Having a migraine is no fun. When they are severe, migraines can leave you bedridden and extremely sensitive to light and noise. The best pillows for migraines are usually designed to realign your spine while offering comfortable support to your neck and head with the aim of providing pain relief and reducing your symptoms.
To keep your health in check, it is critical to seek medical help if your migraine symptoms worsen or persist over days, weeks or even months. If you are concerned you may be suffering from a migraine, it is important to take action quickly so that it does not get worse. Some of the most common migraine symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Throbbing or pulsing pain in face, neck and/or head
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Blurred vision
Keep in mind that a migraine is different than a headache, as the symptoms are typically more severe and usually last longer. Worst case scenario, you just have to suffer through a migraine until it passes. But, it’s always worth it to go through all measures when you’re in that much pain, and that means using pain-reducing products to attack the migraine head-on.
Best Migraines Pillows by Category
Because staying in bed is frequently the only way we can find migraine relief, we’ve reviewed some of the best pillows for migraines to keep your mega-headache at bay. It is important to use a pillow that aligns your body properly, otherwise you might wake up with tension from your shoulders up. Even worse, if you already have a headache or a migraine, using the wrong type of bed pillow can make the pain feel more severe.
Side sleepers commonly toss from one side to another throughout the night, which is why it is critical for them to find a pillow that will adjust to their every move. Mediflow’s water pillow is the perfect option for side sleepers looking for an elevated comfort experience, especially when they feel the effects of a migraine headache.
Sleepers will benefit from the water pillow’s unique structure. The pillow is built with a water base, followed by a fillable layer, where sleepers can choose the firmness level and the support type they want: memory foam, down and so forth.
A pillow with a water base, like this one from Mediflow, works carefully to support the head and neck by creating a flowing foundation that moves with the sleeper’s movements. Side sleepers who suffer from migraines will find the Mediflow water pillow to improve their sleep through its nonstop effort to provide contouring support to the neck, shoulders and head. This will also come in handy for pain relief and help promote proper posture during rest.
- Uses Water-Based Technology for Neck Pain Relief
- Suitable for All Sleeping Positions
- Great for Headaches
- Made by Mediflow
- Standard Size
- Available in Single, Twin and Value Packs
- Hypoallergenic Cotton Cover
- 3-Year Warranty
If you feel like you have tried everything when it comes to sleeping with migraines and have yet to find a solution then maybe you should try something new. The CBD Pillow uses an innovative technique, called microencapsulation, that stitches micro capsules of CBD oil into the pillows inner case. The micro droplets break under pressure during the night to release the CBD oil as you sleep.
While research on the relationship between CBD and sleep is limited, many verified buyers have reported that the CBD pillow helped ease regular neck and head pains that they had otherwise struggled to deal with. The pharmaceutical grade, hemp-based CBD is released via microdoses throughout the night as you move during your sleep. This provides you with a consistent level of CBD for the entirety of your slumber, unlike topical or oral CDB products. The pillow comes with a 30 day free trial period in which you can return your pillow for a free refund.
- Customizeable Fill Level
- Average of 150mg of CBD in Every Pillow
- Non-psychoactive – Certified Less Than 0.3% THC
- Federally Legal to Ship to All 50 States
- 30 Day Trial Period
- Dimensions: 30″ x 20″ x 5″
- Weight: approx. 2.5 lbs.
- Removable, Machine Washable Cover
- 6 Month CBD Effectivness
- Replaceable CBD Pillowcases Available
Best Pillow for Migraine - Overall
Milemont Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
If you’re looking for a good pillow for pain relief that you can also use every day, this pillow from Milemont will do the trick. Made with 100% CertiPUR-US certified shredded memory foam, it provides a soft, contouring surface to rest your head on while you sleep and is a step up from an ordinary bed pillow. If you frequently suffer from headaches or migraines, this pillow might be the go-to option for help with pain relief.
This shredded memory foam pillow will feel great for headaches, as it provides support that doesn’t feel too firm. For added alleviation, the outer cover is soft and hypoallergenic, so you’ll never have to worry about feeling discomfort or smelling the memory foam. And, no matter what position you sleep in, this pillow will keep you comfortable while relieving pressure throughout your neck, shoulders and head.
- Suitable for All Sleeping Positions
- Promotes Spine Alignment
- Textured Cover
- Great for Relieving Neck Pain
- Made by Milemont
- 28″ x 18″
- 2 Colors Available
- 100% CertiPUR-US Certified Shredded Memory Foam
Best Contoured Pillow for Neck Pain
Polar Sleep Contoured Neck & Cervical Pillow
With a migraine often comes neck pain, and that’s why we’ve included this support pillow from Polar Sleep. Unlike most memory foam pillows, this pillow is designed to provide targeted neck support through its special curved design while it also keeps your head in place and your spine aligned.
If you feel pain in your neck and shoulder area, it’s important to make sure your posture is as aligned as it can be, and this pillow can help with that. As you rest your head in the curved middle portion of the pillow, your shoulders will feel firm memory foam support from the rest of the pillow. This way, you are bringing comfort to all areas that may be feeling the effects of your migraine. You won’t feel the need to toss and turn so much with a curved neck pillow, especially one that offers temperature-regulating memory foam.
- Removable Cover
- Ideal for Back and Stomach Sleepers
- Promotes Temperature Regulation
- Targets and Relieves Neck Pain
- Made by Polar Sleep
- 23.5″ x 13.5″ x 4.2″
- CertiPUR-US Certified and OEKO-TEX Certified Memory Foam Interior
- Cover Material: 60% Polyester, 40% Bamboo
Gel Cooling Pillow for Migraine Relief
Classic Brands Cooling Gel Pillow
Applying cool pressure is one of the most common migraine remedies, and it can be extremely effective. Even science says so. A cooling pillow like this one from Classic Brands can bring instant relief when you have a migraine, as it promotes constant temperature regulation. The cooling side comes with a textured gel layer that will ensure body heat does not build up. It’s a great alternative if you’d rather avoid having cold, wet washcloths in your bed. Plus, if you change your mind and don’t want to feel the cooling effect, you can simply flip your pillow over, as this pillow comes with just one side of cooling gel.
The pillow’s hypoallergenic cover ensures the pillow stays sanitary and can be washed as needed. As a medium-firm pillow, this is one of the best pillows for all sleeping positions and is perfect for sleepers who sleep hot. Sleeping with a migraine can be achievable with this cooling pillow.
- Removable Cover
- Suitable for All Sleeping Positions
- Cooling, Textured Gel Layer
- Made by Classic Brands
- 24″ x 16″
- 3″ Memory Foam Interior
- 3-Year Warranty
The Idle Sleep Memory Foam Pillow is made from a gel-infused foam formula with a ventilated zones to promote airflow. This allows the pillow to remain cooler than most memory foam pillows while being designed to specifically cradle the neck and head differently.
The combination of the zoned support and cooling properties make this a great pillow for migraine sufferers.
- Zoned to Cradle Head & Neck
- Breathable Construction Promotes Airflow
- Rayon Bamboo Cover
- Made by Idle Sleep
- Queen = 16″ x 29″
- King = 16″ x 35″
- Removable Cover
If you’re looking for multiple support options from your pillows then the Priceless Tufted Cooling Pillow should be at the top of your list. It offers migraine sufferers two options in one pillow to alleviate their symptoms. One side is stuffed with plush Tencel fibers that are individually pocketed to maintain an even spread. This tufted side offers a traditional pillow feel with a supportive, yet soft overall night’s sleep.
The flip side is ideal for those who sleep hot or for particularly bad migraines. This side had an enclosed gel layer supported by temperature neutral memory foam.
The tufted layer can be removed to adjust the loft of the pillow allowing for even more customization.
- Dual Sided Construction
- Plush Side – Tufted Tencel Fibers Individually Pocketed
- Cooling Gel + Memory Foam Side
- Temperature Neutral Gel
- Made by Priceless Pillow
- Available in Standard & Queen Sizes
- Adjustable Loft Height
Best Pillow for Back Sleepers
LUXFFY Adjustable Contour Pillow
Back sleepers, like stomach sleepers, require firm support at their shoulders and neck to prevent physical strain from taking over throughout the night. This memory foam pillow from LUXFFY comes with a special feature that most memory foam pillows do not have: its height can be adjusted. To optimize sleep and neck support for all sleeping positions, this pillow has an interior built with three separate layers of foam. To adjust the height, simply remove or add a layer and zip up the cover.
Because neck support is such an important part for the back sleep position, we recommend this pillow for back sleepers who need that extra elevation between their upper neck and head. Plus, it’s easiest to use when you’re sleeping on your back because it will not require you to remove the middle layer. This pillow may feel too firm for side sleepers, but will still feel helpful for when a migraine strikes.
- 3-Layer Structure with Adjustable Firmness
- Removable Cover
- Suitable for All Sleeping Positions
- Great for Head and Neck Pain
- Made by LUXFFY
- 14.5″ x 7.8″ x 7.7″
- Cover Material: 60% Polyester, 40% Viscose-Rayon
- 5-Year Warranty
What causes migraines?
When a migraine forms, an intense, uncomfortable pounding headache occurs that can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. This agonizing pain typically begins in your forehead, around your eyes, or in the side of your head near your temples.
Unfortunately, the headache at the initial start of the migraine only gets worse, as just about any activity, light, or loud noise can increase the pain level. While the experience of a migraine can be an unpleasant process, what exactly causes a migraine to form?
As of today, medical professionals don’t know the exact root of what triggers a migraine. While the main cause may not be known, one of the causes of migraine headaches has been linked to changes in the level of a body chemical called serotonin. When serotonin levels are high, blood vessels constrict (shrink).
When the serotonin levels in your brain drop, the blood vessels begin to swell. In turn, this can cause headache pain or other problems in the body. In the end, migraines seem to be produced by a combination of environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors.
What’s the best way to sleep with a migraine?
We know, sleeping with a migraine can seem impossible, especially when it is so severe you can hardly think about anything but the pulsating pain. There are a few ways to make sleeping easier when you’ve got a migraine, though:
- Make your room dark. If the light from a lamp strains your eyes or makes sitting in the room unbearable, it’s time to go lay down in your bed and turn off the lights. Another common symptom of a migraine is noise sensitivity, so make sure you rest in a quiet space.
- Drink fluids. Taking care of your body can feel impossible when you have a massive headache. Sipping on a glass of water or a bottle of Gatorade when you have a migraine is an easy way to make sure your hydration is up, and your body will appreciate the extra fluids.
- Listen to your body. A migraine may be a sign of a deficiency in your body. If you’re already pretty in tune with your body, then you’ll probably be able to discern what type of food you need to reduce the pain. Some foods that are thought to trigger a migraine include alcohol, caffeinated beverages, certain fruits and pizza. Everyone’s body is different, though. Skipping meals can also lead to migraines for some people, so be sure you have a proper meal schedule to avoid migraines.
- Take deep breaths. Focusing your mind on something other than the pain is key to falling and staying asleep with a severe migraine. Try the 4-7-8 method, a common breathing technique used to center the breath and reduce your heart rate. As you breathe in for four counts, hold the breath for seven and release it for eight, you can make your headspace a bit calmer, too.
Can your pillow give you headaches?
If you still need more information to help you find the best pillow for migraines then take a look at this forum thread over at migraine.com, a community designed to empower migraine and tension headache sufferers.
How can a pillow help alleviate migraine triggers?
When it comes to migraines, there are three main triggers: smell, sleep, and back or neck pain. When you sleep, it’s crucial to ensure you have the proper sleep posture as well as a supportive pillow while you rest. If not, there is a likely chance that strain will be placed on your head and neck, resulting in pain in the head, face, temples, forehead, and even behind the eyes. These nerves being irritated can result in a migraine, making it important to have the proper sleeping essentials to prevent this from happening.
Pillows specifically made for migraines can provide you with the proper support for your head and neck that’s needed while you sleep. The proper pillow will provide you with a healthy sleeping posture that is in alignment from the knees and hips, through the spine to the chest and shoulders, head and neck. With the right pillow, you can lessen the chance that you will wake up with a migraine with ease.
What's the best way to sleep with a migraine?
When a migraine hits, usually all we can think about is the excruciating pain we feel in our head. The proper bed pillow can help alleviate some of the pain that comes with such a headache. Migraine sufferers should look for a pillow with cooling properties and memory foam support, and our list includes all types of pillows to accommodate everyone’s needs.
Whether you suffer from migraines chronically or only experience a migraine headache every once in a while, it’s crucial to take them seriously. Migraines can be a sign of a separate, serious health problem, so be sure to keep track of when you have them and keep your doctor informed. In the meantime, being prepared can alleviate or even prevent a migraine from reaching its peak severity.
Check out our pillow reviews to discover which pillow you should have at home to prevent a migraine.
Sleep Position Requirements
When it comes to combatting migraines for your sleep, the requirements that your pillow needs to meet vary depending on your sleeping position. For instance if you sleep on your back, you’ll need a pillow that supports proper head and neck alignment but for stomach sleepers, a low profile and soft pillow would be more beneficial. So, whether you’re a back, side, or stomach sleeper, what should you look for in a pillow for your migraines?
Back Sleep Position Needs
As mentioned previously, proper support for the relationship between your head and your neck is crucial to preventing a migraine from forming. When you sleep on your back, your head and neck have a higher chance of being out of proper alignment, making finding a high-quality, supportive pillow critical.
Those who sleep on their back require a pillow that’s low profile and allows the head to lay level with the height of the shoulders. It’s also imperative to make sure the pillow has enough fill to keep the neck in a comfortable rested position.
The proper pillow for back sleepers depends on the body size and height of the sleeper, so it’s important to take that into consideration before your purchase.
Side Sleep Position Needs
Similarly to back sleepers, those who sleep on their side require special attention to both their head and neck support. When a side sleeper uses soft, flat pillow, the chances of a migraine forming are increased as well as waking up from your sleep with neck pain.
To prevent this, side sleepers should look for a firmer, higher profile pillow that pays attention to your body shape as well as your specific height. Doing so will help you find the best fit for your side-sleeping needs.
Stomach Sleep Position Needs
When you sleep on your stomach, your body takes on more strain than any other sleeping position. Stomach sleepers almost always place some sort of strain upon the body, making it ideal to eliminate the pillow completely.
While this may be uncomfortable for some, it may be your best option to avoid migraines as well as any sort of added strain to your body. Although, if you prefer to use a pillow, look for one with a soft and low profile for best results.
Head and Neck Allignment
Migraines often can be caused or worsen by poor blood flow or a restriction of oxygen while you sleep. Both of these causes can derive from poor spinal alignment, creating unwanted stress in your body that can cause a migraine. Without proper head and neck alignment coming from your pillow, this issue can frequently negatively impact the quality your slumber.
When you sleep, it’s crucial that your head and neck are properly aligned, as the relationship between them supports the gateway between your brain and cervical spine. When your head and neck are held in a proper, supportive position, it allows your brain to properly run through the sleep stages, in turn promoting blood flow and healing. A properly restful night of sleep also permits the body and brain to respond to pain in a more forbearing way.