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The best ergonomic seat cushion

Cushions that are wedge shaped or cut out are usually prescribed by doctors or physical therapists to address specific disorders of the tailbone, spine or hips.
Cushions that are wedge shaped or cut out are usually prescribed by doctors or physical therapists to address specific disorders of the tailbone, spine or hips. (BestReviews)

If you're working from home on a temporary basis, chances are you aren't sitting in a proper office chair. Regular chairs aren't intended for prolonged periods of sitting and can put excess pressure on your lower back and tailbone. An ergonomic seat cushion can ease this pressure by redistributing your weight more evenly. Since it is compact and portable, you can move an ergonomic cushion from chair to chair as you tackle different tasks, and it can even be used on your car seat. Different cushions address certain needs over others, but if you want an ergonomic seat cushion that offers support for both the lumbar spine and your tailbone, Everlasting Comfort's Gel-Infused Seat and Back Cushion is an ideal choice.

What to know before you buy an ergonomic seat cushion

An ergonomic seat cushion won't cure back pain

It is important to consult your doctor if you have chronic or acute back pain. An ergonomic cushion is not a medical cure-all capable of eradicating back pain or correcting poor posture. It should, however, provide support and temporarily relieve pain while you are sitting.

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Some cushions address specific sources of discomfort 

You may want to consider how you want the cushion to function to help narrow your choices. If you are simply padding a hard wooden chair, a flat pillow will suffice. If you have existing pain in your back or hips or suffer from sciatica or hemorrhoids, for example, a shaped or cut out pillow will provide superior comfort and relief. For more information on which product may work best for you, take a look at the ergonomic seat cushion buying guide from BestReviews.

You may need to adjust your seat height

An ergonomic cushion can add several inches of height to your chair seat. If you are purchasing one for your desk chair, once you have the cushion in place, it's helpful to reassess your chair height and adjust as necessary. This will ensure that your hip and elbow joints are at the recommended 90 degree angle as recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

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Ergonomic seat cushion features

When you are researching which ergonomic seat cushion is best for you there are a few features to consider.

Cushion shape

For the majority of people, a rectangular cushion of uniform height is the best choice. Cushions that are wedge shaped or cut out are usually prescribed by doctors or physical therapists to address specific disorders of the coccyx, spine or hips. These corrective cushions tend to be more restrictive and because they lock you into a specific position, can feel unnatural over time.

Cushion size

Although one of the benefits of ergonomic cushions is their portability, it is really important to choose a cushion that fits properly on the seat you will be using the most. Measure the length and width of that specific chair and use those measurements to select a suitable cushion size. You want the cushion to sit flat and not hang over the edge of the chair or be too narrow to sit on comfortably.

Materials

There are two factors to consider here: cover material and insert material. Many cushions have removable covers that can be washed which helps to keep your cushion looking and smelling fresh. A washable insert is an added bonus, but most inserts cannot be washed.

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For the insert, you want your cushion to be made from materials that feel comfortable and supportive and also wick away heat. Some cushions are filled with memory foam, which regains its shape quickly and doesn't go flat over time. Others contain gel, which absorbs and disperses body heat. Some of the most comfortable cushions feature a combination of the two — gel-infused memory foam.

Heat absorption

If you’re sitting for a long period of time, seat cushions tend to absorb body heat. Certain materials, such as cooling gel, are better than others at mitigating this effect and keeping you feeling comfortable.

Ergonomic seat cushions cost

There isn’t a big price range for ergonomic seat cushions. You will pay $25-$50 for most cushions.

Ergonomic seat cushion FAQ

Q. Is an ergonomic chair cushion affected by body weight? 

A. Most ergonomic seat cushions are designed to work for everyone, regardless of their weight. If you are on the heavier side, you may want to consider a gel-infused memory foam cushion, which will soften when you sit and mold to your shape and then revert to its original form when not in use.

Q. How long do ergonomic cushions last?

A. Almost exclusively, it is the quality of the materials used that will determine your cushion’s  longevity. Cushions made from premium gel memory foam will last for years. Proper care and adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions will also prolong your cushion’s lifespan.

Which ergonomic seat cushion should I get?

Best of the best ergonomic seat cushion

Everlasting Comfort Gel-Infused Seat and Back Cushion: available at Amazon 

Our take: This two-pillow set offers comprehensive comfort for both your lumbar region and your tailbone.

What we like: The gel and memory foam construction offers maximum comfort and support, while traction keeps the cushion firmly in place. An aerated design works in tandem with the gel insert to keep the cushion cool.  It comes with a lifetime warranty.

What we dislike: A few users found the consistency to be too firm and nontherapeutic.

Best bang for your buck ergonomic seat cushion

Feager Memory Foam Seat Cushion: available at Amazon 

Our take: This breathably soft cushion is self-molding and purports to address a number of medical issues. 

What we like: The cut out structure offers targeted relief to users who suffer from conditions such as sciatica, hemorrhoids and coccyx pain.

What we dislike: Some users found it too soft and uncomfortable to use for long periods of time.

Honorable mention ergonomic seat cushion

Orthopedic Seat Cushion Coccyx Memory Foam Gel Pillow: available at Amazon and Bed, Bath and Beyond

Our take: Simple, structured cushion satisfies most users.

What we like: Features a contoured, corrective shape and a nonslip base to keep it firmly on your chair. The gel and memory foam insert is both supportive and cooling.

What we dislike: This pillow was too firm and restrictive for some users.

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Bryony Kockler is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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