Meditation is a simple and beautiful practice to bring balance into your life. But let’s face it – it’s hard to find inner peace if you’re uncomfortable. Whether you’re new to meditation or more experienced, being able to sit comfortably is central to deepening your experience. Whichever meditation style you chose to practice, you’re going to want to start with comfort, and finding the best meditation cushion set for you.
In this article, we’ll cover the seven best cushion sets we’ve found, how to choose your set, the various postures they’re good for and the pro’s and con’s of each. Concentrating on four essential elements that make up a well made cushion:
- A zippered outer cover that is removable and washable.
- A zippered inner liner, so you’re able to easily adjust the filling..
- A well made, sturdy handle for easy transport.
- Fabric that is durable with sturdy stitching.
The 7 cushion sets that we’ve found for you, hit all points with top marks and we hope that you’ll love them!
No time to read the entire review?
Here’s a quick look at our top 3 picks!
1. Bean Products – Zafu and Zabuton Meditation Cushion Set – Best Budget Friendly
2. Awaken – Crescent Zafu and Zabuton Set – Best Crescent Shape Cushion
3. DharmaCrafts – Zafu and Zabuton Set (ZZSet) – Best Premium Pick
Why Use A Meditation Cushion?
When you think about meditation, what image comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you may picture a Buddhist Monk deep in meditation, sitting contently on a hard floor. However for most meditators, whether beginner or advanced, sitting even for 15 minutes on a flat surface is pretty uncomfortable.
If you’d like to deepen your practice or make sure that you stay motivated to maintain it, you’ll know that sitting comfortably is half the battle in quieting a busy mind. If you don’t have proper body alignment for optimal breath and blood flow, the discomfort becomes distracting and makes it difficult to concentrate on your practice.
Why Is Sitting Uncomfortable?
Sitting comfortably for long periods of time means maintaining the natural curvature of the spine. This requires a level of core strength and flexibility in the ankles, knees and hips that most people don’t have.
This can cause you to experience numbness, backache, cramping or pinching, The result is an increase in anxiety, and a distracted mind, leaving you unable to focus on anything other than what’s going on with your body, and wondering when it’s going to be over.
Enter the Magic of the Meditation Cushion…
Meditation pillows or cushions, can help to improve posture and overall comfort level. A well designed cushion will lift your hips above your knees and support the natural curve of your back. Thus enabling your spine and in turn your entire body to be properly aligned.
This lets you sit for longer periods of time, enabling you to reach a deeper meditative and peaceful state free of pain and disruptions.
The Sutras tell us that the Buddha sat in meditation on a pile of leaves and a mat made of reeds. The rest of us need a little more support, so here is our list of…
The Best Meditation Cushion Sets
The Conscious Life Shop Zafu Zubton Meditation Cushion Set comes in a with one Zafu and one Zubuton. These crescent shaped cushion sets are made from soft, organic materials and are available in modern fabric choices, that easily blend into your home decor.
The Zafu (smaller cushion) is crescent in shape, filled with buckwheat hulls and provides thigh support and hip flexor comfort during meditation. The Zabuton is square (like a mini futon) and is filled with a thick cotton batting. Comes with a built in carry handle, made from vegan friendly faux leather. This lovely set includes two complimentary gifts of an Incense Holder and Conscious Life Gift Bag.
- High quality, organic and environmentally friendly materials
- Clean, modern, chic designs that will match any home decor
- No mess, removable and washable covers
- Built-in carry handle
- Made in the USA
- The crescent shape is a matter of personal preference, if you’ve never used one before it you might it might take some time for you to adjust to this shape.
This high quality Zafu and Zabuton meditation set comes comes with one larger cotton zabuton meditation cushion and one smaller round zafu cushion with pleated sides. The cotton fabric is double stitched for extra durability and have removable, washable covers.
The Zafu is stuffed with buckwheat hulls and is adjustable, thanks to a zipper opening. The Zabuton is filled with natural kapok that provides firm, solid yet soft support. The Kapok inner cover is enclosed in a casing, which keeps it sturdy and stable.
This set comes in a variety of colors, including black, red, clay, brown, red, olive, burgundy, cinnamon and navy.
- Lightweight, double stitched, durable fabric
- Convenient carry handle for easy travel
- Zippered lining to easily adjust buckwheat hull filling
- Comes in several color choices
- Both pieces have a removable, washable cover
- Overall good choice and excellent value
- Made in the USA
- Might not be a suitable size for those over 5’11
- Some find the Kapok filling in the Zabuton to firm at first, you might have to break it in
- Depending on your height and flexibility you might have to remove or adjust the filling in the Zafu over time
3. Sun and Moon Originals – Deluxe Zafu & Zabuton – Top 3 Pick
This Deluxe Set comes with a pleated round Zafu cushion that is traditionally associated with Zen meditation and gives you a choice of Kapok or buckwheat hulls for your filling. The deluxe Zabuton that comes with this set, is a perfect for protecting the knees and feet on hard surfaces and insulating the body from cold surfaces. The Zabuton can be folded over and double as a yoga bolster.
Not sure what filling to choose? Kapok will offer a a firmer support, while the buckwheat conforms to the shape of your body and allows for better air circulation. You can also adjust the buckwheat hull by will be using the zipper on the zafu. Comes in 14 color options, so you are sure to find one that will match your home decor.
Available colors: burgundy, sage green, natural, cinnamon, black, purple, charcoal, forest green, chocolate, navy, iris, saffron
- High quality and eco-friendly materials
- Excellent choice for those with back pain
- Easy care, washable fabric cover
- Some find the Kopok filling to be lumpy
4. Bean Products – Zafu and Zabuton Meditation Cushion Set – Best Budget Friendly
A great over all choice for a product that delivers on comfort and comes in a wide range of twelve colors. This is great set for beginners or advanced users and is suitable for every shape and size. The outer cover of this set comes in your choice of 100% organic cotton or hemp.
The Zabu (round cushion) is filled with adjustable buckwheat hull and has a easy wash cover. The Zabuton is filled with cotton (the organic option has 100% organic cotton filling) and both mats are hand tuft. The Zabuton has a nice fill and comfortably supports the ankles and knees.
- 100% Organic Cotton Option
- Easy travel – sewn-in carry handle
- Zippered, washable cover
- Customizable – Choice of Zabu height and Zabuton diameter to fit those with a taller or larger body type
- Made in the USA
- Some find the less stuffed Zabuton to be a little thin
- Might not be true to color
5. Awaken – Crescent Zafu and Zabuton Set – Top 3 Pick
If you’re looking for a crescent shaped Zafu cushion, then this set will work nicely for you to find your Zen in total comfort. If you find it difficult to meditate with other pillow shapes, this is a well designed option for you to try.
Why choose a crescent shape? This shape lets you to tuck your legs in closer to your body, and bring your ankles in close when sitting in a cross legged position. This allows for better blood flow, so your feet won’t fall asleep and you can maintain your posture for longer periods of time.
Both pieces in this cushion / pillow set, come with high quality, cotton, zippered and machine washable covers. The natural buckwheat filled Zafu cushion, has an inner zippered shell which makes adjusting the filling a breeze.
The Zabuton is stuffed with cotton and also as an inner zippered shell, in the case you need refluff the cotton. With double reinforced outer layers, and carry strap for easy travel to classes, retreats or anywhere else you want to meditate.
- Exclusive double-reinforced outer layers
- Durable carrying straps included
- Fade-resistant natural colors, using eco-friendly, low-impact dyes
- Superior adjustable, buckwheat filling for long-lasting comfort
- Machine washable and made for travel
- Made in the USA
- Limited colour choice – Only available in 5 colors
- Some may find the Zabuton to firm
- May have to adjust the Zafu filling
6. DharmaCrafts – Zafu and Zabuton Set (ZZSet) – Best Premium Pick
This is a classic set of one round meditation cushion (Zafu) and one rectangular meditation mat (Zabuton) for the perfect place to rest your body and mind. This set was made to last a lifetime (or two!), sourced from premium materials, with double-stitched seams, and hand made in Massachusetts.
The Classic Collection meditation cushions are made of durable 100% cotton duck fabric with a zippered inner muslin shell filled with buckwheat hulls (zafu) or cotton batting (zabuton) and heavy duty zippers. The buckwheat hulls are enclosed in a zippered muslin shell making it easy to add/remove buckwheat.
The Eco Collection has the same inner cushions as the Classic style, but with organic, cotton covers. With a softer feel than the Classic, the organic cotton cover is colored using low-impact dyes in an is available in a wide array of colors to brighten your meditation space.
- Premium product with excellent quality and weighted fabrics
- Eco Friendly materials
- Wide array of color choice
- All covers are washable and new covers may be ordered
- Comes with your choice of regular or jumbo zabuton mat for long legged meditators
- Handmade in the USA
- Though the Zafu comes stuffed in the standard 4.5 buckwheat filling you may find it somewhat understuffed
In more recent years, many new designs for pillows have evolved to offer a wide range of support for the different needs of meditators everywhere. If you find it difficult to practice on round-shaped or square-shaped cushions, then this shape is a possible solution for you.
The Cosmic Cushion is a unique design in meditation cushions, in that it has a built-in slope to help you get into the perfect posture for sitting. You will sit fully on top of this cushion. The broad seat and side extensions offer more support for knees than other cushions.
The Zabu (top cushion) is designed with the fill enclosed in a linen fabric and the 100% cotton twill cover is removable and washable. For filling you have your choice of kapok or buckwheat. All buckwheat versions have a zippered opening that allow you to adjust the level of hulls to suit your body shape and comfort level.
The Zabuton (larger bottom cushion) is filled with a thick cotton and is tuft in five places to prevent lumps that may develop over time. The deluxe model has a removable, washable cover.
- Unique shape
- Available in 4 different sizes to suit every body shape and height
- Washable, zippered covers
- Adjustable buckwheat filling
- Make in the USA
- Some users found it lumpy and you may have to fluff it up
- Depending on the size ordered, may be awkward to carry
How to Choose a Meditation Cushion
A cushion that is going to be right for you will properly support your weight in a balanced upright posture. Your spine should feel straight and aligned, but not stiff. Once you are in the right position it’ll feel comfortable.
What Is the Difference Between Different Types of Cushions?
There are several different types of meditation cushions, the most popular are the Zafu, and the Zabuton. Your choice will depend on your height, weight, meditation style and preferred posture and materials which we will go over below.
Zafu vs Zabuton Cushions
The Zafu cushion has been traditionally used in Zen Buddhist meditation and stuffed with kapok fiber. In recent years the most popular filling is buckwheat hull, which can shape itself to the body, providing good air circulation, balance and support.
The classic Zafu is typically a round, wheel shape, however you can also get variations such as, a crescent or rectangular shape. A Crescent or V Shape provides extra support to the thighs and pelvis and is a great option for anyone with lower back issues. The Zafu is a good option to use, as it provides a higher sitting level, by raising your pelvis off the ground.
The rectangular shaped pillow, often called the Zen shape, offers higher elevation and support for users. With more stability for those who have difficulty sitting on the floor, struggle with flexibility or are on the taller side.
Also originating from ancient meditation traditions is the Zabuton. Which is a larger flatter type of cushion (like a mini futon) and are most often used underneath a Zafu. When placed underneath a Zafu it cushions the ankles and knees as you sit.
Though not typically as elevated as a Zafu they still provide a cushy, stable surface. Which depending on your flexibility level, may be enough to support you on on its own during your seated meditative practice.
Zabutons are often stuffed with cotton or kapok. Make sure to choose a style with a carrying handle, which when folded over, can double as a yoga bolster.
Height and Shape
Different shapes will suit different types of meditation practices, as well as your preferred posture. The height determines how high off the ground you’re seated and will directly impact your posture and ability to remain comfortably in position for long periods of time. For example:
- The half-lotus position: you will need a lower cushion like the Zabuton or a v-shaped cushion.
- Burmese posture : a Zafu or a bolster cushion is ideal.
- For Zen meditation: which requires kneeling a Zafu and mat which supports the knees, will work best for you.
- For sitting: a higher cushion is the best option for maintaining a comfortable posture.
It’s important to take note of any physical limitations for issues that might affect your choice. For instance, if you have knee issues or struggle with flexibility both a Zafu cushion and Zabuton mat is a good choice. Or, if you have a sensitive or injured back you’ll need to make sure that you get a cushion for extra support.
Meditation Basics: How To Sit On A Meditation Cushion Set
A few other things to also consider when choosing your set:
Color + Design
Color is also an important factor to consider, as it can affect your overall mood and energy levels in different ways. Color is used in Feng Shui and the Chakra system to attract, balance and harmonize different types of energies in the body and your environment.
- Blue: Throat Chakra, truth, calming, tranquility
- Violet / purple: Third Eye, restores and balances, evokes connection
- Red: Root Chakra, grounding, courage, boosts energy
- Orange: Sacral Chakra, passion, receiving, playfulness
- Yellow: Third / Power Chakra, sunny, nourishing, optimism
- Green: Heart Chakra, growth through calmness and balance
- White: Crown Chakra, connection, harmony, new beginnings
- Black: Balance, grounding, infinity, inward focus
How often will you be meditating? If you’re dedicated to making meditation a daily practice, it’s worth investing in a cushion that has a cover that is made from a durable fabric that is removable and washable.
Do you plan to meditate in different places? If so, having the option to easily transport your cushion to classes or retreats is a must. Many styles such as the Zafu, come with sewn-in fabric handles, making it easy to take to classes or move from one room to another.
Besides durability and wash-ability, you’ll also want to make sure that your cushion feels comfortable next to your skin.
The most common cushion cover types to choose from are:
Pros: A natural product that is made from an environmentally friendly renewable resource, UV damage and mildew resistant. Fabric is lightweight, washable, durable and softens with regular washing.
Cons: While Hemp fibers are extremely durable, it can be susceptible to developing holes after significant use. Those with sensitive skin might find it scratchy.
Pros: Fabric is durable, breathable and washable. Natural and UV damage resistant.
Cons: Lower quality cotton’s can be scratchy and non-durable. Can retain moisture in humid climates which could lead to mildew.
Vegan Leather / Leather
Pros: Fabric is durable and can last up to 15 years, mildew, stain resistant and easy to spot clean.
Cons: May require additional care in order to maintain quality and prevent it from developing cracks as it ages. For those who live in warmer weather the fabric can be hot and sticky.
Another factor that’s important to take into consideration. is the type of material that is used to fill the cushion. It should be:
- Soft, yet with enough durability that it maintains its shape with regular use.
- Two of the best materials that fit these considerations are kapok which is made from Ceiba pentandra species of tree and buckwheat hulls which comes from the outer portion of buckwheat grain.
Pros: Lightweight, natural material with a cotton like feel. A traditional filling, that has been used for thousands of years and is considered hypoallergenic. Resists mold and is a firmer filling, that stands up to regular use.
Cons: Limited height adjust-ability and can flatten over time, make sure that you get an zippered inner liner to re-fluff. It is recommend not to remove kapok filling.
Pros: Natural material with a fresh clean scent, hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly. Buckwheat hulls cushion and shape to your body, which allows for better air circulation. Very durable and can last up to 10 years.
Cons: Makes a crunching sound, some people find distracting. Heavier than Kapok or Cotton.
Pros: Sturdy, breathable filling, naturally hypoallergenic. For the most environmentally friendly option, choose organic. Lighter weight filling than buckwheat hull which makes for easier portability
Cons: Can flatten or become lumpy over time and support is less firm than kapok or buckwheat hull. For some, filling can be difficult to adjust.
At the end of the day…
There are so many wonderful reasons to practice meditation: to reduce stress, increase self-awareness and connection to our deeper self and the universe as a whole. Not to mention the practical health benefits of improved sleep, a stronger immune system, improved concentration and cardiovascular health.
Our Top 3 Picks
You can’t really go wrong with any of our top seven choices, but these three all stood out for beauty, quality, and durability. Made to last and sourced from company’s that put a little love into each and every cushion set they make.
No matter which set you choose, you can be sure that with daily practice, meditation can literally change your life. Impacting the way you feel, think and your overall quality of life, and being able to practice in total comfort can make all the difference.
We hope that this guide was helpful for finding one the best meditation cushion sets to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a cushion we didn’t include, message us at [email protected]
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