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It’s no secret that the benefits of meditation are positive and vast. Taking time to practice mindfulness and to relax your mind and joints can help reduce stress and anxiety, promote better sleep, and boost productivity. While starting a practice and sticking to it is already a challenge enough, what shouldn’t be hard is the surface you meditate on. As many who have sought zen know, discomfort acts as a distraction from reflection, so investing in a comfortable seat will make it a more pleasurable experience and help you stay focused.
“Meditation requires sitting in stillness for a period of time, usually for more than 10 minutes,—if simply hearing that hurts your bones, you are not alone,” says Dani Schenone, a registered yoga teacher and holistic wellness specialist at Mindbody. “Sitting still in any spot can cause aches and pains, making a meditation cushion an excellent addition to your budding or already-developed meditation practice,” she adds. A soft, heightened surface supports your hips by lifting them and allowing them to roll forward slightly, and it also keeps your spine aligned and your lower back in its natural curve.
When shopping for a meditation pillow, there are different types and features you should consider. Zafus, typically round cushions, are small and firm, helping to raise your hips and upper body when you are seated. Most contain buckwheat fill, and help keep your spine aligned during practice, since they allow your legs to relax and your hips to roll forward.
On the other hand, bolster meditation pillows are perfect for anyone who is a fan of more width and softer support beneath their hips. Bolsters also lift your pelvis and help with spine alignment. These cushions are also extremely versatile, and can double as a yoga prop, so if you’re also in the market for something to help you with your yoga poses, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck with a bolster pillow.
Schenone recommends prioritizing a cushion made of breathable soft fabric (think, cotton) that has a removable cover you can clean easily. As for the stuffing, make sure the material is pliable to your body shape, or consider an option that has removable filling so you can adjust it to your needs and desired level of firmness. And if you’re experiencing aches and pains while sitting for long periods of time, you can purchase a meditation set—a square mat and zafu pillow—for extra cushion and comfort.
Ahead, shop the best meditation pillows, according to customers who claim they’ve helped strengthen their practice.
Modeled after a traditional Japanese meditation seat, this “zafu,” or round cushion, will help keep your back straight and your spine aligned while you zen out. The thickness of the pillow allows you to sit for hours comfortably, and its durability means it will not flatten out over time. A lotus flower stitched on the top symbolizes unity, compassion, and growth to inspire your practice, and when you’re not meditating, this cushion can double as a floor seat when entertaining company at home, according to users.
One reviewer wrote: “Love this meditation pillow. The shape is perfect. It allows you to sit and have your whole bottom on it, while allowing your legs to sit in the lotus position. And the cushion helps to give better posture. It is firm so it supports your weight without sinking, [and] the material inside conforms to your shape so it is so comfortable. It is very well made and has a concealed zipper so you could have the cover cleaned or change the inside. Highly recommend. And the design is really pretty.”
At just $25, this meditation cushion delivers on durability, comfort, and value. It has a removable 100% cotton cover that can easily be washed, as well as a sustainably-sourced core of buckwheat, which can be removed until you achieve a firmness that’s comfortable for you. Using this pillow can help reduce fatigue, improve your posture, and allow you to meditate longer. Bonus: It comes in a round or crescent shape to suit your style and practice.
“I have previously purchased two of these for my office, now this one for home. They’re highly durable for meditation or floor-sitting with washable covers. Due to having a tailbone injury, I like that the fill can be removed to customize the cushion, though I haven’t needed to remove any to be comfortable. Meditation cushions can be expensive. This one is great and a great value,” reported a shopper.
Designed by a yoga teacher to increase comfort and extend your practice, this rectangular mat offers more space for you to rest in different positions. Whether sitting or kneeling, the soft and luxurious velvet covering adds even more comfort to further your training (just store it away when not in use, or risk it becoming a pet bed or napping spot for your kids!). The cushion is available in eight crystal-inspired tones, and is perfect for anyone wanting to support a female-owned business, since AJNA is run by two sisters.
“I’m new to yoga, meditating, and practicing mindfulness, but this zabuton is a great addition to my collection,” shared a customer. “I love the color and it is comfortable and large enough for me. I was a little concerned when I first opened the package, because it didn’t puff up right away, and [it appeared] flatter than what was pictured, but it has taken form now. Give it a few days, well worth the wait.”
Small yet substantial, this cushion is 14 inches in diameter and six inches tall and is perfect for all levels of practice—from newbies to fully-seasoned meditators. It features a breathable cotton cover and is filled with eco-friendly, USA-grown buckwheat husks. And it comes in six colorways to suit anyone’s taste and style.
One fan said: “I’m still struggling to establish meditation practice in my life. I’ve heard of these cushions but didn’t know why I would need one, the floor seemed just fine to me. Then I decided to just buy in hopes that I will have [an] invited dedicated space to meditate which would help facilitate establishing a habit of it. I’m pleasantly surprised. First, out of the box, it was much smaller than I imagined, but the size works. It’s perfect for me. And it really helps maintain posture. I’m just so surprised at what a difference it makes. I’m quite happy!”
For a low commitment option, this inflatable style has a price tag of just $20. It makes for an ideal travel option (and is also great for small spaces), since it can lie flat in your suitcase or be folded and tucked into a drawer or closet once deflated. Side handles make for easy and convenient transportation, the vibrant cover adds some personality to the meditation nook of your home, and the cotton fabric can be can be laundered in your washing machine when it needs a refresh. Bonus: It also comes with a small hand pump for easy inflation.
“I wanted a meditation cushion that was portable and easy to move,” wrote a shopper. “This was the perfect solution! It takes up very little space in my suitcase and is inflatable, so very light.”
The ergonomic design of this meditation pillow can assist in maintaining the alignment of your spine and back, and some reviewers seem to think it’s a “better supportive shape” than the typical round cushions. The curved shape also reduces numbness and stress on joints. The buckwheat stuffing strikes the right balance of firm-yet-comfortable, but it also can be added or removed through the zipper access to find the right level for you. A convenient handle on the side makes it easy to carry from where you store it to your favorite relaxing spot, whether indoors or surrounded by nature. And don’t worry about this getting dirty from outdoor zen sessions—the cotton cover can be removed and tossed into the laundry.
“It was exactly what I was looking for and better than expected! The pillow is well-made with a perfect amount of firm filling, and very comfortable shape. The cover is removable for washing. There is also a secondary zipper [that] allows removing some of the fillings as needed. I can sit on it for a long time and it still feels comfy. It’s even nice to sit on the floor when not meditating! I love it!” raved a customer.
This meditation pillow may look a little bit different than the ones you are used to, but the bolster-shape is a customer favorite and boasts an impressive 4.7 rating, with more than 2,500 reviews. This ultra-soft cushion offers softer support during meditation and yoga, while still lifting your pelvis and providing great spine alignment, thanks to the plush cotton fill. The removable cover can be easily be washed, and a handle makes it seamless to carry,
One reviewer wrote: “I’ve been practicing Yin yoga for almost three years and have seen people in classes use their bolster and swear upon them. After FINALLY getting this one, I doubt I can ever go back to not using it! This bolster has a good amount of heft to support me in about any position, especially in Sleeping Swan! The material is comfortable and overall easy to clean. I’ve yet to try other bolsters or supports for yoga, but I can safely say I’d be happy to buy another of these for myself or as a present for other yoga lovers in my life!”
If sustainable practices are important to you, look no further than this round meditation cushion. It has a removable machine-washable, organic cotton cover, which has a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) seal—meaning, it guarantees controlled organic cotton, ecological dyeing, and fair and safe working conditions for employees. On top of that, it’s filled with natural buckwheat that can be adjusted to get your desired firmness and seat height.
“I have always used a folded blanket to sit on for meditation. But when I decided to get more serious about my practice, I knew I needed a legit cushion,” shared one user. “I looked and looked and finally decided on this one. It arrived quickly and as described. It is SO much better for my back! Now, it IS kind of hard and hurts my tush after a long session. (But I don’t have much padding as far as that goes anyway.) However, the ease of my back more than makes up for it. I highly recommend this!”
For anyone wanting to dedicate a space to their meditation practice—maybe a corner in a room they hope to fill with crystals, Himalayan lamps, and candles—your selection needs to encourage more of an environment. This set includes a supportive sitting mat (27 x 31 inches) and a zen cushion (16 inches), helping you to find proper spine alignment, a comfier position for knees and ankles, and a warmer, more inviting setting since the mat protects your limbs from cold floors in winter. The round pillow comes with a convenient carrying strap, while the floor mat can be rolled and tucked away when not in use. The set is available in 14 amazing colors and patterns to suit your home.
“I have arthritis. Any time I’ve sat down to meditate on zabutans and zafus, my knees and ankles end up feeling like someone is sawing them off the entire time. With this set, I’m able to sit for a full hour, before my legs start to hurt and fall asleep. I highly recommend, it is super comfy and easy to drop in,” reported a shopper.
Meditation can do wonders for anxiety, stress, and overall mental health, and a cozy pillow allows for extra relief by adding a sensory element to your practice. If you don’t want or need a seat cushion, and prefer to hold onto something comforting in your lap, try this faux fur pillow by Lurera. Not only does it have an incredibly soft exterior, but it includes a microwaveable heating pad to soothe you and a battery-powered heartbeat simulator that makes it feel like you’re getting a hug from another human being or pet—which could help you focus your breathing, find your center, and calm yourself when anxiety hits.
“Being the flustered little ball of nerves that I am, I knew this product was something that would be right up my *ALLY* (see what I did there? 😏).
Meet the #LureraPillow 🌙🛏 the soft, fuzzy, soothing #anxietyrelief cuddle pillow 💫 complete with a heating pad and a heartbeat, so you’ll swear you were snuggling with a furry loved one or close pal 🥰 that’s the beauty of this pillow, it mimics the tactile touch of a pet or another human being when circumstances don’t allow for the real thing, which has been shown to ease anxiety and promote calmness,” said one happy customer on Instagram.
If you normally suffer from back pain, or find that you aren’t able to focus on your meditation practice due to back aches from sitting for long stretches of time, check out this cushion that doubles as a zen pillow and supportive seat for your office chair. The U-shaped design relieves back and tailbone discomfort by offering even, dispersed pressure, while the memory foam fill provides firmness and support. The seat pillow also features an anti-slip bottom to keep it in place on the floor or in your chair, and the cover is removable and washable. Plus, it’s travel size, so you can take this on a plane to use while working remotely or practicing your meditation during vacation.
One reviewer wrote: “I use this for my meditation practices to sit on the floor. I usually place this on top of another pillow to support my toes. This seat has been working great for me. Before when I sat on other pillows, I wasn’t able to hold the upright spine for a long time and my muscles start aching in the back. With this seat support, I can sit for longer times and I can maintain my straight spine without pain. I’d definitely recommend this product!”