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Why Are Car Seats So Uncomfortable?

It is almost every day that I am asked why car seats are so uncomfortable.  Car seats should be comfortable because American families average about 25 miles per day and spend about an hour behind the wheel of a car every day, and the average American spends about 17,600 minutes behind the wheel per year.  How can vehicles have such uncomfortable seats when so much time is spent in them?

As a general rule, most car seats are uncomfortable because many car manufacturers sacrifice comfort for the sake of manufacturing costs and safety.  Adjust the seat, headrest, and lumbar support if necessary to make it more comfortable. Consider purchasing an orthopaedic seat cushion.

With my 30 years of experience in treating back pain patients and designing orthopaedic products (even a successful Kickstarter campaign for car seats!), let me navigate how to make your car seats more comfortable, which cars have troublesome seats, and which ones would make your living room furniture look like a piece of furniture.

Poor Car Seat Design 

man uncomfortable car

Car seats are often designed to be as small and unobtrusive as possible, which can lead to a lack of comfort. However, there are some car seats that are specifically designed for comfort. These seats are often larger and more padded than traditional car seats, and they may even have features like lumbar support and headrests.  If you’re looking for a more comfortable car seat, be sure to choose one of these options.

When it comes to choosing a car seat, comfort is definitely important. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time in that seat, and you’ll want to make sure that it’s as comfortable as possible. If you’re looking for a more comfortable car seat, be sure to choose one of the following options.








All Day Comfort & Support

First, consider a car seat that has lumbar support. This feature will help to keep your back comfortable while you’re driving. Second, look for a car seat with a padded headrest. This will provide extra cushioning and support for your head. 

Next, choose a car seat that is larger than traditional seats. This will give you more room to stretch out and relax.  Comfort is an important factor when choosing a car seat, so be sure to consider these options if you’re looking for a more comfortable ride.

Lastly, consider trying a forward tilt on your seat.  This may help to keep your neck and spine in alignment, which is especially important if you’re driving for long periods.

When it comes to choosing a car seat, comfort should be one of your top priorities. By opting for a seat that is larger and more comfortable than traditional models, you’ll be able to enjoy a more relaxed ride. Additionally, be sure to look for seats with lumbar support, padded headrests, and a forward tilt. With these features, you’ll be able to stay comfortable on even the longest drives.

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What If My Car Seat is Not Adjustable?

They are not always adjustable, so it can be hard to find a position that is comfortable for both the child and the driver.   If this is the case, there are a few things that can be done to make the situation more comfortable.

One option is to try to find a car seat that is adjustable. If this is not possible, or if the child still does not fit comfortably in the seat, then try putting a pillow or blanket behind them to help prop them up. This will help to keep them from slouching and will make it more comfortable for them to sit in the seat.

back pain in car

Another thing that can be done is to adjust the mirrors so that the driver can see the child better. This will help to keep them safe while they are in the car.

If you are unable to adjust your car seat or find a comfortable position for your comfort, try an ergonomic seat wedge. This may help to improve your posture while driving and make it more comfortable for you.








All Day Comfort & Support

Many Car Seats Are Not Padded Enough

Car seats that don’t have adequate padding may lead to soreness and discomfort over time.   This is especially true for young children who are not used to sitting in a car seat for an extended period of time. Be sure to check the padding on your car seat before you buy it, and if it’s not adequate, consider purchasing a padded cover or cushion to put over the seat.

Soreness and discomfort can also be caused by using a car seat that is too big or too small for your child. If your child’s legs are hanging down or if their head is slumped forward, they may be uncomfortable in their car seat. Be sure to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines when choosing a car seat size, and always keep your child’s height and weight in mind when making decisions about car seats.

poor padding car seat

It’s also important to make sure that your child is buckled in properly. If the straps are too loose, your child may be able to wiggle out of the seat, which could be dangerous. Be sure to check the car seat manual for proper installation and use instructions.

In addition to being uncomfortable, an ill-fitting or poorly padded car seat can also be dangerous. Always make sure that your child is properly secured in their car seat before driving.

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Overheating Causes Car Seats to be Uncomfortable

Car seats can often get very hot in the summer sun, making them uncomfortable to sit in.   Overheating is the main cause of this problem, as it can make the seat surface temperatures increase to levels that are unbearable. There are a few ways to help avoid this, though. One is to park in the shade whenever possible, and another is to use a sunshade to keep the car cooler. You can also try using a seat cover or towel to protect your skin from the heat. Whichever method you choose, just be sure to use it every time you drive, especially during the summer months.

I always recommend natural latex lumbar supports because they are breathable and have open-celled structures. The following are the benefits of using natural latex foam:

  • Latex is superior to other materials when it comes to supporting the spine. The use of latex foam for orthopaedic products is frequently recommended by chiropractors and osteopathic physicians in this context.
  • The most comfortable and supportive mattress available
  • Anti-dust mite and anti-mould protection.
  • Natural products are made without toxic chemicals.
  • The coolest foam type
  • Softness is a movement
  • Long-lasting

Ergonomic Seat Wedge Reduces Car Seat Uncomfort

Having trouble getting comfortable in your car? An ergonomic seat cushion can help alleviate any discomfort. By aligning your spine and redistributing pressure, it can make sitting more comfortable for you.

man sitting with posture cushion

Using an ergonomic seat wedge cushion can lead to a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. It may allow you to sit for longer periods without experiencing discomfort. Furthermore, this cushion fits most standard-sized chairs and is easy to use. I was surprised how similar cheap memory foam seat cushions were on Aliexpress from the listing on Amazon!

How to Correct Your Car Seat Posture

When you’re looking for the right car, it’s important to consider your size and what kind of driving experience is best. If someone who usually drives an SUV has their own vehicle at home but wants something smaller that will be more nimble on tight roads or just as practicality oriented then they should try out some different makes before making any decisions about which model fits them best because there are often adjustments available depending upon how far back into its chair one sits (or forward if sitting upright), whether stereo components hang near ear level versus higher up under dashboard eaves—all sorts.

A person’s height can also affect where optimal seating positions exist within various models; therefore, it is best that consumers test out a car before purchasing to get a feel for what works best.

The following are five of the best small cars for people of different heights.

Seat Height

Adjust the seat height up until your hips are at least as high as your knees. Make sure you can still see the road and the instruments. Make sure you are not so high that you have to bend your head down or to the side in order to see.  If you are still too low after adjusting to the maximum height, try adding a cushion or wedge to the seat.

Seat Cushion Position

In addition to reducing vibrations from the road, cushions are also believed to reduce injuries.  You should avoid touching the bottom of the car seat with the back of your knees since this is bad for your circulation and your knees. At least two fingers should separate the back of your knee from the seat.

Seat Position

Adjust the seat forward so you can depress all the foot pedals without your back moving away from the back of the seat. Knees that are too straight can cause knee pain, so make sure your knees are bent at 20 degrees at least.

Seat Tilt

It is customary to position the car set with the rear of the seat down and the front of the seat up. As a result, many people find this position to be useful as it can prevent forward movement when braking or during an accident. In modern car seats, the addition of a seat belt mechanism (that tightens and locks automobile seatbelts in place in the event of a crash or hard braking) has mostly eliminated this problem, as the backwards angle actually reduces the hip angle and puts more pressure on the lower back. When possible, try positioning the seat bottom so your hips are higher than your knees (or use an orthopaedic seat cushion).

I explain the concept of seat tilt on a TV show HERE

The Car Seat Straps May Cause You to be Uncomfortable

Car seat straps can sometimes be tight and dig into the child’s neck or shoulders.   This can be very uncomfortable, and in some cases, it can even cause pain. If this is happening to your child, you may need to adjust the seat strap tension. You can do this by following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re not sure how to do it, or if the problem persists, you may want to take the car seat to a store so a professional can help adjust it properly.

I’ve written a complete hands-on review about the best sitting position for sciatica and here is what I tested best with my sciatica patients.

shoulder strap

One way to help avoid this discomfort is to make sure your child is wearing light clothing that won’t bunch up under the straps. You can also try using a thin blanket or towel as a cushion between the child and the straps. Just be sure not to use anything too thick, or it will defeat the purpose of the strap adjustment.

Summary of Make Your Car Seat More Comfortable

I hope this article has given you a better understanding of why car seats are often uncomfortable and some tips on how to make them more comfortable. If you consider this information provided, you will be on your way to happy travels!

**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.

Medical Disclaimer: This website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Product Disclaimer: The seat cushion is designed by a chiropractor, but results may vary and are not guaranteed. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition.

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

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC


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.

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