What Is The Best Car Seat Cushion of 2020? (Reviews)
If your car seat has a habit of leaving your butt or back in an uncomfortable state, it’s probably time for you to pick up a new car seat cushion. But, it’s tough to find a car seat cushion that’s comfortable for your bum and also compatible with your car’s existing seat.
In this article, we’ll plop down into the world of car seat cushions so that you’ll know which is the best car seat cushion on the market, and which will leave you with more discomfort than when you didn’t have a cushion at all.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know which features to look for in a great car seat cushion, which lumbar issues a car seat cushion might help you with, and how to pick a car seat cushion for your needs.
Quick Picks: Our Picks For Best Car Seat Cushion
- Car Seat Cushion Reviews
- Best Seat Cushion Overall – Domic Memory Foam Car Seat Cushion Pad
- Best Cheap Option – YBerlin’s Car Interior Seat Protector
- Best Value For the Money – Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Seat Cushion
- Honorable Mention 1 – FORTEM Lumbar Support Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion
- Honorable Mention 2 – CYCLEN Home-Memory Foam Bamboo Charcoal Infused Ventilated Orthopedic Seat Cushion
- Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Car Seat Cushion
- Compatibility with your vehicle
- Compatibility with your body type and health issues
- Leg Length
- Level and location of support
- Ease of washing
- How do car seat cushions prevent lower back pain?
- Why are car seat cushions different from chair cushions?
- How long should I expect my car seat cushion to last with daily use?
- Which attachment method is the best for car seat cushions?
- Riding Off
Car Seat Cushion Reviews
Looking for a car seat cushion? Check out our favorite picks.
Best Seat Cushion Overall – Domic Memory Foam Car Seat Cushion Pad
The Domic Memory Foam Car Seat Cushion Pad is our pick for the best car seat cushion overall as a result of its comfort, breathability, and ease of use.
- Comfortable for most people
- Compatible in most cars
- No-slip bottom surface
- Doesn’t retain heat
- Difficult to clean
- Worse comfort with age
When you use the Domic car seat cushion, you’ll get a highly comfortable cushion that won’t disrupt the position of your spine while it protects you from your car’s subpar seating.
The cushion won’t leave you feeling sticky when you’re riding with it on a hot day. Likewise, it won’t slip out of the vehicle by accident thanks to its no-slip sticky surface on the bottom.
The Domic cushion isn’t perfect, however. Because it uses a pure memory foam core, you will find that it is difficult to fully clean the cushion. Furthermore, as you sit on the pillow over the course of many sessions, you may find that the memory foam loses some of its pliability.
This issue is exaggerated if the cushion goes through a lot of heating and cooling cycles. But, by the time you start to find it uncomfortable, you’ll probably be ready to purchase another without feeling bad.
Best Cheap Option – YBerlin’s Car Interior Seat Protector
When you’re looking for a great car seat cushion but you’re on a tight budget, the YBerlin car interior seat protector can provide you with a good mix of comfort, breathability, and ease of washing.
- Easy to clean
- Low-cost breathability
- Includes extra pocket
- Difficult to use the extra pocket due to its position
- Poor aesthetics
Don’t let the low cost of this cushion throw you off: it’s extremely comfortable, and it won’t leave you overheating. This means that it’s a great way to supplement extremely hot materials in your vehicle’s upholstery, like leather.
The cushion also comes with a built-in pocket which hangs over the front of the seat. You’ll be sacrificing a bit of your leg room when you put things in the pocket, but for most people it won’t be an issue while they’re driving.
The problem with this cushion is that it‘s a bit of an eyesore. The black-and white checkered design will not blend in with any car’s upholstery, nor will the whiteness of the fabric age gracefully.
While the cushion is easy to clean, you may find that it is difficult to get stains out of the cushion. Likewise, because the fabric is white, this cushion may become visibly dirty much more rapidly than others with darker colors.
So, you’ll need to make liberal use of the easy cleanability that this cushion provides.
Best Value For the Money – Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Seat Cushion
The superior comfort provided by this Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Seat Cushion makes it the best value for your money when you’re looking for a seat cushion with a lot of bulk to separate you from your car seat.
- Great for people with sensitive lower back
- Includes lifetime warranty
- Includes a lot of cushioning
- Not very breathable
- Not very durable
For people who need a lot of cushioning, this cushion is tough to beat. This is especially true for people who need cushioning on their thighs and buttocks rather than their tailbone area.
In other words, people who have tailbone or lower lumbar issues will probably find that this cushion doesn’t exacerbate their problems. On the other hand, people who prefer to angle their pelvis in a particular way while they drive will probably not want to use this cushion.
While simpler pillows without contouring allow you to orient your pelvis however you want, the contours on this cushion are prescriptive with regard to how your lower back and pelvis should be oriented while they’re in the vehicle.
When paired with the low breathability of the cushion’s fabric, the contours on the cushion mean that it can be hard to sit exactly in the way that you want.
It can also be hard to reorient yourself to try to escape building pools of sweat in your seat on a hot day, so people who need a cool cushion may want to look elsewhere.
Honorable Mention 1 – FORTEM Lumbar Support Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion
Honorable Mention 1 – FORTEM Lumbar Support Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion
- Great for people with middle or upper back issues
- Highly durable
- Easy to install and adjust
- May be too tall for some cars
- May not be comfortable for everyone’s backs
The FORTEM cushion has two parts: the bottom portion, which rests on top of the car seat, and the back-supporting portion, which is strapped to the backrest.
The seat cushion is extremely tall and relatively firm, which means that people who want a more supple cushion may want something softer. You may also find that if you are tall, or your car has a short roof and a high seat, the FORTEM cushion may be too tall to use comfortably.
But, if you have back issues, the support pillow could be a godsend. The contour of the support pillow won’t be perfect for people who are especially tall or short, but overall it can provide your back muscles with the relief that they need.
The final thing to remember about this cushion is that it’s easy to clean and easy to install. You won’t need to worry much about getting it dirty, as it doesn’t discolor when it’s dirty anyway.
Honorable Mention 2 – CYCLEN Home-Memory Foam Bamboo Charcoal Infused Ventilated Orthopedic Seat Cushion
The CYCLEN cushion wins our award for second honorable mention because of its green construction, breathability, and comfort.
- Includes removable cover
- Includes vents for internal airflow
- Made with environmentally friendly materials
- May smell bad after a while
- Doesn’t provide much back pain relief
This cushion is made with environmentally friendly materials which absorb ambient moisture, ensuring that you feel cool and dry at all times. The memory foam plate inside of the cushion also gives it a lot of extra comfort, which may be helpful for people with hip issues.
For people without hip issues, this cushion is still very comfortable. But, it isn’t designed specifically for back pain relief for most back issues, which means that you may need to find a different cushion if your upper or middle back is especially sensitive.
The only issue with this seat cushion is that its bamboo construction tends to make it attract all the odors in the vehicle. After using the cushion for a while, you’ll find that it doesn’t smell very good after a deep whiff. On the bright side, you can easily wash the seat cushion cover.
So, if you’re interested in environmental friendliness as a feature of your seat cushion, this cushion is one of the better choices on the market.
Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Car Seat Cushion
When you’re in the market for a car seat cushion, there are a handful of factors which you should look for, including:
- Amount of cushioning
- Compatibility with your vehicle
- Compatibility with your body type
- Level and location of support
- Ease of washing
In this section, we’ll discuss each of these factors in-depth so that you’ll know how to find the best car seat cushion for your needs.
For most people, comfort is the single largest feature to look for in a car seat cushion. But, everyone’s perception of comfort is different. This means that the only way to find the very best car seat cushion for your comfort is to try several different cushions.
On the other hand, looking for a comfortable car seat cushion may be the wrong first instinct. Comfort isn’t a feature in itself, but rather a property that develops as a result of other features in the cushion being favorable.
In other words, thinking about comfort is a poor substitute for thinking about the particular needs you have from a seat cushion.
If you have a back issue that is causing you back pain, comfort may also be a deceptive feature.
Some seat cushions that are extremely comfortable are only comfortable because they help your back to slouch using muscles which aren’t injured rather than helping them to recover with good posture.
So, you may want to think about whether there is a tradeoff to make between therapeutic potential and comfort with a cushion the first time you sit down on it.
The cushion that’s the best for your back’s overall comfort in the long term may be less comfortable than another cushion which does the work of maintaining posture for your back, making it weaker as time goes by.
Compatibility with your vehicle
If your cushion doesn’t fit comfortably into your vehicle, it won’t be comfortable or beneficial for you to sit on.
Many car seat cushions are too wide, too deep, or too tall for certain types of vehicles. In particular, sport cars tend to have problems with fitting seat cushions. Other types of vehicles, like big rigs or SUVs, will have no problem with fitting most seat cushions.
The particular dimensions of a seat cushion are rarely connected to its ability to help your back or your butt feel more comfortable. You don’t need to worry about the only compatible cushion being worse than others which aren’t compatible.
The other factor impacting compatibility is that your cushion may include additional features like pockets or lumbar support pillows. These features add a lot of bulk to the cushion, making it harder to fit into tight spaces. They also tend to reduce the amount of legroom that you have.
Furthermore, on rare occasions you may find that car seat cushions have anti-slip surfaces which can damage your upholstery. The chance of this is extremely low, but if your vehicle has exotic upholstery made from sensitive leather, you should be careful.
The non-slip surface on the bottom side of many cushions can create torquing force when you get out of the vehicle. This force is applied to the leather of your car seat.
While it’s extremely unlikely that this force will cause damage on fresh leather, if your vehicle’s upholstery hasn’t been taken care of or the leather is highly weathered or advanced in age, the risk is much higher.
So, you may want to pick up a car seat cushion that uses straps to attach instead.
Compatibility with your body type and health issues
As far as seat cushions are concerned, there are a few compatibility issues that you should be aware of:
- Your height
- Your width
- The length of your legs
- Your health concerns
- The focus area of the cushions
Your height is important because it determines the chance that a cushion will be so tall that you will bump your head on the top of the car or have a high risk of doing so when you are getting into or out of your vehicle.
Most cushions advertise their plushness and their vertical height with the idea that the user will assume taller cushions are more comfortable for them. But, if you’re a tall person, a very tall cushion will have the opposite effect.
Measuring yourself and your seat cushion and comparing it to the height of your vehicle is not going to give you very useful results, as your cushion will compress when you sit on it anyway.
Instead, you should expect to have a problem if you are tall and you are using a high seat cushion in a car with a narrow ceiling.
Your width is a minor concern when determining compatibility with a car seat cushion. Most people won’t have any issues with their body being too wide or too narrow to be fully comfortable with standard designs.
The length of your legs is the biggest single concern regarding body compatibility with car seat cushions. If you have especially long legs, many extra-tall or extra-deep car seat cushions will be uncomfortable for you.
Tall or deep cushions may cause your legs to bump against the bottom of your dash, or worse, leave your knees hanging significantly higher than your pelvis, which most people find uncomfortable.
Your health concerns and the focus areas of the cushions should also be major concerns for compatibility. Not all cushions are intended to treat all leg, back, and posture issues, so it’s important to find one that is built explicitly for the problems you have.
On the bright side, if you’re just looking for something to make your seat a bit more comfortable, compatibility is much easier.
Level and location of support
The level of back support and the location of the support makes a big difference when you’re using a car seat cushion. Not everyone needs support in the same places, and some people may find extra support more uncomfortable than no support at all.
Nearly all car seat cushions provide a measure of support for your lower spine by virtue of their extra padding compared to your car seat.
The extra padding means that your spine and pelvis can tilt with a little bit more freedom, helping your muscles to balance the load of your upper body. People with back issues may need more than a basic level of support, however.
For these people, the contoured seat cushions with inserts for the back may be the best option because they provide support for most of your core rather than the most distal ends of your core.
The location of your support also makes a big difference because it impacts compatibility with the vehicle. If a cushion only offers mid-back support and it requires a difficult installation, it probably won’t be compatible with sport vehicles.
Durability of seat cushions is an important feature because you’ll be spending a lot of time sitting on the cushion and expecting it to provide you with a measure of comfort. If the cushion isn’t durable, it can start to become less pliable or potentially start to degrade.
While cushions aren’t exactly sophisticated devices that become fully useless if some of their components break, many of the cushions on the market today are constructed with multiple inserts and interfaces of different supporting materials.
This complexity means that the seat cushions of today are better for your back and more comfortable for your butt than the ones produced in yesteryear. But, it also means that more complex cushions tend to have more issues with durability.
Memory foam cushions tend to have the worst durability on account of their main component, memory foam inserts.
Memory foam inserts get less pliable when they go through a lot of heating and warming cycles, like when you leave your car out in the cold or when you leave it in the sun on a hot day.
Memory foam can also degrade when exposed to oils or moisture, so most memory foam car seat cushions have a cloth cover which can be removed and easily washed.
On the whole, you don’t need to worry too much about the durability of your car seat cushion, just understand that the more comfortable cushions are less likely to last a very long time with consistent regular use in comparison to lower-tech solutions.
The breathability of your car seat cushion is of critical importance because non-breathable cushions will leave you sitting in a pool of your own sweat even when the conditions inside the car aren’t very warm.
The breathability of the car seat cushion has a few sources. The first is the material.
Cloth-based materials aren’t as breathable as foam-based materials. Nor are cloth-based materials better at wicking moisture in comparison to synthetics. So, on the whole you will feel much hotter when you use a cloth-based car seat cushion in comparison to other types.
The design of the cushion also impacts its breathability. Many cushions are designed with interior cavities that can provide some room for air to flow from the top of the cushion to the bottom.
But, these cavities may not necessarily contribute very much to the breathability of the cushion as a whole because the hot air will accumulate at the top of the hole, nearest to your body.
So, your mileage may vary with respect to how helpful cavity-based cushion designs are for keeping you cool.
Ease of washing
You should probably wash your car’s seat cushion regularly, but if your cushion can’t be thrown into the washing machine, it’ll be tough to get on a regular schedule.
Car seat cushions which are easy to clean tend to have removable covers which absorb the majority of odors and dirt from your vehicle. To clean these cushion covers is as simple as putting them into the wash.
But, there are also many car seat cushions which don’t have any cover on their most padded part. These car seat cushions are typically very difficult to clean, even by hand. So, you should probably avoid these types of cushions.
You’re going to be looking at your car’s seat cushion whenever you enter your vehicle, and you might catch a glimpse of it when you exit your vehicle, too. This means that if your car seat cushion is an eyesore, you’ll need to be offended by it on a regular basis.
Most car seat cushions have understated aesthetics that are meant to either blend with your vehicle’s upholstery or at least not stand out from it. But, there are still a handful of car seat cushions out there which are truly horrendous to behold.
The two elements of aesthetics are the color and the design. Most car seat cushions aren’t about to win any awards for aesthetically pleasing design, so you should focus your efforts toward finding a car seat cushion that has a nice color or inoffensive pattern.
Try to avoid purchasing these car seat cushions with bad aesthetics unless they have a therapeutic feature which you can’t live without.
How do car seat cushions prevent lower back pain?
Using a lumbar support seat cushion helps you to preserve good lumbar posture, assuming that the cushion doesn’t force you to contort yourself into a subpar position. When you have good posture, your back muscles are strong enough to hold your body in an upright position without tiring.
This means that if a seat cushion makes your muscles work at the right strength, they can help to alleviate the back pain which may be caused by overexertion or bad posture.
Car seat cushions can also help you to handle lower back pain which stems from your pelvis. When your pelvis is tilted at the wrong angle, it throws your spine into a contorted position which can cause back pain.
So, keeping your spine and pelvis properly aligned can lead to a lot less back pain when you stabilize them with the help of a cushion.
Why are car seat cushions different from chair cushions?
Chair cushions are rarely as resistant to moving around during use in comparison to car seat cushions. This means that you shouldn’t try to substitute a car seat cushion for a chair cushion, as chair cushions are liable to become displaced and fall out of your car or be uncomfortable.
Car seat cushions are also more breathable than most chair cushions. Chair cushions are designed with the ability of the sitter to move around without constraint, meaning that they could stand up if they were getting too warm.
The opposite is true of most car seat cushions. Car seat cushions are designed for use in extended periods, as is necessary for long car rides.
Likewise, most car seat cushions are proportionally a bit more bulky than chair cushions because they have to protect the user from the movement of the vehicle.
How long should I expect my car seat cushion to last with daily use?
Most car seat cushions that are made with memory foam will last you about five years of daily use before they start to lose their pliability and their comfort level dips.
You need to be aware that the amount you use your car seat cushion is less important than the conditions that your car seat cushion is exposed to on a regular basis. Repeated cycles of extreme heat or cold will lead to a much shorter lifespan of your car seat cushion.
It’s also important to remember that you car seat cushion isn’t designed for use with a chair. While you may be able to get away with using your car seat cushion as a chair cushion, there’s a good chance that the dynamics of a chair will cause undue stress on your car seat cushion.
Which attachment method is the best for car seat cushions?
For most purposes, the best attachment method for car seat cushions is a sticky surface underneath the cushion itself which attaches to the car seat.
If you have sensitive upholstery on your vehicle, you may prefer a car seat cushion which attaches using small ties or straps. These methods are typically more difficult to use, but they make up for it by preserving your vehicle’s interior.
That wraps up our breakdown of the best car seat cushions on the market. No matter which cushion you choose, remember to keep your back’s health in mind, and don’t be afraid to splurge to get a bit more comfort from your cushion.