Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain (2023)
Feb 10th, 2023 •
Shoulder pain is fairly common for athletes, people with arthritis, or people who just have everyday aches and pains in that area. One of the most common causes of shoulder pain during the night is too much pressure on the shoulder joint, which can aggravate existing inflammation or injuries. Side sleepers who sleep with the affected shoulder facing down can feel the effects even more acutely.
Irregular sleep can impair your body’s ability to heal, so losing sleep because of shoulder pain could leave you feeling stuck in a vicious cycle. Fortunately, a good pressure-relieving mattress can help alleviate the discomfort so you can get back on track.
We’ve tested dozens of top-rated products to bring you our list of the best mattresses for shoulder pain. You can compare our selections and also check out our buyer’s guide to learn more about the causes of shoulder pain and how to keep it from spoiling a good night’s sleep.
Our Top Picks: Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain
- Best Luxury Mattress – DreamCloud Premier
- Editor’s Pick – Saatva Classic
- Best Value Mattress – Nectar
- Best Cooling Mattress – Helix Midnight Luxe
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Nolah Signature 12″
- Best Mattress for Neck and Shoulder Pain – Layla
- Best Mattress for Edge Support – The WinkBed
- Best Mattress for Athletes – Bear Elite Hybrid
- Best Mattress for Couples – Brooklyn Sedona Elite
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-breeze
Why You Can Trust Mattress Advisor
We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity in our product reviews and other content by incorporating real customer feedback, empirical testing and objective evaluations. Our results and recommendations are never influenced by the commission we may receive from brands, and products we receive are never guaranteed a positive review.
Please note: while we’re experts when it comes to mattresses, we are not doctors. It’s always recommended that you consult with your doctor when it comes to choosing products meant to address health and pain issues.
Best Luxury Mattress
- Luxury shoppers
- People with back pain
- Heavier sleepers
The DreamCloud Premier is a 14-inch luxury hybrid made of five layers designed to work together to provide breathability, contouring support, and pressure relief. The cover is a cashmere blend, supported by a cushioning pillow-top and layers of foam and pocketed micro-coils.
The material is super-responsive and moves as you move to help relieve pain in any sleep position. DreamCloud Premier offers a generous lifetime warranty on their mattress and a 365-night sleep trial.
Read our full DreamCloud Premier mattress review. Also, check out our roundup of best luxury mattresses.
- Outstanding pressure relief
- Side sleepers
- Multiple firmness options
The Saatva Classic innerspring hybrid gives you three firmness options—soft, medium, and firm—so you can pick the right level of firmness for your needs. We recommend the soft or medium options for shoulder pain, so that your shoulders can gently sink into the surface to optimize pressure relief.
Saatva’s spinal alignment also works well if you have back pain in addition to shoulder pain. The hybrid design, which includes layers of pressure-relieving foam and supportive coils, makes for a well-balanced mattress that can suit a variety of sleepers.
Read our full Saatva Classic mattress review.
Best Value Mattress
- Budget shoppers
- Hot sleepers
The Nectar Memory Foam (Nectar’s original model) is a solid choice for relieving pressure in the shoulder and other sensitive areas, with an 8.5/10 pressure relief score. Although the 7.5/10 spine alignment score isn’t great, budget-conscious people might be open to a compromise because of its pressure relief performance and overall value.
Nectar offers a lifetime warranty and a 365-night sleep trial. The Nectar Memory Foam mattress is compatible with virtually any bed platform or foundation, and the removable cooling cover makes for easy care and cleaning.
Read our full Nectar mattress review. See other budget-friendly beds in our roundup of best mattresses for the money.
Helix Midnight Luxe
Best Cooling Mattress
- Hot sleepers
- Pressure relief
- People with back pain
Medium firm: 6/10
With a 9.5/10 Mattress Advisor score for cooling, the Helix Midnight Luxe is one of the best mattresses for hot sleepers we’ve reviewed. It’s also a solid option for people with shoulder pain, thanks in part to its performance in pressure relief (an 8.5/10 score).
This hybrid’s pocketed coil layer offers zoned-lumbar support to help the mattress cradle and support your shoulders. It’s also eco-friendly, using materials that are CertiPur-US and OEKO-TEX certified.
Read our full Helix Midnight Luxe mattress review. You can see other cooling beds in our roundup of best mattresses for hot sleepers.
Nolah Signature 12''
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Side sleeping position
- Pressure relief
- Restless sleepers
Side sleepers with shoulder pain need a mattress that excels at relieving pressure, and the Nolah Signature 12” certainly delivers. It earns a 9.25/10 pressure relief score in the Mattress Advisor sleep lab, a very promising sign for people who need cradling support in the pressure-sensitive shoulder area.
Despite those highlights, the Nolah Signature 12” scores 7.75/10 for spine alignment. Bear that in mind if your shoulder pain is accompanied by back pain.
Read our full Nolah Signature 12″ mattress review. You can compare similar beds in our roundup of best mattresses for side sleepers.
Best Mattress for Neck/Shoulder Pain
- Pain in the shoulder and neck
- People with arthritis
- Pressure relief
Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10
Layla is a dual-sided mattress that gives you two firmness options. Flip to the soft side or the firm side depending on your preferences. If the cause of your shoulder pain is a sports injury, the Layla may be for you (it’s also a top mattress for arthritis). The copper-infused gel is designed to help with inflammation.
This mattress scored a 9/10 on our pressure relief test and a 9.5/10 in responsiveness. On top of that, with the purchase of a Layla mattress you get a lifetime warranty should you ever come across any manufacturer defects.
Read our full Layla mattress review. Also, see our roundup of best mattresses for arthritis.
WinkBeds Luxury Firm
Best Mattress for Edge Support
- Edge support
- Spine alignment
- Restless sleepers
Medium firm: 6/10
If you love to sleep on the edge of your bed or you need a little extra support when getting out of bed, the WinkBed’s 9.75/10 for edge support is practically perfect. In addition, this product’s responsiveness is a solid 9/10, making this mattress great for restless sleepers.
The WinkBed’s performance in pressure relief and spine alignment makes it a good choice for back sleepers and stomach sleepers. Still, it might not be best for couples or people who share their beds with their children or pets, because it scores just 6.4/10 for motion isolation in our mattress lab.
Read our full WinkBed mattress review.
Bear Elite Hybrid
Best Mattress for Athletes
- Athletes with shoulder pain
- Side and back sleepers
- Eco-conscious shoppers
Soft, medium, and firm
From old injuries to recent impingements, shoulder pain can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep and perform at a peak level. One possible remedy is making the Elite Hybrid mattress from athlete-friendly brand Bear part of your gameplan.
With a 9/10 pressure relief score, the Bear Elite Hybrid has dual foam layers designed to provide gentle, cushioning support for the shoulders and hips. They act in concert with a layer of pocketed coils to respond to pressure and help keep the spine in a neutral alignment. Also, the cover includes Celliant fibers to promote muscle recovery.
Read our full Bear Elite Hybrid mattress review. You can also check out our roundup of best mattresses for athletes.
Brooklyn Sedona Elite
Best Mattress for Couples
- Hot sleepers
- Combination sleepers
Those sleeping with a partner and shoulder pain should consider the Brooklyn Sedona Elite hybrid, as it addresses these circumstances with its pressure relief and motion isolation.
The top layers of comfort foam on the Sedona Elite provide support and cushioning around your shoulders so that it doesn’t sink uncomfortably below the mattress surface. You and your partner shouldn’t wake each other up at night because of the 8.75/10 score for motion transfer. This bed sleepers cool (9/10) and has nice edge support (8.5/10) as well, so you won’t have to worry about body heat or falling off the bed.
Read our full Brooklyn Sedona Elite mattress review. You can see similar beds in our roundup of best mattresses for couples.
Best Memory Foam Mattress
- Fans of “hugging” memory foam
- Side sleepers
- Luxury mattress shoppers
We gave the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-breeze a 9.5/10 for pressure relief, which makes it a stellar option for those who sleep on their side and suffer from shoulder pain. The mattress comes in a few different models with different softness and firmness options—the PRObreeze and PRObreeze hybrid models have a medium-firm firmness; the LUXEbreeze allows you to choose between firm and soft options. Each mattress is made from layers upon layers of contouring foam that create a cradle of support beneath your body.
The TEMPUR-breeze is also a standout for spine alignment, earning a 9/10 in this category. This shows it can help alleviate back pain by maintaining your spine’s natural curve while you sleep, even while also offering some give at your pressure points.
Read our full Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-breeze mattress review. You can compare similar mattresses in our roundup of best memory foam mattresses.
Buyer’s Guide to Mattresses for Shoulder Pain
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons estimates that 4 million Americans every year seek medical treatment for shoulder pain. Any kind of discomfort can affect the quality of your sleep, and shoulder pain is certainly no exception.
The good news is that medical treatment can help address shoulder pain, and the right mattress can reduce the chances of flare-ups during the night. Our buyer’s guide has information to help you understand shoulder pain and find a mattress with the qualities you need.
- Sleep and Pain: How Sleep Helps the Body Heal
- How a Mattress Can Affect Shoulder Pain
- What Type of Mattress is Best for Shoulder Pain?
- How to Choose a Good Mattress for Shoulder Pain
- Tips for Sleeping with Shoulder Pain
Sleep and Pain: How Sleep Helps the Body Heal
We all know sleep is about rest, but it’s also about restoration. During sleep, the body devotes itself to processes that include the regeneration of muscle and tissue. Part of the repair process involves the production and release of human growth hormone by the pituitary gland so that this naturally occurring substance can help your body heal itself.
Research has shown that sleep deprivation impairs the body’s ability to produce HGH. With pain as a leading cause of irregular sleep, it’s easy to see the connection: Pain disrupts sleep. Poor sleep leads to less HGH production. Less HGH limits the body’s ability to repair what’s causing the pain. And on it goes.
Addressing the discomfort that makes it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep is key to interrupting this sleep-pain cycle. Don’t overlook the importance of your sleep environment—temperature, lighting, and the mattress you sleep on—as you pursue your solution.
How a Mattress Can Affect Shoulder Pain
When you’re dealing with pain in your shoulders, the quality and design of your mattress could play a huge role in determining whether you sleep restfully or wake up with soreness and stiffness.
A typical adult sleeps 7 or 8 hours a night, with pressure-sensitive areas—shoulders, back, hips, neck, or some combination—bearing a good portion of their body weight. A mattress that provides the right amount of pressure relief and support while keeping your spine in a neutral alignment can greatly reduce the stress on these areas.
These qualities are even more important for people dealing with pain, including shoulder pain caused by an injury or a medical condition.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
Because shoulder pain is so common, it is clear to see that there are many causes that people of all ages can have.
A large number of shoulder pain cases are due to rotator cuff injuries that affect a group of muscles and joints that holds the shoulder together. True to its name, it allows you to reach overhead and rotate your arm around. Injuries to the rotator cuff are often sports-related. If you’re an athlete and having shoulder pain, make sure to check out our best mattress for athletes.
Another common shoulder injury is dislocation. When your shoulder is dislocated you will feel pain when you attempt to raise your arm or constantly feel as if your shoulder will slip out of place.
After years of putting wear and tear on your body, it’s not wonder that people become so sore with age. Your sleep is supposed to be a time of restoration and healing. That’s why it’s so important to find a mattress for seniors that takes these factors into account and support pain points.
Sometimes, shoulder pain can be caused from a break or a fracture of the bone. Because the shoulder is a ball and socket joint, the shoulder pain can come when either bone is broken. Occasionally, a broken clavicle bone can cause shoulder pain as well. Broken shoulder bones often require surgery, followed by a recovery period.
A frozen shoulder is simply just stiffness in the shoulder joint. This is caused by the thickening of your shoulder tissue capsules. When your shoulder is frozen any movement can cause pain and range of motion becomes difficult. This pain can last anywhere from 1-3 years.
Tendinitis is when your tendons become irritated or inflamed, causing pain. When you have tendinitis of the shoulder, it is often from sports, such as pitcher’s shoulder and swimmer’s shoulder. This pain of tendinitis is more of an ache than a sharp pain, but it can last for a few weeks.
When the fluid in your bursae sac swell, you get bursitis. These sacs usually pad you tendons, so when they swell, it causes painful rubbing or inflammation. Bursitis should go away in a few weeks.
Sleep Positions and Shoulder Pain
The amount of pressure you put on your shoulder as you fall asleep depends on your sleep position.
Side sleeping is the position that puts the most pressure on the shoulder and hip joints. You should always make the non-injured shoulder the one you sleep on. The best option is most likely a side sleeper mattress made of memory foam with good pressure relief and medium firmness.
Sleeping on your back is the ideal position for people with shoulder pain, since you place virtually no weight there. A medium-firm mattress for back sleepers and good pillow support can help you maintain the natural curve of your spine during sleep.
Sleeping on your stomach doesn’t create as much pressure as side sleeping, but it certainly isn’t great for your shoulders or neck. The ideal mattress for stomach sleepers with shoulder pain is probably a medium-firm hybrid with layers of memory foam or latex on top anchored by a coil-spring core.
Changing sleep positions during the night can be a challenge if you have a sore shoulder, especially if it’s a side-back combination that puts stress on the shoulder area. The best mattresses for combination sleepers should have excellent responsiveness, which makes it easier to shift positions, in addition to great pressure relief.
What Type of Mattress is Best for Shoulder Pain?
How a mattress is constructed will determine how it affects your shoulder pain. Here are the best mattress types for shoulder pain:
- Memory Foam: A memory foam mattress contours to your body and cradles your pressure points (in this case, your shoulders).
- Latex: Latex mattresses are like memory foam, except they’re naturally cool. Memory foam and latex mattresses both offer pressure relief, but latex can be natural, if you are into organic mattresses.
- Hybrid: A hybrid mattress combines aspects of innerspring, memory foam, and latex to add the support layer of springs or latex and the comfort layer of foam.
Innerspring mattresses don’t make our list here, for one reason. Spring systems tend to fall short in the critical category of pressure relief compared with memory foam and latex. The term “innerspring mattress” is something of a misnomer anyway, since many hybrids use innersprings in their core layers as opposed to an all-coil design.
How to Choose a Good Mattress for Shoulder Pain
People with shoulder pain should focus on a few key features and characteristics as they shop for a mattress. These factors include:
Pressure relief is one of the most important things to look for in a mattress when you have shoulder pain. This quality will help relieve pressure on the joints in the shoulder area, especially for side sleepers who sleep with the affected shoulder facing down.
A mattress with good spine alignment qualities helps keep your spine in a neutral alignment as you sleep. Although it might seem like strictly a back or neck concern, remember that neck pain sometimes radiates along nerve pathways to the shoulder and causes discomfort in that area as well.
People with shoulder pain should shoot for a medium or medium-firm mattress, usually between 5/10 and 7/10 on the mattress firmness scale. This firmness range should allow your shoulder to sink into the mattress comfortably, but not so much that it throws off your alignment or causes excess joint pressure.
Of all the various building blocks of mattresses, memory foam and latex tend to do the best job of providing pressure relief and spine alignment. The best mattress to address your shoulder pain will probably be memory foam or latex, or a hybrid that includes memory foam or latex layers.
Applying some heat to sore muscles feels great, but it doesn’t mean the ideal mattress for shoulder pain would be a giant heating pad. Mattresses that don’t do a good job of letting heat escape can lead to overheating and night sweats that disrupt the sleeping hours, your body’s prime time for healing. A mattress that uses breathable materials such as latex or gel-infused memory foam can help you maintain a comfortable sleep temperature.
Related: Thermoregulation During Sleep
A mattress with a healthy amount of “give” that gently responds to your body’s curvature can be a great help with muscle and joint pain. The material that provides the most contouring is memory foam, followed by latex. Contouring also touches on the matter of firmness, since firmer mattresses aren’t as easy to sink into and tend to provide less contouring effect.
Tips for Sleeping with Shoulder Pain
While a good mattress will do you a world of good when you’re trying to sleep with shoulder pain, it isn’t the only thing you should consider.
Use a Mattress Topper or Pad
If it doesn’t look like buying a new mattress is in your budget, you can always utilize mattress extras such as a mattress topper or mattress pad. A good memory foam or latex mattress topper will go a long way in adding pressure relief to your mattress.
Try Combinations of Pillows
Make sure you are using a pillow that promotes alignment. If you sleep on your stomach, pick a flat pillow, and use an additional pillow under your hips. If you sleep on your side make sure the loft isn’t too high or too low. If you sleep on your back your pillow should also be a little flatter and another should be propped under your knees.
Become a Back Sleeper
The ideal sleep position for shoulder pain, and the healthiest position in general, is back sleeping. Switching to back sleeping could be easier than you think. If you decide to sleep on your side, sleep on the side of your good shoulder with a pillow between your knees.
Maintain a Healthy Sleep Routine
Good sleep hygiene is its own reward, but it can be especially beneficial for people with shoulder pain and similar problems. Among the many benefits of healthy sleep is that it helps with muscle repair, which is great news for anyone who has a sore shoulder. So you have a compelling reason to go to sleep at the same time every night, turn off your electronics early, and so on.
Stretch Before Bedtime
Some gentle stretching before you turn in can help you unwind and relieve pain so that you go to sleep in a good place, both physically and mentally. You don’t have to be a yoga master, either. You can start with some simple shoulder rolls and neck stretches and go from there.
Talk to Your Doctor
We would like to reiterate that, though we are sleep experts, we’re not physicians. If your shoulder pain persists at night or worsens, make sure you contact your doctor for further instructions or sleep tips.
Recap: Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can make for a rough night—and cause discomfort the following day. Getting a good night’s sleep means having more energy, being more productive, and becoming healthier overall. If your current mattress isn’t giving you any relief, try out one of the featured mattresses on our list:
|Mattress||Award||Mattress Advisor Score (out of 10)|
|DreamCloud Premier||Best Luxury Mattress||8.9|
|Saatva Classic||Editor’s Pick||9.0|
|Nectar||Best Value Mattress||8.7|
|Helix Midnight Luxe||Best Cooling Mattress||8.7|
|Nolah Signature 12”||Best for Side Sleepers||8.6|
|Layla||Best for Neck/Shoulder Pain||8.8|
|The WinkBed||Best for Edge Support||8.6|
|Bear Elite Hybrid||Best Mattress for Athletes||8.9|
|Brooklyn Sedona Elite||Best for Couples||9.0|
|TEMPUR-breeze||Best Memory Foam Mattress||8.6|
Mattresses for Shoulder Pain FAQ
What mattress firmness is best for shoulder pain?
A firm to medium-firm mattress is best for those with shoulder pain. Contouring and pressure relief properties also help support the shoulder area without aggravating any existing pain.
Can a mattress cause shoulder pain?
If your mattress is applying pressure to your shoulder throughout the night, it may be contributing to some of your shoulder pain.
There are other factors to consider as well, such as your sleeping position. For example, if you’re a side sleeper, you may be exposing your shoulder to additional pressure during the night.
What is the best mattress topper for shoulder pain?
A memory foam or latex mattress topper can provide additional support if you’re not in the market for a new mattress.
Best Mattress for Hip Pain
Hip pain becomes more common as we get older and sleeping on the wrong mattress can only make it worse. Find the best mattress for hip pain based on comprehensive testing and user feedback on over 100 different mattresses.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
See our top picks for the best mattresses for back pain relief that offer support and comfort. Eliminate upper and lower back pain starting tonight.
Best Mattresses of 2023
We've reviewed over 150 beds to select our best mattress of 2023. See our top picks for side sleepers, hot sleepers, kids, seniors, and more.