Science has finally caught up to the wisdom of the ages. Meditation is simply good for you, physically, psychologically and spiritually.
Some of these benefits, though not all of these are scientifically backed obviously, include:
- More self-awareness
- Intelligence growth
- More compassion
- Increased happiness
- Less “bad stress”
- Better sleep
- Stronger heart and immune system
- Improved concentration
While some of these benefits are more abstract, others are more concrete. Increased self-awareness and intelligence are perhaps the most abstract on the list while at the same time arguably being some of the main elements of the meditative practice. A stronger, healthier body and mind is nevertheless an supremely welcomed byproduct!
That being said if we practice meditation without paying attention to our spine and posture we can end up working against ourselves in the long run. This is why meditation cushions are so great and why you should have one or two in the comfort of your own home.
What a meditation cushion is and why you should have one
Meditation cushions are tools that help you advance in your meditative practice without being too distracted by the discomforts and limitations of your body. They also help in supporting, correcting and aligning your meditation posture by elevating your pelvis so that your hips are above your knees which in turn leads to your meditation becoming more effective, effortless and enjoyable.
The more you can focus your attention on your consciousness as it is without being distracted by phenomena, the more you will reap the benefits of your meditative practice.
Having said that, a common consequence I’ve found of western living is staleness and rigidity of the limbs and the body in general. Chairs, physical inactivity and office jobs are largely responsible for this misfortune. While some are more flexible, others need some assistance to maintain an upright and balanced posture when meditating.
Luckily meditation cushions are here just to help solve this problem.
How to choose a meditation cushion
To find the right cushion you have to take into consideration what posture you take when practicing your meditation. For example If you’re capable of the full lotus or half lotus position (cross-legged), the zafu and zabuton cushions work excellent. For optimal comfort it is advised to sit on the narrow end of the cushion so that your legs extend more easily off the edge.
Zafu cushions are the traditional round cushions that are used in zazen meditation in the tradition of Zen Buddhism, while zabuton cushions are rectangular cushions that are often used beneath the zafu in order to provide extra comfort and support for your knees, feet and ankles. If you for some reason don’t have a zabuton cushion available you could always use a thick blanket or a meditation shawl to replace the zabuton as a foundation.
Our best picks
These following meditation cushions have been carefully picked with regards to overall quality, brand integrity, customer reviews, functionality but also the creative touch.
Hopefully you’ll find just the right one for you below:
Zenjara Zafu Yoga Meditation Cushion
We start things of with this high quality zafu meditation cushion by Zenjara. It’s filled with natural buckweat hulls and contains no plastic. The washing of the exterior cover is easy as the cushion has an zipper that allows you to easily remove fillings and the cover.
- Cotton exterior with natural buckweat hulls as interior
- Measures 13 x 13 x 5 inches
- Made in USA
Brentwood Home Crystal Cove Meditation Pillow Cushion
When it comes to design, this meditation cushion by the esteemed brand Brentwood is definitely my favourite. It looks amazing and better yet, feels amazing as well. Plus it is quite a versatile pillow that can be used for a variety of meditation and yoga postures, like for example the arched back pose, child’s pose and of course all the different cross-legged (lotus) poses.
- Awesome design
- Portable and easily washable
- Measures 18 x 13 x 6 inches
Indigo Shibori Round Meditation Cushion
This meditation cushion from BuddhaGroove pays homage to shibori, an Japanese method of dyeing that traditionally uses indigo which results in a mesmerizing array of white and blue color patterns. It is one of the bigger cushions on the list and can probably be used by most individuals.
- Cotton exterior with soft polyester fill
- Measures 20 x 20 x 4 inches
- Rounded shape
- Handmade in India
Alexia Meditation Seat (Ergonimically Designed)
Alexia meditation seat is one of our more interesting picks, as it is a more creative meditation cushion that is optimally designed after the human physiology. If you got the extra dough this pick could definitely be a great addition to your meditative practice, even though it’s a bit on the expensive side.
- Made of foam
- Weighs around 15 lbs
- Measures L 26 x W 32 x H 11 Inches
- Optimally made for the human body
My Zen Home Dhyana Meditation Cushion
This delicate piece is a folded meditation cushion which also makes it quite the unique design (using traditional Thai patterns). The cushion is functionally versatile and definitely gets the job done! The main advantage of this design is that it performs the function of both zafu and zabuton cushions in one package. Two birds in one stone so to say.
- 100 % organic
- Durable and firm
- Measures 21 x 26 x 4
Satori Zafu Crescent Meditation Pillow
This crescent shaped satori cushion is great for those that prefer to sit in half-lotus position (cross-legged). This one just might bring you sudden enlightenment! After all that is the meaning of the buddhist term satori. Moreover according to Feng Shui philosophy, the red colour of the cushion might also elevate your energy to nirvana!
- 100% cotton and natural buckwheat fill
- Rather light (2.3 pounds) and portable
- Measures 14 x 7 x 4
Zafu and Zabuton Meditation Cushion Set (Bean Products)
Bean products have a large variety of colours and sizes on their zafu and zabuton meditation cushion set. If you really want to have a comfy place for your meditation, buying a set like this is the way to go.
- Made out of eco-friendly cotton / hemp
- Comes in 3 sizes and multiple colours
Zafu Zabuton Meditation Cushion Set (Conscious Life Shop)
Here’s another meditation cushion set for you, this time a grey coloured 100% organic beauty from Conscious Life Shop.
- Includes bonus gifts (incense holder + bag)
- Built in carry handle (portable)
- 100% organic cotton
Velvet Zafu Meditation Cushion
If you’re looking for a high quality meditation cushion, this one made of velvet is the right one for you.
- Available in 6 colors
- Filled with organic buckwheat hulls
- Measures 16 x 16 x 4.5
Kapok/Buckwheat Hull Filled Cosmic Cushion
This cushion by the esteemed brand Sage Meditation is a great choice for a meditation cushion. The shape is unique and there’s a variety of colours to choose from.
- Choose between Kapok or Buckwheat Fill
- Built in slope for better posture
- Measures 23 x 15 x 6.5 inches
Peace Yoga Zafu Meditation Yoga Cushion (Premium Designs)
These zafu cushions from Peace Yoga come in two sizes and have a nice variety of colours and designs, so find your baby and start meditating!
- Portable (built-in handles)
- Firm and durable
- Easily washable
- Measures 13 x 13 x 4.5 inches or 16 x 16 x 4.5 inches
The positive benefits of incorporating meditation into ones life has been established by spiritual traditions for thousands of years and now in our own day and age also by science. Having and using a meditation cushion helps you bypass some physical discomforts and limitations while simultaneously enabling you to access priceless and timeless benefits like psychological serenity, joy and contentment more readily.
Hopefully this review list of the best meditation cushions will in some way aid you in enhancing your meditative practice.
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.