Wheelchair Cushions

Wheelchair cushions provide optimal comfort to wheelchair users particularly to those who don’t just use the wheelchair for mobility but spend a majority of their time sitting on it. These cushions for wheelchair users are especially designed to provide pressure relief for those who have to sit in wheelchairs for long periods of time. From luxuriously soft and therapeutic to simple and economical - there is a range of comfort-level support cushions for the elderly and all others and all from well-known manufacturers. Range starts from cushions for those at low risk to people at very high risk of developing skin breakdown or pressure ulcers.

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How Do I Choose The Best Wheelchair Cushion?

Choosing your wheelchair cushion will largely depend on your requirements. A cushion for wheelchair should offer comfort, pressure management, enhance sitting stability and offer positioning that minimizes fatigue. There is such a variety present therefore selection becomes difficult and should be need-based. For example, if you are wheelchair-bound and spend most of your waking hours in a wheelchair, then you need a wheelchair support pillow that provides not only comfort but also pressure management. 


Pressure cushions for wheelchairs play a crucial role to ensure the overall wellbeing of the patient. Tissue breakdown and skin maceration are great risks for wheelchair users. Prevention of shear force caused by sliding forward in the cushion can be achieved through sitting stability. Therefore, an ideal wheelchair pillow cushion should offer increased sitting balance, posture control and comfort. There is a huge variety in wheelchair seat cushions which include different sizes, shapes and construction. Understanding them will help you make your choice better.

Air Wheelchair Cushions

Air wheelchair cushions are filled with air and offer dynamic and aggressive positioning. These are particularly beneficial for those who are at risk for developing pressure ulcers. Air wheelchair seats may not be as stable as other wheelchair cushions nor do they offer enhanced positioning. But they provide exceptional pressure relief if inflated properly. The air cells are interconnected and therefore, adjust with the patient’s movement providing great support and comfort. 

Air wheelchair pillow cushions are not suitable for those who are looking for low maintenance cushions. These cushions for wheelchair users are high maintenance. They may develop leaks and may require continuous monitoring for the air pressure. Air wheelchair cushions are suitable for those who need cushions that: 

  • Provide pressure relief 

  • Are lightweight 

  • Can be adjusted 

  • Air wheelchair cushions are unsuitable for those looking for: .

  • Low maintenance 

  • Enhanced positioning 

  • Surface sitting stability.

Foam Wheelchair Cushions

Relatively inexpensive, foam wheelchair cushions provide padded sitting stability amid a huge range of densities. They easily conform to the shape of the user while its high-density foam provides firm support, comfort as well as skin protection. These foam pressure cushions for wheelchairs provide better weight distribution because of their contoured bases with multiple foam layers. However, a disadvantage with this type of a wheelchair seat cushion is that foam wears out soon and has to be replaced. An old compressed foam cushion will not provide pressure distribution leading to improper sitting postures and pressure sores. Foam wheelchair cushions are generally available in 1-inch, 2-inch, 3-inch and 4-inch thicknesses. Foam seat cushions for wheelchairs are suitable for those who need cushions that: 

  • Have stable sitting surface 

  • Have low-to-mid-range positioning 

  • Are lightweight 

  • Are low maintenance 

  • Have weight capacity under 250 pounds 

  • Foam wheelchair cushions are unsuitable for those looking for: .

  • Pressure relief 

  • Enhanced positioning stability 

  • Low maintenance

Gel Wheelchair Cushions

Gel wheelchair seats are designed to provide exceptional pressure distribution because of viscous gel pouches attached to a high density foam base which distributes pressure uniformly, allowing the cushion surface to conform to the user. The blended gel bladders prevent moderate-to-high skin breakdown and promote blood circulation. These pressure cushions for wheelchairs regulate temperature of the body and disallow forward sliding thereby preventing shear force. Gel wheelchair cushions are suitable for those who need cushions that: 

  • Provide exceptional pressure relief 

  • Enhanced sitting stability and positioning 

  • Promote regulated body temperature preventing sweaty skin 

  • Gel wheelchair cushions are unsuitable for those who need cushions that are: 

  • Low cost 

  • Lightweight

Comfort Wheelchair Cushions

Comfort wheelchair seats have basic designs and provide moderate pressure relief and skin protection. They can be placed over an existing cushion or used alone. They provide extraordinary comfort and are highly conformable. Comfort wheelchair support pillows adequately cushion the body reducing pressure on the tailbone and spine. Comfort wheelchair cushions are suitable for those who need cushions that: 

  • Are low maintenance 

  • Provide comfort 

  • Provide low-to-moderate pressure relief 

  • Comfort wheelchair cushions are unsuitable for those who need cushions that: 

  • Provide exceptional pressure relief 

  • Provide enhanced postural stability

Bariatric Wheelchair Cushions

Bariatric wheelchair seat cushions are made of high-density foam, gel, memory foam or a combination of these. Sturdy yet soft, bariatric wheelchair cushions can hold and evenly distribute profound weights without losing shape. They are large and wide and while a foam bariatric cushion can hold up to 750 pounds in weight an air bariatric cushion can hold up to 700 pounds. The high-density composition makes the cushion breathable and comfortable on the skin. Gel bariatric cushions on a foam base eliminate stress on pressure points, distribute weight evenly and offer exceptional pressure distribution. These are pressure cushions for wheelchairs with a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds. No heat build-up, gentle on the skin and reduces moisture-related skin breakdown. Bariatric wheelchair cushions are suitable for those who need cushions that: 

  • Provide exceptional pressure relief 

  • Provide enhanced postural stability 

  • Provide correct alignment to back and hips 

Have ultra high-density pressure sensitive material Bariatric wheelchair cushions are unsuitable for those who need cushions that: 

  • Are lightweight 

  • Provide moderate pressure relief 

  • Provide moderate postural stability

Wheelchair Back Cushions

Wheelchair back cushions are designed for those individuals who need lumbar support. They improve seating posture and provide complete back support and positioning with pressure relief. They come in different sizes and high-resiliency foam to provide increased rigidity and optimal comfort. Easily installs to the wheelchair offering precise contours for any spinal curvature. Wheelchair back cushions are important for those who are wheelchair-bound or spend a lot of time sitting in it. These wheelchair back supports accommodate lumbar, scoliosis and kyphosis needs and reduce lower back pain. They remove pressure points from the spine and promote upper extremity functionality.

Wheelchair Cushion Accessories

Wheelchair cushion accessories can enhance the comfort provided by the cushions. These include wheelchair cushion covers, wheelchair adaptive cube pads, seat inserts, cushion pad protectors, etc.  


ROHO, Invacare, The Comfort Company, Skil Care Corp, Hudson Medical and Medline Industries are some of the well-known manufacturers of wheelchair cushions.