9 Best Wheelchair Cushions | April 2017

We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you are disabled, have an injury or you just have to sit for extended periods of time for work or travel, one of these wheelchair cushions will take the pressure off your posterior, lower back, and spine, giving you much-needed relief. We've rated them here based on comfort, shape retention, and durability. Skip to the best wheelchair cushion on Amazon.
9 Best Wheelchair Cushions | April 2017
Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 5
Best Inexpensive
The Duro Med Comfort Pillow is foldable for storage when not in use, and has a unique design that provides cushioning and support not only for the back, but also the arms, seat, and neck. Its multiple tie straps make anchoring easy.
  • fits into most recliners too
  • hypoallergenic polyester fiberfill
  • padding is thin and prone to lumps
Brand Duro-Med
Model 513-7608-2400
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
The Ergo21 Liquicell Sports lets you enjoy sitting for longer periods thanks to its internal aqueous membranes, which improve circulation and reduce numbness. It's a great therapeutic pillow, and it's good for watching sports, too.
  • aquatic motion reduces pressure
  • effective solution to sciatica pain
  • larger sizes too big for some chairs
Brand Ergo21
Model pending
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
The Roho Mosaic uses flexible air cells with an included hand pump that allows you to adjust the cushion's level of firmness to your personal liking for optimal comfort and support. It weighs only one pound, so it's easy to carry with you.
  • instructions and repair kit included
  • 2-way stretch fabric won't rip
  • tends to slip and slide under user
Brand Roho
Model No Model
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Trademark Supplies Cushion is filled with gel and foam for dual support, and it features quick-release safety straps to keep it from slipping out of position. This is a fine, affordable seat for someone who uses a wheelchair every day.
  • low-shear antimicrobial fabric
  • hangs up for easy storage
  • loses shape after long stretches
Brand Trademark Supplies
Model pending
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
The Luxfit Coccyx Orthopedic is made with a 100% memory foam core, and has an ergonomic design that reduces pressure on sensitive areas and, over time, helps improve spinal alignment. It gets more comfortable with increased use.
  • available in a variety of colors
  • relieves pregnancy-induced pains
  • cloth cover is slick on some seats
Brand LuxFit
Model lf-ccx
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The Drive Medical Skin Protection Gel E 3 effectively redistributes your weight, which helps in the prevention, treatment, and management of pressure-induced ulcers. Its gel bladder completely retakes its shape when not in use.
  • fire-retardant polyurethane shell
  • vapor-permeable nylon bottom
  • not great for users over 250 pounds
Brand Drive Medical
Model 14903
Weight 6.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
The Duro Med DMI 2400 is significantly thicker than most of its competition, but it's also lightweight and portable, making it a perfect option for those who need relief and a little boost while traveling, but don't want to lug a heavy pad around.
  • removable and washable cover
  • foam will not crack or crumble
  • shell is a rugged poly-cotton blend
Brand Duro-Med
Model 513-7602-2400
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
The LoveHome Cool Gel alleviates pressure points, disperses body weight, and helps promote good posture, all of which provides relief from tailbone pressure and lower back pains. It has an antimicrobial cover and a gel interior that won't lose its shape.
  • covered by a 1-year warranty
  • convexed vents for air circulation
  • instantly conforms to the body
Brand LoveHome
Model LH-GC1201
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
The patented PURAP Clinical provides more support than gel, foam, and air products by using multiple layers and 3-D fluid technology that work together to provide the lowest possible pressure to the user's body. Its cover is both breathable and waterproof.
  • guaranteed to never bottom out
  • flexible one-size-fits-all design
  • tested and recommended by doctors
Model pending
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

How To Choose A Wheelchair Cushion

The seat in most wheelchairs is made of thin fabric that doesn't provide much support or comfort. For people who only need to use a wheelchair sparingly, this may not be a problem, but some individuals spend all of their waking hours in one and should be as comfortable as possible. It's important that the cushion properly aligns the skeleton since this prevents any imbalance of pressure on the body and allows for regular movement. If the user has some skeletal deformity, that has to be taken into consideration as well since there are cushions that can help correct that.

If someone is going to spend most of their time in a wheelchair, they should receive a postural assessment. This will help determine which parts of the body aren't corresponding properly to the other parts and can help you choose the best wheelchair cushion. Depending on someone's body symmetry, they may need a cushion that has plenty of give and molds to their body, or one that is very stiff. In the postural assessment, the therapist will also evaluate the person's skin texture. Since their body will regularly interact with the cushion, you want to make sure it isn't made from any fabrics that could irritate a skin condition.

A musculoskeletal exam is also an important part of finding the correct wheelchair cushion. This will find any abnormalities in the positioning of the pelvis, like a posterior or anterior tilt, asymmetry or obliquity. Some cushions can help push the pelvis back or forwards slightly to adjust the user's particular abnormality. Finally, you should consider the user's daily activities. Will they spend a lot of time getting in and out of cars? Do they require help using the bathroom and getting into bed? This will help you decide on smaller details of the cushion, like if it needs to be lightweight and foldable.

Additional Features To Consider

Once you've spoken to a medical professional to determine which type of wheelchair cushion is best for you, there are a few extra features to look for that can make it more convenient. Look for a cushion that disperses body weight, so there isn't too much pressure on one's lower back or tailbone. This will also prevent an indent from forming in one place in the cushion over time. Some cushions are filled with cooling gel, which can help moderate a person's temperature.

Cushions with padded, textured tops can provide a nice massaging sensation. Since someone might spend hours on end on their cushion, they'll want one with a cover that's both antimicrobial, to prevent germs from accumulating, and waterproof in case of any spills. If the user doesn't have a lot of upper body strength, look for a lightweight cushion so they can easily lift it and adjust it themselves. Ideally, wheelchair users should do upper body exercises regularly so they can handle lifting a slightly heavier cushion, but some may have disabilities that prevent that. A small carrying strap can also be very helpful.

Cushions with memory foam cores are more comfortable and put almost zero pressure on the user. Male users, in particular, might want a cushion with a cut-out in the pelvic area, to relieve pressure on more sensitive areas. Since wheelchair cushions are not permanently attached to the wheelchair, get one with safety straps that can temporarily latch onto the chair. This will prevent the cushion from sliding when the wheelchair is in motion. For those pushing others, it is important to learn the best and safest way to push someone in a wheelchair.

The History Of Wheelchairs

The first official wheelchair was called an invalid's chair and it was developed for King Philip II of Spain in the late 1500s. The inventor of this chair is unknown but in 1655, a man named Stephan Farffler, who historians believe was either a paraplegic or an amputee, created the first self-propelling wheelchair. In 1783, an English man named John Dawson improved on the design and created a chair that moved on two large wheels and one small one. It was called the Bath Wheelchair (for the designer's hometown in Bath) and was the most-sold model for much of the 19th century.

In the late 1800s, several improvements were made to the wheelchair that are still seen today, like rear push wheels and hollow rubber wheels. 1932 saw the invention of the first folding wheelchair. A man named Harry Jennings made it for a paraplegic friend of his. He would go on to found the wheelchair supplies company, Everest & Jennings. In 1953, a member of the National Research Council of Canada created the first electric wheelchair. It was made for veterans who were injured in World War II.

Some of the most recent technology invented relating to wheelchairs isn't a chair at all, but something that goes in a person's brain. Medical device company Braingate teamed up with John Donoghue to create a device that is implanted in a person's brain, and connected to a computer. The person's mind can send commands to the computer, to help them operate their wheelchair.

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Last updated on April 22 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.