different brands of seat cushions against a blue background

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Sitting at the computer for long days causes my lower back and tailbone pain. I have been looking for the perfect seat cushion for years.

I own five different cushions. Two of them live in my office chair, one in my car, and the other in the backyard loveseat.

Lower back pain is one of the most common medical conditions, and we’re still figuring out how to treat it for each person’s unique experience and needs.

I will help you choose the best option for you by examining six different seat cushions.

I am an expert on seat cushions that relieve pain. 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 study compared 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.

Pricing guide

  • $ = 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 bought this product a while ago and it became my go-to seat cushion. I am sitting on it while typing.

This cushion is unique because it uses a soft foam that is re- foamed around the legs and hips, which makes it stand out. The back curves up to cradle and support the tailbone is something I like.

I get less pain in my back when I sit on this than when I sit without the cushion.

The cover is machine washed and can be found in 11 colors.

It is more expensive 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

The BackJoy SitSmart Posture Plus is made out of a rubber-like material, unlike most gel- or memory foam-based cushions. This cushion has a firm substance that tilts your hips upright, which can relieve pressure on your lower back.

This is a great choice for camping or other outdoor activities because of its waterproof and easily washed appearance.

The elevated back is designed to protect your tailbone and promote proper posture by lifting your pelvis slightly above the seat. The average rating of the Posture Plus is 4 stars. The reviewers like that it is lightweight and provides back pain relief.

The four colors of the seat cushion are: red, blue, and green. The SitSmart Posture Core is a slightly more molded model that costs $10 more than the Posture Plus.

“I don’t recommend this option for recent hip or tailbone injuries. The Posture Plus is 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

The gel seat cover is wide and designed to relieve pressure on your spine and tailbone. The cushion should be securely on your seat with the help of the anti-slip bottom surface and the straps and drawstrings.

It has a 4.3-star Amazon rating and comes with a heat-resistant carrying case. Reviewers say this is a good option for the bikes.

“The recurring theme in 5% of reviews that are 1 star is that it is not that comfortable and doesn’t provide pressure or pain relief. It’s rated at least 4 stars by 80% of reviewers.”

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

The company known for its mattresses also makes seat cushions. The cushions are made with a material called purple grid that is hyperelastic and is designed to be pressure-relieving.

The Ultimate Seat Cushion is the widest option. It is popular among people in larger bodies. Good posture and proper spine alignment are promoted by the contoured grooves.

You can try it for 30 days and get free shipping and returns, as well as a 1-year warranty.

The cushion is not portable at 7.3 pounds. It is the most expensive option on the list. There are many more affordable cushion options if you are not a career driver or a hardcore gaming enthusiast.

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 one of the things that I have. It is a good option for budget-friendly, suitcase-friendly pressure relief. It is small enough to fit in a purse or carry-on bag if not inflated. I use this on planes and on benches at restaurants, bars and parks.

It is easy to inflate and weighs less than 8 ounces. It has a 4.5-star rating with over 1,250 Amazon reviews, based on its affordability, convenience, and portability.

It is a good cushion for traveling, but not a good option for the office or car. This is not the right cushion 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)

For decades, donut-shaped pillows have been a standard recommendation for tailbone injuries. They were inflatable in the past, and still are.

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 cover is machine washed and has a carrying handle.

“It is firm since it is designed for injuries. If you don’t have a tailbone injury, hemorrhoids, or another medical need, this isn’t the pillow for you.”

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 suffer from chronic hip pain, the Milliard Memory Foam Seat Cushion may be able to help. The cushion is designed to help you stay in your posture and also provide therapeutic comfort while sitting.

The cushion is made of foam that is comfortable to the body. The cushion isventilated to promote air flow and regulate temperature. The mesh cover can be cleaned in your washing machine.

Reviewers say they have trouble getting the cushion to stay on their seat.

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

Extra support can be given to your kids as well.

“The Baibu Kids’ Chair Pad is designed to keep your child comfortable. The cushion is made of mesh fabric and sponge.”

Baibu is meant to absorb sweat quickly. It should be easy to clean with a damp cloth, vacuum, or washing machine.

“The cushion has straps that go around the back of the chair to keep the pad in place. Reviewers say the straps don’t work well and the cushion is 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 will take things to the next level? This disk may be worth looking at.

The seat cushion is a little different than the Gaiam cushion, which is a stability ball and forces your muscles to contract to keep you upright. It is possible that you may improve your core strength, posture, and balance.

The cushion should work with any chair. It is a good fit for active children who can use their excess energy while sitting still.

The cushion is 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.

Name Price Best for Material Dimensions
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.

It is important to think about why you want a cushion and what qualities you are looking for so you can choose the best product for you.

Seat cushions can be helpful if you experience pain in your hips, back, or tailbone. If you want to improve your posture, you might want a seat cushion, or if you sit for long hours and your seat is not comfortable, you might want a seat cushion.

Knowing what you are looking for can help you find the best cushion for you. Seat cushions can be different levels of firmness. A cushion that is too firm can be painful to sit on, and you need some degree of firmness to help with support. Consider purchasing a cushion made of a material that will fit your body.

There are many tools for chronic back pain. If you need more relief than a seat cushion, 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 can help relieve pain in your back, hips, or tailbone. It is not the only method, and there may come a time when you need to see a medical professional.

If your back pain has lasted for more than 2 weeks and is interfering with your daily life, you should see a doctor. Your primary care doctor can refer you to a physical therapist.

If you have lost range of motion in your hip and are experiencing hip pain, you should see a doctor.

Who should use a seat cushion?

Seat cushions are a good fit for anyone who is uncomfortable in their seat for a long period 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. Many doctors encourage patients to try a memory foam seat cushion if they find it helps with their symptoms, as seat cushions are not the only treatment available.

How often should you replace your seat cushion?

You will need to replace your seat cushion every few years. The materials andDurability of the cushions vary.

If you spend a lot of time sitting down, you should have a seat cushion. If you want to get pressure relief, posture support, or portable, go for the option that is best for you.

I hope it helps you sit straighter and 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.