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Aftermarket headrests for Toyota?

I’m looking for a new car and find the headrests on my favorites (Toyota RAV4 & Scion) to be very uncomfortable since no matter how it’s adjusted, it pushes the head forward. Sales guy says it’s for safety/5-star rating. I’d be happy with a little LESS safe if it means it would be more comfy for daily driving. Does anyone know if there are quality (safe) aftermarket headrests for cars? Something that doesn’t jut as far forward?

Not All Cars Are A Good Fit For All People.

You found this out early. It’s bad when you find out after you purchase. I don’t know how you’d modify this and even then you are altering the safety designed into it. Besides that, you shouldn’t have to remanufacture the car.

I’d look for a vehicle that’s a better fit and be sure to go on an “extended test drive” or two. Do you have to have a Japanese branded car? You are overlooking quite a few good candidates if you do.


There are no “safe, aftermarket” headrests.

The headrest on any vehilcle should not contact your head during normal driving. If it does there’s something wrong, and I suggest you investigate the reason you’re having this problem.

“Headrest” is not the best nomenclature for this device. It should probably be called a “head restraint,” to function in case or a crash.

If you’re using the head restraint as a head rest I don’t know what to say. You shouldn’t be resting your head while driving.

Unfortunately, the feds must have changed some safety standards, because this seems to be a very common complaint on new cars (2008 and later, at least). My only solution (besides finding a different car) it to tilt the back a little more than usual and slide the seat a little forward. I’m not aware of any aftermarket headrests.

Texases – The Toyota sales guy agreed that it’s a common complaint now. I’ve always driven with the seat very straight up, but you’re right – with the new headrest configuration, tilting the back just a bit does help. Thanks for the tip.

I’m going to keep looking and see if the problem is a little less pronounced in some of the other manufacturers/models. I’m looking at several models from U.S., Korea & Japan for something that can haul stuff, have decent gas mileage, would allow me (5’6") to sleep in the back every now and then, and have large windows/view. AWD or 4wd would be a plus (so I can camp on the far side of the hill if it’s prettier there).

I love my old CRV but the new CRVs have reduced window size/visibility. Chevy Equinox also has small windows; HHR is a possibility doesn’t have as smooth a ride as others. Kia Soul is a little small (though darned cute!) and Rondo would serve all the functions needed but seems really boring. Just haven’t found “the perfect car” yet. The old CRV spoiled me.

I have found the new headrest restraint requirements to be horible on all makes and models. On the Toyota (some models) at least you can take them out and put them in backwards to be more comfortable, but not perfect. The newer VW Routan finally came out with an adjustable headrest. Hopefully all car makers will followsuit with adjustable headrests. My 2003 car has a comfortable verical headrest that I put my head against half the time. Now all new cars that I test drive force my head forward in an uncomfortable position that on a long drive would give me a stiff neck. Good luck.


USA Today has a story confirming that the feds have new requirements on how far a headrest can be from the driver’s head, and that is why they sit so close. Because so many drivers insist on heavily reclined positions, automakers have canted the headrests far forward to keep them legal in the average “reclined” position.

They also go on to state that Ford has put adjustable headrests in the new Explorer and is rolling them out to all their models that allow the driver to rotate the headrest to allow for a more comfortable upright seating position.

Of course the story acts like this is some sort of new idea - but I’ve seen rotating headrests before… maybe these ones latch and are therefore legal while the old ones didn’t?