Our collection of the best yoga bolsters will help ease your way into restorative poses. And no, we didn’t choose these randomly. We used the help of a certified yoga teacher to identity bolsters that will deliver what they promise. With any of our picks as part of your regimen, you no longer have to complain about hard floors. You won’t even have to worry about performing poses that require deep breathing.
On top of that, we’ve gone a step further to tell you how to make the most out of your yoga bolster. We even share tips on how to determine if the bolster you plan to buy has what it takes to serve your needs. Click through as we take a closer look at five top-rated yoga bolsters and why yogis vouch for them.
Top 5 Best Yoga Bolsters
The Hugger Mugger ticks all the boxes a bolster work your money should. For starters, is super firm. In essence, this means that you can count on it to maintain the structural stability required to allow you to perform all posses. It will last for months upon months too. The upholstery grade fabrics are not only long lasting but also sturdy enough to handle the rigors of regular use.
The Hugger Mugger has a flat top and bottom. It will sit in position so you can transition from one pose to another smoothly. The outer cover is incredibly tight to ensure that this bolster maintains shape, and by extension, the intended function.
Done with your yoga class? Not a problem! The Hugger Mugger weighs a mere 2 pounds so moving it from point A to B shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, it has side handles to enable you to carry it comfortably. And, so you may know, this thing measures 25 x 12 x 6 inches.
So, when should you this bolster? Well, the Hugger Mugger will serve you well for most restorative yoga exercise and flat surface poses. Or, you can use it to replace stacks of blankets in some asana. We like!
This yoga bolster by YogaAccessories is firm, supportive, soft and supple. Highly rated by yogis, it is a brilliant pick if you want a rectangle bolster that can offer enough suppleness to allow you to perform multiple poses. Reviewers say it works well for prenatal yoga. Many say its design provides deep relaxation in Shavasana and helps improve circulation in chakra.
Due to the nature of use, a yoga bolster has to be clean at all times. Well, cleaning this one isn’t hard work. It comes with a cotton cover that is easily removable for a quick wash. Just unzip and toss it into your washing machine.
This bolster measures 24” long x 6” high x 12” wide. With such dimensions, it can double up as a lounging pillow around the house when you’re not attending yoga classes. Or, you can use it to prop up your spine and support your legs during sleep.
The YogaAccessories doesn’t disappoint when it comes to giving you freedom of choice. It is available in an assortment of vibrant colors ranging from cardinal red to purple, pink, pecan leaf and orange peel as well as sage. Did we tell you that you can get this thing at a price that won’t leave a hole in your wallet? Now you know!
Bean Products has been around for more than thirty decades, making world-class yoga accessories and this bolster is no different. Top on the list of its impressive features is the premium hemp cover. It is the piece to pick if you have sensitive skin or if you’re scouting for a bolster that feels good on your skin. It even comes in an organic cotton cover option.
The Bean Products yoga bolster is all about giving you the versatility you need to perform your exercises flawlessly. It is available in rectangle (25″ Long x 6″ high x 12″ wide) and diameter round cylinder shape (27” x 9”). And then there is the Pranayama, also known as the breathing bolster, measuring 28 x 7 x 6 inches.
The Bean Products bolster uses removable fabrics. What this means is that you can adjust its firmness to suit your specific needs. The foam core is durable, and the batting wrap provides a tight wrap around the bolster to help maintain its shape. Meanwhile, the cotton muslin inner case brings forth breathability.
We vouch for this bolster if you’re in for one that can handle active yoga positions and exercises that enhance your flexibility.
YogaAccessories makes a return to our yoga bolsters reviews, this time with the MAX. And, as the name suggests, this unit’s support is on another level. More specifically, it offers up to nine pounds of cushion. It is 28 inches long by 10 inches tall so you can bet it provides enough room for your back.
The MAX touts a 100% cotton cover. And, unlike some bolsters on the market, it doesn’t have synthetic foam. The filling is soft and fluffy so you can lay on it for long without hurting your back. Oh, and you’d expect, the cover is machine washable. Besides, you can quickly remove the inner filling to fine tune the bolster to match the requirements of your pose without sagging or bending.
The MAX is round in shape. It is the piece to go for if you want to perform poses such as “legs up the wall” with ease. It measures 28 inches long and has a diameter of 10 inches. Other than that, the rounded profile offers a smooth transition between poses and more comfortable rest. Choose from a collection of beautiful hues including blue, black and green as well as purple.
The Gaiam is your to-go-to yoga bolster for meditation and relaxation. This reasonably priced piece comes with natural cotton batting, so there’s no question about its firmness and comfort. The outer cover is 100% polyester to assure you of durability and reliability time and again.
This bolster is as a result of 25 years of experience, so you can rest assured its makers had your yoga needs in mind. You will love the cleverly located handle on the side for hassle-free transport and the machine washable cover.
Those who have used the Gaiam say it is ultra soft and its level of support is enough for most yoga poses. It measures 24.5″ x 11″ x 5″ and well built in the words of users. Sure, it isn’t the biggest of bolsters on this list but will get the job done as long as you know how to position it on the floor. Choose from black, pink and teal color options. Grab the Gaiam and say yes to yoga and yes to a better you. Brilliant!
How to Use a Yoga Bolster
How you use a bolster depends on the yoga pose you want to perform. Here’s an overview of three common restorative exercises for bolsters.
Chest Expanding Bliss
To perform this pose, place your bolster end-to-end on a non-skid mat. Then, sit on the front of your bolster and lie on it using your back. Also, you may consider placing a yoga blanket underneath your neck and head for additional support. Once you have set everything, stretch your arms at a 45-degree angle, turn up your palm and relax. Hold the position 10 to 15 minutes or for as long as you want.
Restorative Side Stretch
Start by placing your bolster corner to corner on a nonskid mat. Fold up your blanket and position it about six inches away and straight to your bolster. Then, sit on one side of the mat a couple of inches from your bolster. Lay on one side, with your rib cage and waist resting your bolster. Rest your arm in the room left between your yoga blanket and the bolster. Place your head on the blanket and loosen up.
Or, you can choose to relax your arm against the bottom one and stretch it over your head. You can also place your yoga in the space left between your knees. Take a deep breath for some minutes before changing sides.
Start by placing your bolster under your knees. The idea is to ensure that your Savasana is as restful as possible especially if you have low back pain or experience discomfort when you stretch your legs flat on the floor. Make sure that your bolster is of the right size to perform this pose correctly. If the standard bolter is too wide for your body, you can choose a smaller bolster.
The Benefits of Using Yoga Bolsters
One of the primary benefits of a yoga bolster is to support your body during restorative poses. But, that’s not the only reason to invest in a bolster. Other advantages include;
It Helps Improve Your Body Posture
A bolster allows you to maintain specific positions when exercising without using a lot of energy. More specifically, it comes handy when striking poses that require the use of your hips, neck, and knees. By extension, this translates to a reduced risk of injury. More than that, correct body posture allows you to soak in maximum benefits of yoga.
It Helps Ease Stress
You can always turn to your bolster whenever stress has taken a toll on you or when you feel stressed. By supporting your body during exercise, a bolster stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system as well as the sympathetic nervous system, an action that helps your body to relax and relieve stress. Besides, bolsters are common in yoga healing practices. On top of that, bolsters make it easier for you to work out in the morning when your muscles are still tense.
Yoga bolsters make it possible for you to perform exercises that can help improve your blood circulation. See, when you position your bolster from end to end, not only will you stretch your spine and the area below your chest but also open up the posture. This pose further expands your chest and organs such as the heart and the lungs, improving their function. The ripple effect is that you can control your breathing, enhancing your overall wellbeing in the process.
Reduces the Intensity of Swelling
Yoga bolsters enable you to invert your body. By so doing, you will reduce the effects of activities such as standing or sitting for long. It also helps counter chronic swelling and inflammation. Specific yoga poses such as the ones that defeat the effects of gravity coupled with bolster support can help relieve stiffness of the muscles.
It Helps Stimulate Metabolism
You’re better off performing yoga poses that twist and turn your abdomen with a bolster. See, when you twist your stomach muscles, you’re also stimulating your metabolism and digestive system. When you use a bolster for support when performing such poses, you can hold the position for long. In turn, you will increase the rate of your metabolism as your body gets used to the exercise.
How to Choose the Best Yoga Bolsters
Yoga bolsters come in all shapes and sizes. Of course, the choice of one bolster over another depends on your type of exercises and poses. Even then, it is essential to know what to expect with the bolster you’re about to buy. What follows is an overview of the various types of bolsters on the market and what makes them different.
Standard Yoga Bolsters
These are ideal for restorative yoga poses. In fact, they are some of the most popular bolsters on the market. Standard bolsters feature a flat top and a broad profile. They’re stable and incredibly comfortable in comparison to other bolsters on the market. Most are made to last for years, with yogis confessing to using theirs for more than five years.
When scouting for a standard yoga bolster, make sure that it firm. Keep in mind that you will be placing it on the floor, so it needs to provide enough cushioning. Plus, if your bolster sags, it is time to replace it with a new one. In other words, make sure that the standard yoga bolster you are using can service its primary purpose which is to support your body.
Round Yoga Bolsters
Round yoga bolsters are just that – round in shape. They make a brilliant alternative to standard bolsters. Even then, it is essential to note that they are not as slanted as their standard counterparts. These bolsters will serve you well in poses that involve hanging your body off the edge such as Legs up the Wall. The idea is to suspend your legs without getting fatigued. Other than that you can use round bolster when you need to perform exercises such as Savasana.
When looking for a rounded yoga, make sure that it is not too wide. A right-sized bolster will give you gentler support.
Consider junior bolsters if standard and rounded bolsters don’t work for you. Even though junior bolsters have the same firmness and length as the two types of bolsters described above, they have a narrower profile. In essence, these make them a good choice if you have a shorter spine.
The narrower profile also helps open up your chest when striking some poses such as Legs up the Wall. Sure, standard yoga bolsters can support your torso because of their width. However, the narrower construction of the junior bolsters enables your shoulders and arms to relax, creating a greater width-wise opening. These bolsters will serve you well for under knees support during Savasana.
Pranayama pillows are great for supporting your head when you’re using a folded blanket. All you need to do is to place the pillow on top of your blanket. Pranayama pillows allow you to open your chest width wise as long as you close your blanket slightly for Jalandhara Bandha.
When you’re looking for Pranayama pillows, make sure that they meet your requirements regarding width, length, and firmness. See, Pranayama poses require deeper inhalation. And, your pillows have to enable you to do so, breathing slowly to calm your mind and stock up prana. Other using Pranayama pillows to practice Pranayama, you can also use them to support your knees during forward bends.
Choosing the best yoga bolster doesn’t have to be hard work – not after reading our reviews. As promised at the beginning of this article, we hope that we’ve shed light on how a good bolster should be and what to keep in mind when scouting for one. Remember, yoga, at its very basic, is a complex exercise. You should, therefore, make sure that you get a bolster that allows you to soak in the maximum benefits of yoga. Feel free to reach out to us in case you’d want clarification on the bolsters we’ve reviewed above. For now, over to you!