Which is Best for You: a Meditation Cushion or a Meditation Bench

Because people who meditate come in all shapes and sizes, DharmaCrafts offers a wide selection of meditation cushions, support cushions, and benches.  The guide below will help you make the best choice when buying your meditation cushion (or meditation bench!) so that you can sit – and keep sitting – in comfort.

A note about “sitting in comfort:” most Westerners aren’t used to floor sitting whether on a meditation cushion or bench, so it is likely to take some time before you “find your seat” meaning, before you can consistently sit in comfort. And, just as important as selecting your cushion or bench is sitting in the posture that is best suited for you. A final word — bodies change!:-) So, the posture or cushion or bench that fit you last year, last month, or this morning (!) may not feel the same now. And, while it is often recommended to sit with “what is” we don’t recommend sitting in a posture that is painful. 

Buckwheat Zafu (round meditation cushion)

- Buckwheat Hull Zafu, eco

Our most popular meditation cushion. Filled with natural buckwheat hulls, the buckwheat zafu is preferred by most new practitioners.  The Buckwheat Hull Zafu conforms more readily to each individual’s shape. It is like sitting on sand at the beach — the hulls move where you want them.

Benefits of sitting on the buckwheat zafu include:
  • Requires no break-in period.
  • Conforms to your particular posture, like sitting on sand at the beach.
  • Provides excellent support.
  • Can be turned on its side for use in the “seiza” posture, or kneeling position.
  • Made to last a lifetime. Each DharmaCrafts zafu is handcrafted here in our shop in Lawrence, MA. Our trained craftspeople pay close attention to every detail–using premium materials & double-stitched seams.
Who might like sitting on a buckwheat zafu?
  •  Meditators of all shapes and sizes.
  •  Beginners and long-time meditators alike.
  •  Those who prefer to sit in any variation of the lotus or cross-legged position.
  •  Those who prefer to sit in the “seiza” (kneeling) posture and have a good deal of flexibility or are below average height, can turn the zafu on it’s side.
  • Long-legged folks and meditators over six feet tall — read about our Hi-Zafu (below). We created this just for you.
  • Those who have less flexibility in their hips and knees, and are average or above average height, can use 2 buckwheat zafus or a buckwheat zafu and buckwheat support cushion and sit in the seiza (kneeling) position — or better yet, read about our Hi-Zafu (below).

 Hi-Zafu Buckwheat Meditation Pillow

Hi Zafu I DharmaCrafts

- Hi-Zafu Buckwheat Meditation Pillow

We designed this oversized meditation cushion for tall people, large people and anyone whose hips are too tight for their knees to touch the floor when sitting cross legged on our standard size zafu.

Like our standard buckwheat zafu, our Hi-Zafu is filled with natural buckwheat hulls. The buckwheat hulls conform readily to each individual’s shape. It is like sitting on sand at the beach — the hulls move where you want them.

The Hi-Zafu Buckwheat Meditation Pillow is filled with 7 pounds of buckwheat hulls encased in a zippered muslin shell making it easy to add/remove the hulls.

Benefits of sitting on our Hi-Zafu Buckwheat Meditation Pillow include:
  • Extra high and provides proper support for tall and large people.
  • Supremely comfortable and requires no break-in period.
  • Choice of sitting crossed legged or in the “seiza” (kneeling pose) position.
Who might like sitting on our Hi-Zafu:
  • Tall people and large people.
  • Anyone whose hips are too tight for their knees to touch the floor when sitting cross legged on our standard size zafu.
  • Tall and large people who prefer to sit in the “seiza” (kneeling) posture.
  • Long-time meditators who previously sat on a kapok-filled zafu. In recent “sit” testing at the Insight Meditation Society, nearly everyone who had loved sitting on a kapok zafu loved (even more!) sitting on our new Hi-Zafu.

Kapok Zafu (round & very firm meditation cushion)

We have discontinued our hand-stuffed Kapok Zafus after making thousands over the past 40 years. Enter — our new Hi-Zafu, the most comfortable meditation cushion for tall people, large people and anyone whose hips are too tight for their knees to touch the floor when sitting cross legged on our standard size zafu. In recent “sit” testing at the Insight Meditation Society, nearly everyone who loved sitting on a kapok zafu loved (even more!) sitting on our new Hi-Zafu.

Meditation Benches (Seiza bench, Omni bench, Pi Bench, Ikuko Ergonomic Bench) 

Seiza Bench I DharmaCrafts

- Seiza bench

If you have difficulty sitting in a cross-legged position, a meditation bench might be the best choice for you. Our meditation benches are designed for those who meditate in the “seiza” position, the traditional Japanese kneeling posture.

Benefits of sitting on a meditation bench include:
  • Offers a great alternative to sitting cross-legged.
  • The curved legs of our best-selling Omni bench and Pi bench allow for individual adjustment and spinal alignment.
  • Our Pi, Ikuko, and Seiza meditation benches are especially suited to less flexible meditators because they are slightly higher than the Omni.
  • Our Omni and Ikuko meditation benches feature folding or removable legs, perfect for travel.
Who might like sitting on a bench:
  • Meditators who prefer to sit in the “seiza” (kneeling) posture.
  • Meditators of below average/average height with limited flexibility.
  • Taller sitters with good flexibility. Note that the height of the seat can be built up with a couple of bench cushions.
  • Those who normally sit on a meditation cushion may enjoy the change of pace of sitting on a bench, especially during a long retreat.
  • Important: When sitting on a meditation bench it is essential that you use a zabuton (the big flat mat), because it provides much needed cushioning for your knees and lower legs.

Still have Questions?
Contact our customer service team — we meditate, we know our cushions inside and out, we’re happy to answer your questions and to offer advice. Call 866-339-4198, 9am, ET, – 5pm, ET, M-F.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published