The 9 Best Tips for Selecting a Gel Seat Cushion

   This post has been quality checked in line with our Editorial and Research Policy.

The 9 Best Tips for Selecting a Gel Seat Cushion

How do you decide if gel seat cushions work or which one is the best when you’re shopping online for a gel seat cushion? If you are considering buying gel seat cushions, this article will help you identify the essential attributes to consider.

As a general rule, gel seat cushions can help you take some of the pressure off your spine and tailbone. A gel seat cushion may decrease the amount of weight that’s placed on your coccyx or ischial tuberosities by increasing surface area as you sit, which relieves stress in those areas.

As someone who’s been in the chiropractic game all their life and has had extensive experience researching products, I have come to learn that there is no such thing as THE perfect product. There are many different types of gel seat cushions available on the market today with various pros and cons but only through trial-and-error can we determine what works best for us personally.

woman jogging low back pain

You might feel like your back is hurting after sitting for a while and you don’t even know why. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for slouching or leaning forward in an uncomfortable manner when we’re tired. However, finding a comfortable seat cushion can help solve the problem.

Seat cushions can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of buying a new, therapeutic chair. Not sure where to begin? This research has been done for you and I found some amazing cushions! The best part is that many of these products will also relieve aching muscles and lower back pain caused by slouching or leaning.

Type of Gel for Seat Cushion

A gel in a seat cushion is designed to let the user reduce the pressure on their skin while sitting.  Since these gels are usually not liquid if they are punctured the cover will not leak.

gel bladder seat cushion for wheelchair

Some wheelchair cushions also use water-based gels for their cushions. Because of extreme temperatures over time, they tend to become less comfortable and harder as the temperature approaches freezing level. In a climate below this level, they are useless as gel car seat cushions.

Size of Gel Seat Cushion

thespinery.com latex seat posture cushion

The size of the sitting contact surface area is really important because it will have a major influence on how your skin feels when you sit down. The larger the sitting contact size, the lower amount of pressure will be in this area and therefore less discomfort from restricted circulation. So always choose to go for a large cooling gel seat cushion possible!  To maximize the comfort of your seat, choose a cushion size corresponding to your body size.

A Seat Cushion That Is Portable

young man with portable latex seat cushion

Do you want to frequently move the gel seat cushion from home to car, office, or kitchen table? If so, you should look for a cushion with handles to facilitate cushion portability. 

A Cushion That Is Quick and Easy to Clean

cover in washing machine

Who doesn’t have those moments when they spill their coffee or maybe a bottle of water? You know, spilling is just one of the many hazards we face in our day-to-day routine. Your car seat should be able to withstand some spills and still remain looking nice for you! Make sure that your gel cushion cover can clean up quickly with soap and water–or even better yet if it’s machine washable so there’s no need to spend time scrubbing at scuff marks yourself.

Cover for the Cooling Gel Seat Cushion

seat cover latex cushion

Maximize the surface contact area between yourself and your cushion for comfort. The best seat covers have a stretchable top layer that will adjust to fit you, so it won’t distract from or impede your body-conforming gel layers beneath it.

You can’t have a perfect top layer that’s soft and body-conforming with a non-flexible cover made from a cheap vinyl or any other similar material. That way you won’t get the benefit of the underlying cooling gel!

Furthermore, if you plan to use your gel cushion for a long period of time, you should make sure it has thick side ventilation fabric so that it can breathe and not get too hot.

Getting the Right Density and Thickness of Gel Seat Cushions 

A chair with inadequate support may be extremely uncomfortable, especially for those with larger bodies. A seat cushion must be able to support and comfort all body types. 

seat foam density chart

To feel comfortable, it is more important to have a dense and firm seat cushion. When making your final decision regarding how much weight to put on a particular material, always consider how dense or thick it will be. Buying a thick cushion may be tempting. The problem is that soft fillings cause the seat cushions to become thin.

Many people are confused by scientific terms. By definition, many scientific terms in physics can be interchanged. Still, words have different meanings and can be used in entirely different situations. The term density is relevant when it comes to getting the best gel seat cushion.

density vs weight seat cushions

Seat cushion sales often use the term ‘density’ in marketing jargon. Density is a physical property of matter. A measure of the total amount of matter in a unit volume. Size has no effect on an object’s density. In other words, density is a physical property that takes up a lot of space.

Therefore, a cushion with a high density will have more matter, in order to hold you up and not bottom out. However, you can still find a seat cushion that is both supportive and soft enough to meet your needs. 

Is There a Weight Limit for Gel Seat Cushions?

The importance of a cushion’s weight limit cannot be overstated, no matter what it is. You should make sure that the cushion is comfortable for your body type. You should carefully read the product page or reviews before purchasing one without knowing how much it can support. 

You may also find it helpful to ask online for specific recommendations from users with similar body types to yours. The packaging of most of these high-quality comfort solutions does not make the customer explicit, but some do on their website!

Gel Seat Cushion Resilience

A foam layer’s compression factor describes how much force is needed to compress it. This measurement is essential because it defines how much resistance you’ll encounter when pressing down on your seat cushion and what type of feel you’ll experience with each one. Technically, natural latex foam has a much higher compression modulus than memory foam that’s about 2.6 times more!

To make sure that the seat cushion is supported, you should attach a firm foam base and top it with softer foam. When a tougher foam bends into a softer foam, compression happens instead of pressure being absorbed. Cushions made from natural latex generally gain firmness over time rather than by layering. Layers provide greater firmness on top of the seat while allowing heavier areas to sink into the cushion. 

I want to emphasize to you that natural latex and foam have the property of ‘absorption’, which can absorb energy. It absorbs approximately 25 per cent of the energy it is exposed to. 

When compared to absorption, resilience describes how a material reacts when dropped. Foams made of natural latex are more “springy” than foams made of other materials. I created a video below showing the absorption and resilience of natural latex.

Gel Foam Compared to Memory Foam and Natural Latex

Gel/Memory Seat Wedge Foam Combinations (1/5) ☆☆☆☆★

memory foam seat cushion with gel cooling cushion

Featuring a gel-infused top, this seat cushion is made of memory foam. These pillows do not appear to possess the contouring properties and cooling properties that conform to your body. We found that our customers felt that the pads didn’t provide adequate cooling or comfort.

Gel Honeycomb Seat Wedge Cushions (3/5) ☆☆★★★

gel seat cushion with red cross on top of it

These pillows are constructed of silicon-based honeycomb foams.  As these types of cushions let the air flow freely, you will not sweat as much as you would otherwise. Its tendency to bottom out easily made the product uncomfortable for users even though silicone is renowned for its durability.

Natural Latex Foam Seat Wedge Cushions (5/5) ★★★★★

seat cushion for heavy people

A natural latex seat cushion can help you improve your posture and reduce pain while you sit. The heavier parts of your body sink into the latex, while the lighter parts remain free so that your lower body is naturally aligned. Also, it improves blood circulation, allowing your spine to align effectively, relieving pressure points! 

They can be customized in various ways, and they are versatile according to the needs of the user. In addition, they are not harmful since they contain no harsh chemicals or agents.

 Memory Foam Seat Wedge Cushions (2/5) ☆☆☆★★

wrong memory foam

Memory foam has its place, but not in all situations. Since memory foam cushioning response differently to pressure than other cushioning materials, it may not be as comfortable when you are sitting straight or your body does not mould around it as much.  

In order to be able to sit upright and in a seated position more comfortably, a responsive seat cushion is recommended for people with limited mobility. A memory foam cushion is almost insensitive, making it inefficient for posture correction and back pain relief. As a result, memory foams retain more heat in warm weather, resulting in a warmer feeling even when cooled down with air conditioning. Because memory foam is a petrochemical, it contains harsh chemicals and fire retardants as well.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for a gel seat cushion, it’s important to know what features are worth considering and which ones may not be as helpful. For example, if the only thing that matters is how good your back feels after sitting on the cushion for an extended period of time then durability might not matter so much. 

However, if you want something that lasts long enough to make owning it worthwhile then durability becomes more crucial than anything else. We’ve covered some key attributes here but there will certainly be others depending on exactly what kind of support or relief you need from your new purchase. Our blog has ergonomic information available in case our article didn’t cover all the bases – visit us today!

**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Share This