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 Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON June 12, 2019
If you spend lots of time in a car, chances are you’ve felt a bit of a twinge in your back. The good news is, 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.
- Best OverallSoftaCare Seat Cushion Coccyx Orthopedic Memory Foam and Lumbar Support PillowSummarySummaryTwo-piece comfort. This high-density memory foam lumbar pillow is a great pick if you’re looking for more than just lower back support.ProsProsAdjustable and designed to keep your entire back supported. The thick memory foam material that will stand up to frequent use.ConsConsThe design can be a little frustrating. If not properly positioned and fastened, you have two pieces sliding around instead of just one.
- Best ValueEverlasting Comfort Memory Foam Lumbar SupportSummarySummarySuited for both acute and chronic back pain, this value pick is an all-rounder. If you’re looking for a great back support pillow, check this one out.ProsProsErgonomic, contoured design for optimal support. Dual adjustable straps keep this back support cushion from sliding around. Machine washable cover to keep everything clean.ConsConsBigger than competing chair cushions, making it less suited for compact cars and smaller frames.
- Honorable MentionRelaxSupport RS1 Orthopedic Lumbar Support CushionSummarySummaryGreat portable design makes this a great option for travel. It offers lightweight comfort and medium support for a happy back.ProsProsErgonomic, 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.ConsConsSofter than other cushions out there. If you want more support, you might want to look elsewhere.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product 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 as well, creating a couple of offerings that are suitable for both car and airplane. 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% 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 2019
Best Overall: SoftaCare Orthopedic Memory Foam Lumbar Support Pillow
As a two-piece unit, this cushion offers a lot of adjustability and comfort. The top portion is fully customizable to the exact position you need it, and the u-shaped bottom cushion provides lumbar support. It’s also great for your lower back, making it an ideal pick for long commutes and road trips. Because it attaches to your seat, it’s best suited for single-car use.
Made from thick memory foam, this cushion offers exceptional comfort. A breathable mesh upper keeps you from overheating if you’re sitting for long periods of time. Rubber grips on the bottom of the cushion keep it from sliding around, and an additional strap keeps it fully in place, ensuring that you have the support you need, where you need it.
Overall, this is a great pick if you’re looking for something to make your factory seats more comfortable and back-friendly. The only con we noticed with this lumbar support cushion is that the two-piece system can get a little frustrating, as you have two pieces to keep in place instead of just one. That being said, this model does offer more comfort and support than most all-in-ones.
Best Value: Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Lumbar Support
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, which means that you can pop your cushion in the dryer on a low heat to combat any odors that might develop over time. A lifetime replacement guarantee rounds out the feature set.
The only downside we noticed is that the size of the pillow is a bit bigger than most competing models. That means that 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.
Honorable Mention: RelaxSupport RS1 Orthopedic Lumbar Support Cushion
Our top portable choice, this RelaxSupport cushion blends form and function to make one great product. 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. A 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 for 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.
- 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 which 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 SoftaCare Seat Cushion Coccyx Orthopedic Memory Foam and Lumbar Support Pillow. As a two-piece unit, it offers great support and comfort for your entire back.
If you’re looking for our best value pick, check out the Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Lumbar Support. It blends form and function, keeping you comfy on long car rides.