In my list of the best meditation cushions to buy, you’ll find Zafus, Zabutons, pillows and mats to use for meditation and yoga
The best meditation cushions offer back support that corrects your posture. Good posture helps you to focus when meditating and reduces the risk of knee and back pain. If you’ve been experiencing discomfort when sitting, a zafu or zabuton will help both your body and mind.
In this guide, I will help you buy a meditation cushion set that is perfect for your individual needs.
We’ll look at:
- Best meditation cushions and pillows with reviews
- Why you need one
- How to choose a meditation cushion
- Where to buy meditation zafus online, in the USA, UK or Canada
- Other furniture ideas
- Why Zafu and Zabutons are essential.
Best meditation cushions online [Zafu / Pillows] for 2020
Here are my picks of the best meditation cushions sets.
If you’re looking for the best meditation cushion for beginners, I recommend this one from Lewadee. It is a beautiful and very comfortable set. The pattern design will look lovely in any Zen room, and both the meditation Zafu and Zabuton are plush and comfy.
What makes this the best meditation cushion for beginners is the combination of design and comfort. It is filled with kapok, which is a sustainable plant fibre, and solidly built. I find this one delightfully comfortable, which is why I consider it the best meditation cushion for beginners. There are lots of different colour choices too. My favourite is the blue one. Do bear in mind that some of them appear a little bit different in real life to how they look in the pictures.
Overall, if you’re looking to buy a zafu and zabuton meditation cushion set, you should consider this one.
This is one of the best meditation pillows for beginners. It is a very 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 the best meditation cushions are made of buckwheat, it’s because they feel similar to 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 meditation 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, when you’re looking to buy a meditation pillow that looks great and feels comfy, this is a solid choice. Plus, it has a very casual look so you can even use it in the living room when you’re watching the TV!
Bloom Meditation Cushion
This is one of the best meditation cushions when it comes to sheer visual appeal. I mean, look at it. It is beautiful! 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 meditation 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 Benches]
Benefits of meditation cushions (for bad knees, bad back, and more)
There are lots of reasons to buy a meditation cushion (zafu). You will get lots of benefits from them. Of course, the main reason people buy a zafu is for pure comfort while you are sitting for long sessions. And if you have posture problems and you like to meditate for long periods, you absolutely should buy a zafu to sit on, and preferably one specifically designed to support the knees and back.
One of the worst things that can happen when you’re sitting is that you sustain an injury, especially a spinal injury. The best meditation pillows will help to make sure that you sit with proper posture, which removes strain from your knees and back, to prevent injury.
Bad Knees And Back
One of the most popular reasons to get a meditation pillow set is for bad knees and bad backs. A staggering amount of people have problems with their knees and backs, and this can lead to severe problems. The key is to correct your posture.
Consider the fact that bad posture can:
- Cause pain in the lower back and knees, as well as in the neck, shoulders or wrists
- Cause negative emotions like anxiety and depression
- Cause digestive issues because of the constriction of your gut
- Prevent proper breathing because your diaphragm is compressed
- Cause tension headaches
- And ruin your focus, making your practice sessions pointless
The best meditation cushions will correct your posture, so you sit correctly, supporting not just your practice but your health too.
Plus, because they improve your posture, they also help you to meditate. Sitting correctly with good posture helps the mind to focus, meaning you go deeper into your practice. Ultimately, you get both physical and mental benefits from a good pillow. They are easily worth the investment.
How To Pick Your Best Meditation PIllow And Mat Set
Different meditators have different needs.
Your height, weight, budget, reasons for meditating, and the space you meditate in will affect your choice of meditation cushion.
So let’s talk about how to choose a meditation cushion for your individual needs.
Step 1: Why do you need one?
Different people have different needs.
Before you buy meditation pillows, 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 to buy a zafu that is perfect for you.
Ask yourself the following questions.
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 kneeling 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 the best meditation pillow would be a large, solid one.
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, such as knee support or back support?
Many people have special requirements that require specific meditation cushion sets.
For instance, if you have spinal injuries, you will want to look for the very best meditation cushion for back pain. This will be your number one priority so that you can sit comfortably without worrying about worsening your spine—same thing with the knees.
If you have an injury, it should be your top priority to get a pillow that supports the injured part of your body. Meditation cushions with back support will state so on the description page (or label).
4: If it’s for home, where will you put it?
You can find all different kinds of meditation cushions on sale, with different aesthetic and designs, from small ones to big ones, round ones to rectangular ones. When you buy a meditation cushion, 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? Naturally, you want your Zen room to look beautiful, and it will probably feature other items like a Buddha statue, for instance. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know your colour schemes before you buy a zafu or zabuton, so your overall room ends up looking beautiful.
Note that you might need a specific height if you are putting it in a spiritual shrine or altar.
Pillows and posture
The average person spends a long time sitting. That’s why proper posture is vital.
Your body needs proper support when you’re sitting, or you may suffer a spinal injury.
If you are sitting for a long time in the wrong position, you’ll put pressure on your spine, your legs, your gluts, everything.
Want to pay for a chiropractor? Didn’t think so. So make sure you’re posture is right.
Proper posture means that your spine is erect with your lower back curved in (lumbar support, people). Your upper back is going to be a little bit curved, and your head and neck should feel like they are floating lightly towards the ceiling.
You will know when you have the right position because it will feel as though your spine is holding itself up with zero effort.
You might want to test before you buy a zabuton or zafu. Here’s how:
- Sit in it.
- 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 a meditation cushion online, obviously 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 Pillows
Different pillows are suitable for different postures:
Kneeling meditation cushions
The best zafu / meditation cushions for kneeling are the traditional style of zafu that offer plenty of knee support. Alternative options are a Yoga Bolster, Rectangular Meditation Cushion, or Meditation Bench
If you want to buy a zafu for kneeling, make sure it offers lots of support for your upper body and reduces the pressure on your knee joints. This will help reduce the risk of injury.
A BackJack Chair is one of the best options for sitting positions. Backjack chairs are sturdy floor chairs usually filled with foam.
For maximum support on your lower back, you might also like to use a round cushion with your backjack chair, which will help to get your spine in the right ‘S’ position.
For Lying Down (Shavasana).
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.
Step 3. Different types of meditation pillows
The next thing to do before you buy a zabuton or zafu is to determine what broad-range category you’re going to be getting.
Let’s take a look.
- 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.
- Most zafus are fine for people of regular height and weight.
- If you are a little taller you might like to buy a zafu cushion that gives plenty of room for your legs; otherwise, you will feel cramped.
- 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.
- Traditional zen meditation cushions are wide, which produces plenty of support for the legs when you’re sitting in full-lotus position.
- Overall, you should buy a zen meditation pillow if you’re going to be doing Zazen, or if you are on the tall side.
Rectangular Meditation Cushion:
- These are often the best cushions for home because the shape means they take up less space.
- They’re easier to put away after your sessions.
- You might find that with a rectangular meditation cushion set, you need to fold your legs in more, which is fine for those of us who are flexible but could be challenging for other people.
- It’s best to buy a Zabuton if you need extra support for your knees or back when kneeling to meditate. They are also very good for the ankles (many people suffer from ankle pain when kneeling).
- It’s best to buy a zabuton if you have knee injuries.
- Usually, Zabutons are put under one of the other types of cushions. This is why “zafu and zabuton meditation cushion sets” are so popular. This provides additional support and will help make sure that you sit in the right position.
These are the best types of kneeling meditation cushions to buy. And they can also make for beautiful decorative pieces.
You might like to buy a yoga mat in addition to a cushion (extra support + that hallmark Zen fashion style)
4. Choose the best colour
So now you should have a pretty good idea of what type of pillow you’d like to get. The next consideration is what colour cushion you’d like.
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 meditation more and will encourage you to get deeper into meditation.
- Orange: A positive colour that’s excellent for happiness and positivity.
- Yellow: Produces feelings of joy.
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 great prices. And the ones I picked above are all very high-quality zafus. 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 the regular home style cushions.
And that is how to choose a meditation cushion.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Write a comment and remember to subscribe.