If you’ve started to notice that your old mattress isn’t as comfortable as it used to be, you aren’t alone. Many seniors wake up feeling all sorts of aches and pains caused by their mattresses- especially in the shoulders.
If you’ve been experiencing chronic shoulder pain, getting a new mattress could provide some great relief. Check out our list of mattresses, and get all the knowledge you need to find the best mattress for shoulder pain for your needs!
What is a Mattress for Shoulder Pain (and How do They Work)?
Shoulder pain, in regards to sleeping, is caused by poor sleep posture. Most of the time, poor sleep posture occurs as a result of a mattress that doesn’t fit your body. Mattresses, when they work well, contour to the shape of your body and evenly distribute your weight across your whole body.
Bad mattresses don’t distribute weight very well, triggering pressure points across your body. For some people, this happens in the lower back or hips. For others, bad mattresses cause sharp pain and stiffness in the shoulders. Mattresses that are made to fix shoulder pain, on the other hand, work to contour the entire body.
If you need a mattress that will be a better fit for your shoulder pain, look for mattresses that are labeled as “orthopedic”. This means that they’re specifically designed to contour to your body in the ways that traditional mattresses don’t. When your mattress is giving you the support you need in some places, and the softness you need in others, your entire body’s weight is evenly distributed and you can sleep peacefully. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll notice a surprising lack of shoulder pain!
5 Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain
Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain (Overall): Nectar Mattress
Shoulder pain can be pretty difficult to treat, but the key is a good mixture of softness and support. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain while sleeping, it’s because the mattress is pushing up on your upper body too much, creating a pressure point in the shoulders. Nectar’s signature mattress is the ideal memory foam mattress for shoulder pain because it strikes the perfect balance between softness and support.
The Nectar mattress has five layers that help it achieve that balance. The top two layers are made from plush gel memory foam that keeps you cool and comfortable. Beneath those are layers of high-density foam that carry all the mattress’s strength. This combination gives your torso the support it needs without putting too much pressure on your upper body. The result is a mattress that relieves pressure on your shoulders and keeps your body aligned as you sleep.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers With Shoulder Pain: Tuft & Needle Nod Adaptive Foam Mattress
Memory foam has a lot of strengths, but many people find that it causes more pain than their old innerspring mattress. The foam that’s used in this model from Tuft & Needle is a bit different from the memory foam you may have tried in the past. It’s designed to have the perfect density- it has enough “give” to feel soft and comfortable but is still dense enough to respond to your body weight. The result is a mattress that does what it says it will do- adapt to your body.
Side sleepers need a lot of support in the torso because their hips and lower body are where most of their body weight is concentrated while sleeping. Firm mattresses for side sleepers are great for this but can have unintended effects on the shoulders- creating a new pain zone. The Nod mattress’s balance of support and softness is exactly what side sleepers need to get a comfortable, restful night of sleep.
Nectar mattresses come with a 100-night trial period, giving you all the time you need to truly evaluate whether or not the mattress is a good fit. On top of that, they each come with a 10-year warranty, one of the longest warranties on the market. Lastly, this mattress is incredibly affordable- you get a premium feel for a budget price!
Best Mattress for Neck and Shoulder Pain: Casper Sleep Original Hybrid
Neck pain is closely associated with shoulder pain, especially when it’s caused by a mattress. The main reason this happens is that the spine and neck aren’t aligned while you’re sleeping. Bad pillows don’t help, either, but simply getting new pillows won’t usually do the trick. You need a mattress that will help your body stay aligned and let your neck relax.
Casper released their first mattress less than 10 years ago and it quickly made an impact on the market. The top layer of the mattress is a cooling gel foam; underneath it is a layer of premium, plush foam. These top two layers form the soft surface that your upper body and legs need. The third layer of the mattress has three different zones, each with a different density that fits the body’s needs. Finally, there is a layer of individually wrapped coils that make the mattress bouncy, supportive, and long-lasting.
The Casper Original Hybrid has all the design features you need to sleep comfortably and wake up without shoulder pain and a crick in your neck. When you buy a Casper mattress, you get a 100-night free trial and simple returns, just in case something doesn’t fit. That makes this mattress a great purchase that comes with very high potential and very low risks!
Best Mattress for Hip and Shoulder Pain: Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Lacey
Sealy’s line of orthopedic mattresses is highly valued by people who’ve had all sorts of aches and pains from their previous mattresses. This particular model is great for people who are trying to address hip and shoulder pain at the same time. The top layers of the mattress are very soft; you’ll sink right into the first few inches, which will be perfect for your neck and shoulders.
The metal coils beneath it, though, are what your hips need. The chief cause of hip pain while sleeping is that your body sinks too deep into the mattress and throws off your hip/spine alignment.
When you feel both hip and shoulder pain at the same time, you need a mattress that can do two things at once. In almost every senior, the hips and the shoulders need different things. The Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid is the right combination of materials that you need for hip and shoulder issues!
Best Mattress for Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Prima
Tempur-Pedic is one of the world’s best mattress brands and the only one that works side-by-side with orthopedic specialists to design each and every one of their products. The TEMPUR-Cloud Prima, in particular, has a lot to offer seniors who experience pain and soreness in more than one area of the body.
This mattress will do a good job of supporting and cushioning each part of the body without too heavily favoring just one body part. This means you get equal relief for your shoulders, back, and neck rather than just back relief. It’s a delicate balance because the needs of the shoulders and neck are often different than the needs of the back. However, the medium-soft firmness on the TEMPUR-Cloud Prima, along with its very plush top layer, should do the trick for most people!
One downside of this mattress is that it is more firm than most people are used to. That means that, while it does do a good job of relieving pressure, it won’t be comfortable for every senior. If you think that a medium-soft mattress will be too firm for you, it may be best to search elsewhere for your new mattress!
Best Mattress Topper for Shoulder Pain: LinenSpa 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The best mattress toppers for people who have shoulder pain are actually very simple; mattress toppers, actually, are the simplest way to increase overall sleep quality and reduce pain. Most of the time, all you need is a few inches of soft, high-quality foam to give your shoulders some extra cushion. That’s exactly what this item from LinenSpa provides- it’s simple, effective, and inexpensive.
Three inches of memory foam is probably the most you’d want to get from a soft mattress topper. Going any thicker (without adding any firmness in the lower back/hips) can create new problems for you while solving existing ones. On top of being just the right level of thickness, this mattress topper is infused with cooling gel to help your body temperature stay regulated as you sleep. If you’ve been experiencing shoulder pain when you wake up, this affordable and comfortable mattress topper might be ideal for you!
Keep in mind, though, that no mattress topper can fix problems caused by an old or damaged mattress. If that’s the case for you, getting a mattress topper is a bit like putting a lot of pepper on a days-old plate of food: you’re covering up the problem, not fixing it!
Best Mattress Topper for Neck and Shoulder Pain: UTTU 3-Inch Respira Topper
If you’ve got chronic neck pain, this mattress topper was designed with you in mind. It has just the right amount of density to feel soft and responsive, gently cradling your upper body and neck as you sleep. Neck pain is often caused by sleeping with the neck at an angle; this mattress topper will be supportive enough to hold your neck/head even with the rest of your body instead of letting it sink into the mattress.
On top of that, the foam that UTTU uses is one of the most breathable memory foam on the market. Memory foam, even for cold sleepers, can get hot and stuffy quickly. Getting this mattress topper means that you’ll be sleeping comfortably in more ways than one. Your entire body will be more perfectly aligned as you sleep, and you won’t wake up sweating! If you toss and turn or wake up in the night with neck pain, this mattress topper is ideal for you!
Buying Guide: What Kind of Mattress is Best for Shoulder Pain?
What Firmness of Mattress is Best for Shoulder Pain
Medium and plush/soft mattresses are the best for shoulder pain. The most common reason that you feel pain in your shoulders when you wake up is that the mattress has put too much pressure on your shoulders. This means you should look for mattresses that let your shoulders sink into the mattress a bit more, relieving the pressure and letting you sleep through the night.
Using a firm mattress is great if you want to give your lower body support, but chances are pretty high that they are not doing your shoulders any favors. If this is your situation, you should look for a medium-soft hybrid mattress that will work well in both areas of your body- your shoulders and your back.
What is the Best Mattress Brand for Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain while sleeping isn’t as easy to take care of as lower back or hip pain. This is because it’s often caused by mattresses that are already taking care of lower back and hip pain! What works for the lower body in a mattress doesn’t always work for the upper body. Because of this, it’s usually a good idea to go with the best brand around: Tempur-Pedic.
Tempur-Pedic mattresses are designed with the help of educated orthopedic professionals, meaning the design behind the mattress has much more intentionality and purpose. On top of that, Tempur-Pedic is the company that first perfected memory foam for home use. They have the experience and knowledge to make mattresses that contour in the best ways for every part of the body. Without a doubt, Tempur-Pedic is the best mattress brand for people with shoulder pain.
The only problem? They’re very expensive. It’s not uncommon for a Tempur-Pedic to cost between $2,000 and $3,400. That puts them far out of range for the budgets of many seniors. If you need a mattress that will help treat your shoulder pain but cannot afford those prices, a mattress from Casper might be a better option. Casper mattresses still aren’t cheap, and they don’t perform quite as well as Tempur-Pedics, but they are very luxurious and effective nonetheless.
How to Know if Mattress is Causing Shoulder Pain
Mattresses that are causing pain anywhere in the body can be hard to recognize. The reason for this is that mattresses wear down slowly; shoulder pain can take months to present itself and be severe enough for you to notice. That makes it hard to determine whether or not your mattress is actually the issue.
The first thing you should do if you notice chronic shoulder pain while sleeping is to see a doctor. If there is something more serious going on, you need healthcare, not a new mattress! If the doctor visit proves to be unfruitful, then it is safe to assume that your mattress is to blame.
How to Choose a Mattress for Shoulder Pain
Types of Mattresses
There are three main types of mattresses, each with different construction and potential to cause or relieve shoulder pain:
Many online mattress companies offer trial periods that let you get a feel for how your body responds to the mattress. These trial periods last anywhere from 30 days to a full year; it’s wise to take advantage of these trials so that you can truly determine whether a mattress is a good fit without spending a fortune!
Trust Your Instincts
Most of the time, the mattress that feels the best, is the best. If you try out a mattress and it feels absolutely phenomenal, it’s right for you- even if common mattress advice tells you it isn’t. The most important thing about a mattress is comfort; if your body is relaxed, you can sleep deeper and your body can more effectively recharge and recover from the day’s aches and pains.
FAQs: Mattresses and Shoulder Pain
How a Mattress Can Cause Shoulder Pain
Pain when sleeping is caused by a mattress that is ineffective at distributing your body weight. When too much weight is concentrated at one point, pain is inevitable. Even a brand new mattress, if it doesn’t suit your body and sleeping position, can be a cause of severe and chronic shoulder pain.
Most often, this pain comes from using a mattress that is too firm. Your shoulders, neck, and head need a mattress surface that is responsive but still soft. Think about it- you use pillows that are thick and supportive but not overly firm, so why should your mattress be any different?
Additionally, mattresses, just like the people who use them, wear down over time. The maximum useful life of most mattresses is only 8-10 years. After that, your old mattress will start to hurt more than it helps- even if it appears to still be working fine. The foam and springs on the inside degrade and lack the strength and support they used to have.
When this happens, pain will be very likely. If you’ve got an older mattress and you’re feeling shoulder pain, it’s time to start shopping- sooner rather than later! The longer you wait, the more shoulder pain you will feel and the lower your overall sleep quality will be.
Mattress Causing Shoulder Pain - How to Fix it
If you determine that your mattress is the reason for your shoulder pain, there are three things you can do:
- 1The first (and least expensive) option in front of you is to get new pillows. This is especially true if you’re a side or stomach sleeper; the pillow you use needs to be a good fit for your head, neck, and shoulders just as much as your mattress needs to be. If you toss and turn, adjusting your pillow often, there’s a decent chance that the pillow you use isn’t working in your favor.
- 2The second option seniors have for fixing a mattress that causes shoulder pain is to get a high-quality mattress topper. A good mattress topper is a cost-effective way to upgrade your sleep surface, reduce shoulder pain, and wake up feeling refreshed. If you go this route, look for toppers that are very soft and less than 3 inches thick. That way, you get the softness your shoulders need without accidentally causing hip or back pain from too much softness!
- 3The final option is, you guessed it, replacing your mattress. You might be reluctant to do this, but consider the impact that bad sleep will have on your life. It isn’t just a sore shoulder- poor sleep can make you irritable, lethargic, and even put you at increased risk for falls. Not only those things but poor sleep also drastically weakens your immune system. So, if your mattress is old and ineffective, invest in your well-being and get a new mattress as soon as you can!
Final Thoughts: Mattresses for Shoulder Pain
If you’ve been waking up with shoulders that are sore and stiff, it’s time to consider upgrading your mattress. The best mattresses and toppers for shoulder pain are soft, yet responsive. Which mattress on our list intrigues you the most? Do you have any questions about how mattresses and shoulder pain are related? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!