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How To Choose A Yoga Bolster

Hugger Mugger Standard Yoga Bolster

Yoga Props: How to choose the best yoga bolster for you | Restorative & Yin Yoga Props & Support
  • dry cleaning only
  • attracts lint & hair
  • limited color choice

Hugger Mugger is proud of being one of the pioneers of manufacturing yoga bolsters back in the 1980s. Their Standard yoga bolster is a classic. The rectangular-shaped prop will become an excellent addition to your yoga practice thanks to its stable surface and support.

Hugger Mugger Standard yoga bolster is a great compromise between large bulky bolsters and narrow pranayama pillows. With 25 inches in length, the bolster will suit the majority of yoga practitioners and is a great size to start if you’re not familiar with using yoga props in your restorative yoga routine.

The cover is made of very sturdy cotton that will stand the test of time, and the filling mixes foam core and cotton batting for the perfect balance between firmness and softness. The bolster keeps its shape under pressure and doesn’t sink in. In fact, some reviewers even found it even too firm to their liking.

There are two handles on both sides to make the transport of the bolster to and from the studio more comfortable.

The price for this Hugger Mugger prop does seem to be too steep when compared to the other offers on the market. Keep in mind that youll also have to invest in dry cleaning the bolster from time to time the cover tends to collect lint and hair. Theoretically, you can remove the pillowcase and machine wash it on cold, but the manufacturer doesnt recommend this as there is a risk of shrinkage.

Do You Need A Yoga Bolster

You dont need a yoga bolster to get your daily yoga session in but with the potential to improve your practice, why wouldn’t you use one? Yoga bolsters can benefit you in a number of different ways:

  • Support: Yoga bolsters provide a surface for your body to rest on in postures where you perhaps dont have enough flexibility or strength to hold the position. Youll then be able to rest your weight on the yoga bolster without having to use your muscles to keep you there, and this will not only be safer for you in terms of limiting the extent of the stretch but will also allow you to relax into the stretch and get more from it as a result.
  • Flexibility: Because of its ability to limit the extent of a stretch, a yoga bolster allows you to work on your flexibility in a gradual and safe way and thus reduce the risk of injury.
  • Comfort: As great as yoga is on a yoga mat, theres something about hugging a yoga bolster during a restorative pose that feels comforting. Plus, sitting, lying or kneeling is a lot more comfortable with a yoga bolster than with only a thin layer separating you from the floor below.

Top 8 Yoga Bolsters Comparison Chart

Firm back support, silky soft removable cover, and oh so cozy? This yoga bolster from Manduka is everything you could want in a yoga accessory. It is rectangular shaped to provide support along the spine or head while also saving space in storage. The fabric is absorbent, smooth, and easy to remove for washing. The core is 30% recycled polyester and the perfect amount of firmness for support and comfortable medium cushioning not too hard, but not too squishy and pillowy either.

Manduka is highly regarded in the yoga community for its super high quality products and dedication to sustainability. These bolsters last forever and are so easy to clean. Simply pull off the microber cover, machine wash cold, and hang to dry. The bolster core is absorbent yet water-resistant and thoroughly protected from sweat by the thick, durable cover. The well-stitched handle makes it easy to move around and transport to/from classes.


If youd rather proudly display your yoga bolster instead of stashing it away with old mats, the Brentwood Home Crystal Cove bolster is decorative and luxurious. The certified organic cotton lining and buckwheat fill are ultra-sustainable and non-toxic. You can even open the organic liner to remove buckwheat or replace the fill after a few years. The elaborately stitched outer cover is removable and washable for easy clean up.





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Reehut Zafu Bolster Pillow

This bolster pillow comes in 3 sizes to cater to your body shape. The biggest is 16 x 4.5, followed by 13 x 4.5 and the smallest is 12 x 4.5. All of these bolster pillows from Reehut are stuffed with organic buckwheat hulls, sealed in a pouch for easy removal and replacement. Plus its hemp cover is removable, making it easy to wash and clean.


· Promotes proper posture and positioning

· Supports your spine· Easy to carry, coming with a portable handle


· Its buckwheat filling may attract bugs

· After long-term usage, you may find the pillow becomes a bit flat

Verdict: The REEHUT Zafu bolster pillow is comfortable, firm and has enough give to make it easy to sit on for long periods of time.

Yoga Bolster: Round Vs Rectangular Vs Pranayama

How to Use a Yoga Bolster  YOGABYCANDACE

There are three main types of yoga bolster:

1. Rectangular Yoga Bolsters

  • Due to their flat shape, these tend to be more stable, more supportive and more versatile compared to other yoga bolsters.
  • They are easily stacked on top of other yoga bolsters or blocks when looking for extra height in a posture.
  • However, their edges are more noticeable because of their rectangular shape.

2. Round Yoga Bolsters

  • These yoga bolsters are similar to rectangular yoga bolsters except cylindrical in shape.
  • They are less stable because of their curved edges but can be more comfortable in poses like Savasana when used under the knees or during postures where your yoga bolster is placed under the spine.
  • Though their comfort doesnt come without a price. A lot of round yoga bolsters are larger and heavier than rectangular ones.

3. Pranayama Yoga Bolsters

  • These are longer than other yoga bolsters and usually quite narrow.
  • Youll want them for Pranayama breathing exercises.
  • When lying with the yoga bolster along the length of your spine, their long length and narrow shape will allow you to open up your chest and deepen your breathing.
  • They can also provide good cushioning for your knees when working in a kneeling position.

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Factors To Consider When Choosing A Yoga Bolster

In the detailed reviews you will find a lot of factors that will help you to choose the ideal bolster for you, but here are four main factors you will definitely want to take into consideration:

  • Shape as mentioned before, bolsters come in different shapes and sizes, all with different purposes OR for different sizes of yogi. Ensure that you choose the right type of yoga bolster for the poses you want to practice.
  • Fabric there are many different kinds of fabric used for yoga bolster covers ranging from polyester to 100 % cotton. Factors to consider here include how easy the cover is to wash, how soft it is during use, its color and pattern for aesthetic purposes, and how durable the material is. Ideally it will be soft enough that you feel comfortable, durable enough to last years of daily use, but easy to clean without shrinking.
  • Filling just like the cover, the inside of your bolster can be made from many different materials from buckwheat husks to synthetic fibers. The filling is especially important because it will determine how firm the bolster is and also whether it will be able to maintain its shape. Yogis tastes vary as to how firm they want their bolster to be. Those with allergies must ensure that both the cover and filling of their bolster do not contain allergens that may be harmful to them.

How Do You Use A Yoga Bolster Pillow

A short article describing how to use a yoga bolster in your yoga practice.No pain – no gain! You will have heard that expression but, it does not apply to yoga. You should never be in pain during yoga poses and you should be careful not to strain your body. A yoga bolster can certainly help.Yoga bolsters are usually used during restorative yoga poses which tend to be about How do you use a yoga bolster pillow?

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Gaiam Sol Round Yoga Bolster

  • might be too long/large for short yogis
  • only 2 colors available

Gaiam products do not tend to disappoint with their quality. Their Sol Round Yoga Bolster is a premium quality prop that will support you and your body weight for many years of yoga practice. The bolster is filled with cotton batting and contains a solid foam cylinder inside for increased durability and stability. The soft microfiber cover is easy to clean and can be machine washed on cold and air dried. What is pleasant is that the prop arrives with no fabric smell and can be used right away which earns this bolster a big plus.

If youre used to carrying all your props to the studio, then youll be surprised that the Gaiam bolster weights only 4lbs one of the most lightweight bolsters weve encountered on the market.

Make sure to check if the length is right for you. Some reviewers have noted that Sol Bolster is extremely comfortable but just too long for their spine, which is a shame considering the price tag of the accessory.

Heres How To Choose The Best Yoga Bolsters For You

How to Use Yoga Bolsters Tutorial

A well-placed yoga bolster can help you relax into pigeon pose or open up your chest for pranayama practice. You might start your search for the perfect bolster with every intention of buying the same one your teacher gingerly placed under your body during class. But then you realize that there are several sizes and shapes of bolster, as well as different firmness levels and filling materials. Which one is right for you?

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Best Yoga Bolsters Reviewed In 2021 How To Get Your Moneys Worth

If youve ever done a class that required a few advanced positions, you most likely though about how nice it would be if you had some support. When I first started training in flexibility, I could barely touch my toes and it felt like my hammies were going to snap like rubber bands.

Needless to say I quickly learned that a block or bolster was the way to go. So I turned to trying some different items and, at this stage, feel like I can give you some solid input on choosing the best yoga bolster for your practice and style.

Heres the quick answer:

Choose Sustainable Or Synthetic

Just like most things, yoga bolsters are made with both synthetic and all-natural, sustainable materials. Most yogis and yoginis want to purchase yoga bolsters that are sustainably made, but different filling materials will function differently, so thats something to keep in mind. Bolsters filled with synthetic foam and polyfill batting hold their shape better, and bounce back more readily from the squashing and squeezing they tend to go through during use. Synthetic materials like polyester are also lighter, so these bolsters are easier to carry with you to class or bring along during travel.

Many all-natural and organic yoga pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls or flaxseed. These cushions tend to mold more effectively to the contours of the body, so they can offer more support for restorative poses and seated meditation. However, these kinds of filling materials tend to be heavier than polyester foam and filling. Bolsters filled with cotton batting are a good compromise organic cotton is more sustainable than conventionally grown cotton or synthetic fabrics and offers much of the resilience of synthetic fillings, as well as being lighter weight than other natural fillings, like buckwheat hulls.

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Different Shapes For Different Purposes

Youll need to choose your yoga pillow, or pillows, based on what you need during your practice. If you need bolsters to modify yoga poses for your active or restorative practice, look for rectangular or round bolsters. For beginner and intermediate yogis and yoginis, rectangular bolsters are usually sufficient. Round bolsters can be used to modify a range of poses, too, but if youre planning to use them for seated poses, know that they can be less stable due to being thinner and, of course, cylindrical.

While traditional zafu and zabuton cushions are used for seated meditation practice, many yogis in the West find that a rectangular or round bolster, or combination of the two, stacked on top of a zabuton can be just as supportive and effective for seated meditation poses. And, of course, pranayama cushions can be invaluable for deepening your pranayama practice.

If you plan to travel with your bolster, even if its just to take it with you to the yoga studio down the road, you may want a smaller, junior size or even a travel size or style. Pillows with synthetic fillings tend to be lighter, but pillows with buckwheat or other natural filling materials may conform more readily to your body during practice.

What A Bolster Brings To Your Practice

Rectangular Yoga Bolsters

Have you noticed them clustered together at the back of the yoga studio like a friendly fleet of overstuffed pillows, quietly waiting to join you on the mat?


The bolsters, of course!

Oh yes, the bolsters

Perhaps the most famous and best loved member of the yoga prop family, the humble bolster is the perfect accompaniment to a restorative yoga practice. This passive style of yoga offers an invitation into complete and delicious surrender a place where tight muscles unfurl, cluttered minds clear and emotions rebalance. Ahhhh.

A complete restorative yoga session aims to move the spine in all directions via gentle backbends, twists, forward bends and inversions achieved via a suite of specialised postures.

This is time for the bolster to shine! Rather than using physical effort to hold the poses, a squishy, yet firm bolster is placed over, under or alongside the body to lovingly and securely hold it in place. Once held, the body begins to melt, and sends a green light to the mind to do the same. This is where the deep, healing magic of restorative yoga happens.

With many parts to play on the restorative journey, the bolster is a studio favourite. Plus, with so many benefits, its worth having a bolster for your home yoga practice, too.

To understand this big softie of a prop a little better, weve listed 8 wonderful qualities a bolster brings to your practice

1. Openness

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Zafuko Cushion Block Bolster Floor Pillow

  • no removable pillowcase
  • might be too small for some yogis

Travel fans and petite yogis rejoice! Bolsters that are lightweight, portable, and opposite to bulky exist. Zafuko pillow weights only 1.2 pounds, which makes traveling with this yoga prop a pure joy. Though being advertised as a meditation pillow, Zafuko is multi-functional. Apart from providing you with comfort during meditation, the prop doubles as a small bolster perfect for a variety of yin and restorative poses for smaller and shorter yogis, and as a block the surface is firm enough to provide you with greater stability and balance.

Zafuko pillow is upholstered in cotton and filled with 100% natural Kapok – an animal-friendly biodegradable resource. A fun and stylish design will surely make you stand out from the crowd in your yoga class.

What some people may find discouraging is that Zafuko doesn’t feature a removable cover to protect the pillow. Theres also no handle for carrying which would be useful when youre on-the-go.

Other than that, we loved the pillow and of course its affordability.

Upavistha Konasana Wide Seated Forward Bend

This pose is a little more advanced and requires a level of flexibility. From a seated position with your legs stretched out in front, move your legs as far apart from each other as you feel comfortable doing. Place the bolster right in front of your pelvis. Inhale as you stretch your torso upward, then exhale and fold your torso over the bolster. Breathe and relax.

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Manduka Enlight Lean Yoga Bolster

Do you need a bolster that will ensure you get to be dry and comfortable at all times? My friend, you just got it right here with you. Designed with a zipper that is hidden that provides a smooth and also a seamless kind of finish. the cover that it has been designed with is one that is easy and also easy to clean. You can machine wash it in cold water but with colors that are alike.

Brentwood Home Crystal Cove Yoga Bolster

  • the textured surface might be annoying
  • available in 1 color/style only

California-based brand Brentwood Home cares for every little detail in their products. Their Crystal Cove Yoga Bolster is amazingly stylish with the textured cover inspired by the tide pools. But whats better, the bolster performs as well as it looks on your sofa. Made of natural and non-toxic materials, Crystal Cove Bolster is filled with buckwheat hulls that help the prop mold the contours of your body, yet retain the pleasant softness. The filling is contained in the cotton inner liner. And heres the best part you can customize the firmness and bolster height by removing or adding buckwheat hulls to match all your needs.

Even though the bolster features a handle for the more comfortable transport, it is very heavy. With the weight of 12 pounds, the bolster wont likely to become your go-to yoga prop when going to the studio but would rather serve as a useful accessory for the home practice.

If youre not a fan of textured surfaces, you might also find the Crystal Cove tide pools imitations too annoying during the practice.

  • might come with the fabric smell out of the box
  • the cover might shrink

The cover is removable and can be washed in the machine on cold setting. We especially loved the Vinyl material as it is super easy to clean just use a damped cloth to spot clean or wipe the dust.

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