Buy more, save more. $200 off Saatva Classic mattresses $1000-$2000, $300 off $2,000+ Classic mattresses. $200 off all other mattresses.
Sleepfoundation.org is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
The shoulder has been described as the “most movable joint” in the body. With many individual components and advanced range of motion, the shoulder is prone to various pain-inducing problems. The most common cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff tendinosis, a condition that occurs when tendons around the shoulder socket become inflamed. Rotator cuff tendinosis can arise when the shoulder is held in one position for too long, especially if that position puts pressure on the joint.
To bring you the list of top picks below, our team has personally tested hundreds of mattresses with an emphasis on cushioning, support, and pressure relief for the shoulders. For each mattress, testers with existing shoulder pain reported whether their discomfort was alleviated or aggravated. Other testers documented any new shoulder pain that occurred while lying on the mattress. We use body-mapping technology to determine areas where pressure buildup is most prevalent.
These mattresses earned the highest ratings from our team after testing them for shoulder pain relief. We’ve awarded each one an accolade to showcase one of its biggest strengths. Below, we’ve included product profiles with more information about our standout picks. Further down, you’ll find a detailed buyer’s guide geared toward mattress shoppers with shoulder pain. We’ll cover which mattresses alleviate shoulder pain – and which ones might worsen the problem – as well as pricing and size information, other considerations for mattress buyers, and a rundown of mattress sleep trials and warranties.
Buy more, save more. $200 off Saatva Classic mattresses $1000-$2000, $300 off $2,000+ Classic mattresses. $200 off all other mattresses.
People worried about shoulder pain can rest easy on the Saatva, the flagship mattress of one of the most well-known names in the online mattress industry.
The Saatva utilizes coil-on-coil construction with two different types of springs. In the support core, which forms the base of the mattress, there is a layer of hourglass-shaped Bonnell coils. These springs are extra thick (13 gauge) and measure 4.5-inches tall in the 11.5-inch model and 7.5-inches tall in the 14.5-inch model.
Above this support core is a 4-inch layer of micro-coils that form part of the mattress comfort system. These springs are individually-wrapped to provide more relief for the shoulders and other pressure points. Above the micro-coils are an array of foam materials, including polyfoam and a memory foam lumbar pad, that are quilted into a euro-style pillow-top.
The foam and micro-coils work in conjunction to create a high-performance blend of conforming, responsiveness, and motion isolation. At the same time, air flows easily through both coil layers, keeping the Saatva cool along with the bed’s moisture-wicking organic cotton cover.
Saatva provides customers with plenty of options. They can select among the two different height models as well as three firmness levels: soft (3), medium firm (6), and firm (8). Depending on how sharp your pressure points are at the shoulders, the soft and medium firm are most likely to deliver the necessary cushioning.
With free White Glove delivery, the company sets a delivery date for technicians to come to your home, install the mattress, and haul-away your existing bed. There is a 180-night sleep trial with a $99 return shipping fee if you decide not to keep the bed. The Saatva has a 15-year warranty that covers mattress defects.
Get $399 worth of free accessories with every mattress purchase.
The Nectar Mattress is a good option for anyone with shoulder pain who enjoys the even conforming of memory foam. A 3-inch comfort layer molds to the unique contours of your body without sagging or hugging too closely, while denser polyfoam layers provide transitional and base support to prevent you from sinking excessively. The Nectar Mattress is considered medium firm (6), making it particularly well-suited for side and back sleepers weighing 130-230 pounds.
Another perk of this mattress is motion isolation. The foam layers absorb movement and nearly eliminate transfer across the surface, resulting in fewer disruptions for couples and co-sleepers. The mattress is also completely silent when in use, so you and your partner can sleep soundly even when the other person gets up during the night.
A cover made of soft, breathable Tencel fabric encases the entire mattress. The memory foam is also infused with gel for added temperature regulation. While the Nectar Mattress may retain too much heat for some people, these components help it sleep relatively cool compared to other memory foam models.
The sticker price for this mattress is quite approachable and Nectar offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Each purchase includes a sleep trial that allows you to test out the mattress for up to 365 nights, as well as a lifetime warranty for those who keep the mattress after the return period expires.
Get $300 off all beds + $399 in bedding accessories (a $699 total value)
The WinkBed is a well-regarded hybrid mattress option that can effectively promote a healthy shoulder position along with excellent overall comfort.
Two materials drive the performance of the comfort system of the WinkBed. The topmost material is a responsive polyfoam that is quilted into the mattress’s euro-style pillow-top. The second part of the comfort system is a layer of micro-coils. These are individually-wrapped springs, giving them more capability to compress to align with the body’s pressure points, including the shoulders.
The foam and micro-coils create a mix of contouring and bounce that makes the mattress effective at conforming without permitting too much sink. Bounce and stability are further enhanced by the tall support core of pocketed coils. These coils are zoned to generate a more robust feel in key areas.
The support core’s coils are reinforced around the edge, and customers note that the WinkBed has outstanding edge support. The design of the mattress facilitates solid temperature regulation and motion isolation, making the WinkBed a viable option for hot sleepers and couples.
Customers can choose from a medium soft (4), medium firm (6), or firm (7) option. Side sleepers, who are more likely to deal with shoulder pain, tend to do better with the medium soft or medium firm depending on their body weight.
WinkBeds offers a 120-night sleep trial to test the bed out at home, and the company includes a lifetime warranty covering defects for as long as you own the mattress.
Best for Side Sleepers
Get $200 OFF + 2 FREE Dream Pillows when you spend $1,750 or more. Use Code: SLEEPFOUND200
The Helix Midnight Luxe is a sophisticated pillow-top hybrid with a balanced design to serve different sleeper types. Memory foam cushions the pillow-top to give the surface an invitingly plush feel, but the pocketed coil support core is zoned to reinforce the midsection – where many people carry a disproportionate amount of weight – and protect the edges from deep sinkage. The result is a medium firm (6) mattress that is comfortable, stable, and easy to move across for most people who weigh up to 230 pounds. This is especially true for side sleepers in the range of 130 to 230 pounds, and back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds.
The cover is composed of Tencel, a fabric known for its silky-soft feel and excellent breathability. The coils also promote steady air circulation throughout the interior to help the mattress maintain a comfortable temperature. These two factors make the Midnight Luxe a great pick for hot sleepers. Couples may also benefit from this mattress due to its above-average motion isolation. While many hybrids are too responsive to reduce much transfer, the Midnight Luxe’s pillow-top absorbs a significant amount of movement.
The Midnight Luxe’s price-point is on par with that of the average luxury hybrid. If you’re shopping with a limited budget, a standard Helix Midnight hybrid is more affordable – though this mattress lacks the pillow-top and zoned coils of its Luxe counterpart. Ground shipping is free of charge for all orders in the contiguous U.S. Each Midnight Luxe is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
SleepFoundation.org readers get 30% off mattresses & 2 free luxury pillows ($190 Value) or 40% off the adjustable bundle. No code necessary.
The GhostBed 3D Matrix is an innovative mattress that offers substantial pressure relief without sacrificing support, making it a worthy contender for people who experience shoulder pain. This mattress has a medium feel that comes in at 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. Sleepers under 130 pounds will find it most beneficial, while people who weigh more than 230 pounds may want to look for a firmer GhostBed model.
Our in-house testing found that many of the materials featured in this mattress control temperature well, starting with the top layer of gel-polymer foam. This proprietary material is designed to conduct heat away from your body so that you stay cool throughout the night.
The comfort system’s next layer is crafted from gel-infused memory foam that cradles your body to help relieve pressure beneath your shoulders and hips. Two polyfoam layers provide transitional support to prevent you from sinking excessively. The pocketed coil support core is reinforced at the edges so that the mattress is easier to get on and off.
GhostBed offers this mattress in five dimensions including split king. Those who wish can add GhostBed bedding or frames onto their order at checkout. Each GhostBed 3D Matrix includes a 25-year warranty and 101-night sleep trial. Customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping.
Best for Active People
Get $100 off a Zoma Mattress. Use Code: SF
People who lead active lifestyles typically need a mattress that promotes physical recovery during sleep and helps them wake up each morning without stiffness or pain. The Zoma Mattress aids active people – as well as those with demanding jobs – with a comfort layer of proprietary Triangulex memory foam. This layer is divided into three firmness zones to create more reinforcement around the midsection, where people tend to carry a disproportionate amount of weight. Foam located beneath the head, shoulders, and legs has a softer feel to ensure adequate cushioning and pain relief for these areas.
Denser polyfoam forms the transitional and support layers, which stabilize the mattress quite well and prevent sleepers from sinking too deeply. Our testing shows side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds found the mattress most comfortable. The foam layers also offer excellent motion isolation, allowing you and your partner to sleep soundly regardless of the other person’s movements during sleep.
The Zoma Mattress has a sticker price that’s quite reasonable compared to the average all-foam model. Customers in the contiguous U.S. also receive free ground delivery with their purchase. Each order comes with a 100-night sleep trial that includes free returns, and the mattress is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty that spans 10 years in length.
Best Pressure Relief
Get an additional $30 off the Nolah Signature Mattress for total savings of $730 with code: SF830
The Nolah Evolution 15 is a luxuriously crafted hybrid with a thick profile and a foam-padded Euro-top that makes the surface feel quite plush. The mattress contains a comfort layer of graphite-infused polyfoam that contours to the body without excessive hugging or heat retention, and an additional polyfoam layer provides transitional support and prevents you from sinking too much.
The support core consists of pocketed coils divided into different zones based on thickness. Stronger coils bolster areas of the body where people tend to carry a disproportionate amount of weight – such as the torso and hips – and also reinforce the perimeter to prevent sagging whenever you sleep near or sit along the edges.
The Evolution 15 is available in three different firmness levels. The plush option is considered medium (5), making it best suited to side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. The luxury firm, or medium firm (6), provides a bit more support for sleepers of any position in the range of 130-230 pounds. Lastly, the firm (8) feel offers excellent reinforcement for sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds.
Hot sleepers should also find the mattress appealing. In addition to the graphite-infused comfort layer, the coil system promotes steady airflow to help the mattress maintain a comfortable core temperature. The cover is also made of cooling fabric for added breathability.
Nolah offers free ground shipping anywhere in the lower 48 states. Your Evolution 15 purchase will include a 120-night sleep trial with free returns and a lifetime warranty that covers structural defects for as long as you own the mattress.
Take advantage of a bundle at Tuft & Needle and save 15%
The Mint Mattress from Tuft & Needle is another all-polyfoam option for sleepers with shoulder pain. The mattress is constructed with a thick comfort layer of adaptive polyfoam, a good material for people who enjoy some contouring but don’t want the body-hug of memory foam. Transitional and support layers of denser polyfoam reinforce the comfort layer to prevent you from sinking and aggravating your existing aches and pains. The mattress has a medium firm (6) feel that is especially well-suited to side and back sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or less.
The top two layers are infused with graphite and cooling gel, which help regulate surface temperatures by drawing heat away from your body. As a result, the Mint Mattress sleeps fairly cool compared to many all-foam competitors. The cover is also embedded with an antimicrobial protectant to prevent harmful bacteria and other allergens. The adaptive comfort layer absorbs movement and nearly eliminates motion transfer for couples. The mattress is completely silent too.
The Mint Mattress is competitively priced and Tuft & Needle provides free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. After purchasing the mattress, you’ll receive a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Get $100 off a PlushBeds Mattress. Use Code: SF100
Eco-conscious customers who struggle with shoulder pain want a mattress that can help them sleep and feel better while also meeting high standards for sustainable production. Enter the PlushBeds Botanical Bliss, an all-latex mattress that impresses with both its performance and commitment to the environment.
All of the interior layers of the Botanical Bliss are composed of natural latex. This latex, made with the Dunlop process, is certified organic by the rigorous Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). The 10-inch version of this mattress has nine total inches of latex divided equally between three layers. 9-inch and 12-inch versions offer different interior layering arrangements.
Latex earns acclaim as a mattress material because it has the ability to conform to the body and relieve pressure while simultaneously providing a high degree of bounce. This makes it easy to move on a latex bed, which is ideal for combination sleepers and for couples who prioritize a mattress that is good for intimate activities.
As an added benefit, latex retains little heat, and the temperature regulation of the mattress is enhanced even further by the breathable cotton and wool materials in its cover. Both the cotton and wool are certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
The Botanical Bliss is offered in two firmness levels: medium firm (6) and Firm (7). Most shoulder pain sufferers do best with the medium firm, but back and stomach sleepers lean toward the firm.
Though this mattress has a high sticker price, discounts are frequently offered to reduce its final cost. During a 100-night sleep trial, PlushBeds allows customers to return the mattress or get a free layer exchange to modify the firmness. A 25-year warranty covers defects in materials and manufacturing over the long-term.
We’ve personally evaluated hundreds of mattresses, and each one undergoes a rigorous testing process that looks at various facets of construction, durability, and overall performance. Our team consists of people who belong to different weight and sleep position groups. This versatility allows us to make product recommendations for all types of sleepers. For this particular guide, we largely drew from testers who experience chronic or occasional shoulder pain. Their feedback helped us narrow down the list to the top picks listed above.
To choose the best mattresses for shoulder pain, we focused on models with features that alleviate existing pain and help prevent new aches and pressure points. Mattresses that cater to sleepers with shoulder pain typically require a balance of contouring and even support, so you’ll notice all of our top picks are considered middle of the road in terms of firmness and conforming level. While our mattress testing process includes many different stages, we focused on certain metrics for this guide. These included pressure relief, ease of movement, expected lifespan, and edge support. Although these mattresses earned top ratings from our testing crew, we’ll continue to reassess the top picks and evaluate new models to keep this guide relevant and up to date.
Finding the right mattress, though, requires understanding the relationship between sleep and pain and knowing what to look for when mattress shopping.
Sleep is a fundamental biological need that affects all aspects of health, including pain. Research indicates that sleep and pain have a bidirectional relationship, meaning that each influences the other.
Getting good sleep has been found to reduce perceived daily pain levels of chronic pain sufferers. Quality sleep may reduce anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions that can exacerbate pain.
In addition, being in pain can make it harder to sleep. Physical discomfort may prevent falling asleep or lead to nighttime awakenings. Worries about pain can spread to sleep, complicating a person’s ability to get consistent rest.
The fact that sleep and pain are so interlinked means that taking steps to sleep better, including choosing an optimal mattress, can provide a welcome means of pain relief. That pain reduction can facilitate even better sleep, fueling a positive cycle of nightly rest and decreased pain.
To identify the best mattress for shoulder pain, you need to know what factors are most important. The mattress industry is replete with marketing jargon that has the potential to lead shoppers astray, but only a handful of factors are most likely to influence your satisfaction with a new mattress.
In most cases, a Medium or Medium Firm mattress is best for shoulder pain, but the ideal firmness level for any person depends on their sleeping position and body shape.
Firmness is ranked on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the softest. A mattress that is too soft may cause the body to sink out of alignment, but one that is too firm may create heightened impact on the shoulder.
Firmness is a subjective preference and should be considered along with other factors, such as mattress type, price, pressure relief, and motion isolation, to choose the best mattress for any individual.
Categorizing mattresses provides a way to understand mattress construction and compare and contrast performance. Figuring out which type best suits your needs can simplify mattress shopping and guide you toward a top choice.
Mattresses that are built in a certain way will share some characteristics, but they won’t all be the same. Within each type, there is notable variation based on exactly how any specific model is built.
Definition: For a mattress to be a hybrid, it needs two components: a coil-based support core and a significant comfort system. That comfort system may be made with one or more layers and can feature materials like memory foam, polyfoam, micro-coils, latex, cotton, wool, and/or other fabrics.
Blend of Features: A hybrid is designed to generate the bounce, stability, and temperature control found in innersprings while using the comfort system to strengthen pressure relief and motion isolation. This allows pain sufferers to take advantage of balanced and robust features offered by a mix of materials.
Definition: An innerspring mattress has a coil-based system as its only or primary component. These beds, a mainstay in the industry for decades, don’t have any significant comfort system and provide support almost exclusively through compression of the coils.
Economical and Modifiable: Most pain sufferers won’t get enough pressure relief from an innerspring mattress alone. But these beds are often economical, and a latex or foam mattress topper can be placed on top to create a DIY comfort system. Some people find that this is a lower-cost way to construct a mattress that suits their needs.
Definition: When the interior components of a mattress are all made with latex, we refer to it as an all-latex, true-latex, or just simply a latex mattress. In most beds, manufacturers use natural latex, but some lower-cost options use synthetic materials. More than one type of latex is frequently layered within the bed to create a distinct support core and comfort system.
Responsive Support: Latex is a durable material that provides both bounce and mild conforming. With these characteristics, it can provide cushioning at the shoulders without any bothersome sinking or “quicksand” feeling.
Definition: Airbeds have a distinct design based upon a support core of air chambers. In most airbeds, there is one air chamber on each side, and the inflation of that chamber can be adjusted in real-time to modify the firmness feel. In addition to this support core, there may be a comfort system using materials like foam or latex.
Full Firmness Control: People with pain may find that their firmness needs change based on how sharp their pain is at that moment. With an airbed, you can use a remote or smartphone to quickly and easily give the bed a different feel to provide comfort and pain relief.
Definition: In foam mattresses, there is no coil-based layer. The support core is almost always a high-density polyfoam, and the comfort system can include one or more layers of memory foam, polyfoam, latex, or textiles like cotton and wool.
Conforming For Pressure Relief: People with the sharpest pressure points, including at the shoulders, may need deep contouring to cradle the body and relieve that pressure. On that count, memory foam is a standout material, and in general, foam beds provide high levels of hug and cradling.
Whether a mattress is “good” or “bad” depends on your individual sleep preferences. However, if you sleep on a mattress that is a bad fit for your body weight and sleep position, the mattress can cause pain in the shoulders as well as other areas of the body.
If you are wondering whether your mattress is causing your shoulder pain, pay close attention to when you experience the pain. If the pain is substantial soon after waking but eventually subsides throughout the day, your mattress is likely to blame. In these instances, it might be time to find a mattress that better suits your needs.
Because you spend so many hours lying in bed every night, mattresses can contribute to unexplained shoulder pain. Mattresses cause shoulder pain by exerting prolonged excessive pressure on the shoulders during sleep. This pressure typically builds up when a mattress is too firm or offers insufficient cushioning for the shoulders.
There are many factors to consider if you are looking for a mattress that does not create pressure build-up in the shoulders. Your body weight and preferred sleep position are two major factors. Side sleepers lay on their shoulders and are thus more susceptible to shoulder pain than back and stomach sleepers, and heavier sleepers may require firmer beds to receive the right balance of support and contouring.
If your mattress is the source of your shoulder pain, a mattress topper can help. Since shoulder pain typically occurs when a mattress is too firm or provides insufficient cushioning, you can purchase a mattress topper that includes the features your mattress lacks. A mattress topper is a relatively quick way to adjust the firmness and feel of your bed surface to alleviate shoulder pain. It is also a more affordable solution than purchasing an entirely new mattress. Keep in mind that mattress toppers are temporary solutions and do not replace the eventual need for a new mattress.
Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
The Sleep Foundation editorial team is dedicated to providing content that meets the highest standards for accuracy and objectivity. Our editors and medical experts rigorously evaluate every article and guide to ensure the information is factual, up-to-date, and free of bias.
The Sleep Foundation fact-checking guidelines are as follows: