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Research suggests that poor sleep quality can cause migraine and that pillows are important for comfortable sleep. Choosing the right pillow may help prevent or ease migraine episodes, although no single type of pillow is best for migraine.
People should choose a pillow that will suit their individual needs and preferences.
This article explores how pillows can help with migraine and how to choose a pillow. It also offers a list of products and discusses alternative treatments for migraine and when to contact a doctor.
- Best overall pillow for migraine: TEMPUR-Neck Pillow
- Best buckwheat pillow for migraine: Hullo Buckwheat Pillow
- Best contoured pillow for migraine: Dosaze Contoured Orthopedic Pillow
- Best wedge pillow for migraine: Kanjo Acupressure Cervical Traction Wedge Pillow
- Best water pillow for migraine: Mediflow Original Fiber Water Pillow
- Best memory foam pillow for migraine: OCESOPH Memory Foam Pillow
- Best adjustable pillow for migraine: SpineAlign Pillow
Research into the impact of pillows on migraine is limited. However, manufacturers of certain types of pillows claim that these help prevent headaches and migraine episodes by aligning the spine and relieving pressure from the neck and shoulders.
A person may wish to consider the following when purchasing a pillow:
- loft, or height
- warranty and returns
The right pillow material may be different for everyone. A person should ensure that the pillow is comfortable yet offers enough firmness. Also, the pillow should provide sufficient support for the neck and shoulders.
Medical News Today chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:
- Certification: MNT chooses products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
- Size: MNT selects products that are available in various sizes.
- Material and fill: MNT chooses products that use different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleeping positions and lifestyles.
- Budget: MNT features products that are suitable for a wide range of budgets.
- Firmness (only applicable to some products): MNT selects mattresses that are available in a variety of firmness options to suit most people’s sleeping positions.
- Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial.
- Shipping: MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers to and whether shipping is free.
- Warranty and return policy: MNT will choose products that carry warranties and clear returns policies.
Below, we list some of the best pillows for migraine people may wish to consider.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
Best overall pillow for migraine
This product uses TEMPUR material, which has an extra-firm feel. The pillow maintains its shape to help support and relax the neck and shoulders.
Tempur-Pedic claims that this pillow is suitable for side and back sleepers.
The cover of the pillow is a hypoallergenic polyester knit and is removable and washable.
A person cannot return this pillow. However, the product has a 5-year warranty, and the shipping is free.
The pillow comes in three sizes:
- Small: $109
- Medium: $119
- Large: $149
Best buckwheat pillow for migraine
This pillow contains United States-grown buckwheat hulls. The company claims that this provides natural head and neck support, promoting healthy spinal alignment.
A person can add or remove the buckwheat hulls to adjust the pillow’s height. Buckwheat allows airflow, so this pillow may suit hot sleepers.
The case of the pillow uses 100% organic cotton twill, and the pillow contains no animal products.
The company offers a 60-night money back guarantee, and individuals can choose from three pillow sizes:
- Small: $59
- Medium: $99
- Large: $159
Best contoured pillow for migraine
This memory foam pillow has a contour to help naturally support a person’s neck curvature. The company claims this helps manage pain while supporting spinal alignment. It also notes that this product is suitable for all types of sleepers.
The memory foam has CertiPUR-US certification, and the fabric is antimicrobial and naturally cooling.
The company offers a 3-year warranty and a 60-night sleep trial.
The pillow costs $129.99, with bundle discounts available.
Best wedge pillow for migraine
This pillow has small spikes that target acupressure points to help alleviate pain, including headaches and migraine. The company also claims that the pillow may help with blood flow and circulation.
Kanjo states it uses 100% organic cotton linen, coconut fiber, and BPA-free plastic stimulators.
A person can return this item within 30 days of purchase. The dimensions of the pillow are 14 inches (in) x 6 in x 6 in.
The pillow costs $40, with bundle discounts available.
Best water pillow for migraine
This hypoallergenic pillow contains fiber floating on top of a thin layer of water. In addition to the water pouch, the pillow has a polyester fiber layer and a cotton shell.
The company claims that this pillow may help with neck pain and improve sleep quality.
The water filling adjusts to a person’s movement during sleep. An individual can adjust the firmness by adding or removing water.
The dimensions are 20 in x 28 in, and the pillow will fit a queen size pillowcase.
The company provides a 3-year warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
This pillow costs $49.95, with bundle discounts available.
Best memory foam pillow for migraine
This product uses slow-rebound memory foam. According to the company, the design of the pillow supports the neck, shoulders, back, and head and is suitable for all sleeping positions.
The pillow has a memory foam core and Tyvek polyester outer case, which the manufacturer claims is breathable and resistant to water and bacteria.
The dimensions are 14.8 in x 7.52 in x 7.24 in.
There is no information available regarding warranty or returns.
This pillow costs around $39.99 on Amazon.
Best adjustable pillow for migraine
This product uses CertiPUR-US shredded foam, and the cover is made from polyester with mesh strips. A person can adjust the firmness of the pillow by adding or removing the foam.
The shape of this pillow promotes natural head and neck alignment. The manufacturer recommends this pillow for back and side sleepers.
The dimensions of this product are 24 in x 17 in x 5 in.
The pillow comes with a 60-night sleep trial and 5-year warranty.
This pillow costs $165.
An individual may be able to treat their migraine using pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. This tends to be most effective when a person takes this type of medication at the first signs of migraine.
Doctors can also prescribe medications called triptans. These work by reversing the effects of migraine in the brain, and a person may take these alongside other pain relievers.
Alternatively, doctors may recommend antiemetic medication.
An individual should consult a doctor if:
- their migraine symptoms are severe
- they have migraine more than 5 days per month
- their migraine episodes interfere with daily activities
- regular pain relief medication does not help with their migraine
Sleep quality is important for everyone, but it is even more important for those experiencing migraine, as good quality sleep may help relieve and prevent migraine symptoms. Finding the right pillow may help manage migraine episodes and headaches.
A pillow should support the neck and head to help relieve pressure and ensure a restful sleep.
A person may wish to purchase a pillow with adjustable firmness to fit with their preferences. They may also wish to consider which material they find most comfortable.