8 Best Meditation Cushions for Concentration & Comfort
Before we start – I am no ‘guru’ nor a spiritual expert. I just enjoy Meditation and Yoga and wanted to start a blog from my perspective of trying to create a daily routine that allows me a glimpse of the stillness they can bring. I try to link out to as many reputable sources within these posts as I can, some of these external links enable me to earn a commission which helps towards the running of the blog.
True meditation doesn’t really require anything other than the ability to quiet your mind, however many of us develop certain meditation rituals that we like to turn to each day that compliments our individual preferences for meditating.
So while it is definitely not essential to have a cushion to start a meditation practice, there are some distinct advantages to sitting on a meditation cushion that may enhance your experience and help you get and stay in the Zen zone! Your sitting meditation posture could be the difference between understanding proper alignment or a bad back.
Ancient Chinese monks used to hand weave grass mats which were used like meditation cushions. They also carried these mats with them on their backs and used them as hats if it started to rain. They used them to place on the wet ground and meditate sitting on top of them for hours in full or half lotus. However, you will be pleased to hear, nowadays the best meditation cushions are a lot more comfortable and are designed especially for long periods of sitting.
Meditation is a life-changing skill but it is also an experience and an intensely personal one. Proper alignment in your meditation posture will make it easier for you to stick to your practice, simply because you will be comfortable. You don’t have to master full or half lotus straight away, a cushion can give you confidence to try whatever meditation position you want.
Meditation and mindfulness are appearing so frequently in the media it seems everyone is in a rush to define meditation one way or another, either as a philosophical concept or a way to boost mental and emotional health. While all of this is wonderful the fact remains that in order to really experience meditation you actually have to be willing to do it. That means making it part of your daily routine, a habit that you turn to as easily as you would making that first cup of tea or coffee. In order to make it something you stick to, why not ensure that your meditation experience is as comfortable as possible? As this guide will explore, this can be achieved with the right meditation cushion or even a meditation chair which includes back support.
It can be all too easy to get frustrated with your busy thoughts, get distracted by outside noises or feel uncomfortable and give up. Do yourself a favor and define a sacred space for your meditation ritual. You don’t want to get discouraged from meditation, so do everything you can to make it a routine, a habit, a comfortable and special experience. Having a dedicated meditation cushion can really help with this.
Just having it in the vicinity acts as a reminder to meditate. You will come to view your meditation cushion as a symbol of everything calm and sacred and that moment of Zen becomes impossible to do without. If you’re still new to the art of meditation a great way to learn is with the help of a meditation book.
Benefits of using a meditation cushion
There are obvious health benefits associated with using a cushion for meditation. However, just to be clear, the meditation cushions we examine in this guide should be used to sit on, not to rest your head on as a traditional cushion may be. That isn’t to say you can’t meditate while lying down, however, and you can find out more about meditation and sleep in our dedicated guide.
Believe it or not, sitting still can actually be physically quite demanding. Meditation requires you to tune into your breath and body, becoming acutely aware of how you feel throughout. That’s why meditation cushions can be a welcome addition to your practice.
It’s common to start to feel restless and uncomfortable after sitting for a long period of time. We all have different shaped bodies, and without proper support, extended periods of sitting still can cause your posture to droop, and your body to misalign. Using a meditation cushion assists you to maintain good posture and proper alignment while meditating and also lessens any pain or discomfort. For those people with more serious back problems, a meditation chair might be something to look into.
To learn to sit still and remain comfortable you have to know how to sit so that your spine is supporting itself naturally without strain. It is actually challenging to sit, with an upright spine and remain comfortable in your lower back for any length of time, especially if you are not used to it. The proper alignment for sitting is with an erect spine with the lower back curved slightly in and the upper back curved slightly out. Your head should be level and your neck curved slightly inwards. Meditation cushions can be used to lift you and assist your spine. Once you’re happy with your posture during meditation you can also enhance your practice in other ways, including through the use of incense. Carve out the time for a practice session you can look forward to, prepare your cozy corner with your favorite meditation pillows, incense holder, and candles.
Using a meditation cushion supports this pose as a firm foundation
Spending a long time seated in a meditation pose like Sukhasna (cross-legged) can also cause meditation practitioners to experience discomfort in their hip joints. We all have different levels of flexibility, body types and our hip joints rotate differently. Some people simply cannot sit cross-legged for long, if their hip joints tend to rotate internally, causing their knees to rise higher than their hipbones.
Your aim is to be able to sit in comfort, without becoming restless or feeling any kind of pain so that you can get the best out of your meditation experience, and practice for as long as you like.
Different types of meditation cushions
When choosing the right meditation cushion or meditation pillow for your individual needs, consider the way that you prefer to sit and your own height and flexibility and the kind of back support you crave. The idea of all meditation cushions is to provide support for you as a kind of meditation seat by elevating your pelvis so that your hips remain above your knees. That way healthy blood flow to your legs and feet is assured and you will be able to meditate for longer with a tall spine and free-flowing energy. You can choose from different materials and fillings for your cushion set, such as cotton twill fabric, memory foam, organic cotton batting, and buckwheat hull filling. You can also find an attractive range of colors and design options on the market such as a lotus flower or wave design (inspired by California tide pools).
A Zafu meditation cushion is a traditional round pleated meditation pillow that raises the hips up enabling your legs to rest comfortably. It’s like a sort of mediation seat. You usually sit on the front half or the edge of the zafu with your thighs sloping downwards. Zafu cushions increase the stability of the spine by encouraging its natural alignment, which in turn creates support for your neck and head. You will find it easy to maintain an upright posture while meditating. If used alone, the zafu meditation cushion is good for people of average height and normal flexibility.
Zabuton meditation cushions are larger and provide support for the knees and ankles. Usually, people place a zafu cushion on top of a zabuton for maximum comfort and alignment in their meditation seat. The zabuton helps cushion your knees and ankles from touching the floor which just adds to more of a comfortable meditation experience.
The silky and resilient Kapok fiber has been used for hundreds of years as a traditional cushion filling. It is a natural, soft fiber that comes from the seedpod of the kapok tree in Asia. Cushions made from kapok fiber are firmer with very little bulging or give under your weight.
Buckwheat hulls are also used for cushion stuffing, but unlike kapok, they do bulge under body weight. They are the outer chag of the buckwheat, small and dark, and shaped like saucers. They are softer and form to your shape, allowing you to shift around on top of the cushion with a feeling of sand beneath you. They tend to feel more stable to people than kapok cushions are generally preferred.
Best Meditation Cushion Reviews
Below you will find our meditation cushion reviews to assist you when making the healthiest, most informed choices for your own zen meditation practice, enabling you to focus your mind and not be distracted by any physical discomfort. When chosen correctly, a meditation cushion can be a wonderful tool for your practice, boosting your back support and comfort level. Read on to find out more about the best meditation cushions designed to assist the human body and enhance your practice session.
Seat Of Your Soul Buckwheat Hull Filled Yoga Meditation Cushion
This buckwheat filled zafu crescent moon cushion is a great option as a meditation seat, it offers a soft and stable foundation that contours to mold to your body shape.
The ergonomic design aids spine alignment and helps to ease any leg strain. There are two shapes of cushion, the zafu measures 5.5 “ high and 15” wide and the crescent is 5’ by 17’’. They are both made from 100% organic cotton and you can remove and wash the outer cover. The stuffing is organic buckwheat grain and you can remove some of the hulls if you prefer in order to meet your own needs. Buckwheat was once considered a waste product, but buckwheat fill is now one of the most popular ways to create comfortable meditation pillows.
Both shapes come in a wide range of color options including purple, gray, navy, and natural. This is good value and high quality, perfect for maintaining great posture during meditation, undoubtedly an excellent meditation cushion for back pain. The organic cotton material is environmentally friendly and soft to the touch.
Buckwheat Zafu and Zabuton Meditation Cushion Set
A very high-quality combination set of Bean products zafu and zabuton meditation cushions. The zafu has pleated sides, in the tradition of zafu cushions, and is made from cotton and stuffed with buckwheat hulls.
There is a carrying handle for ease of movement and the fabric is double stitched and adjustable (you can remove some of the fillings should you desire) by opening the zipper. You can also easily clean this in the washing machine. The zabuton meditation cushion is filled with natural kapok, making it solid yet comfortable and proving firm support. The zabuton cushion is approximately 30″ long by 28″ wide and is great for any height up to about 5’10. With this cushion set, you’ll look forward to sitting to meditate, whether it’s in full or half-lotus position.
The larger zabuton cushion provides excellent comfort to cushion your legs and feet that may end up hanging over the zafu. Choose from 9 different color options. These are some of the best meditation cushions available today.
Black/Gray Zabuton Zafu Set
Look no further if you want a perfect meditation cushion for bad knees. A comfortable and great quality set, a great option for those cross-legged meditation practices, whether you sit in full or half-lotus position for extended periods of time. It positions you well for natural, comfortable alignment and is sturdy and well made for a firm, stable foundation. Both cushions are filled with cotton batting.
The zabuton measures 3″ thick x 28″ wide x 36″ long while the zafu is 6” thick, 9” wide and 15” long. These two are built for longevity and are great value for money. They do not lose their shape and are designed with a longer yoga/meditation practice in mind, offering the perfect combination of soft support. The cushions are sleek and attractive and could easily double up in your living area as a sofa or floor cushions when not in use.
Peace Yoga Zafu Meditation Yoga Bolster Pillow Cushion
This zafu cushion provides the perfect boost up from hard floors to relieve stress in the leg, hip, and back muscles when meditating for long periods of time. Available in two different sizes (13” by 13” or 16” by 16”) the cushion is filled with buckwheat hulls, making it a stable, firm base for seated positions.
The stuffing is sealed within its own pouch so that you can adjust it by removing hulls. This buckwheat cushion allows you to rock your pelvis in order to get the right curvature of your spine for comfortable sitting. It offers the perfect balance between stability and flexibility, adapting to your body shape but offering a firm base. It comes in attractive designs and colors for a burst of vibrancy in your home. Definitely one of the best meditation cushions for beginners.
Brentwood Home Crystal Cove Meditation Cushion
This zafu floor cushion is designed by Los Angeles yoga instructor Angela Kukhahin California. It’s an attractive combination of luxurious and practical. It’s easy to wash removable cover, is embroidered in a calming wave pattern in a soft, sweatshirt material. The wave pattern on the crystal cove meditation cushion cover is inspired by the tide pools of Southern California.
The crystal cove meditation pillow by Brentwood Home is filled with buckwheat ( organic buckwheat grain) and offers a firm, sturdy base that still adapts to the curves of your body. It is very comfortable for longer meditations and you could even use it to kneel if you are busy with a task on the floor and need extra support for your meditation posture. The Crystal Cove Meditation pillow is a high quality, well-designed choice with buckwheat filling idea for anyone starting out or highly experienced in meditation.
Peace Yoga Zafu Meditation Yoga Crescent Pillow Cushion
A great balance of firmness and pliability, this crescent cushion is the perfect aid to good posture, offering comfort and support whether you are meditating or simply sitting on the floor. A top choice for beginners and advanced practitioners alike, yoga poses, meditation, or decorating your bed or sofa! You could also use this one as a sleep aid if you suffer from neck stiffness.
The cushion is designed with a soft grab-and-go handle for easy transporting. The supportive organic buckwheat filling gives stability and helps the pillow hold its shape. A good aid to elevate hips, giving the right angle and lift for a comfortably seated meditation session. It’s quite large, 18” by 9.6” and come in various embroidered designs and colors. An essential prop for sticking to regular, deep meditation practice.
Peace Yoga Zafu Meditation Buckwheat Filled Crescent Cotton Bolster Pillow Cushion
A comfortable cushion that allows the meditator to sit easily with crossed legs or in the lotus position for a long time. Filled with all-natural buckwheat hulls, the cushion has just the right amount of firmness and give for extended sitting. The crescent design allows you to move your legs and feet closer to your body if you are using it during yoga poses, helping to reduce stress and muscle strain. If you want to adjust the stuffing you can do so easily, and create the perfect pillow for your own body shape, height, and weight.
The outer pillowcase is made from cotton, has a zipper opening and is machine washable and the cushion features a soft handle for carrying around, should you want to take it to yoga class or on trips. The crescent cushion measures 18” x 9.6” x 5.7” and is available in a number of colors.
Third Eye Export Meditation Cushion
These are a range of pretty designed cushion covers to fit either a round pillow or you could stuff it with your own cotton or buckwheat hull filling. As this is just a cushion cover, the focus is less on its stability and support as a meditation cushion and more on aesthetics.
If you like the idea of stuffing your own meditation cushions these are fun, attractive choices. The mandala designed cover is 32″/80 cms and comes in calming blue or purple. They each have a 100% organic cotton cover with a pom pom tassel border, and the designs are inspired by India. These meditation cushion covers would be absolutely ideal to decorate a serene corner of an outdoor terrace, garden, or designated meditation area. If you’re into feng shui, this design will appeal.
Make the most out of your meditation sessions with some of the best meditation cushions and meditation pillows on the market!