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5 Best Pranayama Bolster Pillows for Deep Stretching and Relaxation
Brentwood Cove Pranayama Pillow, our top pick, can enhance your chest openers and Savasana me-time.
By VINEET KAUL | Reviewed by JENNA DOWELL
Last Update: August 30, 2022
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Chest openers before yoga breathing can deepen your practice.
A lean, elongated yoga bolster is designed for that and more.
We look at the five best pranayama bolsters in the market.
Also, check our top picks for the best yoga knee pads in 2022.
Pranayama has various psycho-physiological health benefits . But unlike yoga poses that show quick results, yoga breathing is a slow build. Pranayama takes a few weeks to grasp and a few months to attain noticeable results.
If you can stay motivated, that’s great. But if you need a nudge, consider a pranayama bolster for extra breathing space! You can use these bolsters in conventional or creative ways to have more fun or relaxation on the mat.
These elongated bolsters are designed keeping the contours of your body in mind. Place them across or along the length of your spine and they encourage complete release of muscles around the chest, shoulders, and back. That’s additional value and therapeutic benefits. But we won’t go into those details as we covered them in ‘What is a Pranayama Bolster?' and how it allows for deeper breathing.
Here are the five best pranayama bolsters to add to your yoga prop collection.
TL;DR - Quick Answer
Our Top Picks in a Nutshell
“Handcrafted with attention to detail, this bolster is a no-brainer if you want to explore the prop. It’s adjustable, durable, and backed by glowing customer reviews.”
“A small-than-usual pranayama bolster stuffed with cotton batting at half the price of other options in this roundup. It’s firm, eco-friendly, and easy to clean.”
“Looking for a gorgeous yoga pillow with buckwheat filling? This Crystal Cove bolster ticks all the boxes and have great customer reviews to back it up.”
“A lightweight yoga pillow with a foam core and a suede-like microfiber cover. It’s an excellent choic for restorative stretches and replenishing your energies.”
“Made from sustainably sourced, eco-friendly, and domestically produced materials, Bean products offers one of the best pranayama bolsters for the money.”
1. Best Overall: HuggerMugger Pranayama Bolster Pillow
The Hugger Mugger pranayama yoga pillow features an upholstery-grade polyester cover with layers of fluffy cotton felt at the core. The filler can be can be adjusted to achieve the perfect height and firmness. The bolster cover has a built-in carry handle and you can spot clean or throw it in the wash, making it easy to clean. Lastly, the pranayama bolsiter is available in multiple colors and prints.
What we think:
The HuggerMugger pranayama bolster is a shoo-in for chest openers, restorative stretching to open up the back muscles, and supine poses to regenerate your energies. The stitching is top notch, the dimensions are standard, and the fabrics are soft and durable. That said, this yoga pillow slightly firm side but it holds its shape well and is fully adjustable. It is, without doubt, a top quality pranayama bolster, handmade in USA by a reputable yoga brand.
2. Best Value: YogaAccessories Cotton Pranayama Bolster
YogaAccesories offers a smaller-than-usual pranayama bolster designed for breathing exercises. It features a cotton liner stuffed with organic cotton batting and a thick canvas cover with a lengthwise zipper and fabric flap. The cover is easy to clean (machine wash) and has carry handles on each end. You can adjust the pillow’s height and firmness by adding or removing the filling, which you will have to at some point because cotton batting tends to settle over time.
What we think:
This pranayama bolster is ideal for those looking for a firm pillow on a budget. From the well-sewn seams to the inner liner and washable cover, everything is top quality. For the price, this bolster exhibits excellent workmanship and quality. Plus, the unique size makes it easy to use this it in new and exciting ways. Be warned though, bolsters with cotton filling settle over time and can feel lumpy.
3. Top Pick: Brentwood Home Crystal Cove Yoga Pranayama Pillow
This eye-catching pranayama bolster features a GOTS certified organic cotton liner and Oeko-Tex certified buckwheat fill. It has box-stitched handles – a strap on each end – to carry the pillow to class or outdoors. The bolster cover is removable and machine-washable. You can adjust the height and firmness by adding or removing the filling. The manufacturer provides additional buckwheat filling upon request.
What we think:
This Crystal Cover pranayama bolster can help take poses deeper while providing firm yet comfortable support. It’s made from natural, heavy-metal free, and non-toxic materials, including certified organic cotton and buckwheat. We dig the pillows chic Boho design that looks great when lying around on the couch. Plus, you can customize it to you needs and get a whole set to vibe up your yoga space.
Yogis, please note that buckwheat hull is heavier than cotton. Bolsters with buckwheat filling are idea for reclining or seated yoga poses.
4. Best Foam: Manduka Englight Pranayama Bolster Pillow
This elongated rectangular yoga pillow is the pranayama version of Manduka’s internet-famous Enlight yoga bolster. It features a velvety and absorbent micro-fiber cover that is removable and machine washable and a recycled foam core. However, you cannot add or remove filler to adjust the firmness and height. The cover sports two handles – one to each side – for grab-and-go use and the pranayama bolster is available in two colors: dark gray and navy blue. .
What we think:
The Manduka Enlight pranayama bolster is plush, enduring, and lightweight. It’s one of the best yoga pillows for light stretching and meditation. The foam core offers superior comfort with extra ‘give,’ but some of it comes at the cost of firmness. But kapok and cotton fillers tend to be lump, so there's that. Either way, it’s a great bolster for chest openers, to sit on while doing pranayama, or to place under the head while lying in Corpse’s Pose.
5. Best Customer Reviews: Bean Products Pranayama Pillow
We featured Bean Products in our top picks for the best regular yoga bolsters. Their pranayama bolster is equally commendable, made of chemical-free and sustainable materials. It features a removable, all-natural hemp cover and an cotton inner liner stuffed with cotton batting. It holds four layers of batting for firmness and excellent structural integrity. The lean yoga pillow is available in multiple materials and colors, so you can find something to suit your vibe easily.
What we think:
The size of this yoga pillow is slightly larger than similar bolsters in our round up. For an average-sized person, the bolster should extend from the neck to the tailbone. Placing it under the back opens up the chest and lungs beautifully. The cover (hemp/cotton) is soft, comfortable and removable for easy cleaning. The filling is supportive with excellent give, making it an excellent pick for pranayama and restorative poses.