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Do you ever get low back pain after a long drive or a long day spent sitting at your desk?

If so, you’re in good company: A 2015 study found that the rate of chronic, impairing low back pain more than doubled between 1992 and 2006.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 60 to 70 percent of people in industrialized countries will experience low back pain in their lifetime.

Research has proven that sitting, especially poor sitting posture, is a big contributor to low back pain, whether you’re sitting in a car, at a desk, or in bed.

But since we must sit, we can at least make it more comfortable by using pillows made especially to support our low backs.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) found that more than 1 in 4 working adults experience low back pain.

As part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NIOSH maintains a detailed website of resources for reducing low back pain in the workplace.

One of the organization’s most comprehensive recommendations is applying the science of ergonomics.

NIOSH defines ergonomics as “the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population.”

In simpler terms, ergonomics uses our knowledge of the body to adjust and customize all types of working conditions, with the goal of preventing musculoskeletal disorders and reducing or preventing chronic pain.

The lumbar region is the lower part of your spine, also called the low back or lower back. Prolonged sitting often results in hunching, which fights the natural curvature of the lumbar spine. This can lead to pain and strain.

Placing pillows behind your lower back, under your knees, or in both areas can provide good lumbar support. It’ll help your spine maintain its natural curve and reduce pressure on your low back.

  • Popularity. We seek out products that aren’t only highly reviewed, but are used and loved by hundreds of customers.
  • Clinical research. This piece was conceived based on multiple studies that show the benefits of getting lumbar support from specialty pillows.
  • Company reputation and transparency. We only recommend products from trusted brands. This means they haven’t had any recent recalls and lawsuits.
  • Customer reviews. All products have an average customer rating of at least 4 stars.

Best for the car

Purple Back Cushion

  • Price: $$

Purple, the cult favorite mattress company, also makes a variety of ergonomic cushions and pillows.

Purple’s lumbar back cushion is made of the same trademarked grid as their mattresses, which are designed to conform to your low back and help provide posture support.

The material is designed to keep your back cool and reduce sweat. The cover is machine washable and includes a handle for easy carrying.

It comes with a 1-year warranty and a 4.3-star rating based on more than 16,000 customer reviews on Purple’s website.

The 1-star ratings account for just 5 percent of all reviews. They tend to complain about the cushion being too small or having a chemical smell.

Buy the Purple Back Cushion online.

Dreamer Car Lumbar Support

  • Price: $

With a 4.4 star rating on Amazon based on more than 1,600 reviews, this car lumbar pillow is a customer favorite.

Larger and longer than most lumbar pillows, this one is built to also help support your upper and middle back. The curved shape is designed to align to your spine, helping promote good posture and relieving muscle tension.

It comes with a removable and washable cotton cover, a memory foam core, and two adjustable straps to keep it firmly attached to your seat.

The manufacturer recommends moving your seat back 1 to 2 inches to accommodate the added thickness of the pillow.

This car pillow’s 1-year guarantee ensures a replacement or refund if you experience any defects.

Buy the Dreamer Car Lumbar Support online.

Best breathable lumbar support

Coop Home Goods Ventilated Orthopedic Lumbar Cushion

  • Price: $

This memory foam lumbar cushion is infused with charcoal to help reduce the odors lumbar support pillows can pick up after hours a day pressed against a sweaty back.

An attached strap allows you to easily attach and detach your pillow as you move from place to place in your home or office.

The firm, CertiPUR-US certified memory foam is designed to relieve pressure on your lower back and help your posture. This simple, effective cushion comes with a 100-night trial and 5-year warranty.

Buy Coop Home Goods Lumbar Cushion online.

Best for sitting, sleeping, or working in bed

Coop Home Goods Four Position Support Pillow

  • Price: $

This customizable memory foam pillow features a removable foam insert, so you can adjust the height to your preference.

The pillow is designed to support both your low back and hips. Place it behind your back for lumbar support, under your knees to relieve lumbar or hip pressure, between your knees for reduced back pain while lying on your side, or anywhere else your body needs a little support.

The cover is removable. Its compact size may make it a good choice for traveling. This pillow is CertiPUR-US certified and includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 5-year limited warranty.

Buy Coop Home Goods Four Position Support Pillow online.

Best luxury lumbar support

Velvet Floral Lumbar Pillow by Kevin O’Brien Studio

  • Price: $$$

This lumbar support pillow is more expensive than the rest on this list, but for good reason: It’s designed by painter Kevin O’Brien, so it can serve as support and decor, if that’s something you’re looking for.

This velvet pillow is available in nine colors and patterns, all of which are infused with metallic threads. It’s down-filled and designed to help support your low back and promote good posture.

The pillow is made in the United States under fair trade and labor certifications. It’s sold by Perigold, a division of Wayfair.

Buy a Kevin O’Brien Studio lumbar pillow online.

Best lumbar support for laughs

Bread-shaped plush pillow

  • Price: $

This pillow isn’t specifically designed for lumbar support, but it will easily support your low back if you let it!

At more than 2.5 feet long, its strength is its versatility: You can use it as lumbar support when your low back hurts or hug it while lying on your side to support your shoulders.

Shaped like a loaf of bread, this pillow is unconventional — and delightful to those of us who get a kick out of pillows shaped like, well, like non-pillows.

About 600 Amazon customers rate it 4.4 stars. The few dissenters claim it is not fluffy enough. Luckily, this pillowy bread features a convenient zipper: If you need more fluff, simply add more.

Buy a bread-shaped plush pillow online.

While back pain is very annoying and very common, there are ways to protect your low back.

Whether you end up supporting your lumbar spine with a high-end designer pillow, a giant piece of fake bread, or something in between, remember to take the time to move, stretch, and strengthen your back and body to the extent you’re able.


Ash Fisher is a writer and comedian living with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. When she’s not having a wobbly-baby-deer day, she’s hiking with her corgi, Vincent. She lives in Oakland, California. Learn more about her on herwebsite.