What Is a Meditation Stool?

G. Wiesen

A meditation stool is a seat designed for use by someone while meditating, usually featuring one of a few different basic designs. The purpose of this stool or seat is to allow a person to sit comfortably for extended periods of time in meditation, allowing him or her to focus on the meditation and not become uncomfortable. One of the most common designs for a meditation stool is similar to a small bench, with a single seat and support legs at either end of it. Other stools are designed with a single support located in the center of the seat.

Meditation stools allow people to sit comfortably while meditating.
Meditation stools allow people to sit comfortably while meditating.

Sometimes called a meditation bench, a meditation stool can be made using plastic, wood, or just about any other substance strong enough to support a seated person. Though different designs can be used, the main purpose of such a seat is to allow someone to sit comfortably in meditation. Most of these stools are designed to sit low to the ground, allowing the sitter to sit with his or her knees bent and his or her feet placed under the seat. A meditation stool is usually designed with a slight angle to it, allowing the sitter to sit upright comfortably for long periods of time.

One of the most common designs for a meditation stool resembles a bench, which is why they are often referred to as benches as well as stools. This design has a single seat, which may be flat or curved to allow for comfortable seating. A support is then placed on either end of the seat, much like a bench, allowing the person sitting in it to place his or her feet between the supports during sitting. This type of meditation stool is usually quite sturdy and often made from wood; some seats even have hinges that allow the supports to fold in for greater portability.

The other common design for a meditation stool features a similar seat, but uses a single support in the middle rather than one at each end. This type of stool resembles a “T” shape, with the sitter’s weight supported by the middle piece, which is usually a thick piece of wood, metal, or strong plastic. As someone sits on this type of meditation stool, he or she has more control over where his or her feet are placed beneath the seat. The bench style of stool confines the sitter’s feet between the two ends, while the single support stool allows the sitter to place his or her feet anywhere on either side of the support.

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Discussion Comments


@ysmina-- I bought a meditation stool for the same reasons. My knees are in horrible shape and I cannot remain in a cross legged position for long. It's impossible to have a productive meditation session when all I can think about is the pain in my knees. So I think that the stool was well worth the investment.

Mine is light and also foldable so I will be able to take it with me when I travel.


@fify-- If you are a beginner, do not meditate for hours and have no problems with your knees, you probably do not need a meditation stool.

However I encourage those who meditate for long periods of time and who have weak, painful ankles to get a meditation stool. I bought one a few months ago and the difference is like night and day. My knees and back used to ache after long meditation session previously and I was forced to disturb my meditation several times to change positions. Now I can meditate for hours without any discomfort or pain. I'm very happy that I invested in a meditation stool.

Those who don't mind spending more might want to get a meditation stool set which also includes a cushion.


I have just started meditating and I'm shopping for different meditation tools like meditation bells, incense and beads. I'm wondering if I should buy a meditation stool as well. The ones I've seen were not very cheap. Do I really need a meditation stool or can I manage without one?

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