best zafu meditation cushion pillow

Are you considering buying your first zafu meditation cushion but need some more information before making your decision? Wondering what the best one for you will be? Then this article is for you!

Keep reading to discover all you need to know about the zafu meditation cushion!

Some Zafu Cushions to consider below


15″L x 10″W, 2.55 pounds, Premium Kapok Filling





16” x 5” / 40.64 x 12.7cm, 100% Organic Buckwheat Filling, 7.43 pounds





17 x10,5×5 inches, US Buckwheat Filling, 5.5 lbs





4.72 x 2.56 x 5.51, Buckwheat Hull Filled Crescent Shaped





‎17 x 15 x 14 inches, organic buckwheat filling, ‎12.1 Pounds





13.54 x 13.43 x 6.93 inches, organic buckwheat filling, 6.93 pounds




What is a Zafu cushion?

The zafu (座蒲) is the traditional meditation cushion on which we practice zazen, which is the sitting meditation posture of Zen Buddhism.

It is a rectangular meditation cushion with a rounded shape and gathered sides. This curve allows your leg to sit back in your hip joints, it raises your knee above your hip, and it helps to keep your hip and spine at an angle.

You can use it for accessible sitting meditation positions, which are the most common because they promote stillness, concentration, muscle relaxation, and spinal alignment.

That is why meditation cushions can be helpful. The tilting of the hips allows for the natural camber at the 5th lumbar vertebrae and helps to activate the right postural axis, i.e., it recreates the position we have when we are standing.

To achieve this well-aligned posture without straining, sit 2/3 of the way down on the front of the cushion, then cross your legs. Both knees should touch the floor. These anchor points protect your joints from your weight. Reach up to the sky with your head, and root yourself in the earth with your knees. Now you can start meditating.

The straight, rounded cushion differs slightly from the traditional one. You can use this model when it is flat, and its straight edges provide space for the feet and legs.

It is available in various heights and is equipped with a carrying handle. It is made of kapok, sometimes buckwheat and often spelt, which is known for its comfort, excellent stability, and sturdiness.

Why use a zafu to meditate?

It allows for good breathing, and a good seated position. It is also easy to transport thanks to it being lightweight.

Why use a very simple cushion like this to meditate? This cushion allows those who need to adopt good posture to practice regular, comfortable, and serene meditation.

The primary use of a meditation cushion is to help with your sitting posture. This helps to create a feeling of well-being that is conducive to meditation.

Also read >>> Ziva meditation: How to meditate for manifestation

What are the benefits of the Zafu meditation cushion?

This comfortable cushion makes the sitting position more stable for the person meditating while ensuring good support for the spine during sitting positions.

But the great benefits of Zafu go further:

  • more strength in the back and proper alignment.
  • relief for lower back pain and joint pain.
  • less tension, discomfort, and tightness when sitting or standing.
  • highly favors letting go and frees the mind from negative thoughts.
  • easy to hold the pose for a longer time.

The traditional meditation cushion is not exclusive to meditation practice. Its comfort and advantages are appreciated in yoga, a discipline for which it adopted the nickname of yoga cushion and where it takes different forms.

The zafu is the authentic meditation cushion of Buddhist monks. Round or oval, it is stuffed initially with kapok. Its circumference is wider than the center; this one is sometimes curved, and folds decorate its circumference. You can use it flat or on edge. In yoga, it is helpful in many asanas. You can slip it under the back, buttocks, or knees.

The half-moon zafu is crescent-shaped and supports the hips and legs. The half zafu has folds while the fuzen does not. The slanted version promotes a more upright posture. This cushion can also be used flat or on the edge. It is the ultimate restorative yoga cushion. However, it is less versatile than a rounded cushion. It is light and not very cumbersome, and easy to transport.

How do I choose a zafu meditation cushion?

The meditation cushion can have two shapes: the fuzen in half-moon and the full-moon zafu. While the fuzen fits perfectly to your body in the lotus pose, the zafu is more versatile and will allow you to explore other meditation postures.

What size zafu should I get?

On average, a meditation cushion has a diameter of 40 centimeters and a height of 10 to 30 centimeters. If you are stiff, we recommend a relatively high cushion of about 20cm in height, and if you are flexible, you can buy a zafu of about 10cm in height.

While 8″ cushions are the most popular, we recommend trying various heights. The 9″ zafu is generally best suited to tall individuals with bigger feet, less flexibility, or leg injuries. If you can comfortably have a seat cross-legged without extra height, the 7 ft. zafu can be a perfect size.

Buckwheat hulls or Kapok Filling?

The material that fills the cushion dictates its comfort and use. If you’re looking for a soft pillow feel, you may prefer kapok or cotton zafu. Their soft feeling will make sitting more comfortable and more accessible for beginners.

When you need firmer support with heavier cushioning, it’s recommended to use a cushion filled with buckwheat. You can also fill it with millet balls or spelt, which is my last option.

Round or Crescent Zafu?

It would be best if you chose a shape that fits the body. The traditional zafu shape is round, whereas the crescent shape is modern. The various forms are necessary because they help to raise your pelvic floor above your knee.

The square shape allows you to move your body in the direction you prefer preserving your spine curves and allowing your knees to tilt upward. From this point on, your legs can fold into the position you like, and your knees will support your weight on the ground.

What color should I pick?

Now all sorts of colors are available, but the most popular color is red, followed by black, blue, and sage.

A dark color will get dirty less than a natural color. Green, brown, or blue will give you a more grounding sense of peace, reminding you of the colors of mother nature.

How to sit on a Zafu meditation cushion?

The best position to sit on this cushion is the “Relaxed Lotus” position.

You can find it under other names (“Burmese” position in particular), but don’t be mistaken: it is not sitting “cross-legged”! To sit cross-legged means to lay your whole meditation pose on an unbalanced base.

Sitting up straight is fundamental in meditation, and this is why meditation cushions are designed to give extra elevation, encourage proper postural alignment and promote connection with the sky.

This upright posture is essential for releasing the solar plexus and adopting a deep, fluid, and regular breath. An upright back helps stabilize the body and (re)activate muscles, and you will be less prone to cramps, aches, and other muscular problems.

The best option is to choose a zafu meditation cushion according to its height. In principle, the zafu avoids the knees and ankles to support all the body’s weight, but it will also be necessary to settle to put the ankles and the pelvis on the same axis to keep the back straight.

Are you flexible in your pelvis? Buy a zafu meditation cushion with a height of 5 to 11 cm. Are you moderately flexible in the pelvis? Choose a cushion with a height of 12 to 16 cm. Do you need to be more flexible with the basin, or are you a beginner in meditation?

The meditation cushion, also called zafu, is a yoga accessory found in almost every yoga studio. You can use it in many ways, but generally, a zafu is used to sit on.

A meditation cushion or zafu filling is usually made of spelt or kapok. Spelt is a cereal similar to wheat and has a hard shell. The meditation cushion or zafu with spelt filling will be harder and firmer.

Is zafu comfortable?

Zafu’s cushions come with buckwheat shells which provide comfort and support. As buckwheat is durable the cushion keeps its shape through use. Zabuton is a kaok-based mat containing a very durable material.

The spelt husks are the envelopes of the spelt seed. This vegetable fiber is soft, light, and swellable. It does not settle, does not crumble. The filling is airy and very stable. Natural memory of form, this cereal ensures a strong support. It also has calming and relaxing effects and good absorption of perspiration.

To choose the filling material for the firmness of the yoga accessory. The filling of the yoga bolster has an impact on the firmness of the cushion. If you are light, I recommend a softer yoga accessory. Conversely, if you are heavier, prefer a firmer eco-responsible bolster.

zafu meditation cushion  what is

Also read >>> elemental meditation : the 5 elements

What are the different shapes of zafu?

The half-moon cushion is used in meditation as well as in yoga. The crescent shape offers increased support for the hips and thighs and provides space for the feet.

The rectangular or square meditation cushions are used in addition to a round cushion to protect ankles and knees. They are also appreciated for yoga practice, on vacation, for example, because they are easier and more compact to carry.

The round meditation cushions can have different sizes, patterns, and padding. The zafu is one of the round meditation cushions, distinguished by its slightly curved shape on the top and its flat folds on the sides.

What is zafu used for?

The zafu meditation cushion is ideal for:

  • yogis,
  • followers of the meditation, beginners as advanced,
  • pregnant women to relieve the lower back, the sacrum, and the hips,
  • seniors to practice yoga or meditation despite weak joints, a damaged back, or limited flexibility,
  • all professionals spending long hours on the floor, such as storytellers, masseurs, or childcare professionals,
  • parents to play on the floor with their babies and children,
  • children to meditate or to play.
  • gentle gymnastics, tai chi, pilates, core, or stretching,
  • holistic treatments such as shiatsu.

Intended for the practice of well-being, your cushion will play a role in your decoration once posted in your meditation corner, living room, or bedroom. Think about the aesthetic side of this newcomer in your cocoon. It could match your taste, needs, and interior. Two in one, the meditation cushion can become a lovely accent pillow.

zafu meditation cushion  what is

How to wash them?

It is advisable to wash your zafu meditation cushion cover regularly. To do so, choose a cushion with a zipper or a cord that can be removed from the cover, and ideally machine-washed.

You can also brush the fabric or vacuum it to give it a little shine. There are no specific products; just with every sort of regular soap you use should be easy to get your cushion clean and fresh again.

How much does a zafu cost?

The best yoga cushions are made by craftsmen in France from good quality, natural, organic, and resistant materials. For these reasons, their price can be higher than the one of the productions in the chain and delocalized.

The price is between 60 and 100 euros for a handmade meditation cushion. 2 to 4 hours are necessary to give life to a standard zafu meditation cushion, 2 kilos of vegetable material.

Are meditation cushions worth it?

The meditation cushion can be helpful for meditation in terms of comfort and support for your body. If you regularly practice meditation, I recommend having a dedicated cushion to protect your spine and improve your posture.

Where can I buy it?

You can find Zafus in many online stores, like Amazon, but also in specific shops, like a yoga shop, a spiritual shop, or simply in a home decor shop.

Buy your zafu right now!

Listed below are some of our favorite zafu ready to be purchased!

MAYA LUMBINI Organic Crescent Zafu Meditation Cushion15″L x 10″W, 2.55 pounds, Premium Kapok Filling$39.99
Florensi Meditation Cushion16” x 5” / 40.64 x 12.7cm, 100% Organic Buckwheat Filling, 7.43 pounds$39.99
Seat Of Your Soul Meditation Cushion17 x10,5×5 inches, US Buckwheat Filling, 5.5 lbs$41
Mindful & Modern Large Meditation Cushion4.72 x 2.56 x 5.51, Buckwheat Hull Filled Crescent Shaped$39.99
Bean Products Zafu & Zabuton Meditation Cushion Set‎17 x 15 x 14 inches, organic buckwheat filling, ‎12.1 Pounds$120
Waterglider International Zafu Cushion13.54 x 13.43 x 6.93 inches, organic buckwheat filling, 6.93 pounds$35