Pressure sores - something many adults face especially later in life due an injury, illness or age. It's bad enough when something as simple as sitting or lying down causes pain. On top of that pressure soars can be life-threatening if they get infected. So it's important to avoid their development at all costs, and provide cloud-like comfort for the areas that have already been affected. Special seat cushions for bed sores were designed to do just that.
So, what are your options when it comes to seat cushions designed specifically for bed sores? There are many different types, namely:
While there are other types of cushions, like the memory foam ones, the ones we cover below are mostly used in clinical settings for more serious health conditions and offer way more support than the average comfort cushions for everyday use.
Gel seat cushion
Polymer mesh seat cushion
Air seat cushion
Flotation seat cushion
Gel cushions are typically made from a gel pack with a pillowcase or cover on the outside for comfort. The gel redistributes body weight better than a memory foam, does not get squished over time and retains its thickness, providing better relief for the pressure points. On the downside, gel cushions are usually heavier and more expensive.
The most affordable top choice among the best gel cushions for pressure sores is the Drive Medical. It was designed specifically for management and prevention of pressure ulcers. The cushion is made of a gel core surrounded by a foam shell to provide optimal pressure redistribution, support and comfort. It also features a water-resistant cover with a waterproof base. One of it's key features is its weight capacity. A 20" cushion can handle up to 275 lbs of weight, and the 22" - up to 500 lbs.
For a $25 investment it provides a ton of comfort and support. The zip-up cover is easy to wash and stays in place firmly thanks to its rubbery bottom.
On the downside, while the bottom of the cover is secured, the sleek nylon on top tends to have too little traction, making users slip off. At 4 lbs It is also a relatively heavy cushion. But the greatest concern with the users of all gel cushions is the fact that the gel is very fragile and tends to break easily, leading to leaks.
All in all, it's a great cushion for the price with the double support provided by the gel core and foam covers, but it will need extra care with handling to ensure the gel doesn't get damaged.
When it comes to innovative materials, the Purple seat cushion really has something unique to offer, namely, all the benefits of a gel cushion without any of its drawbacks. How is that possible?
The answer is - a hyper-elastic polymer. Yep. Doesn't sound like much, and sure enough doesn't sound...comfortable. But it is! It allows your weight to be distributed evenly while also letting the air flow through the pillow, giving you that ultimate experience of sitting on a cloud. No pressure points. You know you are sitting of course, but what a relief it is when you hit this purple mesh.
What makes Purple one the best seat cushions for pressure sores? Let's dive deeper.
On the downside the only thing we can come up with is the price. The Royal cushion which offers 2 inches of cloud-like support goes for about $79, but considering how unique this pillow really is - it's totally worth it. Sitting on a Purple cushion is something you have to experience for yourself to really appreciate the technical ingenuity that made this possible. We even performed the Egg test on it, i.e. placed an egg on the pillow and sat on top of it. Try it for yourself, you'll be amazed!
Air seat cushions tend to be lighter and more portable than all the other types of cushions. Our pick for one of the best air cushions for pressure sores is ROHO® MOSAIC®.
It features a unique mosaic shape with atomically-designed cell heights and an effective, controlled air flow, a two-way stretch cover, hand inflation pump and a repair kit. The maximum weight this cushion can take is 315 lbs. It offers one of the widest ranges of sizes across the board. You can go anywhere from 16" wide and 16" long to 20" by 18" and literally everything in between, which makes ROHO one of the most versatile air cushions out there.
Another plus of air cushions is that you can control how hard you want the pillow to be by adding more or less air.
Out of the drawbacks, all air cushions tend to have the same problem - they don't hold air as long as they are supposed to or at all after some use. The repair kit and the pump are included to rectify those faults but it's better to keep them in mind.
An additional thing to keep in mind is that the cushion does not have any robbery bottom, which makes it less sturdy. However, users have found multiple ways to make it "stick", including tying it to the chair by the handle using zip ties. So if that doesn't pose a problem for you, this cushion is a great choice for a premium level of light-weight and portable comfort.
The time has come to introduce you the one of the very few clinically tested seat cushions! PURAP seat cushion claims to be much more supportive than any gel or foam cushion out there. Its patented 3D flotation technology makes it one of the most intriguing seat cushions for pressure sores on the market.
PURAP boasts a flexible shape that fits most seats and a special layering system tested at Stanford University Hospital that includes a fluid layer to prevent the cushion from compressing over time. In a way, this cushion combines the benefits of a gel, foam and air cushion together, while adding an extra comfort level of fluid for the ultimate support. The anti-skid bottom and a waterproof cover are a great addition to this impressive cushion combo.
On the downside, the product description often misses the fact that the weight limit for this cushion is 250 lbs. So make sure this is something that works for you. The top of the cover is rather slippery, so this cushion will probably not be ideal for wheelchairs.
The main concern with this pillow, however, is the mixed results people get from using it. Some can swear that it is the best cushion for pressure sores out there, while others did not find it comfortable at all. We personally find the Purple seat cushion more comfortable, but PURAP does have a great deal to offer. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.
Hope you find the best seat cushion for yourself or your loved one and start living pain-free! If you need to take a look at more options, check out our seat cushion guide.