Whether you’ve been meditating for years or are just learning, a meditation app can help you take your practice to the next level. But, with so many of them out there, what should you be looking for?

First, think about the quality of each app. What are the reviews like? What do others say they like and dislike? These clues can help you determine whether an app is well thought-out and easy to use and whether it’s been through quality testing. Such back-end considerations can make a big difference in your enjoyment of a meditation app.

After that, you should always take the following considerations into account.


Like most other types of apps, meditation apps range in price. Some are free, some can be purchased for a one-time fee, and others offer a subscription or a donation option. Some may combine these models, such as the freemium alternatives, that charge a small fee to access all features.

For example, Buddhify costs $4.99 for iOS and $2.99 for Android and includes more than 200 meditations. Insight Timer offers free content or a $59.99 per year subscription to access additional courses, new daily meditations, and other useful features. Smiling Mind is completely free, offering hundreds of meditations classified into categories for easier selection. You can choose from Mindful Foundations, Sleep, Relationships, and Workplace.

If you’re just starting out with meditation apps, you might consider downloading a free one first to see what you like and don’t like before you pay for one with more features.

Number of Meditations

Do you want to use a small number of meditations and see how you respond differently to them each day? Do you want to explore a new meditation each time you sit on your pillow, or does that sound too overwhelming? Whether you want to go deep, wide, or somewhere in between, there are meditation apps for you.

For example, Let’s Meditate offers just a couple of dozen meditations. But they are of high quality and range in length from a couple of minutes to over 40 minutes. On the other end of the spectrum, Insight Timer offers thousands of guided meditations for establishing a meditation habit or simply promoting restful sleep.

Additional Content

Some meditation apps include other types of content that you might like. They include mantras, chanting, timers, and tracking features. The question is, do you want bells and whistles beyond guided meditations?

Stop, Breathe & Think offers activities that you can do periodically throughout your day based on how you’re feeling. Calm includes modules for meditation, sleep, music, mindfulness, nature sounds, and body movement. Headspace creates statistics about your meditation activities to keep you motivated.

Meditation Instruction

If you’re new to meditation, it might be helpful to have expert guidance. Some meditation apps include it, while others don’t. The guidance can be in the form of exercises to slowly introduce you to meditation concepts, or interviews or courses with meditation experts.

For example, Ten Percent Happier features world-renowned leaders in meditation instruction, including Anushka Fernandopulle, Sharon Salzberg, and Joseph Goldstein. The app is geared toward people new to meditation and those who get “fidgety” just thinking about it. Headspace includes instructional modules for beginners to experienced meditators.


Doing something consistently is important when trying to cultivate a new habit. Unless meditation is part of your regular routine, it might not be an activity you remember to do each day. Some meditation apps include a reminder feature to tell you when it’s time to sit and breathe, or at least check in with yourself.

The Mindfulness App includes reminders to keep you on track throughout the day. Stop, Breathe, & Think was designed for those who are new to meditation and may need gentle nudges to follow through with intentions to meditate. You can even connect it to an Alexa-based device to get reminders when away from your phone.

Voice Talent

Many app recordings include soothing voices to guide you through a visualization or other meditation exercise. You may like some of these voices better than others. In fact, you may grow to have certain favorites that you want to listen to exclusively. If there are certain voices you prefer, you’ll want to seek out the apps that feature them.

Calm is known for a good mix of voice talent, including actors Matthew McConaughey and Jerome Flynn. Stop, Breathe & Think allows you to choose between a male or female voice, and the paid version gives you access to new voices. Simply Being is another meditation app with a relaxing voice guide.

In Summary

Meditation, or variations of it, such as mindfulness exercises, can be useful for relieving anxiety, thinking more clearly, sleeping better, and calming yourself in stressful situations. Many meditation apps are available to assist by providing guided meditations, exercises, courses, reminders, trackers, and much more.

In fact, there are so many that it might be hard to pick one that you like. Use the guidelines above to start thinking about what you might want in a meditation app and narrowing down your choices.

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Author's Bio: 

Malcom is a tech expert at BairesDev specializing in the software outsourcing industry. He has access to the latest market news and has a keen eye for innovation and what's next for technology businesses.