[Beds on which to have] sweet dreams are made of...what, exactly?
January 24, 2015 2:39 PM   Subscribe

I'll soon be purchasing a new bed and mattress. I have sleep apnea, so it's especially important for me to choose the right ones. And I don't know what I'm doing.

For various reasons, I've decided that it's time to retire the IKEA MALM bed that I've had for years.

I know that I want a queen-sized bed, and that I want it to be higher off the ground than the MALM. Beyond that, I have no idea what I should looking for.

Basically, I want to know how to choose the right bed in general, plus any specific tips that apply to a person with OSA.

I am a side sleeper.

Specific things I'm wondering about:
  • Most importantly: is there a particular type of mattress that's best for someone with obstructive sleep apnea?
  • If there are multiple types of mattress that are suitable for OSA sufferers, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type (in general, not necessarily with regard to apnea)?
  • What are the (dis)advantages of a box spring, as opposed to a mattress that rests directly on the bed frame or on wooden slats?
  • Assuming that the bed frame is designed to accommodate an appropriate configuration of mattress and (if desired) box spring, should I be looking for any particular features that would facilitate good sleep—or is the frame pretty much a matter of aesthetics and personal preference?
  • What questions should I be asking that I don't know about?
Your advice will (hopefully) bring me comfy and restorative slumber! Thanks!
posted by escape from the potato planet to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I both have SOSA and have talked with various specialists about it. None of them have suggested anything regarding mattresses or pillows, other than making sure we have adequate support and aren't inducing more snoring somehow. The only consideration AFAIK is whether your mattress and pillows support your individual body and your specific CPAP* machine/hose/mask. Using a CPAP responsibly is the most important thing by far.

We have a custom-built mattress that rests on a slat frame and is soft enough to support side sleeping, but YMMV. Mattresses are highly individual, and we just chose what felt comfortable to us.

*APAP, whatever. :)
posted by wintersweet at 2:49 PM on January 24, 2015

I've worn a CPAP for over a decade, and none of my sleep doctors have ever made any mention about what type of bed/mattress/pillow to purchase. My current sleep doctor has CPAPMax pillows for sale in the lobby, but they're never tried to recommend them.

Just find a bed that you like and is comfortable to you, and you shouldn't have any problems. I will say that I like a firmer pillow better than a soft pillow, but that might just be me.

I will say this - when you go mattress shopping, make sure to actually lay down on the mattress in the store!! If you have a spouse/partner, have them go with you and lay down on the mattresses too. This is the most important piece of advice that anyone can give you when it comes to buying a mattress.
posted by ralan at 3:46 PM on January 24, 2015

Husbunny has been using a CPAP for close to a decade now. No one has ever said anything about pillows or a mattress. I do know that since I'm the buyer of things in our partnership, that ever since I purchased the mattresses that are, according to the salesman, "like poured concrete," that we both sleep like logs.

A very firm mattress is just the bees knees. It's hard to comparison shop because each retailer has their own versions of a manufacturer's line.

I like Simmons, it's been a great mattress and shows no signs of wear at all.

And no, whether it's on a platform or a box spring, it doesn't matter.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:10 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just to add on from another CPAP user, the most important factor is a mattress you're comfortable with - don't sweat the apnea aspects when searching for the right bed.
posted by jalexei at 7:47 PM on January 24, 2015

If you are indecisive, try purchasing your mattress from a store with a generous return policy (eg. Costco) so you can try the mattress for a few days, and swap it over for another if you don't like it.
posted by travellingincognito at 2:26 AM on January 25, 2015

Came back to say that you may each sleep better sleeping in separate beds. There's some sort of thing in our culture that partners should sleep together and frankly it's bunk!

I splay out like a starfish and toss and turn at night. Husbunny rolls himself in the covers like a mummy. These things are what we do to sleep well. They are contra-indicated for two people in the same bed.

You may find that two beds will work better for you than both in the same bed.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:41 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

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