The 8 Best Lumbar Support Pillows of 2021

Alleviate pain with these top picks

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Our Top Picks
Designed to mold to the unique curvature of your back with its memory foam.
Made with memory foam and covered in washable mesh fabric, this has just as many quality features as other, more expensive brands.
The cushion is reversible in the vertical position, so you can flip it around so the thicker end is at the top of your chair.
Designed by a physical therapist for optimal back pain relief and was made with a proprietary type of memory foam.
With a wide, flat surface and a built-in center arch, it can maintain the correct alignment of your spine while you sleep.
It’s a no-frills choice that makes it easier to come home, drop into your favorite recliner, and put your feet up.
Help maintain the proper curve of your lower spine with its soft-to-medium firm memory foam.
Designed to be placed in the car, with a shape mimicking the seat back of most average driver’s seats.

Back pain isn’t just for the elderly or arthritic anymore: between working from home and hunching over screens every day, maintaining a healthy spine can be particularly challenging lately. 

Thankfully, lumbar support pillows are here to help. These portable, ergonomic devices may look unimpressive, but they might just save us all from a lifetime of discomfort, misaligned spines, and poor posture

“Lumbar support pillows can be used by anyone, even if they do not experience back pain,” says John Gallucci, Jr., DPT, CEO of JAG-ONE Physical Therapy. “In fact, using a lumbar support pillow is a great way to prevent future back pain.” 

Wherever you spend most of your time—whether it’s in the car, on the couch, or at work—there’s a lumbar support pillow for you.

Here are the best lumbar support pillows on the market today.

Best Overall: Everlasting Comfort Lumbar Support Pillow

Everlasting Comfort Lumbar Support Pillow
Pros
  • Breathable and washable mesh cover

  • Two adjustable straps

  • Lifetime replacement policy

Cons
  • Limited colors

  • Might be too large for shorter or petite users

It looks simple and unassuming, but the multipurpose lumbar support pillow from Everlasting Comfort is more than capable of getting the job done. And by “job,” we mean providing long-lasting relief and preventing future back pain.

“Lumbar support pillows relieve strain and pressure on the spine by supporting [its] natural curvature,” says Dr. Gallucci. “Giving your muscles the opportunity to rest in a neutral position while sitting or lying down assists in strengthening the spine and...maintaining proper posture.”

So don’t let the plain appearance of this pillow fool you: it’s a workhorse, designed to mold to the unique curvature of your back with its memory foam, keep you cool with its breathable mesh cover, and stay fixed in place with two adjustable straps. It seems to fit most average-sized users, comes in a couple of different colors, and doesn’t break the bank—all of which combine to make it a reliable pick for pretty much anytime, anywhere. 

Material: Memory Foam | Firmness Level: Medium

Best Budget: Samsonite Ergonomic Lumbar Support Pillow

SAMSONITE Ergonomic Lumbar Support Pillow
Pros
  • Easily portable

  • Works for office chairs and cars

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Only one style

  • Not firm enough for some users

Samsonite might be best known for their luggage, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t know what they were doing when they made this portable and durable lumbar support pillow. It’s also one of the more affordable options around, so it gets our pick for best budget option. Made with memory foam and covered in washable mesh fabric, this pillow has just as many quality features as other, more expensive brands: its contoured shape molds to your spine, relieving the pressure and tension on your lower back when you’re spending long periods of time sitting. 

It’s also lightweight and able to be removed and installed elsewhere with a single strap; meanwhile, its inexpensive cost makes it easy to stock up on these to keep in multiple locations such as your living room, office, or car.

Material: Memory Foam | Firmness Level: Soft to medium

Best for Office Chair: Qutool Lumbar Support Pillow for Office Chair

Lumbar Support Pillow for Office Chair
Pros
  • High back for office or gaming chairs

  • Adjustable and extension straps

  • Reversible for flexible support

Cons
  • May be too high for some chairs or seats

  • May be too firm

You might not have thought much about the ergonomics of your home office before, but if you're using a kitchen chair as your new desk chair, you might be in need of more support. To correct this problem, you could spend a small fortune on a fancy office chair—or you could invest in a lumbar support pillow to keep your posture in check.

“A lumbar support pillow can be beneficial for anyone who sits for a long period of time, which is especially relevant for the increase in people who currently work from home,” says Dr. Kristen Gasnick, a board-certified doctor of physical therapy.

For office chairs at home or at work, we like the Qutool Lumbar Support Pillow because of its size and shape. It’s taller than the average pillow, covering the height of the back of most office chairs for maximum spine support. Its memory foam is thick and firm, it can be strapped to your chair at the top and the bottom so it doesn’t slip out of place, and should keep you cool with its mesh fabric cover.

Our favorite feature, though? The cushion is reversible in the vertical position, so if you need more upper back support, you can flip it around so the thicker end is at the top of your chair.

Material: Memory Foam | Firmness Level: Medium to firm

Best for Couch: Cushion Lab Extra Dense Lumbar Pillow

Cushion Lab Extra Dense Lumbar Pillow
Pros
  • Unique ergonomic shape

  • Dense support for uneven surfaces

  • Supports lower, middle, and upper back

Cons
  • More expensive than other pillows

It’s not great for your back when you sit in such a cozy-but-slouched position while lounging on your couch all day. And finding a lumbar support pillow that can withstand the cloud-like comfort of your sofa is a challenge since most won’t stay in place.

That’s why we like the Cushion Lab Extra Dense Lumbar Pillow for couches. With a unique shape that conforms to your lower and upper back as well as your spine, it seems custom-made for unpredictable surfaces like the lumpy, upholstered back of your sofa. It was designed by a physical therapist for optimal back pain relief, is made with a proprietary type of memory foam for maximum rebounding, and includes a durable polyester-rayon blend cover for multiple washings. It’s a bit more expensive than other brands, but considering how much time most of us spend on our couches, we think it’s worth it.

Material: Memory Foam | Firmness Level: Medium to firm

Best for Sleeping: ComfiLife Lumbar Support Memory Foam Pillow

ComfiLife Lumbar Support Pillow
Pros
  • Can be used in a variety of positions

  • Breathable cover prevents overheating

  • Can aid back, knee, hip, or leg pain

Cons
  • Only for back and side sleepers

  • Arch may not be high enough for max support

If you’ve always thought lumbar support pillows were only for seats and chairs, think again. Dr. Gallucci says another great place to use one is in bed: “Having extra support during the night can help a person get a better, more comfortable night’s sleep.”

For people who have lower back pain first thing in the morning (versus late at night, after a long day), the problem could be your mattress or even just the way you sleep. If you’re a back or side sleeper, you might benefit from a lumbar pillow designed to sit on your mattress, like this one by ComfiLife. With a wide, flat surface and a built-in center arch, it can maintain the correct alignment of your spine while you sleep.

Of course, because it will be used in your bed, the cover is breathable to prevent overheating during the night (and machine-washable, in case it happens anyway).

Material: Memory Foam | Firmness Level: Soft to medium

Best for Recliner: LOVEHOME Lumbar Support Pillow

 LOVEHOME Lumbar Support Pillow
Pros
  • Comes in a variety of colors

  • Chiropractor recommended

  • Can be used in several seats/locations

Cons
  • May be too small for some users

The LOVEHOME Lumbar Support Pillow is an uber-adaptable choice that can be used in a variety of chairs and seats, which is why we chose it as our recliner-friendly pick. It’s recommended by chiropractors and available in several different colors.

Like all good lumbar support pillows, the LOVEHOME option is made from memory foam, includes a washable cover, and can be used with or without the adjustable straps. Reviewers seem to appreciate its middle-of-the-road support and its simple design; basically, it’s a no-frills choice that makes it easier to come home, drop into your favorite recliner, and put your feet up.

Material: Memory Foam | Firmness Level: Medium

Best for Sciatica: ComfiLife Lumbar Support Back Pillow

ComfiLife Lumbar Support Back Pillow
Pros
  • Dual adjustable straps

  • Breathable mesh outer

  • Doesn’t turn too stiff in cooler temps

Cons
  • May not be firm enough for some users

  • May be too thick for some seats/chairs

There are many causes of sciatica such as herniated discs. Placing a lumbar support pillow behind your lower back can bring relief to your nerve pain. 

According to Dr. Gasnick, maintaining the correct inward curve of the lumbar spine is especially important for people with bulging or herniated discs: “Increased flexion or forward hunching of the back can flare up symptoms because this position places increased pressure on the discs.” 

Increased pressure on the discs can cause—you guessed it—increased sciatic nerve pain if you’re susceptible, so using a lumbar support pillow like ComfiLife’s could make a world of difference. It works to help you maintain the proper curve of your lower spine with its soft-to-medium firm memory foam, preventing you from slouching down and flaring up your disc or nerve pain. It has all the usual specs (washable mesh cover, adjustable straps, and a lifetime warranty) plus a budget-friendly price tag, making it more than worth a try if you suffer from chronic sciatica.

Material: Memory Foam | Firmness Level: Soft to medium

Best for Car: Dreamer Car Lumbar Support

Dreamer Car Lumbar Support
Pros
  • Top and bottom straps for fitting around driver’s seat

  • Full back support

  • High rebound memory foam

Cons
  • Can get warm on long drives

  • Not compatible in seats without separate headrests

Whether your commute is long or your rush hour traffic is heavy, all that time you’re spending in the driver’s seat of your car could be doing a number on your lower back. In some cases, you can place a regular lumbar support pillow in your seat to alleviate the strain, but this won’t always work: if your seat is unusually large or narrow or oddly-shaped, it might be hard to find a pillow that fits (and even harder to find one that stays in place during your commute).

That’s why we love the Dreamer Car Lumbar Support pillow. It’s designed to be placed in the car, with a shape mimicking the seatback of most average driver’s seats. At nearly 21 inches tall, it can accommodate the needs of most drivers, offering full back coverage while you drive. We also like that it comes in two colors (black and gray), stays in place with top and bottom adjustable straps, and typically isn’t too thick for most driver’s seats (forcing you too close to the steering wheel). 

Material: Memory Foam | Firmness Level: Soft to medium

Final Verdict

For all-purpose lumbar support, the Everlasting Comfort Lumbar Support Pillow (view at Amazon) is the strongest contender: it’s adaptable to many locations and uses, made with medium-firm memory foam, and has an easy-to-wash mesh cover. If you need more support in your office chair, we like the extra height you get with the Qutool Lumbar Support Pillow (view at Amazon), while the Cushion Lab Extra Dense Lumbar Pillow (view at Amazon) is a firmer, contoured option perfect for getting more support on cushy, comfy couches.

What to Look for in a Lumbar Support Pillow

Memory Foam

The majority of lumbar support pillows are made with memory foam for a good reason: it’s the perfect blend of soft and firm support. “The best pillows tend to be those made with therapeutic memory foam, as it can form to your body but does not lose its shape with continued use,” says Dr. Gallucci. You should note, though, that memory foam’s overall firmness changes with the temperature; colder air will make it firmer and warmer air will make it softer. Room temperature is best for medium support.

Washable Cover

If your lumbar support pillow actually does what it’s supposed to, you’ll want to use it every day. But that means it’s going to be subjected to dirt, food crumbs, sweat, and all other daily debris. To prevent it from getting overly soiled, you’ll want a removable cover you can toss in the washing machine from time to time (since the memory foam inserts themselves can’t typically be washed). 

Size and Adjustability

If your lumbar support pillow is too small or too large for your body, it’s not likely to stay in place and provide enough support. In some cases, it may also be necessary to look for a pillow with adjustable straps to hold it in place; in the car or in your office chair, for example, it could easily shift around and be difficult to keep in position.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where should a lumbar support pillow be placed?

    You might think this is a small detail, but trust us, it’s not. Dr. Gallucci says that putting your pillow in the right place is actually the key to getting results.

    “A good tip is to make sure that the pillow sits between the bottom of your shoulder blades and the top of your hips,” he explains. “It should be placed vertically in the chair, making sure it rests in the small of your back, to keep the normal curve of the spine.”

  • How do lumbar support pillows work?

    If you’re wondering how a pillow that looks awfully uncomfortable to use could be therapeutic to your back, you need to understand a bit about posture and the anatomy of your spine.

    “Our posture tends to deteriorate over time as the paraspinals—the muscles that run up and down the back and support the spine—fatigue, leading to a rounded back and hunched posture,” says Dr. Gasnick. 

    That’s where the lumbar support pillow comes in: when placed correctly, it can help maintain the normal curvature of your lower back, which Dr. Gasnick says can reduce muscular fatigue, help you maintain better posture, and decrease strain on your lower back.

  • How firm should a lumbar support pillow be?

    Dr. Gallucci says to look for a pillow with soft cushioning but enough firmness to actually provide support (i.e., reduce the fatigue and strain on your lower back muscles). Basically, you don’t want a pillow that’s hard as a rock or too squishy and floppy. Look for an option that feels best on your back and offers a little bit of both.

What the Experts Say

“Maintaining proper alignment of the spine also prevents excess strain on the muscles of the low back...people who use lumbar support pillows may find themselves with less pain and stiffness in their low back and overall improved posture.” —Dr. Kristen Gasnick, board-certified doctor of physical therapy

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  1. Prommanon B, Puntumetakul R, Puengsuwan P, et al. Effectiveness of a back care pillow as an adjuvant physical therapy for chronic non-specific low back pain treatment: a randomized controlled trialJ Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27(7):2035-2038. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.2035