A wheelchair cushion provides support and allows for even weight distribution to prevent pressure sores and maximize comfort.
There are many different types of wheelchair cushions on the market. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types are:
- Gel memory foam
- Alternating pressure
Air, hybrid and alternating pressure cushions are ideal for those who are unable to carry out pressure relieving movements throughout the day. While more expensive, these cushions are the best at preventing pressure sores in those who with very limited movement.
Foam and gel memory foam are the most popular types of cushion material. They offer excellent support and comfort, and they’re budget-friendly. We’ll share six of our favorites to help you find the right pressure relief cushion for your wheelchair.
1. VIVE Wheelchair Cushion Xtra-Comfort Series
The cushion features four layers of supportive comfort:
- Non-slip base and water-resistant cover that’s machine washable.
- Waterproof seal to prevent fluids from entering the foam.
- Resilient foam that holds its shape to provide supportive comfort all day.
- Liquid gel interior for extra comfort and even pressure distribution.
This wheelchair seat cushion has a liquid gel core that offers superior pressure distribution compared to regular foam. With two waterproof layers, you don’t have to worry about spills or moisture wearing down and warping the foam.
VIVE’s Xtra-Comfort cushion is designed to fit standard wheelchairs and office chairs. The non-slip base keeps the cushion in place, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping if you have to adjust your sitting position.
The cushion is large enough to cover the entire seat, but it’s still small and lightweight enough to be portable.
The cushion’s dimensions are:
- 75” x 15” and 2” thick
VIVE offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can buy this cushion with peace of mind in knowing that if it doesn’t work for you, you can get your money back.
2. VIVE Cushion Gel Seat
- Water-resistant cover that’s soft to the touch and machine washable.
- Waterproof seal to prevent fluid from entering the foam cushion.
- Comfortable and supportive foam that holds its shape.
- Liquid gel interior for even pressure distribution.
The cushion’s liquid gel core allows for superior weight distribution to prevent and alleviate pressure sores. It also has two waterproof layers to keep fluid and moisture away from the foam layer.
VIVE’s pressure relief cushion is just the right size to fit standard wheelchairs, and office chairs. It covers the entire seat, but is still small and light for easy portability.
This cushion is a little smaller than the previous model from VIVE, with dimensions of:
- 18” x 16” and 2.5” thick
Like other VIVE products, this model has a 60-day money-back guarantee.
3. Xtreme Comforts Large Cushion
- 19” x 17.5” and 3.5” thick
Like the other cushions on our list, this one has a removable cover that’s machine washable for easy care. The cover features a breathable material, so you don’t have to worry about overheating when sitting on the cushion.
The durable foam in this cushion won’t lose its shape even after extensive use. The size is a little larger than the VIVE cushions, but it still fits standard wheelchairs. And because of its easy portability, this cushion can also be used on office chairs, cars, trains, planes and even at sporting events.
4. Essential Medical Supply Fleece Covered Cushion
Essential Medical Supply’s cushion is actually designed for use with wheelchairs. The fleece cover adds to the comfort level, and the thick layer of foam adds support. The cover is also machine washable and breathable.
This cushion’s dimensions are:
- 18” x 16” and 3” thick
Although this wheelchair pad does not have a gel layer, the thick foam does make it comfortable and supportive. The breathable cushion helps eliminate some of the circulation issues that come with regular foam.
Essential Medical Supply also offers another cushion size: 16” x 16,” so if you have a narrower wheelchair, you can opt for a smaller size.
The only complaint with this cushion is that it doesn’t have a non-slip bottom. This can make it a little difficult to keep the cushion in place when it’s in use. Otherwise, it’s a soft and comfortable option for wheelchairs of virtually every size.
5. Kieba Coccyx Seat Cushion
Kieba’s seat cushion is designed for maximum comfort and pain relief. There’s a premium memory foam layer that features soothing gel technology for support and comfort. This model is a little larger, which provides more gel coverage other gel cushions.
The U-shaped design alleviates pain and tension from the lower back, hip, tailbone, sciatic areas and spine. And it has a removable cover that’s machine washable for easy care.
Kieba’s coccyx seat cushion has the following dimensions:
- 14” x 18” and 3” thick
This model weighs just three pounds, so it’s easily portable. It can also be used in cars, planes, trains and even office chairs.
The premium therapeutic foam will not flatten out even after prolonged use, and the non-slip bottom ensures that the cushion stays in place. If you have to shift positions, you don’t to worry about the cushion slipping off the seat or moving into an uncomfortable position.
6. Tektrum Thick Orthopedic Gel Seat Cushion
This cushion is the ideal size for a wheelchair, although it’s not as thick as other models. Tektrum’s cushion has the following dimensions:
- 18” x 16” and 1.8” thick
A pressure-relieving soft gel is layered over high density foam to redistribute pressure and offer relief. The foam holds its shape even after prolonged use, so you don’t have to worry about it flattening over time.
The non-slip bottom keeps the cushion in place during use, and the neoprene cover material is breathable for added comfort. The cushion also has built-in cooling vents to keep you cool even when using the cushion for a long period of time.
The cover isn’t removable, so you won’t be able to wash it in the washing machine. But it’s anti-microbial and water resistant. It can also be spot cleaned with a damp rag.
Portable and lightweight, this cushion is easy to take with you on the go. While not as thick as other options, Tektrum’s cushion still offers excellent support and pressure relief.
You can also use a coccyx seat cushion if you are having issues with tailbone pain. You will most likely feel this pain at the bony spot at the bottom of your spine. If you are experiencing this type pain, there are specially designed cushions that can provide relief. You can find one that we recommend here: https://www.upliftingmobility.com/coccyx-seats/
Tim is a professional caregiver who has helped hundreds of seniors gain back their freedom and independence. He has been actively helping the senior community for 20+ years.