Nov 6, 2018

Zabuton - Japanese cushion for sitting


Do you love meditating? If your answer is yes, then you know the importance of being comfortable during the process. Many people talk about different aspects of meditation but forget the most important one; finding a proper meditation seat. You have to be comfortable for you to meditate. You can achieve this by buying the Zabuton and zafu.

Though these cushions are used for the same purpose, they are not the same. Your spine needs proper support as you remain on the floor for long during the mediation process. These cushions can prevent your back from aching. Do not perform the ritual without the use of these cushions. Today, we will look at each of them separately to help you understand them better and get the right type.

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Why do you need a meditation cushion?

Before discussing the different types, you should know why you need to purchase a yoga cushion instead of using any other cushion. Skilled artisans make these specialty items to perform different tasks. Your ordinary cushion may not be thick enough to support your weight as you sit on the floor during meditation. You need a meditation cushion made with the right thickness to prevent you from a frustrating session.

They also help you get the right sitting position so that you don't get distracted during your session try to change your position into a comfortable one. Unlike an ordinary cushion, a meditation cushion can help you get the benefits of meditating by letting your relax and breathe freely. It enables you to achieve spiritual enlightenment by improving your concentration and lowering your heart rate.

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What is the Zabuton?

Your back needs this form of meditation cushion that elevates the pelvis to keep your hips above the knees. It facilitates the proper circulation of blood to the legs as you sit in different postures while meditating. The Zabuton meditation cushion helps your spine to remain in the right position so that energy can flow freely within your body. It comes in the form of a big square to give your body enough room for sitting. The producers of the Zabuton cushion equip it with a built-in knee support system that makes sitting on it comfortably.

As you cross your legs during meditation, your knees can rest on the surface of the Zabuton easily without causing you any pain. You can also maintain the seiza style when seating on a zabuton. Some people place a zafu on top of the Zabuton to increase comfort as it can cushion your ankles and knees. This combination allows you to maintain a tripod position during your session. Though a Zabuton zafu is common, you can still use the zabuton alone. Elevate your pelvis by folding a section of the Zabuton underneath your legs.

The cushion prevents your ankles from aching or remaining on the hard floor. Thanks to the thick padded surface of a zabuton, it insulates your knees preventing them from aches. A zabuton is bigger than a zafu as it measures about 30 inches square. It is also thick to increase comfort on the ground. Zabutons are flat and long though you can find them in different lengths.

Where does it come from?

The Japanese Culture values the importance of meditation. The Zabuton is a cushion that hails from Japan. People use it in the Zen tradition to practice mindfulness. You will found a zabuton in most traditional rooms or a Japanese restaurant. Some remodeled buildings in Japan also include the zabuton to relax.

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They are popular tools used to tell stories according to the Japanese tradition. The person telling the story sits on the Zabuton to give a narrative to the audience. According to their culture, stepping on a zabuton is unacceptable since they are a symbol of furniture. To avoid stepping on it, they believe that you should sit on the Zabuton starting with the seiza position then use the hands to move your body.

How to use

Most people use Zabuton when resting on the floor during meditation. Some people use it when you are sitting on a small chair that has no legs. The Japanese call the legless chair that accompanies the zabuton a zaisu. You can also place it under a meditation stool or a bench.

Do you want to the use zabuton and Zafu together to meditate? Place the zabuton on the ground first then the zafu on top of it. When maintaining the lotus position, tuck the zafu pillow under the tush or sit on the knees allowing the zafu pillow to remain tucked between the legs. You can also use it as a yoga bolster by folding it into half and securing it with the provided strap. It is therefore versatile since you don't have to get an additional yoga mat for your yoga sessions. Some people also kneel on the zabuton or let their feet rest on them for a while. The use of Zabutons prevent you from losing body heat since with cushions; you don't have to sit on the floor directly.

Some people use zabutons as baby beds for their children during afternoon naps. It can be a pillow while lying down on the ground. Shops also use the zabuton to display their ornaments and statues. The Maneki neko statues placed in zabutons are popular in many business places.

How to choose a zabuton?

Though your preference may determine the kind of zabuton you choose, have the following factors in mind.

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An authentic zabuton contains a thick cotton batting and a cover. The batting prevents the contents inside your cushion from shifting during use. You should wash the zabuton cover after some time to make your cushion looking fresh and clean.

Some Zabutons also come with polyester fiberfill material in them which makes them costly. If you need a low price, choose the traditional cotton batting. Ensure that the material of your zabuton makes it feel firm on the ground.


These meditation cushions come in different sizes with some longer and thicker than others. Slim zabutons can give you the necessary support, and they are easy to move around. Choose this type if the surface you intend to use on is soft.

A thick zabuton is suitable for a hard surface. This type comes with mitered corners to provide extra cotton batting on the edges. It is more comfortable than a thin zabuton as it provides more cushion for knee support. If you get knee problems from meditating, purchase this type.


The color that you choose for a zabuton depends on your taste. Consider where you are going to use it so that you select colors that are easy to maintain. If you go for a brightly colored zabuton, ensure that it features a removable cover for cleaning purposes. Not all zabutons have removable covers. They also have different patterns and designs for you to select.


Zabutons are not made the same since some come with additional features such as the memory foam surface on one side. This side is softer than the cotton batting surface giving you extra comfort as it conforms to the shape of your body. Such a zabuton provides you with more than one option to sit on during meditation. It should also be lightweight to increase portability.

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