▷ How to Choose a Meditation Bench (2018 Update)
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How to Choose a Meditation Bench

choose a meditation bench

Meditation benches have been used for generations. These instruments not only make you more comfortable but can put you in different poses. Meditating with proper body alignment will insure that you are comfortable to meditate for longer.

If you find that you are sore and stiff after meditating you should consider investing in a meditation bench.

Bench

Best For...

Rating

Affordability

Comfortable Padding

Ergonomics, Design, Overall Value

Doubles as ottoman

Portability

Why should I use a meditation bench?

Meditation benches allow you to extend the length of your meditative state. Sitting or kneeling for long periods of time can create a strain not only on your knees but also your back and neck.

The pads on these benches relieve the discomfort of a hard ground and make your back straight. Having a correctly aligned back will make your body feel better when you are done your routine.

How do I use a meditation bench?

Kneel as if you were getting ready for your routine, but raise your body into a 90 degree angle and put the bench overtop of your calves. You can rest your body on the bench which will take the weight off of your ankles and knees so that you can rest comfortably.


Once you have the bench positioned comfortably you can determine if it is too high or low for your position. If the bench is too low you can consider using a meditation cushion to boost your body up higher.

Points to consider before buying

Sitting in a kneeling posture for meditation, also known as Seiza, may cause your knees or ankles to become stiff and sore. Using a kneeling meditation bench will reduce any discomfort or pain and you can focus and meditate for longer.

Proper Alignment

The best meditation bench will help to keep your spine properly aligned and absorb the weight of your body. It must offer you the right angle and height to enable you to sit comfortably on your bent knees and protect your ankles at the same time. 

Pressure on Knees

As your weight is being supported by the bench itself, any pressure on your knees is reduced. If a bench is too high, it puts too much weight on your knees. If it is too low, your ankles are under stress. If ankles are not flexible enough to lie flat against the floor when sitting on a bench, a blanket can be used to support the legs and increase height before sliding the bench into position.

Height & Weight of Your Body

Benches come in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and materials. Some are designed in such a way as to offer dual heights. They can also be tilted as needed to achieve the perfect angle. The angle of the seat determines the angle of your pelvis and its angle is very important if you want your spine to be aligned correctly.

The smaller size benches are for those who are most flexible, medium sized ones suit most people and large ones are for those with longer legs or who are less flexible.

Types of meditation benches

Perhaps you think that using a wooden bench for your kneeling meditation may be uncomfortable if you are new to meditation.  If so, you have the option of going for one of the many padded benches available that will offer you more comfort. The padding usually comes in varying thicknesses and a variety of colors, patterns, and fabrics.

Padded or Not?

Those who are more accustomed to meditating will probably find that they prefer an unpadded version such as a Seiza bench made from fast-growing, environmentally sustainable bamboo. It has a generously sized, curved seat and splayed legs that offer stability. It can also be adjusted to allow for perfect alignment of the spine. This is a folding meditation bench, and it has tight hinges that allow the bench legs to fold inwards. It’s a good choice if you want to store it or take it with you when you travel.

Another Seiza meditation kneeling stool by EarthBench is made out of solid Red Oak and it has an all-natural Beeswaz finish.  It is not only attractive but very functional with its adjustable multi-angled legs. You can try out angles to find your most comfortable position.    

I-shape or Pi-shape?

Other meditation benches may have a leg or two legs in the center of the bench instead of on the outside. Taller people may prefer to have their legs resting on the outside of the bench because it’s easier to get in and out of a kneeling position.

If you’re looking for a pi style bench, as this type is called, the Reflektor stool is a good option. It has one rounded leg, making it ergonomic and gravity neutral. Its flexibility means it can be positioned easily. It is made from durable wood finished with mahogany stain and cushioned with brocade fabric, so it is beautiful and functional. 

Meditation Benches for Bad Knees

When looking for meditation benches for bad knees, the height is very important.  For those who are suffering from age-related damage to the knees or injuries from accidents, the bench must be high enough to absorb the weight of the upper body so that it doesn’t rest on the knees. The general rule is that the taller and less flexible you are, the higher your seat should be.

The Ikuko ergonomic meditation bench was designed by posture specialists especially for the practice of meditation. It allows for proper alignment of the spine by keeping the pelvis in the correct position. This portable meditation bench allows you to remove both feet easily from the seat.  Slip it into the cotton bag that comes with it when you purchase it and take it with you wherever you like.

Everyone’s body is different, which is why sometimes even a bench that has angled legs and comes in different sizes might still not be enough to keep you comfortable. This is where an adjustable meditation bench is most useful.  The Kindseat Adjustable Meditation Seat can be adjusted to suit any person or position. If you shift your weight, the angle changes with you but it still offers stable support. The seat is very light and can be dismantled easily, fitting in a suitcase or even in a backpack.

Meditation benches have been used for generations and come in many different designs and sizes. Some of them are portable, making them easy to use when traveling and others are foldable making them easy to store. Others are more like pieces of furniture than accessories and will enhance the ambiance of your meditation space and remind you to meditate.

Bench

Best For...

Rating

Affordability

Comfortable Padding

Ergonomics, Design, Overall Value

Doubles as ottoman

Portability


Measurements: 18.8” x 7.4” x 4.1”

Weight: 4.1 lbs

This kneeling meditation bench will help you by taking your mind off your aching knees. The large soft padding gives enough support to make sure you are in the proper position. The slight angle makes it the perfect kneeling position. Being easily folded allows for storage and transportation. This allows you to bring this meditation bench with you to meditate in the park. As an added bonus, this meditation stool also comes with a set of Mala beads.


Measurements: 16” x 6.5” x 12.5”

Weight: 8 lbs

The Maple Hardwood Personal Bedtime Prayer Kneeler doubles as a meditation stool. The thin pad allows you to kneel for as long as you need while the strong legs allow you to also use this as a meditation seat. The sides and legs are a high quality stained walnut wood that makes this meditation bench stand out. It can be the focal point of your serenity room. This is one of the heavier meditation seats on our list. Coupled with a non-foldable design makes this a stay-at-home piece.


Measurements: 22” x 7” x 11”

Weight: 3 lbs

For every product category, there's usually an iPhone of the bunch. One that is more expensive but wildly stands out from the pack because of the thought that went into the design. This is the iPhone of meditation benches. The image isn't available for some reason but do click through above to see what it looks like as it's completely different from the others.

This meditation seat is incredibly versatile due to its adjustable height. Change positions with ease and have your bench change with you with this handy meditation device. Never stop a meditation early due to discomfort again because this meditation seat moves as much as you do. Need to shift your weight or quickly raise or lower the bench? The quick release handles allow you to do just that.

The lightweight design can be easily taken apart and can go where you go. This is completely adjustable from 2.5 inches all the way to 10 allowing you to sit both cross legged or kneeling. Coming with a cushion that adheres to the wood allowing it to not slip forward as you meditate this is an all in one stunner. This bench even tilts forward providing you with a spine aligning pelvic tilt.


Measurements: 12” x 12” x 14”

Weight: 3 lbs

This stylish ottoman is sure to make a statement in any room. It's bright vibrant colors inspire happiness and creativity while being very inviting. It is incredibly versatile as it can be used as much more than just the perfect meditation stool. Push it up against your meditation shrine and use it as a seat. This meditation stool gives you a more seated position that may be welcomed for those who have trouble making it down to the floor.


Measurements: 18” x 7” x 7.25”

Weight: 5 lbs

This bench is great for its extreme portability. Simply fold it down and pack it with you wherever you go. The bench’s rounded legs allow you to use in many number of positions and is an excellent support system for those with bad knees. Made of high quality solid wood, this bench is very durabile and strong. It may look petite but can withstand long meditations while taking lots of pressure off of your legs and knees.


There is nothing worse than being in a deep meditation only to be disrupted by aching legs. Having a distraction and cutting your meditation short will make it so you do not achieve the deepest levels of self discovery.

With the use of a meditation bench you can give your legs a break and align your body so that you become more comfortable and reach a deeply serene state.

Even though all of these meditation benches are well made, high quality products the winner is the Kindseat Adjustable Meditation Seat with Non-slip Cushion. Being fully adjustable, storable, and its easy to use design makes this meditation bench is our winner. It can be adjusted for any person, or position, with ease. The wood material will stand the test of time while it's well thought out design allows it to be taken anywhere.

Meditation benches are a great way to make your practice more comfortable, but there are many ways to improve your practice. See our full list of meditation tools for more great ways to enhance your practice.​

Used one of the meditation benches? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

About the author

    Myles Nystrom

    This adventure-seeking Canadian spends his time traveling the world full-time. A trip through Europe gave him a desire to experience the world. His Volkswagen van allows him to go anywhere its wheels will take him. Currently adventuring through North America he is always tethered to the internet which allows him to write from anywhere. His passion for writing sparked his need to document his trip which can be seen on www.gurtthewesty.com.

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