The 7 Best Seat Cushions for Lower Back Pain of 2021

Stay comfortable and keep your back pain to a minimum

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Best Seat Cushions

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

If you struggle with lower back pain you probably already understand what a huge interference it can pose on your day-to-day life. And while there are plenty of options for relieving some of that pain, there's one easy way to add a little more comfort into your day, sans medication.

Brian A. Cole, M.D., an orthopedic surgery specialist at Englewood Spine Associates in Englewood, New Jersey, told Verywell Health about the options he consistently recommends to his clients. While he doesn’t ever side with a particular brand, he has found that, in general, people with lower back pain should look for a back cushion with these components: microwavable or freezer-friendly lumbar inserts, expandable straps, and adjustable buckles. 

Here are the best seat cushions for lower back pain on the market today.

Our Top Picks
Ideal for treating a herniated disc or tailbone injury, the memory foam cushion features cooling gel to regulate your temperature.
Best Heating-Cooling Cushion:
Vaunn Lumbar Back Support at Amazon
You won't have to choose between heat or cold therapy with this option that features both, thanks to the removable gel insert.
The budget-friendly option helps manage lower back pain by removing pressure with its high-density memory foam.
Wheelchair-approved and inflatable, it's especially tailored to those who are at risk of tissue breakdown or ulcer development.
Complete with memory foam, mesh, and adjustable straps, it offers ample sturdiness for those who spend long hours sitting.
Those with arthritis will appreciate this two-piece set, complete with cushions to relieve the coccyx and lower lumbar region.
Working to relieve lower back pain while improving blood circulation, the gel and memory foam pillow is ideal for lounging.

Best Overall: ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion

ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion
Pros
  • Memory foam

  • Cooling gel layer

  • Relieves pressure on tailbone

Cons
  • No size or firmness variability

If you’ve suffered from a herniated disc, sciatica, or tailbone injury, this is definitely the lower back savior you’ve been looking for. Made of memory foam, the cushion is topped with cooling gel that will keep you comfortable temperature-wise. It’s also specifically designed to relieve pressure on the coccyx

One of the best parts about this cushion is that it can be used anywhere—at your office, in your car, or at home. It also supports better posture, which will also provide relief to your lower back and general alignment. It’s machine-washable and has a convenient handle that helps with transport.

Material: Gel-enhanced memory foam | Washable: Yes (removable cover)

What the Experts Say

“A cushion placed behind your back may help maintain the healthy curve in your lower spine...may help provide improved support, and may help encourage an improved upright sitting posture.”—Preston Brown, DPT, owner of Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC

Best Heating-Cooling Cushion: Vaunn Medical Lumbar Back Support Cushion

Vaunn Medical Lumbar Back Support Cushion
Pros
  • Insert for heating or cooling

  • Adjustable straps and buckles

  • Travel-friendly

Cons
  • No size or firmness variability

  • May be too hard for some users

Not only is this option cost-effective, but it also comes with a removable gel insert that can be popped into the freezer and frozen, or into the microwave for a heat-infused boost. To Dr. Cole’s recommendations, it comes with adjustable straps and buckles that will ensure it stays exactly where you choose on the chair, and in regard to your back placement. 

The pillow itself is made of contoured, molded foam that is great for providing relief to those experiencing general pain, sciatica, or ulcers that are a result of pressure. It’s super compact and can be broken down for travel.

Material: Contoured foam | Washable: Yes (removable cover)

What the Experts Say

“Generally, I recommend heat prior to exercise or performing a certain activity to help increase blood flow to the area, relax any tight muscles, and increase mobility; if you experience any pain or soreness following exercise or activity, ice can be used to help calm things down.” —Preston Brown, DPT, owner of Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC

Best Budget: Plixio Memory Foam Seat Cushion

Plixio Memory Foam Seat Cushion
Pros
  • Designed to reduce tailbone pressure

  • Anti-skid bottom

  • Machine-washable

Cons
  • Short depth

  • Harder than other memory foam cushions

If you’re looking for a cushion that will help you bid your lower back pain farewell at an affordable price, this high-density memory foam may just do the trick. Its entire design is focused on removing pressure from your lower back by ensuring that the tailbone hovers over the surface of the seat without actually touching it. It does this by factoring in a cut-out that leaves space for the coccyx bone. 

It includes a washable cover and an anti-skid bottom that will make sure you feel secure and comfortable all day long. It’s also perfect for travel. 

Material: High-density memory foam | Washable: Yes (removable cover)

Best for Wheelchairs: Roho Mosaic Inflatable Seat Cushion

Roho Mosaic Inflatable Seat Cushion
Pros
  • Inflatable and lightweight

  • Adaptable to your needs

  • Includes a carrying case and pump

Cons
  • May need frequent refilling

  • Slippery

This takes the cake for customers looking for something that is wheelchair-approved. Because it’s inflatable, it’s super sensitive for people who are at risk of tissue breakdown or for those experiencing pain or are concerned about developing ulcers or sores. This also makes it fairly adjustable and super lightweight. It comes with a little carrying case that is machine-washable, as well as a pump.

Material: Polyvinyl insert, Lycra cover | Washable: Yes (removable cover)

Best for Office Chairs: LOVEHOME Memory Foam Lumbar Support Cushion

LOVEHOME Memory Foam Lumbar Support Cushion
Pros
  • Molded lumbar support

  • Breathable mesh cover

  • Adjustable straps

Cons
  • Better for posture than lower back pain

Sitting in an office chair all day can be a major source of stress on your back. Luckily, this pillow can help make your workday a little bit more comfortable. It’s made of premium memory foam and high-quality mesh. It’s especially great for people who are post-surgery, experiencing lumbosacral lower back pain, or for those with spondylosis as it focuses on removing pressure from your lumbar vertebrae. 

It comes with two adjustable straps as opposed to the typical one, which makes it super sturdy and customizable. The mesh on the outside is also washable, so you can make sure to keep it clean and fresh.

Material: High-density memory foam | Washable: Yes (removable cover)

What the Experts Say

“It’s a great addition for your work chair as it helps to evenly distribute weight, improve lumbopelvic stabilization and proprioception, and increase core activation while sitting.” Diana Chen, DPT, licensed physical therapist with Hudson Medical + Wellness

Best for Arthritis: SOFTaCARE Memory Foam Seat Cushion

SOFTaCARE Memory Foam Seat Cushion
Pros
  • Includes cushions for back and bottom

  • Non-slip backing

  • Adjustable straps

Cons
  • Only sold as a set

For those with arthritis, this set includes two cushions: one for the back of the chair and one for the seat. The seat cushion focuses on relieving pressure on the coccyx, while the back cushion provides pressure and pain relief to the lower lumbar region. 

It is made of high-quality memory foam and has a non-slip rubber bottom. It also has adjustable buckles and straps that will prevent sliding or movement of any kind. 

Material: Memory foam | Washable: Yes (washable covers for both cushions)

What Our Editors Say

"I have this lumbar pillow support set for my work-from-home setup. Since adding it, I've noticed my posture improve and I have less fatigue from sitting in front of my laptop and monitor all day (I should note that my chair is not an ergonomic desk chair but a hard, acrylic chair)." Ashleigh Morley, Editorial Director of Verywell Health Commerce  

Best for Couch: bonmedico Orthopedic Lumbar Support Pillow

bonmedico Orthopedic Lumbar Support Pillow
Pros
  • Slim, low-profile

  • Breathable mesh cover

  • Available in standard and large sizes

Cons
  • May not hold thickness for heavier users

  • Not firm enough for long-lasting support

This pillow is a gel and memory foam hybrid that works to provide relief to those recovering from giving birth or for those with tailbone and lower back pain. It will also relieve any pressure build-up surrounding the sciatic nerve by improving blood circulation. 

The mesh covering is completely washable, and the pillow is definitely small and convenient enough for travel. 

Material: Gel/Memory foam hybrid | Washable:  Yes (removable cover)

Final Verdict

While lower back cushions won’t heal your lower back pain, they can alleviate some of the causes—especially if you’re pretty sure your office chair or couch is one of the culprits behind your discomfort. Make sure that the cushion is as adjustable as possible, and that you’ve taken the time to tailor it to your specific seating situation and body as much as possible. While there are plenty of cushions on the market, ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion (view at Amazon) is a great place to start for anyone with general lower back pain looking for relief.

What to Look for in a Seat Cushion for Lower Back Pain

Material

Most cushions are either inflatable or made of memory foam, and while one isn’t necessarily better than the others, it’s important to know what you need in terms of support before you choose between them. Physical therapist Susan Eby, M.S., of Eby Physical Therapy in New York City, says too-firm cushions are uncomfortable, but that squishy memory foam can, in some cases, compress too much to provide any benefits.

Her preferred material? Anything inflated. “Inflatable cushions allow firmness adjustment as well as the ability to shift your weight and activate your core muscles throughout the day,” she explains.

That said, if you’re recovering from injury or need something more stable, a fixed-shape memory foam cushion with a little give might be exactly what you want. Think about what kind of support you need, then find a cushion made of material that will give it to you.

Positioning Straps

When you’re using a back pain cushion with a chair (versus a couch or bed), you should look for an option that has adjustable straps to keep the cushion in place, says Eby. Otherwise, you could end up with a pillow that moves or slides into less-than-optimal positions during its use, either providing little to no relief for your pain or, worse, triggering new pain in other areas.

Shape and Contour

If the point of buying a support cushion is to get more support, one of the most important things to look at is whether the cushion can be adapted to your unique body shape. For relief from slouching and slumping, you need a back cushion that will keep your spine aligned in a neutral position.

“The shape of [a lumbar] cushion ideally matches the natural curve of your spine and the bottom of the pillow should support the sacrum or tailbone,” says Eby. “This will create a base of support for your entire spine.”

The same goes for coccyx seat cushions; if your tailbone doesn’t rest over the support contour in the center of the cushion or if the cushion is too wide or narrow for your frame, you won’t benefit—or find relief—from its natural shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it better to use a firm cushion or soft cushion for back pain?

    Although soft cushions are more inviting, you really want to aim for firm support when shopping for a seat cushion—as long as you understand that firm doesn’t mean hard or uncomfortable but “supportive,” says Preston Brown, DPT, owner of Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC.

    “For prolonged sitting, having firm support is optimal [because it not only] provides more stability, but may help you to unconsciously shift around more, giving your spine the movement that it thrives on,” explains Dr. Brown.

    Soft surfaces, on the other hand, are more comfortable in the short term but allow our bodies to sink into them, leaving us vulnerable to reduced movement and stiffness.

  • In addition to using a seat cushion, what other activities that can help with lower back pain?

    While a seat cushion might help prevent or relieve some lower pain back associated with prolonged sitting, it’s not a cure-all...and you’ll likely need to take more than one approach. For the most relief, you can also try:

    • low-impact aerobic exercise, like regular walking
    • physical therapist-approved stretches, like hip flexors and pelvic tilts
    • massage therapy and acupuncture
    • applying ice and heat
    • back- or side-sleeping (avoid sleeping on your stomach)
    • meditation, mindfulness, and yoga
    • posture correction
    • wearing supportive footwear
    • maintaining a healthy weight

What the Experts Say

"Despite our best intentions to maintain good posture throughout the day, our muscles fatigue. Support cushions help to maintain alignment when our own muscles can’t do it for us."—Susan Eby, M.S., physical therapist, Eby Physical Therapy in New York City.

Why Trust Verywell Health?

An experienced health writer, Brittany Loggins understands how important it is to have a comprehensive understanding of the products she's recommending. All of the products found in her pieces have either been tested by her first hand or have been recommended by trusted medical professionals.

Additional reporting to this story by Sarah Bradley

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

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