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: December 25, 2020
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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.
What we liked:
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.
While this looks like any old pillow, don’t be fooled. Appearances, after all, can be deceiving. Even though this cushion has the same shape as a standard, it can do something that no ordinary pillow can do. If you try this pillow out, you will be able to adjust the firmness level to better meet your needs. All you have to do is zip it open and remove some padding, and voila! You have a pillow with a custom firmness level and loft to better meet your needs.
The cover for this pillow is quilted for extra cushioning and is made with a combination of bamboo-derived rayon and polyester. These two fabrics are noted for their durability and cleanliness. This combination of fabrics is completely hypoallergenic. They are also resistant to mites and pilling, which will help to make the pillow last a good long while past its all too short warranty.
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.
Perhaps you only have moderate shoulder pain and aren’t quite prepared to try anything quite as new as the previous pillow. If that is the case, then this would be a great pillow to check out. It has a sloping design which helps to align your shoulders correctly when you are sleeping. This pillow is made with memory foam inserts, which cannot be cleaned. The cover, which can be machine washed is made out of bamboo-derived rayon. This makes it highly durable and hypoallergenic.
The best thing about this pillow, aside from its firmness and ability to contour to your head, neck, and shoulders, is the fact that it comes with a 100% guarantee. What this means is, even if you decide that the pillow isn’t for your five or ten years down the road, you can still get a refund. Not only this but if the pillow is damaged, even if it is way in the future, the company will cover the cost and replace it for you.
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 CertiPUR-US certified pillow is nice and thick. It uses heavyweight memory foam and different support levels to create a perfect contour to your head, neck, and shoulders. It is a perfect pillow for side or back sleepers, but would not work out well for individuals who sleep on their stomach, as it’s too hard.
It must be said, however, that this pillow is a bit firmer than other pillows on the market today. In fact, it might be too firm for some sleepers, since it doesn’t sink in very much when you lay on it. While this might work for some people, it might prove to be the cause of discomfort for some, rather than providing the relief that you desire.
What we liked:
Contoured for support
What could be better:
Pillow is not washable
Heavyweight foam doesn’t contour as much as other pillows
Things to Сonsider
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!