6 Effective Pillows for Shoulder Pain — Say Goodbye to Stiffness!

34 Models Considered
52 Hours of Research
10 Experts Interviewed
286 Reviews Analyzed

While a back or neck pain can cause you a lot of discomforts and prevent you from sleeping throughout the night, nothing is actually worse than battling with shoulder pain. You will understand this perfectly if you are just recuperating from a shoulder injury or you are fighting with a more chronic shoulder problem, especially if you’re a side sleeper. If you have been dealing with shoulder issues recently, then it’s high time you got a new pillow. The best pillow for shoulder pain can provide great support for your shoulders and help lessen shoulder pain and improve your posture.

However, despite the excessive amount of options on the market, choosing the best pillow for neck and shoulder pain isn’t as straightforward as you might think. There are so many factors in play, and one wrong move could mean you will continue to endure painful nights until you find the right pillow at least. To help you avoid making a wrong decision, we have compiled a list of the top six pillows for shoulder pain on the market. The key criteria we took into account include pillow shape, material, which sleepers it is suitable for, firmness level, and cover features.

Top 6 Pillows for Shoulder Pain Review 2018

This is a guide we spent tens of hours to put together, and we guarantee you that everything included therein is intended to help you make the right choice when shopping for the ideal pillow for your shoulder issues. From our quick comparison table to the in-depth products reviews to our handy buying guide, everything included in this article aims to provide you with all the enlightenment you require in your quest for the right product.

Name and Features Image Rating Price
1 Coop Home Goods Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow (Editor’s Choice)
A traditional-shaped pillow with shredded memory foam inside that can easily be removed or added to correspond with your preferred firmness level
Coop Home Goods Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow 1 image
2 Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow (Longest Warranty)
This model with a cross-cut memory foam and microfiber blend filling features a hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant cover for your peace of mind
Snuggle Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam 1 image
3 Coisum Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow (Best Memory Foam Pillow for Neck and Shoulder pain)
A contour orthopedic pillow with a solid memory foam filling keeps your neck and shoulders properly aligned all night long
Coisum Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow 5 image
4 Malouf Z Gel Memory Foam L-Shape Pillow (Best Ergonomic Pillow for Neck and Shoulder Pain)
Featuring an unusual L shape this pillow is an awesome pick for those preferring to sleep on their sides
Z Gel Memory Foam L Shape Pillow 1 image
5 EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow (Best Orthopedic Pillow for Shoulder Pain)
This firm contour pillow is suitable for all sleeping positions thanks to its differently-shaped sides
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow 3 image
6 Bedsure Memory Foam Contour Pillow (Budget Pick)
The most affordable on the list, this pillow boasts two sides of different heights for you to feel comfortable while sleeping on your back or sides
Bedsure Memory Foam Contour Pillow 4 image
Features
  • Pillow shape: traditional
  • Filling material: shredded memory foam
  • Sleep positions: all
  • Firmness: adjustable
  • Cover material: 60% polyester, 40% rayon
  • Warranty: 5-year limited; 100-day money back guarantee

More features: the filling can be added or taken away for firmness adjustment; hypoallergenic and mite-resistant

OVERALL RATING: 9.9 out of 10

Since we spend around one-third of our lives sleeping, then doing everything possible to ensure we sleep as comfortable as possible is only reasonable, right? The Coop Home Goods Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow is probably the best pillow for shoulder and back pain that is capable of offering you everything you need. The high-quality pillow is produced using memory foam explicitly known to be shredded viscoelastic. Impressively, the material of the pillow is very breathable and can adjust a lot better than traditional pillows.

Furthermore, the pillow has a cover made using bamboo polyester, which allows for optimum airflow. One of the most exceptional features of this model is its ability to provide support and adjust to any sleeping position. You can remove or add the filling material to make the pillow softer or firmer. For example, a side sleeper requires the headrest to cover the available space between the shoulder, and the head for a comfortable sleep while a stomach sleeper needs a thin, soft pillow. Thus the pillow provides optimum comfort for all sleeping positions.

Moreover, this high-quality model comes with an impressive 30-day trial period. This allows you to test it for a couple of days and if you end up not liking it, you can return it. It also comes with a 5-year limited warranty and a 100-day money back guarantee. If you’re looking for both comfort and adjustment ability from your pillow, then this is your best bet. Like most pillows on the market, it also emits an unpleasant odor upon unpacking.

Pros
  • Totally adjustable
  • Hypoallergenic to prevent allergic reactions
  • Long warranty

Cons
  • An initial smell comes out after purchase

Features
  • Pillow shape: traditional
  • Filling material: cross-cut memory foam and microfiber blend
  • Sleep positions: all
  • Firmness: adjustable
  • Cover material: 43% viscose of bamboo, 56.4% polyester, 0.6% lycra
  • Warranty: 20-year limited; 120-day money back guarantee

More features: rolled and vacuum sealed for shipping; available in queen and king sizes

OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10

Despite being an orthopedic pillow, the Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam comes with a traditional pillow shape, however, offering adequate support for your shoulders and neck. It is moderately priced and gives a lot of value for money.

Featuring a removable, machine washable cover, this pillow has everything you’ve always wanted in a pillow. The cover is soft and highly breathable to improve airflow regardless of your sleeping position. The pillow is dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic, thereby offering you a healthy and peaceful night’s sleep. However, the pillow isn’t heavy despite its foam interiors, owing to the manufacturer’s patented technology. This model is eco-friendly and also environmentally-safe.

Furthermore, it does not get lumpy after a while. It perfectly fits the shoulder and neck contours of the majority of sleepers, which makes it an incredible pillow to sleep on. Although it has the right amount of features to give you the optimum comfort, it does not cave in. It is adequately firm to brace your neck’s natural curve. Apart from a 20-year limited warranty, it also comes with a 90-day trial. The trial means that if you are unsatisfied after using the pillow for 90 days, the manufacturer will customize it according to your needs. Although you need to bear in mind that the customization might take time.

Pros
  • Reasonably priced
  • Removable, breathable cover
  • Hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant
  • Different sizes available

Cons
  • Customization might take time

Features
  • Pillow shape: contour orthopedic
  • Filling material: high-density memory foam
  • Sleep positions: back and side
  • Firmness: firm
  • Cover material: polyether and bamboo
  • Warranty: 30-day money back guarantee

More features: hypoallergenic washable and removable cover; anti-mite inner cover

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

If you are suffering from shoulder pain, the Coisum Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow might just be what you need. It has been constructed with a great concentration on ergonomics. Also, the manufacturer used high-quality memory foam with a slow rebound. Thus, it is capable of supporting the neck of the sleeper and absorbing cervical pressure, which enables the sleeper to have an incredible, comfortable and deep night’s sleep with no stress at all.

The design of the pillow features two long edges with lower access. The design prevents users from tumbling off and stops them from tossing and turning. Both edges of the pillow have slopes that allow the pillow to fit the cervical curve perfectly. This allows you to keep your spine in a naturally curved position which results in a sound and deep sleep. The pillow’s design is very appealing and the provided pillowcase is highly breathable. Also, the pillowcase is hypoallergenic, thereby protecting the sleeper from dust mites and other allergens.

The pillow has a moderate firmness which enables it to cradle the user’s head to alleviate shoulder and neck pain. The pillow prevents the shoulder from hunching in the front, thereby keeping the user comfortable in all possible ways. This model from Coisum allows you to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep with no turning or tossing.

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Properly aligns your head and shoulders
  • Great ergonomics

Cons
  • The shape requires getting used to
  • No long warranty provided

Features
  • Pillow shape: L-shape ergonomic; body
  • Filling material: polyurethane gel memory foam
  • Sleep positions: side
  • Firmness: medium
  • Cover material: tencel
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

More features: features a cover with moisture-management properties

OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10

You might be at first confused when you see the L-shape design of this pillow, but rest assured that the unique design is for your good. The high-quality memory foam and the suitable shape guarantee more comfort and support to the upper part of your body while also ensuring you don’t need more than one pillow for the proper support. This unique product also includes the GEL DOUGH formula for maintaining the firmness of the pillow. With this outstanding feature, you will never experience shoulder and back pain again.

This pillow from Malouf Z keeps users dry and cool owing to the soft and super comfortable bamboo cover. It has been designed to resist allergens like dust mites, mold, and other bacteria, which make it perfect for all sorts of conditions. Due to its shape the model is ideal for side sleepers. Regardless of whether it is the cold winter days or hot summer nights, this product is perfectly suitable.

Its large L-shape design provides adequate support for your head, neck, and shoulders, giving more comfort and support for side sleepers. Also, it a features a Tencel removable cover with greater moisture management elements that help to reach optimum sleeping temperatures. To assure buyers that they’re making the best decision, it is backed by a five-year warranty. The only downside with this product is its lack of ear indentation.

Pros
  • Ergonomic design
  • Great support and balance
  • The gel foam gives a cooling effect
  • Reduces neck, shoulder, back pain
  • The cover is machine washable

Cons
  • Doesn’t have ear indentation
  • Not suitable for stomach sleepers

Features
  • Pillow shape: orthopedic contour
  • Filling material: memory foam
  • Sleep positions: all
  • Firmness: firm
  • Cover material: rayon/polyester blend
  • Warranty: 30-day money back guarantee

More features: hidden zipper; the pillowcase is machine washable

OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10

If you are looking for a pillow that will give your neck and shoulders adequate protection whilst sleeping, look no further than the EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow. This model delivers improved relief from shoulder and neck pains. Offering a design that properly aligns with the shoulder, back, and neck for optimum protection against nerve tension, this premium pillow guarantees to provide sleepers with a stimulating sleeping experience. Regardless of your sleeping position, this pillow is sure to take care of your health.

Furthermore, the materials used to manufacture this pillow don’t trigger any allergic reaction, and they also provide protection against mites. This product doesn’t contain any harmful substances and is totally safe to use. Besides, it has a durable zipper and comes in a net jacket, which allows you to remove the pillow’s insides before laundry. Keep in mind that on no condition should you wash the foam as the pillow could be undermined with this.

When you unpack the pillow, don’t get worked up by the unpleasant odors it emits as the smell is safe and will die off after a few days. In addition, keep in mind that this product is a supple and foam, so it might take some getting used to. Plus EPABO has outstanding customer support which is also a significant advantage.

Pros
  • Effectively grips the head of the user
  • Anti-snoring effect
  • Environmental-friendly
  • Outstanding customer support

Cons
  • Requires airing due to unpleasant foam smell

Features
  • Pillow shape: contour
  • Filling material: memory foam
  • Sleep positions: side and back
  • Firmness: medium
  • Cover material: not specified
  • Warranty: 10-year limited

More features: 2-in-1 wave design; multiple ventilated holes in the memory foam

OVERALL RATING: 9.1 out of 10

If you are struggling with a shoulder or back pain, you might have to take a look at the Bedsure Memory Foam Contour Pillow. The manufacturer has designed this pillow to aid the alignment of your head, shoulders, and neck in the appropriate position. If you are a side sleeper, your shoulders won’t feel too much pressure because this incredible pillow is designed to adjust automatically to any kind of position you pick.

The foam is produced using 100-percent polyurethane material, and the pillow’s cover is made from 100-percent polyester. The bug-resistant and anti-bacterial features make this pillow a premium-quality product. While this model also emits a terrible odor upon unwrapping, the smell should vanish within three days at most. Also, this product features a five-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.

The contour shape takes away the need to be folding your pillow when looking for the right position. Rest assured that the memory foam will get rid of your inability to find comfort in pillows. It is also reasonably priced, which is another huge advantage.

Pros
  • Durable construction
  • Automatically adjusts to every position
  • Anti-bacterial and bug-resistant pillow
  • Comes with a five-year warranty

Cons
  • Emits unpleasant odors for the first few days
  • Some users thought it was too small for them

Buying Guide

Of course, there are lots of things you need to comprehend before getting the best pillow for chronic neck and shoulder pain. Our buying guide will detail everything here so that you will be confident that when you buy your pillow, you will be purchasing the ideal one for your needs.

How can a proper pillow ease your shoulder pain?

Pillow for Side Sleepers with Neck Pain 1024x594 imageDepending on what is causing your shoulder pain, various kinds of pillows are capable of getting rid of it. In the end, a simple solution like a shoulder pillow may offer a solution to your problem and remedy your back, shoulder or neck pain.

Every shoulder pillow aims to give your shoulders and neck ample room so that neither of them will be damaged. Some shoulder pillows have a higher angle, where you put your arm beneath and enable your shoulders to relax completely.

Another option for individuals suffering from shoulder pain is contour pillows. Cupping your body shape, contour pillows are designed specially to raise your neck and pad your shoulders throughout the night.

Features to consider while choosing a pillow for shoulder pain

There is a couple of factors you need to take into consideration before buying a pillow for shoulder pain, except you’re ready to continue enduring the shoulder pain for longer. Below are the key factors you need to check when shopping for the ideal product.

https 2F2Fblogs images.forbes.com2Fforbes finds2Ffiles2F20182F062Fsleep factory pillow final 1024x694 imagePillow shape

One of the most important considerations you must make is the shape of the pillow. Traditional shapes are easy to get used to and depending on the firmness and filling material are able to ease your neck pain. Curved pillows are regularly seen as they are capable of contouring with your body shape. Because of your head’s shape, it can be hard to comfortably lie on a level surface without having shoulder or neck pain. However, utilizing a contour pillow can possibly tackle this issue.

Cervical pillows are great for filling the area between your neck, shoulder, and the mattress, giving the required support all through the night.

Filling material

The materials used to make your pillow can influence the level of support the pillow will offer you. If your pillow is not produced using the best materials, the odds of it lasting long is very low.

coop home goods pillow construction 1024x539 imageMemory foam – Pillows that are filled with memory foam are usually fairly thicker and larger than others. This is because the foam shrinks a lot when its laid on. This way, a cushion that contours to your body is created to offer optimal support.

Latex – Latex is a very durable material, which makes it an excellent option for pillows due to the frequency at which they are used. Besides, pillows produced using latex always have a sewed cushioned layer so that they will have a somewhat softer touch.

Loft

Also referred to as height, the loft is also a crucial factor to take into consideration. While it tends to be the most crucial factor who back sleepers, it assumes a crucial role in the amount of comfort offered by a pillow regardless of the sleeping position. Generally, back sleeping needs a lower loft whilst side sleeping needs a greater loft. This is due to the fact that the objective of the loft is to align the neck.

Sleep positions

Another factor you need to take into consideration is your sleeping position. According to research, stomach sleeping is the worst sleeping position that can worsen your muscle pain, as it puts your shoulders, neck, and spine out of appropriate alignment.

Back sleeping is the best available sleeping position, particularly for shoulder pain. It will enable you to put your shoulders properly close to your pillow to get a supportive and restful night’s sleep. If you are a back sleeper, just make sure you put your shoulder a bit out front on your pillow so that your full weight isn’t hinging on it.

IMG 6394 1024x683 imageFirmness

It is crucial to take the firmness of your pillow into consideration taking into account the side you use to sleep. Whether you’re a side, stomach, or back sleeper, you must determine your firmness level. For individuals who are side and back sleepers, a firm pillow like the EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow would be a great option while a softer option is ideal for stomach sleepers.

Adjustability

Although adjustability is great a benefit, it’s not necessary. Having said that, several individuals like this feature since it enables them to customize the pillow’s fit after it’s purchased. Only a few pillows are completely perfect from the store, so it’s great to buy an adjustable one like the Coop Home Goods Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow so that you can keep customizing it until it’s perfect.

Cover material

The material with which you choose to cover your pillow is totally up to you. Due to the fact that pillow covers are very thin, don’t expect them to offer any extra help. Certain materials, however, are tougher and more hypoallergenic than others.

While cotton is the most common type of material, covers made from bamboo are proven to be the most long-lasting.

Warranty

Because pillows are frequently used, it is not a surprise at all that they usually break down after a while. Besides, some pillows for shoulder pain are relatively costly as well. By opting for one that is backed by a good warranty, you’re ensuring that you’ll be able to get a replacement if anything goes wrong. So, to protect your investment, ensure you choose a pillow that comes with a good warranty like the Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam and the Bedsure Memory Foam Contour Pillow.

Extra features

You also need to consider if the pillow you are buying comes with useful extras such as certifications from different authorities certifying that the pillow is made with safe and non-toxic materials. You should also make sure the product doesn’t have any distinct odor that you may find uncomfortable. While most pillows come with such a smell, it disappears after a couple of days.

FAQ

It is quite easy to figure out if your pillow is made with chemical-free and non-toxic materials. Just ensure the product has CertiPUR-US certification, which examines mattresses and pillows for any chemicals or toxins. The CertiPUR-US mark means the foam is made without:

  • ozone depletes;
  • PBDE flame retardants;
  • mercury, lead and other heavy metals;
  • formaldehyde;
  • phthalates.

Always check if the pillow you are looking at comes with this certification. Keep in mind that nothing in the world is more important than your health and wellbeing.

Selecting a pillow to help alleviate shoulder pain relies upon the specific cause of it. If you’ve suffered from muscle damage, you will be looking at an extremely soft, comfortable pillow that is capable of holding your neck at the vital elevation point. A pillow that is made using shredded memory foam will be suitable for this since it ticks all the boxes, conforming itself excellently to the shape of your body.

If you are experiencing stiff shoulders owing to a spinal or back issue, you should be looking at a basic neck pillow. This will help keep your stance appropriately and reduce your shoulder pain by ensuring they are kept at the appropriate angle. If your shoulders aren’t correctly aligned, an elevated pillow will likely be more ideal for you. While a high pillow will ensure you don’t rest on your shoulders directly, you will still get the required support while sleeping.

Viscoelastic foam or memory foam tends to give off a smell when new. Just let it air out (depending on the manufacturer it takes 1-3 days), and you’re ready to go.

Our Verdict

Designed for all sleeping positions, the Coop Home Goods Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow is the best pillow on this list by a wide margin. Produced using shredded memory foam, this premium-quality pillow is exceptionally breathable and is capable of adjusting a lot better than traditional pillows, which is quite impressive.

Coming second on the list is the Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam, which is coincidentally the pillow with the most extended warranty on this list. Being moderately priced and featuring a removable cover, there aren’t many better options than this pillow.

The Coisum Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow comfortably takes the third place, owing to its incredible combination of superb ergonomics with high effectiveness. Since it is hypoallergenic, you can be sure that it will protect you from dust mites and other allergens.

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