Best 3 Types of Meditation Pillows

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Meditation can be tricky at the best of times, but if you’re fed up with aching limbs and joints following a seated meditation session, a meditation pillow may be for you.

While meditators are often encouraged to sit with any niggles or aches that bother them during their practice, there’s only so much we can take! Many people find the discomfort that comes from sitting on a hard floor too much to bear, while sitting on a chair or sofa can feel a little too casual.

A meditation pillow is a specially designed pillow, made with the sole purpose of keeping you comfortable and supported while you practice. They are often used in guided meditation and yoga classes, but there’s now a huge range of meditation pillows on the market made specifically for home use.

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What are Meditation Pillows?

A meditation pillow is a small pillow designed to keep you supported and comfortable during your practice. You’ll be encouraged to keep your core engaged, your spine neutral and your neck in alignment. 

Without proper support, it can be very difficult to sit correctly. While we may start our practice sitting with good posture, a straight back and an engaged core, fatigue will soon set in. Often without even realising it, we collapse our stomachs, curve our backs and hunch our shoulders.

When this happens, our hips, spine, shoulders and head become misaligned, leading to discomfort and even physical injury long-term.

Meditation cushions are designed to improve your posture and keep your hips, back and neck aligned. You’ll be supported from the bottom up, able to engage your core without collapsing and hunching over.

This can lead to greater comfort and boost strength so that you are eventually able to maintain your posture for longer.

Meditation Positions - Sitting on the floor
Use a cushion when meditating on the floor

How Helpful are they?

Meditation pillows are very useful when it comes to helping you make the most of your practice. Small niggles and areas of discomfort can lower your concentration, and you may find it difficult to focus.

A meditation cushion can help you stay comfortable and focused, allowing you to meditate for longer periods of time without distractions. 

Meditation pillows are a popular meditation tool because they can help enhance your practice. If you’re constantly feeling uncomfortable or a little sore, you’re not going to focus fully on your practice.

You may find yourself wriggling and struggling to concentrate. Those new to meditation may find that the constant aching puts them off meditating altogether!

Meditation pillows can also boost your posture long term. Sitting with good posture throughout the day can help prevent a huge range of injuries while also keeping you alert and energised. We all know the importance of good posture, but very often we begin to slouch and collapse at our core without even realising it!

Starting the day with a few minutes spent sitting properly, supported by a meditation cushion, will help you through the rest of the day. You may find it easier to remember to keep your shoulders back and your stomach engaged while you work, eat and relax.

Meditation pillows
Meditation pillows help keep you in the right posture

The Different Kinds of Meditation Pillows

There’s 3 main types of meditation pillows, Zafu pillows, V-shaped pillows and Zabuton pillows.

Zafu pillows are round cushions that elevate your pelvis. V-shaped pillows do the same, but they offer a little more support to your legs and thighs.

Zabuton pillows are simple rectangular cushions, and are often used underneath Zafu pillows for added comfort. 

There’s a range of types of meditation pillows on the market. While some people prefer to sit on a cushion with their legs crossed in front of them, others need a cushion with a little more support for their knees.

Whichever pillow you purchase, the aim is for your back to be neutral, and you should feel grounded and stable.

It’s important that there’s not too much tension in your body, but that you aren’t so relaxed you slouch over!

Zafu Pillows

Zafu cushions are one of the most popular options. These are round cushions with gathered sides.

They support your buttocks and hips, while your legs drop off the edge of the cushion so your knees rest against the floor.

Zafu cushions help your spine stay neutral and your neck aligned.

Zafu pillows are best suited to those used to sitting for long periods of time. They are not a magic fix, and many people still find them a little tricky to get used to, but stick with them and they offer great support during your meditation practice.

You can buy a Zafu pillow here.

Zafu Pillow

V-Shaped Pillows

V-shaped cushions are another option. These cushions provide ample support for your hips and thighs, promoting healthy posture and supporting your legs.

Like the Zafu pillows, V-shaped pillows keep your knees lower than your hips, and make it easier to maintain a neutral spine position.

They are a good alternative for those who don’t find Zafu pillows particularly comfortable, and most have a zipped opening so you can adjust the filling to suit you.

You can buy a V-Shaped pillow here.

V-Shaped Pillow

Zabuton Pillows

Zabuton pillows are rectangular cushions that make either sitting or kneeling more comfortable.

Zabuton cushions have a flat bottom and rounded top to give you stability while you sit. They have good knee support thanks to their larger size, and many people choose to fold them slightly to elevate their pelvis.

Many people use a Zafu cushion on top of a Zabuton cushion. This offers the best of both worlds, as your pelvis will be elevated, with your knees gently cushioned.

For those serious about comfort when it comes to their yoga practice, a combination of a Zafu and Zabuton cushion is perfect!

You can buy a Zabuton pillow here.

Zabuton Pillow

Key Facts

  1. Sitting on the floor to meditate can be very uncomfortable without the right support.

  2. When we get tired, our core collapses, our shoulders hunch and our back becomes misaligned. We may feel achy or sore, and struggle to focus on our practice.

  3. A meditation pillow can help you maintain good posture, with a neutral back and a strong core.

  4. There’s 3 types of meditation pillow that are often used for home practice; Zafu pillows, V-shaped pillows and Zabuton pillows.

  5. Zafu cushions support your hips and pelvis, while helping to keep your back neutral.

  6. V-Shaped pillows are better for beginner meditators, as they are slightly more comfortable than Zafu cushions. The filling can often be adjusted to suit you.

  7. Zabuton pillows are rectangular cushions with a range of uses. They are often used underneath Zafu cushions to support the knees as well as the hips and pelvis.