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7 Best Gel Cushions for Wheelchairs

by Jessica Hegg June 17, 2017

tight shot of a man in wheelchairProlonged periods of sitting can lead to a number of physical ailments. If you sit in a wheelchair as your primary means of mobility, it is important to have a high-quality wheelchair cushion to help redistribute weight throughout the day. A gel cushion for wheelchair use will improve posture, relieve pressure, and provide optimal comfort. Prevent pressure sores and make weight redistribution a lot simpler by choosing the right gel cushion for you. Here, we take a look at seven of the best gel cushions for wheelchairs available. 

1. Secure Gel Foam Seat Cushion with Safety strap

Secure Gel Foam Seat Cushion with Safety strap

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This seat cushion may not look like anything special, but it is made with thick padding for durability and comfort. It is ideal for offering pressure relief to those with mild-to-moderate physical disabilities. You do not have to worry about slipping out of your chair, because this cushion features a non-slip cover with a safety strap, effectively securing the cushion to your wheelchair.

Pros:
  • Made with memory foam to provide comfort and pressure relief
  • Water-resistant, flame retardant, antimicrobial, and easy to clean by hand or washing machine
  • Promotes proper positioning and posture while seated
  • Durable for long-term use
  • Features safety strap that secures cushion to wheelchair or chair, or for carrying
Cons:
  • May have to break in cushion first to prevent sliding
  • Firm material, which could cause some discomfort for individuals who prefer a softer cushion

2. NOVA Medical Products 3" Gel Foam Wheelchair Cushion

NOVA Medical Products 3 Gel Foam Wheelchair Cushion

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NOVA's 3-inch wheelchair cushion is extremely comfortable. This particular cushion combines gel and foam to provide pressure relief, prevent minor skin irritation, and improve weight distribution. An added plus is that the cushion is waterproof and easy to wash, making it ideal for wheelchair users who are incontinent.

Pros:
  • Provides pressure relief
  • Prevents minor skin irritation
  • Improves weight distribution
  • The bottom is made of a non-skid material
  • Velcro straps to secure cushion to chair
Cons:
  • Tends to collapse after a few months, meaning it is less durable than other options on the market

3.  Four Layer Wheelchair Cushion by VIVE

Four Layer Wheelchair Cushion by VIVE

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This VIVE design is made of four incredible layers. It is designed for heavy-duty use, offering the most comfortable support for your bottom. Sitting never felt so good. This this adaptable cushion is made with both supportive foam and contouring gel. It's perfect for those who suffer from pain and stiffness or who have a history of pressure ulcers from prolonged sitting.

Pros:
  • Four layers of support
  • Designed for heavy-duty use and is very durable
  • Fits on all types of chairs
  • Excellent quality, with a waterproof cushion
Cons:
  • Raises you up, so you may have to adjust other parts of your chair accordingly

4. Drive Medical 14886 Skin Protection Gel "E" Wheelchair Seat Cushion

Drive Medical 14886 Skin Protection Gel E Wheelchair Seat Cushion

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This gel cushion is a popular choice for finding pressure relief. You will not have to worry about cutting off circulation, as this cushion eliminates any pressure points. It is one of the most practical gel cushion choices and offers extreme comfort. As an additional benefit for wheelchair users suffering from incontinence, it has a water-resistant cover and a waterproof base.

Pros:
  • Holds up to 300lbs
  • Water-resistant
  • Encased in a removable zipper bag for easy cleaning
  • Thick and comfortable cushion for prolonged sitting
Cons:
  • Gel will spill out if ruptured

5. Wondergel Original Gel Seat Cushion

Wondergel Original Gel Seat Cushion

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This cool gel cushion is another great option. You've probably experienced discomfort on hard surfaces. That doesn't happen with the Wondergel cushion. As pressure intensifies, this cushion automatically redistributes weight to provide relief. Thanks to the durable elastic gel, the cushion returns to its original shape after use, without retaining any permanent depressions.

Pros:
  • Ridges provide relief for bony people
  • Offers comfortable support for broader body surfaces
  • Adjusts to any individual's body shape or weight
  • Gel stays at a cool temperature
Cons:
  • The cushion is quite heavy and floppy, meaning the cushion can be more difficult to transport

6. VIVE Max Gel Seat Cushion

Vive Max Gel Seat Cushion

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VIVE makes a remarkable gel cushion for wheelchairs. Its durable and cool design allows you to sit for hours without any discomfort. You do not have to worry about becoming hot while sitting, because this cushion is made with 45 individual gel cells to improve circulation and air flow. This gel cushion is made with sturdy gripping material that will keep you feeling secure all day long.

Pros:
  • Provides comfort and pressure relief during prolonged sitting
  • Promotes good posture
  • No "break-in" period necessary—comfort at first use
  • Promotes comfort by enhancing circulation
Cons:
  • No straps or Velcro included to stabilize cushion to chair

7. Comfort Cloud OPDX Coccyx Hybrid Gel

Comfort Cloud OPDX Coccyx Hybrid Gel

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This U-shaped gel cushion is a unique option specifically designed to relieve lower-back, hip, and tailbone pressure. The cushion gently contours to your body for ultimate comfort. It is made with a mesh cover so the gel transfers a maximum cooling effect.

Pros:
  • Has a specific ergonomic shape that relieves coccyx pain and pressure
  • Cooling gel for therapeutic relief
  • Shapes to your body to provide optimal comfort
Cons:
  • Very thick cushion, which some users may dislike

Why You Need a Wheelchair Cushion

If you sit all day long, or at least the majority of the day, then the answer is yes, you do need a wheelchair cushion. Wheelchair cushions not only provide comfort, but also offer other notable benefits. These benefits include pressure relief, weight redistribution, postural alignment, and optimal positioning. They also absorb shock and vibrations, which is important when out and about. Medical professionals offer the best advice when determining the most beneficial type of wheelchair cushion for you, but you can also assess the most suitable options for you by reading our guidance on cushion types.

Other Wheelchair Cushion Materials

Your comfort is paramount, so it is crucial to find the best cushion to suit your particular needs and preferences. Gel cushions are excellent at absorbing heat and provide a high level of comfort and support. But there are other options available:

Foam Cushions

Foam cushions are popular among some wheelchair users because they tend to be lightweight and economical. This means they are easy to transport. The downside is that they are not as durable as other types of wheelchair cushions. Though you may save money on the initial purchase, you risk spending more on replacements in the long run.

Air Cushions

Another lightweight option, air cushions are great for absorbing shock. However, they require more maintenance than other cushions since they need to be reflated regularly.

Honeycomb Cushions

Honeycomb cushions are a newer addition to the market. Comprising individual cells acting like a beehive, they effectively redistribute weight, absorb shock, and enhance airflow. However, they tend to be significantly more expensive than other types of wheelchair cushions.

Features of the Best Gel Wheelchair Cushion

When selecting the best gel cushion for pressure relief, here are a few key features to look for:

  • Durability
  • Water-proof material
  • Cooling sensation
  • Cushion dimensions to fit your body and offer good support
  • Easy to wash and clean

More Accessories for Wheelchair Comfort

Aside from a wheelchair cushion, there are a number of other wheelchair accessories available to further improve your comfort.

Click here to see our list of the coolest wheelchair accessories to customize your ride!

Lateral Side Supports

If you have balance issues or often find yourself tilting to one side, lateral side supports are a great addition to your wheelchair. As the name suggests, they support you in case you lean to one side or the other.

Cushioned Armrests

These small additions to your wheelchair make a big difference in your comfort. If you are in the wheelchair most of the day, or if you often utilize the armrests when getting in and out of the chair, adding cushioned support to the armrests makes the experience easier and more comfortable.

Backrests and Supports

If you are still experiencing discomfort, you may want to consider investing in a backrest to enhance stability and comfort. Depending on your needs, you can find a backrest for lower or upper back.

Choosing the Best Gel Cushion for Wheelchair Use

Gel cushions for wheelchairs are specifically designed to reduce the force on pressure points and bring you relief. If you need of advanced positioning, stable seating, and a cool sensation, gel cushions are perfect for you. The gel allows the cushion to contour to your body. A gel cushion is perfect for added support and to keep you comfortable all day. Gel wheelchair cushions also prevent skin irritation and pressure ulcers. We hope you have found this information and guidance helpful and that you will soon be enjoying the benefits of a comfortable wheelchair cushion!

Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg


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