Best Mattresses for Acid Reflux – Our Picks and Buyer’s Guide
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux, is a condition characterized by stomach acid washing into the esophagus. Acid reflux can cause serious damage to the esophageal lining and may also lead to heartburn and other forms of discomfort – particularly after consuming a meal. People with acid reflux commonly experience sleep problems, as well.
Bedding and sleep conditions are critical for those living with acid reflux. Most experts advise people with this disease to sleep on their sides; sleeping on the back can aggravate GERD and lead to more reflux, while stomach sleeping often causes inordinate neck and back pain. As a result, most people with acid reflux find that mattresses designed to support side sleepers are the best option. These mattresses cushion the shoulders, hips, and other areas of the body in order to align the spine with the pelvis and minimize pressure points.
Read on to learn more mattress tips and recommendations for people with acid reflux, including our picks for the top five mattresses sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Our Editor’s Pick is the Avocado Green, an eco-friendly latex hybrid mattress that provides excellent support for side sleepers. The Avocado Green is available in two firmness options, ‘Medium’ (5.5 on the 1-10 firmness scale) and ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5); this selection accommodates most sleepers in the average weight group (130 to 230 pounds) and heavy weight group (more than 230 pounds).
The mattress features comfort layers of organic New Zealand wool and natural Dunlop latex, which conform closely to the sleeper’s body without absorbing too much body heat or feeling excessively hot. The Avocado Green is also constructed with a transitional natural latex layer and a support core made of pocketed coils, which provide great reinforcement and help maintain an even sleep surface. Additionally, the mattress isolates motion transfer very well and produces minimal noise, making it a good option for couples.
Avocado ships mattresses anywhere in the U.S. free of charge. Customers may also choose White Glove delivery – which includes in-home mattress assembly and old mattress removal – for an additional charge. The Avocado Green is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
Although preferences vary by weight, most side sleepers prefer mattresses that are ‘Medium Firm.’ This setting offers a balance of pressure-relieving softness and bodily support needed for this sleep position. The Nectar mattress offers a ‘Medium Firm’ (6) surface that is suitable for the majority of side sleepers, including those with conditions like acid reflux that often require exclusive side sleeping. The bed also isolates motion and is virtually silent when bearing weight.
The Nectar mattress is designed with layers of gel memory foam and standard memory foam within in the comfort system and two layers of high-density polyfoam in the support core. This four-tier design provides excellent cushioning and pressure relief while ensuring the sleep surface remains even and supportive. The Nectar’s cover is made from cotton and lyocell, which are cooler and more breathable than fabrics like polyester.
The Nectar’s below-average price-point also makes it a high-value mattress. Customers anywhere in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping when they order a Nectar mattress, which is backed by a 365-night sleep trial – much longer than average – and a 10-year warranty.
The Botanical Bliss Collection from PlushBeds consists of three height profile options: 9″, 10″, and 12″ – and three firmness options: ‘Soft’ (3.5), ‘Medium’ (5.5), and ‘Medium Firm’ (6) . As a result, side sleepers in any weight group should be able to find a version that provides adequate comfort and support. The mattresses are designed with comfort layers of organic wool and natural Dunlop latex, as well as an organic-cotton cover. These breathable materials sleep very cool, while the latex offers close conforming and great pressure relief. The support core, also made from natural latex, helps the bed maintain a comfortable sleep surface.
Latex is also highly durable, giving the Botanical Bliss mattresses a long expected lifespan.
Other key strengths of Botanical Bliss mattresses include good motion isolation and no noise, making them a good choice for couples. Botanical Bliss mattresses have above-average price-points compared to other mattresses, and are a good pick for shoppers with bigger budgets.
PlushBeds offers a 100-night sleep trial for all Botanical Bliss models, as well as a 100-night comfort exchange that allows purchasers to adjust their bed’s firmness by swapping out a latex layer. All Botanical Bliss mattresses are also backed by a 25-year lifetime warranty, which is much longer than the average mattress warranty.
Side and back sleepers
Sleepers in every weight group (light, average, heavy)
Because most people with acid reflux must continually sleep on their side, a mattress that will provide comfort and support for single-position sleepers is important. While all of our top picks in this list are suitable for side sleepers, the Loom & Leaf by Saatva is a standout for several reasons. One is firmness selection; the mattress is available in ‘Medium’ (5.5) and ‘Firm’ (8) options, which should accommodate nearly all side sleepers regardless of their weight.
The Loom & Leaf also conforms closely with comfort layers of gel memory foam and standard memory foam. As a result, the bed will alleviate pain and pressure to a significant extent. Unlike many all-foam beds, the Loom & Leaf absorbs minimal body heat and sleeps fairly cool; this is largely due to its organic-cotton cover. The mattress also minimizes motion transfer very well and is virtually silent when bearing weight.
Like other mattresses from Saatva, the Loom & Leaf qualifies for free White Glove delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S.; most competitors will charge customers an additional fee of at least $100 for this service. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty, as well.
Unveiled in 2018, the New Purple – like the Original Purple – is constructed with the unique ‘Smart Grid’ comfort system that consists of buckling-column gel dispersed throughout an elastic polymer grid. This layer hugs the body closely to align the spine and alleviate pressure points in sleepers, much like memory foam, but the polymers do not deteriorate as quickly and the New Purple’s expected lifespan is much longer than most all-foam beds.
The New Purple also sleeps exceptionally cool. This is due to good airflow through the ‘Smart Grid’ and the pocketed coil support core. The mattress also comes in a wide range of profiles and firmness settings, making it suitable for sleepers with different body types. The 11″ bed is ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5); the 12″ bed is ‘Medium’ (5.5); and the 13″ bed is ‘Medium Soft’ (4.5). Prices vary by profile, though all three options carry higher-than-average costs, making the New Purple a good pick for shoppers with bigger budgets.
Purple will ship this mattress anywhere in the contiguous U.S. at no extra cost. The New Purple is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
Sleepers in every weight group (light, average, heavy)
Acid reflux is the primary symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that affects roughly 20% of the U.S. population. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid enters the esophagus, which connects the mouth to the stomach. This backwash can seriously damage stomach lining and may lead to severe discomfort — particularly after evening meals. As a result, people who regularly experience acid reflux often have a hard time falling and staying asleep.
Sleep experts have noted that people who sleep flat on their backs with minimal head support are most susceptible to acid reflux during the night. One potential solution to this issue is an adjustable bed base that allows the sleeper to elevate their head. However, it’s important to note that some mattresses are better suited for adjustable beds than others.
This guide will explore the best mattress choices for sleepers with acid reflux who use an adjustable bed. Below you’ll find some general information about the causes and symptoms of acid reflux, tips for first-time mattress buyers, and our top mattress model picks for sleepers who experience GERD on a regular basis.
What Is Acid Reflux?
According to the Mayo Clinic, frequent acid reflux often leads to GERD. The root cause of most acid reflux cases is a weakened esophageal sphincter, the ring of soft muscle that relaxes when you eat and drink, and then closes when you finish. Weak esophageal sphincters can allow stomach acid to flow into the esophagus, which can lead to the following symptoms:
Irritated or inflamed stomach lining
Burning sensations in the chest, which are often more pronounced at night (after evening meals)
Discomfort when swallowing
A ‘lump’ sensation in the throat
People who experience acid reflux should consider seeing a physician if their GERD episodes become more severe and/or more frequent, or if they take heartburn medication more than twice per week. Over time, GERD and severe acid reflux can lead to the following complications:
Esophageal stricture: Narrowing of the esophagus caused by stomach acid damage to the lower esophagus.
Esophageal ulcer: An open sore that forms when stomach acid erodes the esophageal tissue.
Barrett’s esophagus: Altered tissue lining in the esophagus that has been linked to risks of esophageal cancer.
Most people experience acid reflux occasionally. People with GERD typically report at least one or two reflux incidents per week, while those with mild to severe acid reflux usually experience one incident per week. Certain risk factors can lead to more frequent reflux, such as:
Hiatal hernia, which are located at the top of the stomach
Eating large meals late at night or consuming certain foods (such as fatty or dried food) and beverages (such as alcohol or coffee)
Certain medications, including aspirin
Next, let’s look at how acid reflux affects sleep — and effective measures people with acid reflux can take in order to get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep Considerations and Strategies for People with Acid Reflux
People with GERD or acid reflux often experience sleep disruption due to the following factors:
Nocturnal heartburn pain
Coughing or choking due to acid in the throat
The unpleasant sensation of regurgitating stomach acid from the mouth
Additionally, GERD has been linked to sleep apnea, a condition characterized by temporary loss of breath while sleeping. The most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA), occurs when a physical obstruction hinders air circulation in the breathing passages. Many people with OSA experience frequent heavy snoring, but the condition has been linked to more serious conditions such as cancer and chronic heart disease.
Numerous sleep studies have revealed that certain measures can effectively reduce the symptoms of acid reflux, as well as minimize snoring for people with OSA. These measures include:
Elevating the head
Stomach acid is more likely to flow into a sleeper’s esophagus when their head is flat or barely raised. By elevating the head at least six inches, gravity controls the backwash and reduces the amount of acid that enters the esophagus. Elevating the head can also cut down on snoring, since many people snore when their breathing muscles relax and the tongue partially blocks the airway.
Sleeping on the left side
Back sleepers are at higher risk for both acid reflux and snoring, while side sleeping is considered the best position for both conditions. Additionally, people with acid reflux are urged to sleep on their left side; sleeping on one’s right side triggers more relaxation in the esophageal sphincter.
Spacing meals and bedtime
Because nocturnal heartburn often occurs after evening meals, sleepers with acid reflux are encouraged to avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime. Lighter meals with low amounts of fatty, salty foods and no alcohol or caffeine are often the best option.
For many people with acid reflux, adjustable beds make a world of difference. Adjustable beds allow sleepers to elevate the head of their bed, which (as we’ve discussed) can help prevent both snoring and acid reflux symptoms. Many adjustable beds can also be raised or lowered at the foot, which can aid sleepers with poor circulation.
Not all mattresses are compatible with adjustable beds. When shopping for a mattress that will be used with an adjustable bed, here are a few factors to take into account:
Adjustable beds can cause more wear and tear due to the constant motion. As a result, mattresses with longer-than-average lifespans — such as memory foam, latex, and airbed models — tend to be more suitable for these beds than mattresses with typically shorter lifespans.
Thicker mattresses tend to be the least flexible, whereas lower-profile mattresses tend to offer the most flexibility. The general rule of thumb is that any mattress that measures 12 inches thick or less will be suitable for an adjustable bed.
Finding the right firmness is important for sleepers with acid reflux. Mattresses that are excessively firm or excessively soft may provide inadequate support and cause discomfort. Both of these issues can cause sleepers to shift positions during the night, which can leave them susceptible to more intense acid reflux symptoms.
Sleepers with acid reflux who are committed to a spring-based mattress should consider hybrid models, which have pocketed coils that offer better flexibility. Traditional innersprings with border wires or rods are generally incompatible with adjustable beds. Innersprings also have shorter-than-average lifespans.
Most mattresses sold today come with a sleep trial, which allows customers to test out their new mattress for a certain length of time (typically 90 nights or longer). If they are dissatisfied with the mattress before the trial expires, then they will be able to return their mattress for a full or partial refund. Sleep trials can be a useful way to try out different mattress options before committing to a full purchase.
Important Questions for Mattress Shoppers with Acid Reflux
Here are a few key questions to ask when shopping for a new mattress to be used with an adjustable bed:
What is your mattress budget? The average mattress costs more than $1,000 in a Queen-size. However, memory foam models are typically much cheaper than latex, hybrid, or airbed mattresses.
Do you sleep on your side? Side sleeping can benefit people with acid reflux. Among all mattress types, side sleepers tend to feel most comfortable and supported on memory foam and latex mattresses.
How much do you weigh? Sleeper weight is closely tied to firmness preferences. People who are heavier than average (more than 230 pounds) tend to prefer firmer surfaces that don’t sink too deeply and provide even support. On the other hand, lighter-than-average sleepers (less than 130 pounds) often feel most comfortable on softer sleep surfaces that conform to their bodies.
What is your ideal mattress thickness? Generally, the thinner the mattress, the more flexible and better suited for an adjustable bed it will be. Mattresses that measure 12 inches or thinner are considered the best option for adjustable beds, so sleepers with acid reflux that prefer thicker-than-average mattresses may need to compromise in order to find a workable mattress model.
Is your desired mattress compatible with an adjustable bed? Most adjustable beds are compatible with any flexible mattress that measures 12 inches thick or less. However, you should double-check the manual and contact the manufacturer if you are concerned the mattress you want is incompatible with the bed. Likewise, be sure to read the product warranty for any mattress you are interested in buying; some explicitly state that using the mattress with an adjustable bed will void the warranty.
What kind of sleep trial and return policy do the mattress manufacturer offer? Most sleep trials last 90 nights or longer, which is a sufficient break-in period for determining if the mattress will work. However, be sure to read the fine print — some brands charge expensive return fees and/or require customers to cover return shipping and handling costs, which can be fairly expensive.
Are mattress exchanges available with the sleep trial? In some cases, customers will be able to exchange their mattress during the sleep trial, rather than returning it for a refund. Again, fine print is key. In some cases, the replacement mattress will not qualify for an additional sleep trial — and the purchaser will essentially need to commit to the replacement, even though it still might not be their best option.
How long is the mattress warranty? Most mattress warranties span at least 10 years, and a large number extend beyond the 20-year mark. However, warranty length is not as important as the length of nonprorated coverage, during which time the owner can have a defective mattress repaired or replaced at little to no charge. Some warranties are entirely nonprorated, while others offer only one to two years of nonprorated coverage.
What defects are covered under the mattress warranty? Mattresses used with adjustable beds are susceptible to more wear and tear than models used with standard frames or foundations. Wear and tear can lead to sagging or indentations in the sleep surface that cause discomfort and disrupt sleep; they can also lead to shifting positions during the night, which can aggravate acid reflux symptoms. Most mattress warranties cover sagging and indentations that measure a certain depth, but this depth varies by brand. Keep in mind that sagging and indentations measuring one inch or deeper cause the most sleep disruption, but this depth falls below the coverable defects listed in some warranties.