What Are The Best Gifts For People With Migraine?

Written by Lorene Alba | December 14, 2023

What are the best holiday gifts for people with migraine?

Every year we ask our migraine community what they would like to find in their migraine holiday gift basket, and here’s what they asked for. 

1. Hot & Cold Therapy

During a migraine attack, pain can often be soothed by applying heat or ice to the forehead, the back of the head, the cheeks, or the neck. Products that provide hot and cold therapy were at the top of almost everyone’s list. 

Migraine hat or cap: comes in many different styles, such as a beanie or hat, but they all work the same. The gel inside the hats can be used for hot and/or cold therapy. It can be stored in the freezer or popped in the microwave, depending on the type of therapy that helps the most. The hats can be placed over the head in the way that is most comfortable for the user. They provide easy-to-wear, full coverage to reduce migraine attack symptoms. 

They are available without a prescription and are easy to purchase online. Some community members shared that having several of these hats is helpful to ensure one is always ready cold, and available when needed.

Heating pads: mainly the type that can be worn around the shoulders are preferred to flat heating pads. They wrap around the body and relax the neck and shoulder muscles. Some heating pads/wraps can also be put in the freezer and used like a big ice pack. Anyone with migraine would love to receive a gift that can be used hot or cold. Just check before purchasing that the wrap doesn’t include “aromatherapy” in case scents are a trigger for the person it’s being gifted to! 

2. Let’s Get Comfy

Cozy gray blanket on chairNo surprise here, but coming in second place is the gift of warmth and comfort.

  • Soft and/or heated blankets for comfortable rest
  • Heatable soft toys that can be hugged for heat and comfort when in pain
  • Eye masks
  • Squishy socks and slippers to keep feet warm in and out of bed
  • Comfortable clothes that don’t bind, pull, or itch – consider choosing a t-shirt or hat from a non-profit or organization that helps people living with migraine 

3. Your Time, Companionship, and Kindness

Migraine life can be painful, isolating, and lonely. Coming in third place on our list is the gift of time or companionship. Many participants in our poll stated that the best gift for someone with migraine is just spending time together. Watch a movie together at home, or simply stay with them while they are experiencing migraine pain if that is something they want. Call or text them and ask how they are feeling, and if there is anything you can do to help. Show understanding if they cancel plans at the last minute because they are not feeling well. Plan activities they can participate in that will not trigger their migraine attacks, or Include them with video calls. Ask them for any “accommodations” they need when fetting together such as not wearing anything scented. Showing kindness to someone living with this debilitating disease is always the perfect gift. 

4. Help With Cleaning

Many of us with migraine feel guilty when we can’t keep up with our daily responsibilities. The frequency of migraine attacks, along with their severity, can make cleaning the house impossible. Also, the smell of cleaning supplies can make migraine attacks worse. Offer to help clean the house, or pay for a one-time or ongoing cleaning service. 

5. Grocery and Meal Delivery Service 

Leaving the house for grocery shopping can be extremely difficult, especially if someone has chronic migraine or vestibular migraine. Here’s an opportunity to relieve some of the pressure of daily (and holiday) tasks of cooking, while helping to ensure your loved one is eating. 

  • Order groceries online and have them delivered. Ask which foods are best to support their health and not trigger migraine attacks
  • Order pre-made meals that are delivered to their doorstep. Again, remember to ask which foods are migraine-friendly and are easy and quick to prepare. Or give a gift card for a meal service so your loved one can select their meals based on their needs

6. Medical Devices 

There are several FDA-cleared medical devices available for migraine management. These non-invasive medical devices stimulate the nerves to help prevent, reduce, or even stop common migraine symptoms. They do not contain medication and will not cause medication adaption or rebound headaches, and they can be used together with medication if necessary. They can be used as a stand-alone treatment or together with other treatment options in a migraine toolkit

These devices are often not covered by insurance and some require ongoing fees. Helping to purchase a device or cover the cost of the ongoing fees will give someone you love with migraine disease a non-pharmaceutical treatment option. 

7. Help Reduce Sensitivity to Light, Scents, and Sound 

Your loved one with migraine may experience sensitivity to light, scents, and/or sound during the different phases of migraine attacks. 

  • Light: The bright sunshine, overhead lighting, and blue light from computer screens can all make symptoms worse. Light-filtering glasses are available for people with migraine to wear inside and/or outside. Some are a prescription, so you may even want to consider a gift certificate to a migraine glasses company such as Avulux or Theraspecs
  • Scents: Traditional gifts like perfume, cologne, scented candles, and fragrant flowers can all trigger a migraine. Choose unscented personal care items like lotions and lip balm. However, even “fragrance-free” products can sometimes have a scent that triggers migraine attacks, so look for products that do not have fragrance listed in the ingredients. Other ideas are battery-operated candles or  plants that do not have a fragrance such as poinsettias or orchids
  • Sound: Many people with migraine use earplugs to block out or lower the noise level. Loop earplugs can make attending a concert or movie easier, and can even help block out noise while resting or sleeping

8. Personal Services and Subscriptions 

People whose migraine symptoms or busy lifestyles keep them from practicing self-care will benefit from any of the below gift ideas. 

  • Relaxation time: A gift certificate for a massage or salt therapy cave can give people with migraine a much-needed opportunity to relax
  • Subscriptions: A subscription to a favorite podcast, streaming service, or Kindle Unlimited can make a great gift. Apps that track migraine or other chronic disease symptoms, and/or provide relaxation exercises, biofeedback or meditations are great additions to a treatment toolbox also

9. Miscellaneous

Looking for the perfect stocking or migraine gift basket stuffers? Here are a few other items our community members think are the best gifts for migraine.

  • A green light lamp. Green light therapy can ease or prevent migraine symptoms at home and work. Check out this lamp from Allay to help with migraine relief, and also the Norb Relief bulb
  • Amazon gift card
  • A migraine cookbook
  • A donation in their name to their favorite migraine non-profit, like Migraine Meanderings
  • Tea can be relaxing, but may also cause migraine symptoms. Ask which teas are their favorite and safest for them to drink, or which “comfort foods” they might like. Remember, every person with migraine has different triggers, so what brings a smile to one person’s face might cause a migraine for another, and vice versa
  • Art therapy activities like adult painting, jigsaw puzzles, 3D puzzles, craft supplies, or a book 

So remember: If you are wondering what gifts to get this year, use this gift guide when shopping for people with migraine. These thoughtful gifts will be appreciated throughout the year and will bring a smile to the face of your loved one.

Let Us Know

What do you think are the best gifts for people with migraine? If you live with migraine, what is the BEST gift that you have received? Which holiday gifts triggered your migraine attacks? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

1 Comment

  1. Kathy O’Shea on February 11, 2024 at 8:15 am

    Would you consider adding my book, “So Much More than a Headache: Understanding Migraine through Literature”?

    Thanks for consideration,

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