Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: July 13, 2021
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If you suffer from chronic shoulder pain, chances are your odds of getting a full night’s rest are slim to none. And according to doctors, in the long run this can result in low energy, increased sensitivity to pain, and even mood disorders. The first thing doctors recommend is to find a relieving sleep position, and getting the best pillow for shoulder pain will definitely help you with that!
While it might seem like you could try any old pillow, that is not the case. In fact, there is a lot that you need to know to get a pillow that will provide your shoulders and neck with the right right shape, firmness, and amount of support to eliminate that nagging pain and sustain your posture. Lucky for you, we have done all of the hard work and found the best of the best as far as pillows go. We have done this by carefully reading through hundreds of customer reviews and several expert researches to select the pillows that are sure to eliminate any shoulder pain you are experiencing at night.
The comparison table below will give you a summary of our eight favorite pillows for shoulder pain out there, followed by their in-depth reviews with pros and cons. If you are beginning your search, you will want to check out our detailed buying guide that will teach you everything there is to know about selecting a pillow. That way, you’ll be able to make the right choice for your particular sleep needs.
If you are truly looking for the best pillow for shoulder pain, then this just might be the perfect place to start. The very first time you look at this pillow, you can see that it is designed differently. While it might not look anything like an ordinary pillow, that is kind of the point. It has multiple levels of support, which is key to finding the position that works best for your particular pain. It also comes in a variety of sizes, making it easy to get the size that will work for you.
The pillow itself is made with high-density memory foam, which is both firm and conforming to your body. This will allow you to “sink” right into the pillow, and get a supportive nook for your head, neck, and shoulders to help alleviate any nighttime pain. The cover is a combination of polyester and cotton, making it both breathable and durable.
The only real downside for this pillow is that it is not machine washable. The pillowcase is, however, which is where most of the germs would reside anyways. The pillow also comes with a five-year warranty that would cover the replacement of the pillow should it fail you.
Why is it special?
Lots of support points
Perfect for any sleep position
Specially designed for shoulder support
Comes in lots of sizes to get a custom support system
This pillow is a combination of the previous two. It is contoured to better support your head, neck, and shoulders, and to allow you to find the perfect sleep position to relieve your shoulder pain. But it is also customizable. You have the option to remove some of the padding within it, which will allow you to create the perfect firmness level for a good night’s sleep. This is also one of the heaviest pillows on the list since its foam is so thick.
What is impressive about this pillow, however, is how many different certifications it has received. All of these different certifications are proof of its quality design and ability to relieve shoulder pain. It also shows that it is made out of high-quality materials that are both safe and hypoallergenic. A five-year warranty you get with this pillow is one of the longest on the market today.
At first glance, you’d think this Dream Rite pillow is just a normal pillow like any other. You’d be shocked to realize that it is an extraordinary piece that performs way better than a standard pillow.
The pillow is specially designed to be cool, calm and comfortable. It is made with high-grade fabric to ensure that it stays cool and breathable the entire night. The soft material is 40% viscose rayon and 60% polyester. It is comfortable and long lasting.
You can use the pillow for any sleeping position as memory foam and soft material mold to your body, allowing you to stay cool at night. The shredded memory foam offers a more sensual night of sleep as it provides great support for the back, neck, shoulders and head. You can also adjust you comfort level by removing the pillow filling. This will give you a more custom and unique sleeping experience.
Moreover, the pillow is hypoallergenic. You can trust that it will give you a high-quality and safe night of sleep. You can forget about the fear of bugs eating at your pillow. It is also super-easy to clean as you can simply throw it and the zipper cover in a washing machine.
If you want to keep the pillow firm for a long time, you should tumble dry it in low heat at least once every month.
What are our favorite features?
Adjustable foam filling allows the adjustment of comfort level
Out of all of the different pillows on this list, this is the only one that is not filled with memory foam. It instead is filled with both cushioned latex and a quilted layer. While memory foam is great for creating a cushioned sleeping experience, it can get a bit warm. This pillow, on the other hand, is completely air permeable, which means that it is highly breathable. This helps to make it one of the coolest pillows on the market, regardless of how warm of a sleeper you are.
The breathability has a secondary advantage as well. Since the pillow is constantly getting good airflow, it will not allow the growth of bacteria, making the pillow both antimicrobial and hypoallergenic. If you are someone who has lots of breathing issues at night, this pillow might be a good choice for that, as well as to help you with your shoulder pain. This pillow also comes with a one year warranty, which will give you plenty of time to try it out and see if it’s the right pillow for you.
One of the most glaring issues for some of the pillows on this list is that they cannot be used for all sleeping positions. Most of them force the sleeper to either sleep on their side or their back. While this is the best practice, since these positions help to relieve stress on the shoulders on their own, they aren’t truly realistic for everyone. For those individuals who need to sleep on their stomachs, this is a great orthopedic pillow to check out.
The contours of this pillow are not quite as sharp as others, making it easier to use from any sleep position, therefore, we recommend this one as the best pillow for stomach sleepers. No matter what way you choose to lay on this pillow, the hypoallergenic memory foam will give you relief from your shoulder pain.
The CushionCare Orthopedic Pillow is an inexpensive pillow filled with memory foam for people with shoulder pain. The cover is made of organic cotton material that makes it anti-allergic. The cotton cover is also machine-washable. We liked that a sleeping mask is added with the purchase, which CushionCare says is free.
The pillow is highly recommended by medical doctors for those with shoulder pain. It’s the ultimate solution for relieving back pain. While it helps relieve chronic back pain, the CushionCare orthopedic-grade cushion is also great for bad hips, spinal issues, inflamed discs as well as the elderly. It even encourages blood flow for better circulation.
The pillow is an all-around seat cushion that you can use everywhere you go inside and out. It’s durable, non-flattening after a long time of use due to the high-grade memory foam construction.
The pillow is lightweight and to top it off, it is machine washable as we mentioned earlier. Even if you’re not suffering from back pain issues, it still provides super comfort for a great value. Whether you use your CushionCare memory foam cushion on a long drive every day in your office at home or at the game, it will add comfort to your life.
Memory foam, on the whole, is a wonderful product. It provides plenty of support each and every night, making it ideal for keeping you pain-free while you sleep. The only true downside for memory foam is that it is a bit warm. This pillow, however, is extraordinarily breathable for a memory foam pillow. This is mostly due to the cover.
The biggest benefit to having such a breathable pillow is, of course, the fact that you can sleep comfortably. A secondary benefit that you might not think of is that this helps it be resistant to bacterial growth, which will help the pillow to last even longer than you might expect. This pillow is also a great candidate for all types of sleepers, no matter if you choose to sleep on your side, back, or even your stomach.
This is a high-density orthopedic pillow that is filled with a mix of memory foam and bamboo rayon. The pillow is adjustable; this means that it conforms to various sleep positions. Any cervical pillow that’s too high causes a misalignment of the cervical spine and can cause pain when waking in the morning or even throughout the night. The same thing goes for pillows that are too flat or too low. With these, the neck will bend in the other direction towards the pillow and lead to misalignment.
This pillow however is neither too flat nor too high. It has a unique three and four-layer design which will help to adapt the pillow to your sleeping comfort level. The pillow also has a distinctive shape.
It will be your best pillow for both body alignment and comfort in comparison to the other memory foam pillows on the market out there. The pillow is made with a one-of-a-kind CERTIPUR US-certified highest-quality memory foam. It was created according to the strict guidelines in quality, functionality, and comfort standards. We liked how responsive this foam feels. It has a polyester and bamboo cover that is constructed with heat-dissipating technology that eliminates thermal build-up while you sleep.
What are our favorite features?
For back, side, and stomach sleepers
Comes with a cooling pillowcase
100-night sleep trial and 10 years warranty
Certified by CERTIPUR US
What could be better?
Nothing to complain about
Things to Consider
Unsurprisingly, there is a lot that you need to first understand before you can get the best pillow for shoulder pain. This section will detail it all for you so that you know that when you purchase your pillow, you’ll be getting the perfect one for your needs.
Since you are looking for a pillow that serves a specific purpose, it makes sense that there are several different types that you should take into consideration before you make your final decision.
Standard – This is the type of pillow that you have seen on pretty much every bed you have ever slept in. It has a higher middle area and sloping sides.
Contour – Contour pillows slope up from the bottom of the pillow to the top. This allows you to get into a different position than a standard pillow, making it possible to alleviate your shoulder pain.
Multi-level – A multi-level pillow doesn’t resemble a pillow at all. It looks more like a miniature sofa cushion and has tons of little nooks and crannies of support, which will give you a better chance at finding a position that works for you.
The size of the pillow that you select will vary widely based on the size of the sleeper and where support is needed. If, for instance, you are buying a pillow for a younger adult, then you won’t need as big of a pillow as you would for a larger person.
However, the size of the pillow should also be based on the amount of support that you need. If you get a pillow that props you up too much, then you might just cause a different type of pain. You need to be sure that you get the size of pillow that will work best for your particular situation.
Something else that will affect the type of pillow that you select is your sleep position. Research has shown that sleeping on your stomach is the worst way to sleep, as it puts your spine, neck, and shoulders out of proper alignment.
The best possible sleep position, especially for shoulder pain, is your back. This will allow you to position your shoulders near your pillow properly to get a restful and supportive night’s rest. If you do choose to sleep on your side, just be sure to place your shoulder out front a bit on your pillow that you aren’t using it to support your full weight.
Pillow fill materials
The materials that your pillow is made out of can make or break the amount of support you get at night. If you don’t get a pillow that was made with the best materials, that pillow won’t last too long.
Memory foam – Pillows filled with memory foam are usually somewhat larger and thicker than others. This is because the foam condenses so much when you lay on it. This creates a cushion that contours to your body to provide optimal support.
Latex – Latex is a material that is known to be highly durable. This makes it a good choice for pillows since you use them often. Latex pillows will also usually have a quilted cushioned layer to make them a bit softer to the touch.
Pillow cover materials
The material which you select to cover your pillow with is completely up to you! Since pillow covers are so thin, they will not offer any extra support, though certain materials are more hypoallergenic and durable than others. Cotton is by far the most common material, though bamboo-derived covers have been shown to last the longest.
Much like the mattress that you are sleeping on, you need to decide the firmness level that you require for your pillow. Since you are trying to get a pillow that is as supportive as possible, however, you should probably opt for one that has a bit of give to it. If you select a pillow that is too firm or too soft, then you won’t get the amount of support that you need to eliminate your shoulder pain.
The crushability of a pillow is how much it can be compressed without losing the ability to regain its shape. This has much to do with the type of materials that are used to make the pillow. Memory foam pillows have a high crushability factor and will regain their shape and offer the same amount of support for a very long time. Latex pillows will begin to lose their shape after several years and will need to be replaced.
Certification and safety
As we said earlier on, there are tons of pillows out there, and not all of them are created with the best materials or even the materials that they are purported to be made with. If you are someone that has allergies, or you are looking for a pillow for a child with shoulder issues, you want to be sure that the pillow you pick is up to the proper standards.
To do this, make sure that the pillow you select has some certification stating that it has been tested and certified. That will let you rest easy, since you’ll know for sure that the product you bought is safe.
Pillows are one of the most common products in everyone’s home, and are used daily. Due to this constant use, they tend to get dirty pretty regularly. That is why you need to be sure that the pillow and cover that you select can be washed easily. That will help to keep the pillow fresh and clean, which will help to give you a much more restful sleep.
Since pillows are used so often, it is not surprising that they break down over time. Some of the best pillows for shoulder pain are kind of expensive too. By selecting one that comes with a warranty, you are making sure that you will be able to replace your pillow and protect the money that you have already spent.
So, in conclusion, if you are truly looking for the best pillow for shoulder pain, you need to make sure that you find one that uses high-quality materials. Memory foam will provide plenty of support and should be your cushioning of choice. Your sleep position will also play a big part in the type of pillow that you select. That is why you should always look for one that has plenty of different supportive ridges or contouring to relieve you of your shoulder pain. Now go get that perfect pillow so you can rest easy, be pain-free, and get on with your life!