Health & Wellness

Migraine Hats: What Are They & The Top 3 Picks For Instant Pain Relief

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If you suffer from the blinding pain of migraine headaches or tension headaches, chances are that you’ve desperately held an ice pack or even a frozen bag of peas to your head to numb the pain. Along with stress management, dietary changes, and medication, cold therapy has been proven to help reduce the symptoms of these painful episodes.

Of course, sweating or leaky ice packs that you have to hold to your head aren’t always the most convenient way to get the relief that you’re seeking. And that’s where headache hats come in. So what exactly are migraine hats, and what can they do for you?

We’re going to fill you in on how they work and let you know about some of our favorite picks for this at-home remedy.

What Is a Migraine Hat?

A migraine hat, sometimes called a headache relief hat, is a hat or wrap-around headband designed to be used as cold therapy. While some of these hats have removable ice packs, others have incorporated gel cold packs that are encased in plastic and then covered with fabric. These types of migraine hats can be stored in the freezer until needed.

Though they may look a little funny at first glance, wearable ice packs allow you to use cold therapy hands-free. And that means you can use them while you’re sitting, sleeping, stretched out on the couch, or moving around. The soft fabric also feels a lot better than a leaky plastic bag. But there are also a couple of more important benefits of migraine hats.

First of all, many of these hats come with a fold-down flap to cover your eyes, as migraine episodes can make you especially sensitive to light. Some of these wearable ice packs also allow you to vary the pressure on your head and adjust the position of the ice to target specific regions, like the sinus area.

Moreover, some headache hats can also be heated to help release muscular tension for an additional form of relief.

Related: How To Alleviate Body Aches and Pains Naturally

Do Migraine Hats Work?

Cold therapy has been used for many years as a legitimate source of relief for people living with migraine pain. And while extensive research on migraine hats themselves doesn’t exist, the theory behind these wearable ice packs is sound.

There was a small study done in 2006 in which participants wore a cold compress to study migraine relief. Most patients felt a reduction in pain in as little as 25 minutes. There is also extensive anecdotal evidence from people who use migraine hats on a regular basis. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Purchasing a Migraine Hat

As mentioned, wearable ice packs can be wrapped around headbands or pull-on caps. The headband type is highly adjustable, but if you don’t want to fuss with velcro or deal with having to wrap it around your head, you may want to opt for the pull-on cap.

Most migraine hats target areas all around your head, but if you want more flexibility, you may want to choose a model where the ice packs can be moved around to target specific pain points.

If you also get migraine relief from heat therapy, look for a model that can be heated as well.

No matter which type you choose, be aware that a headache hat is not a cure-all for migraines. In other words, they may not work for all people at all times. Many migraine sufferers find them most effective when the very first symptoms of an episode begin. But you may have to experiment with one of these hats before deciding how and if it works for you.

However, combined with stress reduction, good sleeping habits, a healthy diet, and medication, many migraine sufferers find these cold therapy hats to be an effective tool for treating the symptoms of their severe headaches.

Related: 11 Reasons Why Magnesium Gummies Could Improve your Health

Our 3 Favorite Migraine Hats for Pain Relief

Ready to give migraine hats a try? Here are a few of our favorites to check out.

1. The Headache Hat (For Great Flexibility and Cold That Lasts)

Headache Hat

What we like about it:

The wrap-around design of this migraine relief cap allows you to adjust it perfectly to the size of your head (it also comes in standard and extra large). We also like that this hat is reversible so that when one side begins to warm up, you can flip it over to the other side.

The 24 integrated ice cubes stay cool for a full two hours and can also be slightly adjusted within their rows for more targeted relief. Another plus is that the wrap-around design allows you to use it around the neck, shoulders, or other areas of the body for pain relief.

Things to be aware of: 

While this hat can be pulled down over the eyes, it doesn’t have the convenient nose cut-out that some other hats feature. 

2. Magic Gel Migraine Ice Head Wrap (Easy to Use)

Magic Gel Migraine Ice Head Wrap

What we like about it:

This pull-on lycra gel ice cap features inserts at the front, sides, and back of your head for all-around relief and stays cool for about 25 minutes. Many users like the fact that it also puts a light amount of pressure on the head, which can also help to relieve a migraine. Another smart feature is the hole on top of the hat, which allows you to pull your hair through if you have long hair. 

And like many caps, this one can be pulled down over the eyes to reduce sensitivity to light while delivering cooling relief. 

Things to be aware of: 

While this headache relief cap is a one-size fits all and purportedly works for 90% of people, it may not be a fit for every single person. The good thing is that the company offers a refund and return policy with no questions asked if you’re not happy.

Also, be aware that the gel inserts get extremely cold and hard if the hat is stored in the freezer (like many migraine hats). If you prefer a little less cold and more flexibility, you may want to store the hat in the refrigerator instead.

3. Comfi-TECh Migraine Ice Head Wrap (For Extra Coverage)

Comfi-TECh Migraine Ice Head Wrap

What we like about it:

This pull-on ice hat comes in medium and large, which means you don’t have to hassle with closures or velcro to adjust it to your head. And though there is a small hole at the top, unlike many migraine relief hats, this one covers 90% of the top of your head. So if you’re looking for extra coverage, this is a great option.

In addition, this hat can also be warmed in the microwave (for 1 minute at a time) if you want to use hot therapy instead of cold therapy. And though it may not be the most important factor when you have a migraine, this hat also comes in 6 different colors. 

Things to be aware of: 

Based on customer reviews, some users recommend putting this hat in the fridge as opposed to the freezer, as the cold can be too intense for them. Also, this cap is reported to stay cool for 20 to 30 minutes which is a lot less than the Headache Hat, the first option on our list.  

Heading for Relief

If you’re tired of holding a dripping ice pack on your head to relieve migraine symptoms, you may want to consider a headache hat when it comes to cold (or even heat) therapy.

In addition to being hand free, the added benefits of compression, light blockage, and adjustability make this an effective tool for combating intense headache pain. Some users would even go so far as calling these hats a lifesaver.

And while these innovative caps may not be a cure-all, when combined with healthy habits and, in some cases, migraine meds, they could become one of the best weapons in your migraine relief arsenal.  

You may also be interested in: Weighted Eye Masks: Are They The Hottest New Trend?

Our 3 Favorite Migraine Hats for Pain Relief:

  1. The Headache Hat
  2. Magic Gel Migraine Ice Head Wrap
  3. Comfi-TECh Migraine Ice Head Wrap

Sherry De Alba

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