People who want to sit in comfort are smart to seek out the correct type of seat cushions for their particular needs. Whether you’re looking for gel enhanced cushions for high levels of comfort and support, orthopedic seat cushions for special situations, memory foam seat cushions, wheelchair cushions, a standard seat pad or just a cushion for car rides, it helps to understand what each cushion does and how it works.


Here are the basics that every consumer should know about how to select a seat pad for whatever purpose:


-Gel cushions offer the most support and are favored by people who have back, neck or various types of body pain. They’re also chosen by consumers who want a high degree of comfort. Gel offers relief to pressure points and although it is heavier than other cushion materials, and usually costs a bit more, gel enhanced seat cushions are a favorite for wheelchair users, long-distance drivers, and people who endure serious bodily pain in any anatomical region.


-Memory foam cushions are easily transportable, conform to the body, and offer a lower degree of support than gel. However, memory foam does a good job for an economical cost, is lightweight and durable. Truck drivers often buy memory foam cushions to relieve the stress on the body that comes from lengthy work periods.  


-Orthopedic cushions are specially-designed to help sufferers of coccyx pain (tailbone pain), lumbar pain and other particular kinds of muscular or bone-related complaints. Usually, orthopedic seat cushions have a cut-out area that allows the body to rest upon the surrounding cushion material while letting the painful area remain freely suspending between the cushioned areas, as is the case with a coccyx cushion.


-Seat pads and cushions work best when adapted to the situation for which they are needed. For example, gel cushions are ideal for people who use wheelchairs and for larger folks who don’t want the cushion to “flatten” out during use. Memory foam cushions are best for standard driving conditions and for smaller people who seek less support.


-Every consumer should think about what type of cushioning they need before shopping for a product. Gel-based cushions and orthopedic products that contain gel tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, while memory foam products are much more economical and more commonly used for everyday cushioning needs. The good news is that there is a cushion for every type of body, every budget, and every medical need. Consider speaking with your doctor if you are seeking a specialized cushion for muscle or joint pain. If you just want something for long drives or routine comfort, ask a cushion expert how to choose the right cushion for you.


Knowing the basic facts about seat pad and seat cushion science will go a long way toward helping consumers select the best seat cushion for their needs.