LAST UPDATED: May 9, 2019
Best Car Seat Cushion for Long Drives: Take The Pain Out of Commuting
Choose a quality seat cushion to enhance your ride quality during long trips
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON May 9, 2019
There is no doubt that a long commute can cause excruciating back pain, which is why many drivers turn to externals for relief. Car seat cushions for long distance driving are designed to minimize some of this discomfort that we have during the daily grind. Join us as we compare the most effective seat cushions that you can get for a long distance drive.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Seat Cushions
- Spinal support. The right ergonomic auto seat cushions are designed to support your back.
- Interior protection. Seat cushions do more than just benefit your comfort, they also protect your seat from wear and tear. The driver’s seat experiences the worst wear from constantly going in and out of the vehicle.
- Increased visibility. The right pair of car seat cushions will give you a slight boost in visibility, which is a benefit to driver safety if you have a large vehicle with a bad blind spot.
Types of Seat Cushions
The most common form of the seat cushion is actually the seat cover. These are sold in sets and have the cushioning and back support built in. Car seat covers for back pain are an excellent way to protect your interior, or just give your seats a fresh new look.
Stand-Alone Seat Cushions
Another form of the seat cushion is the stand-alone variety. These are generally a pillow made from memory foam or other materials such as cotton. Today’s seat cushions are made for all types of situations, from massaging to spinal support. The stand-alone seat cushions are ideal for a long drive, or if you are just experiencing lower back pain from constant driving.
Aylia is a health and wellness company that was founded in 2008 by a husband and wife duo, specializing in seat cushions and exercise bands. The company makes a couple of different cushions that target different areas of discomfort such as the tailbone, sciatica, and even lumbar region. These products are made with the idea that the company doesn’t want to reinvent the wheel, but improve upon products that their customers already want. The Aylio Donut Luxury Memory Foam Pillow is a great seat cushion (with removable cover) to consider.
When it comes to back pain and comfort, there is one brand that has been on the shelves of drug stores since 2013, and that’s PharMeDoc. The brand specializes in a broad range of back support products that range from pregnancy pillows to car seat cushions. The product line is very extensive and geared toward those with sciatica pain and other back issues. The PharMeDoc Orthopedic Coccyx Cushion is designed for comfort while driving as well as at the workplace.
Everlasting Comfort is a company that makes a wide range of household health products, ranging from ultrasonic humidifiers to car seat covers for back pain. This line of products has enabled the company to be in tune with what its customers are looking for. This means that you’ll get a quality seat cushion that will aid in back pain relief and make those long commutes a little more pleasurable. The Everlasting Comfort 100% Pure Memory Foam Wedge Seat Cushion is one of its most popular products.
Car Seat Cushion Pricing
- $10-40: This is the category that you’ll find the memory foam and cotton models, generally with a similar design.
- $40-$70: Cushions here are generally made by more well-known players in the health business, and they feature a more mainstream design.
- $70-$100: This is going to be your most expensive category of seat cushions. These generally incorporate some sort of electronic function such as a pulsating massage.
Memory Foam Design
Generally speaking, many of today’s seat cushions are made from memory foam. This gives the seat an ability to curve to the body’s shape, offering a more comfortable ride. Memory foam also stays cool, even during a long drive. This is also a nice feature to have when you have to park your car in the sun for an extended period since the seat cushion will protect your legs from those hot leather seats.
A great positive with ergonomic auto seat cushions is the fact that they are machine-washable. Thanks to memory foam and new manufacturing processes, you can take those dirty seat cushions out and throw them in the washing machine for a quick clean up. This is also a nice feature to have if you tend to eat and drink during your commute.
- Correct Fit: Every seat cushion is different, from different materials to different shapes. Make sure to find the seat cushion that fits your needs, whether its for sciatica pain or comfort during a long commute.
- Electronic Features: There are electronic seat cushions that offer massaging functions. While great for comfort, these seat cushions require batteries, and their shelf life is not that great with a long daily commute.
Best Car Seat Cushion Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The VivaLife Cooling Gel Car Seat Cushion is a well-rounded pick for the best car seat cushion for long drives. When we compared seat cushions, the VivaLife came out on top in terms of sheer comfort and quality design. This quality is more than just skin deep, as the memory foam internals give this seat cushion ease of care that many seat cushions don’t come close to.
The memory foam cushion is specifically designed to target tailbone pain. The VivaLife touts a gel layer on top, which is used to cool the seat cushion during those hot summer days in the parking lot. The washable cover is ideal for upkeep, especially during long commutes.
The flat design of the VivaLife is a drawback for shorter drivers, who might be relying on a seat cushion for better visibility. Another drawback is the seat strap which is used to keep the VivaLife in place. Instead, it just ends up getting in the way. Still, the VivaLife Cooling Gel Car Seat Cushion is one of the best seat cushions that you can get for those long drives.
The ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion comes as a three-in-one package that makes it one of the most comfortable seat cushions on the market. It’s designed with a 100 percent memory foam and topped off with a gel layer that gives a cooling feeling when you sit for long hours. It’s further reinforced with a non-slip rubber bottom to prevent the cushion from moving around― even when you need to turn when reversing.
The cushion is ergonomically designed with a cut-out to offer orthopedic benefits. It relieves back pain, pregnancy-related sciatica, and is great for people with herniated discs. It provides health benefits by correcting your sitting position to relieve pressure on your tailbone. With a zippered and machine-washable velour cover, you won’t have to worry about drink spills or getting the cushion dirty. This product is also recommended for office chairs, airplane rides, and wheelchairs.
However, there are a few drawbacks that are worth noting. First, the memory foam may flatten out with frequent use. You may get at least a year of use before it starts to get uncomfortable. The cooling gel hardens the top layer and that may feel uncomfortable for some. Moreover, the cushion may not fit snugly on some contoured seats.
This U-shaped car seat cushion is worth our honorable mention because it targets the areas of back pain that long term commuters develop. The design incorporates a shape that is beneficial to the tailbone portion of your back, which is where sciatica pain hits the nerve. This makes the Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion a notable ally for those long commutes, where you tend to get very stiff after a few hours of driving.
The bottom of the Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion is rubber with grips along with it, which keeps the cushion from sliding around your car seat. This seat cover also has a machine-washable design that's made from breathable mesh. What makes it unique is the fact that the exterior cover unzips, which allows you to wash just the exterior without ruining the high-density memory foam innards in your washing machine.
The Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion is awkwardly shaped when compared to other seat cushions, and the memory foam design is not geared for larger people. But, aside from these drawbacks, the Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion is a very good seat cushion for those long drives.
The SOFTaCARE Seat Cushion is supportive, cushioning, and comfortable for any long ride. It’s an orthopedic cushion, which means it delivers critical support for your back and any potential sore sports. When you sit on this car seat cushion, it decreases pressure on the coccyx.
When paired with the optional lumbar support pillow, it can also help relieve pain in the lower back. Both the cushion and the lumbar support are made of 100-percent pure premium memory foam, which delivers the perfect support — the memory foam conforms to your body and won’t go flat over time.
That foam is covered in a velour zipper cover that you can remove for easy cleaning and washing. There’s even a non-slip rubber bottom on the cushion’s covering, so it won’t slide around while you’re in the car.
If you’re worried about a car cushion keeping you hot on long rides, consider the CYLEN Memory Foam Bamboo Charcoal Infused Seat Cushion. This unique cushion is made with state-of-the-art memory foam, which delivers comfort as you sit along with pain relief as it relieves pressure on the tailbone and lower back.
The memory foam is infused with bamboo charcoal, which helps ventilate the cushion and keep you cool. The inclusion of bamboo charcoal absorbs natural smells — which keeps your car cushion odor-free — and it can regulate humidity and temperature for increased air flow.
Covering this special memory foam material is a non-slip cover that’s removable and washable. Backed by a five-year warranty, this is one car cushion you can rely on for drives of any length.
- Look for cushions manufactured by health and wellness companies. The focus here is on back pain, as opposed to just a generic cushion.
- A massaging seat cushion is not always a good option, especially if you are suffering from sciatica or nerve damage.
- Try to stick to memory foam seat cushions for long drives since leather materials get very hot in the sun.
Q: Is memory foam hypoallergenic?
A: Memory foam and latex are both hypoallergenic materials, which means that they are safe for anyone who has fabric allergies. In addition to being hypoallergenic, today’s memory foam seat cushions generally come with a machine-washable design, which allows you to avoid dirt and dust build up.
Q: Is a wedge seat cushion good for a petite person?
A: Believe it or not, the wedge seat cushion is suitable for a petite person or a plus-sized person, with the flat design providing exceptional weight distribution. Being petite puts more strain on the tailbone and lower back during a long drive, which is why a wedge seat cushion is a great option.
Q: Do memory foam seat cushions give off any odors?
A: No, the memory foam has an odorless scent as with memory foam mattresses. This gives the memory foam seat cushions a distinct advantage over rubber ones, which give off a bad odor after sitting in the sun.
Q: Is a seat cushion a fix for an uncomfortable driver's seat?
A: New cars, especially performance cars, tend to have very stiff seats. A seat cushion is a great way to get some added comfort in your daily commute. Some car seats are uncomfortable because of cheap design, and a seat cushion is about the only way to get a comfortable ride.
Our overall best pick for long term comfort during your drive is the VivaLife Cooling Gel Car Seat Cushion. This is a well-rounded car seat cushion that offers exceptional relief from sciatica pain and offers a comfortable long-term ride.
Our best value pick is the ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion, which offers a comfortable memory foam design and the ability to be machine-washed.