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We've recently updated our top mattress picks, incorporating new insights from our professional testers. If a mattress appears on this list, you can be sure that we've personally assessed it and granted it a high rating based on our stringent evaluation standards.
- Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain Overall: Amerisleep AS3
- Best Performance Mattress for Shoulder Pain: Zoma Mattress
- Best Affordable Mattress for Shoulder Pain: Vaya Mattress
- Best Hybrid Mattress for Shoulder Pain: Nolah Evolution 15
- Best Innerspring Mattress for Shoulder Pain: Saatva Classic
- Best Cooling Mattress for Shoulder Pain: GhostBed Luxe
- Best Soft Mattress for Shoulder Pain: Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid
- Best Hypoallergenic Mattress for Shoulder Pain: Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid
Most people will suffer from shoulder pain at some point in their lives. We might experience an injury or illness. And, let’s face it, we’re all going to get arthritis at some point. The good news is most shoulder pain can be reduced or eliminated with the right mattress.
Shoulder pain sufferers need a mattress that can cushion their joints and cradle their pressure points no matter their sleep style. Thankfully, there are lots of mattresses on the market today that fit that bill. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones.
Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain
The Amerisleep AS3 is a wonderful all-around mattress for anyone looking for a versatile bed. This mattress has lots to offer. The highly contouring Bio-Pur® foam can cradle shoulder joints to reduce pain and stiffness.
How It Feels
The AS3 has a medium feel that’s versatile enough to support you in every sleep position except for stomach sleeping. That makes it great for the majority of sleepers as well as couples with different sleep styles.
The top layer of Bio-Pur® foam is more breathable than traditional memory foam to keep you cool all night. The plant-based foam is also perfect for hot sleepers and sleepers with allergies. It resists common allergens like pollen, mold, and dust mites.
The next layer of Affinity foam serves as a specialized transition, offering HIVE® technology for targeted support. The hexagonal cutouts in the shoulder area create more material flexibility for an extra-responsive cushion.
The Bio-Core® foam base is engineered to deter soft spots from forming after years of use. With Bio-Core® and a little bit of basic care, you can expect more than a decade of use out of the AS3.
SEE ALSO: Best Mattresses without Fiberglass
If your shoulder pain is caused by playing a sport or working a physically demanding job, the Zoma Mattress may be for you. No matter if your physical activity comes from training for a marathon or laying bricks, the Zoma Mattress might just be your new mattress.
How It Feels
A recovery-focused mattress, the Zoma Mattress was created to possess a versatile feel that gently supports the body in most positions. It’s not too soft to the touch but readily yields to the body, with extra-flexible cushion in the head of the bed ready to cradle the shoulders.
This mattress is designed for recovery from top to bottom. The AirCloth cover is breathable and ultra-stretchy to keep you cool all night. Underneath, you’ll find the three-zoned Triangulex™ gel memory foam top layer to cushion your joints and relieve pressure.
The Reactiv™ transition layer helps put the bounce back in your bed. Finally, the Support+ core offers lots of spine-aligning lift. All this creates a mattress that encourages recuperative and restorative sleep.
If you’re worried a brand new, high-quality bed may be out of reach for you financially, this offering from Vaya Sleep may be up your alley. The simple design of the Vaya Mattress helps keep costs low without sacrificing quality.
How It Feels
The Vaya Mattress maximizes the value it offers by aiming to provide a near-universal firmness. Its surface is soft and quick to conform, but the cushion is responsive and buoys sleepers’ bodies for relaxing support. Underneath this top layer, the underlying supportive foam provides enduring support that further balances out the comfort foam’s cushion.
On top, the Vaya has highly contouring Comfort Foam to help cushion shoulders and relieve pain. The Vaya Base foam underneath not only provides spine-aligning support. It also helps the mattress resist sagging and soft spots for a full ten years.
All this means the Vaya Mattress can compete with many more expensive mattresses in terms of both comfort and durability. If you want to relieve shoulder pain without breaking the bank, this mattress is a good option.
Sleepers with chronic shoulder pain should consider the Nolah Evolution 15 for its combination of comfort foams and pocketed springs. This luxurious mattress features a combination of sturdy support and plushness to offer cushioning to shoulder joints without losing lift for your entire body.
How It Feels
The Nolah Evolution 15 is available in three different firmnesses, from soft to luxury-firm to firm feels, designed to suit a wide range of sleepers. The bouncy feel of the Nolah Evolution 15 can still be felt through its multiple foam comfort layers, and its coils are arranged for softer support underneath the shoulders.
To cushion your joints, the Evolution 15 features a premium HTC™ cooling foam Euro topper, a layer of graphite-infused AirFoamICE™, and a layer of deep and supportive high-resilience foam that protects you from pressure from the coil layer.
To lift and support your body, the Evolution 15 sports a layer of durable transition foam, a support core of patented HDMX™ pocketed coils, and a base layer of eco-friendly plant fibers to increase stability and protect the coils.
Those who don’t like to deal with the low contouring power and decreased durability of the innerspring but also like its feel should take a look at the Saatva Classic. This bed uses newer sleep technologies to make an innerspring mattress that eliminates all the cons of innerspring mattresses without sacrificing the pros.
How It Feels
The Saatva Classic comes in three firmnesses, all of which feel quite responsive due to the mattress’s pocketed coils and innerspring support layers. The pocketed coils ensure that even as the bed feels bouncy, your movements won’t ripple across the surface and disturb a partner’s rest.
The Classic increases adaptability and contouring by layering a foam and fiber Euro top over a memory foam transition layer and an adaptable pocketed coil top support layer.
The Classic also ups durability by surrounding its open coil bottom support layer with durable foam edge rails to fight sagging and increase life expectancy. All this means the Saatva Classic has all the fun bounce of an innerspring mattress and none of the stiffness or sagginess.
Being unable to relax and drift off at night from a too-hot bed can aggravate pre-existing shoulder pain. Hot sleepers who can’t seem to get cool no matter how they adjust the AC will appreciate the GhostBed Luxe.
How It Feels
The GhostBed Luxe has a surface that’s a touch softer than a true medium, so it’s quick to hug the body but isn’t quite as cushioning as a genuine soft mattress. Still, for many side sleepers and lightweight sleepers, this is the best of both worlds, as the bed feels supportive while its plush cushion cradles sensitive shoulders and other joints.
Every layer of this 7-layer mattress works to pull heat away from you. The Ghost Ice fabric reacts to your body heat to distribute it out of the mattress. Underneath the cover, the inch-thick layer of breathable fiber enhances airflow and works with the layers of foam and Ghost Ice material to cool the mattress throughout.
The Ghost Bounce layer is springy like latex and contouring like memory foam, making this a perfect mattress for combo sleepers who want their mattress to bounce right back into place when they change positions. The base foam is thick and structures the mattress with durable support, establishing long-lasting comfort.
For those looking for the ultimate in luxury, the ultra-soft Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid mattress offers a cloud-like feel. The soft feel combines with the highly contouring Bio-Pur® foam to create a mattress that can’t be beaten when it comes to pressure relief.
How It Feels
Don’t let the soft feel fool you. The AS5 Hybrid is still a highly responsive and cooling bed for those who dislike the slow response time and heat-trapping tendencies of traditional, petroleum-based memory foam. The AS5 is also designed to prevent that “stuck” feeling that is common among soft mattresses.
The comfort layer of AS5 Hybrid has a layer of Bio-Pur® foam with a soft feel, deepened by the underlying Active Flex foam. Active Flex is unique in that it strengthens the bed’s plush feel while also adding responsiveness to the cushion.
These foam layers work together with the durable pocketed coil layer to give you lots of supportive lift without sacrificing softness. The coils rest on a foam base that enables the mattress to stand strong after years of use.
Those who want airflow and bounce should consider the Aurora Hybrid from Brooklyn Bedding. This bed comes in three firmness options (soft, medium, and firm) to comfortably accommodate all sleeping positions.
How It Feels
The Aurora Hybrid comes in three different firmnesses, from plush softness to the unyielding feel of a firm mattress. The cooling materials move heat away, while the copper infusion promotes a fresh-smelling surface even as sleepers use it night after night.
The CopperFlex™ infusion doesn’t just draw heat away from your body and push it out of the mattress. It also fights bacteria and mold buildup to protect allergy sufferers from experiencing symptoms. The CopperFlex™ memory foam layer is followed by premium memory foam and a last gel swirl memory foam layer.
The pocketed coil support core works with the cooling foams to pull even more body heat out of the mattress. Not only do the individually wrapped coils increase air circulation throughout the mattress. They also add responsiveness to the memory foam layers to ensure they bounce back into place as soon as you move.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
The shoulder has the highest range of motion in the human body, so there are a lot of possible sources of pain. The causes of shoulder pain aren’t always straightforward. Other times, the source of pain is obvious.
If you have an old injury or diagnosed arthritis, then your shoulders will hurt. However, sometimes the cause of shoulder pain isn’t as apparent. Here are a few of the most common culprits.
Both osteoarthritis (loss of cartilage in joints) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disorder) can cause pain in the shoulders as well as other joints. Arthritis sufferers usually experience pain in more than just the shoulder joints. They may experience hip pain or pain in the knees, elbows, hands, and feet.
SEE ALSO: Best Mattresses for Arthritis
Breaks, dislocations, rotator cuff tears, and other shoulder injuries can cause long-term joint pain for months and even years after they’ve healed. Sometimes, chronic pain from shoulder injuries never fully goes away, and you may need to invest in one of the best mattresses for joint pain.
Pain in the shoulders may originate in the muscles rather than the joints or bones in the shoulder. Muscle aches and pain from tension often runs along the tops of the shoulders and into the neck. Shoulder and neck tension can also cause tension headaches.
Your sleep position can cause shoulder and neck pain as well. Sleeping on your stomach is one of the quickest ways to give yourself shoulder and neck pain because you have to sleep with your head turned sideways. This pulls your cervical spine out of alignment and can cause pain. You’ll need a firm mattress to offset the effects of stomach sleeping.
Bad mattresses can cause shoulder pain. If your mattress is too firm or doesn’t contour, it could be causing your pain outright. Pressure from the wrong mattress can make you wake up with pain in the shoulder that contacted the bed.
How to Pick the Right Mattress for Shoulder Pain Relief
When it comes to shoulder pain (and everything else), not all mattresses are equal.
What Shoulder Pain Sufferers Need from their Mattresses
People with shoulder pain need two things: contouring to relieve pressure on the joints and support to keep the spine in a neutral position and fight tension.
Ideal Mattress Materials for People with Shoulder Pain
When it comes to contoured support for the different types of mattresses, you’ve got three great options and one not-so-great one.
Of all the mattress materials, memory foam is the most contouring. That means it’s likely the best material for the majority of shoulder pain sufferers. Memory foam mattresses can compress under your shoulders and form a cradle around the joints. This means memory foam can relieve pressure while at the same time encouraging spinal alignment.
While it is among the best materials for people who suffer from shoulder pain, memory foam does have some issues. One of its biggest problems is heat retention. Traditional memory foam was notorious for trapping heat. Cooling technologies like gel and copper infusions help cool memory foam down, but some people still find it too warm.
Another major problem with memory foam is its slow response time. Memory foam likes to take the shape of whatever is on top of it. But it can be slow to regain its original shape after you change positions.
For those who hate memory foam’s slow response time or heat retention, natural latex is a solid alternative. Lighter, springier Talalay latex is a particularly good choice for people who need shoulder pain relief. It is not as dense as Dunlop latex and is better at contouring.
Unlike memory foam, latex mattresses are bouncy and responsive. Also unlike memory foam, latex is naturally cooling without the need for infusions. However, no type of latex can contour quite like memory foam. While some latex varieties come close, memory foam is still superior in the contoured support category.
Traditional innerspring mattresses are not typically the best option for shoulder pain. Their open coil support cores are extremely rigid. So innerspring mattresses cannot contour very much. Innerspring mattresses also exert a lot of pressure on the body, which can exacerbate shoulder pain.
The only time when the above issues may not apply is when the innerspring has a thick pillow top to provide contouring and cushioning to the otherwise stiff coil core. Mattress toppers can also help provide extra cradling if you don’t have the budget to replace your innerspring mattress at the moment.
Hybrid mattresses combine an adaptable coil support core with lots of foam layers. This creates an excellent mattress for shoulder pain sufferers because the mattress can contour all the way through while the coils offer tons of lift to align the spine.
Hybrid mattresses can be made with memory foam, latex, or even both. This means they can accommodate just about any sleeper with shoulder pain—hot sleepers, combo sleepers, couples, and more.
The only major issue with hybrids is their price. Hybrid mattresses are more expensive than any other mattress type. If you’re shopping on a budget, finding an affordable and high-quality hybrid can be difficult.
Ideal Firmness Level for People with Shoulder Pain
Mattress firmness is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 as the softest. Usually, you won’t run across a mattress softer than a 3 or firmer than an 8 because the softest extreme has no support while the firmest extreme has no cushioning. Most people find their ideal firmness falls somewhere between a 4 and a 7.
While you do need a lot of cushioning if you suffer from shoulder pain, there is still a range of firmnesses you’ll need to select from based on your sleeping position. Your sleeping position is the factor that most impacts your firmness needs.
Keep in mind, though, that body type also plays a role. Petite sleepers (under 130 pounds) tend not to get enough compression out of their mattresses. So they may need a softer mattress than an average-sized person who shares their sleep style. Likewise, heavier sleepers (over 230 pounds) can experience too much sinkage, so they may need to increase their firmness.
People who sleep on their backs normally need a medium-firm feel. A medium-firm mattress offers back sleepers an excellent mix of plushness and support. It will allow the buttocks to sink just enough into the mattress to support the lumbar spine but not so much that they lose healthy spinal alignment.
Combo sleepers need a versatile mattress that can accommodate whatever sleep position they adopt. A medium mattress is usually the best choice for people who like to switch positions during the night because it can cushion you when you’re on your side and support you when you’re on your back.
Mattresses for side sleeping need to be on the soft side. The shoulders and hips experience a lot of pressure in the side sleeping position. That means you need tons of cradling to avoid pressure point pain. A medium-soft or soft mattress is normally your best bet, depending on your body type.
In contrast, stomach sleepers need mattresses on the firm side. The pelvis sinks into the mattress when you sleep on your stomach, pulling your spine forward and causing lower back pain. That means stomach sleepers must have a very supportive mattress. A firm mattress will offer you the extra support you need to keep your pelvis lifted and your spine in neutral alignment.
The wrong mattress can exacerbate or even cause shoulder pain. But the right mattress can fix it. Remember, the most important factor in your quest for the perfect pain-relieving mattress is contouring.
The best mattresses offer materials that will cushion the joint without sacrificing spinal support. This can relieve both pressure and tension to help you wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have shoulder pain, firmness shouldn’t be your main focus. You can generally stick to the firmness level that corresponds to your sleep position (e.g., side sleepers need the softest and stomach sleepers need the firmest).
The best thing you can do to relieve shoulder pain is to get a mattress that is highly contouring. Mattresses that can compress underneath your shoulder joints can go a long way to alleviating pain and helping you get a good night’s sleep.
Memory foam is the most contouring material. And since contouring is what you need to relieve shoulder pain, memory foam is generally the best material to relieve pain. However, whether you like memory foam depends on your personal preferences and sleep needs.
For instance, hot sleepers may need a cooler option than memory foam, such as a latex or hybrid mattress. Combo sleepers may also consider these two options as well, as they’re both more responsive than memory foam.
There are a few scenarios where your mattress could cause shoulder pain. If you sleep on your side and your mattress is too firm, it could cause you to wake up with pressure-related pain. If your mattress is unsupportive, it could throw your spine out of alignment and cause painful tension in your neck and shoulders.
Generally speaking, you should be suspicious of your mattress if you’re waking up every morning with pain in your shoulders that can’t be explained by other factors like medical conditions or injuries.
A mattress topper or mattress pad is a viable option for those who cannot afford to replace their mattresses but want to add contouring and pressure relief. A memory foam or latex foam topper can help relieve pressure in your shoulder area. A topper can also increase your mattress’s contouring power to improve its spinal support and help you get more restful sleep.
Your sleep quality can be reduced by sleep position-induced pain. Professor Dagmara Dimitriou states that, “pain management ought to include a range of strategies, and seeking comfort in the bedrooms to reduce pain should be carefully considered. A comfortable bedroom environment may also lead to a better sleep and daytime functioning thus improving your general wellbeing.”
Side sleeping can help ease shoulder pain because it aligns the upper back and neck with the lower back. But only if you have the right mattress. Side sleeping on a firmer mattress can increase pain, so you’ll need a softer and more contouring mattress to get relief from this position.
Back sleeping can ease pressure on your shoulders, especially if you keep your arms underneath your head. This position can reduce tension and ease pain in the shoulders. Again, you’ll need the right firmness for this sleep position to work. Make sure to get a medium-firm feel. This firmness level will offer the right amount of lumbar support.