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Thread: Headrest Solutions
04-20-2011 10:46 PM #101
I can't believe I found this
I can't believe I found this website and that so many other people are complaining about this! I have a 2011 Honda Civic Coupe. The seats and headrests downright suck. I am 5'1" and have the same issue of the headrest pushing my head forward leaving me with major neck and upper back pain. Only thing that I have found to work is sitting on a pillow to raise your whole body so your head aligns with the headrest. You have to be careful that the pillow isn't too thick or you will be too high. It's a royal PITA, but it beats a pain in the neck. I then use a smaller lumbar type pillow for my upper back. Why can't they make headrests that adjust like they used to?!! My stepmom has a 2008 Honda Accord and I don't have such a problem with her car because she has lumbar support which pushes your body forward slightly. I will NEVER buy another Civic. I do believe not having the lumbar support is the entire problem. Not sure if this option is even available on these little cars. I test drove a VW Jetta and did not have this problem because it has lumbar support. I've had this car for 5 months and am hoping it blows up! I knew I should have bought another VW!!
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04-26-2011 08:27 PM #102
I think I have finally found
I think I have finally found a "solution" for me that is both comfortable and safe. I have been following this thread closely since I purchased a 2010 Honda Odyssey back in September. I was the one who posted the link to the USA Today article about the 2011 Ford Explorer coming out with back and forth adjustable head restraints. I think the ultimate solution is for Honda to follow in Ford's footsteps and create a head restraint that can be adjusted, but this will do for now...
First of all, I will briefly share with you what has NOT worked for me. After seeing the recommendations on this thread, I first purchased the Obus Forme back rest. While it did get my head off the restraint, it pushed my entire back forward too far in the seat. That caused my leg and foot to hit the gas and brake pedals at a strange angle despite seat adjustments. I ended up trading in my neck and head pains for hip and leg pains. (I swear, I have never in my life had a car make me feel such unusual pains like this one! I think my family thought I was turning into a princess and the pea or a 90-year-old woman with all of these aches and pains popping up!) Last but not least, the Obus Forme was on the firm (more like hard) side too.
The next thing I did was go to Wal-Mart and buy a memory foam wedge-shaped lower back rest. Instead of putting the back rest at my lower back, though, I had the rest positioned on the upper part of my seat. It came with straps, so I looped the straps around the bars of the head restraint. It was most comfortable for me to have the thickest part of the restraint at the top by my shoulders, and then it got thinner as it went down. I loved the memory foam! This was comfortable for me, and my lower back was still able to touch the bottom half of the Honda seat, so I was able to sit fully in the seat. The only problem was that the back rest was too thick and took my head 3 inches away from the head restraint. I did not feel like I would be protected in a rear-end collision. So onto some other ideas...
I next went to the Honda dealership to see if I could look into swapping out the 2010 head restraint for a 2007 head restaint. I sat in a 2007 Odyssey driver's seat and felt totally comfortable. (As a side note: I discovered that the 2007 Odyssey head restraints are identical to the 2ND ROW (minivan) 2010 head restraints.) I then took out the 2007 head restraint from that vehicle and put it in my 2010 driver's seat. It locked in great, but when I sat down, I immediately felt different than what I felt when sitting in the 2007 vehicle. My head felt like it was still slightly being pushed forward. The only thing I could think of is that the 2008-2010 seats must be a little thinner on the top than the 2007 seats. The dealer said that could be the case by a few inches. As we all know, a few inches can make a difference! So I basically learned that, for me, the real issue was the seat tops. I needed seat tops to take my shoulder blades off the seat by just a few inches, but not so far off the seat to where I was too far away from the head restraint.
So now for my final solution. I liked the memory foam, so I went to K-mart and bought (on sale) a 1 1/2 inch. thick twin bed memory foam mattress topper. Using my original Wal-mart memory foam back rest as a guide, I traced out a rectangular shape that fit the upper 2/3 of my driver's seat. The foam was thin enough to where I could cut out my shape with a regular scissors. I then temporarily took a ribbon and two safety pins so I could make a loop arount the head restaint bars to hold my foam shape in place. (This all looks pretty tacky right now, but I am planning on having a friend cover this shape in fabric that matches my van's interior. I will then have her add straps that I can hook around the bar located behind the seat. I would rather not permanently have a strap around the head restraints bars, because I'm worried there's a slight chance that could interfere with the active restraint system.) In the end, I did still have to swap my driver's seat head rest and my 2nd row head rest, but with the 2nd row head rest and my 1 1/2 inch. thick memory foam at the top of my seat, my head is less than 1/4 inch away from my head restraint, so I feel very safe. I also have a back that feels WONDERFUL!!! The second row head restraint bars are the same as the first row, so I believe the active head restraint system will still work. For those of you who don't have a second row head restraint to switch out, I think getting a 2 in. thick mattress topper might work best for you. It all depends, however, on the person. As we have seen, one size does not fit all.
Like I said, the ultimate solution is for Honda to fix this problem, but I am glad I have something for now that makes me comfortable, makes me feel safe (I can't guarantee anything, though) and I did not have to permanently alter this car in any way in order to do this. (I care about resale value.) I also liked how my solution was relatively inexpensive. $50 for a mattress topper beats how much you would have to spend on new head restraints. I plan on making four of these foam shapes for my 1st and second row seats. I am hoping that with some nice fabric covering them, they won't look TOO noticeable.
I hope this helps someone else too! This whole experience has been an ordeal for sure!
04-27-2011 07:43 PM #103
I had just leased a honda
I had just leased a honda civic and sorry that I had. I have the same problems as everyone else here.
I like the idea of turning the headrest around but am afraid that this is dangerous in case of an accident.
What are your thoughts on turning the headrest around and how dangerous do you think this could be.
05-24-2011 07:46 AM #104
Ready to buy a honda tonight
Ready to buy a honda tonight and my husband insisted I go to see his choice. Less that 20 seconds I said I cannot ride in this car - my neck is still hurting. I'm 5'6'' but my head was pushed forward it was very uncomfortable, and brought back memories of renting a toyota highlander that ruined our vacation. Worst driving comfort ever.
No way will we buy a new car, off to find a used car before we attempt any of these fixes.
05-25-2011 06:13 AM #105
Having a similar problem
Having a similar problem with a 2007 Mazda 5 we just bought. When I put the lumbar support at it's most inflated and lean the seat back and put the headrest at its highest position (the opposite of what I initially thought would work), it's somewhat better, but I'm still thinking of getting an additional seat cushion. A bummer because this is the first car with leather seats I've ever owned (and heated seats). I'm also on the thin side, 5'4", and find the seats hurt my tailbone and the seat belt strap hits uncomfortably on my collarbone. We previously owned a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan and there's no comparison of the comfort level of the seats. Unfortunately I didn't notice all these things while on the short test drive. Other than these, I love the car.
05-26-2011 06:19 PM #106
We recently rented a new GMC
We recently rented a new GMC Arcadia and as soon as I sat in the front passenger seat I immediately had a problem with the headrest. Within 20 minutes I had incredible pain in my neck even though I tried the seat in 3-4 different positions. We stopped and my husband found it wasn't adjustable, so he removed it for the rest of out 3 hour trip. I was concerned because I knew if we were in an accident, my neck would snap all the way back, but I just couldn't live with the pain of the headrest installed.
On returning home, our company just purchased a 2011 Ford Explorer. I drove in it and found the headrests were the same way. I asked 3 other people who've driven it (ranging from 5'1" to 6'3") and they all found it terribly uncomfortable.
I say we pummel the DOT with emails. From a post above, here is the website of the regulation:
and an email to contact them
I was getting ready to buy a new car, but I'll keep my 2002 Honda for now.
05-27-2011 04:05 AM #107
Got a 2011 Honda Civic Coupe
Got a 2011 Honda Civic Coupe EX a few months ago and cannot drive in it for long without back and neck pain. I was wondering if you are still able to remove the headrest and turn it around in the 2011 model?
It seems that after some tugging it just won't budge. Am I just not pulling hard enough?
07-10-2011 05:26 AM #108
I too have a big problem
I too have a big problem with the 2009 Honda Accord headrest. I have tried every cusion and back support out there and nothing works. Right now I have the headrest turned around. That works fine but is a safety issue. Im going to have a friend bend the headrest back so that won't hit me in the back of the head.
07-12-2011 03:07 AM #109
I just test drove Honda
I just test drove Honda Accord, CRV, and Civic today. All of them have this severely angled headrest that pushes my head and shoulders away from the seat. Height adjustment made no difference. I liked the CRV the best and am wondering if anyone knows if it is possible to buy 2007 headrests from a CRV and if they will fit into the frame on the 2011. All the comments I have read thus far just mention the Civic and the Accord.
07-19-2011 09:21 AM #110
Wow, I feel better now
Wow, I feel better now knowing I am not the only one who's jaw hurts after riding my car. I have an 09 cr-v and not only am I having sever migraines after driving, but my jaw feels like it's not aligned anymore afterwards. I get dizzy after having my head against the headrest. It has now gotten to the point where I am ready to stand on the headrest and jump on it just to see if that will straighten the rods.