Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea

Do you wake up in the morning feeling more tired than you were when you went to bed? If so, this may be a good indicator of a night full of interruptions.

Although in some cases this may mean that you simply have a bad pillow that doesn’t provide your neck and head with the amount of comfort and support that they need, poor sleep can also be the result of a busy mind or you may be struggling with airway obstructions.

These airway obstructions are otherwise known as sleep apnea, and they don’t only cause you to snore, but they also pause your breathing many times during the night while you are sleeping.

You don’t have control over your body while you are sleeping so you may not even know that you have sleep apnea. It is more common than you may think and it has been estimated that more than 22 million Americans are affected. More than 80% of cases haven’t been officially diagnosed. Last updated Mar 10, 2022 @ 5:44 pm


Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Pillows for Sleep Apnea

  • Copper-infused
  • Provides a perfect blend of softness and support
  • Lofty
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Bear Pillow
  • Provides excellent support
  • Sleeps cool
  • Great for back and stomach sleepers
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  • Orthopedic pillow
  • Includes an optional foam insert which allows you to raise the pillow
  • Ideal for back and side sleepers
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  • Made of the premium Tempur material
  • Two designs in one pillow
  • Provides classic memory foam feel
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  • Adjustable
  • Perfectly supports your head and neck
  • Suitable for all sleeping styles
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What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. So, those who suffer from this sleep disorder stop breathing many times throughout the night which results in a lack of oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body, which can further have many negative impacts on their overall health.

Besides it interferes with completing everyday tasks, sleep apnea, if left untreated, can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, depression, obesity, diabetes, headaches, etc.

There are three different types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea – This is the most common type of sleep apnea and it occurs when the muscles in your throat and your tongue relax too much, collapse, and block your airway forcing you to wake, snore, and stop breathing for short periods of time.

Central Sleep Apnea – This is a more complicated type of sleep apnea both to diagnose and treat and is characterized by an interruption of brain signals that control your breathing, so the issue lies in the respiratory control center rather than an obstructed airway.

Central sleep apnea may be the result of other chronic health issues and it often goes hand in hand with Parkinson’s disease, diseases, and injuries to the brainstem, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, arthritis, etc.

Complex Sleep Apnea – This type occurs when a person suffers from both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea and it is complicated to diagnose and treat and requires different treatment approaches.

Symptoms of all types usually include loud snoring, waking up gasping for air or with a sore or dry throat, restless sleep, tiredness, morning headaches, mood changes, decreased libido, or insomnia.

Although anyone can suffer from sleep apnea, and although it can be diagnosed at any age, there are certain factors that put some people at a higher risk than others.

Studies have shown that men are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women, especially those over the age of 40 who are overweight, have a neck of a larger size than average, have larger nostrils and tongue, have a family history of sleep apnea, have a smaller jaw bone, suffer from gastroesophageal reflux, or have some form of nasal obstruction.

How To Deal With Sleep Apnea?

There are various ways of dealing with sleep apnea, from simple lifestyle changes to different devices, mattresses, and pillows.

One of the first steps in treating sleep apnea is positional therapy. Most experts recommend sleeping on your side which can prevent the soft tissue and tongue from collapsing and obstructing the airway which can easily happen when you are sleeping on your back.

However, back sleepers can also get some relief from their symptoms if they elevate their body from the waist up while sleeping.

In some cases, CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines are also used. These are small devices that have motorized fans that draw air from the room and gently force it into your airways throughout the night through a flexible hose attached to a mask that covers your nose and mouth.

The CPAP machines can accommodate all sleeping positions and allow you to move around in bed thanks to the long flexible hoses, and they work best when combined with the right mattress or pillow specially designed for those who suffer from sleep apnea.

Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea

The best pillow for sleep apnea is the one that allows you to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep while relieving the symptoms and effects of sleep apnea.

However, not all pillows designed for sleep apnea are the same and you should try to find one that will work the best for you.

Some sleep apnea pillows are designed to align your neck, head and back and keep them in an ideal position that will relieve sleep apnea symptoms while others are designed to be used with CPAP machines.

Below you will find out what are our top 5 choices for the best pillow for sleep apnea and their summaries. Each of them offers a perfect combination of comfort and support and other features that make them ideal for those suffering from sleep apnea.


1. Layla

($99 for a Layla pillow. Click here to get the best price on a Layla.)

The Layla pillow is a copper-infused pillow filled with a special mix of natural Kapok fibers and memory foam pieces that can perfectly work for most sleeping styles and fit the unique comfort needs of most sleepers even those suffering from sleep apnea.

What makes this pillow stand out from other pillows is the addition of copper within its cover,  the use of Kapok fibers along with shredded memory foam which creates a cool, soft and comfortable sleep surface, and the ability to move its filling around to provide you with the ideal amount of comfort and support depending on what position you sleep in.

The pillow is made of 70% memory foam pieces and 30% Kapok fibers and it always stays lightweight. Kapok fibers create a feeling similar to that of the overstuffed feather and down pillow while memory foam pieces offer a thicker and slightly firmer underlying support.

For us, this pillow is a perfect blend of softness and support and what we especially like about it is that it allows you to manipulate the filling to create the feel and support you need which can help you keep your airways open and which makes the Layla pillow perfect for you if you are struggling with the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Get the full Layla pillow review here and the full review of the Layla mattress here.

2. Bear Pillow

($107 for a Queen size Bear pillow. Click here for the best price on the Bear pillow.)

Bear Pillow

If you are looking for a perfect pillow that will keep your head and neck in an even position and in line with your spine then you should look no further from the Bear pillow. 

The Bear pillow is made up of a few layers of solid core LOFT-X hybrid foam, which is a mix of memory foam and latex foam designed to provide the resilience and bounce of latex, while also offering the contouring support of memory foam.

The pillow has small holes punched into it for greater breathability, and it is covered with a very soft, thin, and stretchy cotton fabric designed to protect the foam, wick away moisture, and prevent allergens, dirt, and dust from getting into the pillow.

The hybrid foam used in its construction has both qualities of traditional memory foam and latex and provides excellent support, hug, and contour typical for memory foam while having enough responsiveness to prevent your head from sinking too much in the pillow and feeling trapped in foam.

It adapts pretty quickly to your movements and sleeps incredibly cool. All these features make the Bear pillow perfect for those suffering from sleep apnea.

Get the full Bear pillow review here and the full Bear mattress review here, Bear Hybrid mattress review here, and Bear Pro mattress review here.

3. Proper Pillow

($69.99 for a Proper Pillow. Click here for the best price on a Proper Pillow.)

The Proper Pillow is an amazing orthopedic pillow created to support optimal spinal alignment for both side and back sleeping positions and is, therefore, perfect for those who suffer from sleep apnea.

The special construction of this pillow and its unique donut shape will allow your head to sink into it to a certain degree to relieve pressure points and provide you with amazing cushioning comfort, but it will also provide enough support needed to keep your neck and head properly aligned with the rest of your body and prevent any discomfort or pain.

Although this pillow is not adjustable, it has everything that is necessary for a comfortable sleep and it also sleeps quite cool due to the use of the breathable, cover and a special cooling comfort layer that allows greater airflow through the pillow, dissipates excessive body heat and wicks away moisture to keep you cool, comfortable and dry throughout the whole night.

Get the full Proper Pillow review here and the full Proper Pistol (Massage Tool) review here.

4. Tempur-Symphony

($74.25 for a Tempur-Symphony pillow. Click here for the best price on a Tempur-Symphony pillow.)

The Tempur-Symphony pillow is a unique pillow that features two designs in one pillow and is made to suit the needs and sleep preferences of all types of sleepers, including those who suffer from sleep apnea.

The pillow itself is made of one single piece of the soft proprietary TEMPUR Material. It is more on a soft side and provides perfect contouring and pressure relief and just the right amount of support to those areas of your neck and head where it is needed most.

It has a unique shape and features two designs. There is a gently arched side, which provides additional support for the head and neck and is specifically designed for back sleepers. When flipped over, there is a flatter side which provides a more traditional shape for side or stomach sleepers.

With its unique shape and design, this pillow totally adapts to your head, neck, and shoulders for personalized comfort and the right amount of support throughout the whole night regardless of your preferred sleeping position.

Get the full Tempur-Symphony pillow review here and the full Tempur-Pedic mattress review here.

5. Original Coop Home Goods Pillow

($59.99 for a Queen. Click here for the best price on the Original Coop Home Goods pillow.)

The Original Coop Home Goods pillow may be an ideal choice for you if you are suffering from sleep apnea because it is stuffed with shredded memory foam and microfiber and is totally adjustable, which means that you can adjust the loft that will perfectly work for you simply by unzipping the cover and the inner case and removing some of the filling or adding it back.

Shredded memory foam and microfiber within this pillow provide support and contour without causing your head to sink all the way down through the pillow so you can be sure that it will keep your head and neck in such a position that will prevent your tongue and soft tissues around it from collapsing and blocking your airways.

The Coop Home Goods pillow will perfectly support your head and neck without compressing too much, and it is breathable as well due to its unique cover and filling with small air pockets left between the individual pieces of memory foam.

So, it is supportive and yet soft enough to provide comfortable and quality sleep. It contours to your neck and head and allows you to easily change positions throughout the night.

Get the full Coop Home Goods review here.


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