The Absolute 8 Best Pillows For Tension Headaches [2021 Reviews]
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We spend about 30% of our time on earth sleeping, or at least that’s what we should ideally do, but sometimes tension headaches, sometimes called stress headaches, get in our way.
Getting a good night’s sleep literally fixes our minds and bodies. Physical and emotional well-being are directly correlated with getting a decent amount of quality sleep everyday.
What if the opposite happens, and every time you go to bed, you wake up with a sore neck, stiff shoulders, and an annoying headache? This would definitely take its toll on all your other activities. The day would drag on, and by night time the long-awaited rest would remain elusive.
A good solution for this is looking at the whole of your daytime and nighttime routines. Sometimes you need to make major changes in your lifestyles to be able to sleep well, and sometimes the answer is simply to upgrade to a pillows that helps relieve tension headaches.
Having struggled with these tension headaches for quite a while, we happened to know some pillows that actually help make things better! Here’s a roundup of the 8 best pillows for tension headaches, with a full explanation of how and why they work. Read-on!
Can You Really Get a Headache From Uncomfortable Pillow Pressure?
Tension headache can be triggered by several factors, and pillow pressure seems to top the list. The exact reason is still the subject of research and clinical studies. However, there’s a conviction that uncomfortable sleep eventually leads to tension headaches.
The base of the neck is the part of our heads that comes into contact with a pillow the most. It’s also where a bundle of muscles and nerves are located. These suboccipital muscles are easily affected by any misalignment in the pillows. And once they become strained and fatigued, the pain is quickly referred to the head, initiating tension headaches.
The symptoms of tension headache are often a feeling of tightening all around the head, or an increasing pain on both sides of the temples. It could also present as a consistent ache in the head, jaws, neck, and shoulders. The level of pain ranges from inconvenient to intolerable.
This kind of headache is different from other types of migraines, which usually come with nausea, throbbing, or a concentrated pain in specific parts of the head. The wrong pillow that lacks sufficient support, or doesn’t provide comfort, usually leads to that kind of headache.
Our Comprehensive Reviews of the Top 8 Pillows For Tension Headaches
There are several types of pillows designed to give comfort and support for folks like us who struggle with tension headaches.
This roundup contains the ones that really work, top-rated and tested by consumers. As you browse through them, you’ll find that they come at all kinds of price points, so they’ll also fit every budget. Hopefully, you’ll find the right pillow to relieve your tension headaches today.
This pillow has the perfect balance between firm support and luxurious comfort. It wouldn’t lift your head unnecessarily to the point of straining your neck. At the same time, you wouldn’t find your head sagging and bending inside a dipping pillow. You’d be able to sleep with your back straight throughout the night.
The Coop Home Goods pillow is quite versatile and suits all sleeping positions. That’s because you could control not only the amount of foam filling, but also where the pillow needs to be more firm, and where it’s a bit airier.
The adjustable and accommodating Coop pillow clearly minimizes head, neck, and back discomfort. Which in turn decreases the main reasons for tension headaches. It’s a bit expensive but gives a lot of value for the money. This is also one of the top-rated hypoallergenic pillows!
- Adjustable firmness
- Suits all sleeping positions
- Hypoallergenic materials
- Dust mite resistant
- Free from harmful chemicals
- Quality certified
- Cover is made from soft breathable fabric
- There’s a larger king size option
- Comes with a bonus of free foam fill
- Full refund within first 100 nights
- Has a 5-year warranty
- The pillow has a strong smell
- Somewhat expensive pillow
This odd-looking pillow is actually great for relieving the stress that you acquired all day long. It doesn’t just provide support in general, but it targets specific areas that are more susceptible to fatigue. Even the arms have a resting spot in that well designed pillow.
It’s well-suited for back or side sleepers, as long as you can target the right grooves and locations for your head, neck, and shoulders.
It’s also helpful for the folks who start snoring when their heads are tilted in a certain way. The memory foam plus the contours of the pillow minimize this issue, in addition to assisting natural healthy breathing during sleep.
The Misiki pillow is particularly useful to people who spend a lot of time in front of screens. Like students and IT specialists. And it certainly helps with tension headaches.
- Relieves pain from head, neck, and shoulders
- Made from high-quality semi-hard memory foam
- Ergonomic design
- Pillowcase is soft and easy on the skin
- Covering is hygienic and easy to clean
- Made entirely from synthetic materials
- Looks a bit unusual
This pillow is also ergonomic, and it’s designed to help with supporting the cervical area. But unlike the Misiki pillow, it has a rather familiar shape. It might not have all the contours either, but it comes at a more economical price.
All trade offs considered, the OCESOPH is a great option if you are a side or back sleeper, who doesn’t suffer too severely from migraines or back pain.
- Memory foam responds to body shape and weight
- Designed ergonomically for comfort and support
- Visually appealing
- Not suitable for stomach sleepers
- Needs aeration before use to dilute its heavy foam scent
- The cover is hand-washed only
If you get frequent tension headaches as a result of pressure points while you're sleeping, then you should consider the Royal Therapy pillow. The TRUFOAM filling ensures firm support of your head and neck, while providing total comfort.
It also helps with spinal alignment, so it decreases the strain and fatigue in other parts of the back. It was observed that this pillow reduced the constant tossing and turning people naturally do when they’re not comfortable.
The bamboo covering is capable of heat dissipating, which reduces thermal buildup during sleep. This in turn helps with rest and relaxation.
- Made from odor-free memory foam
- Hypoallergenic materials
- Durable and resists deformation
- Looks like a regular pillow
- Comes in two sizes, king and queen
- Moderately priced
- A bit too firm for some people
- Would be uncomfortable for stomach sleepers
This pillow is carved out from high quality memory foam to fit the neck and head to the nines. It’s supportive in a caring way, which contributes to better sleep and brighter mornings. It’s a highly versatile pillow, and fits all kinds of sleeping positions.
There are four available sizes to suit your specific requirements. Furthermore, the Milemont pillows come in three slightly different colors; white, off-white, and blue-white, so you can pick the one closest to your style.
The polyester cover is hypoallergenic and easy to clean. It has a zipper on the side, and you can machine wash it to keep it constantly fresh and hygienic.
- Contoured to fit the upper body ergonomically
- The core is made from CertiPUR
- Good ventilation through the Air Cell technology memory foam
- Uses premium quality US-certified memory foam
- Alleviates pressure points on the neck
- Comes with a 10-year warranty
- Has a 30-day refund period
- Exposure to the sun could spoil this pillow
- The foam odor stays for a while
The cooling gel and flexible memory foam provide a rich sleeping experience. A soft medium with firm support, expected to bring about hours of deep regenerative sleep. It’s also one of the few pillows designed to accommodate all kinds of sleeping positions.
Side and back sleepers usually have all the good options, while stomach sleepers need to search a bit more for a suitable pillow. Some people are constantly changing their sleeping patterns throughout the night, snd for these folks, the Nesaila would be a great option.
The cover is easily removable for cleaning, but you might need to hand wash it. That’s because it’s a composite fabric. It’s designed to give effective ventilation, as well as to keep the sleeper cooled and fresh.
- Looks like regular pillows
- Even distribution of supporting gel-memory foam
- Helps in alleviating upper back stiffness
- Suits all kinds of sleepers
- Double-layered cover
- Comes in two colors
- It’s a pricey pillow
The Mediflow pillow is a relatively recent technological contribution. That’s why several people assume that it would be like sleeping on a water balloon, feelling the occasional leak, or lulling on a pond all night long. It’s actually none of these things. Just comfort and firm support.
The water is at the core of the pillow, right in the middle of a generous layer of memory foam. It’s placed there to assist the pillow in responding to the sleeper’s form. So even if you toss and turn a lot, the Mediflow would keep up, and stay supportive.
The firmness of the Mediflow is easily adjustable by adding or reducing water. As for the ventilation, that’s achieved through the usage of European memory foam that keeps you cool and refreshed at all times.
The outer shell is made from 100% cotton, and this softness certainly adds to the comfort of the pillow. It’s hypoallergenic and quite easy to maintain.
The mediflow is adaptable to all sleeping positions. So side, back, and stomach sleepers should be happy with it. Moreover, thanks to its water core, it doesn’t take time at all to readjust to the new sleeping position.
- Takes the shape of the sleeper
- Accommodates movement while sleeping
- Provides extra support for the cervical area
- Adjustable water filling for optimal firmness
- The water adds extra weight to the pillow
- It’s a bit too firm and high for some people
The snuggle-pedic is without a doubt the grand finale for this roundup. As it name implies, it’s the go to option if you’re after comfort and snuggling, in addition to being fully compliant with orthopedic requirements.
Simplicity works best, and this pillow managed to provide all the right features, while keeping things easy and straightforward. So if you want more firmness on the side or in the middle, compress it with your hands. You’d like a lighter area, fluff it up and spread the foam the way you would a regular pillow. That’s all. No fuss!
The materials used in making this pillow are all prime quality, from the memory foam that holds its shape, to the soft and breathable fabric that doesn’t become annoyingly hot. This comes at a cost of course, but all things considered, the hefty price tag is totally justified.
Cleanliness is a must with all the bedding stuff. And here’s another lovely feature in the Snuggle-Pedic; you can wash the whole pillow in the washing machine. Just the way you wash clothes, no special treatment needed. Then, a few minutes in the dryer would get it to top shape. This is a huge plus!
- Self-adapting design to fit the body contours
- Optional puffing up of certain areas for more support
- Pressure-relieving technology for CPAP and better breathing
- Suitable for various sleeping styles
- Prime-quality memory foam retains its shape
- "Kool-Flow" extra breathable Micro-Vented pillow case
- Bamboo fabric soft and lush covering
- Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant
- Fully machine washable
- Free from harmful chemicals
- 20-year warranty
- 120 days refund period
- Comes in three sizes
- The chemical smell lingers on for a while
- It’s a bit on the expensive side
Our Conclusion on Tension Headache Pillows
There you have it!
An elaborate roundup and reviews of the best pillows for tension headaches and their individual reviews. The difference between insomnia driven by painful headaches and beauty sleep could be a simple action like upgrading your pillow.
You might be wondering which one is my absolute favorite from all of these fine selections...
The answer isn’t that easy, since they all come with obvious perks. However, our top recommendation is the Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow.
It has the best combination of comfort, support, and ease of adjustment to your personal sleeping style. On top of that, it has the highest quality and durability. However, all 8 pillows recommended and reviewed here are all great options to help relive tension headaches.
Hello! My name is James, a researcher of pillows and getting a great night’s sleep with over 10 years of experience! Graduate of the University of Kansas with a Physiology Degree. I enjoy writing, camping, reading, traveling abroad, swimming, and educational research. Contact me at the social links below!