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Want to meditate on a regular basis?
As explained by “Psychology Today,” meditation can retune your happiness by rewiring your brain. It is a powerful practice to achieve peace of mind, and it can turn even the saddest person into a happier one.
But how does meditation increase happiness?
According to a 2011 research study by Fredrickson, et al., meditation brings out positive emotions. When you are positive about your outlook on life, you become more satisfied with what it has to offer. Life satisfaction significantly affects your happiness by eliminating the symptoms of stress and depression.
Furthermore, meditation brings a wide array of benefits into your life. These include:
Meditation may also reduce the risk of age-related mental and physical illnesses. It can control pain, help fight addiction to a substance, and 2011 research study. Most importantly, it can enhance your self-awareness and help you develop innate kindness.
Now, there are several styles and practices of meditation. The most common is through focusing your mind while sitting up straight. When you think of meditation, you probably think of sitting in a lotus position with your legs crossed and each foot positioned on the opposite thigh, with your hands in your lap and your spine straight. But, of course, we know that prolonged sitting can affect our spines and our health in general.
This is why meditation cushions were made. Meditation cushions are ergonomically designed to help your back and spine feel comfortable while meditating. They lift your pelvis and put your hips above your knees, keeping your spine in proper alignment. Most people aren't used to sitting on the floor for a long period of time, so it will probably take some trial and error before you find a position that works best for you.
When using a meditation cushion, the circulation of blood throughout your body remains stable. This means that you will be less likely to feel backaches or joint pain, allowing you to reach your highest level of meditation without feeling uncomfortable.
In this article, we are going to list the five best meditation cushions available on the market today. We carefully checked each of their pros and cons to give you a better view of how they can contribute to your meditation practice.
But before we introduce these top products, let’s talk first about the types of meditation cushions available. Then we’ll give you tips on how to choose the best meditation cushion when you are ready to purchase one.
Don't have time to read the entire review?
If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, we've simplified everything. Here's a quick look at the best meditation cushions to find your moment of Zen:
|Product||Best Choice For…|
|Peace Yoga Zafu Meditation Cushion||BEST OVERALL|
|Reehut Zafu Yoga Meditation Cushion||Best cushion for all meditation levels and styles|
|Waterglider International Zafu Yoga Meditation Pillow||Best materials (buckwheat and organic cotton); can customize the amount of buckwheat in your pillow|
|Bean Products Zafu Meditation Cushion||Best meditation cushion for hips, knee, and ankle pain|
|Seat of Your Soul Buckwheat Meditation Cushion||Best meditation cushion for lower back pain and spine alignment|
What are the Different Types of Meditation Cushions?
There are five main types of meditation cushions:
Zafu is the most commonly used cushion for meditation. They measure four to six inches tall and work by raising your hips so your legs can comfortably rest with your thighs sloping slightly downwards. With your hips slightly raised, your spinal column defaults to its natural alignment, allowing your head, neck, shoulders, and back to be in a comfortable, upright position that is easily maintained.
Zafus are available in a regular style as well as a Zabuton style, which includes an elevated section that some users find provides more comfort. This meditation pillow originated in China and was made to help Zen monks sit stably with their legs crossed for an extended period of time.
People looking for a wider-based pillow to support their hips and thighs often turn to a crescent-shaped meditation pillow. These are recommended for people who have limited mobility, knee pain, or chronic lower back issues. The extended sides of a crescent-shaped pillow let your hips and thighs rest in a broader space, and the heel cutout allows your feet to be positioned right up against your body.
These pillows help ensure proper alignment of your spine because you don't need to stay in one position in order to maintain correct posture. However, people who are tall may find these cushions to be too low due to their natural slope.
This is the best meditation cushion for beginners because it provides stable support, which is great for those who have stiff hips or a lack of mobility. It is wider and steadier than other designs, but it doesn't provide ample knee support because it sits low to the ground. Because this cushion has straight edges, it won't impact the positioning of your heels.
This is typically a cushion that is filled with lots of buckwheat hulls. It is popular because it can be used by practitioners of any height and is ideal for any experience level. A round meditation cushion provides users with a versatile seating option because it can be paired with other cushions to accommodate taller people.
This portable cushion can be taken anywhere. This is the best meditation cushion for back support, as the large size allows you to put it up against a wall and lean back against it. Alternatively, it can also be laid out flat. If you want more elevation or comfort, you can simply fold it in half.
If you are a beginner, you may not know which type of meditation cushion will suit your needs, or other factors to look out for. Let's look at some tips for choosing the best option.
How to Choose the Best Meditation Cushion
You need to know how to choose the best meditation cushion to avoid discomfort when meditating. Meditation requires all of the proper tools to make your session a success—and your cushion, in particular, is an important factor.
So you must be mindful when you are picking one to use. When choosing the best meditation cushion for your needs, you must consider your meditation posture, the proper alignment of your spine, and your preference regarding the appearance and feel of the cushion.
You also have to consider any personal sensitivities that you may have. For example, if you have sensitive knees and feet, you will want to make sure to find a cushion that has a mat to provide you with extra support.
Most meditation cushions are filled with buckwheat hulls, although some are filled with kapok. Buckwheat hulls are a material that is heavy enough to prevent you from shifting. When used in a cushion, buckwheat hulls take on the effect of sand—but they are much lighter in weight.
These cushions easily conform to the shape of your body to provide you with a stable and grounded feeling. Many people prefer buckwheat cushions over kapok cushions due to their increased stability. However, kapok cushions are lighter, while still having enough give to conform to your body's shape without becoming too soft and unsupportive.
Overall, choosing the right meditation cushion for your needs depends on the following criteria:
Depending on your meditation posture, your cushion must correctly make your ankles, knees, and hips flexible. The ability to meditate in any posture largely depends on the flexibility of your lower body. Most people need some type of support in order to maintain proper spinal alignment and remain comfortable during meditation.
Your spine should be properly aligned so it can support your body and reduce any potential stress on your muscles or joints. You should be able to maintain proper alignment for the duration of your meditation session.
You must ensure that no physical distractions get in the way of your meditation, so you want a cushion that will support the natural shape of your body. You want to be able to focus on your mind and breathing without thinking about any discomfort or need for adjustments.
Style and shape
This is more of personal consideration. You want to make sure that you like the design, fabric, and shape of your cushion. After all, hopefully, you will be getting a lot of use out of it.
With all of this in mind, let's look at the top five meditation mats and cushions that are on the market today.
The 5 Best Meditation Cushions to Find Your Moment of Zen
1. Best Overall: Peace Yoga Zafu Meditation Cushion
This is the best meditation cushion to use to help maintain proper posture and reduce joint pain. This is a great option for beginners because it has a good shape that provides proper spine support. Additionally, you can choose to purchase either a 13- or 16-inch diameter cushion, depending on your needs.
It is filled with buckwheat that is kept inside a pouch and therefore does not shift. This provides users with the perfect balance of shape and size. Due to this versatility, it can be used for various meditation postures and remain supportive. The cover has a zippered opening, allowing users to easily clean the pillow or refill it as needed.
This cushion has a handle on it, making it easy to transport from one room to another. It is also offered in six different designs, so you can customize your purchase to match your décor.
- Durable and long-lasting.
- Provides support in various postures.
- It helps reduce joint pain.
- In the higher price range.
- Some find this product to be too firm.
- Some find it has an odd odor.
2. Best cushion for all meditation levels and styles: Reehut Zafu Yoga Meditation Cushion
This is the best option for all meditation levels and styles—from beginners to veterans. It promotes proper posture, alignment, and positioning, and relieves stress on your joints while properly supporting your spine.
It is made from a soft and removable material that can be tossed in your washing machine with the rest of your laundry. The zipper is secure and discreet and works in a smooth and easy manner.
This meditation cushion is available in three diameter sizes—12 inches, 13 inches, and 16 inches—all of which are 4.5 inches tall. It also comes in five colors, so you can pick the one that is the most aesthetically pleasing to you.
It is filled with premium-quality buckwheat hulls that can be easily removed or inserted so you can add height or lower your cushion.
The Reehut Zafu Yoga Meditation Cushion comes with a sturdy carrying handle as well, so you can easily grab it when you're on the go. Because this is a lightweight product, many users choose to take it with them while travelling.
- One of the most affordable options.
- While the washing instructions say you can dry the cover on low heat, users have found that you must air dry it so it does not shrink.
- The height does not work for everyone.
- The buckwheat may become exposed to water because it is not sealed.
3. Best materials: Waterglider International Zafu Yoga Meditation Pillow
This meditation cushion is made from premium-quality buckwheat and organic cotton, creating the perfect balance of firmness and comfort. This makes it the best option for people who are most concerned about the use of high-quality materials.
The brand uses top-quality hulls that are purchased from American farmers. The amount of buckwheat used in your pillow can also be customized to suit your preferences.
The organic cotton that is used to cover this cushion is durable and able to sustain regular and long-term use. The six color options will not fade, even after many washes. This product is entirely hypoallergenic, meaning it will not be harmful to your health.
This pillow is well-designed with premium construction. It is 14 inches in diameter and six inches tall.
- Great for a wide variety of practitioners because the size can be adjusted.
- Adapts to the curve of your body.
- Made from premium-quality materials.
- Some users have found that the seams rip after extended use.
- Buckwheat may become loose.
- Some find the zipper to be too small.
4. Best meditation cushion for hips, knee, and ankle pain: Bean Products Zafu Meditation Cushion
This meditation cushion is of exceptional quality and is the best option for those who suffer from hip, knee, and ankle pain. It is made from eco-friendly materials that are extremely comfortable and supports the proper alignment of the hips and spine while you are meditating. The designs can be purchased in your choice of 10 ounces of traditional cotton duck or organic cotton, or 16 ounces of eco-friendly hemp.
The cover is machine-washable, but the hulls do not come in a lining, so they must be removed prior to cleaning the cushion. The removable cover has a zippered opening as well as a carrying handle for easy transport.
It is made in the USA and hand-tufted, giving it an attractive finish. With 44 colors available, you will certainly be able to find an option to fit your décor needs.
- Ideal for people who have hip, knee, or ankle pain.
- Wide color selection.
- Various size and shape options.
- Buckwheat may come out at the zipper.
- Seams are not sturdy.
- Colors tend to fade.
5. Best meditation cushion for lower back pain and spine alignment: Seat of Your Soul Buckwheat Meditation Cushion
This is the best meditation cushion for lower back pain and spine alignment. It is available in a crescent shape that is five inches high and 17 inches wide, and a Zafu shape that is 5.5 inches high and 15 inches wide. Both shapes allow you to meditate in peace by helping you sit in complete comfort.
This cushion helps you avoid putting undue pressure on your spine or straining the muscles in your back because the cushion aligns your spine perfectly. The shape supports your hips, thighs, and lower back and contours to the natural shape of your body.
The Seat of Your Soul Cushion is made using GOTS-certified organic cotton, which is a sustainable material that is machine-washable. Simply unzip the cover and add it to the rest of your cold-water laundry. While you have your cushion unzipped, you can adjust the height as needed by adding or taking out buckwheat hulls.
- Comfortable and easy to use.
- Best meditation cushion for back pain.
- Made with organic materials.
- The buckwheat hulls are prone to bug infestation, but if you store your cushion properly, this will not be a problem.
- Cotton cover collects dog hair/lint.
- Some users find it to be too firm.
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Meditation Cushion
All of the products we provided above are our top picks when it comes to quality, style, and purpose. However, today’s review winner is Peace Yoga Zafu Meditation Cushion.
In addition to supporting proper posture and healthy spine alignment, it also prevents all kinds of aches and pain you may encounter during your meditation process. If aching muscles, joints, and bones tend to interrupt your meditation, this might be the right product for you. Stop adjusting your position while you are meditating with this amazing cushion.
And if want more resources on meditation, be sure to check out these articles:
- 7 Steps to Practice the So Hum Mantra Meditation
- Meditation vs. Mindfulness: What Is the Difference?
- Premeditatio Malorum: How to Apply This Stoic Skill to Your Life