How to choose a meditation cushion - a complete guide

How to choose a meditation cushion - a complete guide

Do you often struggle to sit in a comfortable and stable position during your meditation practice? Is it hard to maintain the correct posture for an extended period? If so, using a high-quality meditation cushion can make all the difference.

Regardless of where you are on your meditation journey, investing in the right cushion can make all the difference.

With so many different brands, shapes, and materials to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start when shopping for a meditation cushion.

But don't worry; we've got you covered! In this guide, we'll walk you through the key factors to consider so you can choose a cushion that's just right for you.

But why use a special cushion, to begin with?

Sitting in the same position for a long time can be a real struggle, especially if you're new to meditation or have some physical limitations. It can cause discomfort and pain in the hips, lower back, and knees. And let's be honest; it can throw you off your meditation game.

The truth is, you don't need any fancy cushioning to meditate. That's the beauty of it, right? But let's face it, having a comfortable cushion can make a huge difference when starting.

Suppose you want to develop a regular meditation practice and get the most out of it. In that case, it's important to find a comfortable sitting position that you can maintain for an extended time - ideally, at least 20 minutes without moving around. That way, you can fully immerse yourself in the experience without any distractions or discomfort.

Meditation cushions are specially designed to provide support and proper alignment to your body during meditation practice. Proper alignment keeps your body relaxed and allows you to stay focused. Similarly, they provide an adequate tilt to your back, ensuring it remains pain-free. 

What are the different types of meditation cushions?

When it comes to meditation cushions, there are a variety of options out there. Each type is designed to support your body differently, so choosing the one right for you is important.

Here are a few of the most common types of cushions you'll come across:

·        Zafu cushions

Zafu cushions are circular or semi-circular and designed to support the lower back and hips. They are mostly filled with buckwheat or kapok tree fiber which offers a stable and firm base for sitting during meditation. The simple and effective design of these cushions provides a customized experience.

These cushions are ideal for beginners and experienced meditators, making it easier for them to sit for long hours without discomfort.

·        Zabuton cushion 

Zabuton is a rectangular-shaped cushion that offers a soft and supportive surface for your legs and feet during meditation. They are filled with foam or cotton batting to create a soft, comfortable surface supporting your lower body.

These cushions are generally combined with zafu cushions for better meditation posture.

·        Hybrid cushions

 Hybrid cushions are designed to benefit both Zafu and Zabuton cushions. They have a flat base like Zabuton and a slightly raised top like that of Zafu cushions.

 These versatile cushions offer increased support, cushioning, and comfort to the meditators.

·        Crescent cushion

Crescent cushions have a crescent-shaped cut-out to provide additional support to legs. These cushions are beneficial for people with pain in their knees and ankles during meditation.

Typically, they are filled with buckwheat hulls or foam, offering a comfortable yet firm base for sitting posture. Its unique design is ideal for practitioners who are looking for targeted support.

The biggest weakness with crescent cushions is probably that it offers only one position. This can become quickly painful even for the most experienced meditators.

·        Bench cushions

Bench cushions are flat, rectangular cushions placed on top of a bench or any other surface to offer support during meditation. They provide spinal alignment and reduce pressure on the hips and lower back.

These cushions allow for a more upright posture than traditional seated cushions, making them perfect for kneeling.

·        Meditation benches

The meditation bench is designed to support individuals with trouble meditating in kneeling or cross-legged positions. Typically, it is a wooden bench with 6-8 inches height and two legs that support the seat at a slight angle. The angled position of the seat facilitates the upright position and reduces the pressure on the back and hips during practice.

This bench is suitable for the elderly, folks with disabilities, and anyone who feels pain in knee joints while meditating. There is no shame in using one.

·        Cushions for children

Children's meditation cushions are designed for kids who have difficulty sitting comfortably on the floor for long periods. These properly sized cushions provide adequate support to their spine and help them maintain an upright posture. These cushions come in playful designs and colors to encourage the kids to meditate.

What factors to consider before buying a meditation cushion?

Ready to add some extra comfort to your meditation routine with a cushion? Great! But first, let's discuss what to consider when selecting the right one:

·        Determine what type of meditation you will practice

Have a brief moment to evaluate what kind of posture is most optimal for the type of meditation you are about to do.

Most meditation practice is done sitting cross-legged on a cushion. However, some require you to lie down during the practice (get a yoga mat as well if that’s the case).

·        Select a cushion that fits your body type the best

Choosing a cushion that supports your body will help you maintain proper alignment and reduce discomfort during meditation.

It provides customized support to your body and evenly distributes your body weight, enabling a more relaxed sitting posture. Moreover, it prevents your body from sliding out of alignment. And eventually, get more out of your meditation session.

·        Height from floor

Height is perhaps the most important functional factor to consider when selecting a meditation cushion. The height should be appropriate to your body type and flexibility. Choosing a cushion that is too low can cause strain on your knees, whereas a high cushion can strain your hips and lower back.

A general rule for selecting a meditation cushion is that the less flexible you are, the higher your cushion should be. This is because a higher cushion provides that additional support to your hips to hopefully achieve a neutral pelvic position (most optimal).

To find the ideal cushion for your body, sit on the floor with your legs crossed and measure the distance between the floor and your sit bones.

·        Shape

Meditation cushions come in various shapes, such as round, rectangular, crescent shapes, and much more. Each shape is designed to cater to a specific meditation posture. For instance, a zafu cushion is ideal for cross-legged postures, whereas a crescent shape offers extra knee support. 

·        Portability

Choose a meditation cushion that is lightweight, compact, and relatively easy to carry. Portable cushions make your practice convenient and more likely to happen. They allow you to maintain your meditation practice in different areas and reap its benefits wherever you go.

·        Durability 

Always invest in a cushion that is high-quality and durable. A well-made cushion will provide consistent support and comfort. Moreover, it will maintain its effectiveness and shape, which means you won't have to replace your cushion frequently.

·        Materials

Different materials have different properties, affecting your comfort level and overall meditation experience. Cotton, wool, kapok, and buckwheat hulls are commonly used materials for meditation. However, buckwheat hull cushions offer a firmer and more supportive base without being too hard.

·        Select a washable cushion 

Washability is another essential factor that you should keep in mind. Cushions may accumulate dirt, sweat, and oils from your skin which can cause unpleasant odors.

Therefore, you must invest in a cushion that is easy to clean and maintain. It can help you maintain hygiene and prolong the life of your cushion.

Experience the full benefits of meditation with SUMA's cushion collection

Are you planning to buy a meditation cushion to experience the full benefits of meditation? SUMA offers meditation cushions of different types designed to meet the needs of all mediators, regardless of their age or experience level.

  • The Classic cushion is great to start if you're new to meditation and want something proven for thousands of years.
  • For a more advanced option, check out Suma's Fold cushion. Its uniquely triangular design offers up to five positions for extended periods of relaxed sitting. This is especially appreciated by experienced meditators.
  • And if you're looking to introduce your children to the practice of meditation, Suma's Manta cushions are a perfect fit. A great combination of playful and practical.

Get your hands on our cushions to take your meditation to another level.


Meditation cushions come in different types, each designed to provide support based on your body type and meditation style. You must choose the right meditation cushion to enhance the overall effectiveness of meditation practice.

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