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    What to Consider When Picking the Perfect Pillow for Sleep Apnea

    If you are a victim of sleep apnea, then you’re no stranger to the tribulations that come with this sleep disorder. 

    From abruptly waking up in the middle of the night choking or gasping for air, to morning headaches and sore throats. 

    With sleep apnea, you may experience daytime sleepiness, irritability, fatigue, and drowsiness. And perhaps the worst of all, your partner could be downright tired of all your snoring.   

    Sleep apnea occurs when there is repeated interruption in your breathing as you sleep. If left uncontrolled, it can cause low productivity and a reduction in your overall health and quality of life. 

    Sleep apnea can occur in three main forms:

    • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) — Occurs when your tongue or soft tissues at the back of your throat block your airway.  
    • Central Sleep Apnea — Results from a failure of your brain’s respiratory control center to signal your body to breathe.
    • Complex Sleep Apnea — A combination of OSA and Central Sleep Apnea.

    The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, with millions of sufferers around the globe. 

    Luckily, complementing treatment options, such as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask with a sleep apnea pillow can improve your sleep quality. It can make the treatment and management of your sleep apnea a success.

    The sleep apnea pillow will position your head, shoulders, and neck properly. This makes breathing easier and reduces sleep apnea symptoms, such as snoring.   

    However, not every pillow type will help you deal with your sleep apnea and improve your sleep. 

    Here are the features to look out for from the best sleep apnea pillow.  

    1. The Right Design 

    If your head isn’t properly inclined and supported as you sleep, you run the risk of having an obstructed airway.

    For this reason, consider the ergonomic design of the pillow

    It should have contours that comfortably accommodate your shoulders and neck, which in turn:

    • Keeps your head and neck in proper alignment, preventing your airway from collapsing.
    • Allows your neck, shoulders, and back muscles to disengage and relax.
    • Keeps your head and neck properly supported.
    • Supports your shoulders so your airway opens at a deeper level.

    An ergonomic cervical pillow will be anatomically-shaped to provide the above benefits. Its ergonomic design will guide your neck into maintaining its natural arch.

    If you are using a CPAP machine, a CPAP pillow with indents or cutouts makes an excellent option for stomach sleepers. It prevents pushing the CPAP mask into the pillow, which can cause air leaks.

    If you are a side or back sleeper, you can use a cervical pillow. You will get the benefits of the pillow’s ergonomic design while also using your CPAP machine comfortably.    

    For the ideal design, we recommend the Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow from Cushion Lab.

    Its design will provide a relaxing sleep experience, despite your sleep apnea. This is because the pillow gently stretches your neck so that it maintains its natural curve. It keeps your airway open through the night.

    Our in-house team of ergonomists has also ensured that the design provides adequate support and pressure relief to your head, neck, and shoulders.

    Here is what you can expect:

    Shaped by In-house Ergonomist
    Shaped by In-house Ergonomist to align for proper support

    2. The Perfect Level of Support

    You don’t want a pillow that feels like a rock under the weight of your head. And you don’t want one that is too soft, either.

    If the pillow is too soft, it will fail at providing the support needed to keep your neck and head aligned. This can make your snoring worse as your airway collapses. You could also wake up with neck pain or stiffness.  

    A pillow that is too thick, on the other hand, fails to provide comfort. It could cause too much pressure on your head and neck, forcing your neck into an uncomfortable forward flexion. This interferes with your airway, worsening your sleep apnea.

    Besides its thickness, the material of the pillow will also determine its ability to provide support.

    Memory foam is the best choice of material.

    It has the unique ability to respond to your body heat and the pressure from your weight by softening and contouring to your shape.

    Once you lay your head on the memory foam, it reshapes to fit your head perfectly. This helps relieve pressure and positions your head, neck, and spine in their natural form.

    Go for a memory foam pillow of medium firmness. It strikes the right balance between comfort and support.

    Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow
    Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow

    3. Sleep Apnea Pillows Are Hygienic and Hypoallergenic

    The last thing you want is a pillow that triggers your allergies and causes further restriction of airflow as you sleep.

    An allergic reaction to dust mites, for instance, can cause difficulty breathing and sinus problems that can worsen your sleep apnea.

    An allergic reaction caused by molds and other forms of fungi can cause allergic rhinitis — commonly known as hay fever. This is a nose inflammation that occurs as an overreaction of the immune system to inhalation of allergens in the air; in this case, mold spores. 

    Studies show that allergic rhinitis can worsen obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.

    Memory foam is hypoallergenic. It inhibits the growth of dust mites, mold, and fungi.

    However, sweat and oil will still accumulate on the surface of the pillow. It’s best to ensure that the cover is removable and washable.

    Consider going for a cover made from organic material. It will not contain chemicals and pesticides that can cause an allergic reaction. This is particularly important if you suffer from chemical allergies or syndromes such as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

    MCS is a syndrome where symptoms such as breathing problems occur as a result of exposure to very low levels of chemicals found in everyday products. 

    Pesticides and synthetic materials are some of the triggers of MCS, and the symptoms can aggravate sleep apnea.     

    With our neck relief ergonomic cervical pillow, you don’t have to worry about triggering an allergic reaction. It’s made with memory foam of medium firmness and a washable cover made from organic cotton. 

    Organic cotton is free of pesticides and chemical elements.  

    Better, our memory foam is certified by CertiPUR-US. So you can rest assured that it contains no harmful substances.

    Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow
    Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow

    4. The Best Pillows for Sleep Apnea Are Breathable

    One downside to memory foam pillows is their tendency to retain body heat. And this can make it hot and uncomfortable as you sleep.

    The heat can get even more uncomfortable when you have sleep apnea.

    Nocturnal sweating, also known as night sweats, is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. And having a pillow that retains too much heat is likely to trigger these night sweats.

    But this doesn’t mean you should go for a different material for your pillow. Memory foam is still the best at keeping your neck at an angle that keeps your airway open.

    What you can do is choose a memory foam pillow that has cooling design features, such as perforations or gel infusions.

    Our cervical pillow includes this vital feature in its design. It comes with a mesh inner layer that boosts air circulation, getting rid of the extra heat. 

    Its organic cotton cover is extra breathable. It takes moisture from your body and evaporates it, keeping your body cool. This can help to reduce your night sweats.

    Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow
    Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow

    5. The Pillow Will Have the Right Loft 

    Loft refers to the height of your pillow. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the ideal loft of a pillow. 

    What’s best for you will depend on your:

    • Body shape — People with broader shoulders need a pillow with a higher loft. It fills the extra space between the mattress and the head and neck. Narrower shoulders call for a lower loft, such that support is provided without too much lift. 
    • Sleep position — Side sleepers need a higher loft while back sleepers tend to be more comfortable with medium-loft. Most stomach sleepers prefer a low loft.
    • Sleep apnea symptoms — If you snore or experience acid reflux, which are both symptoms of sleep apnea, a higher loft can provide relief. 

    The best pillow will provide you with the option to try a variety of lofts. And you can find one that addresses your symptoms and provides your desired level of comfort.

    Thanks to our dedicated team of ergonomists, our Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow provides a variety of lofts to suit your needs. This includes:

    • Raised side bolsters to support side sleepers
    • Two different height options — a medium loft side that provides neck pressure relief and cervical support, and a higher loft side that provides snore relief

    Improve Your Sleep Quality — Get a Sleep Apnea Pillow

    Sleep apnea shouldn’t be the reason you can’t be productive enough to meet your goals. 

    A sleep apnea pillow can help:

    • Position your head and neck in a way that opens your airway and improves your breathing.
    • Alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring and night sweats. 
    • Make it easier to use the doctor-recommended devices designed to treat sleep apnea, such as CPAP machines.
    • Support your head, neck, and shoulders for a more restful night.

    At Cushion Lab, we design comfort-inducing products that will fill your days with more positivity and productivity.      

    Our Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow will provide you with the comfort you need to sleep soundly and uninterrupted, despite your sleep apnea. 

    Wondermom customer review
    Womdermom | Customer Review

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