Latest News

The Best Meditation Pillows To Make Your Home & Your Life Feel Way More Zen

Author:

Jenna Tidd

Medical reviewer:

Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS

December 26, 2022

Contributor

By Jenna Tidd

Contributor

Jenna Tidd is a freelance writer and Certified Nurse Aide who has worked for Thrive Global, HealthDay News, OneCare Media, and Healthline.

Medical review by

Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS

Board-certified Family Physician

Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS is a family physician and HIV specialist in California. He takes a holistic approach to healthcare, incorporating principles of functional medicine and using food as medicine when working with patients.

Image by mbg creative

December 26, 2022

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Experts have touted the extensive benefits of meditation for years–and research backs the practice as well, showing meditation to be a helpful way to reduce anxiety and 1depression and boost your overall sense of well-being. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve already had a long journey with meditation, having a comfortable, soothing space is crucial for creating a meditation practice you’ll stick with. The best meditation pillows will keep your body as comfortable and relaxed as your mind.

To learn more about what to look for in a meditation pillow, we enlisted the help of meditation expert, yoga teacher, and reiki master Susy Markoe Schieffelin. Below, find our picks for the best meditation pillows of 2023, along with expert advice on how to use them, who can benefit from them, and what to look for when shopping for your own.

What is a meditation pillow?

“Meditation pillows are cushions that are specifically designed to support a straight spine and good posture, as well as to help make seated meditation more comfortable,” Schieffelin explains. “They are different from traditional pillows in their shape and also in that they are usually firmer, rather than cushy and comfortable for relaxation or sleep.”

Meditation pillows generally fall into one of two categories:

Zafu: Schieffelin describes this as “a round cushion, often with gathered sides, that helps elevate the hips to make the cross-legged or kneeling position more comfortable.” While zafu means “sewn seat” in English, it translates as “seat reedmace” in Japanese. These cushions are said to have originated in Japan, where they were stuffed with reedmace down and used in zazen Zen meditation.Zabuton: “These are large, thin, rectangular cushions that are placed beneath a zafu to create a comfortable base,” Schieffelin says. Zabuton, which literally means “sit” and “futon,” is a floor cushion traditionally used in daily life and meditation.

How do you use a meditation pillow?

There are many ways to use a pillow during meditation. “You can use a meditation pillow in whichever way best supports your meditation practice, but people typically use them to elevate their hips while seated cross-legged in easy pose or to serve as a cushion between their sitz bones and heels when seated in a kneeling meditative position,” Schieffelin explains.

Since your meditation practice is meant to be a nurturing, supportive experience, your pillow should enhance that by keeping your body in alignment.

Who should use a meditation pillow?

Schieffelin says meditation pillows can be used for “anyone who is interested in feeling more comfortable and supported in their mediation practice.” She goes on to explain that, “Pillows are especially helpful for people who aren’t flexible, feel stiff in their body, have trouble sitting on the floor, or tend to fall asleep when meditating. Meditation pillows support good posture, which can help you stay present, alert, and comfortable during meditation.”

Regardless of your age or meditation style, a cushion can make your meditation much more comfortable. There are even meditation pillows designed specifically for children, so kids can get in on the Zen time, too.

How we picked:

Expert criteria

We used our expert’s advice and insights to guide our search for top-rated cushions.

Comfort

Comfort is the top priority, so we chose pillows for a variety of uses and physical conditions.

Quality

When investing in your health, quality is always an important consideration. We looked for pillows made from durable materials so you can feel confident that they’ll stand the test of time.

Sustainability

At mindbodygreen, we prioritize products and brands that use natural, sustainable materials and eco-friendly manufacturing practices whenever possible. We’ve called these out in our list below.

Our picks for the best meditation pillows of 2023:

Best for Back Pain: Seat of Your Soul Crescent Meditation Cushion

Pros:

GOTS-certified organic cotton coverAdjustable buckwheat fillingVariety of colors

Cons:

Narrow for some people

Materials: Organic cotton cover with 100% buckwheat hull filling

Dimensions: 17″ x 10.5″ x 5″

Colorways: 10 options

If back pain is interrupting your peace, this Seat of Your Soul Crescent Meditation Cushion may be the answer. Top-quality, USA-farmed buckwheat hulls are dust filtered and inspected before being placed inside an inner pouch within a GOTS-certified organic cotton cover. You can customize the filling to your needs by adding or removing a portion of the buckwheat. The cover is removable, machine-washable, and comes in 10 different colors.

This cushion supports people up to 350 pounds and features double stitching for more durability. A subtle carrying strap makes it easy to carry from room to room or to your yoga studio. As the buckwheat conforms to your shape, it encourages healthy posture and spinal alignment. The crescent shape gives more support to the thighs while accommodating different positions, although a few users felt it was a bit narrow. Some people also used it as a bed pillow or between their knees while sleeping.

With over 1,100 ratings, most of them 5-star, the Seat of Your Soul Crescent Meditation Cushion has proven to be a fan favorite, especially for those with back pain. An enthusiastic buyer says, “I bought this for casual floor sitting since our new luxury couches were killing my back…my lower back and hips would just ache and make me hobble…This one is super well made…It gets my back straight, keeps me on my sitz bones, and my legs take much longer to fall asleep.”

Best for Tight Hips: Florensi Meditation Cushion

Pros:

Attractive aestheticRemovable fillingMachine-washable cover

Materials: Velvet cover with 100% organic buckwheat filling and padded foam disc

Dimensions: 16″ x 5″

Colorways: 6 options

An Amazon bestseller, this meditation pillow is stylish, comfortable, and durable. It features a velvety-soft cover with an embroidered mandala design. Inside, removable, organic buckwheat hulls support proper alignment of the hips and spine. Pillows made from buckwheat alone can be firm for some, but this one has a cushy foam layer on top of the hulls. If your hips and behind are sensitive, this feature is especially helpful.

Another fun perk, the cushion has a carrying handle for easy movement (which comes in handy because it is on the heavier side). Due to the soft, absorbent nature of the cover, this cushion should be used indoors.

With almost 7,000 5-star ratings on Amazon, this cushion gets praise for its “exquisite” stitching and detailing, how durable it is, and of course the eco-friendly materials.

Advertisement

This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Best for Bad Knees: Hugger Mugger V-Shaped Meditation Cushion

Pros:

Extra support for hips and thighsOrganic cover and fillingLarge variety of colors and patterns

Cons:

HeavyHand-wash only

Materials: 100% organic cotton cover and buckwheat hull filling

Dimensions: 17″ x 24″ x 6″

Colorways: 10 color options and 4 patterns

Manufactured in the United States, this meditation cushion is a great choice for those who don’t enjoy the traditional, round zafu. It’s distinct V-shaped design allows you to bring your feet in closer and provides extra knee support. Heavier than other options, this pillow weighs 7.5 pounds, but has a convenient carrying handle that makes transportation easier.

The handcrafted, organic cotton cover comes in a huge variety of colors. It contains natural buckwheat hull filling that can be removed for comfort customization, but while many cushions have an inner pouch for the filling, this one does not. To clean it, you’ll need to dump the buckwheat hulls into a bowl and hand wash the cover.

This pillow has a 4.7 out of 5-star rating overall on Amazon, with one reviewer stating that it “stopped my knees from hurting while meditating.” Another writes, “I have sat on an upholstered block to meditate, but as I aged…my knees burned and ached…I just sat on this, and the pain stopped. Amazing.”

Best Budget: Retrospec Sedona Zafu Meditation Cushion

Pros:

Adjustable, natural fillingAvailable in crescent or round shape

Cons:

Too firm for some peopleSome reviewers say it flattens over time

Materials: Cotton cover with buckwheat hull filling

Dimensions: Round – 13″ x 4.5″Crescent – 17″ x 10.5″ x 5.5″

Colorways: 6 options

Don’t let budget restrictions keep you from the comfort and support you need. This meditation pillow comes in six different colors, each filled with 100% sustainably-sourced buckwheat hulls and wrapped in a machine-washable, cotton cover. Plus, it costs less than $30 on Amazon. A handy carrying strap makes it quite portable, too.

The pillow is available in a more traditional round shape, or a crescent shape–both of which can be customized by adjusting the filling. People seeking extra support for their hips and thighs often prefer a crescent-shaped meditation pillow. This cushion is a favorite among value-shoppers, as evidenced by its over 1,600 5-star ratings on Amazon. In addition to meditation practice, some customers use it as a seat cushion, although those reviewers do note that the pillow flattens a bit over time. One person who uses it for meditation writes, “They’re highly durable for meditation or floor sitting.”

Advertisement

This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Best Large: Lotuscrafts Meditation Cushion

Pros:

Extra-tall 8-inch designGOTS-certified organic cover and filling materialsRemovable, machine-washable cover

Cons:

Very firm

Materials: GOTS-certified organic cotton cover with 100% buckwheat hull filling

Dimensions: 11″ x 8″

Colorways: 7 options

If you have extra-long legs or have trouble getting into a seated position on the floor, this may be the best cushion for you. The taller-than-average, 8-inch profile accommodates larger people and those with stiff joints.

With a removable, GOTS-certified organic cotton cover and natural buckwheat hulls, this pillow checks many sustainability boxes. It has a firm, supportive feel that can be adjusted to your preference by removing or adding filling as needed. For ease of movement and storage, a carrying handle is built into the side.

Amazon shoppers have given this cushion over 1,500 5-star ratings, although a few did find it a bit too firm. Most people, however, rave about how comfortable it is, particularly for those with back pain or long legs. One reviewer writes, “I’m an older guy with chronic lower back problems and not much flexibility, and this zafu allows me to do seated meditation comfortably without incurring pain.” Another declares, “This meditation cushion is great for people with long legs. It’s just high enough for more comfort in longer practices.

Best Pillow Set: Leewadee Meditation Cushion Set

Pros:

Cotton coverNatural kapok fillingPortable roll-up mat and carrying handle

Cons:

Covers are not removableHand-wash only

Materials: Cotton twill cover and 100% kapok filling

Dimensions: Mat – 28″ x 28″ Cushion – 14″ x 14″ x 8″

Colorways: 19 options

A great choice for those who prefer additional padding under their knees, this meditation pillow set includes a traditional round zafu and a square mat. The brand uses natural materials and a sophisticated design, offering this pillow in an impressive array of 19 colors and patterns.

Both the mat and cushion have non-removable cotton covers that must be hand-washed. The zafu is filled with kapok, a lightweight tree fiber often used in bed pillows. Durable, double-stitched seams guard against leakage and ensure its longevity. The mat rolls up, and the zafu has a carrying handle for easy portability.

This set is a top seller on Amazon, despite its higher price tag. Most people say the set enhances their meditation experience and is worth the price. A particularly satisfied customer says, “To me, it was a lot of money but I took the plunge and found that it was money well spent for quality and my own personal wellbeing.”

Advertisement

This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Best Bolster Cushion: Gayo Yoga Bolster

Pros:

Organic cotton cover and fillingComes with extra cover and carrying bagTwo sizes available

Cons:

Only one color and pattern available per size

Materials: 100% organic cotton cover and filling

Dimensions: Standard – 25″ x 10.5″ x 6.5″Travel – 18″ x 11″ x 6.5″

Colorways: 1 option in each size

This meditation bolster features natural materials and is available in two sizes, with an extra cover and carrying case. The cover and the filling are made from 100% organic cotton, making for a firm, breathable cushion. To clean your bolster, simply remove the outer cover and toss it in the washing machine.

The bolster comes in a standard and travel size, the travel option being seven inches shorter. Each size is only available in one color, and the additional covers come in coordinating patterns. For an added bonus, your purchase will include a carrying case that makes traveling with this bolster a breeze.

People love this cushion for its firm support and impressive durability. Customers say it is “totally worth every penny,” and even those who use it daily say “it’s still as firm as when I got it.”

Best for Kids : Crystal Cove Kids Yoga Meditation Cushion

Pros:

Machine-washable coverNatural buckwheat hullsGREENGUARD Gold and GOTS-certified materials

Cons:

Synthetic materials in coverOnly one color option

Materials: Polyester and spandex cover with buckwheat hull filling

Dimensions: 14″ x 10″ x 4″

Colorways: 1 option

A smaller version of the brand’s top-selling, non-toxic Crystal Cove Meditation Cushion, this kids meditation pillow features a soft, gray, stretchy knit cover made of polyester and spandex embroidered with a classy, scalloped design. The zippered, removable cover is machine-washable for easy care. Inside, a GOTS-certified, organic cotton liner surrounds buckwheat hulls.

Its oval shape accommodates various positions and growing bodies. Children will feel more comfortable on the slightly-shorter profile, while enjoying the posture support of natural buckwheat. Parents can rest easy knowing their little ones aren’t exposed to any harmful materials. Plus, 1% of every purchase is donated to Sustainable Surf, an ocean conservation non-profit.

With a combination of style, comfort, and durability, it’s no wonder this meditation pillow has an abundance of 5-star reviews. One parent writes, “I bought the oval meditation cushion three years ago and have been using it for meditation ever since. It’s a beautiful, comfortable, versatile, thoughtfully designed, and well-made cushion.”

Advertisement

This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Best Zafu: Sunday Citizen Crystal Meditation Pillow

Pros:

Plush, machine-washable coverNatural buckwheat filling with amethyst and quartz crystalsAttractive aesthetic

Cons:

Only four color optionsSynthetic cover materials

Materials: 100% microfiber cover and buckwheat hull filling with amethyst and quartz crystals

Dimensions: 16″ x 12.5″ x 5.5″

Colorways: 4 options

This brand focuses on making luxurious, durable fabrics through eco-friendly and sustainable practices such as recycling PET bottles and cardboard boxes. The company also makes a 1% donation to the non-profit of your choice with every purchase.

The Crystal Meditation Pillow features a plush, microfiber cover that unzips for machine washing. It’s filled with a natural buckwheat hull that helps the pillow conform to each person. For an extra touch, a package of amethyst and quartz crystals is included, ready to be mixed with the buckwheat hulls. This cushion is available in four muted colors, to fit any color scheme. A textured basketweave appearance adds a touch of class and comfort, which many people (and their pets) enjoy.

One pleased customer writes, “Absolutely love this meditation pillow. I literally use it everyday. I feel like it really helps with my posture when I meditate.” Others say that it is “super comfortable,” “stylish,” and helps them stay consistent with their meditation practice.

Best for Travel: Carolina Morning Inflatable Zafu

Pros:

Compact enough to fit in a coat pocketReplaceable inflatable linerDurable and safe for outdoor use

Cons:

Requires more balance than othersMust be inflated manually

Materials: Organic cotton cover

Dimensions: Medium – 12″ x 6″Large – 13″ x 7″

Colorways: 14 options

Don’t let your meditation practice fall by the wayside just because you’re traveling. Instead, invest in a meditation pillow that’s compact and portable, like this inflatable zafu cushion. At just 11 ounces, it can even fit in a coat pocket when deflated. With a tough, organic cotton cover, the zafu is safe to use indoors and outdoors and makes a great companion for backpackers.

Keep in mind, there is no accompanying pump, so this pillow must be inflated manually. The medium size is 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide and accommodates people up to 6 feet tall. The large size boasts an extra inch of height and width, great for people who need a little extra space.

Even though this pillow does require a bit more balance than others, it is beloved by travelers for its durability and comfort. One person who used this pillow “all day every day” on a three week vacation writes, “I didn’t even have to add air to it. I was thrilled.” Another reviewer declares, “Recently, I’ve injured a knee. I can’t sit on any other cushion…It provides the perfect amount of height, and it’s amazingly comfortable.”

Advertisement

This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

How to choose a meditation pillow.

Ready to purchase your own meditation pillow? Here are three important factors to keep in mind when choosing one:

Comfort: Your physical size and flexibility will determine which pillow works best. When it comes time to shop, Schieffelin says, “Have fun with it and know that your comfort is ultimately what matters most.”

Materials: According to Schieffelin, you should find a cushion that attracts and inspires you. She tells us, “Choose a material that feels attractive and comfortable to you.”

Longevity: If meditation is part of your daily routine, you want a pillow made to last. Schieffelin’s recommendation is “a pillow made of natural materials that are sustainably sourced. Many are made of cotton or canvas.”

FAQ

What are meditation pillows filled with?

Most natural pillows are stuffed with buckwheat hulls, kapok, or cotton. Synthetic cushions are not as durable or popular and typically use memory foam or polyester.

What size should a meditation pillow be?

Whatever size is comfortable for you! Schieffelin says people with flexible hips often prefer a “smaller, shorter pillow filled with husks or seeds for easy adjustment.” Tall people and those with less flexibility may like a pillow that is “taller and firmer.”

Can you use any pillow for meditation?

Yes, but most traditional couch pillows lack a meditation pillow’s firm support that keeps the spine aligned and likely won’t be as comfortable over an extended period of time.

Is it better to meditate lying down or sitting?

This is a matter of preference and circumstance. When meditating in the evening before going to sleep, lying down can help you relax and fall asleep more quickly. However, sitting up is generally preferred for morning meditation sessions, to avoid the urge to catch a few extra winks.

The takeaway.

A meditation pillow can help establish a “sacred space” for your practice, no matter what type of meditation you prefer. In just 10 minutes, you can begin experiencing the health benefits of meditation. The best meditation pillow is the one that supports you physically and mentally while acting as a “retreat when you need a moment to yourself to reflect, meditate, and just be.”‘ And, if you really want to up your Zen factor, check out these tools to boost your meditation space.

What's your reaction?

Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in:Latest News