LAST UPDATED: June 12, 2019
Best Lumbar Support for Cars: Our Top Picks for Comfort
Make back pain a thing of the past with lumbar support for your car
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON June 12, 2019
If you spend a lot of time in a car, chances are you’ve felt a bit of a twinge in your back. The good news is that you can alleviate some of the discomfort associated with sitting for long periods of time by investing in lumbar support for your vehicle. Read on to find out everything you need to know to choose the best lumbar support for your car seat.
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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 Lumbar Support for Cars
- Increased comfort. Long road trips can be a pain in the lower and upper back. Lumbar support for your car seat can raise the comfort level up a few notches, making your everyday commute easier, too.
- Pain relief. Driving for long hours can cause strain and stress on your lower back. To reduce and, in some cases, even eliminate your back pain, choose a lumbar support cushion that works for you.
- Better posture. Have you ever noticed that it’s easy to start slouching when you’re driving? A well-designed, high-quality lumbar support cushion can help you improve your posture over time.
- Stress relief. Small aches and pains can add to your overall stress level. The improved comfort of your car seat can make those little nuisances melt away, keeping stress at bay.
Types of Lumbar Support for Cars
Portable Lumbar Support
A compact and overall common choice, these cushions are small enough to be portable and big enough to make a difference in how your back feels when you’re sitting for long periods of time. The two most common designs are the u-shape and the wedge, both of which are great choices if you need your lumbar support to be portable.
Adjustable Lumbar Support
If you’re in need of something a little more high-powered, you’ll want an adjustable lumbar support cushion that can be made to fit the unique lines of your back. These are attached to your headrest via elastic straps, hanging down the length of your seat back. Typically the most ergonomic option, this type of lumbar support is great if you have chronic back problems.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Samsonite is a global brand that is mainly focused on manufacturing luggage and travel accessories. Recently, the company has expanded to include seat cushions, creating a couple of offerings that are suitable for both cars and airplanes. One top product is the SA5447 Memory Foam Support.
Perhaps best known for their tires, Goodyear has expanded to cover a wide array of different car-related needs. Based in Akron, Ohio, the company has been making quality gear for decades, including a number of in-car accessories. One of its most popular products is the GY1015 Full Size Support Pillow.
An internet-based company, Everlasting comfort is one of the biggest manufacturers of automotive seat cushions. Offerings include a wide variety of different lumbar support cushions that are great for relieving back pain associated with car rides. One of its best sellers is the Everlasting Comfort 100 Percent Pure Memory Foam Back Cushion.
Lumbar Support Pricing
- Under $30: At this price point, you can find a variety of different lumbar support options, ranging from wedges and pillows to full-back cushions. The catch is that the quality does vary a lot, making it a bit hit and miss. That being said, there are a small number of really good options available at this price point.
- $30-$50: You’ll find lots of different cushions at this price point in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and levels of support. Most products in this price range are well-crafted and made from durable materials that can stand up to dozens of road trips.
- Over $50: The high-end includes lots of specialty options and high-grade materials like leather and suede. Memory foam, soft-core foam, and a couple of other support options make these some of the most comfortable cushions on the market.
Lumbar support cushions are available in a wide range of sizes. You’ll want to find one that best suits your needs. To do that, take into consideration how often you’ll use it and how much support you want. On top of that, keep in mind that chronic back pain benefits from always using lumbar support, so you’ll want something extra durable if you find yourself in this category.
Material is a critical component of a good lumbar support cushion. You’ll want something durable that is able to retain its shape even with hours of frequent use. If you live somewhere hot, you’ll definitely want to make sure that the material is somewhat breathable so that it feels comfortable temperature-wise.
Many lumbar support cushions come with straps or other types of fasteners to keep them from sliding around during use. That will keep them in place and able to do their job well. The last thing you want is a lumbar support cushion that is nowhere near the place it needs to be to work effectively. Also, keep in mind that adjustable straps mean customizable support. In other words, you’ll be able to place the cushion exactly where you need the lumbar support.
- Compatibility: Car interiors vary widely, and that includes the size and shape of the seats. A lumbar support cushion that works really well in an SUV probably won’t work as well in a compact car, just because the seat is smaller. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing between sizes.
- Comfort: A lumbar support cushion needs to be comfortable, first and foremost. Make sure that the cushion you choose feels good and is the appropriate size and shape for your back
- Covers: If you’ve got anything but a mesh seat cushion, you’ll want to make sure that it has a removable cover. The benefit here is that if spills do happen, or other dirt ever gets onto your support cushion, you can easily clean it.
Best Lumbar Support Seat Cushion Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Made from premium memory foam, this Everlasting Comfort lumbar support cushion keeps your back happy. It’s suitable for both acute and chronic back pain and helps prevent the stress and strain commonly associated with driving for long periods of time. The design is also great for helping alleviate pain for more severe conditions, such as stenosis and herniated disks. Thanks to its ergonomic contouring structure, the cushion can be placed anywhere along the back of the car seat to offer support exactly where you need it.
Dual straps are adjustable and keep the cushion in place during use, preventing annoying slips while you’re driving. The hypoallergenic, breathable mesh cover allows airflow through the cushion to keep your back cool and dry. Plus, the material is dryer-safe, so you can pop the cover in the dryer on low heat to combat any odors that might develop over time. A lifetime replacement guarantee rounds out the feature set.
The only downside is that the pillow is a bit bigger than most competing models. That means it might not be as suitable for smaller cars or smaller frames, but your results may vary. Overall, this is a solid choice that comes at a great value price.
If you spend a lot of time driving, chances are you will experience lower back pain every now and then. Driving puts a lot of strain on your back. But there’s good news: You can relieve the pain with a lumbar support cushion. This orthopedic lumbar back support made by MotorTrend is one of the best on the market. It’s recommended by many chiropractors as it provides support to the lower back and reduces slouching.
This lumbar support for a car contains highly resilient memory foam that helps maintain its shape. It also features an elastic strap that helps anchor it to a car seat. The cushion has a contoured design and hugs your back, ensuring your spine is properly aligned. It has a solid board insert you can remove if you prefer a softer cushion. This lumbar support will improve your posture and alleviate back agony.
However, it’s not ideal for short people, as it will make your stomach and hips jut forward. It also can't be used on Toyota Prius car seats. Its upper part is very thick, and you'll have difficulty leaning back in your seat.
Our top portable choice, this RelaxSupport cushion blends form and function. The orthopedic design and curved structure provide comfort for your lower back and spine, providing the right amount of support to prevent back pain. The unique lateral convex shape gives you additional support in the lumbar area. Removable and washable, the breathable cotton cover makes cleaning this cushion a breeze and keeps air circulation high for better comfort.
Adjustable straps help keep the cushion in place to ensure that it’s working where it needs to work. Plus, the straps can also be removed, which allows you to use the cushion comfortably both horizontally and vertically, supporting your posture. The high-quality memory foam core ensures that the cushion will hold up to frequent use and the money-back guarantee offered by the manufacturer ensures a no-risk trial period.
Compared to competing lumbar support cushions, this one's a bit on the softer side. That’s something to keep in mind if you’re someone that wants a lot of support in your lower back. That being said, testing out a cushion is the best way to find the top fit that will keep you comfortable on long road trips and commutes.
The Samsonite SA5243 Ergonomic Lumbar Support Pillow has an adjustable strap for simple installation. It's designed to keep the cushion in place without moving, and you can change the length as needed. The pillow is supportive and designed to minimize pressure and stress. It's made of high-grade memory foam that will cradle your back and spine, and it measures 13.5 by 14 by 4.5 inches.
The pillow is firm but comfortable and reduces lower back strain. It also improves posture and facilitates better circulation in your lower back. The pillow is lightweight and easy to move from vehicle to vehicle or to your home or office. Users like the cooling properties, which feel particularly good when it's hot in the summer. Other users report that when you use this cushion, you can drive for hours without any discomfort.
However, it has a tendency to absorb liquids if you spill them on it, and it's a little thick for some people. And even though the installation strap is adjustable, some complain it’s still too short for some vehicles.
The LoveHome Memory Foam Lumbar Support Back Cushion is designed to minimize lower and mid-back pain when you're driving or sitting for long periods of time. It promotes proper spinal alignment and posture. It's made of memory foam and won't flatten out; instead, the foam compresses to the shape and curve of your back for optimal comfort and pain relief. It comes with two adjustable straps to prevent it from sliding down on your car seat, office chair, wheelchair, etc.
One of the best things about this product is that it features 3D mesh that’s breathable and promotes airflow. This minimizes sweat and moisture buildup. The company has a 60-day, risk-free return policy in case you don't like the cushion, and it’s also available in several colors, so you can match it to a variety of seats and vehicle interiors.
One problem is that this cushion may be too narrow for some users and may not cover your entire back. Also, the strap that holds the cushion in place may move when you get in and out of your vehicle.
If you like the first option from Everlasting Comfort on our list, you’ll like this second-generation model as well. It's built with 100 percent gel-infused memory foam that is heat-responsive. It adjusts to the shape of your back to provide maximum support. There are also numerous ventilated holes, so it won't get too warm during use. It's very portable and designed for car seats, office chairs, recliners, and more.
A nice thing about this lumbar support pillow is that the cover is machine-washable and dryer-safe. It comes with two straps for stable installation. They’re elastic with adjustable buckles, so you can easily move it from your car to your office. You can also adjust the straps so the cushion sits near your lower, middle, or upper back area.
While the pillow is made of durable, high-quality materials, it may arrive with a slight odor. The company recommends putting it in the dryer for 30 to 40 minutes with fabric softener to remove the smell. The company also provides a lifetime replacement guarantee in case you experience any problems.
If you're looking for a good deal, consider this two-pack lumbar support system from KingPhenix. It's designed to correct your posture and support your lumbar area while you're driving or sitting for long periods of time. It comes with elastic belts, so you can adjust the height from 5.3 to 7 inches to suit your needs. The double-layer mesh is also lightweight and breathable, so your back and waist stay dry.
This back support cushion is simple to install in a vehicle but can also be used at home, school, or in the office. While it may be a little more unusual-looking than some of the other options on this list, it's sturdy and comfortable. It stays in place and supports your back right where you need it. Since it's curved, it seems to fit seats better than pillows with a flat structure.
One problem is that it may be too large for an office chair. The edges may also wear away the seat's material, and some users complain that it's not tall enough.
The MODVEL Back Support works well in your car, home, and office. It's made of 3D mesh and memory foam to provide relief from pain in your waist, spine, and tailbone. The pillow is supportive yet conforms to your back and spine so that it rests in a natural S shape. It's suitable for large and small chairs and comes with two adjustable straps for installation as well as two stretchers, so it works on extra-large seats as well.
The zipper is concealed and won't dig into your back. The cover is removable and washable, so you can keep it clean between uses. One of the best things about this cushion is that the manufacturer provides a two-year warranty if you experience any issues. It's easy to use, provides the right amount of support, and works great for truck drivers who travel hundreds of miles a day.
Some people complain that it's firm when you first sit on it but flattens out too much as time passes during the day. Others complain that it's a little too firm. It may also arrive with a strong odor.
This two-piece lumbar support pillow from SOFTaCARE comes in either black or gray. It relieves pressure on the coccyx and is designed to decrease lower back pain and pressure. The bottom cushion is made of non-slip rubber so it stays in place in your car, office chair, airplane seat, etc. The velour cover is washable. The lumbar support pillow has a pocket for items such as your phone and is made of breathable 3D mesh. The set also comes with adjustable straps to keep it in place.
The set is made of 100 percent memory foam, which is long-lasting. Users like that the cushion can be positioned in the right area of your back to provide comfort in an erect sitting position. It also feels soft yet is sturdily constructed. SOFTaCARE provides a risk-free guarantee if you're not 100 percent satisfied with the product.
Unfortunately, it may not be suitable for larger individuals due to its size. Some users also complain that it's a little too hard or that it flattens out rather quickly during use.
- To save yourself discomfort on long road trips, make sure you bust out the lumbar support cushion from the beginning. Get yourself comfortable and set up for the ride ahead, and prevent lower back strain and discomfort before it even happens.
- A number of seat cushions have a gel core that stays cooler than 100 percent memory foam options. If heat is a concern, you’ll want to look for such an option.
- If you already suffer from lower back pain, it’s a good idea to bring along a heat or cold pack to apply while you’re driving. That’ll help relieve pain while preventing a worsening of symptoms.
- A lot of newer cars come with built-in lumbar support in the seats that can be adjusted. Try using those settings on top of a lumbar support cushion to max out the comfort.
- It also helps to angle your seat back a bit to relax the back’s musculature. Move your seat forward just a smidge and you should already feel more comfortable than you did before.
Q: How do lumbar support cushions work?
A: Lumbar support cushions sit in the small of your back and help prop that area up. The cushion also functions to keep you from sitting in a slumped position, which can cause stress on the muscles, resulting in discomfort or even pain.
Q: Are memory foam or gel cushions the better option?
A: That depends a lot on your personal preference. Memory foam cushions shape to the contours of your back more, but gel cushions tend to be cooler and more supportive overall. It’s a good idea to test out both options if you can, and then choose the one that feels better to you.
Q: How thick should a good lumbar support cushion be?
A: You’ll want to look for a minimum of about 1 - 1.5 inches. Anything less can be an indicator of poor quality, and anything more won’t offer all that much extra support. Again, the level of comfort you experience using a particular cushion should be the final point in making a decision.
Q: What is the difference between a wedge and an all-in-one?
A: Wedge cushions are small and compact, which makes them great for traveling. They’re designed to sit in the small of your back to help support the area. All-in-one lumbar support cushions are typically larger, and they tend to be strapped to your seat, offering more support to your back overall.
Q: Do lumbar support cushions relieve back pain?
A: That depends a lot on the type of back pain you have. Chronic back pain that comes from stress to the muscles can definitely be helped with a lumbar support cushion, as can minor pain that originates from driving itself or stress. Sciatica pain may also be alleviated while using a support cushion.
Our top pick for the best lumbar support for your car is the Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Lumbar Support. It offers great support and comfort for your entire back.
If you’re looking for our best value pick, check out the MotorTrend Portable Orthopedic Lumbar Back Support. It blends form and function, keeping you comfy on long car rides.