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The 8 Best Seat Cushions of 2023, Tested and Reviewed recently interviewed The Joint's Dr. Kevin Lees, D.C. on the benefits of seat cushions for providing additional support to the spine and alleviating back pain.

Original article published by Health on April 5, 2023 on

By Sherri Gordon

If you are someone who sits quite a bit throughout the day, you know that a bad seating situation can wreak havoc on your hips, tailbone, and lower back. Even if you do your best to get up and walk around throughout the day, your chair, posture, and desk setup are crucial to alleviating back pain. And research indicates that sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause increased stress on the back, neck, arms, and legs and add pressure to your back muscles and spinal discs. Sitting for long periods can even weaken your core muscles and increase insulin resistance, says Alice Chen, MD, physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Of course, to address this issue you can look at replacing your chair with a therapeutic one, but that can get costly. Instead, you may want to consider the humble seat cushion. The best seat cushions not only soften your landing spot but also make you more aware of your posture so that you don’t spend the entire day slouching in your chair. Plus, if you get the right one for your specific needs, it can do wonders for alleviating your pain.

To help you find the seat cushion that works best for you, we spoke to experts about what to look for when shopping for a cushion. Then we ordered 28 of them and had our editors work from our on-site testing lab, using the seat cushions and rating them on comfort, support, quality, and value. Some of our testers were prone to back and shoulder pain, while others just wanted to find a quality seat cushion that prevented them from slouching. We had a nurse on-site to ensure the options kept testers in an ergonomic position and didn't cause any further back pain.

Our Top Picks


Vaunn Lumbar Back Support at Amazon


bonmedico Orthopedic Lumbar Support Pillow at Amazon


Qutool Orthopedic Seat Cushion and Lumbar Support Pillow at Amazon


ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion at Amazon


Orthoflexics Zen Cushion Set at


ACERATE Orthopedic Seat Cushion at Amazon


Milliard Memory Foam Seat Cushion at Amazon


Coop Sleep Goods Ventilated Orthopedic Lumbar Cushion at

Best Overall: Vaunn Medical Lumbar Back Support Cushion

Why We Like It: Aside from providing amazing support and comfort, the gel heating pad is a real game-changer.

It’s Worth Noting: The adjustable straps could break if they’re pulled too tight.

The Vaunn Medical Lumbar Back Support Pillow provides amazing comfort and support while keeping your spine and hips aligned. Once you sit down, you won’t want to get up—it’s just that comfortable. Plus, it comes with a gel heating pad for those days when your back feels extra achy. Just heat it up and you’ll have warm comfort that lasts over 20 minutes. Or, if you prefer, you can cool the gel pad, which is handy if you have an injury that could benefit from numbing.

As an added bonus, we found this seat cushion is the perfect mix of plush comfort and firm support, so you can have the best of both worlds. Overall, it’s a high-quality seat cushion that’s worth every penny, yet feels like you’ve spent so much more. The only downside is that the straps can break if you tend to tighten them too much. But for the price, support, and comfort that this product offers, you cannot go wrong.

Price at time of publication: $30

Product Details:

Material: Foam

Shape: Lumbar

Positioning Straps: Yes

Best Budget: bonmedico Orthopedic Lumbar Support Pillow

Why We Like It: Despite being soft, this cushion maintains its shape even after prolonged use.

It’s Worth Noting: The standard size is less than 18 inches wide, making it a little small for some body types.

As one of the more budget-friendly options on our list, the Bonmedico Standard Memory Foam Seat Cushion is a great option for alleviating back pain without breaking the bank. And even though it’s affordable, it never lost it’s shape over time. Even after prolonged use during testing, it continued to function as promised.

What’s more, we found it kept our spine aligned and allowed us to maintain good posture while sitting without much effort on our part. This characteristic makes this seat cushion ideal for anyone who is prone to slouching while sitting at their desk or while watching TV. That said, if you want a larger cushion, this one may not be the best choice for you, since it is under 18 inches wide.

Still, we appreciated that this product's neutral color blends well with just about any decor and can be moved and used anywhere you need it. Plus, the velour cover is removable and machine washable adding to its longevity.

Price at time of publication: $32

Product Details:

Material: Memory Foam

Shape: S-Shape

Positioning Straps: No

Best for Lower Back Pain: Qutool Orthopedic Seat Cushion and Lumbar Support Pillow

Why We Like It: This seat cushion conforms to your body offering a significant amount of back support without being too stiff.

It’s Worth Noting: While this cushion’s material has a nice soft feel, the padding may be a tad too plush for some.

Research indicates that more than one-quarter of workers are impacted by lower back pain each year. We love the Qutool Orthopedic Seat Cushion for those who suffer from back pain because we found that it conforms nicely to your body and offers a significant amount of back support without being too stiff.

We also found that it offers a nice snug fit, and you won’t have to reposition yourself every few minutes like you do with some other seat cushions. If we had any complaint it would be that it was a tad too soft for our taste. But, this wasn’t a huge issue as the soft material makes this cushion a comfortable spot to park for a while. Overall, the Qutool Orthopedic seat cushion is ideal for anyone who spends a lot of time sitting and has back pain as a result.

Price at time of publication: $40

Product Details:

Material: Memory Foam

Shape: U-shape and semicircular

Positioning Straps: Yes

Best for Firm Support: ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion

Why We Like It: This cushion’s unique gel memory foam provides just the right amount of comfort without compromising on support.

It’s Worth Noting: For those who are looking for a soft seat, this one may not be right for you.

With both a firm and high-quality feel, the ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion is the perfect solution for those who want firm support. This seat cushion conforms to your bum and allows your back muscles to relax rather than tightening up while you’re sitting. It also has a unique gel cushion that provides just the right amount of comfort without causing you to sink into the material.

This feature could be a real plus if you have lower back or tailbone pain from long hours sitting or traveling. In fact, research indicates that when compared to foam cushions, gel cushions may be a more effective way to alleviate lower back pain for occupational drivers seated for a long period of time.

When testing, we loved how the grippers on the bottom of the cushion kept it secure in one spot. Overall, we found this seat cushion very well designed and were pleased with how it kept our entire body perfectly aligned and positioned while we were seated.

Price at time of publication: $60

Product Details:

Material: Memory Foam Gel

Shape: Semicircular

Positioning Straps: No

Best for Tailbone Support: Orthoflexics Zen Cushion Set

Why We Like It: This cushion’s contoured design removes pressure from the tailbone providing immediate relief.

It’s Worth Noting: While this seat cushion has grippers on the bottom, a positioning strap would provide for a more secure fit.

This Orthoflexics Zen Cushion Set doesn’t just promise to alleviate tailbone pain, sciatica, and lower back pain—it delivers. It provides just the right amount of support needed to keep your body from collapsing, yet it’s soft enough that sitting on it doesn’t cause new aches. There are even appropriately placed divots that remove pressure from your tailbone and conform to your body.

Unlike some seat cushions that can make you feel like you’re sitting on a booster seat, the Orthoflexics doesn’t dig into your skin. And as we tested, we noted that it didn’t force us to position our body in a way that felt unnatural. Instead, it enhanced our typical seating position and provided extra cushion for our tailbone.

We love its soft jersey material as it’s soothing to the touch and tailored well without a seam out of place. There’s also a zipper on the bottom that allows you to remove the cover and wash it. The only downside is that a positioning strap could provide a more secure fit, but the grippers on the bottom help keep it in place so we weren’t too upset about it.

Price at time of publication: $100

Product Details:

Material: Memory Foam

Shape: U-Shape

Positioning Straps: No

Best for Long-Term Sitting: ACERATE Extra Large Orthopedic Seat Cushion

Why We Like It: This seat cushion holds up well over long periods of time and has convenient handles that are ideal for traveling.

It’s Worth Noting: This cushion is not as comfortable when you are wearing shorts or have bare legs.

If you have to sit for long periods of time for your job or while traveling, then the AceRate Orthopedic Seat Cushion is a fantastic option. Not only does this cushion hold up well with prolonged use, but we also noticed an improvement in pain levels over time after sitting for extended periods.

While some seat cushions seem to deflate, this one doesn’t. We found its memory foam is both sturdy and high-quality, and the shape and support weren’t compromised as we sat in it throughout long days. Plus, if you travel quite a bit and want a seat cushion that is portable, the AceRate offers handles that make carrying it a breeze.

Overall, this product is ideal for those who want some help with their posture while sitting but do not want to compromise on comfort. But it’s worth noting that if you plan to use the seat while wearing shorts, the material may feel a little uncomfortable to some.

Price at time of publication: $50

Product Details:

Material: Memory Foam

Shape: Semicircular

Positioning Straps: No

Best BreathableMilliard Memory Foam Seat Cushion Chair Pad

Why We Like It: The soft silky fabric on this simple seat cushion is both breathable and comfortable.

It’s Worth Noting: This seat cushion lacks an ergonomic design and, instead, is a simple square cushion.

Firm and supportive, the Milliard Memory Foam Seat Cushion is as comfortable as it is breathable. Plus, the soft and silky fabric feels great and keeps you from getting too hot when you sit for extended periods of time.

This seat cushion also does a great job of supporting your spine and keeping you aligned while you work. And because it provides comfortable support for your tailbone, you won’t feel the need to shift your weight around into different positions. This characteristic helps relieve tension in your lower back and allows you to relax into the seat.

One downside is the cushion’s shape. Instead of providing an ergonomic design, this seat cushion is a simple square shape. But aside from that, this cushion is durable, effective, and well-made despite its simple design.

Price at time of publication: $35

Product Details:

Material: Memory Foam

Shape: Square

Positioning Straps: No

Best for Improving PostureCoop Sleep Goods Ventilated Orthopedic Lumbar Cushion

Why We Like It: This pillow provides strong support that noticeably improves posture.

It’s Worth Noting: It may feel a little like a booster seat to some.

If you are known for having poor posture while sitting at your desk or while watching TV, this Coop Home Goods Ventilated Orthopedic Lumbar Cushion will provide the support you need to keep your spine in a neutral position. We love that it’s designed to fit the natural curve of your spine while feeling supportive and comfortable.

Because this cushion encourages you to sit up straight while you work, it’s a solid choice if you want to prevent discomfort and pain that can come from sitting in a poorly aligned position.That said, the straps are a little long and it lifts you up a bit high off your chair (which may make you feel like you’re sitting in a booster seat). While these factors don’t really impact the effectiveness of the cushion, it’s still worth noting.

Overall, this is a great cushion for posture. Plus, the breathable mesh fabric will keep you from overheating.

Price at time of publication: $35

Product Details:

Material: Memory Foam

Shape: Lumbar

Positioning Straps: Yes

Our Testing Process

To find the best seat cushions for lower back pain, we spoke to a number of experts on spine and joint pain and about what makes a seat cushion effective for addressing issues like low back pain. Experts we spoke to include:

  • George Cyril, MD, FAAPMR, an expert on spine and joint pain and assistant attending physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in the Department of Physiatry
  • Alice Chen, MD, physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Christopher Sforzo, MD, board-certified orthopedic surgeon and founder of Sforzo, Dillingham, Stewart Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Kevin Lees, DC, director of chiropractor operations for The Joint Corp.
  • Claire Morrow, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, OCS, a physical therapist at Hinge Health.

Then, we tested the best options on the market based on expert guidance and under an on-site nurse's supervision in our testing lab. When evaluating each product, we considered the comfort, support, value, and quality of the cushions.

Additionally, because seat cushions can be notoriously hard or lose their shape, we paid close attention to the material used, how it felt to sit on, and how it held up after repeated use. We also noted whether or not the seat cushions had washable covers, straps to secure them to the seat, and a back attachment.

What to Know About Seat Cushions

Consider Your Chair

If your job requires extended sitting, a seat cushion can add comfort and improved ergonomics. Being able to fill this need is especially important if you’re on a budget because high-quality office chairs can be very expensive, Kevin Lees, DC, director of chiropractor operations for The Joint Corp says. But a good seat cushion might be an alternative way to provide better support for significantly less investment.

As you search for the perfect seat cushion for you, keep in mind that some office chairs where the cushions will be used are designed to support your natural lower back curves and proper armrest height. Adding a cushion and increasing the space between you and the chair seat can alter this support and may make the chair less comfortable and less supportive, says Dr. Lees.

Likewise, if your chair already has support built in, it needs to be adjustable so that you can raise or lower it to the level you are sitting at with an added cushion. Dr. Lees adds that if you have vascular health issues (especially in your legs), you’ll need a cushion that does not create extra pressure that might constrict blood flow.


When you are looking for a seat cushion, consider the material that you are purchasing. Look for something that is breathable and comfortable to sit on.

Memory foam, which is what most seat cushions are made of, can sometimes feel hot and lead to sweating if they do not have an appropriate cover to wick the seat or cool the seat, says Dr. Lees. You also may want to determine if the outer cover can be removed and washed. Being able to keep your seat cushion clean will go a long way in extending its life.

Comfort and Support

Overall, seat cushions make it easier to maintain a more comfortable position for your back, says Claire Morrow, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, OCS, a physical therapist at Hinge Health. And while they can promote good posture, they are not intended to help you achieve perfect posture.

Dr. Morrow explains that when you use the cushion, you should feel comfortable and relaxed and you should be able to sit with your feet flat on the floor. After that, it comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer thicker or softer cushions, while others prefer thinner or firmer cushions. Just make sure the cushion you choose allows you the freedom to change positions when needed, Dr. Morrow adds. It’s also helpful to have a cushion that you can easily put on the chair and take off or adjust as needed.


While seat cushions may not come with a ton of bells and whistles, they do come in different shapes, sizes, and weights. There also are a few that are heated or offer gel inserts. Make sure the cushion you pick meets your needs.

It also shouldn’t create any pressure points on your tailbone or thighs, notes Dr. Lees. For instance, some seat cushions can be very firm, which helps with support and posture, while others are intended for softness and padding but may not hold shape well, he says.

More Seat Cushions to Consider

While these cushions didn’t meet our expectations, they may still be of interest to you:

  • Kieba Coccyx Seat Cushion Although this cushion is comfortable, it was a little too thin for our taste. What’s more, it didn’t seem as well-made as its competitors.
  • HoMedics® Lumbar Pillow While the heat from this pillow was comforting, we still found the cushion itself stiff and uncomfortable. Not only were we forced into a less than optimal position while sitting, but the pillow prevented us from relaxing our back.
  • Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion This seat cushion is super soft and comfortable, but its large size can force your body into an awkward position, making it hard to sit straight.

Your Questions, Answered

How much do seat cushions cost?

Depending on your needs and what features the seat cushion comes with, quality seat cushions can range from $20 to $100. But when comparing that price to the cost of a high-quality office chair, it makes any of these price points a pretty good deal, says Dr. Lees. Identify what your goal is with your seat cushion (like alleviating pain or providing more support) then pick the one that has the shape and the material to help you accomplish that goal within the budget you set.

Does a seat cushion help lower back pain?

The short answer is—yes. According to Christopher Sforzo, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and founder of Sforzo, Dillingham, Stewart Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, seat cushions are designed to provide you with additional support and comfort when sitting, which can help relieve pressure on your lower back by distributing your body weight more evenly and promoting better posture. They are particularly useful for people who sit for long periods of time, as well as those with existing back pain and discomfort. That said, he notes that because there are certain medical conditions where you should not use a seat cushion, you should talk to a healthcare provider first.

How thick should seat cushions be?

When considering which seat cushion is best for you, it’s important to consider the thickness of the cushion in relation to the chair you’ll be using it on, says Dr. Lees. If your chair isn’t adjustable, you may need a thinner cushion.

Seat cushions should also offer a firm enough surface to provide support but be cushioned enough that they are comfortable and mold around the contours of your body, Dr. Chen adds. While the thickness of your cushion may come down to personal preference, she says it should offer stability as well.

Who We Are

As a seasoned journalist covering health and social issues, Sherri Gordon, CLC spends a great deal of time sitting and writing. This fact, combined with the fact that she, too, suffers from lower back pain and scoliosis means she has a vested interest in helping readers find the best products to help manage and alleviate their pain. When writing reviews like this one, Sherri carefully considers medical research and doctor recommendations adding a layer of detail that ensures readers can make a choice that suits their needs.

About The Joint Chiropractic

The Joint Corp. revolutionized access to chiropractic care when it introduced its retail health care business model in 2010. Today, it is the nation’s largest operator, manager and franchisor of chiropractic clinics through The Joint Chiropractic network. The company is making quality care convenient and affordable, while eliminating the need for insurance, for millions of patients seeking pain relief and ongoing wellness. With 800+ locations nationwide and nearly 11 million patient visits annually, The Joint Chiropractic is a key leader in the chiropractic industry. Ranked number one on Forbes’ 2022 America’s Best Small Companies list, number three on Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list and consistently named to Franchise Times “Top 400+ Franchises” and Entrepreneur’s “Franchise 500®” lists, The Joint Chiropractic is an innovative force, where healthcare meets retail. For more information, visit

Business Structure

The Joint Corp. is a franchisor of clinics and an operator of clinics in certain states. In Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming, The Joint Corp. and its franchisees provide management services to affiliated professional chiropractic practices.

Media Contacts

The Joint Corp.
Margie Wojciechowski
[email protected]
Office: (480) 245-5960 x 210

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