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- Best for the office: Cushion Lab Pressure Relief Seat Cushion
- Best for lower back pain: BackJoy SitSmart Posture Plus
- Best seat cushion for biking: Bikeroo Padded Gel Bike Seat Cushion
- Best for long drives: Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion
- Best for travel: Teton Sports Comfortlite Cushion
- Best for tailbone relief: AnboCare Orthopedic Donut Seat Cushion
- Best for hip pain: Milliard Memory Foam Seat Cushion
- Best for kids: Baibu Kids’ Chair Pad
- Best for posture and core strength: Gaiam Balance Disk Wobble Cushion
My chronic lower back and tailbone pain is exacerbated by long days sitting at the computer. For years, I have been on a quest for the perfect seat cushion to relieve this pain.
I currently own five cushions from five different companies. One lives in my office chair, one in my car, one in the backyard loveseat, and two rotate around as needed.
Lower back pain is one of the
Today, I’ll explore six different seat cushions to help you choose the best option for you.
So, I am something of a self-appointed expert when it comes to pain-relieving seat cushions. Here’s how I rounded up the products on this list:
- Features: I included multiple sizes, a variety of firmness and support levels, different materials, and various price points.
- Clinical research and expert insights: I looked at peer-reviewed studies and research for scientific and medical recommendations. For example, one
2018 studycompared foam and gel seat cushions in 80 people who drive for work. While both types of cushions improved lower back pain, the gel seats were found to be significantly more effective.
- Personal experience: Since I’ve tried multiple seat cushions, I included a few of my tried-and-true favorites.
- Company reputation and transparency: We vetted each company and product, and made sure there were no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warnings, class action lawsuits against the company, or recalls, among other criteria.
- Customer reviews. I narrowed my search to products with at least 4-star ratings and used Fakespot to weed out phony reviews.
- $ = under $30
- $$ = $30–$60
- $$$ = over $60
Best for the office
Cushion Lab Pressure Relief Seat Cushion
- Price: $$$
- Material: charcoal memory foam
- Dimensions: 18 inches x 15.5 inches x 4 inches
- Pros: several color options; memory foam infused with odor-reducing charcoal; machine washable cover
- Cons: more expensive than comparable products
I recently bought this product, and it quickly became my go-to seat cushion. In fact, I am sitting on it as I type this!
It uses a special hyperfoam, a soft rebounding memory foam that conforms around the legs and hips, which makes this cushion standout compared with similar designs. I also really like how the back curves up to cradle and support the tailbone.
Even after sitting on this for hours, I’m left with significantly less tailbone and lower back pain than I get when sitting without the extra cushion.
The hyperfoam is infused with odor-reducing charcoal, and the cover is machine washable and available in 11 colors.
It’s pricier than similar products, and the site is often sold out of popular colors.
Best for lower back pain
BackJoy SitSmart Posture Plus
- Price: $$
- Material: EVA foam; plastic
- Dimensions: 5.63 in. x 5.08 in. x 1.54 in.
- Pros: waterproof and washable; promotes good posture
- Cons: very firm
Unlike most gel- or memory foam-based cushions, the BackJoy SitSmart Posture Plus is made out of ethylene-vinyl acetate, or EVA, a rubber-like material. This firmer substance and the shape of this cushion tilt your hips upright, which can relieve pressure and strain from your lower back.
EVA is also waterproof and easily washable, making this a solid choice for camping or other outdoor activities.
The elevated back is designed to lift your pelvis slightly above the seat, which aims to protect your tailbone and promote proper posture. With over 1,300 Amazon reviews, the Posture Plus has an average rating of 4 stars. The reviewers particularly like that it’s lightweight, durable, and provides back pain relief.
The Posture Plus seat cushion is available in four colors. BackJoy also makes a slightly more molded model that they call the SitSmart Posture Core, which costs $10 more than the Posture Plus.
This is the firmest option on the list, so I don’t recommend it for recent tailbone or hip injuries. Even if you’re not recently injured, the Posture Plus is simply too firm for some people.
Best seat cushion for biking
Bikeroo Padded Gel Bike Seat Cushion
- Price: $
- Material: gel cushion padding
- Dimensions: 11 in. x 10 in. x 1 in.
- Pros: can be used with indoor and outdoor bikes (including Peloton); comes with heat-resistant carrying case
- Cons: not very comfortable
Made to work with both indoor and outdoor bikes, this gel seat cover is wide and designed to relieve pressure on your tailbone and spine. The anti-slip bottom surface, along with adjustable straps and drawstrings, should keep the cushion securely on your seat.
It also comes with a heat-resistant carrying case and has a 4.3-star Amazon rating based on nearly 10,000 reviews. Several reviewers note this is a good option for Peloton bikes.
The recurring theme in the 5% of reviews that are 1 star is that it’s not that comfortable and doesn’t provide pressure or pain relief. Over 80% of reviewers rate it at least 4 stars, so your experience may vary.
Best for long drives
Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion
- Price: $$$
- Material: proprietary hyper-elastic polymer
- Dimensions: 21.75 in. x 18 in. x 2.5 in.
- Pros: hypoallergenic; non-toxic; works for multiple activities (such as gaming or driving a delivery truck); easy to clean
- Cons: expensive; heavy
Purple, the company known for its mattresses, also makes seat cushions. Like their mattresses, the cushions are made with their Purple Grid material, a hyper-elastic polymer that is designed to be breathable, pressure-relieving, and durable.
Designed for 8-plus hours of sitting, the Ultimate Seat Cushion is Purple’s deepest, widest option. It’s popular among truckers, delivery drivers, gamers, and people in larger bodies that may need extra support. The contoured groove is meant to promote good posture and proper spinal alignment.
The company says you can try it risk-free for 30 days, offers free shipping and returns, and has a 1-year warranty.
At 7.3 pounds, this cushion is not the most portable. It’s also the priciest option on this list. If you’re not a career driver or a hardcore gamer, there are many other more affordable cushion options.
Best for travel
Teton Sports Comfortlite Cushion
- Price: $
- Material: ComforTech microfiber
- Dimensions: 17 in. x 12 in. x 1.5 in.
- Pros: very portable
- Cons: not ideal for everyday use
This is another cushion that I have in my arsenal. It’s a worthwhile option for budget-friendly, suitcase-friendly pressure relief on the go. When not inflated, it’s small enough to fit easily in a purse or carry-on bag. I mostly use this on planes and when sitting on hard benches at restaurants, bars, or parks.
It inflates easily with a few breaths and weighs less than 8 ounces. It has a 4.5-star rating with over 1,250 Amazon reviews, based on its portability, affordability, and convenience.
It’s a simple cushion that is best for traveling, but it’s not a good option for the office or car. If you want a cushion for everyday use, this is not the choice for you.
Best for tailbone relief
AnboCare Orthopedic Donut Seat Cushion
- Price: $$
- Material: memory foam and gel
- Dimensions: 16.3 in. x 13.2 in. x 3 in.
- Pros: versatile; machine washable
- Cons: very firm (works best for people with medical needs)
Donut-shaped pillows have been a standard recommendation for tailbone injuries for decades. In the past, they were often inflatable, and those options are still around.
The AnboCare cushion is sturdy, as it’s made of memory foam with a gel layer on top. This donut can be used in office chairs, cars, wheelchairs, planes, sofas, and more. With nearly 2,000 Amazon reviewers, it has an average rating of 4.4 stars. Reviewers rave about its ability to relieve pain from spinal injuries, postpartum soreness, and tailbone, or coccyx, injuries.
The removable cover is machine washable and features a carrying handle.
Since it’s designed for injuries, it’s necessarily firm. This probably isn’t the pillow for you if you don’t have a tailbone injury, hemorrhoids, or another medical need.
Best for hip pain
Milliard Memory Foam Seat Cushion
- Price: $
- Material: memory foam
- Dimensions: 18 in. x 16 in. x 3 in.
- Pros: conforms to your body; breathable; cover is machine washable
- Cons: does not grip or attach to your seat
If you deal with chronic hip pain, the Milliard Memory Foam Seat Cushion may help relieve this everyday pain. Designed to provide therapeutic comfort while sitting, the cushion aims to work well for long periods of time and also help your posture stay correct.
The cushion is made of memory foam that conforms to your body for extra support and comfort. The cushion is also ventilated to promote airflow and regulate temperature. The mesh cover can be unzipped, removed, and cleaned in your washing machine.
Reviewers say they have trouble getting the cushion to stay on their seat without sliding around.
Best for kids
Baibu Kids’ Chair Pad
- Price: $
- Material: mesh fabric and sponge
- Dimensions: 12 in. x 12 in. x 1.2 in.
- Pros: breathable; absorbs sweat; easy to clean; straps in place with Velcro
- Cons: smaller than expected; straps don’t work well
Adults aren’t the only ones who could benefit from extra support — your kids can, too.
The Baibu Kids’ Chair Pad works for most size seats and is designed to keep your kiddo comfortable. The cushion is made of mesh fabric and sponge to provide ample support.
This Baibu product is meant to be breathable and quickly absorb sweat. It should also be easy to clean using a damp cloth, your vacuum, or your washing machine.
The cushion has Velcro straps that go around the back of the chair to keep the pad in place. However, reviewers say the straps don’t work well, and that the cushion itself was smaller than expected.
Best for posture and core strength
Gaiam Balance Disk Wobble Cushion
- Price: $
- Material: not specified
- Dimensions: 16 in. x 16 in. x 2 in.
- Pros: designed to improve core strength, posture, and balance; works with most chairs; comes with an inflation needle
- Cons: smells bad; not ideal for long stints of work
Looking for a seat cushion that takes things to the next level? This wobble disk may be worth checking out.
The Gaiam cushion is a little different than a traditional seat cushion — it acts as a stability ball, forcing your muscles to contract to keep you upright. As a result, it’s possible you may improve your core strength, posture, and balance.
While the cushion is made for office desk chairs, it should work with any type of chair. It’s also a good fit for active children, who can expend their excess energy while sitting still.
The inflatable cushion arrives partially inflated. It does not come with a pump, but it does come with an inflation needle so you can adjust to your preferred level of fullness.
|Cushion Lab Pressure Relief Seat Cushion||$$$||office||hyperfoam||18 in. x 15.5 in. x 4 in.|
|BackJoy SitSmart Posture Plus||$$||lower back pain||EVA (rubber-like material)||5.63 in. x 5.08 in. x 1.54 in.|
|Bikeroo Padded Gel Bike Seat Cushion||$$||biking||gel||11 in. x 10 in. x 1 in.|
|Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion||$$$||driving||purple grid material||21.75 in. x 18 in. x 2.5 in.|
|Teton Sports Comfortlite Cushion||$||travel||ComforTech microfiber||17 in. x 12 in. x 1.5 in.|
|AnboCare Orthopedic Donut Seat Cushion||$$||tailbone relief||memory foam with gel layer||16.3 in. x 13.2 in. x 3 in.|
|Milliard Memory Foam Seat Cushion||$||hip pain||memory foam||18 in. x 16 in. x 3 in.|
|Baibu Kids’ Chair Pad||$||kids||mesh fabric and sponge||12 in. x 12 in. x 1.2 in.|
|Gaiam Balance Disk Wobble Cushion||$||posture and core strength||not specified||16 in. x 16 in. x 2 in.|
Before you purchase a seat cushion, it’s important to think about why you want a cushion and what qualities you’re looking for so you can choose the best product for you.
If you experience pain in places like your hips, back, or tailbone, a seat cushion might be helpful. You might also want a seat cushion if you sit for long hours and your seat is not comfortable, or if you simply want to improve your posture.
Knowing what you’re looking for can guide your search as you look for the best cushion for you. Seat cushions come in varying levels of firmness. While you need some degree of firmness to help with support, a cushion that’s too firm can be painful to sit on. Consider purchasing a cushion made of a material that conforms to your body, such as memory foam or gel.
Cushions are just one tool in your toolkit for chronic back pain. If you need more relief than a seat cushion provides, try these tips:
- Take regular breaks from sitting: Don’t sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. We know that this advice isn’t always practical, but changing up your activity and position as often as you can is helpful. Set timers to remind yourself to move, stretch, or walk around.
- Change your chair: The fanciest seat cushion in the world won’t make up for an unsupportive chair. If your chair is old, damaged, poorly made, or just not comfortable for you, consider upgrading to a more supportive option.
- Work on your posture: Proper posture through improved core strength may relieve lower back pain, reduce headache frequency, and ease tension in your shoulders and neck. To improve your posture, consider a posture corrector, see a physical therapist, and work on strengthening your back and shoulder muscles with exercise.
A seat cushion is one way to help relieve pain in areas such as your back, hips, or tailbone. But it’s not the only method — and there may come a time when you need to see a medical professional for treatment.
As a general rule of thumb, you should see a doctor if your back pain has lasted for over 2 weeks and interferes with your daily life. Your primary care doctor can make referrals to any other specialists you might need to see, such as a physical therapist.
If you’re experiencing hip pain that affects your daily activities and you have lost range of motion in your hip, you should see a doctor for this, too.
Who should use a seat cushion?
Seat cushions are a good fit for anyone who is uncomfortable in their seat for long periods of time, anyone who experiences chronic back, hip, or tailbone pain, or anyone who wants to improve their posture.
Do doctors recommend using a seat cushion to help with pain?
Yes. While seat cushions are not the only treatment available for back or hip pain, many doctors do encourage patients to try a memory foam seat cushion and see if it helps with their symptoms.
How often should you replace your seat cushion?
You’ll likely need to replace your seat cushion every 3-5 years. However, cushions vary in materials and durability.
If you spend a lot of time sitting down, your body deserves a seat cushion to relieve that pressure. Go for the option best suited to your body’s needs, whether that’s pressure relief, posture support, or portability.
Whatever you choose, I hope it helps you sit straighter — and most importantly, feel better.
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. Learn more about her on her website.