The Best Seat Cushions for Comfort and Support

Using a seat cushion makes sitting for hours in an office or kitchen chair more comfortable. It’s gentler on your back, and it can even boost your mood.

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Best Seat Cushion Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

Slouching issues, a bad back, and trouble sitting for long periods can be caused by the chair you use (unless it’s an ergonomic chair). Most chairs are too deep or too soft and can manipulate your posture in harmful or uncomfortable ways the longer you sit. You don’t need to replace your chairs, though; a seat cushion can rectify this problem.

The best seat cushion addresses the different seating needs of each individual. It may provide better alignment for your spine, relieve pressure, help circulation, and more. If you work in an office, spend long hours in the car, are an avid gamer, or have existing back issues, an individualized seat cushion can help you sit comfortably for a long time.

  1. BEST OVERALL: FORTEM Seat Cushion & Lumbar Support
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion
  3. BEST ORTHOPEDIC 2-PIECE: Qutool Coccyx Orthopedic Seat Cushion
  4. BEST MEMORY FOAM: Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion
  5. BEST HEATED: COMFIER Heated Seat Cushion
  6. BEST FOR LOWER BACK PAIN: Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Seat Cushion
  7. BEST FOR LEG CIRCULATION: VISHNYA Seat Cushion
  8. BEST FOR OVERWEIGHT USERS: Stuffed Gel Seat Cushion
Best Seat Cushion Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Seat Cushion

When selecting the best seat cushion, you need to match your personal sitting needs with beneficial cushion properties. The right seat cushion influences your posture, encouraging you to sit in a way that benefits your back. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a seat cushion.

Material

Seat cushion materials play a significant part in cushion performance and how weight gets distributed. Two major types of seat cushion materials include foam and gel filler.

  • Foam filler is formed by trapping pockets of gas to create various densities, firmness, and weights for seat cushions. Ranging from soft to rigid, foam makes a good cushion because it absorbs loads well and it’s affordable. Memory foam has greater viscosity and density, which causes it to slowly return to its original shape once it’s not bearing any weight.
  • Gel cushions are made of a jelly-like material that can be hard or soft depending on your needs. Gel is mostly a liquid, but it acts like a solid—if it’s cut, the gel will keep its shape, which is a useful quality for cushions that require modifications. Gel is easy to clean, has some weight to it, and holds heat.

Size and Weight

Some of these cushions are designed for large office chairs, while others fit in small airplane seats; check size dimensions before you buy to be sure the cushion will fit your chair. The typical size of a seat cushion is about 17 inches by 14 inches, but this doesn’t take into account seat cushions that have lumbar support, an attachment or separate piece that can make the cushion longer.

Seat cushions aren’t particularly heavy, usually weighing only a couple of pounds, and they may easily port from your home to the car and the office. Some foams and gels make the cushion heavier, but the extra weight isn’t due to firmness: it’s the material’s mass. For example, rigid foam can be light, and soft foam can be heavy depending on how the foam cells are structured.

Shape

A basic rectangle isn’t enough to give your back the full benefit of the best seat cushion. Look for a cushion that forces your pelvis to tilt forward. A seat that supports your hip bones reduces slouching as it prevents the spine from bending in a C shape. At the very minimum, a simple, dense, wedge-shaped foam cushion rotates the pelvis, but a U-shaped cushion offers more benefit. U-shaped cushions have a cutout at the back for posterior pelvic tissues. This shape increases comfort for healthy individuals and those with existing lower back pain.

Contour

Many seat cushions aren’t flat; instead, they have curves sculpted into the area where the user sits. These curved sections are the contours that impact how pressure is distributed in the seat and play a role in how comfortable the cushion is for the user. When a cushion is contoured to properly fit the shape of a user’s bottom, it results in less tissue distortion and lower pressure because weight is more evenly distributed. The right foam or gel helps the contours hug the user’s body properly to reduce the pressure they would feel when seated on a chair without additional cushion support.

Thickness

The typical thickness for a seat cushion is 2 to 3 inches. If a cushion is too soft or thin, it may compress too much and take away from any benefit the cushion is supposed to offer. The user’s body type will also play a role when choosing the cushion thickness. Thin people with less natural padding need to make sure their hip bones are cushioned to reap the full benefit of the seat cushion’s design.

A thicker cushion can also affect the ergonomic setup of your work space. Adding a few inches of cushion changes how your feet hit the floor and how your arms settle on the armrest. It also changes the height of your chair, which impacts how much room you have for your knees under the desk.

Cover

The seat cushion cover is responsible for your comfort and keeping the gel or foam filler clean. Look for a seat cushion that comes with a cover instead of one that doesn’t, as it’s harder to clean an entire cushion. The best seat cushions have a cover that’s easily removed and able to go in the washing machine. Waterproof mesh fabric has breathable qualities that don’t trap odors and encourage ventilation. Other types of fabric, such as velour, are soft and comfortable and also able to go in the washing machine. If you have sensitivities, look for a hypoallergenic cushion cover. Seat cushions are generally built for function rather than style, so their covers are simple with limited aesthetic decoration.

Back Support

Lumbar support pillows (the ones with a U-shape) are more effective than using a chair for promoting neutral spinal posture and improving comfort in users. The best seat cushion helps relieve both back pain and neck pain. You want a back cushion that promotes good posture, which is a big part of back and spine support. Good posture helps revitalize the muscles that support your back by keeping your spine straight. To get the most out of your posture, make sure when you’re sitting that your knees are below the hip socket and not at a 90-degree angle. Firmer back support cushions make it easier to keep your pelvis from rotating in a way that bends the spine in a C shape.

Stability

The best seat cushion stays in place and doesn’t slide around, especially on varnished kitchen chairs. Look for a cushion that has a nonslip base, which is generally made of rubber. Some cushions have straps or ties, enabling you to secure the seat cushion directly to the chair. Seat cushions that come in two pieces (or one large piece) and provide back support should have at least two straps to keep your cushion secure. While these ties keep the cushion in your preferred position, it’s simpler to leave the cushion strapped to the chair rather than transporting it from one location to another. You may want to purchase a more portable cushion—or a second one—if moving it is important to you.

Our Top Picks

The following list includes some of the best seat cushions in each category based on the considerations outlined above. As there are many qualities to consider in choosing the right seat cushion for you, these picks align with the most useful features.

Best Overall

Best Seat Cushion Options: Fortem Seat Cushion & Lumbar Support for Office Chair
Photo: amazon.com

FORTEM’s Seat Cushion & Lumbar Support system comes in two pieces so users can get the support, pain relief, and comfort they need no matter how tall they are. Made with 100 percent premium quality memory foam in an ergonomic U-shape design, the cushion measures 17.5 inches by 13.5 inches by 3 inches. Intended for the back’s natural curve, the lumbar support piece has adjustable elastic straps that fit most chairs. The seat helps correct slouching and promotes a healthy posture while staying secured with its nonslip bottom. The cushion is available with a black or gray ventilated and washable mesh cover, so it’s easy to keep clean. Lightweight at 1.5 pounds, this cushion is portable for travel and comes with a carrying handle.

Best Bang For the Buck

Best Seat Cushion Options: ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion
Photo: amazon.com

The ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion is made of 100 percent high-density memory foam topped with a cooling gel layer for coolness and comfort. The U-shaped contour design hugs your body and provides maximum support and a solution for back pain. Measuring 17.6 inches by 13.8 inches by 2.75 inches, this average-size cushion offers better spinal alignment and a soft seat for your backside. It encourages proper posture, which can boost energy and lower muscle stress. Weighing about 1.5 pounds, this cushion is easy to carry with a built-in handle. Keep it clean by putting the zippered velour cover in the wash. With heat-responsive technology, the cushion conforms to your body to create optimal support and comfort unique to you.

Best Orthopedic 2-Piece

Best Seat Cushion Options: Coccyx Orthopedic Seat Cushion
Photo: amazon.com

Qutool’s Coccyx Orthopedic Seat Cushion is a 100 percent memory foam-filled cushion with no additives. The foam is thick for comfort and won’t collect odors or discolor over time. The design  enhances user comfort, improves bad posture, and relieves leg pain while maintaining its density. This seat cushion was invented to relieve symptoms that come from body weight pressing down on the lower tailbone area. At an affordable price point, this cushion is worth considering if you need to remain seated for a few hours straight. The lumbar support has two adjustable straps that can fit around larger seats, and the bottom cushion stays put with a nonslip coating. To clean, simply put the zippered velvet cover in the wash.

Best Memory Foam

Best Seat Cushion Options: Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion for Office Chair
Photo: amazon.com

The Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion is made from the same material as that used by the world’s leading memory foam manufacturers to give you a quality product with no additives. The foam responds to your body heat to mold comfortably around the shape of your bottom and create custom comfort unique to you. With a nonslip bottom, it can be used on many surfaces. And the familiar U-shape design supports your tailbone, back, hips, knees, and posture, helping with pain relief.

In addition to the standard black, the cushion is available in four colors, so you can choose one that matches your decor. Weighing just under two pounds and measuring 17.5 inches by 13.5 inches by 2.75 inches, this cushion is average size. It doesn’t come with a carrying handle, but you can still tote it around by attaching a strap or tucking it under your arm.

Best Heated

Best Seat Cushion Options: COMFIER Heated Seat Cushion
Photo: amazon.com

A heated seat that can be used in the home, the car, or the office, this COMFIER cushion warms up in about one minute. Three heating pads are located in the lumbar area and seating area to send warmth to your back, hips, and thighs. The controller provides two heating levels at 114 degrees F and 131 degrees F. There are separate buttons for your back and seat so you can heat one, the other, or both areas. Safety features include an overheat protection thermostat that keeps temperature constant and an auto-shutoff function you can set for 15, 30, or 60 minutes.

A nonslip rubber bottom and elastic straps secure the seat cushion to the chair, and the universal fit works for most office chairs. The seat cover is made of soft velour, and the seat uses high-density foam padding. It’s not designed to improve posture, but the heat may help relieve minor back pain.

Best For Lower Back Pain

Best Seat Cushion Options: Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Seat Cushion
Photo: amazon.com

A larger cushion measuring 30 inches by 18 inches by 14.5 inches may appeal to gamers and other people else requiring a seat for an extended period. The Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Seat Cushion is gel-infused, ventilated memory foam. Ventilation holes enhance your comfort and help the cushion’s thick foam padding compress and adjust while it’s in use.

This two-piece system molds closely around your body to offer you additional lumbar support that helps you sit properly and minimizes back pain by conforming to your specific body and density type. A U-shaped ergonomic design supports the legs, hips, and bottom to reduce fatigue and discomfort. The back cushion supports the neck, spine, and lower back and helps with posture. The breathable and machine-washable mesh cover is hypoallergenic, meant to maximize airflow and resist allergens. A nonslip bottom and dual adjustable straps for the backrest keep the cushion stable and secure.

Best For Leg Circulation

Best Seat Cushion Options: VISHNYA Seat Cushion 100% Pure Memory Foam Chair Cushion
Photo: amazon.com

VISHNYA’s Seat Cushion offers a soft seat with stable support, including an anti-skid particle design on the bottom of the cushion. Made of high-quality memory foam with built-in massage particles, this cushion is formulated to sink slowly when you sit to absorb the impact force. Designed with a hollow middle and a contour curve to fit each individual’s hip shape, this cushion focuses on helping relax the leg muscles, improve blood flow, support the spine, relieve back pain, and promote good posture. The front edge of this cushion mirrors the shape of the thigh, and the rear edge cushions the curve of the tailbone. It comes with a breathable, washable quilt cover and a contour sleep eye mask for power naps or meditation in your office chair.

Best For Overweight Users

Best Seat Cushion Options: Gel Seat Cushion for Long Sitting
Photo: amazon.com

Stuffed’s Gel Seat Cushion gives the positive qualities of both gel and memory foam cushions. With two layers of ergonomic orthopedic memory foam for contouring and support and one thick layer of therapeutic comfort gel, this triple-layer design can support up to 350 pounds. This design offers pain relief for the lower back, legs, and hips, and the gel layer eliminates uncomfortable pressure points. Coming in at three pounds, this cushion has multiple layers that make it heavier than some other options. A rubber bottom keeps the cushion in place, and a built-in handle gives you the option of easy portability. A breathable fabric cushion cover can be conveniently washed and dried in your washing machine. At 17.5 inches by 13.5 inches by 3.5 inches, it’s thicker than many cushions and built to fit most chairs.

FAQs About Seat Cushions

The best seat cushion for you has the properties you need for suitable comfort and support. With so many types of seat cushions to choose from, narrowing down your search may prompt additional questions to make sure you choose correctly. Here are some answers to common questions about seat cushions.

Q. Is memory foam good for seat cushions?

Memory foam is one of the more popular choices for seat cushions because of its elastic properties that form a cushion around individuals when they’re sitting and a return to its original form once they stand.

Q. Do seat cushions help back pain?

Many seat cushions are contoured specifically to address and relieve back pain, such as the Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Seat Cushion.

Q. What is the best back support cushion?

A seat cushion that comes with lumbar support is good for your back. The best back support cushion we found is the Qutool Coccyx Orthopedic Seat Cushion.

Q. How long do seat cushions last?

The life span for seat cushions depends on how often they’re used. Foam filler eventually gets thinner and gel can start to leak, so they should be replaced every few years.