In some strange and unfortunate way one of our best inventions also happens to be one of our worst.
What am I speaking of?
Chairs of course! In a sense chairs have made our day-to-day living quite simple and comfortable for us primates walking around on our two legs. But there’s a big downside to the usage of chairs in our modern society. Namely rigidity, staleness and chronic back problems.
If you recently decided to take up meditation as a daily practice, you may have noticed that your stale body doesn’t really make it easy for you in the beginning. Luckily there are solutions to this conundrum, the main ones being meditation cushions, floor chairs, mats and benches.
In this article we’ll go through the latter, that is meditation benches and how they could be a great tool for your meditative practice. We’ll also review a handful of the top meditation benches that you can purchase online.
Why meditation benches?
If you can’t sit down correctly without feeling discomforts in your knees, ankles, joints, back and neck, well then we obviously have a problem over here.
Meditation benches also known as prayer benches have been used for hundreds of years. They have shown to help in compensating for the lack of flexibility and functionality that your body may be experiencing while meditating.
How to use meditation benches
The standard way of using meditation benches is through an kneeling position, also known as “seiza” position, a traditional Japanese term. Without support or sufficient flexibility this seiza position can be quite hard on your knees, joints and ankles.
Using a meditation bench helps you significantly in this position as your hips and buttocks are elevated so that enough pressure is alleviated from your knees and ankles. This elevated kneeling position, with the help of a meditation bench also ensures that your spine is straight and aligned, which in turn gives you the optimal conditions for a great meditation session.
For bad knees
If you’ve got bad knees consider getting a meditation bench with a higher seat, like the one from IKUKO. Generally the less flexible you are, the higher the seat placement should be.
You could also try putting a blanket underneath the meditation bench or simply try sitting on the stool with a half- or full lotus position with padding below your knees.
If not you can have a look at these lovely benches below available for purchase online:
10 best meditation benches
With no further a due, here is the list review of our ten best picks for meditation benches for 2022:
Simplysitting Handcrafted Meditation Bench
This meditation bench by Simplysitting is definitely one of the more unique ones when it comes to design and functionality. The patented design according to the manufacturers is an “evolutionary leap” in design as it centres itself and is ergonomically curved for higher comfortability.
The bench is crafted out of American cherry heartwood and is quite lightweight which makes it a good choice for portability and traveling purposes.
- Weighs ca 3 pounds
Stylish Handcrafted Meditation Bench by Meditation Hardware
If you’re looking for something stylish and modern to fit into the décor of your home, consider this stylish handcrafted bench by Meditation Hardware. The bench is sturdy but quite expensive and is made out of American black walnut and steel.
- Weighs ca 4 pounds
- Measures 10″ high, 17″ wide, 10″ deep
Meditation Bench (Acacia wood)
This meditation bench made out of acacia wood is great for beginners with it’s affordable price and the decent amount of padding on top.
However if you are taller than 6′ 1″ in height, consider buying another bench. Another thing to have in mind is that this bench isn’t foldable, which according to the manufactures, is because they consider foldable meditation benches to be less stable.
- Weighs ca 3 pounds
- Measures 1″ L 8″ W
IKUKO Wooden Kneeling Ergonomic Meditation Bench
This meditation bench is one of the best on the list, mainly because of its ergonomically designed shape and for its portability. You can bring this one with you in your travels with the cotton bag included in the purchase.
Overall this is a good one for less flexible people, though it happens to be a bit pricey.
- Weighs about 3.5 pounds
- Measures 16.5 x 7.9 x 7.1 inches
Kneeling Bench for Yoga, Meditation and Namaz
This is definitely one of the more interesting designs in our nice list of meditation benches. This bench is made out of “high-quality” molded plastic, which I’m not sure is a good thing, as I sense that wood imparts a more natural feel and could be more suited to meditation. But that’s just me! Some of the reviews had the same concern as me but loved the product anyways.
Having said that, the bench is of overall good quality which also happens to be quite cheap. (+ cushion is included)
- Weighs ca 2.9 pounds
- Measures 18.5 x 7.1 x 3.1 inches
Folding Meditation Bench with Angled Legs
Here is yet another bench with foldable legs which are slightly angled for optimal ergonomic efficacy. If you’re a real sloucher, this could be the right one for you as its design compels your back to be super straight. It’s not the cheapest yet not the most expensive meditation bench either. The cushion on top is also great for extra comfortability.
- Weighs about 4 pounds
- Measurements of the legs differ because of the angled nature and depending on what size you choose. The bench itself measures 7.5″ x 18.5″ x 2″ inches
Nomad Meditation Bench (Natural)
This Nomad meditation bench is uniquely designed and is super portable making it perfect for travelling purposes. It’s also the lightest one on this list weighing just 1.7 pounds. The cool thing is that the height is adjustable which makes it even a greater choice. It’s truly the nomads choice for a meditation bench.
- Weighs about 1.7 pounds
- Measures 17.5 x 6.5 x 10.5 inches
Fixed Legs Meditation Bench Soft Top
This fixed legs meditation bench comes in three sizes, depending on what support you may need or your range of flexibility you can choose accordingly. Remember, the higher the seat, the easier it is on your hips, knees and ankles. Its a bit pricey but of overall high-quality, including the soft top fabric as cushion.
- Weighs ca 4 pounds
- The seat measures 9 x 18 inches
Kindseat Adjustable Meditation Seat (Black) with Non-slip Cushion
This meditation seat from Kindseat is definitely one of the most functionally capable meditation benches out there in the market. It’s highly adjustable (height can be changed from 2.5″ to 10″ inches) and can be a great choice if you’re not too sure about which size may fit your body.
That being said, this meditation bench is also the highest priced one we have on our list. If you got money growing from the trees in your backyard and you like customizable furniture this one could be the right one for you.
- Weighs ca 3 pounds
- Measures 22 x 7 x 11 inches
Original Pi Meditation Bench
Last but not least, we have our Pi shaped meditation bench, which is characterized by the two legs being centred instead of on the outside. If you are rather big and tall, this could be the right one for you. The rounded legs make it functionally capable to adjust to different postures and positions, especially kneeling position (seiza).
- Weighs ca 4 pounds
- Measures 16 x 7 x 7.2 inches
Meditation benches can initially in your meditation practice be an essential tool for maintaining a correct posture and avoiding long-term physical discomforts. They can also be a nice addition to your meditation space or just as an extra seat that your guests could curiously try out. Who knows maybe them finding the bench in some silent corner of your home may inspire them to try meditating for themselves!
Hopefully you’ll have learnt a thing or two and perhaps even found one the right meditation bench for yourself from this overview of meditation benches.
Daniel Seeker is a lifelong student of the past, present and future. He realized deep relaxations of the psyche when meditating in his hermit cave on the island of Gotland. His writings are mostly a reflection of that realization. Daniel has meditated & done yogic exercises daily for more than 10 years and is studying history and philosophy at Uppsala Universitet. He is currently finishing writing his B.A. thesis in history which explores how Buddhist, Yogic and Hindu texts were first properly translated and introduced to the western world in the late 18th and 19th century.