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The average person spends about one-third of their life sleeping. That means a supportive and comfortable sleep setup is super important — for everyone.
But for people with migraine, it’s even more important, since sleep can help headache pain.
That said, 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 into it, 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 it. That can help minimize neck pain.
These pillows are made from either a solid piece of polyurethane foam or from 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. When they’re on their last leg, 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 they take some getting used to, trying an acupressure pillow 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, since 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:
- reviews from people with migraine
- $ = under $30
- $$ = $30–$60
- $$$ = over $60
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.
What you should know: If you’ve had a Tempur-Neck pillow before, and you’re looking to upgrade it, keep in mind that this one may be a little different from your last. Some loyal Tempur-pedic customers thought 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.
What you should know: The buckwheat hulls make a light rustling noise that may take a few nights to get used to.
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.
What you should know: With the water, this pillow weighs around 8 pounds.
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 shredded memory foam gives a little more softness than solid memory foam pillows provide.
What you should know: Some users found this pillow too soft.
Best value pillow
OCESOPH 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. The zippered cover goes on and off smoothly for laundering.
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 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.
What you should know: The plastic stimulators can feel sharp if you press them individually with your finger, so watch out!
When shopping for your own pillow to help alleviate migraine attacks, start by assessing your sleep patterns.
Are you a back sleeper? A side sleeper? Do you toss and turn, or do you lie still? Look for a pillow that’ll 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 icepack 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 when it comes to easing migraine attacks. Try one of these top picks to help deal with pain and rest easy.