▷ How to Choose a Meditation Bench (2020 Update)

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How to Choose a Meditation Bench

Written by Myles Nystrom and updated on July 15, 2018
choose a meditation bench

While it’s not necessary to use a bench while meditating, some people prefer to use one as they can help you to achieve the correct pose and make you more comfortable while there. They can be especially helpful for those who suffer from a bad back. Meditation benches come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so it’s best to do a little research before you part with your cash to make sure you’re getting the best option for you. 

In this article, we’re going to take you through some of the benefits of using a meditation bench as well as some of the things to consider when buying one. We’ll also give you some advice on how to best use a meditation bench as well as show you some of the most popular selling models around at the moment.  

The Benefits of Using a Meditation Bench

As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to have a meditation bench to be able to meditate effectively, but it does make things a little more comfortable for you. Sitting or kneeling for extended periods of time can cause a great deal of strain on your back, neck, and knees. A meditation bench relieves some of that strain by helping to keep your back straight while the pads on top give your knees relief from kneeling on a hard floor.  

What to Consider When Buying a Meditation Bench


When it comes to meditation benches, there are two main designs. The first is what’s known as the I-shaped bench. These benches have legs that sit near the outside and users place their legs in between them. 

A Pi-shaped meditation bench works slightly different to the I-shaped bench. While they both strive to do the same thing, these meditation benches feature one or two legs towards the middle of the bench, with the user placing their legs either side.

Taller users may find using a Pi-shaped bench more suitable as it's easier to maneuver your legs to and from a kneeling position.  

Weight and height capacity

Meditation benches vary across the board in terms of shape, size, and the material from which they’re made. Be sure to check the weight and height capacity of the bench you’re looking to buy to ensure it’s right for you. 

Padded or not padded? This is another very important point to consider. Not all meditation benches are padded. And while you can quite easily find a cushion or towel to make it more comfortable, is it really worth the hassle when for just a few extra dollars you can have a padded version?


Not all meditation benches are adjustable, which can be a problem if you’re particularly tall or a little on the shorter side. You can always use towels or cushions to help, but it’s not ideal especially if you use your bench while on the move as it’s simply another thing to remember to take with you.

Portability and storage

Before you make your purchase, just take a moment to consider where you’ll be using your bench. If you plan on regularly transporting your bench then make sure you get one that’s lightweight and ideally fold up. The same goes for if you’re limited for space and only intend on bringing out the bench at mediation time.

How to Use a Meditation Bench

As mentioned above, there are two main types of meditation bench and in this section, we’ll advise you on how to use both.

1. I-shaped

When using an I-shaped meditation bench the first thing you need to do is get yourself into a kneeling position on the floor. Then, raise your bottom off your ankles and slide the bench underneath you. Finally, adjust the bench as need be until it’s at a comfortable position for you.

The most important thing is to make sure your weight is being supported by the bench while your ankles remain flat against the floor, in between the two bench legs. You may find it more comfortable to use a blanket or a meditation cushion to support your legs more. That way you can let your feet hang over the edge for greater comfort. 

2. Pi-shaped

To use a Pi-shaped meditation bench, like the I-shaped model above, start in a kneeling position on the floor, then simply slide the bench between your legs and underneath you. Even though a lot of people find this kind of bench more comfortable than the I-shaped bench, you may still want to consider using a cushion alongside it to provide a softer surface for kneeling on.

Once you’re in place sitting on the bench, make any necessary adjustments to ensure there’s no pressure on your knees or ankles and that your upper body is fully supported. Adjust the tilt of the bench until your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed. Just be careful not to tilt the bench too much as this will put extra strain on your knees.

Note: Whichever meditation bench you opt for, just make sure you adjust it so that it’s the right height for you. A bench that’s too low will put extra pressure on your ankles. A bench that’s too high will put too much weight on your knees. If there are no adjustment settings on the bench, simply use some towels or blankets to make it higher or lower.

Meditation for Those with Bad Knees

For anyone that suffers from bad knees, height is very important when it comes to meditation benches. It should be high enough to absorb the user’s upper body weight so that less pressure is put on the knees.

There are meditation benches out there that have been specially developed for those suffering from bad knees or poor posture, such as the Ikuko Ergonomic Meditation Bench (as reviewed below). Just be aware that these benches do tend to cost quite a lot more than your regular, run-of-mill meditation bench.