We originally tried acupuncture years ago when our friend was in training to be a certified acupuncturist. TBH, the needles really did freak us out, even though the end result was pretty spectacular. It’s been some years since we’ve had a treatment, but when we heard about the increased interest in acupuncture pillows, we knew we had to give it a shot (no pun intended…well, sort of).
As we all continued to be totally stressed out at all times, it only makes sense that market research experts say acupuncture-related products are said to grow by almost 15% and bring that industry up to more than $24 billion by the year 2023 (that’s billion with a B). And that’s where acupressure pillows come into play.
Overall, acupressure pillows are made up of tiny little spikes that help to apply pressure in a way to mimic the effects of actual acupuncture. And some brands claim that using it just 20 minutes per day may help to relieve some pain in your neck, back, shoulders – you name it. But does the pillow actually work? Or is it all smoke and mirrors?
While there are actually a lot of brands to choose from online, some of the top sellers we’ve found are:
- Bed of Nails
With ZenGuru they have u-shapes pillows, regular flat options, and more. Whereas, Bed of Nails has ones that look more like a foam roller that we’re all used to using.
Depending on where you’re going to use it (and which type you use; pillow vs. mat) some health experts claim some of the benefits you could expect to alleviate pain including things like:
- back aches
- neck aches
- sciatica in the leg/back
- overall stress and tension
Since we work on a laptop all day we figured we’d give it a shot to see if it helped with our constant neck aches, sporadic insomnia, and stress and tension. We purchased (nothing was sent to us for consideration) acupressure pillow from ZenGuru (the u-shaped option) and used it for 3 weeks.
At first it definitely felt a bit awkward – we almost felt like we wearing one of the u-shaped pillows you see people walking around the airport with. Here’s the thing. Yes, it did hurt. Not a ton, but it took us a bit to get used to. It’s almost like a good pain though. It’s like if you ever used those massage guns from Hyperice, you know the feeling. It hurts a little, but then makes you feel so great afterwards. Does it feel like actual acupuncture? Not really.
For us, after using it for 3-weeks we can say that yes it did really help us with our neck and shoulder tension. It’s now part of our go-to especially at the end of the work day. However, we didn’t really nice a difference when we had a headache and we weren’t sleeping any better, really. Perhaps we should have used it longer and more often, but those were the results for us.
This is a tough one to answer because we can’t attest to it helping with things like insomnia or sciatica (even though many people swear by it in the reviews), but if you work at a computer all day or have to perform work tasks that increase tension and stress on your neck/shoulders/back – we say do it!
If you’re looking to give this a go, check out our picks for some of the best acupressure pillows (so far) in 2023.
ZenGuru U-Shaped Acupressure Pillow
Best for Neck + Shoulder Pain
Not only does this have perfect pressure points for your neck, back, and shoulders – but it even has magnetic fields to help with pain therapy too. The brand recommends using it for 20 minutes per day to get maximum positive impact. If green isn’t your jam, they also come in blue and black too. Plus, check out their bundles that come with an acupressure mat as well. Learn more here!
Bed of Nails Portable Pillow
Bed of Nails
Best For Travel/Work
If you’re not a fan of the u-shape, this one might be right up your alley Perfect for travel or even bringing it to work. From the folks at Bed of Nails, this one helps in the neck area specifically – but also overall for your entire body. Toss it in the bag that it comes with and bring it with you wherever you need to go. Learn more here!
Acubliss Acupressure Pillow
For the Budget Friendly Buyer
A top seller at Bed Bath and Beyond, it has thousands of non-toxic plastic “nails” that hurt so good and may help with improving overall circulation, help increase your energy level, help reduce stress and anxiety and more. And you only need to use this one for only 15 minutes per day. Learn more here!
ProSourceFit Mat + Pillow
Best Bundle Set
For those who love the pillow, many folks also want to enjoy the benefits of the acupressure mat. The fact that these come as a set is perfect. Lay on the mat for anywhere from 10 – 30 minutes to help alleviate back pain, tension – you name it. The mat itself actually has more than 6,000 different pressure points. If you’re ready to go all-in, check this one out. Learn more here!