What is the best zafu meditation cushion? 3 of the best reviewed!

Best zafu cushion for you

When it comes to meditation cushions and choosing the best one, it’s really more about what is the best one for you.

And more importantly, what makes it the best for you – price, size, durability, materials used, eco-friendliness, colour, support?  So, what is the best zafu meditation cushion?

I’ve reviewed 3 below with some details to help you with your decision.

Please remember though we’re not comparing apples with apples here.  In particular different materials used means there will be a slight price variation.

Let’s get on with the review.

What is the best zafu meditation cushion? In no particular order:

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1,  DHARMA CRAFTS – BUCKWHEAT HULL ZAFU, ECO – THEIR BEST SELLER!

DharmaCrafts have handcrafted meditation cushions since 1979 in the USA. Their staff are trained craftspeople who pay close attention to fine detail.

The vast majority of their customers prefer their best-selling buckwheat hull zafu pillow which molds and shapes to posture.

Zafu Meditation Cushion

Materials:

  • 100% certified organic cotton duck covers (tightly woven cotton).
  • 100% cotton muslin encasing filled with buckwheat hull.

Durability:   Cotton is considered one of the most durable of all fabrics. It’s made of natural fibres and the seams are double stitched.

 

 

Functionality:

  • Zippered openZafu Meditation Cushioning for easy removal of the cover for washing and adding or removing buckwheat hulls to adjust for individual height requirements.
  • Molds and shapes to posture and requires no break-in period.
  • It’s able to be turned on its side so that you can sit on your knees in the “seiza” position.
  • Carrying handle.
  • The outer cover and inner shell (less the buckwheat of course) are machine washable.
  • Cotton is cool.

Dimensions:       5.5” x 15”

Colours:              Low impact dyes in an array of colours (including multi) to choose from.

Additional info: Handmade, replacement inserts available.

Will it suit me?

  • Suits meditators of all shapes and sizes
  • Suitable for sitting in the lotus, cross-legged or seiza (kneeling) position
  • Suits long-legged and people over six feet tall.  You can pair the cushion with a square support cushion, zabuton or if you want to go higher you could look at the Hi Zafu (details below).
  • A higher sitting position is generally comfortable for those who have less flexibility in their hips and knees.  This traditional zafu is the highest of those I have reviewed.

Price:  $79.95

Shipping costs:   Yes

Average customer rank: 5/5 via Amazon

Refund and exchange policy:  Yes – If you are not satisfied with any item, you may return it within 30 days for an exchange or refund for the full merchandise amount.

Cheapest place to buy:  Amazon

Pros:      It’s DHARMA CRAFTS BEST SELLER.

  • This is a slightly larger (by .5 of an inch) cushion than the Gaiam and Hugger Mugger cushions below and it appears to be the most eco-friendly.  Though they don’t explicitly say it’s eco-friendly they do call it the ‘eco’.
  • As organic cotton is biodegradable and buckwheat hulls are a natural and renewable product, we can assume that the product is at least eco-friendly in this regard.  That’s got to be a good thing.
  • Cotton is cool (I mean temperature cool).
  • Obviously using low impact dyes is a positive too.
  • They’ve been around for over 30 years, so I think that says something about the quality of their products.

Cons: It might be a few dollars more, but I think that due to the fact it’s slightly larger, handmade and the most eco-friendly, it’s worth it.

Hi Zafu Meditation CushionNote: If you want something a little higher, Dharma Crafts offer the Hi-Zafu Buckwheat Meditation Cushion 14″w 8″h and they also offer a large range of zafu and zabuton sets which could work out economically better for you.

Zabuton

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2.  GAIAM – ZAFU MEDITATION CUSHION

Designed to improve your position during meditation by stacking your spine while relieving pressure from your knees, ankles, and back.

Zafu Meditation Cushion

Materials:            Buckwheat hull filled.  Microfiber suede cover.

Durability:           Microfiber is a synthetic polyester fabric designed to be stain and water resistant.

Functionality:

  • Zippered cover with internal bag so you can add or remove filling
  • External handle
  • Shape conforming
  • Machine washable

Dimensions:       5″ x 15″

Colours:               Purple, teal, black

Will it suit me?

  • Size is a standard size for a zafu meditation cushion
  • If you have sensitive skin you are better off going for a cotton covered cushion
  • Microfibre is highly absorbent so it is more prone to staining
  • As with the other cushions described here, you can also turn this on it’s side or place a supporting mat or pillow underneath the cushion.

Price:  $29.99 (33% off original price of $44.98)

Shipping costs:  Yes

Average customer rank: 4.8/5 via their website and 4/5 via Amazon

Refund and exchange policy:  Via the retailer e.g. if you purchase through Amazon then they are to be contacted.  You can buy direct frorm Gaim where they offer a 100% satisfaction guaranttee but it will cost you more.

Cheapest place to buy:  Amazon

Pros:         Least expensive of the three.  Likely to last longer than those made of cotton.

Cons:        Not eco-friendly. It may last longer but it’s not organic or biodegradable. Microfiber is a little more prone to staining.

ZabutonAdditional info: If you need additional cushioning for your knees, Gaiam also offer a colour matching zabuton.

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3.  HUGGER MUGGER YOGA PRODUCTS – ZAFU MEDITATION CUSHION SOLIDS

The Hugger Mugger cushion is handmade in the USA from upholstery grade fabric.  Depending on which design you purchase it will either be made of cotton or polyester.  Polyester retains it’s shape well and is as a synthetic material more durable than cotton.

Zafu Meditation Cushion

Materials:

  • Organic Buckwheat hull filled.
  • Upholstery-grade fabric.
  • Materials vary with five of the seven designs being made of organic cotton and two of polyester. However, there is no claim of eco-friendliness despite the reference to organic materials being used in 5 of the 7 designs.

Durability:

  • Organic cotton is durable but so is polyester.  Polyester is very durable: resistant to most chemicals, stretching and shrinking, wrinkle resistant, mildew and abrasion resistant. Polyester is hydrophobic in nature and quick drying.  Polyester might be durable but it’s not biodegradable.

Functionality:

  • Zippered cover so you can add or remove filling
  • External handle
  • Shape conforming
  • Hand washable only

Dimensions:       5″ x 15″

Colours:           Available in solid block colours – black, plum and poppy.

Will it suit me:

  • Size is a standard size for a zafu meditation cushion
  • If you have sensitive skin or allergies you are better off going for a cotton covered cushion
  • Polyester is durable and retains its shape.
  • As with the other cushions described here, you can also turn this on it’s side or place a supporting mat or pillow underneath the cushion.

Additional info: Handmade

Price:  $54.95

Shipping costs:  Yes

Average customer rank: 5/5 via their website and 4.5/5 via Amazon

Refund and exchange policy:  Yes, if unused.

Cheapest place to buy: Direct from Hugger Mugger or  Amazon.

Pros:

  • Handmade.
  • It’s the same size as the Gaiam and price wise it sits in the middle (for the solid block colours at least) – less expensive than Dharma Crafts and more expensive than the Gaiam.
  • A variety of colours and printed designs available if you want to go for something a little outside the square.
  • Polyester or organic cotton options.

Cons:

  • Not eco-friendly (well at least they don’t claim to be and there is no claim that the cotton is 100% organic).
  • This cushion is slightly more expensive than the Gaiam but they are handmade so is it a con really (surely handmade warrants the maker earning a little more).

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In a buckwheat hull – the jury is in!

In a buckwheat hull, if you are going for something a little more eco-friendly then you will pay a little more. As far as durability is concerned well Polyester or MicroFibre is probably going to win out over organic cotton but having said that, cotton is usually softer and cooler than both.  With size being much of a muchness, this is where it sits:

The jury is in:

If you are price conscious and want the cheapest, aren’t too fussed about colours, don’t have sensitive skin and are not concerned with the eco-friendly aspect, go for Gaiam.

If you want the eco-friendliest, have allergies or sensitive skin (or not) and want lots of colours to choose from, I’d be leaning towards Dharma Crafts.

If you want something that is reasonably eco-friendly, is sensitive skin friendly and is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive, then Hugger Mugger (cotton option) is the way to go.  If you want something more durable and that is more likely to retain its shape and don’t suffer with allergies or sensitive skin, then the Hugger Mugger polyester version would be your best bet.

So, which will it be?  The choice is yours.

Last words

Remember that over time as all pillows do, it will start to lose its height, but hey, it must mean you’re meditating lots right and that’s got to be a good thing.

Anyway, that’s easily fixed, for additional height you can always re-stuff or use an additional pillow and there are sites out there where you can reduce your costs by purchasing more than one pillow. Alternatively check out Dharma Crafts Hi-Zafu Buckwheat Meditation Pillow as mentioned above.

You also might like to invest in a zabuton floor cushion (purchased separately or as part of a set with the zafu cushion).  Zabuton floor cushions can be useful if your knees touch the floor to provide padding. Gaiam and Dharma Crafts both offer cushion and zabuton sets if you want to check them out.

I hope this article has been of help to you.

If you have any questions or comments please contact me or leave them below.

Go forth with ease and just be!

Martine


10 Comments

  • Eric

    Wow, I enjoyed reading this article. I never really considered using these cushions for meditation, but I found the reviews helpful.

    I haven’t decided which one is my favorite or if I’ll get one. But if I had to choose now, I would go with the Dharma Crafts. That looked good!

    Great read- keep up writing more of these posts!

  • Deb

    This is great I love that you’ve included the eco friendliness of these products as that’s important to me. They all look very comfortable. I have never used a meditation cushion but as I have a tendency to fall asleep during my meditations this could be the perfect solution!

    • Martine

      Yes, they definitely help with your posture and consequently in keeping you alert. Eco-friendliness is so important and so I was glad to find some products that try to be as eco-friendly as possible. I’m glad you found it helpful and thankyou so much for your comments.

  • Kathy

    As someone who meditates, I love the idea of using a cushion. I can see the benefits of helping posture, and particularly like the Dharma crafts best seller. I love the large choice of colours and the fact it’s so durable.

    • Martine

      Yes, I think the Dharma Crafts Buckwheat Hull Zafu Eco meditation cushion is a great choice. They are also trying to be somewhat eco-friendly too by using 100% cotton and muslin and also low-impact dyes. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Lucky

    Your reviews are informative and puts someone at ease in understanding the cushions even if you have never seen them.
    Thanks for the great reviews, it is very informative.

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