Sit up straight.
My dad used to tell my brothers and I that at the dinner table. Often. I think it was something he heard as a kid from his very proper mother, and he just parroted it.
But like many things our parents tell us—and we’d rather not do—he was right. How we sit has an impact on our overall health and wellbeing. I know that now and feel a little guilty for all the times I rolled my eyes at my dad.
For many people, the back pain they’ll experience has nothing to do with some trauma they may have received. It’s the day-to-day activities that don’t necessarily cause us pain to begin with that can have a cumulative impact on us.
Like sitting at your computer for hours on end.
The American Journal of Public Health reports that sitting for more than eight hours a day will increase your risk of premature death or contracting a chronic disease by about 10-20%.
That’s bad enough. Now factor in the daily pain you can get from spending all day in a chair not designed to be sat in for that length of time.
Many people are working from home now, and perhaps you’re just making do with whatever chair you have. If you’re spending your day at the computer, whether for work or school, do yourself a favor and keep reading because there’s a good chance you are aggravating your spine.
Or maybe you’re driving for a living. If you’re a delivery driver, you’re probably on the road for longer hours than before. Whether you’re sitting at a desk or sitting behind the wheel, your back needs the proper support.
The US National Library of Medicine published a study of 28 male participants both with and without any history of lower back pain. They were asked to sit in a standard office chair for 30 minutes along with a lumbar support pillow. Their postures were measured, and comfort levels determined. It was concluded that using a lumbar support pillow reduced lumbar flattening in healthy individuals as well as in those who already suffered from lower back pain.
Let’s take that a step further and say that if you’re not already using a chair with a built in lumbar support, you should be researching and purchasing a lumber support pillow.
And lucky for you, I have you covered—at least for the research part of the equation. You’ll need to look after the purchase part on your own, but I’ll make it easy for you by providing direct links to my top picks.
Here is a list of my best ranked lumbar support cushions. A lot or research has gone into the selection both by consumers and health professionals. I’m simply curating it for you here to save you even more time sitting at your computer without proper back support.
1. Best Overall Lumbar Support Cushion: Dosaze Lumbar Relief Pillow, $75 each
Complete support everywhere you need it, that’s what matters. And that’s exactly what the Dosaze Lumbar support pillow offers. Trust me, your lower back will thank you. Whether you use this on a chair or in your car, it will improve your posture. And an improved posture means less pressure and stress on your lumbosacral discs. What does that mean for you? Whether you are sitting for work or for fun, it will improve your experience. Better productivity for work, and a relaxed body and mind when it’s time to play.
Made from extra dense bamboo charcoal memory foam, this cushion will spring back even after thousands of hours.
Available in black and navy.
Dimensions: 14.6 W x 5.1 D x 16.9 H inches
- Easy refunds if you’re not happy
- Includes adjustable straps so it holds in place regardless of the type of chair
- High density memory foam
- Breathable fabric
- Washable cover
- All memory foam will go through a slight off gassing period
2. Best Travel Lumbar Support Cushion: Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Travel Pillow, $19.99 each
Need something for planes, trains, and automobiles? Maybe your doctor’s office is uncomfortable chairs. Whatever the situation, if you need something to go, this is a great choice. You can roll it up into a tight role and put it in your purse or backpack, and then use the self inflating nozzle to fill it when it’s needed.
Dimensions: 18 x 9 x 2 inches when inflated
- Great solution for short term uses
- Auto inflates
- Complaints that that they lose air and deflate
- Since you need to adjust inflation to get it where it will properly support, it can be problematic
3. Best Gel Lumbar Support Cushion: Everlasting Comfort Seat/Lumbar Cushion Combo, $49.95 each
This is Everlasting Comforts 2nd generation cushion. It was revised to add gel infusion memory foam. Ventilation and heat responsive technology mean they absorb body heat and then release it. Both lumbar and seat cushion are ergonomically designed and can be placed anywhere support is needed.
- Lifetime replacement policy
- Gel infused
- Non–slip seat cushion
- Breathable covers
- Machine washable cover
- Unfortunately, the heat that is initially absorbed can make you quite hot, so this isn’t recommended for people who are naturally warm
- Complaints that it is too hard for some, which could increase pain instead of reducing it
4. Best Value Lumbar Support: ACVCY Lumbar Mesh Support, $13.99 each
These are a little different from our other selections. Not in support but in construction. Instead of being made out of a material with give, like memory foam, these are a mesh on a frame. The benefit here is something that allows for complete airflow, meaning it is 199% breathable. It’s also quite reasonably priced.
- No memory foam, so no off gassing
- Several complaints that it only lasts a few months
- It’s hard, without much give
- Not adjustable at all
5. Best Roll Shaped Lumbar Cushion: Original McKenzie Lumbar Roll, $21.95
Probably one of the most well-known support cushions, the Original McKenzie Lumbar Roll has been around for more than 25 years. It’s simple, yet versatile, and small enough to be carried easily. It’s available in both firm and regular density foam.
Dimensions: 11 L x 4.75 inches diameter
- Since it’s not structured it’s easier to mold to your body, but this could be a con for some
- Removable, washable cover
- Very hard to stay in place, even with strap
- Not made with the quality they once were
6. Best Firm Support Lumbar Cushion: DMI Lumbar Support Pillow, $28.15 each
This Duro-Med Relax-A-Bac Lumbar Cushion includes a wooden support insert for those in need of extra support and firmness. With it’s ergonomically designed construction it will improve posture and help relieve pain.
Dimensions: 14 × 5.5 × 15 inches
available in black, burgundy, navy, and gray.
- Extra support if necessary
- Made from highly resilient foam and will not lose its shape
- Washable cover
- Despite being marketed for firm support there are some complaints that it lacks support
- Reports of bad chemical smell
7. Best Lumbar Support Cushion for Short Torsos: Relax Support RS1, $30.98 each
If you are short and looking for a lumbar support cushion, be sure to check this one out. Customers rave about how it fits the lower back area just right. This cushion uses something called ArcContour, which is a special patented technology, and is neither too firm or too soft.
Available in black, grey, and beige.
Dimensions: 16.5 x 4 x 8.3 inches
- 100% guaranteed
- Includes a new wider strap to hold in place
- A unique, lateral convex shape
- High quality memory foam
- Many customers complained that the design of the buckle on the strap is defective
- May not be from enough for many people
8. Best Cooling Lumber Support Cushion: U-Are Ultimate Comfort Set, $38.99 set
This set includes both a lumbar cushion and a seat cushion. Both are designed with a special heat disbursement gel that will help to keep your body cooler longer. It’s constructed with 100% memory foam, and it includes a zipper bag that you can use as a carrying case.
Dimensions: 19.61 x 16.1 x 6.61 inches
- 100% money back guarantee
- Rain proof carry case
- Memory Foam
- Complaints of a strong chemical off gassing
- Very difficult to get it to stay in place
- Reports that it is too thin for comfort
Remember, if you are sitting all day, whether in a vehicle or at a desk, you likely need proper back support. Assuming the seat you sit in the most doesn’t offer that feature.
Hopefully, the above information will help you choose the right one for you, and either relieve lower back pain or stop it from happening in the first place.
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