Lumbar Supports For Cars: Stay Comfortable on Long Drives

These reliable lumbar supports will protect your spine and promote good posture on any drive.

byLisa Conant| UPDATED May 18, 2022 2:31 PM
Lumbar Supports For Cars: Stay Comfortable on Long Drives
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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.

Have you noticed you’re getting out of the car slower than your 90-year-old grandmother? Struggling to get comfortable on long car rides? Well, according to the American Chiropractic Association, 80 percent of adults will experience back pain in their lifetime. It accounts for 264 million lost workdays per year in the U.S. alone. One thing you can do to promote proper posture and minimize your risk of developing lower back pain while driving is to use a lumbar support in your car whenever you drive. 
Lumbar supports for cars are especially beneficial for anyone who drives long distances or very frequently, and let’s face it, that’s just about everyone nowadays. So, if you’re in the market for a new lumbar support for your car, The Drive has got you covered with our top picks and an informative buying guide to help ensure you find the one that’s just right for you.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Our Methodology

Being a licensed chiropractor myself, I know a thing or two about high-quality lumbar supports. In fact, I’ve actually recommended many of these for my patients and tested several myself.  When selecting the top picks, I wanted to go with reliable manufacturers who have a solid track record of producing reliable, durable, and supportive products. Because not all spines are the same, you’ll notice there are lumbar supports of varying heights and thicknesses. And, of course, I wanted to offer a variety of different price points in order to fit any budget. For more info on product selection, check out this link to The Drive’s Gear About page which explains our methodology further.

Best Lumbar Support for Car Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Brand: Memory Foam
  • Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 13 inches
  • Machine Washable:Yes

Pros

  • Ergonomic, contoured design for optimal support
  • Dual adjustable straps keep this back support cushion from sliding around
  • Machine-washable cover to keep everything clean

Cons

  • Bigger than competing chair cushions and may be too much for petite users
  • Less suited for compact cars and smaller seats

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. Consider pairing this item with a comfortable and supportive car neck pillow for extra-long road trips.

Specs

  • Material:Memory Foam
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 14 x 4.5 inches
  • Machine Washable:Yes

Pros

  • Hugs your back, keeping your spine properly aligned
  • Super affordable
  • Memory foam filling helps relieve any pressure on your lumbar area

Cons

  • Top part of the lumbar support is too thick and creates some unwanted space between you and the car seat
  • Tends to flatten over time

The Samsonite SA5243 Ergonomic Lumbar Support Pillow is an excellent budget-friendly option that 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 x 14 x 4.5 inches. The cushion 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. One drawback, however, is that 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, it may still be too short for some vehicles.

Specs

  • Material:Memory Foam
  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 8.3 x 4 inches
  • Machine Washable:Yes

Pros

  • Ergonomic, curved design helps support the lumbar area
  • Adjustable and removable straps keep the cushion in place and allow for horizontal and vertical use
  • Machine washable cover

Cons

  • Softer and less durable than other cushions out there
  • May be too short for taller and longer spines

The orthopedic design and curved structure of the RelaxSupport RS1 Orthopedic Lumbar Support Cushion provide comfort and the proper support for your lower back and spine. The unique lateral convex shape gives you additional support in the lumbar area. A removable, washable, breathable cotton cover makes cleaning this cushion a breeze and keeps air circulation high for better comfort. Adjustable straps help keep the cushion snuggly in place. 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.

Specs

  • Material:Velour cover, memory foam padding
  • Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 3 inches
  • Machine Washable:Yes

Pros

  • Two separate pieces for customized comfort
  • Velour cover is luxurious and washable
  • Great for people with tailbone pain while driving

Cons

  • May be too firm for some users
  • Foam tends to flatten rather quickly

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. This is a great car seat cushion option for truckers. The set is made of 100 percent memory foam, which is long-lasting. 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.
Best Breathable Lumbar Support for Car
Modvel Lumbar Support Posture Corrector for Car

Specs

  • Material:Velour cover, memory foam padding
  • Dimensions: 15.2 x 12.6 x 4.02 inches
  • Machine Washable:Yes

Pros

  • Super breathable mesh cover allows cooling air flow
  • Dual straps for optimal seat adjustments
  • Suitable for larger persons and larger car seats

Cons

  • Firmness may not be ideal for all individuals
  • Added bulk may push users too close to the edge of their seats

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.
Best Adjustable Lumbar Support for Car
KingPhenix Lumbar Support with Double-Layer Mesh

Specs

  • Material: Nylon mesh
  • Dimensions: 16 x 14 x 7 inches
  • Machine Washable: No

Pros

  • Can adjust the level of lumbar support
  • Comes in a convenient and budget-friendly two-pack
  • Super breathable and maximum airflow

Cons

  • Edges can wear on seat material
  • May not be tall enough for some users

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. It’s one of the best cooling car seat cushion options available. 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 it may not be tall enough for some larger individuals.
Best Heavy-Duty Lumbar Support for Car
KingPhenix Lumbar Support with Double-Layer Mesh

Specs

  • Material: Gel-infused memory foam
  • Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 12.5 inches
  • Machine Washable: Yes

Pros

  • Heat-responsive memory foam
  • Plenty of ventilated holes in the cushion so your back doesn’t get too hot
  • Great for cars, office chairs, recliners, and more

Cons

  • Emits a chemical odor initially
  • May be too firm for more petite users

The Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Gel-Infused Lumbar Support is 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 a fabric softener to remove the smell. The company also provides a lifetime replacement guarantee in case you experience any problems.
Best Lumbar Support for Mid-Size and Compact Cars
LoveHome Memory Foam Lumbar Support Back Cushion

Specs

  • Material: Memory foam
  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 4.3 x 13.4 inches
  • Machine Washable: Yes

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of color options
  • Memory foam is more durable than some competing models
  • 60-day return policy

Cons

  • Straps could be stronger
  • May be too narrow or small for larger users

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.

Our Verdict on the Best Lumbar Supports for Cars

When it comes to the best overall pick for a lumbar support for your car, it’s tough to beat the Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Lumbar Support. Made from premium memory foam, 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.

For a reliable and long-lasting budget-friendly option, check out the Samsonite SA5243 Ergonomic Lumbar Support Pillow. This orthopedic lumbar back support is recommended by chiropractors, as it properly supports the lower back and minimizes slouching.

What to Consider When Buying Lumbar Supports for Cars

While it may seem like it, choosing a lumbar support for your car isn’t a one-size-fits-all selection. Choosing the right size, material, and level of support are just a few things to consider when getting the best one to suit your specific needs and desires. 

Types of Lumbar Support for Cars

Portable Lumbar Support

A compact and overall common choice, these car 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. 

Lumbar Support for Car Key Features 

Size

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.

Cushion Material

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.

Adjustability

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.

Lumbar Support for Car Pricing

You can get a good-quality lumbar support for your car for under $30. These may be made from memory foam or mesh. They come in a variety of different sizes and thicknesses, as well as different shapes and support options. They may not last as long as some higher-end, better quality cushions, though. If you’re looking for a durable lumbar support that may last longer and provide firmer support for larger spines, expect to spend between $30 an $50. Upwards of $50, you will find the cream of the crop of lumbar supports. Covers are made from super comfortable and durable materials like suede, leather, velour, and more. These will be some of the longest-lasting, most well-made cushions on the market. This price range is also where you’ll find some top-notch car seat massager cushions.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

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: 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.