What's The Best Sleep Position After Shoulder Surgery?

Updated October, 2020
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Directly after surgery, you want to stay on your back. If possible, sleep on a recline or surround yourself with pillows, so you don't accidentally roll over and hurt your recovering shoulder. After a few weeks you can try out other sleep positions (like sleeping on your side with your injured shoulder in the air).

Stomach sleepers

Stomach sleepers will want to change up their patterns after any kind of shoulder surgery. Sleeping on your stomach increases the likelihood of using your elbow to move around. This creates strain in the upper arm.


  • Helps with snoring


  • Excessive strain on joints and muscles
  • Exacerbates back problems
  • Can agitate your repaired shoulder, resulting in aches and pain

Back sleepers

Sleeping on your back allows you to maintain a neutral position all night. You can't put any strain on your arms and shoulders. After shoulder surgery, sleeping on your back on a recline is the ideal position.


  • Even body weight distribution
  • Prevents additional strain


  • Discomfort if you don't support your shoulder with pillows
  • Can add some cost to recovery if you purchase extra pillows or a reclining chair

Side sleepers

You should only return to side sleeping a few weeks after surgery. Your shoulder can't get the support it needs, and you don't want to risk turning over in the night and sleeping on the side that just underwent surgery.


  • Improvement in circulation
  • Ease of pain with proper support


  • Increased shoulder pain
  • Bad posture

Combination sleepers

Many people go through cycles in a single night when they sleep on their stomachs, backs, and sides. After surgery, you want to stay in one spot. You don't want to risk rolling over on your recovering shoulder.


  • Benefit from each sleeping position advantage


  • Risk of rolling on shoulder
  • Difficulty maintaining spinal alignment

Will a new mattress help me recover?

If your mattress is old or worn out, buying a new one can help you recover more quickly. Getting the peaceful rest your body needs every night is essential to an effective, speedy recovery process.

Competitor #1 - Ghostbed Mattress

  • Made from both latex and memory foam. Medium-firmness is ideal for those recovering after surgery. You can't sink into this bed!
  • Twin: $495. Queen: $795. King: $975.

Competitor #2 - Brooklyn Bedding Mattress - Aurora Hybrid

  • Combination of materials makes for proper compression and excellent bounce. Also comes with a cooling layer for anyone who sleeps hot. One of the highest-value mattresses you can find on the market.
  • Twin: $999. Queen: $1,699. King: $2,124.

Competitor #3 - Leesa Mattress

  • Offers deep compression. While it's only 10 inches thick, it feels a lot thicker thanks to various materials working with one another. Promotes airflow so that you don't sweat too much at night.
  • Twin: $595. Queen: $1,095. King: $1,195.

Where can I find a great, affordable mattress (in 2020)?

If you're searching for an affordable mattress that offers a wide range of comfort and pressure relief, we've compiled a list of mattresses for you to consider:

  1. Saatva Mattress - fantastic for all sleep positions, and is rated our Best Mattress of 2020.
  2. Idle Sleep - great for responsive pressure relief.
  3. Puffy - feels like you're sleeping on a cool cloud (at a good price).
  4. Ghostbed - beautiful, plush cover w/ aerated latex and healthy spinal alignment.
  5. Winkbeds - 3-stage back relief with free shipping and returns.

Read our short, well-researched 10 Best Mattresses of 2020, here. Our ultimate goal is to help you pick your perfect mattress online, today!

Get $200 off, purchases over $1000!

Saatva is our top pick for the #1 mattress in 2020! They're a luxury bed shipped directly to your door (with white-glove delivery), and over 50,000 reviews.

Check Price →
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