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Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain – Top Picks and Buying Guide

Our Research

170
Mattresses Considered
680
Hours of Research
10
Mattress Executives Interviewed
5
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

Many people live with chronic shoulder pain due to a past injury, joint inflammation, chronic illness, and other root causes. Persistent aches and discomfort can affect many aspects of daily life, including sleep quality and duration. People with shoulder pain may be able to mitigate their shoulder pain by sleeping on a mattress that conforms to the body, aligns the spine, and provides consistent support throughout the night.

Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain

This guide will discuss common sources of shoulder pain and explain how the right mattress can alleviate these symptoms. Below we’ll go over our top mattress picks for sleepers with shoulder pain. These selections are based on verified customer and owner experiences, along with our own product research and analysis.

Our Top 6 Picks

Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain – Reviewed

Editor's Pick – Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Editor's Pick – Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (3.5, 5.5, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Consistent airflow keeps the bed cool
  • Quilted cover for extra padding
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Editor’s Pick Overview

Our Editor’s Pick, the Brooklyn Bedding Signature, is a standout mattress for people with shoulder pain for several reasons. This hybrid model is constructed with a quilted polyfoam and cotton top layer. This component cushions the sleeper’s shoulders and conforms closely to alleviate aches and pains. The bed also contains two polyfoam comfort layers measuring 4 inches thick for added reinforcement.

The Signature is available in three firmness settings: soft (3.5), medium (5.5), and firm (7.5). This range should accommodate most customers regardless of their preferred position or body weight.

The support core features pocketed coils and a high-density polyfoam base. Air circulates freely throughout the coils, keeping the mattress at a comfortable temperature, while the base layer helps reinforce the bed against sagging in the sleep surface and sinkage along the edges.

At $949 in a queen size, the Signature is priced much lower than the average hybrid. Brooklyn Bedding also offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S., and backs the mattress with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in any weight group
  • Hot sleepers
  • Value seekers

Best Value – T&N Mattress

Best Value – T&N Mattress

Highlights

  • Medium-firm (6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Top layer infused with cooling graphite
  • Consistent conforming and even weight distribution
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Best Value Overview

The average mattress of any type costs more than $1,000 in a queen size. Our Best Value pick, the T&N Mattress from Tuft & Needle, is available for less than $600. However, the mattress offers the same comfort and support for sleepers with shoulder pain as many of its higher-priced competitors.

The T&N Mattress is an all-polyfoam model. The 3-inch comfort layer is infused with graphite, which helps the material absorb less body heat and sleep cooler. A 7-inch support core of high-density polyfoam reinforces the sleep surface to prevent sagging and deep indentations from forming.

With a medium-firm (6.5) feel, the T&N Mattress conforms to a moderate yet consistent extent. This makes it most suitable for sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds. Other benefits include excellent motion isolation and no noise when bearing weight.

In addition to its low price, the T&N also qualifies for free shipping within the contiguous U.S. Tuft & Needle backs the mattress with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups
  • Couples
  • Those who normally sleep hot on all-foam beds

Best Luxury – WinkBed

Best Luxury – WinkBed

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (4.5, 6.5, 7.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Supportive coil-on-coil design
  • Lumbar pad for added back support
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Best Luxury Overview

The WinkBed luxury innerspring offers a supportive, multi-layered design that can be very beneficial for sleepers with shoulder pain. The comfort system features 2 inches of body-conforming polyfoam, followed by a layer of foam-encased pocketed microcoils and a compressed-cotton lumbar pad for added back support.

The pocketed coil support core is also encased in high-density polyfoam, giving the WinkBed very strong edge support. Customers can choose from medium-soft (4.5), medium-firm (6.5), or firm (7.5) settings for their standard WinkBed.

Additionally, the WinkBed Plus is a specialized version of the bed designed for heavier sleepers. The WinkBed Plus swaps out polyfoam and pocketed microcoil layers for 2 1/2 inches of durable, responsive latex. The WinkBed Plus has a firm (8) feel. All versions of the WinkBed measure 14 1/2 inches thick.

WinkBeds offers free shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S., as well as White Glove delivery for a reasonable upcharge. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Good for:
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in any weight group
  • Those who prefer high-profile beds
  • Hot sleepers

Best for Lightweight Sleepers – Leesa

Best for Lightweight Sleepers – Leesa

Highlights

  • Medium (5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Isolates motion transfer for couples
  • Close conforming and consistent pressure relief
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Best for Lightweight Sleepers Overview

Many lightweight sleepers with shoulder pain prefer mattresses with softer firmness settings. This is particularly true for side sleepers, who often need extra cushioning beneath the shoulders and hips for complete spinal alignment.

Our pick for this weight group is the Leesa, a memory foam mattress with a contouring, medium (5) surface. The comfort layers conform closely to minimize shoulder pain and prevent new aches and pressure-points from developing.

The mattress also has a high-density polyfoam base to help maintain a sag-free sleep surface. Additionally, the Leesa is a good pick for couples because it isolates most motion transfer and does not make any noise.

The Leesa has a very reasonable price-point compared to other memory foam mattresses. The company also offers free shipping to all 50 states, along with a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds
  • Couples
  • Value seekers

Best for Average Weight Sleepers – Bear Hybrid

Best for Average Weight Sleepers – Bear Hybrid

Highlights

  • Medium-firm (6)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 20-year warranty
  • Exceptional cooling
  • Innovative, pain-relieving Celliant cover
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Best for Average Weight Overview

Most people in the average weight group (130 to 230 pounds) prefer mattresses that offer a balance of body-cushioning and overall support. The Bear Hybrid is our selection for sleepers in this weight group. The bed’s cover is made from Celliant fabric, a cutting-edge material that improves circulation, regulates sleep temperature, and promotes muscle recovery – all of which benefit people who experience shoulder pain.

The mattress is also constructed with two polyfoam comfort layers that conform to the body without hugging too closely or sagging excessively. The mattress has a medium-firm feel best suited for side and back sleepers.

An 8-inch pocketed coil support core and high-density polyfoam base reinforce the mattress very well. Air circulates through the coils to cool off the interior and help the surface maintain a comfortable temperature.

Bear ships mattresses free-of-charge to customers in all 50 states. The Bear Hybrid is also backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds
  • People with poor circulation
  • Hot sleepers

Best for Heavyweight Sleepers – Saatva

Best for Heavyweight Sleepers – Saatva

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (4, 6, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Exceptional coil-on-coil support
  • Consistent temperature neutrality
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Best for Heavyweight Sleepers Overview

Although preferences vary, many heavier sleepers prefer firmer, more responsive mattresses that will alleviate aches and pains without sagging too deeply. For this reason, the Saatva is our pick for this group. This premium coil-on-coil innerspring is available in three firmness settings, including a medium-firm (6) option for those who prefer some body-conforming and a firm (7.5) setting that feels quite responsive.

Customers can also choose from 11 1/2-inch and 14 1/2-inch profiles, both of which are thicker than average. Heavier sleepers tend to feel more comfortable getting on and off the bed with thicker profiles.

The Saatva’s comfort system consists of polyfoam, memory foam, and pocketed microcoil layers that provide supportive, consistent contouring and even weight distribution. The support core contains durable bonnell coils made from recycled steel. Air circulates through the two coil layers, making the Saatva suitable for hot sleepers.

Saatva offers free White Glove delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. This service includes in-home assembly and old mattress removal. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 150-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Any type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in any weight group
  • People who prefer high-profile beds
  • Hot sleepers

Buying Guide – How to Choose a Mattress for Shoulder Pain

Chronic shoulder pain is a common problem among adults in the U.S. Daily activities can compound this issue, leading to discomfort during the night that can impact sleep. Fortunately, the right mattress can make a significant difference for sleepers with shoulder pain.

This guide will discuss common sources of shoulder pain. We’ll also cover different mattress types and explain which ones provide the most (and least) relief for shoulder discomfort.

Please note: Tuck.com is not a medical website. Our mattress tips should never replace the advice of a licensed medical professional.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

According to the Mayo Clinic, shoulder pain often occurs due to problems with the shoulder joint and/or issues with surrounding muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Many different diseases and conditions can cause and contribute to shoulder pain for sleepers, including:

  • Previous Injury: Old injuries often lead to lingering aches and pains. Separated or dislocated shoulders, sprains, injured rotator cuffs, and a broken arm or collarbone can all cause chronic shoulder pain.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis is a disease characterized by painful swelling and tenderness in the joints. The most common form is osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition that wears down cartilage that protects the bones and joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease, breaks down lining in the joints to create painful sensations throughout the body.
  • Joint Inflammation: Joint inflammation around the shoulder can cause intense, persistent discomfort. One common form of joint inflammation, bursitis, irritates the fluid sacs that pad bones and muscles surrounding the joints. Tendinitis, another common condition, irritates the tendons, connective tissue between muscles and bones.
  • Frozen Shoulder: Though somewhat rare, this condition can cause intense discomfort for sleepers. Frozen shoulder is characterized by aches and stiffness around the shoulder joint that gradually worsens over time. Many people develop this condition while recovering from surgery or a medical condition (such as a stroke) that hinders their range-of-motion.
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs due to compressed blood vessels or nerves in other parts of the body around the collarbone and ribs. Common symptoms include pain and numbness in the shoulders. Most people experience this condition after a serious injury, such as a vehicle accident, or during pregnancy.
  • Shoulder Impingement: Some people experience shoulder pain due to abnormalities in the bones that make up the shoulder blade. These abnormalities may include bone spurs, projections that arise along the bone surface, or an unusual bone shape. The painful condition known as shoulder impingement occurs when bone abnormalities narrow the gap between rotator cuff tendons and surrounding bones.

In addition to these root causes for shoulder pain, Physiopedia also identifies several risk factors that can exacerbate symptoms:

  • Age: The strongest incidence rates of shoulder pain have been found in adults age 45 and older.
  • Sex: Though shoulder pain commonly affects both sexes, women are more likely to develop symptoms.
  • Lack of Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle may contribute to existing shoulder pain. It’s also important to note that routine exercise can alleviate shoulder discomfort.
  • Work-Related Factors: Daily activities can exacerbate shoulder pain. This is especially true for those with jobs that require heavy lifting, operating machines, and other tasks involving frequent shoulder movements.

For many people, shoulder pain symptoms improve with time and care. However, severe discomfort may necessitate surgery, medication, and other more intensive treatments.

Choosing the Right Mattress for Shoulder Pain

Before we discuss different types of mattresses, let’s look at a few important mattress qualities for sleepers with shoulder pain.

  • Conforming Ability: Most of today’s mattresses are designed with top layers (also known as comfort layers) made of foam, latex, and other cushioning materials. These layers contour to the sleeper’s body in order to alleviate pressure points and align the spine. A bed’s conforming ability does not refer to how closely it conforms, but rather how evenly it contours to different parts of the sleeper’s body and distributes their weight.
  • Support: When dealing with mattresses, ‘support’ refers to the bed’s ability to maintain an even surface that doesn’t sag or develop indentations. The bottom layers of the mattress – collectively known as the support core – reinforce the bed against these issues. However, due to their structure and materials, some beds offer better overall support than others.
  • Durability: The average mattress needs to be replaced every seven years. However, a bed’s lifespan will vary based on its comfort and support components. Less durable mattresses begin to sag in the middle and sink along the edges, which affects sleeper support and the bed’s body-conforming abilities.
  • Temperature Neutrality: The comfort layers of some beds absorb body heat from sleepers, causing the surface to feel somewhat warm. Excessive temperatures can hinder sleep quality and duration, compounding the effects of shoulder pain. Other beds have gel-infused comfort layers, cooling covers, and/or coil layers that circulate air throughout the interior. These components allow the bed to feel cooler and more comfortable for sleep.
  • Motion Isolation: Whenever someone gets into or out of bed, or shifts positions while sleeping, their movement generates transfer that may travel across the bed and wake up the person’s sleep partner. Many mattresses today address this issue with thick foam layers, which absorb and minimize transfer. Since people with shoulder pain frequently toss and turn, a bed that eliminates motion can be highly beneficial.
  • Noise: Some mattresses – particularly those with coils or adjustable air chambers – produce noise when bearing weight, which can disrupt sleep. By comparison, beds made from other materials produce little to no noise.

Most mattresses sold today fall into one of five categories: foam/memory foam, latex, innerspring, hybrid, and airbed. The table below lists ratings for these five mattress types based on different criteria for sleepers with shoulder pain. To learn more about each mattress type, please visit the guide links in the top row of the table.

Mattress Type Foam/Memory Foam Latex Innerspring Hybrid Airbed
Construction Memory foam and/or polyfoam comfort layers High-density polyfoam support core Latex comfort layers Latex and/or polyfoam support core Foam comfort layers Steel coil support core At least 2" of memory foam and/or latex, plus additional polyfoam layers Pocketed coil support core Foam comfort layers Adjustable air chamber support core
Conforming Ability Rating Good to Very Good Good to Very Good Fair to Good Good to Very Good Good to Very Good
Support Rating Fair to Good Good to Very Good Fair to Good Good to Very Good Good to Very Good
Average Lifespan 6.5 to 7 years 7.5 to 8 years 5.5 to 6 years 6.5 to 7 years 7 to 8 years
Temperature Neutrality Rating Poor to Fair Fair to Good Good to Very Good Good to Very Good Fair to Good
Motion Isolation Rating Very Good to Excellent Good to Very Good Poor to Fair Fair to Good Fair to Good
Noise Rating Very Good to Excellent Very Good to Excellent Poor to Fair Fair to Good Poor to Fair
Availability Wide Moderate Wide Moderate Rare
Average Price Range (Queen-size) $800 to $1,200 $1,600 to $2,100 $700 to $1,100 $1,200 to $1,800 $2,000+

Important Considerations for Sleepers with Shoulder Pain

In addition to material composition, sleepers with shoulder pain should take the following factors into account when choosing a mattress.

Sleep Position

Sleep position can be crucial for those with shoulder pain. Most people sleep on their side with their legs tucked in or outstretched. This is considered the healthiest sleep position because it aligns the spine, inhibits snoring, and generally leads to fewer aches and pains. However, side-sleeping may cause more discomfort for people with shoulder pain, depending on which side they prefer.

Many people prefer sleeping on their backs. Although this position increases the risk of snoring, it can alleviate aches and pains from shoulder-related issues.

Stomach-sleeping is also an option, though many doctors discourage this position. Because so many people carry weight in their stomachs, sleeping face-down can lead to uneven weight distribution and shoulder strain.

Generally, side sleepers prefer softer mattresses. The extra cushioning beneath the shoulders and hips helps align the spine and prevent pressure points from developing.

The back-sleeping position aligns the spine on its own. These sleepers often need moderate to firm settings to ensure their bodies won’t sink too much.

Stomach sleepers usually prefer firmer beds that will maintain an even surface. Otherwise, their stomachs will sink too deeply, leaving them vulnerable to neck and shoulder pain.

Body Weight

Along with sleep position, the sleeper’s weight is important for determining the best firmness setting for a mattress.

Sleepers in the lightweight group (less than 130 pounds) typically softer prefer beds that conform to their bodies. Excessively firm mattresses may not conform enough, resulting in uneven support and inadequate pain relief.

Those who are considered average weight (130 to 230 pounds) often find mattresses with moderate firmness settings most comfortable. The surface conforms to a noticeable extent without sagging too much, but the sleeper still experiences pain and pressure relief.

Most sleepers in the heavyweight group (more than 230 pounds) need firmer beds with minimal conforming. Softer beds often sink too much, and this can significantly worsen shoulder pain.

Firmness

Firmness refers to how closely the mattress cushions and conforms to the sleeper’s body. Mattress firmness is rated on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Extra-Soft (1-2): The mattress conforms very closely and sinks deeply beneath the sleeper’s body.
  • Soft (3): The mattress conforms closely and sinks to a noticeable extent.
  • Medium-Soft (4): The mattress conforms somewhat closely, but there is minimal sinkage.
  • Medium (5):The mattress conforms to a moderate extent with little to no sinkage.
  • strong>Medium-firm (6): The mattress offers minimal conforming and won’t sink unless the sleeper is exceptionally heavy.
  • Firm (7-8): The mattress conforms little, if at all, and support is flat and even across the surface.
  • Extra-Firm (9-10): The mattress has a hard, flat surface that does not conform or sink to any noticeable extent.

It’s important to note that extra-soft and extra-firm mattresses are extremely rare. The majority of beds sold today fall between a 3 (soft) and 8 (firm) on the 1-10 firmness scale.

A sleeper’s preferred firmness largely depends on two other factors: his/her sleep position and body weight. The table below lists optimal firmness settings for sleepers in different weight groups. However, please note these ratings are subjective and may not be accurate for some individuals.

Weight Group Light (Less than 130 lbs.) Average (130-230 lbs.) Heavy (More than 230 lbs.)
Optimal Firmness for Side Sleepers 3 (soft) to 4.5 (medium-soft) 5 (medium) to 6.5 (medium-firm) 6 (medium-firm) to 7 (firm)
Optimal Firmness for Back Sleepers 4 (medium-soft) to 5.5 (medium) 5 (medium) to 6.5 (medium-firm) 6 (medium-firm) to 8 (firm)
Optimal Firmness for Stomach Sleepers 4 (medium-soft) to 6 (medium-firm) 5.5 (medium) to 7 (firm) 6.5 (medium-firm) to 8 (firm)
Pillows

People with shoulder pain can also alleviate symptoms by optimizing their pillow settings. Loft – or thickness – is one of the most important considerations. Pillows sold today fall into one of three general loft categories:

  • Low Loft: Less than 3 inches
  • Medium Loft: 3 to 5 inches
  • High Loft: More than 5 inches

The ideal loft for depends on the sleeper’s body weight, head size, and shoulder width, as well as their bed’s firmness setting. The next table lists optimal loft settings based on these criteria.

Loft Category Low Medium High
Thickness Range Less than 3" 3" to 5" More than 5"
Optimal Head Size Small Average Large
Optimal Shoulder Width Narrow Average Wide
Optimal Sleeper Weight More than 230 lbs. 130 to 230 lbs. Less than 130 lbs.
Optimal Mattress Firmness Soft to medium-soft Medium-soft to medium-firm Medium-firm to firm

In addition to loft, pillow shoppers should also take pillow composition into account. Some fill materials, such as buckwheat hulls, memory foam, and latex, provide consistent conforming and even support. Others, such as down and down alternative, tend to sink more, resulting in deeper conforming to some areas than others.

For more information about choosing a pillow, please visit our Best Pillows guide.

Sleep Trial and Warranty

Most mattresses sold today come with a sleep trial, which allows customers to test out the mattress for a predetermined length of time. If they are dissatisfied with the mattress before the sleep trial ends, they may return the bed for a full or partial refund. Some brands also offer mattress exchanges during the sleep trial.

In most cases, the sleep trial will span at least 90 nights, but some brands offer trials that last 365 nights or longer. Sleep trials allow sleepers with shoulder pain to determine whether or not a bed is suitable for long-term use. However, they should make sure to read the fine print, as some brands level expensive shipping and/or return fees.

Warranties are also important. Most mattress warranties consider excessive sagging a defect, and will repair, replace, or refund beds that develop significant indentations. Specific sagging depth is the key factor for people with shoulder pain. Some brands cover sagging that measures as little as half an inch deep, while others only cover sagging that measures one to two inches deep.

More pain and discomfort is associated with sagging that measures one inch or deeper. For this reason, people with shoulder pain should carefully read the warranty policies for any model they are considering.

It’s also important to note that mattress warranties almost never honor repairs or replacements based on changing owner preferences. If someone with shoulder pain decides a mattress is too firm or too soft after the sleep trial has expired, they will most likely need to purchase a new bed. However, some brands offer prorated exchanges as part of their warranty coverage.

Additional Tuck Resources

For more information about mattresses for people with chronic pain and other medical conditions, please visit the following Tuck.com guides.

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