There are several different types of meditation cushions, including zafus, zabutons, pillows, and mats. These cushions can help to improve your posture and to provide more support your knees and back. In turn, they will make it easier to meditate.
In this guide we’ll look at:
- Best meditation cushions
- Why you need one
- How to choose a
- Where to buy
- Other furniture ideas
Meditation Cushions We Recommend
This is a beautiful and wonderfully comfortable set. The pattern design will look lovely in any Zen room, and both the Zafu and Zabuton are plush and comfortable.
What makes this one so good is the combination of design and comfort. It is filled with kapok, which is a sustainable plant fibre. And it is solidly built.
I find this one delightfully comfortable, which is why I like it. There are lots of different colour choices too. My favourite is the blue one.
Oh but a little warning. Some of them appear a little bit different in real life to how they look in the pictures. You can visit the manifacturers site here.
This is a great pillow for meditators who have back problems. It is an amazingly comfortable buckwheat pillow that is a subtle colour so it can fit into your home decor, even in the living room.
If you’ve ever wondered why meditation cushions are made of buckwheat, it’s because they feel like beach sand and they produce a grounded feeling that helps you to focus when sitting.
The one small gripe I have is that the pictures of the Crystal Cover pillow on Amazon don’t look quite the same as the real thing. The patterns are different. This is a small point, and I do still like the way it looks, but I would have preferred it to look exactly like the photo.
Nevertheless, this is a good choice. Plus, it has a very casual look so you can even use it in the living room when you’re watching the TV!
This cushion looks stunning. It has a leaf effect which adds a lovely natural aesthetic to your space. One of the sweet little touches is that you can customize it.
The Bloom meditation pillow comes in firm or soft varieties, so whatever kind of floor cushion you’re looking for, you will be able to create it with the customization options.
I will say that it is quite a small cushion. And I found it a little bit too firm for my liking. But I know many people who love it. And I do like the design! That’s why it made this list.
You might also like to consider a bench [READ: Best Meditation Benches]
Benefits of Meditation Cushions
Helps with Bad Knees and Back
One of the most popular reasons to get a meditation pillow set is that they help improve your posture and thereby eleviate pressure on the knees and back.
Improves overall health
By improving your posture, a good cushion will also help with other health concerns.
Consider the fact that bad posture can:
- Cause pain in the lower back, neck, shoulders, knees, and wrists.
- Cause digestive issues because of the constriction of your gut
- Prevent proper breathing because your diaphragm is compressed
- Cause negative emotions like anxiety and depression.
- Cause tension headaches.
- And ruin your focus, making your practice sessions pointless
- Because they improve your posture, meditation cushions also help you meditate. Sitting correctly with good posture helps the mind to focus, meaning you go deeper in your practice.
How To Choose
Different meditators have different needs. Your height, weight, budget, reasons for meditating, and the space you meditate in will affect your choice of a meditation cushion.
So, let’s talk about how to choose a meditation cushion for your individual needs.
Step 1: Why do you need one?
Before you buy, choose what you need from one. Is it visual appeal? Is it to help to correct your posture? Is it to alleviate a specific pain you’ve been experiencing when you practice?
Nailing down your reason for getting one will help you choose.
2: What type of exercises will you be doing?
When you buy a zafu or zabuton, you need to bear in mind the type of exercise that you will be doing in it and how that exercise might affect your posture.
Zazen, for instance, requires kneeling. So, of course, you will want to get a meditation cushion with knee support if this is the type of exercise you will be doing on it.
Other exercises are done sitting down, for which I recommend a large, solid cushion.
And still, some exercises use Shavasana (lying down to meditate), in which case you might like a small head pillow.
Decide which technique you’ll be doing before choosing a meditation cushion.
3: Any special requirements?
Many people have specific requirements that require specific types of cushions.
If you have an injury, it should be your top priority to get a pillow that supports the injured part of your body.
4: Where will you put it?
Make sure it fits with the rest of the room you’re putting it in. What colour will you get? Does the pattern/design matter?
Note that you might need a cushion of a specific height if you are putting it in a spiritual shrine or altar.
5. Choose the best colour
The colour of your zabuton or zafu cushion should promote the state of mind that you want when you meditate.
- Red: The warmest colour. Creates feelings of love and passion.
- Green: Connects you with nature and produces balance and calmness.
- Blue: The most relaxing colour. Helps you to calm.
- Black: Black is a serious colour that produces feelings of authority. This will make you respect your practice more and will encourage you to go deeper into it.
- Orange: A positive colour that’s excellent for happiness and positivity.
- Yellow: Produces feelings of joy.
6. Where To Buy
There are many places where you can buy meditation cushions. Online, in local stores near you (in the UK and Canada I find many little Zen stores sell these, and yoga studios can be an excellent place to get them too).
It is certainly easiest to buy zafus online. Amazon has a lot of good options at fantastic prices. And the ones I picked above are all very high-quality.
If you prefer shopping near you, however, make sure you visit a specialist store that sells products for meditators because there are differences between zafus and zabutons and regular home-style cushions.
7. Test it
You might want to test before you buy a zabuton or zafu. Here’s how:
- Sit on the cushion
- Get comfy.
- Check your spine. It should have natural curves and feel comfortable.
- Stay seated for 10 minutes. You should not have any discomfort.
- Feels cosy? Great. It’s a keeper. Honestly, forget whether it said if it has back support. Just go with what feels best.
- If you buy online, obviously you will not be able to test it. You can make up for this by looking for reviews from people with similar needs.
Different types of Meditation Cushions
There are many types of kneeling meditation cushions. Options include a zafu, Yoga Bolster, Rectangular Cushion, or Meditation Bench
A BackJack Chair is one of the best options for sitting positions. Backjack chairs are sturdy floor chairs usually filled with foam. You might want to combine a backjack with a cushion so you get maximum support for your spine. One good manufacturer of these is Sage.
For lying down, you will want to buy a meditation mat so that you can lie in Shavasana comfortably. These mats offer basic support for your whole body. You can also add a yoga bolster and yoga blanket for extra support under your knees, back, and neck.
These are the traditional zen cushions. Zafus are generally round and have a pleated cushion. When you buy a zafu, make sure it lifts your body in such a way that your legs and spine are comfortable. You will generally position yourself on the edge of your zafu so that the hips roll forwards slightly. This slight movement helps to get your spine into proper alignment.
This is a very stylish cushion that looks like a children’s drawing of a butterfly. Cosmic Cushions feature a built-in slope that helps to make sure you sit in the proper position.
These are often the best ones for home because the shape means they take up less space. They’re easier to put away after your sessions.
A mat used to provide additional support to help make sure that you sit in the right position.
Giving Is Caring
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison