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Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain

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Written by

Lauren Fountain

author

Medically Reviewed by

Jenny Iyo

author

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.

The Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain

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.

Product Details

Saatva Classic

Best Overall

Saatva Classic

Saatva Classic
Price Range: $887 - $2,174
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial length: 180 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Trial length: 180 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who prioritize bounce in their mattress
  • Hot sleepers
  • Shoppers looking for free White Glove delivery
Highlights:
  • Free White Glove delivery and setup
  • Three firmness level options
  • Plush Euro pillow-top
Saatva Classic

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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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“The coil-on-coil design really sets the Saatva Classic apart from a lot of competing innersprings and hybrids. I noticed exceptional support, but the mattress never felt overly stiff on the surface.”

Nectar Mattress

Best Value

Nectar Mattress

Nectar Mattress
Price Range: $499 - $1,099
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights
Trial length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Couples
  • Mattress shoppers hoping for a lengthy sleep trial
Highlights:
  • Memory foam layers contour evenly for a cloud-like feel
  • Excellent motion isolation
  • 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Nectar Mattress

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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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“We’ve tested a lot of memory foam mattresses and the Nectar is one of the most supportive models in the bunch. This is a true medium firm, with just enough give to cushion your body in sore spots.”

WinkBed

Most Comfortable

WinkBed

WinkBed
Price Range: $1,149 - $2,049
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Shoulder pain sufferers who want both bounce and conforming
  • People seeking top-flight edge support
  • Shoppers looking for a choice of firmness options
Highlights:
  • Polyfoam pillow-top offers plush yet responsive comfort
  • Coil-on-coil core provides even support
  • Choice of four firmness options
WinkBed

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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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“The WinkBed’s support system is one of the most robust we’ve experienced. The coils exert the perfect amount of pushback for different areas of the body and the edges feel very secure.”

Helix Midnight Luxe

Best for Side Sleepers

Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix Midnight Luxe
Price Range: $1,099 - $2,349
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Luxury hybrid design with a plush pillow-top surface and strong support system
  • Zoned coils support your midsection and bolster the perimeter
  • Breathable Tencel cover and steady airflow through the coil system
Helix Midnight Luxe

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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.

GhostBed 3D Matrix

Most Innovative

GhostBed 3D Matrix

GhostBed 3D Matrix
Price Range: $2,250 - $4,500
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 101 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 101 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin XL, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who feel sharp pressure points
  • Sleepers under 230 pounds
Highlights:
  • Hybrid design promotes airflow
  • Comfort system relieves pressure
  • Reinforced perimeter increases edge support
GhostBed 3D Matrix

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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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“There are hybrids that sleep cool, and then there’s the 3D Matrix. The heat dispersion is next-level, even though the foam layers cradle you closely.”

Zoma Mattress

Best for Active People

Zoma Mattress

Zoma Mattress
Price Range: $550 - $1200
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year
Warranty: 10 Year
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • People who experience aches, pains, or pressure points along the spine
  • Those who tend to wake up when their partner moves around in bed
Highlights:
  • Zoned memory foam supports the midsection while cradling other areas
  • Foam layers help reduce motion transfer for co-sleepers
  • Approachable, budget-friendly price-point
Zoma Mattress

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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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“Anyone who experiences shoulder pain due to poor alignment should give the Zoma a chance. The zoned comfort layer is very effective.”

Nolah Evolution 15

Best Pressure Relief

Nolah Evolution 15

Nolah Evolution 15
Price Range: $1,099 - $1,699
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who prefer sleeping on exceptionally thick mattresses
Highlights:
  • Luxurious Euro-top hybrid construction
  • Zoned coils ensure sturdy edge support
  • Very good temperature neutrality
Nolah Evolution 15

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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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“The Evolution 15 is a pillow-top mattress that doesn’t sacrifice support. Each firmness option is distinct from the other two, but sinkage was not a major issue for any of them.”

Tuft & Needle Mint

Best Cooling

Tuft & Needle Mint

Tuft & Needle Mint
Price Range: $745 - $1,395
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10-Year, Limited
Warranty: 10-Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who weigh up to 230 pounds
  • Couples
  • Those who normally sleep hot on all-foam beds
Highlights:
  • Moderate, even body-contouring
  • Strong pressure relief without excessive sinkage
  • Graphite- and gel-infused foam improves cooling
Tuft & Needle Mint

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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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“For me, the Mint provided the perfect blend of adaptability and support. Enough cushioning from the foams to take pressure off my shoulders and back, but without the deep sink you often get from memory foam.”

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss

Best Organic

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss
Price Range: $1,049 - $2,549
Mattress Type: Latex
Firmness: Medium Firm (6), Firm (7)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Customers who want a bed with sustainable and organic materials
  • People who like the bounce of latex
  • Hot sleepers
  • Shoppers who want a choice of firmness options
Highlights:
  • Made with sustainable and organic materials
  • 25-year warranty
  • Breathable organic cotton and moisture-wicking organic wool enhance cooling
PlushBeds Botanical Bliss

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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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“The Botanical Bliss offers plenty of cushioning and contouring, but the latex layers offer solid support and even some responsiveness. We also liked being able to change the firmness without flipping over the mattress.”

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Why You Should Trust Us

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.


If you’re dealing with chronic shoulder pain, you’ve probably experienced first-hand how a good or bad night’s sleep can affect your pain levels. With the right mattress, you can give your body the support it needs to recuperate and recover.

Finding the right mattress, though, requires understanding the relationship between sleep and pain and knowing what to look for when mattress shopping.

Why is Sleep Important for Pain?

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.

What to Look for in a Mattress for Shoulder 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.

  • Price: No matter how great a mattress might be, if you can’t afford it, then it’s not really worth your time to consider. Your available budget is an easy-to-use filter to reduce the number of mattresses to research, but keep in mind that it’s very rare to pay the full mattress sticker price. Coupons and discounts are almost always available when shopping online.
  • Sleeping Position: The way that you position your body during sleep can have an immense effect on your pressure points. Shoulder and hip pain is more common in side sleepers who put more impact on the mattress in those areas, and as a result, they usually need a softer, more contouring mattress. Lower back pain is more common in stomach and back sleepers who usually do best with a firmer bed.
  • Mattress Type: The way that a mattress is constructed determines its type, and each type has certain positives and negatives. Knowing which provides the characteristics you’re looking for makes it easier to narrow your options and find a mattress that you’ll be satisfied with.
  • Contouring: The ability of a mattress to conform to the body plays a big part in how well it can relieve pressure. With more hug, a mattress can deliver enhanced cushioning to heavier parts of the body, such as the shoulders and hips of side sleepers. But not everyone wants or needs deep contouring because it can sometimes create a feeling of being stuck in the bed.
  • Quality Materials: If you want high-end performance and durability, then it’s important to look for a mattress that doesn’t skimp on its materials. People with pain count on their mattress to function properly, and quality materials make that more likely. Some customers may also want materials that are produced to high standards of sustainability, such as those that are certified organic.
  • Firmness Level: How hard or soft a mattress feels is integral to your comfort. This is subjective, so every shopper should consider what feels right to them. In addition, proper support to relieve back, shoulder, and hip pain in some sleeping positions may require a mattress of a certain firmness level.
  • Pressure Relief: If you have ongoing shoulder pain, a mattress that provides pressure relief around the shoulders is crucial. Not only can this reduce impact and friction in that area, but solid pressure relief to the whole body can keep the spine well-aligned and avoid other potential sources of aches and pains.
  • Motion Isolation: Motion isolation is an important factor for people who share a bed. On a bed with good motion isolation, it’s easy to keep sleeping without detecting the tossing and turning of a person on the other side of the mattress. Of all mattress materials, memory foam usually offers the strongest motion isolation.
  • Ease of Movement / Sex: For many people, it’s important to be able to move easily on a mattress. A responsive mattress facilitates changing sleeping positions (especially important for combination sleepers) and sexual activity. Bouncier materials like latex and innerspring coils normally are the best at enabling movement.
  • Edge Support: Without enough edge support, it can feel like you may be ejected from the bed if you are trying to sleep or sit near its perimeter. Foam beds tend to have reduced edge support because of how the foam compresses while hybrids, innersprings, and latex beds typically hold up better in this area.
  • Temperature Regulation: Overheating at night can be incredibly disruptive to a good night’s sleep, and mattress selection can determine how likely you are to sleep hot. Memory foam beds tend to retain more heat than hybrid and latex mattresses. Many manufacturers employ special materials or features to try to improve temperature regulation.
  • Noise: A noise-free mattress can prevent unwanted awakenings at night. The most common culprit for a noisy mattress is an innerspring design, but many modern mattresses use improved coils and other manufacturing techniques to help keep beds quiet.

Which Mattress Firmness is Best for Shoulder Pain?

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.

Which Type of Mattress is Best for Shoulder Pain?

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.

Hybrid

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.

Innerspring

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.

Latex

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.

Airbed

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.

Foam

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.

Mattresses for Shoulder Pain FAQ

  • Can sleeping on a bad mattress cause shoulder pain?

    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.

  • Why can a mattress cause shoulder pain?

    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.

  • Can a mattress topper help if my mattress is causing shoulder pain?

    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.

Still have questions?

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.

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About Our Editorial Team

author
Lauren Fountain

Certified Sleep Coach

Lauren is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with extensive experience researching and testing a wide variety of sleep products.

author
Jenny Iyo

Physical Therapist

DPT

Dr. Iyo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at an orthopedic clinic in Seattle. She specializes in hands-on therapy and tailored exercise programs.

About Our Editorial Team

author
Lauren Fountain

Certified Sleep Coach

Lauren is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with extensive experience researching and testing a wide variety of sleep products.

author
Jenny Iyo

Physical Therapist

DPT

Dr. Iyo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at an orthopedic clinic in Seattle. She specializes in hands-on therapy and tailored exercise programs.