Using a CPAP machine to help sleep properly at night is no small matter. Regardless of which mask you prefer, you still have to strap it to your face so it doesn’t fall off in your sleep. If it starts to slide off even a little bit you will wake up to a loud hissing sound of air being blown at you. And then there’s that hose! What do you do with that? Well for some people the answer is a CPAP pillow. Before you rush out and buy just any ole pillow, take a look at what we’ve put together for you. Hopefully you will get a good feeling for what options are available, and be able to narrow down the best CPAP pillow for your needs.
Do You Even Need a CPAP Pillow?
Before you spend your hard-earned money on another pillow, ask yourself this: How well are you sleeping with your CPAP now? If the answer is “Great!”, then you probably do not need a special pillow. However, if the answer is anything less than “Great” then you have some further considerations.
- Is the mask slipping while you sleep? Are the straps tight enough? Are they too tight? Is your mask the right size?
- Is the hose getting in the way? Are you waking up with it across your neck?
A CPAP pillow can’t solve all of these problems, but it can reduce the number of times you wake up through the night to fix the position of the mask or hose. The goal is a restful, uninterrupted sleep. Your CPAP is not doing its job if you need to constantly wake up to adjust it.
How Does a CPAP Pillow Work?
Not all CPAP pillows look identical, but one thing they all have in common is that they don’t look like regular pillows. They are designed in such a way as to prevent the mask from slipping off the wearer’s face. Some of them will even include a slot for the hose to fit, keeping it away from the sleeper’s face and throat.
Notice that the man in the picture is sleeping on his side. This is the preferred way for sleep apnea patients to sleep because it is more difficult for the relaxed airway muscles to collapse and form a blockage. Unfortunately it is also much more difficult to sleep on your side if you are using a regular pillow because the mask pushes against the pillow and will loosen through the night. A CPAP pillow is specially designed so that the mask has room and is not touching the pillow. Another benefit of this design is that the mask does not need to be worn as tight, meaning less chance of leaving an imprint after it is removed.
What is the Best CPAP Pillow for Me?
First, let’s all agree that everyone is different and you are your own best judge of what works for you. Having said that, we have done extensive research into what appears to work best for most people with these sleeping styles:
This is probably the easiest type of CPAP pillow to find. There are many different ones to choose from. We particularly like the Contour Memory Foam Pillow from Classic Brands.
- Price. One of the most affordable CPAP pillows available.
- Suitable for all sleep types (side, back, and stomach)
- Memory foam offers comfortable support while easily conforming to the shape of your head.
- Left and right side cutouts for positioning the mask.
- Removable, washable cover.
- Tether to keep hose from interfering during sleep.
- People who do not like memory foam pillows will not enjoy this.
- Some owners complained of a strong chemical smell.
You should try to avoid this but if you’re a diehard back sleeper then using a good CPAP pillow is still better than not using one at all. Our choice is the Blue Chip Medical CPAP Pillow for Back or Side Sleepers.
Blue Chip Medical CPAP PILLOW FOR BACK OR SIDE SLEEPERS, Ultra-soft CPAP PILLOW CASE INCLUDED Made In USA.
- Specially engineered comfort for Back or Side sleepers.
- Contour design includes side cut-outs for mask positioning
- Removable, washable cover.
- Contains hypo-allergenic polyester fiber.
- Some people find this pillow too small. (12 x 16 x 4 inches. 1.5 pounds)
- Price. This CPAP pillow may not offer the best value depending on your experience.
As far as the position of your head, is sleeping on your stomach much different than sleeping on your side? Probably not, but nonetheless Stomach Sleepers have their own category! Our choice for best CPAP pillow goes to CPAPMax Adjustable Memory Foam CPAP Pillow for Sleep Apnea by Contour Products.
- 2 in 1 design allows you to choose memory foam or plush fiberfill surface.
- Removable layers allow you to change the pillow’s thickness
- Contour design includes side cut-outs for mask positioning.
- This is a very firm pillow. If you prefer a softer pillow, you will not like this.
- Pillow case sold separately.
- Not available outside the USA (through Amazon. May find local distributor).
The Final Word
If you’re one of the many people who is able to sleep well through the night without their CPAP mask encountering any leakage, then don’t worry too much about a CPAP pillow. On the other hand, if you are waking through the night to readjust your mask because it just doesn’t seem to sit properly against your currently pillow… maybe it’s time to consider getting a CPAP pillow. Remember though, a pillow is a very personal experience so be prepared to try more than one before you find the perfect fit. We highly recommend that you purchase from a reputable retailer with a reliable money-back guarantee.