Looking for the best yoga bolster to assist you in challenging yoga poses, restorative stretches, and/or cozy relaxation? We sift through the "fills and frills" of the online market options to rank and review our top picks for yoga bolsters in 2021.
The yoga bolster is relatively new but has a lot going in its favor. As a prop, it offers firm support for seated asanas and creates space in difficult yoga postures. Seeing that you are here, we presume you are hankering for a cozy and restful yoga sesh. At some level, at least.
Textured, rectangular, cylindrical, extra-long, or compact – there’s an incredible amount of affordable yoga bolsters online - all vying for your attention. It can feel like a bootless errand to sift through them all to find your restful and restorative companion.
A yoga bolster under the knees, a silky (lavender-scented) eye pillow, a cozy cotton blanket draped for warmth, and Viola! Corpse Pose feels more refreshing than any nap ever. If you love restorative props, we've got the best bits from around the internet to help you handpick one!
Here are the 9 best yoga bolsters; ranked and reviewed for your perusal.
1. Best Overall: Bean Products Yoga Bolster
Shape: Rectangular | Round
Cover: Cotton / Hemp / Vinyl
Filler: Foam Core w/ Cotton wrap
Weight: 2.45 lbs
A few minutes on top of this 24" x 12" x 6" studio-grade yoga bolster is all it took to add it to our favorites. Bean Products' rectangular bolster features a solid foam core wrapped in four layers of cotton. Pillowcases include a carry strap and conceal zipper. Now, you can mix 'n match the shape, color, and cover material (cotton, hemp, and vinyl). That's a tonne of choice.
In use, the yoga bolster is firm and retains its shape well. Factor in the low weight and the reinforced carry handle and it's the pick of the litter in terms of portability. Performance-wise, it's stiff enough to support your body and soft enough as an underlay. It feels great in supine poses, hip-elevation, and gently supporting the neck or knees during relaxation.
What we think:
In a nutshell, Bean Products offers a high-toned yoga bolster made in good conscience. A few options are on the pricey side of the spectrum, but the uptick is justified once you consider that it is made in America with sustainably sourced, eco-friendly materials. For those on a tight budget, there are pocket-friendly options as well.
2. Best Value: Victorem Rectangular Yoga Bolster
Cover: Faux Suede
Filling: High-Density Foam
Weight: 2.45 lbs
The Victorem yoga bolster is stuffed with a single layer of high-density foam. It ships with two covers sporting a concealed zipper and stitched handle to carry it around. The covers are dirt-resistant and can withstand a gentle machine wash. It is not made from eco-friendly materials, but that ought to be self-evident when you glance at the price.
These affordable yoga bolsters have a single-layer foam structure compared to the solid core + batting found in their premium counterparts. As a yoga pillow. it does a remarkable job for back support and is passable as a meditation seat. This isn’t a pillow you sink into. The firmness is better suited to supporting you in asana and deep stretching rather than relaxation.
What we think:
Victorem's Yoga bolster may lack premium materials or craftsmanship, but it's perfectly capable of holding its shape till you get your money's worth. It’s evidently not the 'best yoga bolster' but it's a serious contender for that mantle at its price point. More so when they sweeten the deal with a yoga strap and spare cover.
Cover: Organic Cotton
Weight: 3.5 lbs
The Lotuscraft rectangular Yin Yoga bolster delivers at every level. It’s enchanting in regular use but the magic is in the hard-to-spot details - eco-friendly coloring, fair-practice labor, kapok-wool filling, a low-key logo, and soft feel. It was impressive enough to replace our old one, which now reluctantly adorns the couch.
It's our first run-in with kapok filling that left us impressed with how firm but lightweight it is. The yoga bolster is of high quality and the color – Bordeaux - is exactly as advertised. The cover is a snug fit and the case sports a drawstring closure as opposed to the usual fare of concealed zippers. It has all the merits one would desire from a restorative yoga bolster or for meditation, Yin Yoga, and deep stretches.
What we think:
This is a multi-use yoga bolster bar none. From backward bends to supporting your backside, everything about it is commendable, especially the way it feels during reclined yoga poses after a long day of "computer hunch". It’s high-quality, lovely to use, and available in two sizes and six colors. What more can you ask for? A discount, perhaps.
Cover: Premium Cotton
Weight: 4.85 lbs
Cylindrical yoga bolsters conform to your body differently, making them desirable for certain styles of yoga. Among the curvy contenders, we were thoroughly impressed by Sol Living’s upholstered yoga bolster. It's reasonably priced considering the smooth-textured premium cover and 100% biodegradable organic cotton filling.
Construction-wise, it’s firm, robust, and built to withstand everyday use. The upholstery conceals a zipper to remove the cover to spot clean or machine-wash it. The bolster’s size and density make it versatile, but it’s extra-firm with an easy-on-the-skin exterior. We found it to be more useful for pelvic floor yoga than as a meditation seat. YMMV.
What we think:
The Sol Living Yoga Bolster does a stellar job of stacking your back, relieving joint stress, and elevating body parts in reclined or supine poses. It's perfectly poised to adorn the day bed once you are done with your yoga session. All in all, it's an eco-friendly, high-quality yoga bolster.
Best Lean: Hugger Mugger Pranayama Yoga Bolster
Finish: 100% Cotton
Weight: 2.7 lbs
Handcrafted in America, the Hugger Mugger yoga bolsters are somewhat of a “specialized prop” – designed for opening the chest and elevating the hips. We checked the veracity of that claim in a Reclined Bound Angle Pose and Supported Fish Pose. We also used it to elevate the hips in Pranayama and under the knees while resting in Savasana. Viola! Here we are…
Made from upholstery-grade fabric, the Hugger Mugger Pranayama Bolster is available in a 100% cotton and polyester cover. The carrying handle is sturdy and will help lug it around to picnics or yoga classes. The thing we really love is high-quality fabric and stitching, lightweight, and firmness (on the harder side). The bolster retains its shape well without pushing back against your body. It did not sag after an atypically long (pranayama + meditation) session.
What we think:
Whether to open up the pecs, lie outstretched, or sit motionlessly in contemplation, Hugger Mugger offers a quality-made bolster for yoga breathing aficionados. It has niche uses, so maybe it is better as a second yoga pillow. We prefer the earthy shades of the bolster, but there are nine colors and five patterns on offer. Feel free to indulge! If you want a lean yoga bolster with exceptional firmness, try the fully adjustable Kakaos Pranayama Cotton Bolster.
Best Eco-Friendly: Ajna Eco Suede Yoga Bolster
Cover: Eco Suede
Filling: Recycled Foam
Weight: 4.8 lbs
Ajna Wellbeing aspires to tread lightly on the Earth while maintaining exceptional quality. The Yoga Bolster is no different. It’s a non-toxic bolster stuffed with mixed-density recycled foam and topped with a faux (vegan) suede cover. These beautiful bolsters are available in five crystalline shades and arrive in thoughtful packaging.
Upon use, the bolster comes across as extremely lightweight, supportive, and stylish. Kudos to Ajna Living for cleverly addressing three common complaints: odor, portability, and maintenance. The bolster smells like a peach right out of the box. An embossed carry handle allows you to lug it around, and the suede cover can be removed for easy cleaning.
What we think:
Designed for back support and rest, it’s the perfect yoga bolster for relaxation and meditation. It can be put to use for asana, but if you are into deep stretching, there are better (more firm) options to consider. That said, it’s clearly been made by yogis for yogis, with a lot of love to boot. We would gladly recommend it for restorative yoga, pranayama, and an afternoon nap.
Best Customer Reviews: YogaAccesories Round Yoga Bolster
Cover: 100% cotton
Filling: Cotton batting
Weight: 6 lbs
We habitually scout the online marketplace to test popular choices. That led us to this round yoga bolster. Our experience echoes what most customer reviews proclaim – it’s a fantastic bolster for the price. That said, the yoga bolster is fairly hefty and a few inches larger than the others. It will sit well with restorative poses and yin yogis.
Put through the paces, the bolster feels firm, supportive, and buoyant. It’s firm but fluffy because of the cotton filler. The cover is zippered, removable, and machine-washable. There is an additional internal zipper to add or remove the cotton batting to alter the firmness and height.
What we think:
Ours was the blue embroidered version. A few of them have a mandala pattern and others have 2 carry-handles – one on each side. This round yoga bolster is too hefty for a person of diminutive proportions. Other than that, it’s eco-friendly, available in 11 options, and costs less than half of name-brand bolsters. No wonder it's smothered with great customer reviews.
Best Lightweight: Manduka Enlight™ Rectangular Yoga Bolster
Cover: Micro-Fiber | Faux Suede
Filling: Recycled Fiber
Weight: 2.3 lbs
The Manduka logo has become synonymous with covetous yoga accessories. Manduka Enlight is a rectangular yoga bolster stuffed with recycled fiber and topped with a fully and moisture-absorbent microfiber cover. The cover has subtle faux suede branding on the carry handle and a concealed zipper. Before we proceed, here is Manduka's side of the story:
This is not a full-sized bolster. It is not organic and Manduka doesn’t divulge the exacting details about the foam layers or materials. It may be right for you if you want a) a lightweight, portable, and/or a travel yoga bolster and b) a plush seat for meditative asanas or breathwork.
What we think:
It's a notable medium-firm option if you need a classic rectangular yoga bolster for support and relaxation. At 2.3lbs, it doesn't really get lighter than this. Plus, the materials may not be eco-friendly but the yoga bolster is easy to maintain, highly durable, and supremely comfortable.
Best Bolster Set: Ajna Wellness Yoga Practice Set
Frankly, there aren't too many of these "sets" around. We covered one anyway for the sake of variety. In this ultra-niche segment, Ajna Wellness seemingly offers the best yoga bolster set in terms of sustainability, performance, and price. Here is what's included:
Yoga Bolster: A rectangular bolster with an eco-suede cover and recycled foam filling.
Mat: Organic Jute + PER Reversible Yoga Mat with a Carry Strap (72", 5mm thick)
Cushion: Round Zafu Meditation Seat/Pillow with a velvet cover and buckwheat filling.
We have showered their bolster with enough praise, so won't dive deep into a review of each individual element. We will say that all three items are worthy of dominating their individual categories. So, if you want the whole shebang, this one has all the hallmarks of excellence.
Buying Guide - How to Choose the Best Yoga Bolster?
Our picks range from affordable yoga bolsters to premium and specialty options for specific styles of yoga. We put together this brief buying guide to help you narrow down the choices as per your needs.
The 3 Types of Yoga Bolsters
A yoga bolster can greatly vary in size and shape. Deviations and oddities notwithstanding, it is generally available in three shapes -
1. Rectangular Yoga Bolsters: Rectangular bolsters are the standard – the most common shape you will encounter. They started as an Iyengar yoga prop and quickly gained popularity as a must-have among yoga enthusiasts. Standard yoga bolsters are versatile, stable, and comfortable. If you are getting one for Restorative poses, ensure that it is firm and durable.
2. Cylindrical Yoga Bolsters: Cylindrical or round bolsters are firm and less precipitous. The best use for them is under the knees as you relax in Corpse Pose or for openers when you use them length-wise. They aren't as popular as their rectangular cousin, but the lack of edges makes them comfier in supported poses. Plus, they look mighty on the day bed.
3. Lean Yoga Bolsters: Lean bolsters have gained popularity as a chest opening prop to promote improved lung function. Also known as Pranayama Bolsters, this variety is a ‘specialty’ bolster. It is used lengthwise or crosswise in passive poses or as a meditation seat for yoga breathing. It may not be the only bolster you need, but it is definitely worth have one around.
Filler and Adjustability
A bolster for yoga is typically filled with cotton batting, synthetic fibers/foam, buckwheat, or kapok. The filler decides the firmness of the bolster and how well it holds its shape. Buckwheat is the heaviest but also the most malleable – it adjusts to your shape.
Kapok is a natural plant fiber from the Kapok tree. It’s gaining popularity as a yoga bolster stuffing because it is buoyant, moisture-resistant, and easy to dry. Plus, it weighs one-eighth as much as cotton. The Lotuscrafts Yoga Bolster we reviewed has kapok filling.
The filler will dictate how the bolster responds to pressure and how to care for it. Recron, Cotton, and Kapok stuffed yoga bolsters are firm and hold their shape well. Synthetic fiber and foam are versatile as the characteristics depend on the combination and number of layers used.
Whether filled with foam, cotton, or buckwheat, bolsters settle over time. Cotton sinks the most, followed by foam/synthetic fibers and then buckwheat. That said, many bolsters are adjustable – you can add or remove filling to suit your needs.
Bolster Covers and Cases
Covers or pillowcases set the vibe as they are available in a wide range of colors and textures. They are typically made from canvas, cotton, microfiber, or polyester. Most covers have a built-in carry handle and the brand logo etched into them. There are two types of bolster covers that you will encounter -
Removable covers with a concealed zipper
Removable covers with a drawstring
Concealed zippers are less intrusive, but they come off in the long run, especially in entry-level products. That's why we recommend quality-made covers with natural materials such as 100% cotton if your budget allows it. They cost more but are sturdy and kind to your skin.
What is the best bolster size?
Yoga bolsters are available in small and large sizes. Occasionally, you might bump into a third specialty size called a lean yoga bolster. However, the dimensions vary widely among manufacturers. The ideal size/weight for you is determined by how you plan to use it. A full-size yoga bolster is perfect for asana, and a small one might be better for relaxation and meditation.
Sweat, oils, and dirt/grime will take a toll on the surface of yoga props over time. No one wants an icky, unhygienic, and smelly bolster (we think). We recommend regularly spot cleaning your bolster when necessary (let your eyes and nose be the judge on this one). The zippered pillowcases are removable and can be machine washed. Generally, you would use very mild detergent, cold water, and a gentle cycle. Some products are hand-wash only. Double-check the product label for care instructions before you proceed to purchase it.
Purpose - What do you use a yoga bolster for?
Yoga bolsters are not mandatory to practice most forms of yoga. Nevertheless, a standard bolster can make yoga very accessible, especially for seniors and beginners. As you progress, you could use it lengthwise under the chest for heart openers, cross-ways under the buttocks for meditation, or under the lower back in the restorative variations of the Bridge Pose or Fish Pose. Among their many uses, these are some of the reasons you might want a yoga bolster:
Compensate for lack of flexibility
Gentle support in challenging yoga poses
Added support or comfort in relaxation
Prop for Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga and therapeutic poses
This video demonstrates how you can use a yoga bolster in your daily routine: