Best Mattress Guides

Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain

Discover our top mattress recommendations for relieving and preventing shoulder pain in this review.

By Natalie Yerger

Whether you’re living with shoulder pain from joint inflammation, an injury, or a chronic illness, constant discomfort and aching in the shoulder and neck area can have an impact on the quality of your daily life. There are many options available to alleviate pain in these areas, but among the most accessible is ensuring you’re sleeping on the right mattress to prevent and reduce pain.

In this guide, we share the best mattresses for shoulder pain. These selections are meant to suit a wide variety of mattress shoppers with shoulder pain, from those who sleep hot to value shoppers and overweight individuals. Keep reading to discover mattresses that can keep the shoulders moving smoothly, encourage joint health, and will balance contouring and support for the shoulder.

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Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain

Saatva: Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Shoulder Pain

Saatva Classic

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Shoulder Pain

This innerspring mattress utilizes a coil-on-coil design and thick comfort layers to balance conforming and support so that the shoulder can sink without misaligning the rest of the spine.

Saatva mattressnerd
Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

180 nights

Warranty

15 year

The Saatva comes in three firmness settings, Plush Soft, Luxury Firm and Firm, that have different ratings on the 1–10 firmness scale. The Plush Soft (4/10) and Luxury Firm (6/10) are best for side sleepers with shoulder pain. The euro-top cover, polyfoam comfort layer and memory foam comfort layer work in tandem to provide body conforming that’s generous but not so deep that the shoulder joint won’t feel supported.

The support core, made from durable bonnell coils, helps the mattress maintain an even surface to prevent sagging and further discomfort. It also comes in two heights (11.5” and 14.5”) so that sleepers can choose the option that feels comfortable when getting on and off the mattress. We recommend the Plush Soft setting for lightweight side sleepers and the Luxury Firm setting for average weight side sleepers. Heavyweight side sleepers will find proper support on the Firm setting.

See our full Saatva mattress review to learn more.

Bear Hybrid: Best Cooling Mattress

Bear Hybrid

Best Cooling Mattress

Contouring for pressure relief and cooling often don’t go hand in hand, but the Bear Hybrid marries these two qualities nicely for shoulder pain sufferers who sleep hot.

bear hybrid mattress
Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Dual-Sided: Plush and Firm

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year limited warranty

A luxury mattress designed for athletes, the Bear Hybrid was created to promote faster recovery for the joints and muscles. From its firmness setting to its Celliant cover, the bed has many characteristics that will benefit people who experience shoulder pain. The Celliant fabric has been scientifically proven to improve circulation, the polyfoam comfort layers conform to the joint without sagging and the extra layer of padding in the cover provides targeted cushioning for side sleepers, even though the mattress has a medium-firm (6/10) setting.

We chose this mattress for people who sleep hot and struggle with shoulder pain because it’s breathable in addition to its joint-cradling and circulation-improving properties. Like most hybrids, the bed will have steady airflow throughout the coil layer, but the Hypersoft Cooling-gel Foam sewn into the cover gives the bed an even breezier feel than similar hybrids.

See our full Bear Hybrid mattress review to learn more.

Leesa Hybrid: Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

Leesa Hybrid

Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

The comfort portion of this mattress, which layers polyfoam and memory foam, provides light bounce for sleepers with shoulder issues who feel pain when changing positions while conforming around sensitive areas.

Hybrid 3
Score
4.5 / 5.0
Firmness

7

Trial period

100 days

Warranty

10 years

If your shoulder pain is tied to how you sleep, it’s essential to select a mattress that will provide adequate pressure relief for the joint and surrounding areas. The Leesa Hybrid’s triple-layer comfort system, which combines memory foam and polyfoam layers, cushions tender shoulders and alleviates more pressure than other hybrids with similar features.

Keep in mind, however, that the pressure-relieving qualities of this mattress are best suited for average weight and heavyweight sleepers. Lightweight sleepers are more likely to find that the bed’s medium-firm feel doesn’t provide enough hug around the shoulder joint. The Leesa Original, which is softer than the Leesa Hybrid, may be a better choice for petite sleepers.

See our full Leesa Hybrid mattress review to learn more.

Nolah Original: Best Value Mattress

Nolah Original 10"

Best Value Mattress

Nolah’s proprietary AirFoam helps this mattress strike the perfect balance between conforming, bounce and support—and all sizes cost less than $1,000.

NolahOriginal10
Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

Available at three firmness options: soft, medium and firm

Trial period

120 nights

Warranty

15-year limited warranty

Selecting a mattress that’s ideal for shoulder pain doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank, especially if you’re already investing in doctor’s visits, physical therapy and other treatments. The Nolah Original’s mid-range price point (all sizes cost less than $1,000) and excellent pressure relief make it a high-value pick for people with shoulder pain. The top layer, which contains Nolah’s proprietary AirFoam, conforms around sleepers’ bodies for pressure relief without retaining heat or creating too much of a sinking feeling.

It’s also the perfect firmness setting for most average weight sleepers with shoulder issues, coming in at a balanced 5.5/10 on the 1–10 firmness scale. This means that sleepers will experience cradling for pressure points from the foam layers in virtually every sleeping position. The AirFoam also sleeps cooler than memory foam beds and has slightly less bounce than latex mattress options, giving this budget-friendly mattress a responsive, pressure relieving, high-quality feel for a modest price.

See our full Nolah Original mattress review to learn more.

Casper Wave Hybrid: Best Mattress for Lightweight Sleepers

Casper Wave Hybrid

Best Mattress for Lightweight Sleepers

This hybrid bed’s medium-soft feel and pressure-relieving comfort layers provide deep body conforming for lightweight sleepers.

Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress
Score
4.9 / 5.0
Firmness

5

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year limited warranty

The quest for the perfect mattress for lightweight sleepers with shoulder pain can prove challenging. These sleeper types already need more conforming than average due to their weight class, and the addition of joint pain often requires them to seek even more pressure-relieving qualities. The Wave Hybrid has a thick, deep comfort system that will contour closely to lightweight sleepers, causing them to feel as though they’re sleeping “in” the mattress rather than “on” it.

The comfort materials, which contain polyfoam, blended latex and memory foam, will provide generous shoulder room in the side sleeping position as well as posterior and anterior relief in the back and stomach sleeping positions, respectively. Just as importantly, the bed doesn’t sacrifice the spinal alignment of lightweight sleepers with pain; it has an ergonomic transitional layer that supports the spine and hips in proper alignment without adding any pressure.

See our full Casper Hybrid mattress to learn more.

Purple Hybrid Premier: Best Hybrid Mattress

Purple Hybrid Premier

Best Hybrid Mattress

This luxury hybrid mattress contain’s Purple’s signature Purple Grid, a unique comfort layer material that conforms closely to create a floating sensation that can aid in pressure and pain relief.

Purple Hybrid Premier Mattress
Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

Available in plush, medium and firm

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year warranty

People struggling with shoulder pain tend to gravitate toward memory foam mattresses and all-foam mattresses which, while known for their pressure-relieving qualities, can sacrifice spinal alignment when chosen in the wrong firmness setting and create more pain. The Purple Hybrid Premier combines a luxuriously conforming comfort portion in medium and medium-soft firmness settings with 7.5” pocketed coils and a 1” transitional layer for even support. The result is a mattress that will gently buckle where pressure is applied, like at the hips and shoulders, while the rest of the mattress remains flat to encourage proper alignment of the spine.

The Purple Hybrid Premier is available in two options: 12” with 3” comfort layer and 13” with a 4” comfort layer. The 13” model conforms more closely, making it the better choice for shoulder cushioning and overall joint pain. It’s also the better option for side sleepers, who often struggle with shoulder issues from sleeping on one side more often than the other.

See our full Purple Hybrid Premier Mattress Review to learn more.

Nectar: Best Memory Foam Mattress

Nectar

Best Memory Foam Mattress

Made by one of the most popular online mattress brands in the market, the Nectar all-foam mattress is a budget-friendly pick that offers a universally comfortable feel.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Available in firm and medium-firm options

Trial period

365

Warranty

Lifetime

A medium-firm mattress with contouring layers, the Nectar is an affordable pick for average weight side sleepers and lightweight back sleepers who struggle with shoulder pain. It excels in balancing conforming and support, which is key to comfortable sleep for people with aches and pains. Roughly a 6/10 on the 1–10 firmness scale, this 11” mattress combines layers of cooling gel memory foam with standard memory foam to provide moderate conforming without any sagging.

Since this isn’t the most pressure relieving mattress on this list, we recommend it for people suffering from modest to occasional shoulder pain, but it isn’t the best pick for chronic pain sufferers. If you find your current mattress isn’t suitable for your shoulder condition and simply want a foam bed that’s affordable, universally comfortable and comes with great policies (the Nectar is backed by a year-long trial and a Lifetime warranty), this is a good option.

See our full Nectar mattress review to learn more.

How Does Mattress Firmness Affect Shoulder Pain?

Selecting the right firmness setting when buying a new mattress is essential to the health, comfort and satisfaction of any sleeper, but it’s absolutely critical for people struggling with shoulder pain. Because of the amount of time we spend every night in bed, choosing a mattress that’s too soft or too firm for your body type, sleeping position and pain type can worsen the issue, even if your sleeping style wasn’t the root cause of the pain in the first place.

The right firmness setting for sleepers with shoulder pain depends on a handful of factors, some of which should be considered by all sleepers and some of which are unique to shoulder pain sufferers: body weight, primary sleeping position, and pain type. 

Lightweight sleepers generally need soft to medium soft mattresses, average weight sleepers should lean toward medium to medium-firm mattresses, and heavyweight sleepers most often require firm and very firm mattresses for adequate support. Your body weight is just a starting point, however. For example, lightweight side sleepers should choose softer mattresses within the aforementioned recommended range, while lightweight back sleepers and stomach sleepers need firmer mattresses to support the shoulders and hips.

Finally, taking the type and location of shoulder pain into consideration is essential. If you have pain in one shoulder, you’re likely a side sleeper and will need a softer mattress to prevent extra aches from developing. If you have pain in both shoulders, it’s recommended that you sleep on your back and therefore select a mattress with a feel that’s on the firmer side of what’s appropriate for your body weight.

At the end of the day, finding a comfortable mattress setting from the wide variety of firmness options may take some trial and error. Be sure to select mattresses with generous trial periods and free returns to make the process of finding the right one as smooth as possible.

Considerations for Shoulder Pain and Sleep

Here’s what sleepers with shoulder pain should keep in mind when shopping for a new mattress:

Firmness

While subjective, mattress firmness can impact how comfortable, pressure-relieving and rest-inducing a mattress is to an individual. As mentioned above, your body type and primary sleeping position will dictate a safe range of firmness settings to select from. From there, we recommend narrowing down based on your personal preferences and the intensity of your shoulder pain. See our lists of best soft mattresses and best firm beds for more information.

Price

The cost of a mattress can make a huge hit on your budget, as some beds cost more than $2,000. All-foam and innerspring mattresses tend to be the most affordable styles, while latex and hybrid mattresses are more expensive. Still, you can find plenty of good mattresses for under $1,000 and even under $500.

Pressure Relief

If you have chronic shoulder pain, contouring and pressure relief around the shoulder joint is crucial throughout the night. Look for mattresses that conform somewhat closely to very closely.

Mattress Type

Every mattress type has pros and cons, and knowing which styles can provide the characteristics you’re looking for can make mattress shopping much easier. Here’s our guide to mattress styles.

Sleep Position and Shoulder Pain

Selecting the right sleeping position can help reduce or prevent shoulder pain. Here’s a look at how the different primary sleeping positions can improve or worsen pain:

Side Sleeping

While not a recommended position by sleep experts and doctors, a large majority of people sleep on their sides. Keep in mind that sleeping on the side with pain can exacerbate issues, and sleeping on only one side all the time can create shoulder pain. Sleeping with your bad shoulder facing up or rotating sides each night is ideal. If you’re dedicated to this position, head over to our best mattresses for side sleepers guide.

Back Sleeping

Back sleeping is gentle on the shoulders, hips and other sensitive areas. Be sure to select a mattress with a firmness setting that’s appropriate for back sleeping at your body weight. See our mattress firmness guide for guidance on choosing the right setting for back sleeping.

Related: Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeping is known to worsen shoulder pain and is not recommended. Instead, try training your self to sleep on your back or with your bad shoulder facing up.

Combination Sleeping

If you use more than one of the three primary sleep positions on a nightly basis, you’re a combination sleeper. This can actually be beneficial for people with shoulder pain as it improves circulation, as long as you’re not spending too much time on your bad shoulder or on your stomach.

Related: Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers

Recap of the Top Rated Mattresses for Shoulder Pain

Mattress Model Award (superlative)  Firmness Level
Saatva Best for Side Sleepers Varies
Bear Hybrid Best for Cooling 6/10
Leesa Hybrid Best Pressure Relief 6/10
Nolah Original Best Value 6/10
Casper Wave Hybrid Best for Lightweight Sleepers Varies
Purple Hybrid Premier Best Hybrid Varies
Nectar Best Memory Foam 6/10