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Calm vs Headspace – Which is Better?

Posted by Arch on June 2, 2019
Calm vs headspace

Did you know you can use your phone to relax and practice mindfulness? No, we are not talking about scrolling through your social media feeds and playing video games. You can actually learn to meditate using a meditation app on your phone.

There are many options out there, but the top choice apps are always going to be Calm and Headspace. They are used by millions of people all over the world and both have flawless rating on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Yes, you can get them both on iOS and Android phones.

Which one is better? Well, that is difficult to say because they are unique and offer different benefits. Where one app is lacking, the other is amazing and vice-versa. Either one is a solid all-round choice, but we are going to discuss their qualities and weaknesses compared to one another.

Pricing

The first thing that may come to your mind when you are choosing between these two apps is the price. Luckily both of them offer a free trial period. Headspace will let you try out the app for an entire month, teaching you all that you need to know about meditation as a beginner. This is very nice because you get some great value for free and Headspace gets a plus for it.

On the other hand, Calm will only give you 7 days of unlimited access. This is barely enough to get a taste of what is to come when you decide to subscribe. To be fair, subscription for Calm is cheaper than Headspace. After the trial period, you need to pay $60 for an annual plan or $400as a one-time payment for a lifetime access to the app.

Headspace costs $96 annually or $13per month. They also offer a family plan, which will net you 6 accounts for $20 a month or $12.50 if you subscribe for an entire year. Overall, Calm is much cheaper.

Interface

headspace interface

Both apps have very sleek and colorful interfaces. They are easy to use after you complete the free beginner course. On Headspace you can choose focused courses related to work, stress, etc. When you start using Calm, you can choose your goals like learning meditation, improving sleep, better focus, etc.

Calm has a more user-friendly and professional look, while Headspaces utilizes animation to engage you and explain things further with short video tutorials. On Calm there are no videos but there are nature sounds and pictures.

calm interface

Start Meditating

Now, let us talk about the most important part and the reason why you would get any of these apps. Both apps have highly structured sessions. You make progress step by step, there is no skipping. Instructions are easy to follow and exact, they tell you when to breathe in, breathe out, relax, etc.

Calm sessions are guided by Tamara Levitt, a professor specialized in meditation with over 20 years of experience. John Armstrong, a Stanford professor is an alternative narrator. Both have American accents.

The narrator for Headspace is Andy Puddicombe, a Brit who actually had Buddhist monk training and learned about meditation first-hand.

Headspace is more to the point with instructions, while Calm feeds you researched facts prior to giving instructions. You might find that bothersome if you are not a patient person. Headspace sessions last between 3 and 20 minutes, it is up to you to choose. Calm sessions last 10 minutes minimum, which might be too long for some beginners.

Additional Features

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. You can play relaxing music or nature sounds while meditating. There are also instructions for stretching, lectures, and bedtime stories. Even breathing lessons are included.

Headspace noticed that people like this and started adding similar stuff like music for sleep and Everyday Headspace meditation. To keep you engaged, Headspace behaves like a game that gives you certain goals and achievements for reaching those goals.

There are Daily Calms which are like a counterpart to Everyday Headspace. Calm offers more options for solo learning, like Calm Masterclass podcasts. Headspace has short video instructions for meditation. There are numerous similarities between the two apps, as well.

Clash of Titans

Instead of a David vs Goliath scenario, we have two Goliaths here fighting for dominance. You will not be disappointed with either of these apps, that’s guaranteed. Headspace is more focused and meditation-oriented, while Calm offers a bunch of interesting activities and space for self-improvement.

Although Calm is more affordable, Headspace offers high-quality content that should not be overlooked.

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