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Best Mattresses For Shoulder Pain 2023

Sep 11, 2023Sep 11, 2023

There’s no bedfellow more aggravating and frustrating than pain, which often leaves you restless and unsatisfied in the morning. If your aches are concentrated in your shoulders, finding relief might feel like a lost cause, especially if you favor sleeping on your side. Fortunately, there are mattresses out there with characteristics that may help relieve shoulder pain—allowing you to sleep better. The best mattresses for shoulder pain will let you snooze in peace in any position you please.

The best mattresses for shoulder pain will help you sleep through the night.

I’m a professional mattress tester who suffers from lower back pain. However, I favor sleeping on my side and and commiserate with friends and family who have suffered the horrors of “dead shoulder.” I’ve used my knowledge and first-hand experience to guide you in your quest for the best mattress that’ll put your shoulders (and mind) at ease all night long.

But I’m not the only expert in this story. I also interviewed John Gallucci Jr., PT and CEO of JAG-ONE Physical Therapy to get even more insight on what makes a mattress a good choice for people with shoulder pain. “Investing in a quality mattress can improve your sleep significantly. It is important to get a mattress that provides comfort and support for your entire body that evenly distributes your weight,” he says. These 10 mattresses fit that description—and they might help make nighttime shoulder pain a thing of the past.


Best for: Side sleepers, restless sleepers, couples | Type: Hybrid | Firmness: Medium to medium-firm | Trial: 100 nights | Warranty: 15 years

Shoulder pain is most prevalent among side sleepers—which makes sense, as your shoulder bears the brunt of your weight when resting in that position. Our top mattress for shoulder pain is the Helix Luxe Midnight, a specially-designed side sleeper mattress that aims to provide great pressure relief. This 13.5-inch hybrid has a medium to medium-firm feel and consists of multiple foam layers, up to 1,000 individually-wrapped coils and a targeted lumbar zone (created with softer coils under the shoulders that offer more give). These elements work together to ease pressure on your shoulders, hips and knees while keeping your spine aligned. A quilted pillow top offers an extra a touch of plushness, but consider the GlacioTex Cooling Cover upgrade if you’re prone to night sweats.

While you could opt for the standard Helix Midnight, the Midnight Luxe comes with a longer warranty (15 years versus 10 years) plus a more nuanced balance of comfort and support achieved through an added layer of foam. It’s also been endorsed by several sleep doctors and the American Chiropractic Association.

What the editors and reviews say: Sleep and mattress editor Lindsey Vickers tested a Helix Midnight in the brand’s showroom and says, “if you’re looking for a bit of initial memory foam sensation without compromising on support as you sleep, this is a great bet. When I tried it with colleagues, they really had to thrash around for there to be any trace of motion transfer, a great sign for couples who share a bed.” One Helix customer adds: “I have lots of joint issues, especially with my shoulders, when [side] sleeping. The Helix Midnight Luxe is the first bed that has reduced my shoulder issues and doesn't cause any pain when I'm lying in bed.”


Best for: Hot sleepers, combination sleepers, couples | Type: Memory foam (also in hybrid) | Firmness: Medium-firm | Trial: 365 nights | Warranty: Lifetime

Flopping around on a hot mattress won’t do much good for painful shoulders. Although the Nectar Premier Copper is an all-foam model, it’s a great choice for those looking for a cooler memory foam option. It’s designed to draw heat away from your body overnight. It achieves this by marrying the soothing effect of copper fibers with the contouring comfort of gel-infused memory foam. A medium-firm feel ensures you’ll sink into it comfortably without feeling smothered or unsupported. (However, if you’re seeking more bounce, stronger edges and increased breathability, upgrade to the hybrid model, which has a layer of 8-inch coils as its base.) You can take your time breaking it in, too—Nectar offers one of the longest trials out there. You’ll have a full year to try it out and decide.

What the writers and reviews say: I slept on the Nectar Premier Copper during a sweltering summer and was genuinely impressed with its temperature regulation—I never once overheated. As a side sleeper I appreciated its outstanding pressure relief along my shoulders and hips, which didn’t come at the expense of proper alignment. I’m not alone, other Nectar customers have had the same experience. One writes, “typically I am a hot mess by morning. Now I actually wake up in the same position. My shoulder pain is gone! Hip pain gone! And I haven't woken in a pool of [sweat] since!”


Best for: Any sleep position, joint pain, couples | Type: Memory foam | Firmness: Soft, medium or firm (also in medium hybrid) | Trial: 90 nights | Warranty: 10 years

If you’re looking for a memory foam mattress to help you contend with shoulder and joint pain, consider the Tempur-Adapt ProAdapt. What sets the ProAdapt apart from the rest of the Tempur-Pedic lineup is the option to customize it—the mattress available in soft, medium or firm. (There’s even a medium hybrid model for added bounce and airflow.) Side sleepers should select the soft or medium feel for more pronounced body-contouring support. However, if you share a bed with a restless partner, motion isolation will likely be better with something firmer. No matter which firmness you choose, you’ll enjoy outstanding pressure relief courtesy of the Tempur-APR support layer. The mattress isn’t cheap, but you will have 90 nights to try it out at home, along with free in-home delivery to spare your shoulders from further strain.

What the reviews say: Here’s what one satisfied Tempur-Pedic customer has to say about their medium ProAdapt mattress: “I have a rotator cuff and hip injury that always woke me up due to soreness. With this mattress, I sleep all night, wake up more rested, and my hip and shoulder are less irritated. This mattress is a good investment for your health, so I highly recommend it if you have old injuries and pain that keep you up at night.”

Brooklyn Bedding

Best for: Budget shoppers, RV and non-standard beds | Type: Memory foam | Firmness: Soft-medium to firm | Trial: 120 nights | Warranty: 10 years

Relief from shoulder pain doesn't have to cost a premium. Our pick for the best affordable mattress for shoulder pain is the Brooklyn Bedding Dreamfoam Essential, a memory foam mattress that falls into the budget to mid-range category. It comes in five height profiles with corresponding firmness levels. For most adults, we recommend the 12-inch profile for a medium feel or the 14-inch medium-soft bed, which is the tallest and softest in the lineup. No worries about finding the just right size, as there are an impressive 22 choices available—including unique options like RV bunk beds, short king and Olympic queen. Thanks to regular sales and an already-low MSRP, you can easily snag a standard queen mattress for well under a grand.

What the reviews say: The Dreamfoam Essential has received rave reviews from RV owners who crave more comfortable sleep on the road. One Brooklyn Bedding customer bought a 14-inch RV mattress and says, “[It’s] very plush [and] also has enough support that you’re not fishing yourself out every morning. It has made a huge difference in my hip, shoulders, and back as well. They no longer hurt when I get up.”

Nolah Mattress

Best for: Sleepers with allergies, eco-conscious shoppers, hot sleepers | Type: Organic hybrid | Firmness: Medium | Trial: 120 nights | Warranty: Lifetime

If you struggle with allergies or are committed to making environmentally-friendly purchases, then an organic mattress made of latex foam may be the best solution for your shoulder pain. The Nolah Natural features the gentle cradle of natural Talalay latex along with individually-wrapped recycled steel coils that provide targeted support for your shoulders and other high-pressure areas. It’s a boon for hot sleepers, too. The use of springs, perforated latex and certified organic wool and cotton layers yield a breathable and cozy sleeping surface. For shoppers who care about credentials, the Nolah Natural boasts certifications from the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Oeko-Tex, eco-Institut, and Rainforest Alliance.

What the reviews say: The Nolah Natural has accumulated numerous 5-star reviews, including this one: “I'm a side sleeper and was worried it would be too firm, but it's perfect. It feels firm when I sit and lie on it, but even after eight hours in the same (side) position, I have no pains and aches.” Another happy customer adds, “We love all the support this mattress gives us. We are enjoying a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed with no pain or aches.”


Best for: Couples, pressure relief, firmer support | Type: Hybrid | Firmness: Luxury firm (medium-firm) | Trial: 365 nights | Warranty: Lifetime

Sharing a bed with someone suffering from shoulder pain can make a good night's sleep seem like a mere dream. Enter the DreamCloud, a lofty (14-inch) hybrid mattress with multiple foam layers, hundreds of individually-wrapped coils and a luxe cashmere-blend cover. Its medium-firm feel lends outstanding pressure point relief and robust support while minimizing motion transfer—a remarkable feat for hybrids, which tend to be too bouncy to effectively absorb movement. In essence, the DreamCloud will spare you the aftermath of your partner's tossing and turning, whether it's dampening their movements or allowing them to stay comfy enough to sleep in peace. It also offers a lot of bang for your buck—DreamCloud’s mattresses are reasonably priced to begin with, but the company also routinely offers 40% off. Plus, it has a generous 1-year trial and a lifetime warranty.

What the writers and reviews say: My experience with DreamCloud brought significant relief to my shoulders and hips when resting on my side, although I did need time to break it in and adjust, as it’s quite firm at first. As I sleep alone, I'll let this DreamCloud customer elaborate on sharing the bed with a partner: “My husband is sleeping through the whole night! He's waking up without pain. I wake up and can get up out of bed without groaning, moaning and in agony. I no longer have neck or shoulder pain (I am a side sleeper) and my back is so much better.”


Best for: Combo sleepers, changing preferences, hot sleepers | Type: Memory foam | Firmness: Soft or firm (flippable) | Trial: 120 nights | Warranty: Lifetime

A flippable mattress, like the Layla Memory Foam Mattress, can be a game-changer for those whose needs change over time due to injuries or other circumstances. Instead of buying a new bed or fiddling with a mattress topper, you can simply flip the Layla to its soft side (a 4 out of 10 on the firmness scale) or its firm side (a 7 out of 10). The Layla’s softer side provides gentle cushioning for your pressure points, but if you prefer a more supportive feel the firmer side is there for you, too. Either way, you’ll benefit from an infusion of copper gel that lends more support in areas of greater compression (like your shoulders and hips). Copper is also highly conductive, so you’re less likely to wake up covered in sweat.

What the reviews say: One thrilled Layla customer shares, “I struggle with sciatica and shoulder dislocation, and my back and shoulder have felt totally amazing since getting this bed.” Another user adds, “We liked the option of flipping the mattress for a different degree of firmness. I have always preferred firm mattresses because of my chronic back issues; however, at 8 months pregnant, I have to sleep on my side. We flipped the mattress and [my] intense sciatica and hip pain has greatly reduced for the first time in several months.”


Best for: People with active lifestyles, hot sleepers, back and side sleepers | Type: Hybrid | Firmness: Medium to medium-firm | Trial: 100 nights | Warranty: 10 years

The Zoma Hybrid is specifically designed with athletes in mind—among its biggest fans are competitors from the NFL, MLB and NCAA— but it’s beneficial to anyone who leads an active lifestyle or has a physically demanding job that makes them susceptible to shoulder pain and other injuries. It features a blend of pressure-relieving gel memory foam, a responsive comfort foam layer and pocketed coils. Together, these elements provide stability and contouring support for your entire body, particularly if you sleep on your back or side. The Zoma Hybrid is wrapped in a stretchy, ventilated AirCloth cover to prevent overheating. All of this advanced sleep tech comes at a surprisingly affordable price, with the queen size regularly on sale for less than $1,000.

What the reviews say: “I've had my bed for a year now, I still love it like it's the first day,” begins one glowing customer review. “I think the different zones for your back and shoulders make a difference in overall comfort. I have back problems and combined with an adjustable bed base, I've never slept or rested better.” Another satisfied Zoma customer adds, “I was looking for a supportive but malleable mattress that would be good for back and side sleepers. The Zoma hybrid is wonderful.”


Best for: Sleepers over 250 pounds seeking a softer bed | Type: Hybrid | Firmness: Medium | Trial: 120 nights | Warranty: 10 years

If you're a person with more weight and someone who struggles with shoulder pain, finding a mattress that strikes a balance between relief and support can be challenging. The Titan Plus Luxe by Brooklyn Bedding offers a solution that doesn't force you to settle for an extra-firm surface, a common trend among beds catering to plus-size individuals. This hybrid has a medium sensation with a maximum capacity of 1,000 pounds. It consists of 1,032 individually-wrapped coils plus layers of sag-resistant foam for loads of contouring along your hips and shoulders, and robust edge-to-edge support. It’s topped by a layer of gel-infused quilted foam, but if you tend to sleep hot, you should consider the GlacioTex Cover upgrade for enhanced cooling.

What the reviews say: One reviewer writes, “I'm a 74-year-old male with a history of insomnia as well as shoulder and back surgeries resulting in frequent lower back stiffness and transient discomfort. When I stretch out on my new mattress this all goes away: my neck, spine and lower back all feel aligned, appropriately supported and relaxed.” Another Titan customer likes its balanced comfort, saying it’s “soft enough that I don’t wake up with sore shoulders and hips, but firm enough for my hubby’s bad back.”


Best for: All sleepers, full-body pain relief | Type: Hybrid | Firmness: Soft, luxury firm or firm | Trial: 365 nights | Warranty: Lifetime

Saatva makes some of the best best mattresses for back pain. If you deal with hip and shoulder discomfort, the Saatva Classic is an excellent choice for all-over relief. With three distinct firmness levels to choose from (plush soft, luxury firm or firm) you can select the ideal amount of support for your body type and sleeping preferences. (Side sleepers will likely want to go for plush soft or luxury firm.) Two layers of coils deliver targeted support, and a dedicated “Lumbar Zone” in the center of the mattress promotes proper alignment while relieving pressure in your lower back and hips. It’s capped by a 3-inch plush Euro pillow top to cushion your shoulders and other joints. No need to fuss over the setup, either—this luxury innerspring mattress arrives with free in-home delivery and is ready to sleep on immediately (no airing out or firming up required). You’ll also get a full year to try it out at home.

What the editors and reviews say: Deals writer Jordan Thomas praises her Saatva Classic for being “supportive but still comfortable” and offering “great edge support.” Saatva customers also love it. One reviewer who opted for the extra plush version says, “I am a side sleeper and occasionally sleep on my stomach. In the past I have had issues with shoulder and hip pain, which I believe was from my mattress. Since I have been sleeping on my Saatva, [I don’t have] hip or shoulder pain.”

I honed in on mattresses that excel in pressure relief, especially for side sleepers as shoulder pain is more prevalent in that position. However, many of the mattresses on this list cater to various sleep styles—and some models even offer a degree of customization. This allows you to pick the level of comfort that’ll suit you best.

Beyond that I relied on first-hand experiences (my own, and those of other Forbes’ staff). Among ourselves, we’ve personally tested the Helix Midnight Luxe, Nectar Premier Copper, The DreamCloud and Saatva Classic. I also vetted verified customer reviews from those who noticed a marked improvement in their shoulder pain and factored in other noteworthy features such as cooling tech, targeted support and convenient perks like free in-home delivery.

Our top picks span a broad spectrum of prices to accommodate various budgets. Whether you’re looking to spend a little or a lot, we want to make sure you’ll find an option that falls within your desired range.

For additional expert insight, I consulted with John Gallucci Jr., CEO of JAG-ONE Physical Therapy.

At Forbes Vetted, we value quality sleep and understand how integral it is to our overall well-being. You can check out our full library of mattress and bedding stories for detailed product reviews and expert insights from some of the nation’s top medical experts.

Meanwhile, our mattress and sleep editor Lindsey Vickers and executive strategy editor Lindsay Boyers have years of professional mattress testing experience, as does I (Alison Barretta, author of this story). Their combined expertise helps inform our sleep content, especially as it relates to pain relief. I’ve personally grappled with back pain—so I know the struggle of getting quality sleep

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