both have pressure-relieving qualities, with memory foam superior in this respect, but latex foam offers more effortless mobility when you toss and turn.

A latex foam mattress like the medium-firm Giltedge Beds Hampshire 2000 will serve you well, helping support your upper body and airways.

Your mattress must have springs because springs provide unrivaled support and response. Hybrid mattresses have fewer springs and more foam, while traditional pocket-sprung mattresses have thicker spring systems.

Adjustable beds for sleep apnea

Research shows that sleeping at an angle can relieve sleep apnea symptoms, so an adjustable bed is worth considering.

The linked study found that head-elevated sleeping improves symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea significantly. Importantly, it also found it doesn’t interfere with sleep position, so you can still enjoy back and side sleeping.

A more recent 2022 study, this time into snoring, found that sleeping in an inclined position reduces sleep awakenings from snoring and improves sleep quality.

You can get single and double adjustable beds, or if you have a partner, you can get a twin adjustable bed like the Recline-A-Bed Ortho Gold 1000.

Recline-A-Bed Ortho Gold 1000 Twin Adjustable Bed.
Pictured: Recline-A-Bed Ortho Gold 1000 Twin Adjustable Bed

A twin adjustable bed is worth getting if you sleep with someone because they might not want to sleep in an inclined position.

Our range of adjustable beds includes medium, medium-firm, and firm mattresses in standard sizes, so pick your perfect firmness rating and bed size. Adjustable beds need a flexible mattress, so it is worth getting a mattress thrown in.

We have a detailed guide to adjustable beds that covers sizes, weight limits, mattresses, and other buyer considerations if you want to find out more.

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