Are Tesla Model 3 Headrest Adjustments Possible & Worth The Hassle?

By Nicki Schill •  Updated: 10/30/21 •  6 min read

Did you know whiplash injuries occur in about 1.3 million auto accidents a year?

It also costs a whopping $30 billion per year to treat those injuries.

That’s enough to make your head spin, right?

Well, the easiest way to prevent whiplash is to have your car seat’s headrest positioned just right. But to do that, you need an adjustable headrest.

By default, Tesla Model 3’s headrest is only adjustable vertically.

There are ways to further adjust your headrest, though, and we’ll walk you through a couple of options if you’re finding the headrest in the Model 3 unbearable.

Vertical Headrest Adjustments? No Problem

The Model 3’s headrest can be moved up and down pretty easily.

It can take a little bit of grip strength to get in there and pop up the headrest, but here’s a video detailing how to undo the clip and set the headrest to your preferred height.

Instructions start @ 0:28

Unfortunately, moving the headrest up or down is the only easy adjustment you can make.

And it’s a shame because lots of drivers out there are complaining that the headrest is just not that comfortable and even pushes you forward.

It doesn’t allow for a proper upright position as Reddit user DangerPretzel noted, and it forces a hunched forward position that’s especially uncomfortable for those suffering with bad backs.

Some drivers are just sucking it up and getting used to the headrest pushing them forward, while others are taking matters into their own hands and getting creative with a little DIY.

With some elbow grease, you can adjust the tilt of your headrest forward or backward.

How to Adjust the Tesla Model 3 Headrest Yourself

While the headrests are there as a safety feature, many argue that comfort is just as important in your vehicle.

If the Model 3’s headrest is proving to be too uncomfortable for you, here are the steps to follow for moving the headrest backward or forward:

  1. Simply remove the clip just as you would to adjust the headrest up or down, but this time, take the headrest completely out.
  1. Next, with some pliers, remove the headrest’s material cover so you don’t damage or tear it.
  1. Using a vise to steady the headrest and hollow tubes to pull on the metal poles, you can start to adjust the angle the headrest sits at.

A helpful note is to judge how far to bend the poles based on where the passenger seat’s headrest is angled at.

Jon Osborne, a Model 3 owner, used a cardboard mock up to estimate the angle change required for this comfort. He provides the detailed steps he took to make his own adjustments to the headrest in his YouTube channel:

Cardboard Mockup starts at 0:09. Modification starts at 1:36.

Make this change at your own risk.

This might be a bit labor-intensive and risky for some drivers, but there are also accessories out there that can up your comfort level with dismantling your Model 3.

A Quick Fix to Move the Headrest Backward

Tesla Owners Online user Garsh pointed out that this forward position it’s not just a Tesla problem

Auto Manufacturers have to comply with new laws that require head restraints to be no more than 2.2″ from the back of a passenger’s head.

Credit to Tesla Owners Online.

Garsh took matters into his own hands, however, and actually just reversed the headrest altogether.

Not a bad idea — and a very quick fix.

Take a Softer, Easier Ride With Headrest Pillows

If taking apart the headrest doesn’t interest you, there’s an easier solution to get to that next level of comfort.

You can find very comfortable headrest support pillows on the market. Let’s look at a few options:

1. RPM Tesla Accessories Headrest Pillow

tesla model 3 headrest adjustments

RPM Tesla carries this Pillow (compatible with all Tesla models) for as low as $99.

It’s adjustable in 3 ways: thickness, height, and angle.

The company put up a video that walks you through common concerns, including how to install and adjust these pillows:

See timeline outline @ 0:20. The adjustment instructions start @ 1:08

They’re made of the same vegan vinyl material as the Tesla seats, plus it comes in all sorts of colors to match your Tesla’s interior.

2. EV Premium Customs Headrest Pillows ($150)

Featured on Electrek, these pillows are all about neck comfort and come with an elastic strap for easy installation.

Originally, these came with the Tesla logo on them, but since selling out and restocking, EV Premium no longer puts the logo on their pillows.

Currently, they are only available in black or white, and users noticed how soft and clean their stitching is to match the Tesla interior.

With lots of 5-star reviews, these pillows allow you to rest your neck and head on the seat while still maintaining a good posture to drive.

Drivers noted how these pillows take a good ride and make it great with a little cloud behind your head.

3. TesCamp Headrest Pillows (Available on Amazon)

tesla model 3 headrest adjustments

For a third of the price of the others on this list, these seem like a steal for two pillows, two straps plus four extra replacement straps, and extra filler for thickness adjustments thrown in.

The TesCamp pillows have the same look and feel as the Tesla interior and take under 5 minutes to install.

After the strap is in place, it’s not noticeable, and the pillow blends in with the seat.

There are no complaints on the quality, but drivers say it takes a bit to get used to the feeling of the pillows, but the same can be said for the Tesla headrest.

Final Thoughts: Are Tesla Model 3 Headrest Adjustments Possible & Worth The Hassle?

You’re not alone if you find the Tesla Model 3’s headrest to be really uncomfortable. Tesla owners complain that it’s placed too far forward.

And while it’s a shame that Tesla hasn’t allowed for easier adjustments to be made on their headrests, DIY options and third-party pillows are available today to make your trips a bit more bearable.

Nicki Schill

Nicki Schill is a writer and content marketer out of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. As the former Geotab Marketing Manager, she’s got loads of experience in electric vehicles and fleet electrification. She’s a tech blogger and marketing guru who enjoys all things Canadian like hockey and poutine.

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