How to Pick the Perfect Seat Cushion
Many of us sit in a chair for long periods, such as during work or traveling. While this is usually unavoidable, sitting down for hours can beat up your back. As a result, many people are enjoying the benefits of a comfortable seat cushion.
A seat cushion can give you the much needed and wanted comfort and support wherever you are. While most of us don’t think about how we’re sitting, and how it affects us, what you sit on contributes to your tailbone's comfort or discomfort. Too much pressure on the tailbone can result in back pain.
If you work in an office, you’re not going to work productively if you’re in pain. Plus, it negatively affects your long-term health.
Most seat cushions are designed with support and comfort in mind. However, not all are made equally. Some pillows may be more beneficial to you than others. If you need help choosing the perfect seat cushion for you, we’re here to help.
We’ll help you find the ideal cushion for your needs for long hours working in the office, wheelchair comfort, or certain medical conditions such as tailbone pain.
Types of Seat Cushion
There are various types of seat cushions to choose from. Here are some of the most popular
The Classic Seat Cushion
Seat cushions are designed to add comfort and support to your everyday routine. A classic seat cushion is ideal for working in the office, long drives, wheelchairs, or any other place you may sit for a long time.
Seat cushions can add layers of support in different designs and can be made with high-density foam, silicone gel, or they may be inflatable. We’ll cover these interior materials a bit later.
Classic seat cushions help deliver weight evenly. This helps to reduce pressure points while maintaining their shape.
Lumbar Seat Cushion
Lumbar seat cushions focus on delivering support to the areas of the back. This helps users maintain comfort while providing spine health. Lumbar seat cushions are usually placed at the hollow of the back to help straighten the vertebra when sitting.
Many lumbar cushions can attach to any desk chair with an adjustable elastic strap for ergonomic support. A lumbar roll cushion has the benefit of being lightweight and compact. For a good night’s sleep, the lumber roll cushion can even be placed between the knees.
Seat cushions often have specific features to help with certain issues. Here are some of the most common.
Pressure relief cushions are an excellent choice for anyone experiencing tailbone, lower back, or sciatica pain because they offer extra support. These cushions help absorb shock from sensitive areas of the body, allowing you to feel more comfortable for longer.
Cushions designed for alignment help to position your spine and promote healthy posture. Lower and upper back pain often links with improper positioning when sitting for extended periods. Lumbar support cushions are often designed to help with alignment and can aid in finding relief.
Tailbone (Coccyx) Relief
Cushions produced for tailbone (coccyx) relief feature an opening that positions and removes pressure from the spine and tailbone. A donut cushion is a common type of pillow designed for tailbone relief. It uses a dedicated circular design to take the stress from sensitive areas.
Cushions designed for tailbone relief are ideal for people suffering from hemorrhoids as well as tailbone pain.
Travel seat cushions are popular for people making extended trips to improve comfort during the journey. For example, you may look for a car seat cushion for lengthy road trips or a bike seat cushion for cycling trips.
Some cushions can deflate to a compact and convenient size. This makes them ideal for storing in a purse, backpack, or a travel bag. Inflatable travel cushions often feature large air valves for easy inflation and customizable firmness.
Travel seat cushions also come in other forms, such as a microbead or memory foam filling.
Transfer aid pillows make getting into and out of your chair more straightforward. There are swivel seat cushions on the market that rotate 360 degrees and have a textured base to avoid slipping.
Designed for people with physical limitations, a transfer aid cushion is ideal for car seats, office chairs, or any other seat you need help with. The mobility aid helps to support user’s backs, making moving around a lot easier.
Core engagement cushions are designed for active sitting. They help engage your core and even boost focus and concentration. As such, core engagement chairs are ideal for people working long hours in an office.
With a core engagement cushion, a nine to five desk job is no excuse for missing out on workouts. Get your work done while having a workout simultaneously.
For physical therapy and other exercises, a wobble core engagement cushion is an excellent choice. While it can be used merely as a comfortable seat cushion, it can also be used to enhance posture and balance.
A core engagement cushion forces the muscles in your core to work while you’re sitting down. If you’re having issues with your back, you may want to speak to your physician about this option.
Seat cushions come in various materials, on both the interior and the exterior. Let’s go through some of the interior options, which can significantly affect the cushion's comfort.
If comfort is your main priority, then a memory foam cushion is an excellent option. A lumbar support cushion made with memory foam is a great choice. Not only is memory foam super-comfortable, but it often lasts longer than other materials.
Memory foam effectively aligns the spinning by molding to your body’s curves, resulting in a comfortable and supportive pillow.
However, while memory foam has plenty of advantages, it has its drawbacks too. The longer you keep a memory foam cushion, the more likely it is to sag like a mattress might.
Memory foam cushions are also known to trap heat, so they can quickly warm up too. This may not be too comfortable, especially in the hot summer months.
A liquid gel seat cushion provides extra cushioning. Created with layers of high-density foam, the fluid gel material helps the cushion contour to the body for soft and smooth support. Another plus of liquid gel cushion is that it helps keep your body cool and comfortable over long periods, which is ideal for summer weather.
Many liquid gel cushions are lined with individual pockets of cooling gel for all-over padding. Being super relaxing and calming to sit on, fluid gel cushions help relieve the pressure of the hips and tailbone.
A silicone gel seat cushion is often made up of 100% open-cell gel, which helps to ease pressure points and allows for air circulation. A silicone gel cushion is both compact and flexible, making it easy to travel with or store. Whether in an office, at home, or while traveling, you can take the pressure off your spine with a silicone gel cushion when you need to.
Alternatively, some silicone gel cushions use individual cells of cooling silicone gel to reduce pressure off the spine. Like liquid gel cushions, silicone gel pillows remain cool for extended periods of time. Other benefits are that they’re durable, lightweight, and can be cleaned easily.
Like memory foam, gel pillows mold to the shape of your body while you sit. If this is a quality you like in a pillow, see which material feels best to you.
Air inflatable seat cushions provide a soft and comfortable feel. They’re also incredibly lightweight and portable, which makes them ideal for long trips. While inflatable cushions may not be as comfy or as durable as other options, they can easily collapse and be stored in a small travel bag.
Inflatable seat cushions are often created with thick suede polyester and feature an interior foam lining, which is designed to be resistant to tears and punctures. This foam lining also adds extra support.
Some inflatable seat pillows provide assistance valves for easy inflation. Release the valve to adjust the support to the level you require. Some pillows may include a handy pump for a quick and straightforward fill.
We’ve covered the interior material options for seat cushions, now let’s cover the exterior materials.
Polyester is a popular material for layered support cushions as it provides a waterproof seal that stands up to regular wear and tears that many pillows face. The material resists spills too and can usually last a long time.
Nylon is another common material used for seat cushions. A nylon cover can be fitted over different types of seat cushions, such as gel pillows. A nylon cover helps to resist water while remaining durable.
As a nylon cover is so lightweight and breathable, it keeps a pillow cool all day while delivering fresh air and preventing sweat build-up.
Suede also covers many seat cushions. The material is strong and durable enough to withstand punctures or tears. Plus, we all know that suede feels incredible to touch, with its smooth and velvety texture.
As a bonus, suede provides grip to the underside of a cushion, so you don’t have to worry about sliding around while seated.
Size, Weight, and Portability
Of course, size, weight, and portability are factors to consider when choosing a seat cushion. If you’re using a seat cushion for traveling, features such as lightweight design, compact shape, and a handle can make transportation a lot easier.
Inflatable seat cushions usually collapse into a small size and can be tucked into a bag for easy access.
But if you’re looking for a seat cushion for long term use and don’t plan to travel with it, you can go for a more substantial and more robust option, like a gel seat cushion. The added weight is beneficial in keeping you firmly in place and prevents you from slipping around.
Before you decide to buy a seat cushion, be sure to measure the seat of the chair you’ll use it for. Measure the depth and width of your seat.
If you’re planning on using a back cushion with your seat cushion, remove the back cushion's thickness from the size of the seat cushion.
Are you working with an odd-shaped chair? Then you’ll need to consider its shape. You should measure a square or rectangular area within the unusual shape.
If you have a strange-shaped chair, you may alternatively require a custom-made seat cushion.
Seat cushions designed for back pain usually come in two forms. The first is a flat pillow, and the second is a contoured U-shaped cushion. As we’ve touched upon already, this U-shaped cushion is sometimes referred to as a coccyx seat cushion.
For back pain, consider a contoured cushion as opposed to a flat cushion. A flat cushion offers just a softer sitting surface, but a contoured cushion is designed to promote excellent posture and relieves the pressure in the tailbone area.
Are You Ready to Pick the Perfect Seat Cushion?
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing a seat cushion. Whether you require a pillow to improve your posture, working long hours in the office, or for any other reason, it’s essential to consider the most important features to you.
For a range of comfortable and supportive seat cushions, check out our collection here at Everlasting Comfort.