skip to main content


Calm vs Headspace: Who Wins?

Posted on April 01 2023

In a world filled with constant noise and never-ending demands, finding moments of tranquility and inner peace is more crucial than ever. With the rise of mindfulness meditation, individuals seeking mental well-being have turned to meditation apps as convenient solutions. Among the popular contenders in this space, Calm and Headspace have emerged as leading platforms, offering a sanctuary of serenity at our fingertips. 

In this article, we'll explore the comparison between Headspace and Calm, examining the advantages and drawbacks of each app, their distinctive features, and the factors that set them apart. Ultimately, we'll assist you in determining which app is the perfect fit for your needs or suggest alternatives if neither quite hits the mark.


When it comes to comparing Headspace and Calm, it's important to start somewhere and not jump to conclusions. While Calm may be the initial app that catches our eye, it doesn't automatically mean it's the best choice. Both apps have their own merits and drawbacks, and it is essential to thoroughly explore and evaluate them before making a judgment.

Calm, founded by Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew, takes a different approach to meditation by placing simplicity and stress reduction at the forefront. The app aims to provide users with a soothing sanctuary amid a chaotic world. Calm offers a range of guided meditation programs that target various aspects of well-being, including relaxation, sleep, gratitude, and self-love. These guided sessions are available in different lengths, allowing users to find a duration that fits their schedule and preferences.

One of Calm's standout features is its extensive library of sleep stories. Narrated by celebrities such as Harry Styles and LeBron James, these audio-only bedtime stories are designed to lull users into a peaceful slumber. Calm also provides relaxing music tracks and nature sounds to create a serene atmosphere for relaxation and meditation. Additionally, the app offers "Mindful Moments," which includes breathing exercises and body scans to help users focus on the present moment and reduce stress.


Headspace, founded by Andy Puddicombe, an ex-Buddhist monk, has gained recognition for its comprehensive approach to mindfulness and mental well-being. Rooted in ancient wisdom and modern techniques, Headspace provides users with a rich collection of meditation practices, courses, and programs. The app's philosophy centers around stress management, improved focus, and overall well-being. It offers guided meditations that cater to various needs and durations, allowing users to choose sessions that range from a few minutes to an hour. Additionally, Headspace provides structured programs on specific topics like stress, anxiety, sleep, relationships, and work-related stress. These programs guide users through a series of meditation exercises, gradually building their mindfulness skills.

One of the key strengths of Headspace is its emphasis on user experience. The app features lively animations, videos, and mindful moments between sessions, making each interaction engaging and enjoyable. Furthermore, Headspace offers meditations specifically designed for children, providing a valuable resource for parents seeking to cultivate mindfulness in their little ones.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Calm vs. Headspace

Now, let's delve into the head-to-head comparison between Calm and Headspace to determine which app aligns best with your meditation goals and preferences.

Structured vs. Flexible Approach to Meditation

Headspace follows a structured approach, guiding users through a predetermined program with a sense of progression. This structure helps users establish a consistent meditation practice and deepen their mindfulness skills. On the other hand, Calm offers a more flexible approach, allowing users to choose sessions based on their immediate needs and preferences. Whether you prefer a guided program or the freedom to customize your sessions, this aspect will influence your decision.

Sleep-Related Content and Effectiveness

Headspace places a significant focus on sleep and provides dedicated resources to help users fall asleep. The app offers meditations specifically designed to aid in sleep, along with sleep casts and music tracks that create a soothing ambiance. In contrast, while Calm also offers sleep stories and relaxing music, its sleep-related content is not as extensive as Headspace.

Focus Techniques and Emphasis

Headspace stands out for its emphasis on focus and concentration. The app offers various techniques and exercises specifically designed to improve focus, with sections dedicated to "Focus" featuring subcategories like "For studying" and "Quick Resets." Calm, on the other hand, does not place as much emphasis on focus techniques. 

Meditation Duration and Flexibility

Both Calm and Headspace offer options for guided meditation sessions of varying durations. Headspace allows users to choose sessions ranging from a few minutes to an hour, providing flexibility in fitting meditation into your schedule. Similarly, Calm offers guided sessions of different lengths, allowing you to find a duration that suits your needs and time availability.

Additionally, Calm offers customizable meditation sessions, allowing users to choose the length and content of their meditation experience. This flexibility enables you to tailor your practice based on your preferences and immediate needs.

Variety of Meditation Styles

Both Calm and Headspace offer a variety of meditation styles to cater to different preferences and desired outcomes. They include mindfulness meditations, body scans, loving-kindness practices, and more.

Headspace further expands its offerings by introducing specialized packs and series of meditations on specific topics, such as stress, anxiety, relationships, and work-related stress. These themed packs provide a comprehensive exploration of mindfulness within specific areas of life.

Exercise Integration

Calm integrates physical activity into its mindfulness offerings, particularly through its "Movement" section. This feature provides users with mindful movement activities like yoga and walking, allowing for a more holistic approach to well-being. While Headspace does include a few exercises, it does not give as much attention to exercise integration as Calm does. If combining meditation with physical movement is essential to you, Calm's approach may resonate more.

By comparing these factors and considering their alignment with your meditation goals, you can make an informed decision about whether Calm or Headspace better suits your needs.

Alternative Paths to Mindfulness

While Calm and Headspace dominate the meditation app market, it's important to acknowledge that they may not meet everyone's unique needs and desires. Fortunately, there are alternative meditation apps available, each offering its own distinctive approach to cultivating mindfulness and mental well-being. 


Discover a whole new world of tranquility with Mesmerize, your new favorite visual meditation app for finding inner peace and relaxation. 

Mesmerize combines captivating colors and stunning animations with soothing audio to create immersive experiences that allow your mind to unwind. These carefully crafted visual journeys are designed to help you de-stress, refocus, and bring balance to your busy life. 

With a wide range of customizable visual patterns and calming soundscapes, Mesmerize is tailored to your unique preferences, making meditation more enjoyable and accessible than ever before.

Achieve mindfulness, boost your creativity, get better sleep, improve your mental well-being, and more with this easy-to-use app. Whether you're a meditation newbie or a seasoned zen master, Mesmerize offers an engaging, personalized experience for everyone.

Join the growing community of happy users who have found their zen with Mesmerize. Head tothe App Store or Google Play to download and unlock a world of tranquility today.

Making Your Decision

Choosing the right meditation app is a personal journey that requires reflection and consideration of various factors. To assist you in making an informed decision, here are some key points to keep in mind:

Reflect on Your Priorities and Goals

Consider what aspects of meditation are most important to you. Do you prioritize structure, sleep improvement, focus techniques, or exercise integration? Understanding your priorities will help you narrow down your choices.

Trial Periods and Exploration

Take advantage of free trial periods offered by Calm, Headspace, and alternative apps to experience their features firsthand. Exploring multiple apps can provide valuable insights and help you determine which interface, content, and features resonate with you the most.

Empowerment in Prioritizing Well-being

Remember that your well-being is paramount. Choose an app that aligns with your preferences and brings you joy and tranquility. If none of the popular apps meet your needs, don't hesitate to seek other avenues for cultivating mindfulness and mental well-being.

User Interface and App Usability

Consider the navigation, ease of use, and overall design of the apps. Visuals, such as screenshots or images of the app interfaces, can help you visualize the apps and better understand the comparison points mentioned in the article.


In the battle between Calm and Headspace, both apps have emerged as powerful tools for cultivating mindfulness and inner peace. Whether you choose Calm or Headspace, or opt for one of the alternative paths like Mesmerize, what matters most is your commitment to self-care and well-being. Embrace the transformative power of meditation, experiment with different approaches, and trust your intuition to find the app that best aligns with your journey toward a more balanced and harmonious life. May your path be filled with serenity and growth.