Rotator cuff surgery – Pillows for best relief

Rotator cuff surgery is usually done to repair a torn tendon in the shoulder. This procedure can be done with a large incision and with shoulder arthroscopy, that uses smaller incisions.

According to research statistics, approximately 500,000 rotator cuff surgeries and 50,000 total shoulder replacements are done in the United States alone every year.

As the probability of shoulder injury upsurges with age, these numbers are predicted to keep increasing in the foreseeable future. The major reason why is rotator cuff surgery so aching is the stiffness of the shoulder right after the surgery.

It is very common after surgery to have some rigidity since the operation caused the arm to be held without motion for a few days.

In this article, we have reviewed the best pillows based on user experiences. Hope these help you pick the best pillow after rotator cuff surgery.

How to sleep after rotator cuff surgery

Many patients complain of having trouble sleeping after the procedure.

Be Patient

You have to be patient because it is temporary. You can easily get through this. Recovery from rotator cuff surgery usually takes 4 to 6 weeks, during which people are in a sling. Sleeping becomes very easy even after you are out of the sling.

The following positions can help you in the first 4 to 6 hours may help you sleep better.

  • Try to sleep in a semi-reclined position

To get this position try to use a couple of pillows to support your lower back or a relaxed Lazy Boy style chair. As the healing process continues and your pain diminishes, you can adjust the chair or remove a pillow to gradually go back to the horizontal position. Another best option is to purchase a wedge pillow for use in the bed.

  • Try to sleep on your uninjured side

When trying to sleep in this position, use a couple of pillows behind you to prevent you from rolling over at night. You could also prop up your arm on a stack of pillows in front of you though lying on your side. Be sure to use soft natural pillows so your arm will sink in and not roll-off.

  • Sleep on your back

It is the best way to have wedge pillows on either side of you to stop you from rolling onto your healing shoulder. Moreover, popup your arm on pillows to enhance blood flow and endorse faster healing.

Below pillows after rotator cuff surgery are well researched. Each pillow has been rated for comfort during sleep, pain level during the day, hypoallergenic materials, ease of washing, and many more.

Cushy Form Bed-Wedge Pillow with Memory Foam

best pillow after rotator cuff surgery

This best wedge pillow is loved due to its traditional chiropractic-approved wedge shape. It lifts the head and neck on a supported slant so you stay aligned all over the night.

It converts your bed to a recliner, which then helps to provide support to your upper back and shoulders, all at the same time. Moreover, you can also use it to prop up your body while watching a movie, reading a book, or while resting on the couch or in bed.

It can also be used to prop up your legs. This helps to improve your general posture and spine alignment irrespective of whether you are lying down or resting on the couch.

The upper part of this memory foam sleep wedge pillow incorporates the memory foam into its design. This helps to improve your comfort and support.

The cover also helps to keep you in position by confirming that you don’t have to keep waking up all over the night to reposition your body. It is a fantastic pillow for preventing neck and shoulder pain.

It is also hypo-allergenic, so if you are suffering from allergies this is undeniably a great option.

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 9.8/10

What’s so good about it?

  • Improves the breathing of the patient
  • Lessens the accumulation of acid reflux
  • Provides ultimate support efficiently.
  • Helps to improve body posture.
  • Best at heat dissipation.
  • Provides 100% money-back assurance.

What’s not so good about it

  • Some of the users find this pillow to be too high and sturdy.

Lunix LX5 4pcs Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow Set, Post Surgery Memory Foam for Back, Neck and Leg Pain Relief

best pillow after rotator cuff surgery

The LX5 Bed Wedge Pillow System is designed to provide firm support for people who are recovering from surgery or can’t lie down due to pain or other medical symptoms.

It comes with a set of breathable cool and durable pillows to support the head back and legs.

This wedge pillow set is highly rated by all users because it can be adjusted according to personal needs.

This pillow can be used on the bed, couch and anywhere for a comfortable posture. It can be adjusted to any suit any height.

The memory foam is firm, comfortable and the inclusion of vacuum bags for easy travel/storage is a great bonus.

The unique velcro strap on the head pillow stops it from sliding and provides hours of comfort.

Well tested to reduce pressure and allow total relaxation while sitting or lying down

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 9.5/10

What’s so good about it?

  • Improves Blood Circulation
  • Excellent Quality – Designed in USA
  • Non-slip Cover – Removable and Washable
  • Medical Grade Support Foam
  • Velcro Strap to keep you positioned to one place
  • Good support to your neck and spine
  • Lifetime Guarantee

What’s not so good about it

  • Expensive when compared to other pillows but this is a entire pillow system with head and leg support making it worth the price

Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow Set, Post Surgery Memory Foam Pillow – 3pcs

best pillow after rotator cuff surgery

This 3pcs bed detachable wedge pillow is a must have after shoulder surgery and can be adjusted depending on your personal needs.

It comes with a premium bag which is easy to pack, store and is perfect while travelling as well.

The Linux bed wedge pillow is made of premium 45D memory foam and adapts to each ones body shape and height. It comes with a velcro strap to prevent sliding down.

Ideal pillow post surgery for those who cannot lay flat on their back.This pillow is designed to easily adjust for ease and comfort.

It comes with a detachable head pillow and can be used for extra neck and head support. The pillow is very soft to touch and very comfortable to sleep on.

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 9.4/10

What’s so good about it?

  • Comes with a travel bag
  • Pillow covers are machine washable
  • Excellent Customer Support
  • Has extra pillow for the neck
  • Can be put together in different ways

What’s not so good about it

  • Velcro on the pillow can irritate your skin

Flexicomfort Memory Foam Wedge Pillow for Sleeping with Adjustable Head Support Cushion – Post Surgery Pillow

Ideal pillow after rotator cuff surgery or leg surgery as this pillow can be used to elevate the upper body or legs. Made of high quality cushion thus making it durable.

The pillow is stiff and firm to offer the required back support while sitting or lying down.

Can be used in 7 different positions for various purposes.Comes with a head pillow which can be detached whenever required.

InteVision 400 Thread Count, 100% Egyptian Cotton Bed Wedge Pillowcase; Replacement Cover Designed to Fit The 12″ (Height) Version of The Foam Wedge Bed Pillow (25″ x 24″ x 12″)

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 9.3/10

What’s so good about it?

  • Great Quality
  • Heavy and doesnt move
  • Soft and Comfortable
  • Can be adjusted to different heights
  • Cover is soft and machine washable
  • Excellent Support

What’s not so good about it

  • Can be firm for some. If you are looking for something less stiff and firm this is not the recommended one.

Mattress Genie Adjustable Bed, Full Size, Alternative to Hospital Bed

The mattress genie inflatable bed wedge is a an inflatable piece which can help rise the mattress to get the necessary incline.

It is the most cost effective, hassle-free alternative to expensive adjustable beds.

For those who prefer a hospital bed set up this is the best alternative. Easy to set up and lasts long. Comes with a hand held remote to inflate and deflate it.

This wedge provides the required comfort after a surgery. Supports the back and helps maintain the ideal posture. Works on variety of mattresses.

This wedge can be used to elevate the foot of the bed too.

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 9.3/10

What’s so good about it?

  • Easy to assemble
  • Works on heavy mattress also
  • Inflates and deflates quickly
  • Great Price
  • Affordable when compared to an adjustable bed
  • Perfect for use for the recovery period.

What’s not so good about it

  • When a single person is sleeping on the inclined bed sleeping in the middle balances it perfectly. If not, it is uneven.

Uttu Memory Foam Sandwich Pillow

The “sandwich” element of the Uttu pillow is the inner core, plus a layer of supporting bamboo. According to verified users, the pillow provides sufficient strength while maintaining neck alignment.

The pillow can easily be adjusted to your choices. It is filled with high-quality 3 pounds dynamic® foam. It can align the neck with the shoulders in all sleeping positions.

The outer cover is made of bamboo wood, covering 60% polyester fiber and 40% bamboo. This cooling pillow can keep you cool overnight.

It has a removable and washable lid that is easy to clean. Users say that this pillow looks cool and keeps it cool. The breathable outer cover and natural bamboo interior are inflated, which is very suitable for allergy or asthma patients.

All materials have passed CertiPUR-US safety certification. The cover is easy to clean and remove. The company also provides an excellent 5-year warranty against manufacturer defects.

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 9.1/10

What’s so good about it?

  • Best for patients having shoulder pain.
  • The grille is removable and easy to clean
  • Layering provides ideal support and comfort
  • It conforms to your body’s natural curve and supports your head and neck to ensure comfort.
  • 4 adjustable heights so that you can find the perfect comfort

What’s not so good about it

  • More additional support for the arm would be ideal

Coisum Cervical Pillow

best pillow after rotator cuff surgery

Coisum Cervical pillow is a specially designed pillow for the people suffering from neck and shoulder pains, specifically after a shoulder injury.

It is the best pillow after rotator cuff surgery. This pillow is made of slow rebound memory foam. It provides medium-firm support to the back and the side sleepers.

This pillow cradles the head and neck in that way that the body gets aligned and takes off the pressure from the injured shoulder. Sleeping on one wing will let the curve of your shoulder fit in the cutout under the wings.

The pillowcase is made from breathable and hypoallergenic polyester fiber that keeps the pillow cool. It has a skin-friendly pillowcase that can be removed and washed.

The best thing about this pillow is that it is mold-resistant. Try not to expose the pillow to sunlight or water. It will damage the pillow. It’s also best for people with sensitivities. The memory foam is CertiPUR-US certified and best for sleeping.

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 9.0/10

What’s so good about it?

  • It has high-quality Memory Foam
  • Orthopedic Contour
  • Measures 24.4x15x4.3 inches
  • It weighs 3.44 pounds
  • It is hypoallergenic
  • It is breathable

What’s not so good about it

  • It is not adjustable

Milemont Memory Foam Pillow

best pillow after rotator cuff surgery

This top-rated side sleep pillow is Amazon’s favorite. Its orthopedic contours provide maximum stress relief and improve sleeping posture.

The memory foam can support the neck curve of the neck while having enough cushioning properties; it can melt the neck, shoulders, and spine pain

It has two sizes, so you can choose the width and height that best suits your body.

Upon arrival, the pillow may emit a non-toxic smell due to the manufacturing process, which will dissipate after opening the package.

The pillowcase is machine washable but can be spin-dried on a low setting to ensure comfort.

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 9.0/10

What’s so good about it?

  • Even weight distribution
  • Designed for side sleeping
  • These pillows have a perfect height and a medium-firm feel, designed to provide maximum comfort and support for people in all sleeping positions.
  • Best for patients having shoulder surgery
  • The double-layer pillowcase design makes it easier to clean.
  • More than 65% 4*+ reviews on Amazon

What’s not so good about it

  • Some people find it super thin and clumpy.

SilverBack Wedge Pillow

best pillow after rotator cuff surgery

This pillow is made from a high-quality 2 inches’ memory foam on the top and 5.5 inches’ base foam made of premium grade Polyurethane. This wedge pillow is 26 inches large, 25 inches wide, and 7.5 inches high to provide maximum support to the body, so it is the best pillow after rotator cuff surgery.

It is good for inclined sleeping after surgery. It elevates the body to the height that reduces compression on the shoulders. This elevation also helps to control snoring, acid reflux, and heartburn.

The pillow is encased in a bamboo cooling cover which is hypoallergenic and dust mite repellent. The cover of this wedge pillow is removable and washable.

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 8.9/10

What’s so good about it?

  • It has a high-quality memory foam
  • Anti-snore
  • It is wide and large
  • It is hypoallergenic
  • Measures 25″ W x 26″ L x 7.5″ H
  • It weighs 3.64 pounds
  • 100% certification guaranteed

What’s not so good about it

  • May not be super comfortable for some users if this is the first time using wedge pillow.

Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow

best pillow after rotator cuff surgery

​Contour memory foam pillows provide outstanding comfort for all types of ailments. Sleep Innovations used this formula and have designed a pillow that offers superior support to the neck and shoulder.

As this pillow is made of memory foam, it will adapt itself according to the contour of your neck, back, and shoulder. It will give proper placement to your posture without hindering the quality of sleep and also lessen the pain.

Apart from adapting itself to your body, the memory foam pillow itself is contoured so that your neck will accurately align with your body in any snoozing position. You can easily customize the comfort level of the pad.

The height of the contour can easily be customized, depending on your condition. The pillow has a detachable and washable cover.

It can easily be compressed and packed in a small vacuum bag. This does not mean that it will affect the eminence of the pillow. Memory foam pillows can easily be compressed, and they will maintain their original position if rested for 24 hours.

There can be a slight odor after unpacking the pillow. It is not harmful and will vanish very quickly. It is the best pillow after rotator cuff surgery. It is available in three different designs; travel, standard, and queen.

The disadvantage of using this pillow is that the contour height can be uncomfortable for some users. Even after customization, you may feel the height of the hump is too high. One more drawback of using this pillow is that it gets flat after some months.

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 8.8/10

What’s so good about it?

  • Best memory foam pillow
  • It is contoured to support the neck and back
  • It provides excellent comfort
  • It has a washable cover

What’s not so good about it

  • It has flattening issues

Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Full Size Body Pillow

best pillow after rotator cuff surgery

The pillow is widely known as one of the best pillows for shoulder and neck pain. This pillow is one of the most searched products all over the internet. All these attributes are due to its high-quality build and outstanding comfort.

The pillow is composed of various materials. Memory foam, the main element is overwhelmed in layers of micro vented viscose bamboo along with polyester.

The foam pieces are interlocked so that it will make a breathable environment. The materials used in this memory foam pillow are environment-friendly.

It does not contain any ozone depleters, toxic chemicals, and PBDE flame retardants. It doesn’t contain any heavy metals like lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates. However, it comprises meager amounts of volatile organic compounds.

The best feature of this memory foam pillow is that it does not go flat even after multiple uses. This pillow can be used as a great stress buster for pregnant women.

With an average dimension of 20 X 54 inches, it is a flawless partner for you at night. Another best feature of this pillow is that it is machine washable. You can easily wash this entire pillow.

It is ideal for those who sleep on their back, side, and in between. It provides excellent comfort in all sleeping positions and will not change your posture.

Our Rating

We rate this pillow 8.5/10

What’s so good about it?

  • It provides excellent build quality
  • It is best for everyone including pregnant women
  • It contains machine washable pillow
  • It has customizable dimensions
  • Comprises of hypoallergenic materials

What’s not so good about it

  • Some users find it too high and firm.

BODESY Contour Memory Foam Bed Pillow for Sleeping

If you need a pillow that helps you align your spine, then this Milemont standard size memory foam pillow may surprise you. The pillow’s contour helps align the spine and relieves head, shoulders, and neck pain. While accomplishing all these tasks, it can retain its original shape.

This pillow is best for relieving shoulder and neck pain and improving sleep quality.

It has a standard size, it is neither too big nor too small. That is another pillow certified by CertiPUR-US, the core of which is high-quality memory foam. You can easily adjust the amount of pressure applied to your neck and head while sleeping.

Also, the foam has been calibrated to provide the right balance between comfort and support. All of these can meet any needs of everyone who uses it.

What’s so good about it?

  • The pillow’s contour helps align the spine and relieve head, shoulder, and neck pain.
  • It has been certified by CertiPUR-US, the core of which is high-quality memory foam.
  • The manufacturer provides a 10-year warranty for the product.

What’s not so good about it

  • The smell can be strong for the first few days

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal to have bicep pain after rotator cuff surgery?

Your arm may become immobilized for four to six weeks. You might also be in a sling for a week or so far. You may feel drained and have some pain for some days. Your arm might become swollen, but the swelling should go down a slight each day.

Can you sleep on your side after rotator cuff surgery?

It is best to have wedge pillows on either side of you to stop you from rolling onto your healing shoulder. Also, popup your arm on a pillow to enhance blood flow and endorse faster healing.

Can you retear your rotator cuff after surgery?

Regardless of advancements in surgical technique, retear of earlier repaired rotator cuff tendon is a fairly common problem. Though functional outcomes do not always compare with the structural integrity after a repair, many studies stated superior outcomes in intact tendons compared to re-torn ones.

Read Also: Best pillows for shoulder pain

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