Go to: buckwheat Zafu, kapok zafu, meditation benches, support cushions
People who want to 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 cushion so that you can sit — and keep sitting — in comfort and with confidence.
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. See our Posture Guide to learn how.
Buckwheat Zafu (round meditation cushion)
Our most popular meditation cushion.
Filled with natural buckwheat hulls, the buckwheat zafu is preferred by most new practitioners.
Benefits of sitting on the buckwheat zafu include:
- Requires no break-in period
- Conforms to your particular posture, rather 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.
- Long-legged folks, and meditators over six feet tall. The buckwheat zafu can be turned on its side or paired with a square support cushion for additional height. (A higher sitting position is generally more comfortable for those who have less flexibility in their hips and knees.)
Kapok Zafu (round meditation cushion)
We've been hand-stuffing this traditional kapok cushion since 1979. Extremely firm, this cushion is stuffed with over 3.5 lbs of kapok. When you receive it, is round and hard like a loaf of Russian bread.
Kapok is a soft, hypoallergenic, mold and mildew resistant, natural fiber harvested from the seedpod of the Kapok tree which is found in Thailand and Indonesia. Naturally silky and resilient, it has been the traditional stuffing for sitting cushions for centuries.
Benefits of sitting on the kapok-filled zafu include:
- Solid support for those who prefer a very firm seat.
- Extra height and width for taller and/or larger-framed meditators who are less flexible.
- Can be turned on its side for use in the seiza posture (kneeling) and gives a bit more height than the buckwheat zafu.
- After its break-in period, our kapok sitters become VERY "attached" to their zafus and many folks use them for 20-30 years!
Note that using the kapok zafu is often an "acquired taste." DharmaCrafts suggests that you try one at your local meditation center, though it's most likely that the ones you'll find there will have already been "broken in" by previous visitors.
Who might like sitting on a Kapok Zafu:
- Long-time meditators who have previously used a kapok zafu.
- Those who prefer to sit in the seiza (kneeling) posture.
- Tall and/or long-legged meditators and those with larger frames.
Meditation Benches (Seiza bench, Omni bench, Pi Bench)
If you have difficulty sitting in a cross-legged position, a meditation bench might be the best choice for you. Our 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 and Seiza benches are especially suited to less flexible meditators because they are slightly higher than the Omni.
- Our Omni Bench features folding legs, perfect for travel.
Who might like sitting on a bench:
- Meditators who prefer to sit in the seiza (kneeling) posture.
- Meditators of average height with limited flexibility.
- Taller sitters can build up the height of the seat 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.
Support Cushions — Customized Comfort
There is no better way to customize your comfort than with our support cushions. Whether you need added height, cushioning under your knees when sitting in the cross-legged position, or cushioning under your ankles or hands — our variety of support cushions
will provide additional comfort and flexibility.
Buckwheat Support Cushion
This 16" x 12" x 4" rectangular cushion is one of our most versatile support cushions! It includes a zippered cover for easy washing.
Who might like using a buckwheat support cushion:
- If you're very flexible, you may enjoy sitting on this instead of a zafu!
- Tall meditators who need added height can put this under a buckwheat zafu.
- Less flexible meditators, whose knees do not touch the ground/zabuton when sitting in a crossed-legged position, enjoy extra support by placing this cushion under a knee or thigh.
Square Support Cushion
This 14" x 14" x 2" square pillow is filled with 2 inches of cotton batting. This cushion can be folded or rolled to provide customized support. It includes a zippered cover for easy washing.
Who might like using a square support cushion:
- Tall meditators who need added height can put this on top of a zafu.
- Meditators who want to add more of a "pelvic tilt" when sitting on a zafu.
- Less flexible meditators, whose knees do not touch the ground when sitting in a crossed-legged position, enjoy extra support by placing this cushion (folded or flat) under a knee, thigh, or ankle.
Only 7" x 7" x 1". Use it for —whatever! It includes a zippered cover for easy washing.
Who might like using a whatever cushion:
- Meditators with shoulder strain can place one or two under hands for added height.
- Those with sore knees or ankles when sitting in the cross-legged or kneeling postures benefit from added support and cushioning.