How To Choose A Mattress For Sleep Apnea

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How To Choose a Mattress in 5 Easy Steps – The Definitive Guide

I think you will agree with me when I say that choosing the right mattress is no easy task?

First, you have to dispose of your old one and then go through a tedious process of selecting a new bed that will serve you well for years to come.

And having couple dozen options, manufacturers and handful types and materials doesn’t help, does it?

Luckily for you, you canfind out exactly how to pick a new mattressand most important thing to consider.

Table of contents (use it to jump to a certain section)

If you are in a hurry jump to our conclusion and summary.

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Step 1: Do You Really Need A New Mattress?

Many people change their beds after just a few years, and that’s perfectly fine if you can afford it. The fact is, it’s not a small investment, so take a moment to determine do you really need a new.

Generally, after seven or eight years you will most likely need a new mattress. Of course, it depends on the quality and material (we will cover the types and materials later in this article). And if you feel back or neck pain it might, your bedding is a good place to start.

Here is the average mattress lifespan in years based on material and type:

Step 2: Determine your Budget

A bit of personal backstory here…

Several years back I went to a store and purchased amattress priced at $2500which was not even the most expensive one there. During the first year or so it was perfect, and I felt rejuvenated, and I slept like a baby during that time.

But, something happened.

My new and awesome mattress started sagging and losing support and needless to say my back and neck suffered.

Another two years had passed until I decided to buy a new oneonline at $850and this is the same one I’m using today after three years. Back to reality.

Not anyone will have the budget to walk into a store and buy something for several thousand dollars. Luckily, these days there are manyonline optionsyou can choose from rangingfrom $500 to $1200. There are also Black Friday bed deals (and Cyber Monday) that can result in additional savings as well.

Don’t get confused here. More money does not mean better quality. If you think that some of these online options are somehow worse than in-store ones, you are badly mistaken.Stores tend to inflate the prices as much as 1000%.

Here are some guidelines for you:

  • Don’t always go with the cheapest option you find– This is a rule of thumb for most products you buy online. Spending less than $500 for a queen mattress simply because it means lower durability, more toxins and lower sleep quality in general.
  • Higher Price does not mean Higher Quality– I bet you know this one, but it’s worth mentioning.
  • Go with $1000 range for Queen size– This is usually where you will find the best bang for your buck.
  • King / Cal King will cost slightly more– I would increase the budget for King and California King to $1400-1500 as you will have many more choices in that range.
  • Now that you have your new budget set, I’m guessing you are asking yourself“what type of mattress is best for me?”Let’s dig in.

Step 3: Choose Your Ideal Type and Material

Ok, so this is where most people will go with their personal preference rather than anything else. If someone says “latex is the best,” I would not take this as final until I read other opinions and test it myself. Here are the most common options you will find these days.

Innerspring (Coils)

This is the most traditional form of the mattress, and as of late, it’s received a bad rap. However, it is important to understand the potential benefits you could receive from going the traditional route, as well as the reasons why this option has lost its luster.

An obvious pro to purchasing a bed with springs is that it is one of themost affordable optionson the market, due in part to a decrease in demand and also in part to so many other options that have the potential to be more comfortable andbetter for overall health.

Another consideration is that these mattresses are known to last for decades. Spring beds are exceedingly durable. Being that the springs are typically made from different types of metals, they tend to keep their shape for many years.

Additionally, being that they are the most traditional style, they are also the most familiar. People recognize and understand what they are getting when they purchase a bed with springs. There is no guess work with this option like there may be with memory foam or other newer options.

The last notable advantage to this style of bed is that, because of the amount of space located between the springs, this option allows for the most circulation of air. This flow helps to keep the temperature down, allowing for acooler night’s sleep.

Example of the coil mattresses structure

Ideal for: People who want strong support, durability, cooling and great bounce. It also has an excellent edge support.

Latex

These mattresses are known for their fantastic cooling and comfort. Latex has a good bounce, responsiveness too.

Authentic latex foam is made from a tree called Hevea-Brasilenis tree, specifically from the white liquid extracted from it. Latex is harvested, and when the excess water is removed, you end up with raw material fantastic for various products, bedding systems being one of them.

It’s also great because you don’t get off-gassing and odors like with memory foam products.

Example of the latex bed structure

There are two types to choose from:

  • Natural – More healthy option and environment-friendly. But it’s also more expensive so expect to pay around $2000 for a good natural latex mattress
  • Synthetic – Made by mixing synthetic polymers with natural tree sap. Less expensive of course but less healthy in turn.

Latex is best forpeople who want good cooling, responsiveness, and bounce.

Memory Foam

Memory foam was first developed in the 1970’s by NASA as a safety material for seat cushions to protect pilots and passengers during plane crashes. Since then, the material has blossomed into the burgeoning product employed by virtually every mattress maker.

Example of the memory foam bed structure

Why has it become so popular? The answer is that it is said to provide superior comfort and support for the entire body. Anyone who’s pressed their hand into this material immediately understands its appeal.

Memory foam uniquelyconforms to every inch of the bodythat is pressed into it. When you lift your body from the material, it slowly regains its original form, essentially making it perfect for every body type and every sleeper.

Another unique property of memory foam is itsmotion isolationcapabilities. You may have seen those commercials with a lady jumping on a mattress with a glass of wine at the other end. Miraculously, the wine doesn’t spill.

The wine doesn’t spill because the energy from jumping is not transferred to other parts of the mattress. This translates to better sleeping for partners, because the tossing and turning of one does not affect the other, a feature that is not found among any of the other options on the market.

One of the most common issues that people experience is that thematerial retains heat. If you are someone who requires a cool night sleep, the memory foam option may not be the best choice for you. While the manufacturers are coming up with new and better ways to keep the heat down, the jury is still out as to whether or not they’ve succeeded.

Ideal For: People who want body shaping, contour, pressure relief and good support.

Hybrid

The hybrid mattress is an unusual combination of both traditional spring and memory foam. Providing the best of both worlds, this option offers the contouring and lack of motion transfer of foam coupled with the support of springs.

Structure of the hybrid bed- example

The term “hybrid” is very loosely used to describe the combination we just mentioned. However, the amount of foam for these beds varies widely depending on the level of firmness desired. Some options employ less than 1.5 inches of foam, lending to the fact that they more closely resemble that of a traditional spring bed rather than the more modern memory foam option.

To find the most optimal version of a hybrid, it’s best to choose the one that hasclose to 3 inches of foam. Anything above that, and you might as well forego the springs all together.

One negative aspect of these beds is the fact that they are one of the more expensive offerings you’ll find. Purchasing one of these could put you in the multiples of thousands of dollars, a significant investment, but a worthy one if you plan to enjoy it long term.

Good For: People who want best all around product with good support, bounce, cooling and pressure relief.

And now the three less common but still important types:

Adjustable

These beds offer a unique ability tochange the sleeping positionbased on your preference. You can elevate the head or feet giving you more options than traditional products. These beds provide extra comfort for people suffering from chronic lumbar pain or just want to be slightly elevated to prevent snoring. They do look ugly though most of the time.

Perfect for: People with certain medical conditions like snoring, older sleepers and people with lower back pain.

Pillow-Top

These are usually coil, latex or memory foam beds buthave a layer of soft material sewn into the cover to make it more comfortable. These are also considered more luxurious and usually cost a bit more than standard options.

Good for: People who prefer more padding and softer feel.

Waterbed

A rather weird option, but sometimes very fun especially if you love waterbed sex. Some of the most common reasons for opting in for this type is a backache and arthritis relief. These beds are also great for people with allergies.

Good for: People with back pain, arthritis and allergies and anyone looking for something less conventional.

Step 4. Determine your Ideal Sleeping Position and Firmness

Most of us have a unique way of sleeping every night. No matter if you sleep on your side, stomach or back, or even if you switch throughout the night you will have to consider and choose the ideal type of bed based on your preference. So, take a moment and think, what’s your favorite sleeping position because that determines theideal firmness of your new bed.

The most important factor for back sleepers is firmness and support. If your mattress is too soft, your body will sink and cause back pain. You will need one that’s soft enough to provide pressure relief but still provides enough support. On a scale of 1-10, the perfect range would be 5-7.

According to The Better Sleep Council, only roughly 15% of people are back sleepers. Being that you are unique, it’ll take a special mattress to offer you the night’s rest you are seeking.

It’s the consensus that memory foam mattresses provide the highest level of comfort for people who sleep on their backs. This is because it provides adequate contouring to the spine while maintaining a longevity of proper support and structure.

Many people who often sleep on their sides, endure discomfort and pain in their hip joints and shoulders.It’s usually due to unsuitable bedding.

It’s advised that you go with a bit softer option than for a back sleeper as these they provide for an equal distribution of pressure while you’re sleeping on your side.

Ideally, you want to choose a mattress with firmness level of 3-6 (out of 10) which falls undermedium soft.

Stomach

This is considered the worst sleeping position. The most important thing for stomach sleepers is to provide equal distribution of weight across your entire body as your torso will apply most pressure. If the mattress is too soft (not enough support) your spine will curve causing back pain.

You will want to look for something in 5-7 range, which falls undermedium to medium-firm. The good thing is that most options are in this range.

Step 5. Consider your Weight as a Factor

On first glance, you might be asking yourself,what does weight have to do with choosing a mattress?

The truth is, support, hug, feel, sinkage and even cooling will depend on your body type and weight. Another harsh truth is that there is no “best” mattress for every one of us.


Let’s take a look at the following guidelines how to choose an ideal firmness level based on your weight:

  • Light (Less than 150 pounds)– You will want a medium firm bed around5-6 firmnessthat doesn’t sink too much. If you are lighter than 150 lbs, you can even go with four since most beds are rated for average sleeper of 180lbs.
    If you want a softer feel or if you are a side sleeper you can opt for 3-4 firmness range. These are soft orplush options.
  • Average (150-200 pounds)– Like with the previous category you can choose industrystandard of 5-7, providing perfect support and comfort.
    Some sleepers will want to opt for more softer beds, and that’s perfectly fine, just go with 3-5 range if you sleep on your side and you are all set.
  • Heavier Person (200+ pounds)– Heavier people can cause more pressure points on their back, and ideally you want to choose a firmer option to adjust for sinkage. If you are having problems with cooling, you ought to consider coil mattresses.
    Ideally, choose a thick (12”) or thicker bed. This will provide good support and soft feel.

How to Select the Right Mattress for You – Summary

Hopefully, you have finished reading the above but even if you haven’t these five steps will ease your task of choosing a mattress for you or your family.

  1. Do you need a new mattress?– If your current bed is over eight years old, I’d consider replacing it no matter what. If you are having trouble sleeping or experiencing back or neck pain I would start searching.
  2. What is your current budget?– Don’t go with the cheapest option you find. Aim for $700-1200 range for a standard queen size bed (see top options). Of course, if you are buying smaller ones for your kid or teenager, the price will be considerably lower. Don’t spend less than $400 though. The quality drop-off is huge.
  3. What are your ideal type and material?– This is hands down the biggest challenge. Memory foam offers good contour and hug but sleeps hot. Traditional coil ones provide good bounce and cooling and are generally more durable. I recommend foam or hybrid to most people except for heavier sleepers who should opt for innerspring.
  4. What’s your preferred sleeping position?– This determines your ideal firmness level. On a scale of 1-10 (one being soft and ten being very firm), back sleepers will want to opt for a medium firm (4-7), side sleepers for more softer option (3-5) and stomach sleepers will need more support to avoid sinking (6-7 range).
  5. What’s your body type and weight?– Lighter sleepers (150lbs or less) will want a 1-2 points softer mattress to get the same feel like an average (180lbs) person. On the other hand, if you are a heavier person you will need more support and thicker mattress to support the weight.

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

How to Choose a Mattress

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How to Choose a Mattress

Experts agree that getting good sleep is one of the single best ways to maintain and improve our health. A mattress is a huge factor in our ability to sleep well, yet many people overlook its importance and keep using a mattress that fails to provide enough support and comfort.

A new mattress can be a sizable investment, but taking this step can unlock your ability to sleep better. As with any major purchase, you want to make sure that you choose wisely.

To help you get a handle on how to choose a mattress, we break down the key information piece-by-piece. With this guide, you’ll have the knowledge to find a mattress with the right firmness and features to suit your needs and deliver great sleep night after night.

Mattress Types

If you’re just getting started looking for a new mattress, you’ve probably noticed that the number of options can be dizzying. A helpful way to get your bearings is to start by thinking about mattress types.

Almost all mattresses can be identified as one of five types — foam, innerspring, hybrid, latex, or airbed. Innersprings are the most well-known and traditionally were the mainstay in homes nationwide. In recent years, though, other mattress types have surged in popularity.

These other mattress types have expanded their reach primarily by offering a more dynamic performance. They’ve also become more affordable and accessible with the growth of the online mattress industry.

Knowing the basics about each of these types can serve as a foundation upon which you can continue your search for the best mattress.

  • Foam: These mattresses are made entirely with foam and no coils. They tend to provide above-average contouring to the body, pressure relief, and motion isolation, making them a good fit for side sleepers and couples. Among foams that are used in these mattresses, memory foam is the most well-known.
  • Innerspring: An innerspring mattress has a coil-based support system and few other layers. While the coils offer some support, innersprings often lack in pressure relief. Their sleeping surface is bouncier and has limited motion isolation. With a lower price point, these are more popular among budget shoppers.
  • Hybrid: Hybrids have two central elements: an innerspring support core and a substantial foam comfort system. The comfort layers can include foam or latex, and sometimes will even include a shorter layer of coils (called micro-coils). These mattresses provide a blend of bounce and contouring with low heat retention and can be a good fit for sleepers in any position depending on exactly how they are built.
  • Latex: When all of the layers of a mattress are made with latex rubber, some call it an all-latex or true-latex mattress. For simplicity’s sake, we just use the term latex mattress. These offer top-notch bounce and durability with moderate contouring. When made with natural and organic latex, they are a top pick among eco-conscious shoppers.
  • Airbed: Airbeds are built with an air chamber as their support core. A pump — controlled by a smartphone or remote — is built into the mattress to add or remove air with the push of a button, giving sleepers the utmost in firmness flexibility. Couples love airbeds because each side can be set to a different firmness level.

Firmness

Comfort is subjective, which means that it’s critical to find a mattress that feels right to you.

Firmness describes how hard or soft a bed feels. To compare options, we use a 1-10 firmness scale. It isn’t perfectly scientific, but it does help convey how a mattress feels and who it may be best suited for.

Firmness ScaleFirmness LevelBest For
2Extra SoftSide sleepers under 130 pounds
3SoftSide sleepers under 130 pounds
4Medium SoftSleepers under 130 pounds; side sleepers under 200 pounds
5MediumBack and side sleepers between 130 and 200 pounds
6Medium FirmSleepers between 130 and 200 pounds; side sleepers over 200 pounds
7FirmSide sleepers over 200 pounds; back and stomach sleepers over 130 pounds
8-9Extra FirmBack and stomach sleepers over 200 pounds

While the chart lists who most frequently benefits from a particular firmness level, remember that comfort is subjective. Some people just prefer a softer or a firmer mattress or may have other factors — such as back or hip pain — that influences what mattress feels right.

If you’re not sure what firmness level is right for you, there are a few ways to help identify what might be the best fit:

  • Consider your weight and sleeping position to narrow down a range.
  • Reflect on whether you’ve found yourself wishing for a harder or soft mattress when using your current mattress at home or if you’ve recently stayed at a hotel. For reference, most hotel mattresses are Medium to Medium Firm, which have the widest overall appeal.
  • Visit a local mattress store as a research mission and try out some beds. Make sure to stay on a mattress for at least 10-15 minutes to really evaluate what’s comfortable.

How to Choose a Mattress for Back Pain

There are myriad potential causes of back pain, but an unsupportive mattress is one factor that should not be underestimated. In people without back problems, proper support may prevent pain from arising, and in people who already have back issues, the right mattress may help with cushioning and comfort.

Choosing the best mattress for back pain means considering the nature of that pain alongside other mattress needs and preferences. Some back pain is short-term and comes on suddenly. This is known as acute back pain. Other times, the pain persists over a long period of time and is known as chronic back pain. Back problems can start out as acute, such as from an injury, and become chronic.

A person with acute back pain may need only temporary relief from their mattress. This may mean using extra pillows or adjusting their sleeping position. For chronic back pain, more significant steps may be needed, such as choosing a mattress that is firmer or softer. Finding the right levels of comfort as well as pressure relief can help keep the spine properly oriented during sleep.

The optimal mattress may also depend on where a person experiences back pain.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain affects the bottom five vertebrae (L1-L5) in the lumbar area. It is the most common type of back pain and one of the leading reasons why Americans visit their doctor. This back region is vulnerable to bending and twisting that can harm the muscles and the spine itself.

Spending too many hours in a bad sleeping position can cause lower back aches. For side sleepers, this can arise if the shoulders and hips aren’t supported, throwing the whole spine off-kilter. For back and stomach sleepers, it may occur because of a mattress that is too soft or too firm, putting pressure on the natural curvature of the lumbar spine.

In general, side sleepers should look for Medium Soft to Medium Firm mattresses that can cushion their impact points. Back and stomach sleepers should look for Medium Firm to Firm beds that have only light conforming.

Middle and Upper Back Pain

Middle and upper back pain are far less common. The anatomy in these regions is more stable, reducing the likelihood of sprains and strains from twisting movements. Pain in these areas can be tied to more serious problems and should be checked out by a doctor.

In some cases, poor posture can create undue tension in the middle or upper back. A pressure-relieving mattress that contributes to spinal alignment can reduce the risk of this kind of pain. Having a quality pillow with the right amount of loft can also ensure that the neck and upper spine have adequate support.

Sleeping Positions

What position are you in when you normally tuck in to fall asleep? And in what position do you find yourself when you wake up?

The answers to these questions can provide key insight to help choose a mattress. The parts of your body that need more support in order to maintain spinal alignment vary based on your sleeping posture. For that reason, choosing a mattress to suit your sleeping position can boost comfort and help avoid aches and pains.

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers put the greatest pressure on their lower back. If a mattress is too soft, the torso can sink in more deeply than the upper back and lower body, and this U-shape can create strain. If a mattress is too firm, there won’t be any accommodation of the slight curve in the lower back. As a result, back sleepers do best with a Medium Firm to Firm mattress with light to moderate contouring.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers have sharp pressure points where the body is the widest, most notably at the shoulders and hips. On a too-soft mattress, those points will dip out of line with the rest of the spine. On a too-firm mattress, they will feel the impact at those points and be prone to misalignment. Consequently, side sleepers do best with Medium Soft to Medium Firm mattresses.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers are like back sleepers and put the most pressure on the lumbar spine. They usually do best with a Firm mattress that can keep them out of a U-shape and that won’t feel suffocating when lying face-down on the mattress.

Combination Sleepers

Combination sleepers find themselves in more than one position through the night. They typically should choose a mattress based on the position they spend the most time in. If there’s no primary position, Medium Firm offers the best bet across the sleeping positions. These sleepers should also look for a responsive mattress that facilitates easy movement on the bed.

Body Types

Like sleeping position, body shape and weight influence the choice of the best mattress to provide spinal support, comfort, and other important features.

With a lighter profile, people who weigh under 130 pounds don’t sink as far into a mattress. To get sufficient contouring, they often benefit from a softer mattress, especially if they sleep on their side and/or have pronounced pressure points. Innerspring mattresses tend to be a poor fit, and foam or hybrid beds are compelling options.

People between 130 and 200 pounds can generally follow our suggestions for mattress firmness based on sleeping position in the previous section. Foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses are all solid options and can be selected based on their specific features and designs.

People over 200 pounds will sink further into a mattress, especially near heavier parts of the body, which can risk throwing off spinal alignment. These sleepers usually have better results with mattresses that are a bit firmer to help avoid that risk.

A responsive mattress is easier to move on top of, and this can be valuable to people over 200 pounds because it reduces the chances of feeling stuck in the bed. Latex and hybrid options tend to be the most responsive.

Durability is important to sleepers of any weight, but people over 200 pounds can cause more wear in the top layers of a mattress. For this reason, sleepers with a higher body weight often opt for a mattress with a thicker comfort system that uses high-density materials.

It’s not just weight that affects how to choose the right mattress. People with broader shoulders or hips may need a softer mattress with more contouring, especially if they are side sleepers. People over six feet tall should look closely at mattress dimensions to ensure that they can stretch out comfortably.

Pricing

As the piece of furniture that’s virtually guaranteed to get the most use, a mattress is a serious investment in your comfort. At the same time, it can be a serious investment financially, and pricing is a central factor to consider when buying a mattress.

A useful exercise for most shoppers is to think about their overall bedroom budget. This includes a new mattress and any other accessories that may be needed, such as new pillows or bedding.

The price range for mattresses stretches from extremely low-cost, low-quality models all the way up to six-figure designer beds. Looking past these outliers, most mattresses cost between $600 and $2,000.

Casper Original ($995)
Tuft & Needle Original ($595)
Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt ($2,999)

Saatva ($1,199)
Zinus Quilted Spring Top ($260)

WinkBed ($1,599)
Dreamcloud ($1,299)
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora ($1,699)

Avocado ($1,399)
PlushBeds Botanical Bliss ($2,999)
Zenhaven ($1,899)

Sleep Number c2 ($999)
Sleep Number p6 ($2,899)
Saatva Solaire ($2,695)

Mattresses with more features and robust design frequently carry a higher price tag, but this doesn’t mean that a costlier mattress is always better, which is welcome news to people shopping on a budget. A handful of factors can play into mattress pricing:

  • Materials:Some types of materials, such as latex, frequently just cost more. In addition, the use of high-end, hand-crafted, organic, or otherwise specialty materials can push up the price of a mattress.
  • Type of Construction:The way a mattress is built can affect its price. In general, taller mattresses that have more layers come with a higher cost.
  • Brand:Like most consumer products, some brands, especially those that aspire to be luxury brands, charge more.
  • Where it’s Made:If the mattress and its components are made in the USA, it likely will be more expensive than a mattress made overseas.
  • Where it’s Sold:Buying online normally means a lower price, but there are opportunities to get a good deal in mattress stores, too, especially for savvy negotiators.

For people who are worried about the cost of a new mattress, there are a few points to keep in mind. First, there are great values to be found throughout the mattress price range.

Second, the prices we’ve listed above are MSRP, or in other words, the sticker price. It’s rare for customers to pay that price because promotions and discounts are abundant. If you shop online, deals are typically offered right off-the-bat.

Third, though it can be a big expenditure, getting a great mattress is worth it. An optimal mattress will not only pay off in terms of your health, but with better durability, you won’t have to spend on a mattress again for years.

How to Choose a Mattress for a Child

Good sleep is vital for children. Kids need more hours of sleep than adults, and sleeping well is important during all stages of childhood development. Outfitting their bed with a quality mattress is a central part of making sure that children get the sleep that they need.

Knowing how to choose a mattress for a child has quite a bit of overlap with choosing a mattress for an adult, but there are meaningful differences to take into account.

One key difference is that safety is a greater concern when shopping for beds for children, especially infants who sleep in cribs. Assuring that the mattress meets safety guidelines is of the utmost importance.

Another difference is the size of the bed. Unlike adults, children can outgrow a bed, so it is necessary to think about the most appropriate size mattress based on a child’s age and their expected growth.

Depending on how old a child is, they may be able to use a smaller size (Twin or Twin XL) of a bed designed for adults. In other cases, parents may prefer a mattress built specifically for children. Choosing from the pool of beds available to adults means a wider selection of mattress types, models, and brands.

The cost of a mattress for kids can be another point of divergence. Many beds for kids are smaller and thinner, and the reduced amount of materials can make them less expensive. However, there are some beds for children that are designed with lots of extra features and can carry a price tag similar to that of an adult mattress.

How to Choose a Crib Mattress

There are several essential elements of choosing a crib mattress. Any crib mattress purchase should start first and foremost with safety. Key aspects of crib mattress safety include:

  • Assuring that the crib mattress meets standards from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that relate to limiting exposure to lead and other compounds.
  • Checking that the crib mattress meets CPSC size guidelines for use in a full-size crib. That means a minimum of 27.25 inches by 51.25 inches. The thickness should not be greater than six inches.
  • Choosing a firm crib mattress as this can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Keeping the mattress clear of soft objects, including toys, blankets, and pillows. Loose and soft items can pose a risk of suffocation and SIDS and should not be kept in an infant’s crib.

Beyond safety, there are other factors to review that relate to the convenience and usability of a crib mattress:

  • Ease of Cleaning: Messes are almost inevitable on a crib mattress, so a design that makes it easy to keep clean is a big plus. For example, some crib mattresses are made with either a waterproof cover (generally made of vinyl) or a waterproof backing. Many parents find these features make cleanup much simpler.
  • Weight: You likely will need to lift the crib mattress for cleaning, which for some parents provides a strong point in favor of lighter mattresses, such as those made of foam.
  • Mattress Type: Foam and innerspring options are available and can both be used to create a firm sleeping surface. Some companies also make crib mattresses out of specialty materials or components, including some that are produced with an eco-conscious focus.
  • Reversible Firmness: This design gives each side of the crib mattress a different feel. As your child gets older and doesn’t need quite as much firmness, the mattress can just be flipped over, helping you get more longevity out of your purchase.

How to Choose a Mattress Topper

If your budget can’t accommodate a new mattress, you can consider a mattress topper as an alternative. This approach won’t be as effective or long-lasting, but it can be a useful step if replacing your current mattress isn’t an option.

A topper sits on top of your current bed and goes underneath the fitted sheet. It can change the feel of your mattress and is most useful if your main focus is on adjusting the firmness level. Some toppers may be able to add contouring, motion isolation, or bounce in relation to your old bed as well.

Most toppers are one to four inches thick and made with only one material. Examples of materials used in toppers include memory foam, polyfoam, latex, down, cotton, polyester, and wool. Each of these materials brings certain benefits and downsides.

To choose a mattress topper, it’s useful to reflect on many of the same elements that play a part in choosing a new mattress:

  • Your sleeping position
  • Your body shape
  • Your preferred firmness
  • The type of material that best suits your needs
  • Your budget

When reviewing those factors in the context of mattress toppers, make sure to think about your existing mattress because it will work along with the topper to affect the overall feel of your bed. For example, if you have a bouncy innerspring, be aware that it will still transfer motion even with a memory foam topper.

Ultimately, if you choose to buy a topper, it’s important to be realistic. A topper won’t last as long as a whole new mattress, and it can’t revive a bed that’s already worn out. Putting a topper on a bed that is worn out and sagging will just mean that the topper quickly starts sagging as well.

Latex Mattresses for Sleep Apnea or Insomnia

The Best Latex Mattress for Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, and Poor Circulation

Can a great mattress improve your overall physical health?

The concept may not be as strange as it sounds. With at least 40 million Americans each year suffering from chronic, long-term sleep disorders, finding the best mattress for your body has never been more important. Sleep apnea, insomnia, and poor circulation are some of the most common sleep ailments that plague adults today. You spend a third of your life sleeping. We know it’s important. So how can we make sure we get the best night’s rest possible?

Start by investing in a mattress with thoughtful, quality, and natural materials. Latex, made from the sap of rubber trees often found in South America (the Hevea brasiliensis), is becoming one of the most popular materials for mattresses today.

Latex is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to the mold, dust mites, and dead skin cells that can sometimes take root on the inside of spring and memory foam mattresses. The Talalay latex production process allows us to create each mattress with you in mind and helps us determine how firm and how soft each mattress should be. (Read more about the benefits of Talalay, and why we chose it for our Zenhaven mattress here.) With latex, we can now design a mattress that’s perfect for your whole body (especially your back), and we think the Zenhaven does just that.

Are you one of the many millions suffering from poor sleep, and perhaps even worse, a sleep disorder? Here’s how our natural latex mattress may help.

Sleep Apnea

The Greek word for “apnea” literally translates to “without breath”. Sleep Apnea is a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway caused by relaxation of the muscles controlling the soft palate and tongue. There are three types of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea
  2. Central sleep apnea
  3. Mixed sleep apnea

According to the Alaska Sleep Clinic , Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common variety of the sleep disorder, affecting 4% of men and 2% of women. OSA is caused by the partial or complete blockage of the airways during sleep. During the paused breath (otherwise known as apneas), the breath is restricted from moving beyond the obstruction, reducing blood flow to the brain.

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is when the brain fails to signal the muscles responsible for controlling your breathing. Mixed sleep apnea is those who suffer from a combination of both Obstructive sleep apnea and Central sleep apnea.

Apneas (pauses in breath) in general can vary anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and are often followed by a loud snore or jolt of the body as the body resumes its natural breathing cycle. In some severe cases of sleep apnea, the apnea episodes can last all night, with a person waking up every thirty seconds. This process robs individuals of an entire night’s sleep and can contribute to a large number of serious health problems such as heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders estimates that over 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and many go undiagnosed throughout their lifetime.

Sleeping on the wrong mattress can lead to or worsen insomnia and sleep apnea. A latex mattress encourages good sleeping posture, relaxes muscles and generally help with insomnia. It is also important to choose the right mattress depending on your natural sleeping posture.

How can a latex mattress help sleep apnea?

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that those diagnosed with Sleep Apnea can start by adjusting their sleep position. Side sleep positions have shown to significantly improve the effects of sleep apnea.

“As a first step in dealing with sleep apnea, the patient should simply try rolling over onto the side. Patients who sleep on their backs and have 50-80 apneas per hour can sometimes nearly eliminate them when they shift to one side or another.” ( source )

But what is the best mattress for sleep apnea? The Zenhaven latex mattress is perfect for side sleepers because it supports the body’s pressure points, at the shoulder and hip, that are often stressed in the side sleeping position. From top to bottom, every support layer in Zenhaven is made of 100% Talalay latex, giving it more of the elevating sensation latex is known for while providing unmatched comfort and support.

Latex mattresses also provide firmer support where your body needs it most, beneath the heavier torso and shoulders- and softer support elsewhere. The pliable material conforms to your body as you move throughout the night.

Insomnia

We’ve all had nights where we count metaphorical sheep for hours on end, hoping to fall asleep. Imagine that being your reality every night of the week. Chronic insomnia, or habitual sleeplessness, plagues almost 10% of adults (30% experience insomnia-like symptoms). For working adults, the side effects are huge. The physical and mental effects of sleep deprivation are more severe than just needing one more cup of coffee. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep deprivation can dramatically affect your physical and mental health.

“The sleep stage known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is believed to play a role in the mental processing of the experiences of the day just past and the organization of memory. With too little REM sleep, memory may suffer. If prolonged, inadequate healthy sleep may be a precursor to cardiovascular disease. And even in the short term, the sleep deficit that results from too little sleep leads inexorably to daytime drowsiness, a potential killer to anyone operating heavy machinery or driving an automobile.”

Sleep Education estimates a loss of $63 billion in work performance for the US Workforce each year due to the side effects insomnia.

Step one of a good solution is conditioning yourself to have a healthy nighttime routine. From avoiding your cell phone before bed (the blue light is proven to harm our ability to fall asleep) to cutting back on your caffeine intake, there are small steps you can take each day to support a healthy sleep routine. The next step is to examine your mattress. Does it support a great night’s sleep?

How can a latex mattress help insomnia?

Falling (and staying) asleep often comes down to your mattress choice. Our Zenhaven Talalay latex mattress is designed for overall comfort, so you can have an optimal sleep (and drift off when you need to).

Maintaining a comfortable temperature can also help you get your best sleep. Latex has an open cell structure that makes it naturally breathable, but our Talalay process enhances it so you keep a healthy temperature throughout the night. Latex is also inherently pliable, so that quality in addition to our lumbar support, will help support your body where you need it. A more comfortable, and supportive mattress, can dramatically improve your ability to fall, and stay, asleep.

Poor circulation

Poor circulation means constricted blood flow in the body. Do you ever wake up to find your hand or fingers asleep, unable to move them? The constant tingling or sensation of numbness in your arms or legs is unsettling, and experiencing it at night isn’t exactly desirable. Poor circulation can lead to a night full of tossing and turning and morning full of grogginess and fatigue. Each time you wake up, your body resets its sleep cycle, leaving you groggy and tired the next day. While poor circulation is often a result of other health conditions like high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, a bad mattress can sometimes be to blame.

How can a latex mattress help poor circulation?

A great latex mattress can actually help improve blood circulation. Latex mattresses are engineered to get rid of pressure points and have increased lumbar support. As a result, you’ll see an improvement in your spinal alignment. Better spine alignment supports natural blood flow throughout the body.

Doctors also recommend avoiding firm mattresses if you suffer from poor circulation. Latex mattresses are a great choice for those wanting a softer option. Latex mattresses (especially Talalay products) have a varying degree of firm levels, allowing those with poor circulation to find the right fit for them.

Latex mattresses cradles the body’s curves while being firm enough to support the body. A good mattress will help with insomnia and sleep apnea.

Zenhaven

We know that your body needs rest to function properly. The physical benefits that come from sleeping soundly are widely documented. According to the Sleep Foundation , a good night’s sleep is essential for a healthy heart.

“It’s not completely clear why less sleep is detrimental to heart health, but researchers understand that sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation.”

The Zenhaven is carefully engineered so that you can have your best night’s sleep, even if you suffer from sleep apnea, insomnia, poor circulation, or one of the many hundreds of other sleep disorders. Why? Because we know that every detail matters. Each layer is made of 100% Talalay latex, making a more breathable mattress that conforms to your body and supports you while you sleep. Sleep disorders are never fun, and we know how important a good night’s rest is. The Zenhaven can help you get there now and for the next 20 years.

How to Pick Your Perfect Mattress

Ready for a new mattress? Here’s how to find the one that suits you best.

Getting a good night’s sleep depends on a lot of different factors — comfort, stress level, room temperature – but to get it right, you’ve got to start with the basics and your mattress is the first building block to a restful slumber.

If you’re in the market for a new mattress and have recently taken a stroll down the aisle of a bedding store, you know that there is a dizzying array from which to choose. How do you know which mattress is best for you?

To start, says Arya Nick Shamie, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, the mattress needs to support your body in a neutral position, one in which your spine has a nice curvature and your buttocks, heels, shoulders, and head are supported in proper alignment

"If the mattress is too firm, it will push on those main pressure points and take you out of alignment," Shamie tells WebMD. "If it’s too soft, those pressure points won’t be properly supported, so your whole body flops back." Both of these scenarios can lead to an achy morning.

Generally speaking, one type or brand of bed isn’t better than another, says Michael Breus, PhD, a WebMD sleep expert and author ofBeauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.But he does find that a firmer bed seems to be better for people with lower back pain.

In fact, researchers in Spain studied people with long-term back pain and found that on a 10-point hard-to-soft scale people who slept on a medium-to-firm mattress (5.6 on the scale) had less back pain than those who slept on a softer mattress.

Is It Time for a New Mattress?

How do you know if the bed you’re sleeping on is the right one?

"If you wake up in the morning and have some low back pain and can stretch and get rid of it in 15 or 30 minutes, that means you’re on an inappropriate mattress for you," Breus says.

The right mattress, on the other hand, is one on which you feel no pressure, almost like you’re floating in air, Breus says.

If you’re looking for a new mattress, experts suggest testing it in the store and laying down on each mattress in the position in which you normally sleep. Breus suggests spending at least 10 to 15 minutes on the bed. And, bring your own pillow! The more you can replicate the way you’ll be sleeping on the mattress once you get it home, the better your chances of picking the right one.

Continued

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are still by far the most widely used. They support you with coil springs, and in most built today, each coil is individually enclosed. This helps the bed weather years of use and prevents the coils from popping out of the mattress. On top of the coils are a wide variety of materials added for comfort, from pillow to latex to memory foam. It’s all a matter of preference.

Salespeople may try to sell you on the idea that more coils mean more comfort, but that’s not necessarily true, Breus and Shamie say.

"You don’t really need a coil count above 390," Breus says. Beyond that, the difference in feel is so small it would be difficult to notice.

Pros:There are plenty of innerspring mattresses on the market from which to choose. They range in firmness, the fluffiness of the pillow top, and in price to fit nearly every preference and pocket book.

Cons:There’s no direct relationship in most cases between price and comfort, but Shamie suggests steering clear of the cheapest innerspring mattress. If there aren’t enough springs and cushion to offer you proper support, he says, you’ll likely wake up with an aching back.

Conditions:For someone who is very overweight, spring mattresses may offer a firmer support, making them easier to get in and out of, Breus says. Firmer versions are good for people with back pain. But spring-based mattresses can be comfortable for almost anyone.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are growing in popularity. They are made of layers of different densities of foam that respond to weight and temperature, and are known for comfort because they contour to the specific shape of your body. Memory foam toppers are also available.

Pros:By molding to the shape of your body as your weight shifts through the night, memory foam reduces pressure points, and relieves pain. Memory foam also absorbs movement, so if you sleep with a partner, you’re not likely to be disturbed by his tossing and turning.

Cons:One of the biggest complaints with memory foam mattresses is that because these mattresses are temperature sensitive, softening and molding with your body heat, they can make you feel extremely hot during the night. Breus also says memory foam mattresses have been known to emit an unpleasant chemical smell.

Conditions:"If you have a hard time getting comfortable, if you have chronic fatigue, or some type of muscle pain, then a memory foam mattress would work well for you, assuming you don’t have temperature issues," Breus says.

Continued

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are made from either natural or synthetic rubber, and are known for providing a very firm, bouncy support that is uniform throughout the bed.

Pros:"Quite frankly, I think one of the best materials is latex," Breus says. He likes it for being very firm and supportive, but also for providing comfort similar to memory foam. Unlike the memory foam mattresses, however, Breus says latex pushes back, ultimately providing more support.

Cons:If you don’t like the feel of a firm mattress, latex is probably not the right choice for you.

Conditions: Either a latex mattress or latex mattress topper is great for relieving back pain because they offer the best combination of comfort and support, Breus says.

Air Mattresses

We’re not talking about the blow-up mattresses you put your holiday guests on for a few days. Higher-end air beds look like a standard innerspring mattress, but use air-filled chambers instead of coils, and are covered by a foam layer on top.

Shamie notes that air beds have long been used for patients with spinal cord injuries who are lying in bed for a long time. They can be adjusted so they don’t continue to press on the same areas of the body, which helps to avoid skin breakdown in patients who can’t move.

Pros:"Couples who have dramatic differences in their individual preference for comfort and firmness levels might do very well with an air mattress," Breus says. The reason is that the firmness of each side of the bed can be altered. If you like it firmer than your partner, these beds can be adjusted for that.

Like latex and memory foam, you can also find air toppers for your mattress.

Cons:Shamie says people sometimes fail to make their air bed firm enough and wake up with back aches. Less sophisticated air mattresses also pop up on one side when you sit on the opposite end. For that reason Breus says, you want multiple chambers so that doesn’t occur.

Conditions:These beds are particularly useful when sleeping partners have different needs. If one of you has a bad back, one side can be made firmer than the other to provide greater support.

Continued

Adjustable Beds

These beds are able to bend and elevate at varying angles. As a result, the mattress has to be flexible. Different types of mattresses can be used on an adjustable bed – memory foam, latex, or air, for example. Spring mattresses are more difficult to use, however, because the springs don’t handle the bending well.

Pros:For people who have difficulty getting in and out of bed or who like to watch television in bed, Shamie says, adjustables can make life easier by moving you closer to where you need to be.

Conditions:If you suffer from sleep apnea, sleeping flat can make the condition worse by cutting off airways and causing the tongue to fall into the back of the throat, Shamie says. People who experience acid reflux can also benefit by sleeping in a bed that elevates their upper body.

Shamie also suggests adjustable beds for people with hip or back pain who have a hard time moving from a lying position to sitting up or standing.

Sofa Beds

When you have guests staying for a night or two, sofa beds come in handy. The mattresses in these beds tend to be very thin so they are flexible enough to fold and collapse into the couch. It’s a great convenience to have a sofa bed, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who raves about their comfort.

Pros:Sofa beds are convenient, especially if you have limited space. But from a health perspective, Shamie and Breus don’t see any advantages.

Cons:A night or two on a sofa bed is OK. But "this is probably the worst kind of bed you can sleep on long-term," Shamie says. The mattresses used in most sofa beds are very thin and the springs quite weak. "It really leads to an uncomfortable situation," Shamie says.

If you’re really tight for space and need a bed that folds up, Shamie says that futons, while not the most supportive, are better for your back than the typical sofa bed.

Conditions:There are no conditions for which a sofa bed will be helpful, according to the experts. But if you have a bad back or hips, these beds will be especially uncomfortable.

Continued

When to Part With Your Old Mattress

Today’s mattresses are made to last a lifetime. But you probably shouldn’t plan on keeping yours for that long. Our bodies change over time, Breus says, so the mattress that was once a joy to sleep on may no longer feel comfortable a few years down the road.

In addition, mattresses collect dust mites, fungus, and other germs that can exacerbate allergies and impact your sleep patterns. After 10 to 15 years, it’s time to think about buying a new bed.

Ultimately, the experts say that the best bed for you is the one that feels most comfortable. And remember, Shamie says, "There’s no mattress that’s going to save your body when you get only five hours of sleep." In order to feel your best, you need to get enough rest… no matter what type of mattress you’re sleeping on.

Sources

Arya Nick Shamie, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center.

Breus, Michael, PhD, WebMD sleep expert and author ofBeauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep

Kovacs, FM.The Lancet, November 2003; vol 362: pp 1599-1604.

Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Buyer’s Guide

Sleep apnea affects more than 25 million American adults, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, morning headaches, and daytime sleepiness. Unfortunately, many individuals aren’t aware they are affected by sleep apnea.

Sleeping on a supportive mattress can help sleep apnea sufferers fall asleep quickly— and stay asleep longer.

In this article, we’ll explore our five mattress recommendations for sleep apnea sufferers. We’ll then discuss how to choose the best mattress for sleep apnea by considering your sleep position and specific mattress materials.

Amerisleep AS3

The Amerisleep AS3 contains HIVE® support technology to facilitate proper spinal alignment and better sleeping postures. Plus, it’s compatible with adjustable bed frame and comes with a 20-year warranty.

Zoma Sports Mattress

The Zoma Sports Mattress contains pressure-relieving memory foam and Triangulex™ technology to promote healthier, deeper sleep. It’s also equipped with cooling gels and covered with breathable polyester to prevent night sweats and keep you comfortable.
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Best Mattresses for Sleep Apnea

Average Price Range (Queen)Pricing of Popular Models
Foam$900-1,300
Innerspring$600-1,100
Hybrid$1,500-2,000
Latex$1,600-2,000
Airbed$2,000-2,400
MattressHighlightsPrice
Amerisleep AS3HIVE® technology provides targeted support to the areas that need it the most.
ZomaA latex-like layer produces bounce and increases mobility.
PlushBeds Cool Bliss®Promotes cool sleep through breathable materials and engineered air passages.
AvocadoEarth-friendly mattress supports all sleeping styles with resilient latex layers.
Tuft & Needle HybridUses five breathable layers to support spinal alignment.

1. Amerisleep AS3

The Amerisleep AS3 is a medium memory foam mattress with a 12-inch profile. Like all Amerisleep mattresses, it’s compatible with adjustable beds so you can sleep at an incline to open up the airways. Sleeping with your head slightly inclined has been shown to help sleep apnea.

The AS3 features a soft, breathable cover that keeps air circulating throughout the bed. It is both removable and washable to preserve the life of your new mattress.

The AS3’s top comfort layer uses Bio-Pur®, a partially plant-based memory foam, to promote comfort through resilience and airflow. The foam contours to the body to encourage spinal alignment.

Below the Bio-Pur®, the Affinity layer features HIVE® technology, which relieves pressure. It fosters varied support to the head, shoulders, back, hips, and feet with hundreds of hexagonal cut-outs.

The next layer is the Bio-Core® support layer, which keeps your mattress from sagging and extends the mattress’s longevity.

Amerisleep offers a 100-night sleep trial with free shipping and free returns. Each mattress comes with a 20-year warranty, covering sagging over 0.75 inches.

2. Zoma Sports Mattress

The Zoma Sports Mattress features three foam layers designed to offer a combination of comfort and support to optimize athletic performance.

The first layer is gel-infused memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. This layer offers solid support in the middle, keeping the sleeper’s hips from bowing out of alignment, and then sections off into hundreds of triangular-shapes cut-outs to cultivate soft support for the head, shoulders, and feet. Together, the varied support, gel infusions, and air passages keep the user cool while limiting pressure point discomfort.

Below the memory foam, a layer of Reactiv™ adds bounce and increases surface mobility with its latex-like properties.

The last layer is a high-density Support+ foam, offering soft stability to the sleeper while encouraging spinal alignment.

Zoma offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty with their mattress. The warranty covers sagging greater than 0.75 inches as long as it’s unrelated to improper usage.

3. PlushBeds Cool Bliss® Luxury Memory Foam Mattress

The PlushBeds Cool Bliss® Luxury Memory Foam Mattress is a 12-inch mattress composed of four unique layers. The mattress pairs well with adjustable beds and has a CertiPUR-US® and GreenGuard Gold certifications.

In the first layer, the three inches of memory foam provide pressure relief, heat-wicking, and varied support through the gel-infused foam.

Below the memory foam, two inches of natural latex foam molds to the body while preventing sagging and promoting spinal alignment. Latex is naturally breathable, which contributes to the mattress’s temperature neutral properties.

Below the latex layer, two inches of ventilation foam designed with channels, which cultivate airflow and buffer between the comfort and support layers.

The final layer, a 5-inch high-density polyurethane support foam, prevents sagging and prolongs your mattress’s life.

PlushBeds supports their mattresses with a 25-year warranty and a 100-night trial. However, the warranty will not cover sagging and indentations less than 1.5 inches or damage due to improper use.

4. Avocado Vegan Mattress With Permanent Plush Topper

The Avocado Vegan Mattress is an eco-friendly hybrid mattress featuring 100% GOLS certified Dunlop latex and pocketed support coils. The versatile bed supports the body in multiple sleeping positions, making it excellent for combination sleepers.

From the top, the hand-tufted cotton cover wicks away moisture as you sleep, so you stay comfortable and dry.

You can add a Euro pillow top for an additional $400, which adds two inches of plush organic latex. The pillow top is resilient, durable, and temperature regulating.

Below the pillow top, three inches of resilient latex foam gives the sleeper additional support and comfort, keeping the sleeper on top of the mattress.

The next layer is a pocketed steel coil support layer. The steel coils support your body by alleviating pressure points and reducing motion transfer.

Try Avocado’s Vegan Mattress for an entire year before deciding to keep it. Avocado also offers free shipping, free returns, and a 25-year warranty with its mattress.

5. Tuft & Needle Hybrid Mattress

Tuft & Needle Hybrid Mattress is a six-layer foam and coil mattress is versatile and breathable.

The comfort layer is made of 1-inch of quilted, carbon fiber, and graphite infused foam known as T&N Adaptive® foam. It contours to the body and regulates body temperature for a good night’s sleep.

Below the comfort layer, a pressure-relieving, gel and graphite-infused foam cradles your curves to support spinal alignment and pull heat from the body to prevent overheating.

Next, a micro-coils transitional layer buffers between the above layers and the supportive core. It increases air circulation and improves spinal alignment.

Below the micro-coils, a supportive T&N Adaptive® Foam works in tandem with the coils to increase the sleeper’s comfort.

The mattresses base is made of high-density, individually-wrapped pocketed coils. It supports the entire mattress and extends its lifespan.

Tuft & Needle offers free shipping, free returns, and a 100-night sleep trial. Each Tuft & Needle Hybrid comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is defined as,“a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.”There are three types: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a pause in breathing caused by airway obstruction— usually, soft tissue collapsing at the back of the throat. It’s the most common type of apnea. Obesity can increase the risk, but airway obstructions are also caused by excess tissue, enlarged tonsils, or other conditions.

Central sleep apnea refers to a lapse in breath caused by the brain’s failure to signal specific muscles to stimulate breathing.

Complex sleep apnea is a mixture of central and obstructive sleep apnea and includes pauses caused by both obstructions and faulty brain signals.

Common sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Intense snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Grogginess and daytime fatigue
  • Feeling unrested even after a night of sleep
  • Frequent nighttime waking

Occasional snoring is normal, don’t hesitate to check with your healthcare provider if you show signs of sleep apnea. According to the American Sleep Apnea Foundation, about 80% of sleep apnea cases are described as moderate or severe, which indicates that sleep apnea management is essential to recovery.

Common Sleep Apnea Treatments

Sleep apnea is a treatable condition. There are home remedies and lifestyle changes you can take to improve your breathing. If those do not work, your doctor can perform an evaluation and prescribe the proper treatment.

  • Weight loss:Heavier individuals can have extra tissue in their airways, which can cause a blockage. Losing weight can improve your sleep by removing some of the tissue in your airways.
  • Exercise regularly:Working out frequently can improve your sleep quality and duration, which can reduce symptoms of sleep apnea by strengthening your lungs.
  • Avoid caffeine and heavy meals:There are some drinks and meals that can affect your sleep quality— especially if they’re too close to bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you alert for six hours after consumption. We suggest not drinking any caffeinated beverages after lunch to prevent sleepless nights. Additionally, heavy meals can sit in your stomach and cause an upset stomach or instances of acid reflux when you lay down.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule:Preserving a regular bedtime routine can help you relax your mind and muscles, which can decrease airway tissue tension.
  • Switch to side sleeping:Side sleepers do not have to combat gravity and have open airways as a result. Switching to a side sleeping position can vastly improve your breathing and prevent drastic treatments or procedures.
  • Adjust your sleep environment:Elevating your head and chest will open your air passages and improve your breathing. For a budget-friendly option, we recommend using a wedge pillow. The pillow will give you something to lean against; however, wedge pillows are known to slip out from under the head, causing airway blockage again. An adjustable bed is a more efficient tool to keep the air passages open. They are more expensive, but you won’t have to deal with constantly rearranging a pillow during the night.

Something else you may consider is a CPAP machine or continuous positive airflow pressure. It is a mask-like device that covers the mouth and nose and provides a constant stream of air to keep the lungs open. These machines are light and quiet and come with soft pads to deter skin irritations and discomfort.

Sleeping Position

Your preferred sleeping position has an impact on your sleep quality because it also affects your airways. For sleep apnea patients, changing sleep positions can enhance or reduce sleep apnea symptoms. Your sleep position can also indicate what mattress firmness you need to maintain spinal alignment.

Side Sleepers

Side sleeping is popular. It opens up the airways and prevents gravity from affecting the soft tissue around the air passages.

When looking for a compatible side sleeping mattress, look for a medium to soft firmness to ensure spinal alignment.

Back Sleepers

Back sleeping is a good solution for individuals with back pain, although it can be problematic for sleep apnea sufferers. Gravity can cause the soft tissue in the throat to collapse backward and temporarily obstruct or narrow the airway.

We do recommend back sleepers try switching to right side sleeping; however, if you cannot switch, you still have options. Elevating your upper body, so you sleep at an incline, will help open your airways and reduce gravity’s pressure.

Back sleepers can use a wedge pillow or an adjustable bed to reduce sleep apnea symptoms. The drawback of a wedge pillow is it may slip out from underneath you during the night. An adjustable bed will not have this issue as the entire mattress is bent to support you.

Stomach Sleepers

Sleeping on the stomach reduces snoring, but it comes with a price. Stomach sleeping places strain on the back and neck, which can cause an onslaught of musculoskeletal pain, including sciatica, slipped disks, and so on. Stomach sleepers need a firm mattress to avoid additional back and neck pain.

Mattress Types

While certain sleeping positions will reduce snoring, some mattress materials give better support and comfort for those sleeping positions. The mattress type you choose will greatly affect the feel, your sleep position and sleep quality.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are a low responsive foam, meaning they react to pressure and retake their shape slowly. Memory foam’s resilience depends greatly on its density. For instance, a mattress with a high density is firmer and vise versa.

Memory foam mattresses can reduce pressure and pain through spinal alignment improvement, although the material has a reputation for retaining heat. Mattress experts have engineered new memory foam, made with open cell structure to enhance airflow. Gel, copper, and graphite infusions are also added to memory foam to pull heat from the sleeper and improve sleep quality.

Memory foam mattresses are one of the best beds for adjustable beds. We suggest keeping the mattress’s profile under 12 inches to work efficiently with the base. Most bed-in-a-box mattresses are compatible with adjustable foundations. If you’re unsure, you may ask the customer service representatives through the company’s website.

Latex

Latex is one of the most supportive mattress materials available. It is very conforming and breathable due to the air pockets distributed throughout the mattress.

Latex is made one of three ways: natural, blended, synthetic. Natural latex is made from rubber tree sap and is manufactured through the Talalay or Dunlop process. Talalay produces a bouncy, resilient, and lighter material, while the Dunlop process creates a thicker, heavier, less reactive material. Natural latex is antimicrobial and hypoallergenic— making it a great mattress for those with allergies. Those with latex allergies are the exception.

Synthetic latex is made of a chemical compound to mimic latex properties. It doesn’t have any antimicrobial qualities like natural latex does, although it is supportive and less expensive than natural latex.

Blended latex is a mixture of natural and synthetic latex. It retains some antimicrobial properties. We suggest making sure blended latex has a CertiPUR-US® certification to ensure it does not contain any harmful additives.

For back and stomach sleepers, a latex mattress can preserve natural alignment. Due to this material’s flexibility, it will pair well with an adjustable bed. If you’re buying a latex mattress for an adjustable base, we suggest keeping its height under 10 inches.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses have a coil base with a thin comfort layer or pillow top to protect the sleeper from the springs. This mattress type offers great support, although it’s known to sag more than other mattress materials.

Due to the metal frames and coils, this mattress type would not pair well with adjustable bases. We suggest this mattress for heavy sleepers, as the coils offer greater support and push back against the sleeper to improve spinal alignment.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are a combination of innerspring cores and foam comfort layers. The coil base fosters air circulation to keep the sleeper cool while encouraging a flat sleep surface. Meanwhile, the foam layers increase motion isolation and improve the sleeper’s spinal alignment, although, the foam layer can retain heat.

Conclusion

The best mattress for sleep apnea will help you sleep safely and comfortably. Look for a firmness that supports your ideal sleeping position. Choosing a mattress compatible with an adjustable base could be in your favor if you plan on purchasing an adjustable bed in the near future.

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