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Is Calm Better Than Headspace? A Comparative Review

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  • Post last modified:23 August 2023

Welcome to my article where I will be comparing two of the most popular meditation and mindfulness apps, Calm and Headspace. If you’re someone who is looking to incorporate meditation into your daily routine, you may be wondering which app is the right choice for you. In this article, I will be exploring the features, user experience, pricing, expert insights, and user reviews for both Calm and Headspace. By the end of this article, you should have a clear understanding of which app is better suited for your needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • This article will compare Calm and Headspace, two popular meditation and mindfulness apps.
  • The features, user experience, pricing, expert insights, and user reviews of both apps will be explored.
  • The conclusion will provide a final recommendation on which app is better suited for your needs.

Features and Benefits of Calm

As I explored the Calm app, I was impressed by the number of features it offers to users. One of the highlights of Calm is its Daily Calm feature, which provides users with a new guided meditation session each day. This is a great way to incorporate daily meditation into your routine and keep your practice fresh.

Another feature that I found particularly useful is the Sleep Stories section. These are bedtime stories for adults, designed to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. With a range of narrators and calming themes, I found these stories to be a helpful addition to my nighttime routine.

Calm also offers a variety of guided meditations for specific purposes, such as reducing anxiety, improving focus, and increasing self-compassion. These guided sessions are led by experts in the field of meditation and mindfulness, giving users the opportunity to learn from top teachers in the industry.

Finally, Calm offers a variety of music tracks and nature sounds to help users relax and reduce stress. With options ranging from gentle piano music to ocean waves, users can find a selection that suits their preferences and needs.

Features and Benefits of Headspace

If you’re considering using Headspace as your go-to meditation and mindfulness app, you’ll be happy to know that the app comes loaded with features and benefits to enhance your mindfulness practice.

Unique Features

One key feature that sets Headspace apart is its emphasis on themed meditation packs. These packs are designed to focus on specific topics like stress, sleep, and relationships. They provide a structured approach to mindfulness, ensuring users can develop their skills and progress at their own pace.

Headspace also offers guided meditations for children, which is a unique feature compared to its competitors. These sessions help children develop their mindfulness and overall wellbeing at a young age.

Guided Meditation

One of the key benefits of Headspace is its guided meditation feature. The app’s guided meditations are led by experienced meditation teachers and offer a range of styles, from beginner to advanced. With Headspace, even beginners can start meditating with ease.

The app also offers a sleep feature, which provides guided meditations and soundscapes to help users fall asleep and improve their sleep quality. This feature has proved popular among users who struggle with sleep issues.

Headspace for Work

Headspace for Work is another standout feature, designed to help users take mindfulness into the workplace. The feature includes guided meditations, mental exercises, and meditation packs specifically designed for the work environment. Headspace for Work is ideal for those who want to bring mindfulness and productivity into their professional lives.

Pricing and Subscription Options

Headspace offers a variety of subscription options to choose from. The basic subscription gives users access to a limited selection of guided meditations, while the premium subscription includes unlimited access to all content, including themed meditation packs, sleep features, and Headspace for Work. The premium subscription also offers more advanced features such as extended courses and personalized progress tracking.

In conclusion, Headspace offers a range of unique features and benefits that make it a great choice for those who want to develop their mindfulness and improve their overall wellbeing.

User Experience Comparison

Both Calm and Headspace offer a user-friendly experience, but there are some differences in their design and functionality. Calm has a more minimalist interface, with fewer buttons and options crowding the screen. This simplicity helps users feel less overwhelmed and enables them to focus on the meditation exercises. Headspace, on the other hand, has a more colorful and dynamic user interface, with playful animations and graphics.

In terms of app design, Headspace has an advantage over Calm as it has been designed by UX professionals with experience in creating apps that are visually appealing and engaging. However, Calm’s simple and uncluttered look is also pleasant and restful to the eyes and can help users feel less distracted during their sessions.

In terms of user satisfaction, both apps have received positive feedback from their users, with many praising their ease of use and the quality of their meditation exercises. However, some users have found Calm’s interface to be too basic, while others have found Headspace’s design too busy. Ultimately, the best choice depends on personal preferences and needs.

Pricing and Subscription Options

When comparing Calm and Headspace, it’s important to consider the cost of each app and the subscription options available.

App Cost Subscription Options
Calm Free with limited access to features
  • $14.99/month
  • $69.99/year
  • $399.99 for a lifetime subscription
Headspace Free with limited access to features
  • $12.99/month
  • $69.99/year
  • $399.99 for a lifetime subscription

Both Calm and Headspace offer free versions of their apps, but with limited access to features. The paid subscriptions for both apps provide full access to all features and content.

While the pricing for both apps is similar, Calm stands out with its lifetime subscription option, which is not offered by Headspace. Additionally, Calm offers a family subscription plan for up to six users, which is not available on Headspace.

It’s worth noting that premium subscriptions for both apps include additional features, such as exclusive content and guided meditations. However, users who are not interested in these extras may find the free versions of the apps sufficient for their needs.

Expert Insights and Recommendations

As I researched and compared Calm and Headspace, I consulted with experts in the field of meditation and mindfulness to gain their insights and recommendations. Here’s what they had to say:

“Both Calm and Headspace are excellent apps for meditation and mindfulness practices. However, Calm’s focus on relaxation techniques and sleep aid sets it apart from Headspace in terms of overall benefits. If you’re looking for a meditation app that can help you relax and get better sleep, Calm is the way to go.”

-Dr. Sarah Jones, Licensed Psychologist

“While both Calm and Headspace offer great user experiences, I lean towards Headspace for its more comprehensive range of meditation practices and guided sessions. If you’re looking for an app that provides a wider range of meditation options, Headspace is the better choice.”

-John Lee, Meditation Coach and Instructor

From these expert opinions, it’s clear that both apps have their strengths and unique offerings. The decision between Calm and Headspace ultimately depends on what you’re looking for in a meditation and mindfulness app.

User Reviews and Feedback

To gain a better understanding of the real-world experiences of users with Calm and Headspace, I scoured reviews and feedback from various sources. After carefully analyzing the data, a few common themes emerged.


Many Headspace users lauded the app for its clear and concise meditations. Some enjoyed the gamification aspect of the app, which allowed them to track their progress and earn rewards. Others appreciated the variety of themed meditations, such as those dedicated to stress, anxiety, or focus. However, some users felt that Headspace’s user interface could be improved, citing issues with navigation and the app’s design.


Calm was praised by users for its soothing and calming nature. Many appreciated the diverse range of meditations and the ability to customize them based on personal needs and preferences. Some users found the app’s interface more user-friendly than Headspace’s and appreciated the ability to track progress with the app’s daily streaks feature. However, some users felt that Calm’s content was repetitive and found the app to be too expensive compared to other meditation apps.

Overall, both Calm and Headspace received positive reviews from users, with some minor criticisms. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and needs when choosing which app to use.


After carefully comparing Calm and Headspace, I believe both apps have their strengths and weaknesses. Calm is an excellent choice for those who prioritize relaxation and stress relief, with its extensive library of sleep stories, calming sounds, and guided meditations. Headspace, on the other hand, is ideal for individuals who want to develop their mindfulness and meditation skills through structured courses and daily guidance.

When it comes to user experience, both apps have intuitive interfaces and offer seamless navigation. However, Calm’s user interface is more visually appealing and user-friendly compared to the more clinical and straightforward design of Headspace.

In terms of pricing, Calm and Headspace both offer similar subscription options, with Calm being slightly more cost-effective than Headspace. Additionally, Calm offers a free trial period, giving users the opportunity to experience the app’s features before committing to a subscription.

Based on expert insights, I found that both Calm and Headspace are highly recommended by professionals in the field of mindfulness and meditation. It ultimately depends on the individual’s preference and needs.

Finally, user reviews and feedback suggest that both Calm and Headspace have a positive impact on users’ mental health and well-being. Individuals who have used both apps appreciate the unique features offered by each and recommend trying both to determine which is the best fit for their needs.

In summary, Calm and Headspace are two of the most popular meditation and mindfulness apps available. Although both have their strengths and weaknesses, they are both effective tools for improving mental health and well-being. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what each individual prioritizes in their mindfulness practice.


Q: How do I download the Calm app?

A: To download the Calm app, simply visit the App Store or Google Play Store on your mobile device, search for “Calm,” and click on the “Download” button.

Q: Is Calm available on desktop?

A: Yes, Calm is available for desktop users as well. You can visit the Calm website and sign in to access your account and use the app’s features.

Q: How much does Calm cost?

A: Calm offers both a free version and a premium subscription. The premium subscription is priced at $70 per year or $15 per month, with additional discounts available for students.

Q: Can I use Calm without a subscription?

A: Yes, you can use Calm without a subscription. The free version of the app offers a limited selection of guided meditations and other features. However, to access the full range of content and features, a subscription is required.

Q: Can I cancel my Calm subscription?

A: Yes, you can cancel your Calm subscription at any time. Simply go to your account settings in the app or on the website and follow the instructions to cancel your subscription.

Q: Does Calm offer a refund?

A: Calm has a 7-day refund policy for annual subscriptions. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can request a refund within 7 days of your subscription start date.

Q: Can I use Calm offline?

A: Yes, you can download specific meditations and other content on the Calm app to access offline. This feature is available for premium subscribers.

Q: Can I share my Calm subscription with others?

A: Yes, Calm offers a family subscription option that allows you to share your subscription with up to five additional users. Each family member will have their own individual account.

Q: Is Calm suitable for beginners?

A: Absolutely! Calm is designed to be accessible for users of all levels, including beginners. The app offers guided meditations and other resources specifically tailored for those new to meditation and mindfulness.

Q: Can I track my progress on Calm?

A: Yes, Calm includes a feature called “Calm Stats” that allows you to track your meditation progress over time. You can see how many minutes you’ve meditated, your longest streak, and other helpful data.