Are you finding it hard to get into a comfortable sleeping position with your CPAP mask? A special sleep apnea pillow might be the answer. Sleep apnea is a hassle, but it’s a condition that affects as much as 25% of the adult American population. Some people don’t even realize they have sleep apnea until their partner tells them about their sleeping habits.
- What Do I Need to Consider When Buying a Sleep Apnea Pillow?
- What Are the Best Sleep Apnea pillows available?
- Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea FAQ
- What Is the Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea Available Online?
Others may go undiagnosed for years before they end up at their doctor’s office for treatment for extreme fatigue and other health issues that arise from complications with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is what it is, and we must learn to deal with it.
For many patients, the use of a CPAP machine and sleeping mask provides the relief they need to get a good night’s sleep. These machines open the airways, forcing air into the lungs to ensure normal breathing while asleep.
We’re sure you’re already using one of these devices if you got an official diagnosis for your condition. However, many people find that the mask on the machine affects their sleep. It’s uncomfortable to wear and takes some getting used to integrating it into your sleep routine.
Your pillow makes a huge difference in how you adjust to wearing a CPAP mask and the comfort you receive from your sleep. Choosing a purpose-built pillow for sleep apnea is best to improve your sleep quality.
This post unpacks everything you need to know about choosing the best pillow for sleep apnea. We’ll look at options for CPAP machines and those who aren’t using devices. We’ll explain the features and benefits of using a sleep apnea-specific pillow and the different types of pillows available for your sleeping position.
Are you ready? Let’s dive into a better dreamland for your sleep experience.
What Do I Need to Consider When Buying a Sleep Apnea Pillow?
When you choose between the best pillows for sleep apnea, you’ll find hundreds of models available. So, which one is the best choice for your conditions and your specific sleeping style? Here are the basics you need to consider when lining u[p a prospective pillow for purchase.
Your Sleeping Position
Your sleeping position is the dominant factor in selecting your pillow. There are side, back, and stomach sleeping positions and combination sleepers. When assessing your new pillow, the loft (pillow height from the mattress) determines the best option for your sleeping position. The idea is to achieve optimal spinal alignment.
- Stomach sleepers – Low loft pillows
- Back sleepers – Mid-loft pillows
- Side Sleepers – High-loft pillows
- Combination sleepers – Adjustable loft pillows
If you’re a stomach sleeper, sleeping with a high-loft pillow result in a spinal alignment facing towards the ceiling and a stiff neck in the morning., Side sleepers need a higher loft to prevent neck sag on the side, and back sleepers need a mid-loft with sloping sides on the pillows for optimal neck support.
Side and stomach sleepers report problems with the mask shifting on their face as the pillow pressures against them. Therefore, you need a custom-built CPAP pillow to accommodate the bulky facemask and prevent it from shifting off your face while asleep.
Shape and Design
The shape and design of the pillow will also fit your sleeping position and the mask. If you sleep on your back, you’ll need a pillow with a mid-loft and sides that taper from the base of the skull to the shoulders. This design limits the gap between your neck and pillow, keeping the spine aligned and the airway open.
Side sleepers may need a design that has a half-moon shape. This design keeps the face free while supporting the neck and shoulders. Combination sleepers can benefit from adjustable loft pillows with a moon design that’s easy to shape as you change position at night.
Look for pillows offering your CPAP mask compatibility. These pillows feature special cutouts on the sides, providing room for the mask. Many models feature grooves where the tubes can attach, keeping them out of your way during the night.
The firmness of the pillow designates the amount of resilience in the material. A plush pillow offers you a soft model but with minimal support. For example, a down pillow is airy and comfortable, but it molds around your head and pushes off the CPAP mask. Look for memory foam pillows offering you firm or medium-firmness.
The firmness of the pillow attributes to its support. However, the contours and ergonomic design of the pillow will also go a long way to providing pressure relief and comfort in the right zones around your head, neck, and shoulders. Solid memory foam and latex pillows offer you the best support, while shredded memory foam and PE foam are easy to shape and good for combination sleepers.
Pressure Point Relief
If you’re dealing with neck pain along with sleep apnea, the right pillow choice can literally change your life. Most doctors and chiropractors recommend using a firm, supportive, solid memory foam pillow for the best results with keeping neck pain at bay. Memory foam pillows offer targeted pressure relief in specific spots around the skull, cervical spine, and shoulders.
High-Quality Material Construction
Pillows for sleep apnea are available in a range of sizes, shapes, models, and designs. Look for leading brands offering construction with materials like Rayon Bamboo, charcoal-infused memory foam, and latex. These next-generation materials provide outstanding comfort and support for your pillow.
Optimal Airflow and Temperature Regulation
If you sleep hot, you’ll find that you wake u[p with wet hair or a damp neck. If that’s the case, look for pillows offering you excellent airflow through the inner pillow filling and the cover. Cheap materials like PE will trap heat, as will old-generation memory foam models.
Look for new-generation memory foam materials with aerated pockets, gel beads, and charcoal infused into the materials to improve airflow through the pillow while improving its moisture-wicking ability.
What Are the Best Sleep Apnea pillows available?
There are several purpose-built pillow designs for people living with the effects of sleep apnea. Here are the pillows that are most beneficial for your condition.
The standard or “super standard” pillow typically features design and construction with 20″ x 26″ dimensions and down or PE filling. It’s not suitable for restless or combination sleepers. Your head might fall off the pillow, removing the mask.
However, if you’re a fixed position side sleeper, you might find it a good choice as you can balance the mask off the edge of the pillow.
The CPAP pillow is the best choice for sleep apnea sufferers, especially those using a CPAP mask. The CPAP pillow comes with an ergonomic design to support spinal alignment in various sleeping positions.
They also usually feature memory foam construction and cutouts to accommodate the mask inside sleeping positions and channels to fit the tubes. They are also available in mid or high lofts for back and side sleepers.
The cervical pillow is the best option for back sleepers. These pillows come with pressure relief for the neck and shoulders. They also have a cradle in the center to support the head and keep the spine in neutral alignment.
These pillows also work for combination sleepers, and some may feature reversible design, with one side for side sleeping and the other for back sleeping.
The wedge pillow is a great choice to prevent sleep apnea if you find yourself falling asleep in front of the TV in bed. They have an elevated design to suit sitting or lying, and they help keep the shoulders open and the head back, supporting spinal alignment and open airways while napping or sleeping.
Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea FAQ
Will a wedge pillow help relieve my sleep apnea?
According to studies, sleeping on your back with your head elevated at a 7.5-degree angle can benefit your sleep apnea, relieving the effects of the conditions. A wedge pillow places your body at the right angle to open your chest and airways while providing optimal spinal alignment for better sleep quality.
Will sleeping with no pillow help my sleep apnea?
If you’re a side or back sleeper, sleeping without a pillow places more pressure on the airway and jeopardizes spinal alignment. You’re going to worsen your condition using a low-loft pillow or sleeping without one.
If you sleep on your stomach, a low-loft pillow or no pillow might benefit your sleeping position somewhat, but it may cause you to turn your head further to the side because of the mask. As a result, you’ll find you encounter more problems with a stiff neck.
Do sleep apnea-specific pillows really work?
Yes, these pillows really work. Give one of our top models in our review a try, and we’re confident you’ll experience a massive difference in your sleep quality.
Where can I buy the best sleep apnea pillow?
We recommend picking up your sleep apnea pillow from Amazon. They have the best range and prices, and Prime members get fast free shipping. Amazon also offers buyer protection on all orders, ensuring you get your pillow delivered to your doorstep.
What Is the Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea Available Online?
So, what is the best pillow for sleep apnea? Search an online retailer for “sleep apnea pillow,” and you will get hundreds of results. Fortunately, we saved you the hassle of digging through the listings.
We examined some of the best pillows from leading brands to come up with our top picks for the best sleep apnea pillow. Here are our top contenders, give one of them that suits your sleeping position a try, and watch your sleep quality improve.
1. Lunderg CPAP Pillow
The Lunderg CPAP pillow is the king of sleep apnea pillows for side sleepers. This model comes with adjustable thickness, creating a custom loft to suit your sleeping position and spinal alignment.
The additional layer of memory foam in the contour pillow makes it fully adjustable for any side and back sleepers. This pillow features a comfortable, innovative design, with cutouts for your mask to prevent it from shifting at night.
2. MARS Wellness CPAP Pillow
The MARS Wellness CPAP pillow comes with an ergonomic design and cutouts for the mask and tubes. This pillow suits use with CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP masks and machines, and you get firm support and excellent pressure relief for back sleepers and side sleepers.
The pillow removes pressure from your face, ensuring you don’t wake up to any annoying line indentations in your cheeks. The pillow offers excellent weight distribution and superior levels of comfort.
3. Lunix LX5 4pcs Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow
We recommend this model as the best wedge pillow system for sleep apnea. Sometimes, you just want to take a nap on the bed while watching TV in the afternoon, without going through the hassle of using your CPAP machine. This wedge positions your upper body and head for optimal airflow to your lungs.
This wedge features a design with premium memory foam and a 4-piece design for multiple positions to suit your comfort requirements. The memory foam in the filling contours your body, preventing movement while napping.
4. EnduriMed CPAP Pillow
The patented design of the EnduriMed CPAP Pillow features ergonomic contouring with a removable pad allowing you to adjust the loft to your preference.
It’s ideal for use with CPAP face masks, and it keeps the tubing out of your face. The cutouts on the sides make it suitable for side sleepers, holding the mask in place while you sleep. You get a firm memory foam filling and excellent pressure relief for the cervical spine.
5. Webetop CPAP Pillow
This memory foam pillow works with nasal and full-face CPAP masks and BIPAP, APAP, or CPAP devices. The comfortable memory foam provides a firm feel and amazing pressure relief around the cervical spine and shoulders.
You get side cutouts for the mask in the side sleeping position and grooves for your tubes to prevent them from pressing into your face.