Alright, it’s time to talk about yoga. Well, not just yoga in general – to be more specific, we’re talking about yoga bolsters. You see, we did some digging and found some yoga bolsters that we feel might be worthy of your time and money.
Before we get to the best yoga bolsters round-up, let us explain a couple of things.
What Are Yoga Bolsters?
Well, they’re yoga props – or, to put it as simply as we can, they are a type of yoga pillow.
As with all props, the point of a yoga bolster is to be as comfortable as possible and minimize the strain and pressure on your body.
They’re most commonly used in restorative yoga poses and can aid quite a bit with the blood flow and circulation during your exercise.
Leg, abdomen, and chest circulation are at the top of the list for the most affected areas. Restorative yoga generally aims its poses and exercises towards these parts of your body.
There are a couple of shapes, sizes, and materials used that you’ll need to consider when choosing the best yoga pillows – or bolsters.
Don’t worry, though; we’ll cover them all.
For starters, there’s generally the rectangular yoga bolster and the round yoga bolsters – both of which have a specific purpose depending on what you’re aiming for during your practice.
But in general, restorative yoga practice calls for both of them equally.
As for the material – well, as with all yoga props, there are both cheap and more “high-end” options.
You can find an organic yoga bolster that will set you back a bit more, but then again, there’s cheap yoga bolsters that do the trick just as well. The “organic” part might not be the same – but your body won’t know the difference if you choose the right ones!
Different Types Of Yoga Bolsters & Their Uses
Before we get started, let’s check out the benefits of these yoga bolsters, just to show you how much they can help with your restorative poses. Sure, there are probably already some readers wondering why you’d even need such a prop.
But there are some solid reasons to invest in the best yoga bolster – so, let us explain.
Not all types of yoga require props – yoga mats are sometimes the only must-have – though they can be used across the board.
Prenatal yoga, for instance, benefits greatly from yoga bolsters and meditation pillows. They help with posture, they offer support – and they help you get more flexible over time.
Standard Yoga Bolster
These yoga bolsters are rectangular in shape and feature a wide top that’s flat and offers support in restorative practice. They kind of look like yoga blocks, though the two shouldn’t be confused; there are many differences between them.
Round Yoga Bolster
The round yoga bolsters are cylindrical pillows that are, as a standard, ten inches in diameter. They offer great support under the knees and while straddling. Even more so, they can help open the ribs.
Don’t be confused if you see someone referring to a round yoga bolster as a “yoga bolster alternative.” The standard ones are – well, the standard.
Round yoga bolsters are still just that – bolsters – and they have many purposes while you’re working up to the more complex yoga postures.
The pranayama bolster is pretty much the same thing as the round bolster. They’re smaller, though, and their diameter ranges from three to six inches.
They’re less versatile than the other yoga bolsters, and they’re primarily used to help with breathing exercises.
Zafu Yoga Bolster
The zafu yoga bolster doubles as a bolster and as a round meditation cushion. Their main role is to help elevate the hips while ensuring that your back remains straight. In that sense, they offer some benefits that make them worthy of the mention!
So, what’s the best yoga bolster type?
Well, it generally depends on what you need them for – but in our experience, the standard and the round bolsters are the way to go!
Now, let’s look at the best yoga bolsters currently available on the market, shall we?
Best Yoga Bolsters Of 2021 – Top 7 Yoga Pillows Reviewed
1. The Hugger Mugger Yoga Bolster – Overall Best Yoga Bolster
Our first pick of the bunch is the Hugger Mugger standard yoga bolster. You’ve probably heard of the brand already. These top-quality yoga bolsters are pretty much the top dogs in not just the yoga bolster range but in yoga accessories in general.
The Hugger Mugger company is also famous for supporting many charities – which warms the hearts of many customers.
This rectangular bolster is fat on both sides but has a slight curvature on its ends. The flat top and bottom offer stability with its solid foam core that’s made from high-quality materials.
The Hugger Mugger yoga bolster is covered in machine-washable materials that you can easily take off and throw in with the rest of the laundry. And that means you don’t have to worry about working up a sweat and ruining your bolster.
So, what’s it like to use? Is this the best yoga bolster of the bunch?
Well, depending on what you’re looking for, yes, it might be.
The foam core will keep its shape and firmness over a long period of time, so you’re in for years of support.
All of this is to say that these yoga bolsters are well worth the price – even if they’re a bit on the expensive side. All in all, this is one of the best yoga bolsters on the market.
- The Hugger Mugger Bolster is made in the USA with eco-friendly materials
- The stuffing can be adjusted by adding more or taking out some of it
- The colorful covers are machine-washable
- The perfect bolster for restorative yoga
- Has a carrying handle
- The price could be a bit too steep for some
2. Lotuscrafts Rectangular Yoga Bolster – Best Rectangular Yoga Bolster
Next on our list is the Lotuscrafts Bolster. And if you’re looking for a slightly less flat top and bottom, this might be the yoga bolster for you. Lotuscrafts’ quality can hold its weight – even with the likes of Hugger Mugger and other more expensive brands.
At almost half the price of our number one bolster, the Lotuscrafts offers organic cotton covers that use environmentally-friendly coloring. Not only that – they can be machine washed, as well!
Now, this is a rectangular yoga bolster – but with slightly rounded edges.
And while we know that companies like Hugger Mugger make these, as well, Lotuscrafts is our pick of the range when it comes to this specific shape – though we’d still go for the Hugger Mugger when it comes to flat-tops.
Aside from the cotton cover, non-toxic dyes, and machine washing, this yoga bolster also ensures excellent support in restorative and yin yoga practices.
Another cool thing is that the cushions come in two sizes – a smaller one, measuring 28 x 8 x 6, and a large yoga bolster, which measures 28 x 12 x 8 inches.
It only comes in three colors, so if matching your bolster to your mat matters to you, we’re afraid you’re out of luck with this one.
Other than that, though, it’s one of the best when it comes to restorative yoga!
- The Lotuscrafts bolster is perfect for restorative and yin yoga practices
- It’s made out of certified organic cotton
- The bolster comes in two sizes giving you plenty of options
- Great price for this level of quality
- Made in fair working conditions
- The color range could be better
3. Hugger Mugger Round Yoga Bolster – Best Round Yoga Bolster
Let’s say that you have the HM’s classic rectangular bolster; why not add a round bolster to the collection? Consider the advantages:
They offer firm support that will help with deep stretching as much as rectangular bolsters would. Plus, they provide support and help you with your restorative practice.
Restorative yoga generally depends on these two props. Well, there will always be those who like to go prop-free – but if you’re recovering from an injury, these give excellent support and help you get better quicker. The same goes for beginners in many yoga practices.
This round bolster boasts eco-friendly materials, high quality, and is USA-made. And, again, it’s generally one of the most popular brands in the game.
Like most others from the brand, this specific bolster has a washable cover and a solid core made out of high-quality foam and wrapped in cotton batting.
The pricing is a bit up there, we admit – but we feel that these products are well worth it. Plus, as we already mentioned, a percentage of your money is going to a good cause.
- Made in the USA
- Eco-friendly materials
- The filling can be added or subtracted
- You can throw the cotton cover in a washing machine with the rest of the laundry
- Upholstery-grade fabric
- It’s the perfect restorative yoga bolster
- Incredible comfort levels
- The whole yoga studio will surely notice the HM branding!
- It’s pricier than the competition
4. YogaAccessories Supportive Round Cotton Yoga Bolster – Best All-Cotton Yoga Bolster
Out of all the yoga bolsters featured on our list, this one might be the most versatile.
It’s a yoga bolster pillow that’s exceptionally durable while still retaining a lower weight. And don’t let the durability or firmness fool you; the YogaAccessories offers incredible comfort, as well.
The bolster will suit your restorative practice perfectly, and it’s going to be easy to transport as it features carrying handles on both sides. The cover is made of pure cotton, and it can be machine washed.
The first two picks have some environmentally-friendly bragging rights that this bolster sadly lacks. That won’t be a deal-breaker for some, though.
What might come as a surprise is the size of this bolster once it’s unpacked:
Again, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but YogaAccessories state that it may not be true to its size in person because the bolster is filled with cotton. That’s an understandable issue – though none of the other entries have it.
But still, this supportive round cotton yoga bolster offers incredible quality for its price and should be checked out if you’re in the market for some yoga props.
- The cover is removable and machine-washable
- You can add or remove cotton if needed
- Extremely firm and durable
- Great price for its quality
- Carrying handles on both ends
- The size isn’t true to its advertised measurements
- The covers can’t be machine-dried
5. Bean Products Yoga Bolster – Best Customizable Yoga Bolster
Here’s another eco-friendly option for all the people who want to know that they’re not harming our planet with their purchase.
The Bean Products yoga bolsters use only sustainable resources and hand make each product.
Now, we’re not saying that makes them better – but they do have a special touch to them!
As with most products here, the covers are machine-washable, and there are plenty of choices for the materials, too. You can go for hemp, cotton, or easy-to-care vinyl. Oh, and there’s plenty of colors to choose from – 30 different shades, to be exact.
The bolsters feature a foam insert combined with four layers of cotton batting, which strikes the perfect balance of softness and support.
Some might point out that the quality isn’t on par with some of the other bolsters on this list – but we would disagree. The durability and general quality are pretty great, although your wallet might not be overly happy about the price.
- The Bolster is made in the USA
- Firm and durable materials
- Great for many types of yoga, not just restorative
- Covers are removable and machine-washable
- The covers can’t be machine-dried
- The price tag is a bit higher
6. YogaAccessories Pranayama Cotton Bolster – Best Pranayama Bolster
We’ve already mentioned the YogaAccessories Round Cotton Bolster, but their pranayama bolsters need a special mention. Sure, there will be those who say that the two are the same, but the size difference matters in yoga, too.
It’s what makes the round bolsters perfect for one yoga practice and the pranayama bolsters for others. And if you think about it, why not have two options size-wise?
The round Yoga Accessories bolster’s up there with the best of them, so it might make sense to get the pranayama model, too.
The two bolsters have pretty much all the same properties, but you need to know that the pranayama is much smaller, measuring 25 x 6 x 3 inches.
It might not play a role in your everyday yoga practices – but it does wonders for breathing exercises.
It has a firm filling made entirely out of cotton, and the best part is that it can be taken out as needed, allowing you to adjust the fill level. That said, the firmness is a minor complaint among some users – though we didn’t notice any make-or-break problems.
- The YA Pranayama comes in many colorful choices.
- The cotton filling is firm and durable
- Besides it being small in size, it’s also very lightweight
- Very good quality for the price
- The filling could be a bit too firm for some
- It’s even smaller than advertised
7. Waterglider International Pranayama Bolster – Best Extra-Long Yoga Bolster
Our last pick is the Waterglider Pranayama. Well, “pranayama” might be the wrong description here – but oh, well.
It’s a cross between a rectangular and a round shape, and there’s a good reason for that:
This bolster is quite long, measuring 27 inches, and is usually used to open the chest muscles and help with back pains – more than the standard bolsters would.
Now, even though it might not be as versatile as the mentioned standard bolsters, this pranayama aids incredibly well in aligning the spine, which helps with back pain relief.
If you ask us, that’s the whole point of restorative yoga – aligning your body the right way and getting rid of the pain. Rest assured that this is one of the best yoga bolsters in that sense.
The inside is filled with 100% organic cotton that’s firm yet lightweight and has a removable cotton cover. The removable cover can be machine-washed – though it has to be hang-dried.
Again, this is a bolster made for specific uses. But it’s pretty much up to your personal preference – and it’s always nice to have some help when it comes to retaining perfect posture.
Not every yoga class will require this shape, but it’s still very much worth the money!
- Waterglider International Pranayama Bolster comes in many colorways
- It’s very dense and firm but keeps the weight on the low side
- The cover is organic cotton and is removable
- Great for breathing exercises
- Longer than standard bolsters
- A bit pricey for its limited use
The Purpose Of Yoga Bolsters (And How To Use Them)
Many yoga poses benefit significantly from you having a bolster around. Backbends, wide forward bends, supported forward folds, the camel pose, the corpse pose – the list goes on!
Let’s go through some of these just to see what prop works best for them.
The easy pose is the fundamental pose that all of us office chair dwellers need to know. Because of all that sitting, our spines aren’t straight when our bottoms are on a flat surface.
Adding a meditation pillow like a zafu bolster corrects this and helps your muscles hold your spine better in the long run.
Backbends are crucial for back flexibility. And while restorative – or any other kind – of yoga helps us achieve this goal, having a bolster to help out makes things much more manageable.
A round-shaped bolster is your weapon of choice for this particular exercise, and we think you need to have one on hand at all times.
Supported Forward Fold
The supported forward fold is another go-to basic exercise that you need to know if you want your back to recover from all that sitting.
Just take your standard or round bolster and put it on your lap. Now, stretch your back and your legs, place your chest on the bolster, and take some deep breaths.
Do this every day, and your posture and general muscle strength will come back – as if they were never gone.
Mastering this pose takes time – and bolster can make the process much quicker.
Here’s how it works:
You’re laid flat on your back as you generally would in this pose. But this time, grab your bolster – for instance, the Waterglider Pranayama – and place it underneath your back.
Place it so your whole spine will stretch nicely over it. Your shoulders drop down from a greater height, which will align your spine as nothing else in the world would!
Best Yoga Bolster: Final Words
So, there you have it – some of the best bolsters for yoga on the market!
Hopefully, you got the information you needed. Our top pick is The Hugger Mugger Yoga Bolster – but remember to factor in your needs and wants, too.
Now, pick a bolster that suits your yoga practice – and let’s get your body ready for some healthy exercise!