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A Guide to Sleep Without Shoulder Pain + Reviews

by Olly Mason

Heads, shoulders, knees, and yes, even toes. It’s not just your back that you have to worry about every time you go to sleep. Depending on how you sleep, your body can develop a number of symptoms that not only affect the quality of your sleep health but how you function while you’re awake, too.

In this round, we’re focusing on the effects of shoulder pain and your sleep. By the end of this article, you’ll learn why sleeping on your shoulder has its risks, how to prevent them, and gain expert insight on the best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain, plus the brands that are helping keep your shoulders—and the rest of your body—happy and healthy.

Find Your Fit: How to Find Your Best Sleep Position

At a Glance:

How Shoulder Pain Affects Your Sleep

Our Best Mattress Picks for Shoulder Pain

Our Selection Process

The Top Mattress Brands for Shoulder Pain

Why Trust Us?

The Impact of Shoulder Pain on Sleep

Behold: shoulder pain, the silent sleep killer. While sleepers may not feel the effects of excessive pressure on the shoulder immediately, after a few hours of sleep, the body will respond when it experiences excessive shifting, rotation, or a cutoff to circulation.

For some, this results in waking up to relieve the pain (for instance, the tingling of an arm with restricted blood flow), while others might not feel the pain until the next morning. Either way, sleeping shoulder-dominant causes concern for these particular body parts:

Rotary cuff: This series of muscles on the exterior of the shoulder joint can become pinched when the shoulder is slept on improperly.

Muscles & tendons: Unhealthy twisting along with extensive pressure can weaken the muscles and tendons around the shoulder, causing sensitivity that can last days.

Circulation: A restriction to the rotary cuff may also lead to a decrease in blood supply, resulting in the sensation of pins and needles.

Can a Mattress Cause Shoulder Pain?

Yes—absolutely yes! While it’s important to understand the best sleep position for your health, having that knowledge means absolutely nothing if your mattress only worsens the symptoms of shoulder pain.

Naturally, sleeping on your shoulder places the body in a fetal position (often referred to as side-sleeping). In order to comfortably rest in this position, the body needs the right level of support and firmness to contour to the body. 

Choose a mattress that’s too firm, and the rigid surface will only apply even more pressure to the shoulder joints and tendons, resulting in pain. On the other hand, some studies show ultra-plush mattresses can displace the natural contour of the spine and neck, and when that happens, it causes nearby nerves to suffer. In extreme cases, unhealthy spine and neck alignment can cause nerve pain to extend as far as the shoulder and arms.

Did You Know? | Tempur-Pedic Mattresses Help Alleviate Arthritis Pain

Our Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain

Best Overall: Beautyrest® Black® Hybrid X-Class™ Plush Queen Mattress (700810874-1050)

Side view of Beautyrest 700810874-1050 queen-size plush hybrid mattress

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With a support rating of 2.5, this hybrid mattress from Beautyrest delivers a balance of comfort and suspension for proper sleep posture from head to toe. Relish the feel of plush cooling foam in the top and middle layers, all nestled atop T3 Pocketed Coil Technology for superior base support found on no other mattress brand. Save yourself from the abuse and settle into this sleep solution that provides the pressure relief you need for stiff shoulders, joints, and muscles.

Learn More: Our Review of Beautyrest Mattresses

Features:

  • T3 Pocketed Coil Technology 
  • ContourFit Design
  • AirCool Memory Foam
  • RightTemp Memory Foam
  • BlackICE Hybrid Technology 

Best Value: Sealy® Elsanta Plush Hybrid Queen Mattress (52920251)

Front view of Sealy 52920251 Elsanta queen-size plush hybrid mattress

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Pinch pennies, not the nerves in your shoulders! This best bed for shoulder pain on a budget from Sealy’s Elsanta line features a support level rating of 2.5 that matches our overall winner at a fraction of the cost. But with perks like Posturepedic coil technology for extra stability to reduce motion transfer, innovative cool gel foam, and reinforced edges, every surface of this hybrid mattress delivers uncompromised comfort.

More to Discover: Expert Sealy Mattress Reviews

Features:

  • Posturepedic Technology
  • SealyCool Gel Foam
  • Duraflex Coil Edge System
  • Surface-Guard Technology 
  • 10-year limited warranty 

Best Luxury: Stearns & Foster® Lux Estate® Cassatt LE2 Luxury Ultra Plush Pillow Top Queen Mattress (52513051)

Front view of Stearns & Foster 52513051 Lux Estate queen-size pillow top mattress

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Our choice for the best coil mattress for side sleepers comes courtesy of Stearns & Foster and its Lux Estate collection. This pillow top mattress showcases the best of traditional mattress comfort elevated to new heights with IntelliCoil contoured support and a beefed-up 16-inch profile that is indulgent for one or ideal for couples. Side sleepers will enjoy the touch of luxury from the pillow top surface, while beneath, a combination of exclusive foam and gel makes for a soft landing to balance out this mattress’ 3.0 support rating.

Features:

  • Advanced Adapt Foam
  • Pillowtop Support Layer
  • PrimaSense Gel Foam
  • IntelliCoil Advanced
  • PrecisionEdge System
  • PrimaCool Performance Fabric 
  • 16-inch profile 

Best for Hip & Shoulder Pain: Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-ProAdapt™ Medium Hybrid Queen Mattress (10739150)

Front view of Tempur-Pedic 10739150 ProAdapt queen-size hybrid mattress

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For sleepers who suffer from multiple body aches, the hybrid support of this Tempur-Pedic mattress may be the solution. Every part of the body from the shoulder to the hip and in between rests evenly on its blend of memory foam layers with medium firmness, all enhanced by cooling on the surface for a touch of luxury. Over 1,000 specially designed coils unite for premium motion transfer and contoured comfort to keep the body in its most relaxed state and free from tossing and turning that can irritate the shoulder and hips.

Features:

  • TEMPUR-APR Support Layer
  • TEMPUR-ES Comfort Layer
  • SmartClimate Dual Coveer System
  • 10-year limited warranty 

Best for Neck & Shoulder Pain: Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt™ Soft Queen Mattress (10741150)

Front view of Tempur-Pedic 10741150 Lux Adapt queen-size memory foam mattress

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Solo snoozers who experience shoulder pain (especially those weighing under 130 pounds) will benefit from the softer comfort level of this Tempur-Pedic memory foam mattress. Inside, advanced, open-cell memory foam creates a cloud-like relaxation while also increasing the breathability of the mattress for nights of sleep with premium cooling. Ultimately, we recommend this as our pick for the best mattress for neck and shoulder pain due to its unique combination of softness and support that gently cradles every curve of the body in a natural and healthy posture.

Features:

  • TEMPUR-APR+ Support Layer
  • TEMPUR-ES Comfort Layer
  • SmartClimate Dual Coveer System
  • 10-year limited warranty 

Best for Reducing Inflammation: Sleep Essentials Danbury 2.5 Latex Hybrid Euro Top Plush Queen Mattress (27759)

Front view of Sleep Essentials 27759 Danbury queen-size latex hybrid mattress

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Dream a little dream of body inflammation relief, thanks to this premium Sleep Essentials hybrid mattress infused with a layer of latex. That same layer uses graphite for a naturally antimicrobial surface that promotes better circulation, helping to alleviate inflammation caused by pressure. Tailored in quality quilting on the surface in a Euro top design, tucking into this high-end hybrid mattress is just what the doctor ordered for sufferers of tenderness in joints, tendons, and muscles.

Features:

  • Graphite-infused Talalay latex
  • Fabric-encased coil system
  • Quantum Edge steel border
  • CertiPUR-US certified foam

Our Selection Process

There’s an art to every preferred way of dozing off. Whether you’re a notorious spooner or enjoy sleeping like a baby solo in the fetal position, these three pillars of comfort are what we believe makes the best mattress for shoulder pain.

Side Sleeper Support

It’s never a bad idea to remind buyers that support and firmness are not the same. Whereas firmness relates to how hard or soft a mattress is, support indicates how a mattress responds to your body and the level of posture it provides. While our exclusive BetFIT program takes the guesswork out of your shopping experience, for our roundup, we ensured each model in the list delivers the ideal support necessary for alleviating shoulder discomfort.

After evaluation, we found a balanced support level was ideal in order to create sleeping conditions that don’t cause the spine, neck, and shoulder. This ensures a mattress that doesn’t cause extensive dipping past natural, healthy posture, or one responds very little to the weight of the body, causing the shoulder and company to shift upward in an unhealthy position.

Contouring Properties

How a mattress contours to the body also correlates to mattress support, helping to encourage organic shoulder positioning for minimal discomfort. The best mattresses helped keep the entire body in its natural alignment, from the neck to the spine, to the hips and shoulders. The result is harmonious comfort that distributes weight across the entire body instead of burdening the shoulder.

Pressure Relief

Pressure is natural with any mattress, but sleepers should start to feel concern if the surface of a mattress causes unnecessary pressure where the body is in contact with the mattress. Signs of unnatural pressure on the body include tingling sensations, sore muscles and joints, waking up with limited mobility in the shoulder, and overall pain.

To remedy these symptoms, our sleep experts focused on innovative mattress materials that promoted equal weight distribution along the whole body. In addition, motion transfer also helps keep the body stable, reducing the chance that your posture suddenly falls out of placement from movement during the night.

Top Mattress Brands for Shoulder Pain

If you wake up with a chip on your shoulder, consider these three manufacturers for the best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain and say good morning rejuvenating rest that both buyers and experts highly recommend.

Beautyrest

Venture onto the other side of luxurious side sleeping with Beautyrest and its lineup of top-rated mattresses. The Beautyrest Black Hybrid line fuses the best of advanced coil support with new-age memory foam technology to create sleep surfaces that contour to your body for better spine alignment, while advanced foam technology provides soothing comfort to relieve pressure on your shoulders.

Tempur-Pedic

When it comes to memory foam mattresses, it’s hard to outdo Tempur-Pedic. Each model comes with a list of comforting features, including temperature-regulating foams and gels and exclusive foam materials, as well as great user features like zip-off covers for easy cleaning. Best of all, Tempur-Pedic mattresses come with a 10-year limited worry, so you can sleep even easier.

Sealy

With incentives like Posturepedic Technology for 20-percent more support where your body needs it the most, Sealy mattresses are some of the best on the market. In terms of body health, the extra support in the middle of the mattress helps keep the rest of the body in proper form, protecting the shoulder from enduring the pressure of excessive weight. Side sleepers will also appreciate the advanced memory foam and cooling technologies that surround the rest of the body in full comfort.  

Tips for Sleeping with Shoulder Pain

If you experience shoulder pain nightly, chances are a new mattress is in your near future. Until then, you can improve the quality of your sleep with these tips for sleeping with shoulder pain:

✓ Don’t underestimate your pillow: Having a proper pillow for your sleep type will help keep your neck and spine in line, which prevents nerve irritation to the shoulder, arms, and beyond. For our money, we recommend this Tempur-Pedic cooling pillow for a luxurious experience.

✓ Get embracive: A pillow is not only great for spine and neck alignment; sleepers who hug a pillow during the night will benefit from reduced back pressure, while the position places the shoulders parallel to one another for better weight distribution. 

✓ Practice rotation: A groove in a sofa is a nice thing, but don’t get into the habit of creating a dominant shoulder to sleep on. Try swapping shoulders nightly to prevent one from experiencing more pressure than the other (which will also keep both sides equally strong and balanced).

Why Trust Us?

Behind every one of our satisfied customers, there’s a team of dedicated sleep experts who understand the science of sleep on a deeper level. While other chains can recommend a mattress, we guarantee you’ll enjoy rejuvenating sleep, thanks to our exclusive BedFIT technology that performs an astounding 11,000 calculations across 18 essential body measurements to ensure full-body relaxation night after night.  

In other words, we don’t doze when it comes to the quality of your sleep. With over 13 million sleep profiles built, the Mattress Land experience is unlike any other on the market, with a proven record of success that can only be found at our stores.  

Learn More: BedFIT 101

Shop Mattresses for Shoulder Pain at Mattress Land

Say goodbye to cold shoulders and hello to healthy, happy joints for the shoulders and the rest of the body, too. The sleep solution to your shoulder pain awaits at Mattress Land, your local independent provider of quality mattresses with exclusive services and customer experience.

To learn more, shop today online, by phone at (877)-477-5337, or at one of our mattress showrooms across California, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington.