What Are The 5 Best Pillows Available For Sleep Apnea
Several different materials and styles of sleep pillows are used for sleep apnea including foam pillows and wedge pillows.
Foam pillows, also called memory foam pillows, are a good option because they come in different shapes and sizes, including contoured pillows that help keep your neck in line with your spine, and are available in both soft and firm options.
The foam also can provide support while also allowing your head to sink in for comfort.
Wedge pillows are another popular choice for sleep apnea sufferers because they help you sleep at an incline which helps keep your airways open while you sleep.
This prevents sleep apnea episodes from occurring and helps alleviate symptoms associated with sleep apnea like snoring.
There are also specialty pillows available that allow you to accommodate CPAP masks without pressing on them or causing discomfort while sleeping.
Which Pillow For Sleep Apnea Is Right For Me
All sleep apnea pillows come in different shapes and materials, so it’s important to choose one that works with your sleep habits.
For example, if you frequently sweat while sleeping you may want to find a pillow that provides cooling relief.
If you are already using a mask for a positive airway pressure machine, this could also influence your decision as some are specifically designed for comfort with a mask on.
If you’re unsure of where to start, consider talking with a sleep physician or sleep specialist who can help guide you through the process.
Avoid Alcohol And Smoking
Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles that control your breathing. This can lead to snoring and an interrupted sleep cycle. It can also lead to inflammation in your airways, blocking your airflow.
Similar to alcohol, tobacco use can also contribute to inflammation and swelling in your airways. This can worsen your snoring and your sleep apnea.
A identified smoking as a risk factor for developing sleep apnea. The study noted that people with sleep apnea may have a predisposition to smoking as well, so treating sleep apnea may help in quitting smoking.
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What To Look For
What you need from your wedge pillow depends on what you’ll be using it for. Talk to your healthcare provider about how large an angle is ideal for you and your condition. A smaller angle may be best for back issues and glaucoma, whereas a larger one may be best for sleep apnea, acid reflux, and GERD, or to support your knees.
Ask about the ideal firmness, as well, as different materials provide different amounts of support.
Most wedge pillows are made of foam and covered in a soft cloth. If you have allergies, be sure to check the contents. Pillow cases for wedge pillows are available as well, which can help you keep yours clean and allergen-free.
How The My Pillow Feels
I purchased the My Pillow from Amazon.com. I really like how easy it is to both purchase and make returns from Amazon. Rather than have to put up with the hassle of returning it if I didnt like it, I thought I would use Amazon to be safe since their returns are easy and hassle-free. Right now Amazon has the My Pillow Classic Queen size for $49.95. I couldnt find the standard My Pillow for sale on the mypillow.com website.
I was expecting a somewhat heavier pillow. This is one of the lightest pillows I have reviewed so I was a little worried that it wouldnt live up to my expectations. Per the instructions on the packaging, I put the pillow in my dryer for 15 minutes on a cool setting. It fluffed up very nicely and there was no odor after putting in the dryer. I used a dryer sheet just for the fresh scent. After taking a nap with it and sleeping on it for a few nights, I found it to be a really nice pillow. I like lighter pillows because I sometimes move mine around at night so this was a nice benefit.
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Proper Care For Sleep Apnea Pillows
Most sleep apnea pillows are made from medium-to-firm foam, which is not easily laundered. The best thing to do is to ensure that your pillow is always covered with a high-quality pillowcase. Regularly wash the case and spot clean the pillow itself.
For most pillows, their efficacy will start to wane over time. Consider replacing your pillow if you notice your sleep quality decreasing, or once every two years.
Sleeping Upright With Sleep Apnea What We Know And 3 Things To Try
Its no surprise people are wondering about sleeping upright with sleep apnea since symptoms are worse for many patients if they lay on their back.
Recent research suggests that elevating your head may indeed help improve symptoms.
Depending on your sleep apnea type, symptom severity, and other factors, you have options simple tricks to elevate your head and new devices designed to keep you from sleeping on your back.
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How To Choose A Pillow For Sleep Apnea
The pillow you choose will affect your comfort and quality of rest. For CPAP users, a quality model can reduce the frequency of mask air leaks and uncomfortable pressure on the face. Factors such as support, pressure relief, loft, and firmness all affect the overall performance of a pillow, so shoppers should carefully consider them. For those with sleep apnea, aspects such as contouring, pillow shape, and CPAP-specific design features should also be kept in mind.
What To Consider When Purchasing A Sleep Apnea Pillow
The following criteria can influence the performance, comfort, and quality of a pillow, so theyre worth assessing when shopping for new pillows. There are many pillow options on the market, but sleepers can easily narrow down their options by focusing on the factors that are most important for those with sleep apnea.
Sleeping PositionSleeping position has a substantial effect on pillow performance, particularly for CPAP users. Side and stomach sleepers often experience pressure from their mask pushing into the pillow, which can cause both discomfort and air leaks. Those who sleep on their side or stomach may benefit from a CPAP pillow with indents or cutouts to accommodate their mask, while back sleepers can also utilize cervical and wedge pillow designs.
ShapeThe shape of a pillow and how well it retains its shape are important considerations for those with sleep apnea. Side sleepers often prefer contoured designs, which can comfortably accommodate the shoulders and neck. Specialty shapes, such as wedge pillows and CPAP pillows, are also worth considering for certain sleepers. CPAP pillows allow space for the mask and hose, making them popular with side and stomach sleepers, while wedge pillows elevate the upper body, which may appeal to back sleepers.
SupportSupport measures how well the pillow holds up the neck and head and keeps the spine aligned. Some materials, like polyfoam and memory foam, tend to be more supportive than others.
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Types Of Sleep Apnea Pillows
- Orthopedic memory foam pillows these pillows feature indentations and cutouts to provide perfect spinal and neck support, as well as support for the CPAP mask. These are usually made for people who sleep on their back and use nasal or low-impact masks. We feature
- CPAP memory foam pillows these pillows are specially designed to be CPAP mask friendly. They ensure the proper head position, as well as the mask position thanks to the cutouts.
- Wedge pillows these pillows are excellent for sleep apnea patients who experience GERD, heartburn, or acid reflux issues. Wedge pillows allow the users to sleep on an incline so that the torso is elevated.
- Adjustable pillows these pillows usually feature different heights and enable you as a user to change the memory foam filling. This is excellent for CPAP users, as they can adjust the pillow to ensure mask stability as well as general sleeping comfort. The memory foam filling is usually made from shredded foam, which customers receive together with the pillow.
Other Tips For Reducing Snoring
Pillow choice can be one of the easiest and most affordable ways to reduce the severity of snoring, but there are other options. The following tips may be used in addition to selecting the right pillow for you.
Ask Your Doctor About Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes abnormal breathing during sleep, and snoring is a common sign of the disorder. A sleeper may temporarily stop breathing, which can lower the bodys oxygen supply and lead to less restful slumber. This condition can have serious health impacts, so its important to talk to your doctor to determine whether you suffer from sleep apnea and what should be done to protect your health.
Use an Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece: Anti-snoring mouthpieces are designed to reduce snoring by either holding the lower jaw or tongue forward to prevent them from falling back and putting pressure on the airway. Most of these devices are sold over the counter, but you may want to consult with your doctor to see if theyre a good option for you.
Sleep on Your Side: If youre a back sleeper, repositioning to your side may help limit snoring. This position makes the tongue and lower jaw less likely to fall towards the back and press on the airway, so many individuals snore less when sleeping on their sides than on their backs. If you struggle to stay on your side, a body pillow positioned behind you might help prevent you from inadvertently returning to back sleeping.
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Is Sleeping On Your Stomach Bad
When resting on the stomach, the spine is forced to bow upward, putting pressure on the back and neck and causing the muscles to clench. Over time, this leads to chronic pain in these areas.
Therefore, we suggest avoiding stomach sleeping whenever possible. However, if you find it difficult to rest in any other possible, be sure to rest on a stable and even surface. Typically, the best mattresses for stomach sleeping are medium-firm to firm.
Are Thick Pillows Bad For Your Neck
If a pillow is too thick, it could force the head upward and cause the neck to bend. This position causes the muscles in the neck and back to clench, leading to tension and pain.
The best pillows are those made with a soft, conforming material, like memory foam, with a medium loft. These pillows will ensure the head and neck stay in alignment with the shoulders, so the spine remains neutral.
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How Do You Choose Pillow Material And Support
A supportive pillow will help keep your neck and head supported while keeping your spine aligned. Certain materials like foam and memory foam are usually more supportive than others.
Feather pillows do not provide head and neck support, making them a poor choice for those with sleep apnea. Foam pillows can relieve pressure while providing head and neck support.
Most pillows designed for sleep apnea are made of foam, but you can find feather, bamboo, and latex pillows as well. Materials such as memory foam can sleep warmer than other materials. Whatever you prefer, consider selecting a pillow made from high-quality material to ensure comfort and durability.
What’s Your Sleep Position
Research shows changing sleep position could be a possible treatment option for some people with sleep apnea. For example, switching from sleeping on your back to your side or stomach may improve your sleep apnea.2
Before buying any new pillows, determine your most comfortable sleep position and look for pillows that cater to side and stomach sleeping.
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Materials Filling And Pillow Case/cover
There are a few common materials which are found again and again in the market for sleep apnea pillows. Consider what you need from your pillow and the affordability, as well as what sort of texture you prefer.
The majority of pillows for sleep apnea have some level of memory foam. This can be throughout or just for a couple of inches on the top. Some, such as the Cushy Form Bed Wedge Pillow, are made entirely out of different types of foam.
Bamboo is also a popular material for the pillows, as the fibers from within can be used to create affordable yet good quality and flexible pillows. These also tend to be breathable. Pillows can become clammy and overly hot, and some materials are designed to have a more breathable, cooling effect.
C Any Evidence Sleeping Upright With Sleep Apnea Can Help
Can sleeping upright in a chair really help sleep apnea?
And what about sleeping upright in a bed?
This strategy hasnt been as well studied as side sleeping, but there is research that suggests that elevating your head can help reduce OSA symptoms.
In the 80s, researchers did a small clinical study with 13 male sleep apnea patients. In half the patients, symptoms went away if they slept at a 60-degree angle.
These turned out to be people who were more obese.
More recently, Brazilian researchers did a bigger clinical study with 52 middle-age and overweight patients. Unlike the earlier study, they included both males and females.
They had them sleep in a bed designed to partially elevate their head at a comfortable angle .
They found that this simple setup was able to reduce the severity of sleep apnea by 30 percent and worked best for people with mild to moderate OSA.
So, while no one has done a chair sleep apnea study, theres good evidence that elevating your head may help improve your sleep.
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What Is A Wedge Pillow
A wedge pillow is a triangular-shaped orthopedic pillow with a tapered incline. As its name suggests, the design looks similar to a wedge of cheese.
These pillows can lift the upper body or legs between a 30 and 45-degree angle, or by about 6 to 12 inches. While the height of the incline may vary, most wedge pillows measure between 20 and 25 inches wide and 20 to 25 inches long.
Relax Home Life Wedge Pillow
- Price: $
- Type: Memory foam
- Good for: Any sleeping style
This breathable wedge pillow can elevate your head and help with nighttime breathing troubles. You can use it alone or with your favorite pillow.
The cover is made of polyester and rayon from bamboo, and its machine-washable.
Reviewers say the soft memory foam surface helps minimize snoring. They also say it offers a gentle incline that doesnt cause slippage.
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My Pillow Alternatives And Recommendations
As you know, Mike Lindell is a big Donald Trump supporter and this can be a turn-off leaving some searching for an alternative to My Pillow. To be honest, the My Pillow has a unique feel and so I have not found a similar alternative but there are plenty of other pillows available that I think are worth trying. First being the Coop pillow. It is made with a blend of shredded foam and fibers for smoother fill and because it is adjustable theres no need to worry about getting the right height. The Snuggle Pedic Pillow is another great choice that is also machine washable like the My Pillow and is adjustable as well.
Check out my other pillow reviews to find out which is right for you: Sleep Sherpa Pillow Reviews
Disclosure: We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue.
Sleep Apnea Pillow Construction Details
As mentioned previously, most sleep apnea pillows are made from memory foam or another foam type. The density is usually firm or medium-firm, though sleepers who usually prefer softer pillows may find that firm pillows with deep molding are still very comfortable.
Since memory foam can sleep quite warm, some manufacturers include vents or cooling gel foam.
Most memory foam pillows arrive with a slight odor, though this almost always dissipates quickly once the pillow is aired out. Although sometimes unpleasant, this off-gassing is non-toxic and nothing to be concerned about.
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Can’t Sleep Your Mattress And Pillows Might Be To Blame
The wrong type of mattress and pillows can sabotage your sleep.
Sarah Mitroff is a senior editor for CNET, managing our health, fitness and wellness content. She’s written for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat.
Let’s see if this scenario sounds familiar. You toss and turn all night, sleep through your alarm and wake up feeling exhausted. If you’ve done any research about why you can’t sleep, you might think technology, blue light, room temperature and taking naps are the culprits sabotaging your sleep. But if you stopped these practices and you still feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s time to turn your attention to your mattress and pillows.
If you suffer from sleep issues, or always wake up feeling exhausted, you should first rule out sleep apnea or another serious medical condition. But if you’re in the clear, it’s time to blame your bed. A mattress or pillow that’s too old, or not providing you with the right support, can ruin your sleep. Here’s how to fix that.
Is it time to replace your pillows? Here’s how to tell.
How We Chose The Best Pillows For Sleep Apnea
When choosing pillows to feature on this list, we opted for pillows that:
- Are good for stomach and side sleeping.Research suggests that many cases of obstructive sleep apnea happen because of a persons sleeping position. In these cases, a simple change to your stomach or side rather than your back can make a difference in symptoms.
- Can help elevate the head. Sleeping on your back can make sleep apnea worse . However, if you can only fall asleep while resting on your back, elevating your upper body with something like a wedge pillow may help.
- Are CPAP machine compatible. If you have moderate or severe sleep apnea, you may have a difficult time sleeping while wearing a CPAP mask. Some pillows are designed to accommodate the bulky masks and prevent them from digging into your face.
- Have rave reviews. We checked customer feedback to make sure each pillow is rated highly.
- Are adjustable. If youre lying on your stomach, a soft, thin pillow is usually most comfortable. For side sleepers, a firm or extra-firm pillow is key. That said, personal preference plays a part, too. Thats why weve included a couple of adjustable pillows that allow you to remove fill layers to accommodate your preferred sleeping position and pillow feel.