What Pillow Is Best for Apnea?

What Pillow Is Best for Apnea?

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Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your breathing stops repeatedly while you sleep. Breathing may stop hundreds of times during the night, often for a minute or more. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep apnea can lead to various adverse health conditions. One treatment for this disorder is the use of specially designed pillows for snoring or sleep apnea.

Types of Sleep Apnea

The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and occurs when your tongue and the soft tissue of your throat block your airway during sleep .

Positional Therapy Pillows

OSA is worsened when sleeping on your back as the pull of gravity causes your tongue and soft tissue to collapse over your airway. Pillows designed to keep your body on its side with your head supported and your neck elongated, can help to alleviate the interruption of breathing caused by airway blockage.


Positional therapy pillows come in various shapes and materials, but all are designed to keep you off of your back (supine) while sleeping. Some are made especially for use with CPAP or BiPAP machines that help to keep your airway open.

The Sona Pillow

Most pillows intended for positional therapy are approved for snoring, a common symptom of sleep apnea. However, the Sona Pillow is the only pillow approved by the FDA specifically for mild sleep apnea.


Positional therapy with the use of a sleep apnea pillow is generally recommended for milder cases of OSA. The long-term effects of positional therapy are unknown. Consult with your doctor before purchasing a sleep apnea pillow.


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