The research done on this website is made possible by commissions earned through sales from affiliate links shared within the content. Learn more here.
Most people see their bedtime as an escape from the day's trials and tribulations. They think about how cozy that bed is and cannot wait to sink into it and fall asleep. However, those who suffer from shoulder pain don't feel the same way. For these folks, going to bed is torture. Their reprieve is to purchase a pillow that will ease their shoulder pain entirely.
These pillows were created solely to target the problems that lead to shoulder pain, such as excessive pressure on the shoulder joint and spinal column. Though this pressure is typically the cause of shoulder pain, in cases where the shoulder is injured, it only worsens the situation.
The best pillows for shoulder pain have ergonomic designs and can be adjusted, allowing you to get the right fit as needed. In this article, we are going to discuss what to look for before you make a purchase.
The Best Pillows for Shoulder Pain
- Coop Home Goods: the best adjustable loft pillow for shoulder pain
- Coisum: the best cervical pillow for shoulder pain
- Leachco: the best body pillow for shoulder pain
- MedCline: the best side-sleeper pillow for shoulder pain
- Mediflow: the best waterbase pillow for shoulder pain
- Bluestone: the most affordable pillow for shoulder pain
- CradlingSleeper: the best pillow for spinal alignment
- UTTU: the best memory foam pillow for shoulder pain
- TRANZZQUIL: the best hypoallergenic pillow for shoulder pain
Table of Contents
The Best Pillows For Shoulder Pain Comparison Table
- Fully adjustable loft gives the right amount of support
- Slow rebound memory foam adapts to movement
- Helps reduce shoulder and neck pain
- Works great for side sleepers
- Clinically proven technology reduces shoulder pain
- Full body pain relief
- Various sizes for all body types
- Alleviates neck, shoulder and back pain
- Fully adjustable thickness
The Best Pillows For Shoulder Pain Reviews
Coop Home Goods: The Best Adjustable Loft Pillow for Shoulder Pain
One of the most well-known sleeping aids providers on the market is Coop Home Goods (especially for their mattresses and pillows). One of their more popular products is the Premium Adjustable Loft Memory Foam Pillow. And for good reason: there are so many worthwhile things to enjoy about this pillow.
- It's far more comfortable for use than latex pillows.
- It canbe adjusted to your height by adding to or removing the filling (Each person has their own feeling of comfort, which is why this pillow is ideal).
- It's ideal for people who suffer from shoulder pain.
- There is a five-year warranty with every purchase.
While all of that is good, what really lures people's attention to this pillow is the proprietary mix of shredded Visco elastic CertiPur-US certified memory foam. The certification designates that the foam has passed (or exceeded) durability and safety standards. The pillow doesn't contain the following: flame retardants, ozone depleters, and heavy metals (lead and mercury).
This type of foam is hypoallergenic, meaning even individuals with very sensitive skin can use it without problems. Enjoy a good night's sleep without the worry of dust mites, as it's also dust mite resistant. The cover of this pillow is made of 60 percent polyester and 40 percent rayon derived from bamboo. The fabric ensures the pillow feels so much softer and luxurious. It's also breathable, which means you remain cool all night even when the temperature rises.
With the right amount of support and the ability to adjust the height, it's the biggest reason people consider Coop Home Goods the best pillow for shoulder pain for many years now.
Coisum: The Best Cervical Pillow for Shoulder Pain
Coisum, which is made of high-quality mid-firm memory foam, was specifically designed to relieve chronic shoulder and neck pain. A sloped shape keeps your head from rolling out of its stable position during the night. The pillow adapts to your neck contour and cradles your head while you sleep.
Cutouts under both sides, perfectly fit your shoulder when you side sleep. The cutouts beside the sleeping area were created to help relax your arm. When used as a side sleeper pillow, it doesn't press on your shoulders, which would cause undue pain and suffering. Since it's also a back sleeper pillow, your spine will remain in its natural curve due to the proper neck support. Back sleepers are urged to sleep on the higher side with two horns, but it may be that the lower side is better for you.
This shoulder pillow uses a 60-density slow rebound memory foam that takes no more than five seconds to return to shape. Each time you move while sleeping, the pillow gets acclimated to it. The memory foam includes a temperature sensing feature that ensures the pillow fits perfectly into your neck.
The pillowcase is hypoallergenic, which will protect users from dangerous allergens, and boosts air circulation. The cover can be removed, and machine washed for easy cleaning.
Leachco: The Best Body Pillow for Shoulder Pain
Body pillows were initially designed for pregnant women, but they are ideal for anybody who has shoulder pain while they sleep. Pregnant women tend to have a difficult time finding a position that will make sleeping comfortable. Thus, it's not unusual for the expectant mothers to use several pillows to get to sleep while ensuring their unborn babies are protected. However, the Leachco Snoogle body pillow eliminates the need to purchase several pillows.
The C-shape pillow can be twisted and bent to a shape that provides users with the best possible support while alleviating shoulder and neck pain during their sleep. The head pillow is horseshoe-shaped, meaning users can attain the position and height that's best for them. Thanks to the extra-long midsection, your back or stomach will be completely supported. The slightly curved end tucks snugly between the knees as it conforms to your shape staying cool as you sleep.
The height is also adjustable – done by folding the pillow over. It was created to follow the body's natural shape and contour from head to toe, so you feel relaxed all night long. You can remove and wash the pillow cover, which ensures it stays free of allergens, dirt, and smells. Plus, it's made of breathable fabric, so it stays cool during use.
MedCline: The Best Side-Sleeper Pillow Option
Aside from shoulder and neck pain, another problem people have during the night is acid reflux. Acid Reflux happens when stomach acid comes back up the esophagus while sleeping. This causes a burning, sour sensation in the mouth and leads to sleep disruption.
However, MedCline has developed a pillow that addresses both problems. The pillow is an amalgamation of a pillow and wedge. For the wedge part, you need to be slightly upright while sleeping. It works against acid reflux because your head and throat are higher than the stomach, which means the stomach acid is unable to move up the esophagus and into the mouth.
The wedge includes a pocket where you can place your arm, thus ensuring no pressure is applied to it and alleviating the risk for shoulder pain. However, this pillow is not great for people who have suffered an injury in their hip or lower back and for those who sleep on their stomach since the incline of the wedge may make sleeping difficult.
The great aspect of the MedCline is its stability and sturdiness. It can be used without having to worry about disturbing your partner or the need to make adjustments to your bed. The wedge's stability is also great for pregnant women. MedCline comes with the Advanced Positioning Bed Wedge, a full-length memory foam body pillow in three different sizes and a plush washable 80/20 percent Cotton-Poly pillowcase.
Mediflow: The Best Waterbase Pillow
A Johns Hopkins study looked at the Mediflow Waterbase technology and found that it could decrease neck and shoulder pain and improve overall sleep quality. Just as the name suggests, the pillow comprises of water to provide support to both the neck and head while sleeping. No matter how you sleep – on your back, stomach, or side – the water moves with your head. No pillow fluffing ever again!
On top of that, it can be adjusted to fit your preferences. Be sure to adjust the water level to get the kind of firmness or softness you want. The pillow comprises of a completely-sealed and insulated water pouch that includes a hypoallergenic cotton shell and resilient Dacron Hollofill fiber layer providing exceptional comfort for the head.
At the same time, we should note that water-based pillows can be exceptionally heavy, which isn't total negative experience since the pillow remains still while you sleep.
Mediflow offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a three-year warranty. According to reviews, users have seen an improvement in their shoulder and neck pain as well as a comfortable experience after using it for sleep.
Bluestone: The Most Affordable Pillow
Bluestone has come up with the pain-relieving U-shaped pillow to help people sleep better while also promoting healthy sleep posture and alleviating strains on the back, neck, and shoulder. The pillow has a built-in ear pocket on both sides, which means you can get amazing comfort while you sleep because your head and neck are positioned properly.
The longer edge of the pillow works as a backrest, which offers your shoulder a chance to relax and lets your head rest within the upper edge. It's an all-in-one pillow that will cradle your body, replace the need for multiple pillows, and eliminate tossing and turning. It can also keep your back, shoulders, and neck properly aligned during the night.
Bluestone comprises of a firm and hypoallergenic poly-fiber filling, ensuring soft compression when you lie on it. The pillow can breathe and stays cool and comfortable thanks to the cotton pillow cover with wrap-around design. Plus its size is conducive to travel if needed. There are three key aspects of this pillow: it can keep the spine aligned, it offers whole-body support, and it's unique for use in various ways. All of this helps reduce, neck, shoulder, and back pain.
CradlingSleeper: The Best Pillow for Spinal Alignment
Side sleeping pillows offer amazing support for your back and head, but your back still has a curve to it, and the weight of your torso rests mostly on the shoulder socket. This can lead to both middle-back and shoulder pain when you wake up.
However, Cradling Sleeper will elevate the torso to align the spine better and relieve the pressure on your shoulder. With the curved design, your body is cradled to offer great support. With the cutouts, there is more room for the female shape.
The pillow is made of low-density memory foam that will adapt to your weight and shape. With a straight back, there is less stress on the spine, and the elevated torso means less pressure is placed on the shoulder. For proper use of the Cradling Sleeper, put it with the logo up three to four inches from the pillow, then lie down with your upper arm and shoulder nestled right in the middle of the Sleeper and your pillow.
Cradling Sleeper increases the amount of sleep you get by 20 percent (or an additional hour of sleep!). It can be purchased in different sizes to fit the various needs of different body shapes better. You can use it in the car, office, or a plane as a lumbar support if need be.
UTTU: The Best Memory Foam Pillow for Shoulder Pain
UTTU came up with their comfortable memory foam pillow using its Dynamic Foam to help contour to your body's natural curvature while also giving support to your head and neck. Its therapeutic design was crafted to do the following:
- Promote muscle relaxation
- Improve alignment of your spinal column
- Relieve shoulder stiffness
- Alleviate neck and back pain
The company came up with a unique adjustable-height design that allows it to be perfect for all kinds of sleepers. It measures 4.7 inches for high contour and is 3.9 inches for low contour. If you take out the middle layer of foam, you get a 3.5-inch high contour and a 2.8-inch low contour.
UTTU Dynamic Foam won't harden in cold weather. Instead, it maintains its firmness and stays comfortable all year long. According to the manufacturer's claim, their shoulder pillow ensures people wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready to face their day.
The cover is made of 40 percent bamboo and 60 percent polyester, which is also dust-mite resistant and hypoallergenic. It will stay cool all night long thanks to its air circulation design. The pillowcase can be removed and washed in a machine. The pillow has been fully tested for performance, quality, and durability by CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX and ISPA and contains no dangerous chemicals.
TRANZZQUIL: The Best Hypoallergenic Option
The Tranzzquil pillow offers a great deal of support for the neck and back, helping to alleviate chronic pain and insomnia. Due to the ergonomic design and high-density memory foam, it can stop back, neck, and shoulder pain before it starts, which is great for any side, stomach, or back sleeper.
Another great thing about this pillow is that its stuffing can be removed to adjust the thickness to your preference. Tranzzquil offers a breathability feature, so the surface stays cool throughout the night. The medium-firm pillow comes with two soft white fabrics (60/40 percent polyester/rayon blend), which can be washed in your washer machine. More so, the pillow can also protect against pet dander and allergens.
This shoulder pillow is packed with CertiPUR-US certified memory foam, making sure it meets the standard test for durability, safety, and performance. It contains no toxic substances – formaldehyde, mercury, and other heavy metals.
Tranzzquil offers a 100-day satisfaction guarantee for people who don't find it comfortable.
The Best Pillow for Shoulder Pain Buyer's Guide
What Leads To Shoulder Pain During Sleep?
Shoulder pain is a very common problem around the world and a chief complaint upon waking up. Due to the numerous range of motions your shoulder can go through, it's highly susceptible to injury. Your rotator cuff tendinitis, in particular, can be a major cause of overnight shoulder pain.
Shoulder pain can be a result of many issues:
- Workplace injuries
- Health condition
- Poor posture
Of course, that begs the question of why the pain only happens at night. There are several explanations for this - a bad pillow or mattress or unrelieved tension and stress that built up during the day.
When working, your shoulder stays active and remains in a vertical position. The gravity pulls the tendons down that leads to a space between the layers of muscles and allows blood to flow through. However, when sleeping, you stay horizontal, and no gravity is at work. This means the muscles cannot relax appropriately, and the reduction in blood flow can cause shoulder inflammation and pain.
Can A Pillow Alleviate Shoulder Pain?
Ultimately, your underlying health is a big factor in whether or not a pillow will help alleviate your shoulder pain. If a bad pillow is the cause of your sufferings, then the good one might be a solution. If your pain is the result of an injury, then the chances of a pillow helping lower dramatically.
That being said, with the right pillow, you will experience less pain overall regardless of the underlying condition. Be sure you do your homework and find an option that's right for you. The best pillows for shoulder pain will keep your back aligned with your neck. With this, you will see a huge difference in your sleep quality.
What Kind of Pillow Should You Look For?
The cause of your pain will dictate what kind of pillow you should be using. However, every pillow for shoulder pain will work to give your shoulders and neck enough room without causing undue pressure. There are some models that come with an elevated angle where you put your arm under it, allowing your shoulders to relax completely.
Contour pillows are another option for people who have shoulder pain. Some of them were created to cup the body shape, elevate your neck up and keep your shoulders padded while sleeping.
Advantages of a Pillow for Shoulder Pain
If you ever had shoulder pain, you know how debilitating it can be if left unattended. The first thing you need to do is find out why the pain is occurring in the first place. Then you need to find a therapy that will work and the measures that should be taken. Pillows for shoulder pain are one of the best solutions you can take without spending a lot of money or taking dangerous pills. A shoulder pillow has a lot of advantages:
Eliminates the Need To Wrap Your Shoulders or Head – Aches and pains caused by sleeping position are often debilitating. Even though wraps can be useful, creating them can be complex and may do more harm than good if not done properly. With a pillow for shoulder pain, you can get the most comfort possible without any complications at all.
Reduces the Need for Pain or Sleeping Pills – Using pain or sleeping pills is not a good thing, as they can become addictive if used for an extended period of time. However, using a pillow for shoulder pain offers a permanent solution to the problem.
Alleviates Nerve Tension – A shoulder pillow can help reduce nerve tension that is caused by strenuous activities.
Alleviates Spinal Cord Complications – If you have problems with your spinal cord, getting to sleep can be difficult. After all, your sleeping position can affect your back, neck, and shoulders. The best course of action is to get a pillow for shoulder pain to mitigate the aches.
Saves Money – Rather than spending money at the doctor's office and pharmacy, you can choose a pillow that helps with shoulder pain and save yourself a lot of cash.
Fights Insomnia – Insomnia is the result of either physiological or psychological factors, and if you have problems sleeping because of aches and pains from pressure, a shoulder pillow can help you tremendously.
What to Consider When Choosing a Pillow for Shoulder Pain
While all of the above information is important to helping you find the best pillow for shoulder pain, what it truly comes down to is your personal preferences. While spinal alignment is one of the most important things to factor in for your consideration, there are other important things to weigh in too. What are the questions you should be asking yourself?
Am Currently Recovering From An Injury?
When you have a muscle injury or tight muscles, you need a soft pillow that will hold your neck at the required point of elevation. Choose a pillow that comprises of shredded memory foam (or intact foam) as they mold themselves to your shape correctly.
Do I Have Any Chronic Disabilities?
If you suffer from chronic pain as the result of an underlying disability or disease, you need to talk to your doctor first. They can give you advice on how to best alleviate your pain and help you choose the right pillow for your needs.
Do I Have Any Back Problems?
If you have stiff shoulders because of a back or spinal issue, you just need a simple neck pillow that allows you to sleep on your side. This ensures that your posture stays correct and alleviates pain in your shoulders by keeping them at the right angle.
Am I Suffering from Poor Circulation In My Arms?
When your shoulders are not in alignment or you suffer from poor circulation in your arms, a pillow that gives you some elevation may be just what you need. This means you don't sleep directly on your shoulder and still get the support necessary for a good night's sleep.
What Is My Preferred Sleeping Position?
When you choose a pillow for shoulder pain, the biggest consideration is what your typical sleeping position is. The goal is to align your spine and keep it that way all night. If you're a side sleeper, you want your head and neck to remain level. Otherwise, you place pressure on your shoulder. Side sleepers need a firmer, taller pillow while back and stomach sleepers could benefit from a softer and thinner pillow.
Additional Purchase Considerations for a Shoulder Pillow
When you're in the market for the best pillow for shoulder pain, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Your choice should be based on several factors, such as your sleeping position and comfort preferences. You may even find that more than one option is useful for your situation. As you look at the above-mentioned pillows, consider the features noted below.
The most important aspect of choosing a pillow for shoulder pain is your preferred sleeping position. Some people are side sleepers while others prefer to sleep on their back or stomach. Be sure to look at pillows that are designed for your particular sleeping position or ones that can work with all sleep positions.
A shoulder pillow is not just an investment for your sleep, but an investment for your health. Thus you need to look for durable pillows that will retain their shape and form regardless of how long you will need to use them.
Adjustability is not a necessity but more of a benefit. That being said, many people like this feature as it allows them to customize the fit of their pillow. There are a limited number of pillows that are perfect straight from the store. If you decide to go with an adjustable option, you can mess with it until you get it just right.
When you go to purchase a shoulder pillow, you may find a plethora of different types of fill materials. Each material provides its own level of firmness. They also come with other additional features, such as being hypoallergenic. While no fill material is inherently bad for shoulder pain, the decision to choose one over another comes down to personal preference.
Height (or loft) is a consideration most people overlook. However, it's a very important feature regardless of the sleeping position. As a general rule, back sleepers need a lower loft than side sleepers. Why? The goal is to keep the neck aligned with the spine.
When it comes to support, people focus on firmness. And, that's right, as support refers to how much give the pillow provides as you lay against it. While some give is necessary for comfort, too much of it won't provide your body with the support it needs.
Be sure to stick with pillows that maintain their firmness, so you retain a good amount of support all night long. However, you don't need an overly firm pillow, but the one that can handle your weight without putting undue pressure on your shoulder.
Pillows will get dirty… very easily, in fact. After all, we as humans sweat through the night and make messes. Since pillows are an investment, you want an investment that allows you to clean it without damaging its form or quality.
It's important to look for products that offer a guarantee such as a warranty or a money-back guarantee for your peace of mind.
How to Prevent Shoulder Pain
1. Make Use Of A Body Pillow
If you move in your sleep and it hurts, you need to consider a full-length body pillow to keep a good night's rest. A body pillow will keep you from moving onto your sore shoulder and keep you comfortable all night long.
2. Use A Good Head Support Pillow
You need a pillow under your head to ensure upper body support and to keep your body properly aligned. This helps keep your shoulders as comfortable as possible. You can also roll up a small towel to give your neck area some additional support.
3. Sleep On The Good Shoulder
If you can't sleep on your back, sleep on the shoulder that doesn't hurt. You should also use a pillow that can help with the shoulder pain. Place the pillow in the underarm area of your painful shoulder.
4. Avoid sleeping on your front
You may think that sleeping on your front will alleviate the pressure on your sore shoulders. However, front-sleeping will actually cause the shoulders to pull forward and unsteady the position. It's better to sleep on your back, so your shoulders stay in good and stable alignment.
5. Try Out Various Sleep Positions and Tips
If you've been sleeping in one position for some time and it no longer works for you, it's time to try something else. Be sure to use the above tips as a good starting point. Constantly sleeping in one position can actually lead to shoulder pain, as it can compress nerves and result in postural imbalance.
Once you have found a great sleeping position for your sore shoulder, stick with it. Only try new positions when your preferred sleeping position no longer works well for you.
What You Need To Remember…
Most people view sleep as a luxury. Don't do that! It's a necessity. When you don't get enough sleep, you will end up hurting yourself – physically and mentally. A lack of good sleep means a decrease in performance and an increase in accident rates. Sleep deprivation is a bad thing… all the way around.
This is why, if you have shoulder pain, you need to use a pillow to alleviate the pain and give you the quality sleep you long for. It's the most inexpensive method of treatment you can use without any dangerous side effects you could get with anti-inflammatories or whatever. A pain-relief pillow gives your shoulder the rest it needs to heal up.
The pillows mentioned above can help you rest your shoulder regardless of the sleeping position you partake in most. However, the choice of a pillow to use for your shoulder pain will be personal – based on your personal preferences and sleep position. Isn't it time for you to get a better night's sleep and heal up? Let us know in the comments below!