The Best Pillows For Shoulder Pain In 2018

Image Source

Listen. You’re on this page because your shoulders hurt. Right? You Googled something like, “can’t sleep, shoulders hurt” or “pillows for sore shoulders.” We’re sorry about that. We’ve been there. 2 AM typing, “shoulder pain, is it my mattress?” and hoping the answer is, “no,” because mattresses are pricey as all get out.

So, look, maybe it’s your pillow. It might be? It’s way cheaper to buy some new pillows than to buy a new mattress. Which means if you buy a new pillow and the pain stops, hey, great return on investment, right?

This post is to walk you through why a bad pillow might cause shoulder pain and how a good pillow will alleviate that pain so you can rest better. After you’ve gotten the logistics down, we can talk top three pillows to help with shoulder pain. Ready? Alright, let’s dive in.

Types of Pillows

Shoulder pain is often caused by inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled tissue sack around the joint of the bones in your shoulder. It might also be caused by damage or deterioration of the bicep tendon, either due to a rotator cuff injury or from aging.

Either way, shoulder pain can be exacerbated by having too much pressure on the inflamed area (for example, by resting on your side and having only one shoulder between your upper body and the bed) or by not having enough spine and neck support, which can result in rolling or twisting painfully in your sleep.

Thus, pillows which firmly support the spine while also diverting pressure from single points on your shoulder will help ease your pain. Ultimately, you’ll need one of these three kinds of pillows: a memory foam pillow, a split pillow, or a multi-level pillow.

Memory Foam Pillows

Memory foam pillows mold around anything that lies on them. Lying on a memory foam pillow holds your neck and spine steady, giving it support. Meanwhile, by molding around your shoulder, a memory foam pillow cushions the inflamed joint and diverts tension across the entire pillow’s surface.

Split Pillows

Split pillows are expensive and a bit silly. Those are those pillows with a gap in them, to put your arm through. Frankly, they’re a bit gimmicky, and there’s no evidence they help with shoulder pain. We’d skip those if we were you.

Multi-level Pillows

Multi-level pillows are oddly shaped. Generally, they’re made of memory foam or another synthetic material, and they are partially inclined, like a wedge. Some multi-level pillows have two raised sides and a dip in the center.

These unusual designs make multi-level pillows surprisingly excellent aids for people with shoulder

The Best Pillows For Shoulder Pain In 2018

So, now that we’ve gotten this far, it’s time for the headliners. Which pillows are legitimately the best when it comes to getting rid of shoulder pain? Instead of a sprawling list, we’ve narrowed it down to three high quality brands that are sure to help. First up to bat…

#1. SleepEazy by Simply Sova

Simply Sova’s SleepEazy Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, specifically the queen-sized one with the hypoallergenic casing, does wonders for your shoulders.

You can easily adjust this pillow for height due to its easy-access removable layers, and we grant it additional points for hotel-quality softness. The hypoallergenic, organic bamboo-based foam is a nice perk too for those with allergies.  


There are plenty of pros with this pillow.

  • It’s durable
  • It’s adjustable
  • It’s organic
  • It’s super soft
  • The hypoallergenic cover is machine washable.
  • Easily adjustable


  • Several users report that the pillow becomes “lumpy” if washed too often, however this can be fixed with a little shaking.
  • With all the inserts inside, it can be very heavy

#2. Coop Home Goods’ Pillow

Coop Home Goods’ PREMIUM Adjustable Loft – Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow is next on the list. This guy has a washable, removable rayon cover which cools your skin as you lay on it. It also comes with a 30-day free trial.


As far as the pros go, there are plenty. Here are the highlights:

  • Cool to the touch,
  • Has firm lift that is recommended for people who find themselves often propping up their pillows with their arms,
  • Allergen-free
  • Environmentally friendly


  • It’s too soft compared to other memory foam products
  • It loses density in a year and a half of use
  • It can feel chunky or lumpy, as the shredded foam can shape-up oddly if you’re used to pad-shaped memory foam

#3. Mkicesky’s Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow

Last up, there’s the Soft Memory Foam Bamboo Sleeping Pillow (24.4″x14″x4″) from Mkicesky. Bamboo is really trendy right now since it’s eco-friendly and cruelty-free. Unfortunately, the only bamboo textile is the hypoallergenic cover; the rest of the foam is polyurethane.


  • It’s got an innovative butterfly shape that promotes better sleeping positions
  • It’s very lightweight compared to other memory foam pillows
  • It’s hypoallergenic
  • It’s firm but with soft outer texture


  • It has a bad smell when the pillow first arrives, which takes some time to dissipate
  • It wears down to a flat shape too quickly compared to other pillows


Maybe you saw this one coming, but the best of the best is Simply Sova’s SleepEazy pillow. What a clever design, no? Not everyone’s the same height, and now they don’t have to be in order to enjoy it.

One thing that really put Simply Sova’s pillow over the top was the design. It never gets that odd, polyurethane smell that you get from some memory foam pillows because the layers prevent the smell from reaching the outside. It also is easy to adjust on the fly by allowing you to adjust the height by simply removing layers rather than finding a container to hold the memory foam in most other shredded memory foam pillows.

Remember, the key to reducing shoulder pain is minimizing pressure on inflamed joints and tendons. Of all the pillows, SleepEazy best cushions and molds around your shoulders and neck to take off any pressure you feel from “balancing” on one shoulder as you sleep and to prevent too much rolling. Quite a steal at the current price!


Ultimately, nobody here is a doctor. If you’re having serious shoulder pain, it might be in your best interest to see an orthopedic specialist or a physical therapist.

But, if you’re experiencing chronic mild shoulder soreness or even moderate pain, we do hope you consider purchasing a new pillow.

We hope this guide to the best pillows to help soothe shoulder pain in 2018 genuinely helped you with your search for relief. If you have other sleep-related needs, please check out our other guides to get the rest you deserve. Thank you, and good night.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Rheumatologist - April 9, 2019 Reply

If you prefer to sleep on your side and experience neck pain, a cervical memory foam pillow from Cradle Me just might help. This pillow features a specific design with gel memory foam fill so that your back, shoulders, neck

Leave a Comment: