Unwind with the best desktop Zen garden

Offering some domestic tranquillity, consider this desktop home décor…

best desktop zen garden

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

If your life is becoming too much, finding the best desktop zen garden may help you feel free from your worries. It’ll give you a chance to unwind. In our quest to help you discover the best spiritual décor pieces for your home, we couldn’t pass down the opportunity to talk about Zen gardens. In this guide, Spirit & Destiny will take you through everything you need to know about these magical desktop gardens. They will bring the outdoors indoors and some tranquillity, too.

Perhaps, you’re thinking: what is a zen garden? Zen gardens, also known as Japanese rock gardens, are carefully controlled outdoor spaces. Often, they will consist of raked sand and rocks, sometimes statues and neatly clipped shrubs. In Japan, these gardens appeal to the masses as they’re great ways to reduce stress, improve focus and develop a sense of well-being. Similarly, a desktop zen garden can off the same feelings of peace but in a miniaturised and compact space.

Best Desktop Zen Garden Shortlist

Best desktop zen garden: Japanese Zen Garden with Rake and Moss
Budget desktop zen garden: Buddha Zen Garden with Tealight Holder
Best desktop Zen garden for crystal lovers: Zen Garden Set with Meditation Crystals
Best desktop zen garden kit: Island Falls Home Zen Garden Kit
Best desktop Zen garden for healing: Buddha Zen Desktop Garden With Gong

Even in this miniaturised state, the zen garden benefits pretty much stay the same. Like a bonsai tree, they bring mindfulness and calm to your daily routine, whether at home or work. If you haven’t got space for a zen garden, these are a cost-effective alternative. Not only do they add beauty to your home and foster creativity, but they can also boost your mindfulness and meditation. Plus, the raking tool can offer a small relief from work at your desk.

Introduced in Japan, the concept of zen gardens was a place where Buddhist monks could retreat into nature to focus on meditation. Plenty of these desktop gardens feature bridges, rocks and sand to encourage returning to the bare essentials of nature. They’re still a big part of Japanese culture today. In desktop form, zen gardens can sit neatly in your spiritual nook with a moon lamp. So, we’ve found the best desktop zen gardens to inspire you at home.

Best Desktop Zen Garden

Best desktop zen garden

Clear your mind with this beautifully simple but stylish zen garden. It has potted preserved moss, a rake and shiny black stones. It's perfectly simple, somewhere you can self-reflect by raking the sand into patterns.

Customer Review: "Lovely little kit that gives you some fun when setting up scene but is also tranquil to look at, and when you take a few minutes to rearrange the sand."


  • Stylish and simple
  • Complete with a rake


  • None that we can think of!
Dimensions20.5 x 20.5 x 2 cm
SandOne Bag
PlantPreserved Moss wth Planter
StonesFive Black Shiny Stones

Budget desktop zen garden

Buddha Zen Garden with Tealight Holder
Price: £8.81 (was £12.59)


Take some time out of yourself with this relaxing tealight holder. With this zen garden, you can enjoy the ancient tradition by cultivating your own. Here, you can watch the flame dance and make patterns in the sand.

Customer Review: "Amazing quality!"


  • Great value zen garden
  • Plenty of miniatures


  • Rather small
Dimensions13 x 18 x 1 cm
MiniaturesBuddha, Alter, Bridge, Tea Light Holder

Best zen garden for meditation

Classic Japanese Zen Garden
Price: £14.99+


Bring a Japanese Zen garden indoors with this stress-reducing accessory. It makes a fabulous centrepiece in your home and beautiful addition to any space. It features a bridge, a Buddha statue and two blossoming trees.

Customer Review: "Great item and the seller was super helpful and went out of his way to help and meet a tight Christmas deadline. It was really appreciated! Highly recommend!"


  • Rake and other tools to get creative
  • Enlighted with miniatures


  • Unsure if the pebbles are included
Dimensions21.5 x 17.5 cm
Sand200g White Sand
PlantMoss, Trees
MiniaturesBuddha, Lantern, Bridge

Stacking stone zen garden

NaturalTouch Japanese Zen Garden / Stacking Natural Stones amd Porcelain Flowers & Vase
Price: £16.99+


This mini zen garden from NaturalTouch features eco-friendly and natural materials such as bamboo, sand, porcelain and stones. Use the staking stones to create harmony on your desktop and rack to foster your own creativity.

Customer Review: "I love this little zen garden! I ordered the 24-inch and found there was a lot of space in comparison to the amount of sand so I popped the seller a message and no questions asked they sent another bag of sand! The sand itself is nice and smooth and everything is exactly as expected."


  • Choose different sizes
  • Perfectly simple and Zen


  • Stacking stones are an add-on
Dimensions24, 27 or 30cm Diameter
Sand200-300g White Sand

Best desktop Zen garden for crystal lovers

Zen Garden Set Bamboo Wood Medium | Meditation Crystals Airplant Home Decor
Price: £54.10+


This Miniature Zen Garden will bring peace, calm and a touch of sparkle to your home, room, or meditation corner. The crystals amplify energy, the airplant brings life and the Buddha stands for enlightenment.

Customer Review: "Arrived on time! The zen garden is very beautiful and packaged with care. Very much recommended to have on your desk and put your mind at ease."


  • Perfect for amplifying energy
  • Great for creativity and flow


  • Crystals are an add-on
Dimensions23cm Diameter
StonesNatural Smooth Stones
MiniaturesTealight Holder, Optional Buddha Statue

Best Zen garden with a bridge

Take a stroll for your soul with the Philosopher's Path Zen Garden from Etsy. It contains all the elements to create a miniature replica of the natural scenery found in Northern Kyoto's Higashiyama district. The nice stone and wood bridges are very cute. The signature green moss and cherry blossom trees help bring it to life.

Customer Review: "Fabulous and great value for the number and quality of garden features. Bought as a gift and it was very well received. Ordered relatively late but excellent service meant it arrived on time. A first-class seller who I would recommend."


  • Good selection of miniatures
  • Create a replica of Japanese scenery


  • Some customers have complained about the packaging
Sand500g White Sand
MiniaturesBridges, Lanterns, Blossoming Trees

Best desktop zen garden kit

 Island Falls Home Zen Garden Kit
Price: $39.97

Next, we have this wonderful gift. It features plenty of miniatures for endless arranging. This kit may well help achieve daily calm and relaxation. BY capturing the essence of Japan's wonderful gardens, this is a unique and special kit.

Customer Review: "Perfect size. Good quality products and items. I only wished the Shinto red temple gate was ceramic instead of plastic. Tray of a good size to allow for design. Easy set up of items. Good inside packaging."


  • Plenty of miniatures
  • Good design, great size


  • Plastic pieces, as opposed to ceramic
Dimensions27.94 x 20.32 x 1.91 cm
Sand454g Sand
Rake Yes
MiniaturesCherry Blossom Trees, Shinto Torii Gate, Zen Rocks, Ceramic Pagoda, Bridge, Lotus Flower


Mini Zen Garden Kit with Buddha Statue and Stones
Price: £44.74 (was £49.71)


This Mini Zen Garden Kit with Buddha Statue and Stones combines Yin-Yang Tai Chi shape and crystal energy stone, bringing a new sense of Zen experience. Plus, the meditation Buddha adds contemplation to your space

Customer Review: "Great item, looks perfect on my desk."


  • Enhances your practice
  • Stable, relaxing, contemplation


  • We can't think of any!
Dimensions7.8" X 7.8" X0.94 inches.
MiniaturesBuddha, Lotus Incense Burner

Best desktop Zen garden for healing

Buddha Zen Desktop Garden With Sand
Price: £22.95+


With this Buddha Zen Desktop Garden With Gong, you have healing on your side. A gong meditation is a form of sound healing designed to offer relaxation, emotional release and even pain relief.

Customer Review: "Excellent communication and fast shipping, great to deal with! Love my little Zen garden."


  • The gong is for healing
  • Available in various styles


  • Only two miniatures
Dimensions24 x 24 cm
MiniaturesTealight Holder, Buddha


Do zen gardens work?

Yes – they’re said to be a great activity during times of stress and doubt. By raking patterns in the sand and rearranging the miniatures, the recreated essence of nature is healing and nourishing.

How to use a zen garden

For centuries, monks in Japan have perfected the art of raking the sand to achieve a meditative state. Now, with a miniature zen garden of your own, you’ll need to learn the basics. After all, raking the sand into beautiful patterns will foster your creativity and give space for experimentation.

Choose a pattern that accommodates your mini zen garden’s best features. Whether this is a stack of large stones, a Buddha miniature or moss, it’s important to have a pattern in mind before you start raking. There are many different patterns to learn about. You can play with long, wavy lines in the sand to imitate a stream or simple straight lines that will lead the eye across the desktop garden.

For example, the water drop wave pattern is one of the most common methods. Known as maru-uzu-mon in Japanese, it features straight lines across the space, as well as broken-up circles around miniatures. This way, the circles create the illusion of ripples in water.

How to make a desktop zen garden

Thanks to ProFlowers, we have some simple and easy steps to make your own miniature desktop zen garden. With their advice and suggestions, you can see how to make this project your own. They suggest placing your new zen garden in "any space in your home or office where you feel everyone can use it the most".

What You’ll Need: Rake, Tray, Sand, Plants, Miniatures, Rocks and Crystals, Essential Oils

Step By Step

Fill your container with sand and essential oils.

Place stones and trinkets in your garden.

Add plants for a touch of green.

Create your sand pattern with a mini rake.

Quirky Zen Garden

If you love whimsicality, place fun trinkets and miniatures to add a subtle pop. With this, ProFlowers recommends scattering polished stones around the garden “to match the light colour scheme.” You could even experiment with coloured sand to see what works best for you.

Modern Zen Garden

For this, ProFlowers suggest breaking away from a rectangular box and trying something a little more geometric. Selecting the best crystals will “support your desired area of wellbeing.” Not only that, but plants are essential – so, position in “empty corners for added splashes of green.”

Total Zen

Or, if you’d prefer to go for something more traditional, you could light a candle to “create a calming ambience while you reflect or meditate.” Adding a few natural stones from meaningful places can create a stronger personal connection to your desktop Zen garden. Don’t forget a rake for patterns.

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden and Wellness Product Writer for Spirit & Destiny, an all-rounder: from health to spirituality. When not at her desk, she’s practising yoga or in deep reflection.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us