I get it, some yoga poses just take a while to master.
And really, yoga is about the journey rather than the destination, so it’s totally ok if you never master it!
But, a little help along the way is definitely allowed.
Kitting yourself out with one of the best yoga bolsters of 2021 is a sure-fire way of getting the most out of your yoga practice, wherever you are on your journey.
I’ve made your search easier by putting together a list of the best yoga bolsters available right now and then I’ve gone into a little more detail on what to look for to help you decide.
- TOP 10 Best Yoga Bolsters Reviewed 2021
- What to Think About When Choosing a Bolster
- More FAQs…
TOP 10 Best Yoga Bolsters Reviewed 2021
What to Think About When Choosing a Bolster
So you’re thinking about purchasing a yoga bolster.
They’re definitely a worthwhile investment for your home yoga practice and can be used to deepen and support stretches in a number of positions.
But how do we choose?
Like everything these days, there are so many options and the choice can feel overwhelming.
Luckily, there are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing the best yoga bolster for your home practice. And, it mostly comes down to personal preference and how you want to use it.
There are three key things to think about:
Weight and Filling Material
Weight and filling material are kind of two separate things, I’ll admit, but they’re closely linked!
Certain fillings are much heavier and more dense than others. So, the filling you choose will decide the weight of your bolster, and how firm it is.
Common fillings are either high-density foam or cotton batting. Cotton batting tends to be heavier, especially if there’s a lot packed in. Foam can be pretty heavy and firm if it’s dense and good quality, but this can vary a lot.
Other materials include buckwheat hulls, kapok fiber, recron or synthetic fiberfill.
Buckwheat hulls definitely make for a heavy, dense bolster, while synthetic fiberfill will be lighter weight and less firm.
If you’re looking for a bolster that you can easily carry around, whether to a yoga studio or elsewhere, you’ll probably want something fairly lightweight as yoga mats by themselves can be pretty heavy.
Alternatively, if you’re just going to be using your bolster at home, you can choose a heavier version that may provide more stability.
Size and Shape
There are four broad categories of yoga bolsters: Standard, round, junior and pranayama.
- Standard yoga bolsters are your classic rectangular bolster and are commonly used in restorative yoga practices for a number of different poses. They should be firm and supportive and easily take your whole body shape without losing their form.
- Round yoga bolsters are cylindrical rather than rectangular, though they should be just as firm as standard yoga bolsters. The round shape is just a personal preference and may be more comfortable for some people in certain postures.
- Junior yoga bolsters are basically round yoga bolsters with a narrower diameter making them better for certain specific postures.
- Pranayama yoga bolsters are designed specifically to support pranayama breathing exercises and are most commonly used by lying on them with the bolster running the length of the spine to open up the chest.
Firm or Soft
There’s a degree of personal preference here depending on what you’re going to be using your bolster for.
But, in saying that, most yoga teachers will tell you that a bolster should be firm in order to be supportive and not lose its shape when you put your weight on it.
If people are complaining in their reviews that a bolster is too firm, they’re probably not experienced enough to know what a good bolster should feel like in order to do its job.
Other things you’ll take into account (aside from the color) include how easy it is to clean or wash the cover, the presence of handles to make it easy to carry, and whether the bolster can be opened to add or remove filling.
Still not sure?
Let’s go into a bit more detail about the use itself.
How to Use a Yoga Bolster/What is a Yoga Bolster Used For?
Yoga bolsters are used in similar ways to other yoga props like yoga wheels and blocks, but they tend to be used for much longer holds in restorative yoga practices compared to the shorter holds that wheels and blocks might be used for.
For example, both bolsters and blocks can be used to lie on in order to open up the chest or provide some stretch to different parts of the back, but a bolster could have you hanging out in the same position for 10 minutes compared to one or two minutes on a block.
There are many different poses that can benefit from support with a yoga bolster, and poses that can only be done with the help of a bolster.
Check out a video like this one to get some ideas.
How to Make a Yoga Bolster?
Alternatively, making your own bolster is definitely a good option if you’re on a budget or you’re not quite sure whether owning a bolster is really going to make a difference to your home practice.
Videos like this one (below) just use household items making it very affordable and eco-friendly! All you need are an old towel and a pillow! Then, if it turns out to be something you’re using a lot, you can take the plunge and buy one of the bolsters from the list above.
How to Clean a Yoga Bolster?
This depends on the outer material that your bolster is made out of.
If your bolster has a removable cover then this makes things really easy! You can put the cover in the washing machine (on a cool, gentle wash) and then replace it once dry.
For bolsters with non-removable covers, you can spot-clean with a damp cloth. Or, you can cover the bolster with a pillowcase and then wash that.
This is a particularly good idea if you’re into hot yoga and might use your bolster for a relaxing hold at the end of a sweaty session. Wrapping it in a towel is also a good idea.
(If you are into hot yoga, be sure to check out our list of the best yoga mats for hot yoga!)
What is a Yoga Bolster Filled with?
Yoga bolsters are filled with different things, most commonly high-density foam or cotton batting. But some are also filled with other things like buckwheat hulls and natural fibers such as kapok.
What Type of Bolster Can be Used for Yoga?
Any bolster that is cushioned and comfortable to lean against, but firm enough to hold its shape if you put your whole body weight on it is suitable for yoga.
Don’t be afraid if it feels hard, hard is good for yoga!
How Big of a Yoga Bolster do I Need?
As well as being firm, yoga bolsters are surprisingly big too. Make sure the bolster is about as long as your torso. Width and height can be more varied.
Hopefully, that answers all of your questions!
Do you feel knowledgeable enough to add a yoga bolster to your home practice routine now?
I hope so!
If anything, just because I think we all need some more rest in our lives!
If you’re interested in something a bit different, have a look at our article on the best yoga swings and hammocks before you go – you might be surprised at the direction you could take your practice in!
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