In this guide we’ll take a look at the best yoga bolsters.
We’ve compared material quality, structure, size and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Yoga Bolster?
More Detailed Yoga Bolster Reviews
When it comes to a yoga bolster, I like to keep it simple. This Yoga Bolster by Hugger Mugger has been a tried and tested favorite of mine for many years now.
The design is rectangular and flat. The Hugger Mugger is about 25 inches long and 6 inches high. If you’re looking for a simple but useful bolster to get you through a back injury, pregnancy or to use during your restorative class…this is it!
This bolster is a good choice for anyone. It doesn’t matter if your first day of yoga is tomorrow, or if you just completed your 500th class. Whatever your level, the Hugger Mugger will give you flat, stable support through many poses.
I love this bolster because it can act as a replacement for various props if I don’t feel like carrying a lot of junk with me to class or if I’m doing a quick, simple home session. It only weighs around 5 pounds, so it’s relatively easy to transport.
For example, if I really want to straighten my spine during triangle pose, I will often place a yoga block behind my front foot and place my hand on it when I extend the pose. I can use the Hugger Mugger in place of that block.
In the same session, I can use it to elevate my hips during easy seat to help me access a deeper breath during twists. So instead of folding yoga blankets or pulling out my blocks, I’ve used this bolster to replace both. That alone makes it worth in investment.
The Hugger Mugger is easy to clean, and the cotton cover comes off so you can toss it in the washing machine. Don’t dry it, or it will shrink. Lay it flat to dry.
Since bolsters are so popular for prenatal yoga, I am going to touch on that for a second. This bolster is fantastic for pregnancy. It’s firm but it’s also comfortable. It will keep you in your poses without allowing you to slip out of them.
If a yoga bolster is something that you find yourself using consistently in your routine, then you should have a few different shapes! This round bolster by Peace Yoga is so comfortable, you’ll want to use it as a throw pillow in addition to your yoga practice.
This bolster in particular is fantastic for anyone who has back issues, because the round shape allows you to sit fully on the pillow. It cushions your sitting bones, eliminating stiffness and making it easier to get up from a hard floor.
The Zafu Round is wonderful for meditation and restorative poses that are held for a long length of time. The fuller shape (in comparison to a rectangle bolster) helps to keep your arms and legs from going numb as well, which makes for a much more comfortable session.
I’ve used this pillow to sleep with when I have a sore back. Propped under my lower back or neck, this pillow offers comfort and allows my spine to stay straight while sleeping. Talk to a doctor first of course, but I get amazing relief this way.
This pillow is so soft because it’s full of buckwheat hulls. You are not hallucinating. I said buckwheat hulls.
Completely organic inside and out, the pillow has a zipper on the side that allows you to adjust the hulls inside to your liking. You can machine wash or spot clean the outer cover of this pillow as well.
Right off the bat you’ll notice that the Gayo Yoga Bolster is super short. It’s 17 inches long, which makes it easy to carry around, but it’s much shorter than many seasoned yogis are used to.
I like this bolster quite a bit, and its length is a major contributor to how I feel about it. It fits inside larger mat bags, which is a huge plus. Due to its compact size, it does a great job of taking the place of yoga blocks during practice, not just restorative.
Gayo has designed this bolster to be 100% organic. They’ve constructed the inside and outside with organic cotton. It’s soft yet firm, and super comfortable. I can highly recommend it for meditation, either placed behind your back or while seated on it.
The cover on this bolster is removable and machine washable, so you can ensure that it’s staying super clean with repeated use.
A great perk regarding the size of this bolster, other than easy transport, is that it’s amazing for kids! It’s the perfect size for little bottoms, and it is a great aid for kids that like to do yoga but are still easing into poses and stretches.
Gayo could offer up a few more color options here than just black and purple, but lack of design is the case with most bolsters so we’ll let them off the hook.
Overall, this is a great little compact bolster!
Another fantastic bolster by Peace Yoga that involves more buckwheat hull stuffing. This bolster is crescent shaped (as the name suggests) and it’s pretty amazing.
The shape is wonderful for any restorative class. You can easily perfect a slight raise in the hips during easy seat, and it really makes it easy to sit comfortably and focus on your breath.
This pillow is also wonderful to sit and meditate on, and works wonders when you sleep with it under your neck or lower back. Just like it’s round buckwheat filled brother, it’s crazy soft yet super supportive.
If you sit at a desk all day, this bolster is great to sit on or prop behind your back for additional back support. Since you have it handy at your desk, grab your 5 minute yoga app, your Peace Yoga Crescent Bolster and do a quick yoga sesh to improve that circulation!
Don’t worry about sweating on your lunch break, because our friend the buckwheat hull does not retain heat…which is awesome. Nobody wants a bolster pillow that they stick to from sweat, especially in the middle of a work day.
All natural and eco-friendly, this bolster loves the environment inside and out.
Peace Yoga has the tempting 90 day money back guarantee, so this one is definitely worth a try.
This Yoga Accessories bolster is great for backbends, but the shape and height of it makes it really hard to sit on. I would recommend it for a normal, everyday yoga practice rather than a restorative class.
This bolster is a decent addition to most yoga practices. It’s 100% cotton, sturdy and durable. It’s pretty long, measuring up to 28 inches lengthwise and 10 inches around.
The flat bolsters are easier to sit and balance on. This one is good, just in a different way. Allow me to elaborate.
Yoga Accessories set out to create a yoga bolster that yogis worldwide would not be able to live without. What they really made is an incredible body pillow and a great prop for resting your feet during plank pose.
If you do yoga for long enough, you’ll learn that every prop has its place and it’s completely up to you if you decide that prop is something you need. If you’re looking for a bolster that will enhance every aspect of your practice, this one probably isn’t it.
If you need to stretch your spine and perfect your plank, then look no further because you’ve found your bolster!
The Yoga Accessories Yoga Bolster is a great product, but many will find others on this list more useful.
Why Use a Yoga Bolster?
It should be clear to you by now that no two yoga bolsters are exactly alike. If you’re here, you are probably at least entertaining the idea of purchasing one.
If you’re into yoga, or if you just enjoy sleeping, bolsters really have a ton of perks that you can reap just by owning one. Even if you hate yoga (gasp!), you can benefit from a bolster by using it as a body pillow or back support at your desk.
Bolsters will improve your yoga practice by helping to give you the feel of a pose that you might not be able to lift or prop yourself into otherwise.
They also hold you where you need to be so you can focus on emptying your thoughts and breathing during a restorative class or meditation. A bolster is a great addition to any practice, and I’m certain there is one on this list that you’ll love.
When deciding on a bolster, you’ve got to make sure that you choose one that will suit what you want to do with it. If you need an all around solid teammate for your weekly restorative class, then you’ll want something flat and firm that can be used for gentle backbends and seated poses.
Maybe you’re considering incorporating a bolster into your everyday practice. If improving your planks and forward folds is high on your list of priorities, you might consider choosing a long cylinder shaped bolster to give you a sturdy place to rest your hands and feet.
If you’re aiming for a good night’s sleep and a meditation buddy…round or crescent shaped is your best bet.
Things to Consider
When I am on the hunt for a new bolster, which isn’t too often since I’m hooked on the Hugger Mugger, I take a few things into consideration:
What am I looking for in my new bolster? A comfortable sleep aid (crescent), a great place to rest my hands during a forward lunge (flat and firm) or a fantastic place to meditate (round)?
Each shape will add something different to your practice, which has been reiterated in this guide. This is a reason why it’s not a terrible idea to have more than one as you progress in your yoga journey.
You don’t want a sticky, itchy or uncomfortable yoga bolster. Since you will probably be putting bare skin on it quite often, go for a high quality cotton or soft canvas if you can find it. Hint: Check our list!
Filling is also important because a cheap bolster can get lumpy on you over time. Choose firm cotton if possible, but the buckwheat hulls in the Peace Yoga pillows will do just fine.
You want your bolster to last class after class. Choose one with strong exterior fabric that won’t pull apart at the seams. Look for reinforced stitching and handles.
Machine washable fabric is a plus. The care tag or instructions might recommend to tumble dry on low, but I always air dry mine in case they shrink.
Our list of bolsters will satisfy all three of these buying guidelines, so you can rest easy knowing that one of them is probably perfect for you. Newbies and yoga experts alike should look for the same qualities in a bolster.
Your choice will ultimately depend on your intentions.
If you’re on the fence, you can’t go wrong with my top pick and true love: The Hugger Mugger Standard Yoga Bolster.
The design of this is so versatile and easy to use. It can do everything. From supporting my low back during Shavasana to propping me up in bed while I binge watch Gilmore Girls and eat my snacks…this bolster is there through all of it.
It’s a fantastic yoga aid, a wonderful body pillow and an even better friend.
I’m kidding. It really is amazing though, so if you really can’t decide I’d tell you a thousand times to choose the Hugger Mugger. You won’t be sorry!
You are now ready to go out on your own and purchase a yoga bolster. Remember, as long as you know exactly what you want to do with it, you can’t go wrong.
Take a second to figure out how much time you’d like to invest, which part of your practice you’d like to focus on and go from there. The bolsters presented here are all tailored to a different type of yogi.
Pinpoint your yoga path. Are you a dedicated perfectionist or just getting your feet wet? Do you want to get in great shape or keep it simple and stick to the mental benefits of yoga? What do you find yourself practicing most often?
Answer those questions, and they’ll point you to the right bolster for you. The rest is all preference. Good luck my fellow yogis!