Meditation has been around for thousands of years, but science only recently confirmed that it offers many health benefits. The practice involves sitting on the floor, quietly allowing thoughts to come and go, for around 10 minutes a day. However, sitting on the floor can be uncomfortable for some people. If you want to meditate for longer periods, a zafu cushion will offer you consistent support.
These pillows provide ample cushioning and promote proper posture during meditation. The Waterglider International Zafu Meditation Pillow is a top pick because it uses organic cotton and buckwheat grown in the United States.
Good meditation habits involve sitting still, practicing mindful breathing and removing external distractions. Discomfort can easily distract you no matter what, so it’s best to make your body as comfortable as possible while maintaining correct posture and spine alignment. Zafu cushions are round pillows designed for this purpose and usually consist of a lightweight, breathable cover and a natural buckwheat husk filling. The result is a thick, firm cushion that allows you to meditate comfortably for long periods without flattening the pillow beneath you.
Consistent meditation can give you the skills needed to drive away stressful or disruptive thoughts and sensations. Practicing meditation once a day for 10 minutes or more can help manage several health conditions, including insomnia, chronic pain and more.
While some people believe they have to sit and meditate for hours on end, most people will find benefit from meditating for even 10 minutes a day. Simply take this time to breathe, observe thoughts and sensations and then let them pass.
Several studies show that consistent meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety. This is particularly true when you pair meditation with other mindfulness practices like yoga. Research also shows that practicing meditation and yoga can reduce the symptoms of depression. Those who manage ongoing mental health issues may find meditation is a helpful coping tool, especially in times of high stress.
Meditation can also help improve focus, attention span and memory, and it has the potential to prevent age-related memory loss.
Zafu cushions usually have buckwheat husk filling to give firm yet forgiving support that conforms to the shape of your body. This filling promotes healthy posture and a straight spine. You can also remove or add your own buckwheat husks to adjust the softness to your liking.
Many meditation pillows use organic buckwheat, which can attract dust mites. Look for a manufacturer that thoroughly cleans and de-hulls their buckwheat to avoid this issue. If you’d like to avoid buckwheat altogether, you can also find zafu cushions with cotton or wool filling.
Traditional zafu cushions are round, but you can also find pillows that are square or triangular. The key is finding a supportive, firm cushion that allows you to meditate for longer periods comfortably.
Similar to the zafu cushion, a zabuton is a flat, square meditation pillow you can place beneath the zafu. Zabutons either come individually or in a matching set that includes a zafu cushion. Using these two cushions together will offer even more comfort during meditation.
The cost of a zafu cushion usually depends on materials and brand. You can expect to spend around $25-$60 for a reliable zafu cushion. You may need to spend more if you want to combine it with a zabuton.
A. Most zafu cushions come with a removable fabric cover that you can wash with your regular laundry. If you need to clean the buckwheat filling, either replace the hulls with new buckwheat or expose them to direct sunlight for a day.
A. Start by placing the cushion under your hips and sit in a cross-legged fashion, otherwise known as the lotus position. Then, straighten your spine and place your hands on your knees. Ensure your shoulders are not too far forward or back, sitting just over your hip bones.
What you need to know: This popular zafu cushion is comfortable and constructed with sustainable materials.
What you’ll love: The fabric cover is made of organic cotton and the buckwheat filling came from harvests in the United States. The pillows automatically come overstuffed, so you can adjust the firmness to your liking.
What you should consider: These meditation pillows can be a bit difficult to clean.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This two-piece set comes with a buckwheat zafu and high-quality zabuton cushion.
What you’ll love: The matching cushion set comes in a variety of vibrant colors. The zafu is filled with natural buckwheat, while the zabuton has a filling of kapok, a sustainable material that is said to be softer than cotton.
What you should consider: The cushion covers aren’t particularly high quality, according to some reviews.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: If you want a zafu cushion without buckwheat, this company only uses eco-friendly cotton.
What you’ll love: This meditation pillow uses biodegradable cotton for the filling and is available in a wide variety of vibrant colors. It doesn’t contain any buckwheat.
What you should consider: Some users felt that this cotton zafu cushion wasn’t soft enough.
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.