How to Make a Yoga Bolster Pillow


You might have recently started yoga or have been practicing for a while, nevertheless you are thinking about getting a yoga bolster pillow or possibly making one. Bolster pillows are used for a variety of different positions and are used as a support.

Why Do Yogis Make Them Instead Of Buying Them?

The cost. You can pick up one up from $20 upwards with the top market price being about $60. Buying one is more for yogis with a long term commitment unless you have $20 to spare and don’t mind it being used as a cushion if you don’t get along with it.

Making your own is cheap and cost effective, namely because you have the materials in your own home to do so. There are a few options for fellow yogis to take the plunge and make their own.

Make a Temporary Bolster – The Pillow Case

If you just want to try it out or don’t really use one enough to commit to having one full time, you can make one out of very common household items. Namely blankets.

What You Will Need:
A fairly big blanket, safety pins, an elastic band and a pillow case

Start by folding the blanket into an even square, roll it into a tube shape, slide the pillow case over the tube while holding the blanket in place. Now grab the spare parts of the pillow case and roll it inwards so the pillow case fits the tube size. Pin this in place with the safety pans and now tie the end with the elastic band or rope (of whatever you want to use). This will feel quite firm but as long as the blanket was rolled evenly it should be mildly comfortable.

Variance – If you have an old set of curtains you could do the same with them or use them in the below example as outer or inner material.

Making a bolster – The pillowcase variant – Make the pillowcase bolster but instead of pinning it just with safety pins, sew the pillow case in place. Don’t sew the end up, this way you can get the blanket back out if need. Sewing it in place is more secure and won’t stab you should a pin become unhooked.

Making a Bolster – Using Material

If you are gifted at sewing and have some spare material, you are halfway there to making one. The advantages are, it is custom made to your measurements and you can have choose the outer materials presentation.

What You Will Need:
A run of material to make the outer, spare/scrap material to fill it with (this can be spare materials from curtains, bed cloths, old clothes and more.

A needle and thread or sewing machine plus accessories

Start by choosing the shape you want – Tube shape, a larger rectangular block, square block etc

Make the shape – Lay the material out and measure 4 larger rectangles, for the sides and then 2 smaller rectangles for the ends. Alternatively roll the material and mark how thick you want it to be, cut the material to shape and make circular ends to finish it off. Once you have the sides in the positions you need, sew them together to make the shell.

Now decide what you are going to fill it with. You can use scrap material to pad it out, such as the material mentioned before or you could consider filling it with small off-cuts of foam or similar. Bear in mind that different fillings will alter the firmness of the bolster and if you want a particular firmness to use something that will promote that. E.g. filling it with cotton balls vs filling it with firm scraps of material.

Making a Bolster – From a Pool Noodle

Another suggestion for a firm bolster would be to band two pool noodles together and then cover them in material. You could cut them to size and add as many to change the shape or size. You could even glue them together for added security.

The Common Conclusion

There are many options available to you, to make your own bolster. The majority of yogis prefer to make them by sewing them and customizing it to their specifications but the overall conclusion for many is to just make it from blankets. Whether that is by the pillowcase technique or by sewing a tubular structure and filling it with a rolled up blanket anyway.

The main reason for favoring blankets is how widely available they are, most people own at least a couple, if they don’t then they are still cheaper to buy (consider buying a second hand one from a flee market etc). So using blankets is the cost effective way of making a temporary or permanent bolster but ultimately it is personal preference.