The Best Pillow For Shoulder Pain – The Top 6 Pillows Reviewed

If you are in a hurry and just want to know what the best pillow for shoulder pain is, I recommend the Nature’s Guest Cervical Pillow.

There are many reasons you might have shoulder pain.

My left shoulder has been hurting for a while now, but I can trace that directly to the new desk and chair I’m using.  As a result I’ve had to stop doing any exercises in the gym that can aggravate it.

Sports injuries are another obvious one.

However sleeping on your shoulder without the right pillow can actually cause just as much shoulder pain as a sport’s injury.

Either way, no matter what caused your shoulder pain, sleeping on it will aggravate the pain, or certainly delay the healing process. 

And having a pillow that provides cervical support is essential.  

Lucky for you, I’ve done the hard work doing all the research for you. 

Just keep reading.

Don’t miss my guide on what to consider when buying a new mattress or bed.

The Best Pillows For Shoulder Pain That I Will Be Reviewing Today

Need a new mattress?  I reviewed the Best Price Mattress Deals for the year, you can read more here.

Best Pillow For Shoulder Pain

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What Type Of Pillow Is Best For Shoulder Pain?

You should look for a pillow that supports your spine, neck and head.

If you are a side sleeper, I would recommend you find a pillow where the height of the pillow matches your shoulder width, and the pillow isn’t so soft that your head simply sinks into it.

That way your spine is properly supported and kept as straight as possible.

For back sleepers, the pillow should follow the natural curve of your spine (so not 100% straight). 

The best option is to find a pillow that has support for your neck, but with a hollow for the back of your head to fit into.

In my opinion, the Nature’s Guest Cervical Pillow wins hands down.

Can Pillows Make Your Shoulders Hurt?

If your pillow is too flat to match the width of your shoulders, more pressure will be put on your shoulders and your head will droop down bending your spine.

The same goes if your pillow is too soft and fluffy and cannot support the weight of your head. 

Both will cause your shoulders to have to take more weight, putting pressure on your shoulder, arm and shoulder joint.  

Most people find this uncomfortable and it can cause reduced blood flow to your arm, and even pain.

So yes, a pillow can make your shoulders hurt.

How Should I Sleep To Relieve Shoulder Pain?

Sleeping on your back will take the pressure off your shoulder and should help to relieve your shoulder pain.

What Is The Best Pillow For Shoulder And Neck Pain?

You should look for a pillow that supports your neck and spine and head.

If you are a side sleeper, I would recommend you find a pillow where the height of the pillow matches your shoulder width, and the pillow isn’t so soft that your head simply sinks into it.

That way your spine is properly supported and kept as straight as possible.

For back sleepers, the pillow should follow the natural curve of your spine (so not 100% straight). 

The best option is to find a pillow that has support for your neck, but with a hollow for the back of your head to fit into.

What Is The Fastest Way To Relieve Shoulder Pain?

  • RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate
    • In short, rest your arm and shoulder, don’t lift anything heavy or move it a lot.
  • Stop sleeping on your side until the pain disappears.
  • Ensure you have the correct pillow.
  • Ensure you have the best mattress.

Can’t afford a new mattress, then check this guide to the best mattress topper for side sleepers that will support your hips and shoulders.

Pain is usually an indication of inflammation, brought on by an injury or repetitive actions.

If the pain does not disappear after a few weeks, consult a doctor.

The Best Pillow For Shoulder Pain Product Review

Best Pillow For Shoulder Pain

EDITOR’S CHOICE for best pillow for shoulder pain

Nature’s Guest Cervical Pillow

Best Pillow For Shoulder PainBest Pillow For Shoulder Pain

  • Editor’s Choice
  • Best pillow for shoulder pain for more natural pillow design to accommodate back and side sleepers
  • Firm pillow
  • Chiropractor and orthopedic recommended design
  • Cervical Contour Pillow
  • Cervical Traction for Neck Pain
  • Back Pain Relief
  • Loft is adjustable
  • Perfect for side and back sleepers
  • 30 day money back 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Bedtime Specialist Score: 5
  • 70% of people who bought this mattress rated it positive.

The Nature’s Guest Cervical pillow is an adjustable loft pillow designed for side and back sleepers.

It is a firm pillow but you can reduce the loft and firmness by removing some of the filling.

The design comes recommended by chiropractors and orthopaedists, and has a contoured shape to suppose your neck and spine.

It comes with a 100% 233 thread count cotton cover that can be removed and washed.

The height of the pillow on the top and bottom, where your neck should go, is different on each side, to allow for comfort no matter the size of your neck, so just try both sides to see which is more comfortable.

If you are worried that the firm pillow will be too hard for you, they also have a medium option.

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Ergo Large Pillow

Best Pillow For Shoulder PainBest Pillow For Shoulder Pain

  • Best pillow for shoulder pain for the well-known brand name and customer service
  • Large
  • Ergonomic pillow
  • Firm
  • Height:  4.25”
  • Bedtime Specialist Score: 3
  • 75% of people who bought this mattress rated it positive.

The Tempur-Pedic Ergo pillow is an ergonomic pillow with firm support.

It is formed to fit the natural curve of your neck and spine, so it provides therapeutic support for both side and back sleepers.

It is made from an adaptive TEMPUR material for durability year after year, and covered with a removable and washable hypoallergenic pillow case so you can stay clean and hygienic. However personally I would still cover it with one of my normal pillow cases as well.

This particular option is a LARGE but it is also available in a small and a medium, and it comes with a 5 year limited warranty.

There are some complaints from customers about the smell, but it should go away after some airing out.

The only other thing to note is the size, or rather, HOW you choose the size. I don’t think they make it clear enough how you should choose.  There are some measurements but it is confusing for most customers. They simply give the height of the large pillow as 4.25” but make no mention of whether that should correlate with your shoulder size?

Either way, the sizing is confusing.

Pancake Pillow – The Adjustable Layer Pillow

Best Pillow For Shoulder PainBest Pillow For Shoulder Pain

  • Best pillow for shoulder pain no matter what size your shoulders are or how high you like your pillows due it’s adjustability
  • King & Queen size options
  • 3” Gusset
  • Cotton cover that can be removed
  • 6 soft layers to add or remove to the pillow case in order to adjust the height
  • Bedtime Specialist Score: 3
  • 79% of people who bought this mattress rated it positive.

The Pancake Pillow is the answer to all your requirements.

Are you a side sleeper, a back sleeper or a stomach sleeper? Or how about all 3, like I am.

Well the folks over at the Pancake Pillow has a solution.

You can customize your pillow.

It has 6 fairly flat soft inner pillow layers, that you stack on top of another until you have the perfect height.  It’s kind of brilliant.

It’s also perfect for guests. Because no matter what size or type of sleeper your guests are, they can simply add or remove the inner layers until they have the perfect pillow.

It comes as a Queen and King size pillow, made with a down alternative filling, with a 300 thread count 100% cotton pillow case with a zipper so that the pillow case can be removed and washed.

The down alternative filling makes it hypoallergenic.

The only problem with this concept is that it’s not a very firm pillow. Even with all 6 layers, it’s a very soft and fluffy pillow, the loft is quite high, but still very soft, so your head sinks into the pillow too easily for some people.

Best Pillow For Shoulder Pain

Bedsure Contour Memory Foam Pillow

Best Pillow For Shoulder PainBest Pillow For Shoulder Pain

  • Best pillow for shoulder pain for it’s contour design which helps relax tense muscles, reducing stiffness and pains due to the fact it curves around your neck and head
  • Memory foam
  • Medium Firm
  • Washable Zippered Cover
  • 2 different heights to support your neck:  4” and 5”
  • Bedtime Specialist Score: 4
  • 80% of people who bought this mattress rated it positive.

The Bedsure Contour memory foam pillow is made like 2 rising waves so it can support the curve of your neck.  

One side (or wave if you will) is higher than the other side so you can pick and choose which height is better for your neck and shoulders.

The memory foam is gel infused which should provide a cooling effect.

The outer air mesh cover has a zip on the side so it can be removed and washed, keeping your pillow clean and hygienic.

The contour design helps to relax tense muscles, reducing stiffness and pains and it comes recommended by quite a few chiropractors specifically for neck pain.

As this is a memory foam pillow, be aware that it will come flat packed, and it might have a chemical smell when you take it out of the package.  

Don’t worry, the smell will dissipate after airing it out for a few days, and it should inflate in a couple of hours to it’s designed height.

NiDream Bedding Full Body Pillow

Best Pillow For Shoulder PainBest Pillow For Shoulder Pain

  • Best pillow for shoulder pain for it’s unique U-shape that accommodates everyone, from side sleepers, stomach sleepers, and pregnant women
  • Full body pillow
  • Perfect for sciatica, leg swelling, and shoulder or back pain
  • Great for anyone who like sleeping with a pillow between their legs
  • 100% cotton cover that is removable and washable
  • Polyester filling 
  • Adjustable filling – add/remove to make it less full
  • Removable and washable cover
  • Bedtime Specialist Score: 3.5
  • 85% of people who bought this mattress rated it positive.

The NiDream pillow is a full body pillow curved in a U-shape and you basically sleep between the 2 legs of the U.

This means it provides support for your neck no matter if you sleep on your side or your back, and will work even on your stomach (although personally I think it might be a bit too high for stomach sleepers).

It also provides support for pregnant women as it supports your abdomen and raises your hips and arms, as opposed to having both falling down towards the mattress.

Thanks to the fact it allows you to sleep with a raised leg/hip and shoulder/arm, it is ideal for sciatica, leg swelling relief and shoulder or back pain.

Basically, all your body parts can sleep in a straight position, nothing will droop down towards the mattress. This takes pressure off your joints and organs, and allows blood to flow more freely through your body.

You can even use this for resting in bed just reading or watching TV, and some customers report using one of the “legs” of the U-shape as a laptop perch.

And it is certainly a good pillow for nursing for new mothers who have recently given birth, as it will take the weight of the baby while keeping the baby in the position for breastfeeding.

The inner cover can also be zipped open to allow you to remove some of the filling if you wanted to make it less full.

The most obvious problem I see with this design is that it will prevent cuddles with your partner. 🙂

Also, the filling is a bit of a mission to add without making the pillow lumpy in some areas, basically moving the filling around the U-shape is not easy.

Mkicesky Orthopedic Sleeping Pillow

Best Pillow For Shoulder PainBest Pillow For Shoulder Pain

  • Best pillow for shoulder pain for the orthopedic and ergonomic design
  • Orthopedic and ergonomic design to ensure your neck and head is properly supported
  • Memory foam
  • Cervical Contour pillow
  • Bedtime Specialist Score: 4
  • 74% of people who bought this mattress rated it positive.

The Mkicesky Orthopedic pillow is made from memory foam and has a unique contour design with a hollow for your head, and an arc shape to support the head and neck curve.

The memory foam is CertiPUR certified so you don’t have to worry about dangerous chemicals.

This is a queen size, but they are also available in other sizes, including a Kids size.

The cover is removable and washable.

What I like about this pillow is that they give you some instructions on how to measure your neck to ensure you buy the best size pillow for your body.  

This is a bone of contention for me because very few manufacturers do that, so you have to guess.  And when buying a pillow in the hopes of alleviating shoulder pain, guessing is just plain stupid.

They also give a recommendation of 1-2 weeks of trial period as your body is adjusting to the new sleeping position.

The one complaint I think most people have is that this is a firm pillow, so if you are used to sleeping on a soft down or down alternative fluffy pillow, this will take some getting used to.

Conclusion

For me the Nature’s Guest Cervical Pillow is the best option for side and back sleepers. 

The design provides support for your neck in both positions, each side of the pillow accommodates a different size of head/neck so you don’t have to guess which size pillow to buy and hope for the best.  

The 30 day money back 100% satisfaction guarantee is just the cherry on the cake.

While the Mkicesky pillow is also a good option, I feel that it’s more targeted at back sleepers. While it does provide support for side sleepers, you have to make sure you move your head to the edges of the pillow to avoid the hollow in the middle meant for the back of your head.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, I have a guide to the best pillow for sleep apnea available here.

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