Headspace vs. Calm: Which Mediation App is Right for You

Though there are so many great meditation apps, two always rank at the top – Calm and Headspace. So what is the best meditation app of 2020? Who wins in a fight of Calm VS Headspace?

We tested both Headspace and Calm recently and found both of them are good for meditation. User usually ask “is Headspace better than Calm” or “is Calm better than Headspace” and my answer is “it depends”.

Check the side-by-side comparison of Headspace and Calm and choose the right mediation app for you.

Headspace vs. Calm

Headspace vs. Calm: The Design (Interface & Style)

Both apps are very polished with appealing styles. But one of the most noticeable difference between Headspace and Calm is the distinct difference in User Interface.

Headspace has a mellow color scheme which may make users feel “warm” and “bright”. Its interface is simple, with quirky animations and a consistent voice during audio and visual content.

In comparison, Calm has a blue color scheme which may make users feel “calm” and “peace”. Its interface is equally clean, but features a broader range of content and visuals. Calm’s interface displays real-life imagery focused on customization, nature settings, and offers guided meditations with multiple meditative guides and unique explanations of benefits applicable to each individual meditation.

Winner: Both Headspace and Calm

I like the color scheme of Headspace which brings the feel of happiness, but I found Calm’s layout a little easier to navigate than Headspace.

Headspace vs. Calm

Headspace vs. Calm: Pricing and Platform

Similarities

  • Both Calm and Headspace are available on Android and iOS.
  • Both Calm and Headspace have a limited free version that gives you a taste of the content. 
  • Both Calm and Headspace will charge you &69.99 for annual subscrbtion.

Differences

  • The free plan of Headspace will take you on a 30-day journey and cover the basics of meditation. With Calm, you get 7 days of premium access after which subscription will cost you $69.99 annually. – Headspace wins
  • Headspace has monthly subscription which is better for testing the waters before committing long-term while Calm start at year subscription. – Headspace wins
  • For those who want to pay once for forever access to the platform, Calm offers a lifetime subscription for the one-time price of $399.99. Headspace used to offer this but it is no longer visible on their website. –Calm wins
  • The best discount you can get on Headspace is via their Family Plan, which covers 6 accounts for $19.99 per month. With Calm, usually you can get 25% off discount. – Depends

Winner: Headspace

For most people, Headspace is going to be the more affordable option. Headspace will let you try out the app for an entire month. Also, you can subscribe Headspace monthly. To get the best discount, you can even try the Family Plan.

Calm Vs Headspace: Guided Meditations

Each app features a meditation guide.

The Voice

Andy Puddicombe is the voice behind all the sessions that you will go through in Headspace. He trained as a Buddhist monk and studied meditation while traveling through Asian countries before starting Headspace. I found his voice with a British accent very gentle and soothing.

At Calm, it is Tamara Levitt whose voice is equally pacifying and soft but with a US accent and has an experience of over 20 years. In Calm, you can change the narrator to John Armstrong too. He is a lecturer at Stanford’s Life Design Lab.

Meditation Style

With Calm, there are sessions for different aspects of life, a music tab where you can listen to different nature-inspired sounds like water falling, waves, and more. Then there are bedtime stories that will help you fall asleep quickly.

Headspace is more linear and wants you to focus on the guided meditations. There is no music, bad stories or wallpaper.

Headspace is more straightforward and focuses mainly on the progression of mediation without distractions. Calm offers more variety, as you can select sessions for different occasions. Here we take an example for explanation.

Both Calm and Headspace have mindfulness content designed for those who suffer from anxiety. The content tagged under “anxiety” on Calm is less specific and features topics like managing anxiety, stress, emotions, loss, and more. Conversely, Headspace has a 30-day meditation series that focuses specifically on managing anxiety. It also has individual meditations for anxious moments, such as interviews, fear of flying, difficult conversations, and exam prep.

Winner: Headspace

Headspace is more focused on the meditation and I feel that Headspace provides a slightly better meditation experience for the its meditation focused approach.

At the same time, the voice of the narrator may be important for you. In this case, see which voice gives you the best feeling and go with that.

Calm Vs Headspace: Sleep

Calm has a robust sleep library of content including meditations, relaxing sleep background sounds, and sleep for kids. The best part of Calm for Sleep is the bedtime stories of famous works and ones you have never heard of before. The stories are narrated by famous people like Matthew McConaughey, Stephen Fry, Bob Ross, Bindi Irwin, Lucy Liu, Joanna Lumley and more.

On the other hand, Headspace has a strong library of sleep content too. The app’s sleep category features sleepcasts (i.e. stories in a soothing voice), meditations, relaxing sleep background sounds, and sleep radio.

Winner: Calm

Although Headspace’s Sleepscape is good enough, Calm’s Sleep Stories has more variety and are a bit more fun to fall asleep to.

Calm Vs Headspace

Calm Vs Headspace for Kids

Headspace teaches parents and children together about meditation for different age levels. They focus on Calm, Focus, Kindness, Sleep, and Wake Up. Better yet, the app is customized for three age groups—under 5, 6-8, and 9-12. 

Calm provides mindfulness and sleep stories for children of varying ages.

Winner: The Both

For kids, Headspace still acts as a mediation app while Calm is more like a story-telling app. Which one is more useful depends on your needs.

Calm Vs Headspace: Popularity Comparison

Calm Vs Headspace: Overall Winner

Headspace is right for you if

  • This is the first time for you to explore meditation.
  • You want to subscribe the mediation app monthly or for family.
  • You want to use it for kids. The short sessions, fun animations, and simple techniques help make the app kid-friendly. 

Calm is right for you if

  • You are experiencing stress and/or anxiety and are willing to consistently take action to free yourself and experience deeper wellbeing.
  • You want better sleep.
  • You like variety.

Headspace VS Calm:  Headspace helps more with getting in the habit of mediation. Calm has more features, including music and wallpapers which make the app more fun.

Do you like Calm or Headspace better and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • I'm Lois, the creator of Appreview360.com. I hope this app review website can help people easily discover cool and useful apps. If you are an app developer or own an app and want to get it in front of the right audience, you can contact us. If you want to introduce some cool apps to more people, you can write for us.

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