Yoga is generally not meant to be performed with the help of props. Since ages, people have been practicing yoga without needing any external support for their body. But due to physical limitations like injuries and stiff muscles, it has become imperative to use props like bolsters and specially-designed pillows during the sessions. In this post, I have shared six best yoga bolsters to improve your yoga practice.
Best Yoga Bolster
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Hugger Mugger is an American brand of yoga accessories and related equipment. The standard yoga bolster is one of its flagship products. Whether you are a studio person or like to work out at home, you can enhance your yoga practice by adding this product to your accessories.
What made Hugger Mugger’s standard yoga bolster so popular amongst the yoga community? The core of this product is firm and stable, while the outer surface is soft and cushy. This gives yogis a chance to perform the most challenging poses without worrying about toppling or getting injured. Notably, this bolster has a flat top and bottom. You will never slip or fall off it.
Also, those with joint problems, pregnancy, or just have a fear of certain poses can benefit from this restorative yoga bolster. Specific forms of yoga are designed for people with a temporary or permanent physical disability (I guess people with joint pains or pregnancy can be considered temporarily disabled). For instance, this pillow goes well with all poses involved in Yin Yoga (a passive and safe workout option).
Hugger Mugger is Suitable For –
These bolsters are perfect for those who workout at home. The manufacturer does not advise machine cleaning the covers, as they are challenging to put back on. This product suits those who want to spend as little time as possible in the maintenance of their yoga props. Spot cleaning or dry cleaning this product will get rid of all the dirt and grime off it.
- It provides more stability compared to yoga bolsters of other shapes and sizes.
- It is made in the USA.
- It is perfect for yin and restorative yoga.
- It is not suitable for machine cleaning.
- It might shrink a bit after washing.
Best Overall Runner-Up
Bean Products is a manufacturer of environment-friendly wellness products. This Chicago-based company has been around since 1987. Unlike other companies who offer one-size-fits-all bolsters, Bean Products allow the customer to pick the shape, and the filling type or the material beforehand. Once you select the type of product you want, Bean Products sends the requirement to their manufacturing plant (based in Chicago).
Bean Products offer three options when it comes to the shape of the bolster: Rectangle or Round shape or breathing style Pranayama. The rectangular one comes with dimensions of 6-inch H x 24-inch L x 12-inch W. It is used for active and restorative yoga. Both the top and bottom surfaces are flat.
Further, the round-shaped bolster measures a 27-inch x 9-inch diameter. It works best for the hip, and lower back yoga poses. Slip this bolster under the lower back to support your spine and hip region. Lastly, the pranayama is a longer and narrower version of the rectangular bolster. It supports the entire spine so you can breathe more freely.
As far as the filling is concerned, you have two options: Sturdy Cotton Canvas and Sturdy Hemp. The filling used in this product is 100 percent organic. Even the cover (made with vinyl) is natural and organic. You can wash this product with a spray or mat wipes.
Bean Products is Suitable For –
This product is perfect for those who perform different types of yoga and core exercises. You can order more than one kind of bolster to help you execute the routine you have always dreamt of.
- It is a reputed brand and offers tried and tested products.
- It is made in the USA.
- It enhances your yoga experience almost immediately.
- It has several colors to choose from.
- It is not machine washable.
- It might give out an odd new fabric smell for a few days after the purchase.
Are you into Yin yoga or any other form of restorative yoga? The problem with most yoga bolsters is that they get flattened or simply deform under with usage, especially after being used for a more extended period by a heavy person.
The people at Lotuscrafts have addressed this issue while coming up with their yoga bolster. This German company has made sure that their product lasts longer while also offering the utmost comfort to the user.
This product is relatively smaller in size. Measuring 28-inch x 8-inch x 6-inch, it is suitable for college-going yogis or the ones with a thinner physique. Not all products from Lotuscrafts are available in the United States. This is one of the rare products which is up for grabs. Also, for any queries or doubts, you can contact their English-speaking customer care representative available 24×7.
Furthermore, Lotuscrafts also care about the environment. This is why they have used organic cotton as filling for this bolster. Beyond that, the dye used to color the cover is 100 percent environmentally-friendly. By the way, this product is available only in Bordeaux color, which essentially is a dark red and opaque color with a touch of purple to it.
Lotuscrafts Yoga Bolster is Suitable For –
This product is created by keeping slim individuals in mind. A heavier person can benefit from this bolster only if they are going to be using it merely for exercise purposes. Casually resting the body on it for a longer duration can lead to deformation.
- It is lightweight and firm.
- The cover is made with high-quality fabric.
- It is easy to wash.
- The filling is made with environment-friendly materials.
- It is not machine washable.
- Heavy people may not find this bolster useful for casual use.
Best Value Runner-Up
Yoga and massage therapy go hand in hand. It is not uncommon for yogis to go for a massage after yoga practice. Especially if they are into intense exercise routines like Bikram or Vinyasa flow yoga, this product from Earthlite is a large-sized massage bolster measuring 26-inch L x 9-inch W x 9-inch H. Earthlite pillows come in varying sizes and shapes. Still, the one I am going to be discussing in this section is known as Full Jumbo.
Earthlite has used Natursoft PU rayon as filling for this bolster. Also, there is no trace of CFC foam in this product. It is made with 100 percent organic materials. Although this bolster is meant to be used during a massage session, it is firm, sturdy, and comfy enough to be used as additional support during certain yoga poses. It can be placed under curvy body parts like under the knee joint, ankle or arms, etc.
To relieve the lower back from the stress and tension, lie down on your back and simply place this bolster beneath the knees. Make sure to lie down on your back. You will begin to breathe deeply, your spine will loosen up, and the overall experience will be quite relaxing. This Jumbo Pillow can be used while performing any yoga pose that involves you putting pressure on your lower back.
Earthlite Full Jumbo is Suitable For –
This product is suitable for those who want additional support for their knee joint, ankle joint, and lower back. It can be used either while resting or during restorative yoga poses like supported bridge pose, sleeping pigeon pose, supported forward fold, etc.
- It relieves stress and tension.
- There are several dark colors to choose from.
- It is a reputed brand.
- It is made with environment-friendly foam.
- It is not machine washable.
- It can be used as a support pillow for yoga poses. But the product is made specifically for massage purposes.
Are you looking for a bolster filled with natural buckwheat? A lot of people prefer buckwheat pillows over cotton or any other material. The reason being, a buckwheat fill is breathable and firm. It may weigh a bit more than other filling materials, but it compensates for it with excellent temperature control. No matter the external environment, it remains crisp and fresh the entire time.
The yoga bolster from Brentwood Home is made from 100 percent natural buckwheat. This California-based wellness product and equipment manufacturer is also known for coming up with exciting and innovative designs. The texture and design of the outer cover are certainly better than what other manufacturers have to offer.
The covers of this pillow are machine washable. You need to empty the buckwheat from the cover before washing it. It might seem like a hassle initially, but trust me, you will be a lot happier with a clean and sanitized cover.
Buckwheat does not absorb any moisture, so you don’t have to worry about bad odor. Also, after a few months of usage, the pillow is expected to slack a bit. Simply add some more buckwheat in the cover.
Brentwood Home Crystal Cove is Suitable For –
This bolster is suitable for meditators and yoga practitioners. This product might seem very delicate or flimsy in the pictures, but it can withstand the wear and tear caused by daily use. You can use it in your home or a studio. They are one of the best yoga bolsters for Yin yogis.
- The entire product is machine washable.
- You have an option to select between buckwheat and cotton filling.
- Buckwheat is known for its firmness and breathability.
- GOTS Certified organic cotton.
- A nylon zipper could be better instead of a metal one.
- It is too heavy to be carried to the gym or studio every day.
Best Budget Runner-Up
This meditation cushion from Seat of Your Soul is filled with natural buckwheat. The entire product is made with organic materials. Even the cover is 100 percent organic cotton.
Further, unlike a typical bolster, this cushion is more like a small pillow. It can support your spine while you sit and meditate in your home or need additional padding during your yoga sessions. In fact, it is the best yoga bolster for restorative yoga.
This versatile product has a lot to offer than just being a utility for mediation and yoga. Whether you wish to watch TV, play with a toddler, or read a book, this cushion will keep your spine in its usual position all the time.
Furthermore, if you feel like the pillow is too high for your liking, zip open the pillow cover and take out some buckwheat. You can store the extra buckwheat in a zipper bag without any issues.
Seat Of Your Soul Meditation Cushion is Suitable For –
You should know that a natural buckwheat pillow is not spongy or fluffy like the one filled with foam. It is firm and a bit heavier. Also, the buckwheat makes a natural chirping sound when weight is put on it. So, expect some noise when performing yoga poses. Apart from that, this pillow is perfect for those who seek stability and total comfort.
- USA-grown Buckwheat filling makes this yoga bolster firm and lightweight.
- It is suitable for casual use.
- The product is GOTS Certified.
- The product also comes with a strap for easy carrying.
- It is perfect for seated meditation.
- You might need to adjust the height of the pillow by removing or adding some filling.
What is the Best Yoga Bolster to Buy?
From the list of the best yoga bolsters mentioned in this post, I would pick the one from Bean Products. This manufacturer offers you an option to select as per the shape and filling material. Needless to say, you can mix and match the options to find the perfect combination for your unique needs.
How Do I Choose a Yoga Bolster?
Yoga bolsters are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Depending on the type of yoga you are into, you can add any of the bolsters to attain perfect postures and poses. If you already are aware of the postural problems you are facing, then choosing a bolster won’t be that difficult. However, for a beginner yogi who just wants to get more out of their practice, picking the correct bolster can be overwhelming.
Here Are the Types of Yoga Bolsters You Can Choose From
A rectangle-shaped bolster is one of the most popular accessories among the yoga community. It has a flat top and bottom edges. Measuring approximately 6-inch H x 24-inch L x 12-inch W, it is longer and flatter than other bolster types. Depending on the manufacturer, the dimensions of a rectangular bolster may slightly vary.
2. Round-shaped bolster
A round bolster provides excellent support to knee and ankle joints. This type of bolster is perfect for poses that require a yogi to lie on their back. Savasana (or as known as corpse pose) is one of the most rewarding of the poses. Although it can put a lot of pressure on the lower back, this is where a round-shaped bolster comes into the picture. When placed under the knee joints, it can relieve the stress generated in the lower back region.
3. Breathing Style Pranayama
A pranayama bolster is a bit longer than the rectangular and round bolster. It is also quite narrower. The primary purpose of a pranama bolster is to support the back, from tailbone to neck. As you would already know, pranayama is a seated yoga routine. But if you are into B. K. S. Iyengar’s pranayama, you will find this type of a bolster quite useful.
4. Round Yoga Pillow
Primarily, meditators use a round-shaped yoga pillow for additional spinal support. Usually, these pillows are filled with an organic filler like buckwheat or kapok. The height of the yoga pillow can be adjusted by removing or adding the filling material. On top of that, this kind of pillow also goes well with Vinyasa flow exercises.
5. Jumbo Bolster
A jumbo bolster is similar in shape as that of a round-shaped bolster, but it comes in a varying-sized diameter. Some jumbo bolsters also have one side curved, and the other hand flattened. Earthlite offers all types of jumbo bolsters.
What is a Yoga Bolster Filled With?
Generally speaking, a yoga bolster is filled with organic material such as natural cotton, buckwheat, kapok, or wool. However, it is not uncommon to find bolsters made out of synthetic materials such as PVC or memory foam.
Both organic and synthetic filling material offers different benefits to the yogi. The products mentioned above are intended for eco-friendly yogis. Hence, they are filled with 100 percent natural and organic filling materials.
How Much Does a Yoga Bolster Cost?
Depending on the size, shape, type of filling material, and brand reputation, a yoga bolster can cost anywhere between $30 to $80. Buckwheat is not affordable in every part of the country. Surely there are some states where the cost is low due to local production.
Further, natural cotton is the most commonly used filling material used in a yoga bolster. Generally, it is not advised to go for a memory foam-based yoga bolster. They are soft and supple but fail to help the body stay perfectly aligned.
A bolster is one of the versatile utilities to have at your disposal. Along with helping you execute your yoga poses safely and securely, it can also be used as a resting pillow (when watching TV, reading, or just relaxing). I have six great options available for you. If you are still confused, then you can pick the one from Bean Products like I would.