Zabuton Cushions and Sitting Pillows

Get on down

座布団

You hear a lot about how sitting in chairs all the time is not good. Well, one thing you can try is to break it up with some floor sitting time. Zabuton’s (occasionally written as Zabutan) are Japanese floor cushions that help get you down to the floor. We’ll talk a bit more about these spiffy pillow seats for the floor later, but first let’s go ahead and show you our very favorites that we’ve found online.

We’ve got a complete guide to Japanese Home Decor here.

1. Classic Sahiko Zanmai

Pros

  • High Quality Crafted Item
  • Made In Japan
  • Cushion & Removable Cover Set (washable)

Cons

  • Only Ships to certain countries

2. Classic Enshu Weave, Muted Tone Zabuton

Pros

  • Genuine Japanese crafted piece
  • “Meisen” 銘仙 style of weaving popular in women’s fashion from the early to mid 20th century
  • Using Enshu Tsumugi 遠州綿紬 techniques from Shizuoka region of Japan
  • Understated stylish design

Cons

  • Not washable – just air out
  • Only Ships to certain countries

3. Gold Hattan Zabuton Cover

Pros

  • Equisite gold patterning in tradional Japanese design
  • Made of Hattan 八端織りfabric. Hattan is thickly woven kimono fabric that is durable and often used in padded kimono or Futon coverings.
  • Cover can be added to existing cushion to “Japanify” it!
  • (Size) : about 62 x 64 cm / about 24.4 x 25.19 inch

Cons

  • Need to buy separate cushion

Zabuton Size Chart

There are 7 standard zabuton sizes, each with it’s own unique name. The most common sizes are the Meisen size 55cm×59cm and the Hattanban 59cm×63cm. According to the Japanese Industrial Standards the Momen size is considered equivalent to S size, the Meisen to size and the Hattanban to L size. A full list of all the sizes can be found in the below chart.

At the risk of stating the obvious, as a general rule, the bigger the person, the bigger zabuton you will need. This means that for most westerners you are best off looking from around the Hattanban size and up.

Zabuton Size NameWidthLength
Kozabuton (小座布団)40~50cm40~50cm
Chasekiban (茶席判)43cm47cm
Momenban (木綿判)51cm55cm
Meisenban (銘仙判)55cm59cm
Hattanban (八端判)59cm63cm
Donsuban (緞子判)63cm68cm
Meotoban (夫婦判)67cm72cm

How to look after a Zabuton

  • Can I wash a zabuton?

Generally not. Some are machine washable but these are in the minority. Check the tag!

  • Do I need to air out my zabuton?

Yes, generally people in Japan shake out their floor cushions regularly to remove dust and particles and air them out for several hours in the sun.

  • How do I clean a zabuton?

It is fairly common to put zabuton into dry cleaning in Japan. Outside of Japan, it can be more hit and miss as to which dry cleaners will accept zabuton.

History and symbolism of zabuton

The use of Zabuton goes back to the Kamakura  (1185–1333) period. They were originally associated with people of high rank and priests, so they still are still commonly used a symbol of status. This can be seen today in customs including the throwing of zabuton at Sumo wrestling tournaments when spectators feel that are particularly outstanding victory has been won, and in the use of Zabuton by Rakugo traditional comedy performers. 

Around the 

4. Home Of Wool Large Zabuton with Handle

Pros

  • 100% OEKO-TEX-certified wool filling
  • Customize your material to match your preferred aesthetic.
  • Artisanal, handcrafted meditation cushion
  • Carry handle to be portable for meditation meets etc.
  • Guaranteed to never include any potentially dangerous chemicals. 
  • Large Size: 27″ x 33″ x 2″ (69 x 84 x 5 cm).
  • For custom sizes available

Cons

  • Light color is harder to keep clean

5. Jumbo Zabuton Meditation Mat Black

Pros

  • Suits tall people 6′ 1″ and over
  • Approximately 36″ long and 30″ wide
  • Outer cover made of cotton twill fabric
  • zipper along one length so that cushion can be easily removed and washed
  • Filled with natural kapok stuffing for soft and more resilient than cotton batting
  • Kapok is more environmentally friendly than cotton

Cons

  • Plain design – best for practical non-decorative purposes

6. Tatami Zabuton

Pros

  • Natural straw
  • Memory foam core
  • Simple & stylish tatami design
  • Ideal for rustic interiors
  • 65*65*4.5cm
  • 55*55*4.5cm

Cons

  • Not Made-In-Japan product

7. Natural Rush Zabuton

Pros

  • Hand-woven
  • All-natural materials
  • High-density rubber filler makes it soft and comfortable.

Cons

  • Not as comfortable as some other options for sitting a long time.

Contributor

Hi, I’m Peter.  I lived in Japan for four years as a University student completing a Masters Degree in Musicology.  I have succesfully completed the  highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N1).  have toured the country six times playing music and singing songs in Japanese and English.

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