Do you ever get that dream where you try to run from something but you just can’t because your feet won’t move? No matter how hard you try, you just can’t do it. And then you start to panic. Now imagine the same feeling while sleeping but because you’re not able to breathe. This is what sleep apnea feels like. Therefore, when told there is a sleep apnea pillow capable of helping them rest better, I jumped at the occasion to find out more. This is a list of the best sleep apnea pillows in 2019, as well as some much-needed information for all of you out there who struggle with this syndrome.
Relaxing is very important when it comes to sleep apnea, so let’s give everyone some piece of mind. Yes, sleep apnea pillows have been found useful by people who have tried them. The reason is very simple: they are specially designed to tilt your head while you sleep. While doing so, your neck gets repositioned so that your airways won’t close off anymore. Apart from that, they are a lot more comfortable to sleep on than a regular pillow, which contributes to your body relaxing on the whole.
Top 5 Best Sleep Apnea Pillows in 2019
#1 MedSlant Wedge Pillow
Best pillow for sleep apnea: This outstanding wedge pillow is homemade right here in the USA. It has memory foam overlay plus it comes with a microfiber cover that you can remove if you want to wash it. You can use it for your sleep apnea problems but also if you have GERD, acid reflux and back pain.
#2 EnduriMed CPAP Pillow
Best pillow for CPAP users: This pillow is made of memory foam and has a special design that will allow you to reduce the pressure created by the face mask you use for CPAP. But that’s not all. You neck will also rest in a very comfortable position and you can use it if you want to sleep on your side.
#3 MedCline Acid Reflux Relief Bed Wedge and Body Pillow System
Best sleep apnea pillow with arm hole: This is more than a pillow. It’s a whole system designed to revolutionize sleeping completely and usher in a whole new age. The MedCline is a fantastic treatment for sleep apnea, GERD, heartburn, coughing, and choking and finally allows you to sleep on your side without problems.
#4 InteVision Foam Bed Wedge Pillow
Best option if you’re on a budget: This was my choice as the runner-up because it has so many amazing qualities. For example, it has a two-layer design, it will help with an array of problems that include sleep apnea, GERD, allergies and more, and you can use it after you’ve had surgery.
#5 Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow
Best pillow for side sleepers: This amazing pillow was designed with the help of a chiropractor and it will reduce the pain in your neck and shoulders. The best thing about it is that you can sleep on your side and it will reduce the symptoms of your sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
This is the first step down the road of choosing the best sleep apnea pillow fit for your need. The more you understand about this syndrome the more information you will have when it comes to actually purchasing a pillow.
Simply put, sleep apnea is classified as a disorder in which the patient stops breathing briefly and repeatedly during sleep.
It may not sound like much at first glance, but it is, in fact, a very serious condition. The reason is that the constant interruption of breathing will lead to a lack of oxygen for the brain as well as the rest of the body. That can have damaging consequences.
Some of them include not being able to perform everyday tasks but also heart failure, headaches, diabetes, strokes, and depression.
Types of Sleep Apnea
Largely put, there are two types of sleep apnea – central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea otherwise known as OSA.
- Obstructive sleep apnea happens when your airway gets blocked in the back of your throat by the soft tissue located there. This is the most common type.
- Central sleep apnea is a bit rarer but also more dangerous. It’s a medical case in which you brain simply forgets to command your lungs to breathe. This means that the cause of the syndrome is located in your respiratory control center in the brain itself as opposed to somewhere in the body.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
As most patients will tell you, the most obvious signs of this disorder are as follows.
- very loud snoring
- waking up with a headache
- suddenly waking up trying to breathe but not being able to
- waking up with a very dry or sore throat
- decreased libido
- mood swings
- restless sleep
It’s important to note here that sleep apnea can happen at any given age. However, studies have shown that there are some individuals who are more prone to develop this syndrome than others.
They are overweight, over the age of 40, male, and have a neck that is somewhat larger than the average size. If this individual also has sleep apnea in his family tree, he is very likely to develop it himself.
Apart from that, if you have larger tonsils, a larger tongue, smaller nostrils than you should, if you suffer from GERD or have a nasal obstruction of any kind, you too might develop sleep apnea at some point.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea
After you have participated in a sleep study conducted by your doctor that will tell you if you truly have sleep apnea or not, you can choose one of the following methods of treatment. Please remember to discuss your choice with your physician before you commit to anything.
- CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure – this method involves a device which looks like a mask. You need to wear it over your mouth and nose. It will blow air very gently into your breathing apparatus so as to keep it open while you sleep. It is considered as being one of the most efficient ways of treating sleep apnea but it should only be used how and when your doctor tells you to.
- A dental appliance that will reposition your teeth and lower jaw as well as your tongue to make sure you keep breathing through the night.
- Sleep apnea pillows. They are the least intrusive of all the ways you can treat sleep apnea. And if you’re curious to find out how they work, keep reading.
- Implanting a stimulator in your chest that will stimulate the nerve which controls your tongue. It will force it to move so that it keeps your airways open at all times.
- Making changes in your lifestyle such as quit smoking and drinking. Alcohol is a well-known muscle relaxer but it does not help you if you have sleep apnea. If your muscles relax while you sleep, your throat will close up keeping you from breathing.
When it comes to smoking, it will make your upper airway swell.
Why Is a Sleep Apnea Pillow Good for Me and How Does It Work?
The process is very simple to understand. A wedge pillow can help you alleviate the symptoms associated with sleep apnea because of its position. Seeing as it has an angle, it will elevate your head, neck, and shoulders. As it does so, it forces your airways to remain open throughout the night so that you can continue to breathe without any obstructions.
At the same time, when you sleep on your side on a specially made wedge pillow, it will keep your tongue from falling backward in your throat and obstructing your breathing. The pillow will realign your spine as well so that your back and neck won’t get strained while you sleep.
So, does a wedge pillow help with sleep apnea? Yes, this is what specialists call positional therapy and it’s very useful if you suffer from sleep apnea, insomnia or snoring.
What Type of Sleep Apnea Pillows Are There?
As you might have suspected if you are at all familiar with this topic or if you suffer from sleep apnea yourself, there are several types of pillows available on the market. They can be divided roughly into the following categories.
1. Sleep Apnea Position Pillow
Just like the name suggests, these are the pillows that are specially shaped to treat your sleep apnea by repositioning your body as opposed to having you wear a mask or get surgery. They can be further subcategorized into a wedge and cervical pillows.
Wedge pillows are meant for people who sleep mostly on their back while cervical pillows are designed for those who sleep on their side.
2. CPAP Pillow
These are meant to be used together with the CPAP machine or mask I described above. They have a special design that accommodates the mask whereas a normal pillow simply couldn’t do the same job. You would not be comfortable or the mask would come off.
They too can be divided into two categories. There are cut-outs which have a hole (or cut-out) where the mask goes while you sleep. And then there are moldable pillows. The latter are made of buckwheat hull for filler. This means you can mold it yourself to create enough room for the mask to go in. This is perfect for people who sleep on their stomach with the CPAP mask on.
I have covered all of these types of pillows in my list of best sleep apnea pillows for 2019, so let’s get reviewing and see what they’re all about!
What Are the Best Pillows for Sleep Apnea in 2019?
So let’s get down to business and find out what is the actual best cervical pillow for sleep apnea on the market this year. I’ve done my research on several of them and came to a simple conclusion based on the pillows’ qualities and user feedback.
1. MedSlant Wedge Pillow
Best solution for sleep apnea
It uses a very simple and natural way to relieve your symptoms by simply elevating your head and body.
In this way, your airways remain open all throughout the night and you can breathe without any problems.
It’s made from ISOFresh memory foam overlay that is hypo-allergenic and that will also reduce your pressure points, making sure you are relaxed at all times.
Not to mention that the MedSlant is huge, coming in at half a Queen-sized bed. This means that you have as much room as you want to relax and spread.
It also has a microfiber cover that you can remove at any point and clean in the washing machine without it shrinking or becoming course.
- Large size
- Comes with removable cover
- Does not emit any odors
- After unboxing, it takes a while to reach its true shape and size
2. EnduriMed CPAP Pillow
Best pillow for CPAP users
As you can see, it has a contour deign that shows you where the CPAP mask is supposed to go and that will allow you to move and breathe while you sleep.
The EnduriMed is perfect for all sleepers whether you choose to sleep on your back, stomach or side.
Plus it has been proven comfortable as a CPAP pillow for stomach sleepers even when wearing the mask.
Apart from that, the EnduriMed comes in a single size that fits everyone so you don’t have to worry about choosing a size.
It arrives already assembled and ready to use, which means you just have to take it out of the box and lay it on your bed.
- Perfect for CPAP users according to CPAP pillow reviews
- The indentation will keep the hose in place
- You can sleep on all sides on it
- Adjusting to it can take some time since it’s so different from a regular pillow
3. MedCline Acid Reflux Relief Bed Wedge and Body Pillow System
Best sleep apnea pillow with armhole
This pillow system has a patented dual design with two components that will elevate you while you sleep and stop you from sliding down at the same time.
The way it achieves it is through a revolutionary wedge system that allows you actually slip your arm through its hole and rest it comfortably on the bed.
As a result, the pressure of your body and shoulders will no longer be on your arms and stomach, but on the pillow itself.
The pillow is made of memory foam and can come in three different sizes, depending on what you need. You will also get a cushion cover made of 80% cotton and 20% polyester that you can easily wash in the machine.
It’s also incredibly easy to set up and only takes up your half of the bed, meaning you will still be very close to your partner while you sleep.
- very comfortable
- the best option for side sleepers
- works great for sleep apnea and acid reflux
- may take up too much space in the bed
4. InteVision Foam Bed Wedge Pillow
Best low-cost sleep apnea pillow
This means that the InteVision has a layer of memory foam of 2 inches which sits on top of a very firm foam base.
There are channels between the two layers of foam that allow the air to circulate. That makes for an incredibly smart and comfortable pillow for sleep apnea.
But there’s more. Apart from the fact that it will help with this, the InteVision will also be your best friend if you happen to snore because, let’s face it, if you snore, your friends have a problem with you now. Just kidding.
But it also works if you have acid reflux, GERD, allergies, and basically any other condition that makes it hard to breathe when lying down or sleeping.
The pillow comes with a white cover that you can take off and machine-wash.
However, if you’re feeling a little more luxurious, InteVision also sells a 400 thread count pillowcase made from 100% Egyptian cotton. Fancy!
- The unique double-layer design
- Very comfortable
- Alleviates sleep-related diseases
- A bit too high for a side sleeper
5. Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow
Best sleep apnea pillow for side and back sleepers
But it’s not just any pillow, of course. It has a special contoured design that will help support your head and neck while you sleep.
Not to mention that it will align your spine, making sure you don’t wake up with any neck pains.
Nature’s Guest pillow is perfect if you have sleep apnea, but also arthritis, headaches, spinal issues, or a herniated disc. It has an indentation in the middle where your head is supposed to go as well as a firm outer edge to make sure your neck is supported at all times.
Another great thing about this pillow is that is has a dual zipper on the sides. Therefore, you have full access to the filling so that you can adjust it as you want. In this way, you can make the pillow as soft or hard as you want.
Thanks to its design, it’s the perfect pillow for individuals who alternate between sleeping on their back and their sides.
- Special design to support your neck
- Realigns your spine
- Allows access to the filling to be readjusted
- The filling could get caught in the zipper’s teeth if not handled correctly
What to Consider Before Choosing a Sleep Apnea Pillow
Before you click that ‘add to cart’ button we all love so much, there are a few things you need to think about when it comes to pillows to help with sleep apnea.
Remember that not all sleep apnea pillows are created the same. Some of them come in cotton, others in bamboo. Some have buckwheat filling while others have memory foam.
For example, a memory foam pillow gets a little hot after you’ve been sitting on it for a few hours. So, if you’re a hot sleeper, take that into account.
This is the most important thing when it comes to sleep apnea pillows. Think about your weight and height. Can your pillow support you?
How do you sleep?
Are you a back, side or stomach sleeper? As we’ve already seen, there is a special pillow designed for everyone, so take this into account.
Firm pillows will always last longer than soft ones and keep their shape a lot better.
So, What’s the Best Sleep Apnea Pillow?
I chose the MedSlant Wedge Pillow as my all-time favorite given its hypoallergenic memory foam overlay and amazing user feedback.
The EnduriMed CPAP Pillow is the best option for CPAP users. It will make it easier for you to wear your CPAP mask while the MedCline Acid Reflux Relief Bed Wedge is a revolutionary system that allows you to sleep on your side like never before!
Are you on a tight budget? The InteVision Foam Bed Wedge Pillow will amaze you with its incredible two-layer memory foam technology.
Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow is great if you’re a side or back sleeper and not a fan of wedge pillows.
But what about you? Which one of these is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!