The best seat cushions for office chairs in 2024, tested and reviewed

Stop sitting around wondering how you can alleviate your office aches and invest in some chair cushions that do the job.

Best overall

ComfiLife contoured seat cushion cross-section showing grey exterior and blue interior gel

ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion

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Best splurge

Purple Ultimate best splurge seat cushion for office chairs showing its gel grid interior

Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion

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Best budget

Qutool Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion and Lumbar Support on a plain white background.

Qutool Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion and Lumbar Support  

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If you work in an office, even a home office, you’re probably sitting in a chair for eight or more hours a day—a potentially tiring scenario, but the right seat cushion can make it more comfortable. To be clear, sitting for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to your health. Heart disease, lower back and spine issues, obesity, and blood clots are some of the issues caused by sitting for so long. So, in addition to recommending the best seat cushions for your office chair, we recommend that you stop every 30 minutes to stand up and walk around. In addition, try to exercise at least 150 minutes a week, which can be broken down into 30 minutes a day/5 days a week, per the CDC’s guidelines for physical activity. But when you must sit in your chair, the right cushion can help provide support, and these are the best seat cushions for office chairs we’ve found.

How we chose the best seat cushions for office chairs

We conducted extensive research, contacted experts, and did plenty of first-hand testing to compile this list of the best chair cushions for offices. Most of the selections on this list have been tested. We also considered peer recommendations and consumer reviews.

The best seat cushions for office chairs: Reviews & Recommendations

I work from home, and I love the ability to control my work hours. However, I often find myself falling into a writing groove, and before I know it, I’ve been at my desk for hours. I tend to scoot a new desk chair onto the mat every few months just to switch things up—it helps that I test them professionally—and I recommend a new ergonomic office chair if you don’t already have one). Still, even though most of my chairs are quite comfortable, I’ve found that an office chair cushion can provide an even better experience. When compiling this list, most of the recommendations are office chair cushions that I’ve actually tested, and I also tried to provide a variety of types at various price points.

Best overall: ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion

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Specs

  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 13.7 x 2.8 inches
  • Fill Material: High-density memory foam with gel layer
  • Cover: Velour

Pros

  • Memory foam for support
  • Cooling gel layer
  • Built-in handle
  • Washable cover
  • Three color choices

Cons

  • May be too firm for some people

The ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion is our top pick—a thick, plush seat cushion made of high-density memory foam, designed to provide support and relieve pressure on the tailbone/coccyx area. The seat cushion also has a layer of gel technology on top. The gel provides additional comfort and keeps the cushion (and what it cushions) cool.

This is important because the cover is velvety material that I initially thought would make the seat cushion hot. However, the gel regulates the temperature well to keep the cushion nice and cool. The cover is available in black, grey, and navy blue. It also has a handle on the side, which makes the pillow easy to carry. In addition, the back side of the cushion has super-grippy dots to keep the cushion from sliding around or falling off the chair. I also like that the zippable cover can be removed and laundered in the washing machine in cold water and then tossed in the dryer.

Honestly, the first time I sat on the ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion, I found it firmer than I expected or preferred. It took a few times to get used to that level of firmness, but now I consider it the best overall choice if you’re looking for a seat cushion, thanks to feel and price. In terms of getting the best bang for your buck, the ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion delivers the best value.

Best cooling: Sutera Seat Cushion  

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Specs

  • Dimensions: 17.7 x 16 x 4.3 inches
  • Fill Material: Bamboo charcoal-infused memory foam
  • Cover: 90% Polyester, 10% Spandex

Pros

  • Memory foam is 4.3 inches deep
  • Contours to the shape of legs and posterior
  • Bamboo provides cooling airflow
  • Cushion remains fresh
  • Grips keep cushion in place

Cons

  • May be too thick or hard for some

Runner-up for the best overall seat cushion for office chairs, the Sutera Seat Cushion is 4.3 inches in depth and makes a good choice if you want a thick option. The memory foam provides support and relief—and the pillow is also ergonomically shaped to support various body parts. For example, since it’s so thick, the seat cushion elevates the hips, and the thighs are also slightly elevated (but if this is uncomfortable, you can lower your chair so your feet are on the floor).

In addition to memory foam, the seat cushion includes bamboo charcoal-infused material. This breathable material provides a cooling effect by keeping heat from getting trapped in the cushion. In addition, the charcoal-infused bamboo keeps the seat cushion fresh. The cover, which is made of 90% polyester and 10% spandex, can be removed and machine-washed in cold water and then air-dried. The cover’s back side (bottom) also has rubber grips to keep the cushion in place.

The first time I tried the Sutera Seat Cushion, I found it so stiff that my legs actually hurt (and I’m 5’8”, so it’s not like my legs were too short). However, after using it several times, I grew to appreciate the level of support it provides. Sometimes, seat cushions can be so soft that they’re like sitting on a bed pillow (which does not provide enough support to sit in an office chair all day). Now, I thoroughly enjoy sitting on this seat cushion, and I appreciate that it hasn’t started sagging after continuous use.

Best splurge: Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion  

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Specs

  • Dimensions: 21.75 x 18 x 2.5 inches
  • Fill Material: Hyper-Elastic Polymer
  • Cover: Polyester

Pros

  • Gel grid is squishy, soft, and supportive
  • Both cover and cushion are washable
  • Air channels keep the cushion cool
  • Grippy bottom keeps seat cushion from moving

Cons

  • Expensive

I’ve tested dozens of high-end pillows and the Purple Harmony Pillow is one of the very best pillows on the market. So, it’s no surprise that Purple would also make one of the best seat cushions. The company actually makes a variety of seat cushion options, but the Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion is designed for larger chairs. As with its pillow, this seat cushion is also more expensive than many (if not most) competitors, but it’s worth it.

The seat cushion is made of a purple grid (I unzipped the cover so you can see it). The grid is squishy and soft, yet it can provide support without pressure. The cushion cradles the tailbone and cushions the other body parts, and the contoured groove is designed to ensure the right posture. Also, there are hundreds of air channels that help to ensure the cushion is temperature-neutral so I can avoid getting hot and sweaty while seated. The Purple Harmony Pillow offers undoubtedly the best design of the desk chair cushions I’ve tried.

If you have a hard chair, this will definitely make it softer. However, remember it’s bigger than the average seat cushion, so measure your chair to ensure the right fit. The cover can be removed, washed in the machine, and dried on a low setting. In addition, the actual cushion can also be hand-washed in cold water and a gentle detergent.

Best non-slip bottom: Aylio Seat Cushion  

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Specs

  • Dimensions: 18” x 14” x 2.5 inches
  • Fill Material: High-density foam
  • Cover: Velvet

Pros

  • Carrying handle
  • Washable cover
  • Nonslip microgrip
  • Soft

Cons

  • May be too soft for some people

I first tested the Aylio Seat Cushion in 2020, and the fact that I still have it says something about the quality and durability of this product. It’s slightly firm—enough to be supportive—but not firm enough to be uncomfortable or hard. The cushion leans more toward the soft side and is quite comfy yet supportive. And there was no “break-in” period. From day one, it was nice and cushy.

The U-shape design eliminates the numbness that sometimes comes from sitting for long periods and takes the pressure off the coccyx, legs, and other areas. In addition, the cover, which has a carrying strap, can be removed and machine-washed to keep it hygienic. Although the cover is made of velvet, it doesn’t generate heat.

Best back cushion: Purple Back Cushion

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Specs

  • Dimensions: 15.75 x 9.25 x 2.5 inches
  • Fill Material: Hyper-Elastic Polymer
  • Cover: Polyester

Pros

  • Adjustable strap keeps it in place
  • Provides lumbar support
  • Cool
  • Machine washable cover

Cons

  • Expensive

The Purple Back Support Cushion is large enough for any chair with a backrest. The hyper-elastic polymer (elastic gel) provides a squishy level of comfort that is also supportive. It’s designed to adjust to your body shape, and the adjustable strap keeps it in place so the cushion can provide lumbar support. The gel also has hundreds of tiny airways to ensure that the cushion does not trap heat but, instead, keeps you cool.

The zippered cover can be removed and tossed into the washing machine. In addition, the cushion itself can be cleaned with soap and water to keep it hygienic.

Best budget: Qutool Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion and Lumbar Support

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Specs

  • Dimensions: Cushion: 18 x 14 x 3 inches: Lumbar Pillow: 14 x 13 x 4 inches
  • Fill Material: Memory foam
  • Cover: Velvet

Pros

  • Great price
  • Seat cushion and lumbar pillow
  • Machine washable cover
  • Choice of colors 

Cons

  • Back cushion may not fit right for some

The Qutool Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion and Lumbar Support Pillow is a great option for those considering an office chair for back support but shopping on a budget. It’s a fabulous deal because it’s a combo that comes with two separate cushions: one for the seat and one for the back. The memory foam material is soft to the touch yet supportive, and the lumbar support pillow includes two straps to secure it to the back of the chair.

Keep in mind that if your chair already has a lumbar option, the lumbar support pillow will fit rather awkwardly. But if your chair doesn’t have a lumbar feature, the pillow should fit fine. The velvet cover zips off to launder in the machine, and the set is available in black and grey.   

What to consider when shopping for the best seat cushion for office chairs

There are several factors to remember to ensure you get the right seat cushion for your office chair: 

Material

Memory foam

“Memory foam cushions help contour the back and offer spinal support,” Dr. Allen Conrad, owner of the Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Penn., says. “Similar to a memory foam bed, the material will conform to your back and offer support.” However, he tells us there’s a downside: Like a memory foam bed, Conrad says, it will sag over time and lose its elasticity. Also, he warns that memory foam tends to retain heat and says it may not be the best choice if you tend to sweat a lot.

Dr. Sapna Sriram, chiropractor and injury expert at Integra Health in Toronto, agrees that the cushion’s material plays a significant role in providing both comfort and support. “Memory foam cushions are popular due to their ability to contour to the shape of the body, offering personalized support,” she says. “Additionally, materials like mesh or breathable fabrics can enhance airflow and prevent sweating, especially during warmer months.”

Liquid gel 

“Liquid gel and silicone gel offer the combination of support of a memory foam cushion,” Conrad says. “They also have individual cells, which allow circulation which helps you from overheating like a regular memory foam cushion tends to do.” He notes that these are very popular materials, especially for those looking for a combination of temperature control and comfort. 

Sriram adds, “Gel-infused cushions provide excellent pressure relief and help in dissipating heat, which can be beneficial for prolonged sitting.”

Inflatable 

While we didn’t include them on our list, some seat cushions can be inflated with air, reveals Conrad. “These are convenient for people that need something lightweight, but something they can travel with—for example, you use it at your desk at work and want to take the seat cushion home each day.” However, most options on our list have a carrying handle for easy transport. We didn’t include inflatables because they don’t provide the same level of support as the other two materials.  

Exterior materials

“The covering of an office seat cushion mostly focuses on personal taste, durability, and temperature control,” Conrad says. While some materials, like suede or leather, look nice, he warns that they may show wear and tear after only a few weeks. In addition, he says a wool or canvas material may also retain heat, compared with a cotton or polyester material. 

Firmness 

Sriram notes that the ideal firmness of the cushion will vary depending on your individual preferences and specific needs. “Generally, a cushion with medium firmness strikes a balance between comfort and support, ensuring that it adequately supports the body while alleviating pressure points,” she explains. However, she says some individuals may prefer firmer cushions for additional support, while others may find softer cushions more comfortable

If you don’t have any serious back conditions, Conrad says you may like a softer type; however, if you have a history of degenerative arthritis, for example, he says the firmer, the better. “When you get a degenerative spine condition, the ligaments of your spine lose their structural support,” Conrad explains. “As a result, you need the additional firm pressure while sitting to help reduce spasms and inflammation of the lumbar spine.” 

Size and shape

“The size and shape of the cushion should complement the dimensions of your office chair and provide ample support for your body,” Sriram says. “Look for cushions that are large enough to support your entire seating area and promote proper alignment of the spine.” In addition, she recommends an ergonomic design that contours to the natural curves of your body since it can help alleviate lower back pressure while also promoting a healthy posture.   

“You will need to measure the width and depth of your office chair to see the dimensions that will fit,” says Conrad. “If the cushion is too narrow, for example, it will tend to move and slide around. This will become uncomfortable and defeat the whole purpose.” 

Most people can use a flat style, Conrad continues, but for those with herniated discs or degenerative arthritis, the contoured type is preferred. “Contoured cushions will follow the lordotic curve of your lumbar spinal vertebrae,” he explains. “This provides additional reinforcement along your lower back to act as extra pressure right on your spine.  

Temperature regulation

Sriram says it’s important to maintain a comfortable temperature -especially if you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk. “Opt for cushions with temperature-regulating features, such as gel-infused or ventilated designs, which help dissipate heat and promote airflow to prevent discomfort caused by excessive sweating or overheating,” she says.

Additional features

Depending on your preferences and specific needs, Sriram says you may want to consider additional features that can enhance comfort and functionality. “This may include built-in lumbar support for extra back support, non-slip bottoms to prevent the cushion from sliding on the chair, and removable, washable covers for easy maintenance and hygiene.” 

FAQs

Q: Is gel or memory foam better for a seat cushion?

It depends on your preferences and needs. Memory foam can contour to the shape of your body and provide personalized support. Cushions infused with gel can provide pressure relief and dissipate heat.

Q: Can a seat cushion for an office chair relieve pain?

Yes, a seat cushion for office chairs can relieve pain in your lower back, hips, and joints. It also reduces fatigue by improving circulation. In addition, the seat cushion can support your legs and hips and promote proper posture.  

Q: What is the difference between a chair pad and a chair cushion?

A chair pad is typically a flat seat cushion for outdoor chairs, kitchen and dining room chairs, and other scenarios. Some models include fabric ties to keep them secure. They provide a more comfortable experience but usually don’t have the ergonomic effects you’d find in a dedicated seat cushion for an office chair.

Q: Can a seat cushion for an office chair be used in other environments?

Yes, a seat cushion for an office chair can be used in your car, while sitting on the sofa, in a wheelchair, and pretty much anywhere you sit down.

Final thoughts on the best seat cushions for office chairs

If you sit at your desk for an extended period, your body can start to ache. But one of the best seat cushions for office chairs can help alleviate these pains. Whether you prefer memory foam, gel, or a combination, there’s a seat cushion that meets your needs and can make it easier for you to focus and work comfortably.

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Terri Williams

Contributor, Reviews

As a contributor to Popular Science’s reviews team, Terri Williams covers all things tech, from smart doorbells to webcams. She’s also provided research for Popular Science’s Best of What’s New awards. In addition to working with PopSci, she’s written reviews for Architectural Digest, Popular Mechanics, Tom’s Guide, CNN Underscored, The Daily Beast, and several other sites.

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