Best mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain 2022

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Best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain

Most sleep scientists agree that sleeping on your side is the best position from a health perspective (it also happens to be the most popular, too.) That’s why we have decided to write an article about the best mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain.

Sleep experts recommend sleeping on your side as it promotes the best spinal alignment. When sleeping on our sides, we correctly align the shoulders, spine, and pelvis. This causes a reduction of pressure in important areas like the neck and lower back.

Side sleepers also enjoy better breathing than their back sleeping counterparts, so take note if you snore or suffer from sleep apnea. There have also been studies showing links between a side sleeping position and having a healthier heart.

Which mattress is best for shoulder pain?

In reality, each person will have slightly different requirements for their mattress due to their body type, body weight, and type of injury/ailment. But if you are feeling a little lazy to research the library of information, we love the Tuft & Needle Queen Original Mattress.

A massively popular mattress at the moment, it is made from adaptive memory foam and is renowned as one of the coolest sleeping mattresses available.

It gets our seal of approval because it provides more pressure relief and upper body support than just about any other bed-in-a-box mattress out there.

We’re loving Tuft & Needle’s 100-Night Trial with this bad boy. Yes, you read correctly, if customers don’t adore their purchase, they can simply send it back for a full refund (the US only). Returned mattresses and toppers are then donated to charity.

Pros of the Tuft and Needle are a long list but some standout points are the beautiful fabrics, freshly cut foam, and an incredible finish.

The best mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain

Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

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TUFT & NEEDLE Original Mattress - Queen + 2 Standard Pillows

Last update was on: March 24, 2023 10:13 pm

Tuft & Needle was started when cofounders JT Marino and Daehee Park had a tough time finding a decent mattress for under $3K. So they did what any of us would do and started their own direct-to-consumer mattress and bedding brand.

Tuft and Needle made quite a name for themselves when they offered one of the cheapest memory foam mattresses in a box directly to their customers’ doors. They currently have two models, the Original and the Mint. While the Mint is slightly higher quality, it is nearly twice the price of the Original!

Mattresses range in size from twin to California King and they are shipped directly to customers in the smallest boxes possible. They are made from custom-made, in-house polyurethane foam in their USA-based factory.

If you’re quick, you can grab one with an incredible 100-night sleep trial. If new customers aren’t totally satisfied with their purchase, they are encouraged to return the item for a no-hassle refund and the mattress then goes on to be donated to a local charity or nonprofit.

The Tuft & Needle is a medium-firm mattress and sleeps firm enough that you won’t have any issues with edge support (falling off the side). It comes with a 10-year warranty (which is perfect as you should be changing your mattress every 10 years anyway).

Another reason the Tuft & Needle is our top pick for the best mattress for side sleepers with body pain is because of its excellent motion transfer blocking ability. It does a great job in keeping your movements from disturbing your partner’s sleep on those restless nights of tossing and turning.

This baby is top of the line in terms of supporting the natural alignment of your spine and as long as you are not the size of The Hulk and is well-appointed enough to reduce back, shoulder, neck, and hip pain in many cases.

A quick peek at Amazon will unearth a ridiculous number of reviews and the consensus is that the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress is a great choice for most side sleepers because the more pressure you place on it, the more it reacts and contours to support your body.

Dreamfoam Bedding Arctic Dreams Mattress

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Dreamfoam Bedding Arctic Dreams 10-Inch Cooling Gel Mattress, Queen

Last update was on: March 24, 2023 10:13 pm

A very worthy runner-up for the best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain is the Arctic Dreams Cooling Gel Mattress.

This state-of-the-art mattress is of great value in the basic bed-in-a-box arena. The direct-to-consumer delivery system is one of the reasons why Dreamform can offer lower prices.

Side sleepers (along with most other kinds) need pressure relief around the hip and shoulder areas. The top inch of this mattress is quilted and has 2 and a half inches of Energex. For the layperson, it does an awesome job of relieving stress from the hip and shoulder areas while offering a very supportive base which is necessary to keep the spine correctly aligned.

One of the major pluses of the Dreamfoam is the ability to conduct heat away from the body. It comes with a breathable cotton cover that helps airflow and the top section of the mattress has a layer of foam (which is infused with gel) which assists in removing even more heat away from the sleeper.

The second layer is around 6 inches and is made from high-density polyurethane. This is what gives the bed its foundation. This supportive layer is what gives the mattress a high score in terms of providing spinal alignment.

In terms of firmness, we would give it a 6 out of 10 with 10 being a plank of wood. A look at the Amazon reviews reveals that an overwhelming majority of customers are loving the Arctic Dreams mattress. (The only exception is those on the very heavy side.)

A final word on the technical side, this baby has a decent amount of bounce and does a great job in staying in place.

Nectar Queen Mattress

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Nectar Queen Mattress + 2 Pillows Included - Gel Memory Foam -...

Last update was on: March 24, 2023 10:13 pm

Memory foam works great for people that sleep on their sides because it adapts to the shape of the body. It eases the pressure experienced in the shoulders and hips (it is often these pressure points that give side sleepers the most discomfort.)

Made by one of the fastest-growing brands in the U.S, the Nectar Queen mattress has a thick memory foam layer to provide deeper contouring and top-of-the-line pressure relief. In addition to contouring to the heavier parts of the body, this mattress also does a great job of contouring to the lighter areas. This gives a balanced feel while still promoting proper spinal alignment.

The Nectar is made with high-quality materials and features a breathable Tencel cover and cooling gels. These gels ensure a sweat-free night of sleep, unlike many traditional memory materials.

A favorite feature of this side-sleeper’s mattress is its minimal motion transfer. This increases your odds of getting a good night’s sleep without being bothered by jiffling partners.

This beautifully made mattress caters to the pressure point issues side sleepers often face. Its value for money and top-notch craftsmanship make the Nectar Queen excellent value. And if you’re still “on the fence”, it comes with a one-year trial period, a forever warranty, and two free Nectar Premium Pillows.

To conclude, the Nectar Queen is a sure contender for the best mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain due to the perfect levels of firmness, breathability, and comfort. It’s designed to mold to your body to alleviate those pesky aches and pains. Despite being a firm mattress, it is very comfy and even on hot and humid summer nights, the Nectar does a great job of regulating heat. This will help you stay at an ideal temperature all night long.


Can mattresses cause shoulder pain?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain after sleeping, the first thing to look at is your sleeping position.

The spine should ideally be in a neutral position. If it isn’t, there can be excess pressure not only on the spine but on the neck and shoulder muscles, too. The use of cheap and shoddy mattresses is likely to increase shoulder pain due to the poor positioning of the body.

Mattresses that are over-firm should be avoided as they do contour well to our body and conversely. Saggy mattresses are just as bad due to their lack of support for the back and shoulders.

A popular solution for many side sleepers that suffer discomfort while sleeping is to opt for a memory foam mattress. These kinds of mattresses are usually the way to go as they can contour around the body. This gives the bones and joints the support that is required.

In our opinion, the best mattress for shoulder pain is the Tuft & Needle Queen Original Mattress.

What firmness of a mattress is best for side sleepers?

The biggest factor in attaining the many health benefits of side sleeping is choosing the right mattress. For starters, any decent mattress must first give you adequate support.

The majority of side-snoozers opt for softer mattresses because they are more comfortable on the shoulders and hips. Soft mattresses not only provide more cushioning but also promote better alignment of the spine.

For heavier side sleepers, a firmer mattress is usually the best option. It will give more support and prevent sinking too deeply.

Is side sleeping bad for you?

Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position and that’s not without reason. Side sleeping is widely considered to be the best position for our well-being. In fact, over 50% of us sleep on our sides, either in a fetal position or perhaps with our legs extended.

Of the two sides of your body to sleep on, the left is by far the healthiest. Studies have shown that side sleeping can help with acid reflux/heartburn/digestion, and improve circulation. And most interestingly, sleeping on your left-hand side helps your brain filter out waste more efficiently and effectively.

While sleeping on our left is best overall due to organ location, you should occasionally switch it up and sleep on your right side. Left-side sleeping also puts pressure on the stomach and lungs.

We all know that it’s difficult to change one’s sleeping position but if you can, it’s a no-brainer for side sleepers with shoulder or hip pain. This snoozing position puts a ton of stress on the shoulder area.

You’ll also wake up without an awful “dead arm” after having slept on it for hours!!!


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Is memory foam good for side sleepers?

Memory foam mattresses are a great choice for side sleepers if they suffer from shoulder pain or not. This kind of mattress gives contouring support which takes the pressure off the joints.

You may have heard the term “sleeping in”. This means how good the mattress is at utilizing its memory foam to adapt and contour to the body.

Mattresses such as the Tuft & Needle Original support the body in the essential areas, while still giving a gentle touch to the head, shoulders, and neck. A memory foam mattress is great for taking pressure off the hip and shoulder areas in contrast to a traditional mattress.

In conclusion, memory foam promotes correct spinal alignment and allows the spine to maintain its natural curvature. As a result, most users report more and higher quality sleep when using a memory foam mattress.

What is Pelvic Rotation?

Side sleepers usually snooze with one of their legs bent and the other one straight. This sleeping position can cause a complaint known as “pelvic rotation“. This can lead to neck and lower back pain and can be avoided by using a modern high-quality mattress. The best models do a great job of relieving pressure by distributing your weight evenly over the mattress.

Another tip is to try using a pillow placed between your legs. This can give more support and could be the difference in getting a good night’s sleep and avoiding any stiffness.


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In what position should I sleep?

If you can, sleep on your back. Surprisingly only about 8% of folks do so even though it is widely regarded as the best overall sleeping position. The reason for this is that by sleeping on your back, your head, neck, and spine are allowed to rest in a neutral position. As a result, you will encounter less pain because there is less pressure on the areas mentioned.

Sleeping Positions with Pillow

Sleeping face-up is also a good way of dealing with acid reflux. You should use a decent pillow such as The Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow to elevate and support your head. The main idea is to keep your tummy below your esophagus. This will prevent any food or acid from rising up the digestive tract.

A final important note is that sufferers of sleep apnea should avoid sleeping on their backs. There is a risk that the tongue can block the breathing tube making it a risky sleeping position. Sleeping on the back is also known for making snoring worse so it may be a bad idea if you don’t want to be murdered in your sleep by your partner!

Don’t forget about your pillow!

Often overlooked, your pillow can also have a dramatic effect on good body alignment. Having the wrong kind of pillow (or too many of them) is a common problem.

Before investing in a new mattress, try a top-of-the-line pillow such as The Scrumptious Side Sleeper. It is perfectly shaped and great at supporting the upper body.

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The Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow (Queen)

Last update was on: March 24, 2023 10:13 pm

This baby is super-comfortable and of the side-sleeping pillows available right now. We love that the pillow contains memory foam pieces inside as opposed to solid foam. This ensures better breathability and less heat buildup.


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Handcrafted in California with a 60-night free trial, the Scrumptious Pillow by Drift (Formerly the Honeydew Sleep Company) has a fantastic rating on Amazon and a whole heap of reviews from satisfied side-sleeping customers.

Take your time before deciding on the best pillow. There are many options including a wide range of materials, different sizes, and even different shapes.

Note that modern pillows are not always designed for the head. A pillow designed for placing under the knees or under the back may be a better option.

Many sufferers of shoulder discomfort feel most comfortable when sleeping on their backs with a pillow placed beneath the knees. This helps to maintain correct spinal alignment and usually increases the odds of a good night’s sleep!

It might not be easy to change your sleeping position but it is a good way to find out if that is the reason for your pain. Try changing the position of your sleep for a night or two to see if that makes any difference. If your pain continues after a few days, you can relieve the pain with an over-the-counter pain killer. Also, try the application of ice but a visit to your local doctor to discuss the origin of the discomfort.


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Thanks to BruceBlaus for our featured image [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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