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The best yoga bolsters can help relieve pain, lessen stiffness, and increase comfort during challenging yoga postures. Also sometimes referred to as yoga pillows or yoga cushions, bolsters can be invaluable to pregnant women, individuals with physical limitations, or just regular folks who are feeling sore or could use some extra support with certain positions.
When should you consider using a yoga bolster, and which one should you buy? You’re in the right place to find out… keep reading! Note: Use of the word “best” in this article is only meant to reflect one writer’s opinion.
Types of yoga bolsters
Yoga bolsters are cool props because they add comfort while also helping to open up your muscles and deepen your stretches. That sounds like a win-win all the way around, doesn’t it?
Bolsters can take cylindrical or rectangular shapes. Cylindrical cushions tend to be a few inches higher than rectangular pillows, which allows for deeper chest openings and a foundation of sturdy support. The differences between the types aren’t huge, however, so which style you choose to purchase can simply be a matter of personal preference.
Best Yoga Bolsters: Our Top Recommendations
Lotuscrafts is a relatively new name to the bolster market, but they really hit it out of the park with this product. The Lotuscrafts Rectangular Bolster is one of the few cushions that comes in two sizes. The small is 28 x 8 x 6, while the large is 28 x 12 x 8. This gives you the option to decide whether you want a petite bolster or something more substantial.
It also comes in several colors, including cornflower, royal blue, anthracite, nature (white), and Bordeaux (red). It’s designed especially for Yin Yoga practitioners, making it one of the best yoga bolsters for restorative yoga. This product is also environmentally friendly, made from organic cotton and non-toxic dyes.
When it comes to yoga bolsters, Hugger Mugger is viewed as one of the best brands around. While some of the most prominent yoga companies haven’t bothered to manufacture pillows, Hugger Mugger has embraced the product, creating more than a dozen styles and colors. Vibrant designs include Bohemian Ikat, Caramel Lotus, Graphic Graphite, and Golden Leaf.
The Hugger Mugger rectangular bolster cushion‘s healthy price reflects its high quality. The bolster is firm, yet reasonably lightweight, and with the proper care it should last a very long time.
Among the most affordably-priced bolsters is the YogaAccessories round supportive pillow. The cylindrical-shaped bolster is made with quality fabric and solid materials that keep it sturdy. At 28 inches long with a diameter of 10 inches, it’s sizable enough to provide a strong level of support in various postures.
Just like with their yoga mats, the YogaAccessories round yoga bolster comes in a wide range of primary and secondary colors, and the cover can be unzipped and removed for easy washing.
Manduka seems to show up on every list of the best yoga products, from yoga blocks to mat carriers. The brand name is synonymous with quality and care. That holds true for the Manduka yoga bolster, which utilizes airCORE technology to minimize weight and prevent flattening.
The Manduka soft round bolster comes in royal purple and has a comfortable, plush feeling. The 27 x 9 x 9 cushion is lightweight and comes with a carrying handle built into the fabric. There’s a hidden zipper so you can remove the filling and wash the cover periodically.
Note: Manduka used to make a nice rectangular bolster pillow, but that is no longer available for sale on their own website, nor on Amazon. Here’s the Amazon link for the product, just in case it returns to stock someday.
Here’s a really unique product. The Brentwood Home yoga bolster is filled not with typical bolster material, but rather with buckwheat inside a cotton lining. This makes it a bit more firm than some of the other bolsters. You can always add or take away buckwheat to adjust the firmness.
It also comes in a cool gray color with a nifty circular pattern. This one’s a little more expensive than some of the other top yoga bolsters, but those who want a chic design and the feeling of the unique buckwheat filling may want to give it a try.
The My Zen Dhyana Meditation Cushion doesn’t precisely fit the definite of a bolster, but folks looking for a yoga meditation cushion will likely be satisfied with this pillow. It provides support for the lower back and for tight hips. You can sit right on top of the cushion, which will lessen strain on the ankles while meditating.
The dimensions of the My Zen Home Dhyana Meditation Cushion are 21 x 26 x 4, making it roughly the same width as a typical yoga bolster.
How to use a yoga bolster cushion
The ways in which you can use a bolster are almost unlimited. During shavasana (corpse pose), you can slide the bolster under your knees, which reduces tension on your back to enhance overall relaxation.
As the video below instructs, another great use for a bolster is to place it underneath the shoulder blades, which creates more of an arc and opens up the chest as you rest your head back.
Check out the clip for more helpful hints, or head over here for additional ideas:
You can take your bolster to the yoga studio or use it while traveling or at home during solo practice. Many studios have bolsters available for guests to use.
How to choose the best yoga bolsters: summary
Whether you’re preparing for prenatal yoga or simply want to deepen your postures and create a more pleasurable and tension-free restorative yoga experience, bolster cushions are a great way to make it happen. The best yoga bolsters are durable, stylish, and a wise investment for anyone who is serious about their practice.
Do you have another suggestion for the best yoga pillows? Let us know!