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The average person spends about
But for people with migraine, sleeping well can be a challenging feat because migraine and sleep disorders are often connected. According to a
Those who experience migraine may also have a higher risk of developing insomnia. That makes it all the more important to fight for a good night’s sleep.
While a pillow may not be a cure for migraine, it can help. After all, the last thing anyone with migraine needs is a pillow poorly impacting their cervical alignment, causing more head and neck pain. This can lead to more difficulty sleeping, which, as we’ve learned, may be a risk factor for migraine onset.
To help avoid this cycle, it’s important to find a pillow that works for you, supports your spinal alignment, and doesn’t add to your pain.
We’re here to help with a cheat sheet of the best pillows for people with migraine. Whether you’re looking for something soft and cozy or firm and cooling, we’ve got you covered.
Before we dive in, here’s a quick rundown of the different types of pillows you’ll see on our list.
Memory foam pillows react to pressure and heat, contouring to fit your head and neck when you lie on them. That can help minimize neck pain.
These pillows are made from either a solid piece of polyurethane foam or shredded foam. Solid foam will be firmer, while shredded foam is a happy medium between firm and squishy.
When you think of a soft, comfy pillow, you probably don’t think of buckwheat.
But stay with us! Pillows filled with buckwheat hulls (the outer shells of buckwheat seeds) can be surprisingly comfortable. They conform to the shape of your head and neck, evenly distributing weight.
Since buckwheat is all-natural, there’s no risk of the smelly off-gassing that can sometimes happen with foam — a huge plus if scents are one of your migraine triggers.
Buckwheat pillows are also super breathable and can last longer than some other types of pillows. And when it’s time for a new pillow, you can rest assured that buckwheat hulls are fully compostable.
Acupressure is an ancient practice used to treat pain, including headaches. Acupressure pillows have raised spikes that apply constant pressure as you rest.
While acupressure pillows take some getting used to, trying one may be worthwhile. A 2019 study of people with migraine found that self-administered acupressure helped reduce fatigue.
Water pillows are somewhat unconventional but can be super comfy. They’re also pretty customizable — you can control the firmness by adding or removing water.
Since they don’t have a high profile, they’re great for back sleepers.
While looking for the best pillows for people with migraine, we considered:
- Price. We’ve included pillows across price ranges to make sure we recommend pillows for every budget.
- Support. Pillows that are too fluffy may not offer enough support, so all the pillows on our list are at least medium-firm.
- Materials. We looked for pillows made with materials known for their contouring ability to support cervical alignment and keep their shape, which can help prevent and reduce neck pain. We’ve also included some pillows with cooling effects, which may offer some relief and help regulate your body temperature for better sleep.
- Reviews from people with migraine. All our pillow picks have positive reviews from people who experience migraine.
- $ = under $30
- $$ = $30–$60
- $$$ = over $60
- Best memory foam pillow: Tempur-Neck Pillow
- Best cooling pillow: The Hullo Buckwheat Pillow
- Best adjustable pillow: Mediflow Water Pillow
- Best hypoallergenic pillow: Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
- Best-value memory foam pillow: Epabo Contour Memory Foam Pillow
- Best acupressure pillow: Kanjō Acupressure Cervical Traction Wedge Pillow
- Best bolster: Nature’s Guest Cervical Roll Pillow
- Most innovative design: Coisum Contour Pillow
Best memory foam pillow
Why we love it: This memory foam pillow offers support for both back and side sleepers. It comes in three sizes, so you can customize it to your needs. Plus, it’s highly rated by reviewers who deal with migraine.
It’s a firm pillow that contours to your head and neck and is designed with extra height at the neck that makes it more ergonomic than most other pillows on the market. The cover is also washable.
Tempur-Pedic offers a 5-year warranty and free shipping.
What you should know: If you’ve had a Tempur-Neck pillow before and are looking to upgrade it, this one may be a little different from your last. Some loyal Tempur-Pedic customers say the OG pillow was a little better.
Best cooling pillow
The Hullo Buckwheat Pillow
Why we love it: This all-natural pillow is made from buckwheat hulls, which provide great airflow to keep your pillow cool all night.
Pro tip: If you’re in migraine mode, try putting the Hullo pillow in the freezer or refrigerator to cool it even more.
The cover is made with organic twill and comes in king, standard, and small sizes.
What you should know: The buckwheat hulls make a light rustling noise that may take a few nights to get used to. And because this pillow is flatter, it’s best for stomach and back sleepers.
It may not offer a high enough loft (the height of the pillow with the weight of your head lying on it) to support side sleepers. Using a too-flat pillow while on your side may lead to increased pressure around your shoulders and neck.
Best adjustable pillow
Mediflow Water Pillow
Why we love it: This pillow doesn’t give you that “floating on a lake” feeling, but it does provide firm support for your head and neck.
You can adjust the firmness by deciding how much water to add. This makes it an ideal pillow for combination sleepers because you can control the fill and experiment with the amount that best supports your neck in all positions.
The cover is made from 100 percent cotton that’s hypoallergenic. And the pillow is made in the USA.
What you should know: With the water, this pillow weighs around 8 pounds. The water fill creates a feel different from other pillows that can take some time to get used to, but Mediflow offers a 30-day trial.
Best hypoallergenic pillow
Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Why we love it: This pillow comes with a breathable cover made from hypoallergenic bamboo. The cover is also removable and machine washable.
The shredded memory foam provides a little more softness than solid memory foam pillows and allows for more airflow.
The fill comes inside a zippable inner shell that allows you to add and remove memory foam, adjusting to your preferred softness and plushness. More fill = firmer pillow.
What you should know: Some users found this pillow too soft.
Best-value memory foam pillow
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
Why we love it: At an extremely reasonable price point, this memory foam pillow offers support and comfort for both back and side sleepers. Memory foam is known to trap heat, so the cover is made with bamboo to help improve breathability.
As with the Tempur-Pedic neck pillow, the ergonomic design offers more height at the neck. But it comes at a more affordable price point.
What you should know: This pillow has a strong scent when first unwrapped. You might want to let it air out before using it.
Best acupressure pillow
Kanjō Acupressure Cervical Traction Wedge Pillow
Why we love it: When you think “pillow,” you probably don’t think of a bunch of plastic spikes. But customers report that this pillow really works.
The wedge shape helps maintain your cervical spine alignment while the plastic stimulators apply pressure to your neck, shoulders, and head.
The design is based on acupuncture methodologies to target acupressure points, applying pressure where you need it to help relax your neck muscles and reduce strain.
The inner core is made from dense, supportive memory foam, so the pillow won’t crumple under your weight. It’s also eligible for FSA and FHA funds.
What you should know: The plastic stimulators can feel sharp if you press them individually with your finger, so watch out!
Nature’s Guest Adjustable Cervical Roll Pillow
Why we love it: This pillow can act as an extra bolster just below your neck. The fill is adjustable, so you can customize the height and firmness to the level of support you need.
By adding lift under your neck and letting your head rest easily, it supports a neutral spine and may help relieve pressure and tension that can make migraine worse.
It can double as a leg and knee bolster when you need it. It does come at a higher price point, but you can get your money back within 30 days if you find it’s not for you.
What you should know: The rectangular shape means you can also turn the pillow for more height (similar to how a yoga block works). But some reviewers comment that it was too hard even after they removed some fill.
Most innovative design
Coisum Contour Pillow
Why we love it: This memory foam pillow has a dip in the center that allows your head to stay aligned with your neck, like many of the pillows on our list.
However, it also has a slight cutout on the bottom edge to fit your shoulders and help reduce pressure at the shoulders. The side ledges are designed as an armrest, so this pillow definitely pulls out the design stops to make you as comfortable as possible.
The cover is removable and washable.
What you should know: This pillow is best for back and side sleepers. Stomach sleepers likely need a flatter pillow to keep the head and neck aligned and avoid creating additional tension.
When shopping for a pillow to help alleviate migraine episodes, start by assessing your sleep patterns.
The exact loft you need in a pillow comes down to maintaining cervical alignment. If your head is too elevated and nudges your neck up out of alignment, then your pillow is too high and may contribute to neck pain.
If you move around a lot (looking at you, combination sleepers), finding the right pillow can be tricky since different lofts are best for different positions. In this case, it may be best to train yourself to sleep on your back, as this position supports a neutral spine and may reduce tension headaches.
Always look for a pillow that will provide great support for how you sleep. You might want to try something that’s contoured for head and neck support.
Also consider your migraine triggers, as well as what tends to help. For example, if you typically find that a cool cloth or ice pack helps your headaches, try looking for a cooling pillow. If you know scents bother you, look for a pillow that won’t off-gas a chemical smell.
Finding a supportive pillow can go a long way toward easing migraine episodes. Try one of these top picks to help you deal with pain and rest easy.