6 Best Pillows For Sleep Apnea In 2024, Expert-Recommended

Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by irregular breathing patterns when sleeping. Some common symptoms include inconsistent breathing, heavy snoring, gasping, dry mouth, and daytime fatigue (1). If you experience any of these symptoms, consider investing in the best pillows for sleep apnea to alleviate the symptoms and get relief.

With the right physician-recommended pillow, you can comfortably rest while keeping your head elevated, nasal passages unobstructed, and spine aligned. Check out our favorite options in this post. We have also included a detailed buying guide to help you make an informed choice.

In This Article

What Types Of Pillows Are Best For Sleep Apnea?

Depending on the severity of your condition, there are different types of pillow options for you to pick from.

1. Wedge pillows

These compact, triangular pillows are designed for those who have trouble breathing when sleeping on their backs and prefer side sleeping. They help elevate the body and relieve obstructions in the nasal passages, thus making them ideal for people with sleep apnea and acid reflux.

2. CPAP pillows

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) pillows are innovative solutions for those who have trouble breathing during sleep. The mask constantly pumps air to facilitate smoother respiration as you lie on your back or side. The pillow accommodates this mask to make it easier to sleep with, allowing you to relax in a comfortable position.

Tips For Getting Better Rest If You Have Sleep Apnea

While it’s necessary to consult with a physician and follow a treatment plan designed for your needs, there are a few measures you can take to manage sleep apnea at home and sleep better (2) (3).

1. Have a healthy lifestyle

Sleep apnea tends to occur most frequently among those with diabetes and obesity. Thus, practicing a healthy lifestyle is one of the most crucial aspects of managing as well as preventing the condition. Consuming balanced, nutritious meals, following a regular sleep schedule, and exercising can help you function better during the day despite the apnea.

2. Try CPAP machines

A CPAP machine can send increased air pressure into the nasal passage to keep your throat open, relaxed, and unobstructed while sleeping. The mask or machine comes with various components that can be adjusted according to your needs, making this a temporary but excellent solution.

3. Find the right sleeping positioning and the correct pillow

Your sleeping position can improve or worsen the symptoms of your condition, as can the pillow you use. Ideally, sleeping on the sides with your back straight can reduce snoring. It also ensures spinal alignment, and paired with the best sleep apnea pillows, this position can help you get good sleep. Sleeping on the stomach is also advisable to keep gravity on your side. Back sleepers are advised to elevate their heads with a wedge or CPAP-compatible pillow.

4. Picking the right pillow to avoid neck pain and headaches

Dr. Allen Conrad, a chiropractor and physical therapist with over 23 years of experience, says, “Using the wrong type of pillow or a wrong-sized pillow can lead to back pain, neck pain, and headaches. If you have neck pain or sleep apnea, make an informed decision about choosing the right pillow type for you after consulting an expert.”

6 Best Pillows For Sleep Apnea In 2024

1. Best For Side Sleepers: EnduriMed Memory Foam CPAP Pillow

3.9
EnduriMed Memory Foam CPAP Pillow Image: Cpap

EnduriMed’s large-sized CPAP pillow makes an essential sleeping accessory for so many reasons. The adjustable pillow has an ergonomic design with clever contouring that offers good comfort regardless of whether you’re sleeping on your side, back, or stomach. Further, it includes an adjustable and removable foam pad that lets you achieve the desired thickness or firmness level. The indentations around the edges accommodate full face masks and prevent the CPAP tube from entangling at night. This tried-and-tested pillow measures 22.4 x11.8 x 5.1in. Watch this video to learn how to adjust the pillow loft.

Product Dimensions: 22.44 x 11.81 x 5.12 inches | Item Weight: 2 Pounds | Material: Cotton | Shape: Rectangular | Fill Material: Foam | Color: White

Pros

  • Has no tangled tubing
  • Works with CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP
  • Allergen-resistant memory foam
  • Washable cover

Cons

  • May be a bit firm
  • May not be memory foam

protip_icon Do remember
This pillow doesn’t support nasal masks. But you can use a full face mask with this pillow. And the gap prevents tangled tubing.

2. Best Cozy : Abco Bed Wedge Pillow For Sleeping

4.1
Abco Bed Wedge Pillow For Sleeping Image: Abco Tech

The Abco Bed Wedge Pillow offers a comfortable sleeping surface for those who suffer from acid reflux, snoring, or other respiratory issues. This pregnancy-safe pillow is made of sturdy, high-density foam and features a gradual incline, which helps elevate the upper body and reduce symptoms. The bed wedge pillow is also suitable for reading, watching TV, or relaxing in bed. It can be used in a variety of sleeping positions.

Product Dimensions: 25 x 24 x 12 inches | Item Weight: 0.01 Ounces | Material: Memory Foam | Shape: Wedge | Fill Material: Memory Foam | Color: White

Pros

  • Can help reduce neck and back pain
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Removable cover for easy cleaning
  • Suitable for people of all ages

Cons

  • May not provide enough support
  • Foam may flatten over time

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is a hit with users, evidenced by the 3,480 fine reviews on Amazon.

3. Best Soft: Mars Wellness Premium Pillow

Irrespective of whether you are a CPAP, BiPAP, or APAP user and side-sleeper, back sleeper, or stomach sleeper, here’s a premium-quality pillow that is crafted for anyone who experiences breathing problems at night. It is filled with super-soft and high-density memory foam that easily molds to the shape of your head and helps alleviate stress, muscle stiffness, and breathing difficulties. Measuring 19 x 13 x 4.25 in, this pillow with positive reviews is adjustable for mask-wearers and comes with right indentations and contouring to accommodate your headgear without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Moreover, this specialized pillow comes with a one-size-fits-all cover that is soft and gentle on the skin.

Shape: Rectangular | Fill Material: Memory Foam

Pros

  • Prevents mask leakage
  • Allows contact-free CPAP use
  • Machine washable
  • Doubles as a neck pillow
  • Features removable cover for easy cleaning

Cons

  • May not be as thick
  • May have a peculiar smell initially

protip_icon Did you know?
Those who sleep to the side or in a supine position should rely on pillows that come in shapes instead of the same height pillow as they provide good neck support(4).

4. Best Breathable: Ikstar Sleep Apnea CPAP Pillow

If you’ve been trying to alleviate your sleeping problems by resting on your side but to no avail, it might be time to try this unique sleep apnea pillow by Ikstar. The pillow is designed to accommodate CPAP masks and hoses through indents and cut-outs on the side and is ergonomically designed to keep your neck and spine aligned. With this pillow, you won’t feel constricted because of the CPAP tubing, nor will you have to endure the discomfort of mask pressure as you attempt to get a good night’s sleep. It offers medium firmness and maintains shape for a long time, making it one of the best sleep apnea pillows.

Item Weight: 3.01 pounds | Product Dimensions: 22.83 x 14.96 x 3.93 inches | Material: White | Shape: Semicircular | Fill Material: Memory Foam | Color: White

Pros

  • Works with all mask types
  • Odorless
  • Prevents air leaks
  • Ideal balance between soft and firm
  • High-density memory foam filling

Cons

  • May be a bit firm for some
  • May not be scratch-resistant

5. Best Memory Foam: Everlasting Comfort Wedge Pillow

Give your head, back, and legs the love and support they need when sleeping with this memory foam wedge pillow that is ultra-cool and functional. It features a two-inch gel-infused memory foam top layer that resists heat-trapping and regulates temperature. You can use it as a backrest for relaxation or an incline or footrest pillow to keep your head and legs elevated for unobstructed breathing. In addition to its thickness and multifunctional design, you will love that it has been tested and certified safe by OEKO-TEX.

Shape: Wedge | Fill Material: Polyester & memory foam | Color: White

Pros

  • Filled with100% premium high-density foam
  • Comes with a storage compartment
  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Ergonomic design

Cons

  • May have a powerful chemical odor
  • May be a bit stiff

6. Best Cooling: Ubbcare Memory Foam Pillow

4.2
Ubbcare Memory Foam Pillow Image: Abco Tech

Whether you sweat while sleeping at night or struggle with acid reflux and GERD, this CertiPUR-US-certified memory foam pillow can keep you cool and comfortable and offer good support to your back and legs. The polyester-crafted pillow is filled with high-density premium foam that is wear-resistant.

Further, its multifunctional triangular design opens up a world of lounging possibilities, making it the perfect cushion for relaxing around the house or catching up on lost sleep.

Item Weight: 5.08 pounds | Product Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 0.01 inches | Material: Memory Foam | Shape: Wedge | Color: White

Pros

  • Super-soft outer pillowcase
  • Features a sturdy zipper
  • Durable and machine washable
  • Available in two colors

Cons

  • May be a bit thicker than expected
  • May not have a cooling effect
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To Choose The Right Pillow For Sleep Apnea?

Before deciding which supportive pillow to buy, these are some factors you should consider to find the right match.

1. Elevation: Individuals with sleep apnea or other breathing-related problems are advised not to sleep on their backs as it can worsen the condition by obstructing the airways. However, if it’s challenging for you to fall asleep in other positions, make sure your pillow offers optimum height or elevation to keep your upper body well-supported. Wedge pillows for sleep apnea are ideal in such cases and are multifunctional too.

2. CPAP-compatible: Obstructive sleep apnea might require you to wear CPAP masks that provide continuous airflow. Therefore, ensure the pillow comes with indentations and cut-outs to accommodate these masks and hoses without causing discomfort or leaks. The right pillows can also help relieve the machine’s pressure and improve sleep quality.

3. Soft yet firm: Pillows that are too soft or firm can be harmful to your body. When purchasing a pillow, especially to alleviate sleep-related problems, test the softness or firmness of the pillow and look for one that gives you the best of both worlds by offering medium thickness. Memory foam is an excellent option since it molds to your body’s shape and bounces back even after hours of pressure, rendering the pillow durable and comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does sleeping with the head elevated help those with sleep apnea?

Yes, sleeping with the head elevated is advisable for those with sleep apnea, chronic joint pain, or acid reflux. It helps alleviate aches and breathing problems by ensuring your spine is aligned with the rest of your body (3).

2. Do sleep apnea pillows really work?

Sleep apnea pillows can help you manage certain difficulties that come with the condition, such as irregular breathing or uncomfortable posture. It will not cure the problem at the root, though, and you will need to consult with a healthcare professional for a treatment plan.

When left untreated, sleep apnea can make your day-to-day functioning challenging. However, this common problem can be managed with a healthy lifestyle, weight management, and of course, the right pillows. Choosing the best pillow for sleep apnea might help you keep your spine aligned, improve your quality of sleep and life, and alleviate stress. Make sure you consult your physician and pick one by following our buying guide to enjoy uninterrupted, ache-free slumber every night.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Vibha Navarathna is an experienced product writer and reviewer passionate about the health and lifestyle segments. She enjoys scouring the Internet for unique products that help make her reader’s lives easier. In this article, she lists the best pillows for sleep apnea that are beneficial in ensuring better sleep and alleviating the symptoms of sleep apnea. Her review process involves extensive research into the features and benefits of each product, along with aggregating consumer reviews from multiple e-commerce websites.

Infographics: What Types Of Pillows Are Best For Sleep Apnea?

Choosing the right pillow can enhance your body posture and hence your sleep quality to a great extent. However, various pillows are designed to help people with sleep apnea. Check out the following infographic to learn more about the types of pillows for sleep apnea and their features.

Types Of Pillows For Sleep Apnea (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version


References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Sleep Apnea – Symptoms
    https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep-apnea/symptoms
  2. Sleep Apnea – Treatment
    https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep-apnea/treatment
  3. 7 Healthy Tips for Better Sleep When You Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    https://www.bannerhealth.com/healthcareblog/better-me/sleeping-like-a-baby-when-you-have-obstructive-sleep-apnea
  4. Development and Comparative Evaluation of New Shapes of Pillows
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3976006/

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