The Zabuton: Cushioned Meditation Mat

A zabuton cushions the legs and ankles during seated meditation and long periods of sitting on the floor. Zabutons are becoming more and more popular by meditation enthusiasts worldwide. While these cushioned mats are used to extend the length of time a person is able to meditate comfortably, they are also used in many different types of everyday seating arrangements in Eastern cultures. Our collection of zabutons can be used as standalone aids for seated meditation or can be found as part of a zafu/zabuton set for the ultimate experience of seating comfort.
zabuton definition in japanese translation

What is a Zabuton

To put it simply, a zabuton is a meditation mat that is cushioned to help support the ankles, legs, and knees. Seated meditation can take its toll on our joints and a zabuton makes it easier to focus our intentions for longer periods of time, thus resulting in better meditative states.


History of the Zabuton

In traditional Eastern religions and meditative practices, a zabuton isn’t used as a standalone seat. It is used to cushion the lower limbs while the zafu (meditation pillow) is primarily responsible for the relaxing of the knee angle and pressure displacement of the tailbone. In other non-religious applications, the zabuton is used for all types of seating arrangements. Cultures throughout Asia sit on the floor and they’ve figured out a long time ago that a padded mat makes it easier to do so.


Zabuton Materials

Historically, zabutons were filled with natural and organic materials like cattail fiber and buckwheat. Modern zabuton stuffing is made primarily out of wool. In this sense, a zabuton is similar to a small futon mattress.


How a Zabuton Mat Works

japanese zabuton floor cushionThe zabuton is basically a large meditation cushion that supports the feet and ankle joints. It can be used on the floor by itself or it can be paired with other types of furniture that are designed for low profile seating. This type of meditation cushion is ideal for people who sit for extended periods of time and find their feet or ankles hurting due to the pressure of their bodyweight and the hardness of the floor. If the meditator finds that he/she has knee pain as well, then the zabuton mat will provide only a little bit of relief. That zabuton/zafu set is better for an all-around meditative aid, so view our other meditation pillows if this is the case.


How to Use Zabuton Cushioned Mat

If used by itself, the zabuton cushion is used as a mat that you place on the floor and simply sit on it. There’s no need to buy a floor support for this type of seating (as you would with a futon). When following the proper care instructions from the manufacturer, zabutons can last for many years. Use it with a Zafu cushion to provide allover meditation comfort. You can also choose to purchase arm rests, a back support, or other types of furniture accessories to accompany the mat for more casual activities that require you to sit on the floor.


Longer Meditation Sessions

The biggest demographic of zabuton users are the meditation practitioners. Seated meditation can, and often time does, require you to sit in one position for a long time. While the goal of meditation is to separate your consciousness from the physical, our bodies are our biggest roadblock to achieving that goal. Through the use of a zabuton cushion, meditation sessions can last longer. This is due to the effect that the padding of the cushion has on our body parts that would otherwise be in constant contact with the hard floor.


Joint Pain Relief

This type of cushion is great for any time you have to get down on the floor, but is best used with other types of meditation seating like the seiza bench. That being said, the zabuton pillow isn’t just for people who meditate or sit on the floor due to their Eastern heritage or religious principles. People who don’t fall into the aforementioned groups will often find cheap zabutons for sale and use them in their living room while playing with their small children on the floor, watching TV, or playing board games. There are wide applications of the zabuton cushion due to its comfort and practicality.


Finding the Best Zabuton Meditation Cushions and Mats

By going through our collection of zabutons for sale, you will see several that come in a set (with a zafu). This is a more common seating arrangement for meditation than the zabuton alone. If you’re looking for just a zabuton cushion, then all you have to do is filter your search results and unselect the ‘set’ box. Finding the best meditation seat is an important step in making your sessions more powerful and longer lasting. We thank you for choosing us as your go-to source for zabuton cushions and mats.