Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers with Shoulder Painby | Last Updated
Sleeping on the side is the most common position around the world.
But if you’re constantly waking up with a nagging pain in your shoulders, you may start doubting that.
And what if I tell you that the reason for your struggle lies right below you — inside your mattress?
In this guide, I will share my reviews of 5 best mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain along with some useful tips to consider when making a purchase.
- DreamCloud – Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Shoulder Pain
- Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds – Best for Customization
- Helix Midnight – Best for Heavy Sleepers with Shoulder Pain
- Nolah Signature 12 – Best for Pressure Relief
- Winkbeds – Best for Precise Support
- Avocado – Best for Natural Materials
|Model||Type||Layers||Trial & Warranty||Rating|
|DreamCloud||Hybrid||hand-tufted cashmere cover;|
gel memory foam layer;
soft quilted memory foam layer;
latex support layer;
memory foam support layer;
high-density memory foam support layer;
BestRest pocketed coils system;
high-density memory foam base.
|Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds||Latex||organic cotton cover;|
organic wool comfort layer;
3 layers of Dunlop latex with a different firmness.
|Helix Midnight||Hybrid||two-touch cover fabric;|
memory foam comfort layer;
polyurethane foam transition layer;
wrapped steel coils;
high-density foam base
|Nolah Signature 12||Foam||organic cotton cover;|
AirFoam comfort layer (Soft side);
high-resilience foam layer;
high-density foam base;
AirFoam comfort layer (Firm side).
|Winkbeds||Hybrid||Differs depending on the firmness level||120-night trial;|
|Avocado||Hybrid||organic cotton cover tufted with wool;|
Dunlop latex comfort layer;
pocketed steel coils;
high-density Dunlop latex base layer.
DreamCloud – Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Shoulder Pain
So, I would like to begin my review of the best mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain with this gem from the Dreamcloud. It’s a hybrid mattress with a luxurious plush feel and smart construction that will compensate for all your pressure points.
BestRest pocketed coils work as a supportive core of this mattress. Individually wrapped construction allows for more precise load distribution and absorbs some excess motion for undisrupted sleep throughout the night.
The manufacturer cares about cooler sleep as well. Besides being initially breathable, this hybrid packs a layer of gel-infused foam for cooling you down and a latex pad for even better breathability.
But the most prominent feature of the Dreamcloud is its soft feel. You get tufted cashmere cover, and two layers of soft memory foam right under it, which results in a literal cloud for you to sleep on.
But there’s also a downside. Even though pocketed coils are better when it comes to motion control, they typically offer poor edge support. So, if you tend to sleep near the edge or share a bed with someone, this might be an issue.
I believe that the Dreamcloud will work great for average weight sleepers who prefer more cushioning.
Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds – Best for Customization
And the last option in my review of mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain is the Botanical Plush by Plushbeds. Initially, it comes in a Medium firmness, but you can turn it into Medium-Firm mattress by swapping the middle layer with the upper one. Isn’t it great?
The Botanical Bliss is made of organic Dunlop latex from top to bottom. Each of the three layers has different firmness, with the base layer being the firmest. Note that the manufacturer doesn’t allow you to flip the mattress, only swap the upper layers.
Latex is unbeatable when it comes to conforming properties combined with a cooler sleep. With the Botanical Bliss, you will get great breathability and will sleep cool even during the hot summer nights.
But what impressed me the most in the Botanical Bliss is the possibility of swapping layers to get a different firmness. Thus, you can easily adjust the mattress to your sleep preferences and get the best sleep in your life.
However, all-latex mattresses rarely are cheap, and this is the main downside of this model. The 10-inch Queen bed will cost you almost $2,000, so if you’re tight on a budget, you may want to choose another option.
If you aren’t concerned about the cost and want an all-latex bed, you can totally go with the Botanical Bliss.
Helix Midnight – Best for Heavy Sleepers with Shoulder Pain
An ideal mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain should be able to maintain proper alignment of your spine, especially if you have excess weight. And the Helix Midnight excels at this thanks to its smart construction and durable materials.
The core layer of the mattress features individually wrapped coils that are zoned for pinpoint support. The coils around the edges are stronger, so you get better edge support. Also, the hybrid construction of this mattress helps keep your spine aligned and reduces the pressure put on your shoulders when you’re on your side.
Also, the Helix has its proprietary memory foam as a comfort layer. This foam has an open-cell structure and is more cradling compared to others. But the best thing is, it doesn’t sleep hot, so even larger sleepers, who tend to sink deeper in the mattress, will still feel comfortable.
I was most impressed with how supportive the Helix Midnight is even when it accommodates heavier sleepers. It can properly cradle the shoulders without putting the strain on other parts of your body, thus making you more relaxed during sleep.
What may bother some users, though, is that this mattress, despite upper memory foam layers, lacks that typical hugging feel. Don’t get me wrong, it does have some good sink to it. But if you need a more pronounced hug, you may want to choose another model.
Overall, I liked the Helix Midnight a lot: it’s supportive and comfortable enough to help you get rid of shoulder pain, even if you’re on the heavier side. And the medium-firm feel can suit nearly any type of sleeper.
Nolah Signature 12 – Best for Pressure Relief
Switching to foam options. The Nolah Signature 12 is a great bed for the fans of cradling like a cloud. This bed will provide you with the desired relief without turning into a sweaty pit, and that’s why the Nolah is on my list of top-rated mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain.
The first feature of this mattress is flippable design. The Nolah Signature bed allows you to choose between the Medium (4.5 out of 10) and the Firm (7.5/10) side so that you can adjust it to your sleep preferences.
Another great thing is the proprietary Nolah AirFoam blend. This material offers you close contouring and is more breathable than standard memory foam. I personally felt way cooler compared to my usual bed.
The best thing about this bed is its cradling properties. The Nolah will help you feel supported and relaxed throughout the night, so you will quickly forget about the pain and soreness from your old bed.
However, the Nolah Signature isn’t devoid of some minor flaws. It has a strong odor that takes a couple of days to go. Odors are common for all-foam beds, so you just need to be patient and allow it some time to diminish.
Fans of foam feel and nice cradling will totally appreciate the Nolah, in my opinion.
Winkbeds – Best for Precise Support
I included the Winkbeds in my list of top-rated mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain because it has a hybrid construction with zoned support. Thus, you can expect the needed relief in all pressure points, and your spine will remain properly aligned no matter what sleeping style you prefer.
Along with that, the Winkbeds offers you cooler sleep, which is just what side sleepers need, as they typically sink more deeply into the mattress. In the Winkbeds Plus model, a layer of natural latex serves as a cooling pad, while in the Standard model, you will find a layer of gel foam paired with micro coils that allow for good air circulation.
And the last, but not least: the Winkbeds is available in four firmness options: Soft (4-5 out of 10), Luxury Firm (6-6,5/10), Firm (7,5 out of 10) and Plus (8/10, designed for heavier individuals), so basically anyone can choose the bed for their liking.
But those who might need more targeted support and pressure relief will definitely love the Winkbeds. Zoned coils conform closely to your body, and alleviate any tension, no matter how you prefer to sleep.
The only issue with this mattress is that it might feel too firm for lightweight sleepers even if they choose the softest firmness possible. So, this model may not be the best choice for them.
Thus, if you’re a big sleeper looking for a comfortable mattress that will last for years, go for the Winkbeds — you will be satisfied.
Avocado – Best for Natural Materials
The Avocado mattress is in my review of mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain because it can deliver you the comfortable sleep in any position and is 100% eco-friendly and hypoallergenic.
The Avocado is available in two firmness options — Firm and Plush. The latter features a pillow-top for more cradling. In both cases, tempered steel coils with a reinforced perimeter serve as a supportive core of the mattress. The coils have 5 ergonomic zones for better weight distribution and spine alignment.
The natural latex layer is responsible for conforming properties and breathability. Top it with a natural wool layer, and you get a bed with excellent cooling properties and pressure relief in all sore points.
The Avocado also has convenient handles on the sides, for more comfortable transportation or rotating.
However, the presence of all-natural materials totally compensates for this inconvenience. The manufacturer even uses the upcycled coils to build a more sustainable production process. Not to mention that allergies won’t bother you anymore.
The only drawback of this bed is that it’s very heavy to move around. This is a natural result of combining high gauge coils and dense latex, but you still need to keep in mind that maintenance of the bed might be a challenge.
So, if you’re an eco-conscious person who wants a durable bed with a balanced feel, opt for the Avocado.
Why Does Shoulder Pain Appear During Sleep?
So, initially, your bed must be the most relaxing spot in your house, as it’s your main guide to the land of Nod.
However, shoulder pain at night isn’t uncommon, particularly among side sleepers. The main factors that can cause it to appear are the following:
- Poor posture. If you don’t have a proper posture, your spine initially comes out of alignment. In this case, the sleeping positions that used to be comfortable for you may start to provoke pain and discomfort.
- Weight. Large individuals who sleep on their side put more strain on their shoulders, causing pain and stiffness.
- Aging. Our joints tend to wear out while we age, and their flexibility decreases. In this case, you may begin to feel tingling sensations and numbness in your hands and shoulders, which may wake you up at night.
- Sleeping position. Some sleeping styles contribute more to shoulder pain. These are side sleeping and stomach sleeping if you tend to put your hands under the pillow. This happens simply because your muscles may not relax completely in these positions.
“Chronic pain disrupts sleep quality and leads to various complications, such as hormonal problems, obesity, and elevated blood pressure.”
How to Know If the Mattress Is Causing You Pain?
So, you’re young, healthy, lean, and have the royal posture but still wake up aching and grumpy?
Well, then the reason for your sore shoulders probably lies in your bed. To know for sure if it’s true, ask yourself the following questions:
- How old is my mattress? Even the most suitable mattress for side sleeping will eventually wear out. Depending on the type of your bed, you can expect a significant drop in supportive properties during the seventh or eighth year of use. And if you own a cheap mattress, then this drop may become noticeable even earlier.
- Is it saggy? Sagging spots may appear either with the aging of your mattress or if you don’t care for it properly. Some types of mattresses are more prone to forming indentations, e.g. softer foams, models with pillow tops, etc.
- Is it comfortable? Well, buying an utterly uncomfortable mattress probably seems weird for you. But in fact, this is a common complaint you will see in mattress reviews on Amazon or other online stores. First, you’re buying a mattress. Then, your body adapts to all minor flaws during the break-in period. And finally, the euphoria goes away, and you end up sleeping on an unsuitable mattress. Even though many models come with a return option, many people don’t make use of it because they consider the return process to be a hassle.
“Problems with comfort often happen when you’re buying at the offline store, as the atmosphere there often pushes you toward making a purchase right here right now. To make a balanced decision, you can switch to buying a mattress online and be sure to use your trial period.”
The Best (And the Worst) Type of Mattress for Shoulder Pain Relief
Now, let’s talk about how the different types of mattresses perform in terms of shoulder pain relief and compatibility with side sleeping.
Foam and Memory Foam
These beds are among the best mattresses for relieving any pain thanks to their ability to conform very closely to your body curves. Also, foam comes in a different range of firmness and density, so you can find literally any configuration that will provide you with the desired relaxation. Foam mattresses work best for petite and average sleepers. Heavy individuals, on the contrary, may sink too much and experience hot sleeping, especially in softer foams.
You may also be interested in reading this: The 8 Best Memory Foam Mattresses For Side Sleepers In 2019
Latex is a vulcanized sap of rubber trees, so it also has a foamy structure. But unlike foams, latex is more bouncy, which allows people with pain to move around the surface with less effort. Latex also works well for petite and average sleepers with pain, and it even might be suitable for large sleepers due to its density. However, latex doesn’t always provide proper edge support and might feel too bouncy for some.
Hybrid beds combine springs with foam or latex. According to reviews of mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain, they can alleviate pain very well. The only condition here is that there should be at least two comfort layers above the coil base.
The main problem with hybrid mattresses is that the spring construction — whether it’s solid or pocketed — resists the load from your body and may provoke pain instead of alleviating it. This is especially an issue with lightweight sleepers. Big guys, on the contrary, can feel more comfortable on a hybrid bed because it won’t allow them to sink in; but again, in terms of cradling, everything is tied to the number of comfort layers.
Traditional innerspring mattresses, unlike hybrids, can offer you only a couple of comfort layers or a pillow-top in some cases, so they cannot work great for individuals with shoulder pain. Moreover, coils are likely to create tension in your hip and shoulder areas if you sleep on the side, so they can aggravate the existing symptoms.
“The best bed in terms of conforming and relaxation is a waterbed. Water precisely adjust to your body, regardless of the sleeping position, and may provide relief. However, waterbeds are hard to maintain and take more space than the average mattress with foundation, so it isn’t a common option.”
Things to Look For in a Suitable Mattress for Side Sleepers with Shoulder Pain
Finally, let’s recap the main information.
So, the key things you need to consider when looking for a perfect bed for shoulder pain relief are the following:
- Firmness. Although firmness is subjective, it’s still tied to some of your physiological parameters, such as weight. The main pattern is pretty simple: individuals who weigh more typically need a firmer bed in order to feel comfortable. If you’re an average sleeper, opt for 5-6 points out of 10 on the universal firmness scale.
- Bounce. Mattress rebound shows how quickly the mattress will return to the original shape after you remove the pressure. The thing is, more bouncy mattresses allow you for easy moving around or switching positions, which is crucial for people with any pain. Look for the bounce in hybrid beds or latex mattresses.
- Breathability. During side sleeping, your body typically sinks more deeply in the comfort layers of the mattress. This increases the area of contact between your body and the bed and may result in hot sleeping. To avoid this, opt for natural breathable materials — such as cotton, wool, or latex — or choose gel-infused foams that perform better at dispersing heat, compared to standard.
- Edge support. Some of us share a bed with a partner or just prefer snoozing closer to the bed edge. In these cases, proper edge support is crucial; otherwise, you will just roll off the bed. Hybrid beds with reinforced edges or solid steel blocks can offer you even support without sacrificing cradling properties.
“The quality of materials is also important because you don’t want a bed that will lose durability in a couple of years. Also, look for certification tags to ensure that your mattress won’t do you any harm while you are sleeping on it.”
Other Tips for Alleviating Shoulder Pain
If you aren’t ready to buy a new bed for some reason, you can try the recommendations below to ease your pain. Note that they can serve only as a temporary solution and you may still need to buy a new bed in the future.
So, here they are:
- Change sleeping position. Well, the most obvious way to eliminate shoulder pain from sleeping on the side is to switch to another position. Since most of the global population are combo sleepers, it shouldn’t be that hard.
- Use pillows. You can aid yourself in maintaining proper spine alignment by using additional pillows during sleep. Hugging a pillow at night will remove the strain from the neck and shoulder area if you’re sleeping on the side.
- Invest in a mattress topper. Mattress topper may serve as a temporary solution to shoulder pain from sleeping on the side. It may alter the overall feel of your mattress and serve as another cradling layer, which will come in handy if your bed has gone flat. Just be sure to choose the topper that suits side sleeping best.
“Some kinds of physical activity, such as stretching or yoga, can improve the joints flexibility and alleviate pain. Or, you can opt for a massage session with the same therapeutic effects.”
I hope that after reading this guide, you will be able to easily choose a mattress that will alleviate all your aches and pains, allowing you to get some quality sleep.
As for me, I really liked sleeping on the Botanical Bliss. The Soft firmness is right what I need to get comfy. And the all-latex construction with a wool top layer scores high at temperature regulation.
However, if you feel that you want a more affordable option, go for the Dreamcloud. The construction of this bed combines decent cradling and a cooling effect. It can keep your spine correctly aligned throughout the night, so you will wake up rested and refreshed.
What mattress do you use at the moment? Do you think it is the one to blame for your shoulder pain? Share your thoughts in the comments!