Premium Gel Seat Cushions for Car Seats & Office Chairs
With the advent of technology, scientists developed better and more comfortable cushions. In the 1960s, people were already used to the ordinary memory foam cushions, but as time went by, they craved more comfort.
It was not until mid-2000 that a company developed gel-infused cushion technology. It was so unheard of that they had to prove its workability to users. This technology aimed to solve the posture and pressure relief issues memory foam had not solved.
It was first developed by Peterson Chemicals, who were pretty quick to patent it.
Are Gel Cushions Good?
Users of this technology have over the years praised its effectiveness. Long-distance drivers have reported a reduction in back pain cases after adding gel cushions to their seats. The cushions reduce lower back pain by improving the driver’s posture.
The vibration from the car’s engine is absorbed by the gel cushions and dispersed, so it does not hit the driver directly. These vibration absorption features reduce the strain the driver puts on their spine and goes a long way in reducing back pain.
A gel cushion will do you good if you sit for long hours. It absorbs the pressure exerted on the soft tissue and disperses it evenly.
Paralyzed persons are significant beneficiaries of gel cushions. The long hours of sitting sometimes result in pressure sores which can be quite discomforting. Gel cushions offer more relief to the bony prominence than ordinary foam.
Gel cushions are also recommended for persons suffering from lower back pain and leg numbness. The complications experienced by diabetic patients due to pressure ulcers can be avoided by using gel cushions.
How Do You Use Gel Cushions?
One aspect of gel cushions is that they can be moved from place to place without much inconvenience. The uncomfortable chairs in the different offices you go to can be a thing of the past with a well-designed gel cushion. So, where can you use the gel cushions?
At The Office Desk
The desk chair in the office might not be the most comfortable chair to sit on. These cheap and non-ergonomic chairs cause back pain and pressure ulcers due to employees’ long hours sitting.
Your productivity in the office is highly dependent on how comfortable you are. Adding a gel cushion to your chair can significantly improve your sitting experience even without changing the chair.
Back pain can be a distraction as you divert your attention to the pain in your lower back instead of the task at hand. A comfortable chair does more than reduce back pain; it can significantly alter your performance for the better by promoting positive moods.
An ordinary day at the office will feel like the best you have ever had. If you are working from home and are contemplating replacing your desk chair due to discomfort, try gel cushions.
In The Car
Car manufacturers strive to make car seats as comfortable as possible. However, sitting for long periods can cause feelings of stiffness regardless of the seat’s comfort features. Long periods of inactivity can also result in lower back pain. This mainly affects long-distance travelers and drivers.
Sliding a gel cushion onto your seat can do the trick. These products are designed to offer relief to the most pressured parts of the body. A well-designed gel cushion will come in handy during long periods of stagnation.
On The Wheelchair
Wheelchair users are forced to sit for long hours, and if not well-cushioned, they could develop pressure sores. A gel cushion will act as a soft base of the user’s weight and distribute it along its cross-section.
Wheelchairs come with thin fabrics on their seats; a gel cushion will make them less stiff. The cushion is also light and will add to the wheelchair’s weight.
Most users love these products because they can be used anywhere. If you are going out for dinner or lunch and fear that the seat might be uncomfortable, why not just bring a gel cushion. You can get one with a washable cover so you can easily clean it after your outings.
Another area where you can apply gel cushion technology is the sitting room at home. The fabrics used on couches might be comfy, but they begin to weaken after some years. This is characterized by a slouching posture when you sit.
A gel cushion might not keep the couch in shape, but it can improve your sitting posture, so you don’t experience problems like lower back pain and spine complications. It is only right that you enjoy your movie on a safe couch.
How To Select The Best Gel Cushion For You
Cushions are not built to one size like baseball hats; they come in different sizes and types. You need to select the best one for you if you expect to get the best out of the product you buy.
However, to select, there are several aspects of gel cushions you need to understand. If you walk into the market blindly, it could turn out to be an endless journey of trial and error.
The Gel Used
The main reason doctors recommend gel cushions over other types of cushions is their ability to reduce the pressure exerted on the skin when sitting down. The most common type of gel is the ultra-soft gel which is used on a majority of gel cushions.
It comprises a solid gel that easily conforms to the body without much pressure. These gels also serve users for considerably long periods without deforming or losing shape. They are also not affected by mild temperature changes.
Some gel cushions contain water-based liquid gels, which also serve pretty well.
Their only downside is that they are easily affected by changes in temperatures. If it gets too cold, the liquid gel will harden and lose its significance as far as comfort is concerned. You cannot use such a cushion in your car during the winter.
Another malady is the risk of the liquid gel leaking. This is not common, but it is a genuine possibility.
This aspect revolves around body and seat size. The size of the sitting contact area will affect the sore pressure exerted on the body. If you go for a small cushion size, the pressure will be higher, and pressure ulcers might develop on your skin.
For maximum comfort, match your body size with a gel cushion with a larger sitting contact area. This will reduce the skin contact pressure and prevent the different forms of discomfort.
The basic principle is the larger, the better.
Most people don’t buy a gel cushion for every place they need one; they prefer to buy one and move around with it. When they get used to a particular cushion, some people want to take it with them anywhere they go.
The gel cushion’s lightweight nature allows for this, and you can easily shift it from your couch to your car, to your office chair, and back. You might want to get one with handles or something like that for the constant moving.
You can take your gel cushion with you on flights if you want. It will come in handy when the flight is long and the seats are not so comfy. There are extra-light cushions built for use on flights.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Spills can occur anywhere, especially in a household with kids. You might want to get a gel cushion with a washable cover for easy cleaning. Portable cushions are the most susceptible to dirt, so you better have a cleaning strategy in place before purchasing any gel cushion.
You might not always machine wash the cushion, but it should at least accommodate wiping.
The gel cushion might be soft and body-conforming, but all those comfort features die when slid into a hardcover. You want your cushion cover to fit your body contour with minimal resistance.
Get yourself a stretchable, soft, and easily conforming cushion cover that will offer maximum comfort when coupled with a well-built gel cushion.
There are specially designed three-dimension covers for long-distance drivers. They provide all-day comfort coupled with a slight cooling effect. They might be a little high on the price, but they are definitely worth your while.
It would be best if you did not view gel cushion thickness as a representation of comfort. Well, a four-inch-thick cushion will offer comfort when used on the couch, but in some settings, its practicability might not hold.
Extra thick cushions are recommended for wheelchairs users, while drivers are advised to choose their seat cushions wisely.
A too thick cushion might hamper your driving when you cannot reach predetermined positions like the pedals. Taller drivers might not be affected by this problem as they can easily stretch their legs to reach for the accelerator. You also do not want to be so high that your feet interfere with the steering wheel.
If you are a driver looking for a cushion for your car seat, try to reduce the thickness to the minimum while still minding your comfort. Half an inch thickness is adequate for a driver’s seat cushion, not too thick and not too thin.
For office settings as well, the thickness you select must fit your height, not unless you want your feet hanging in the air. A person’s feet must touch the ground for them to be comfortable throughout the day.
In a nutshell, test your gel cushion before buying. Driving with a seat cushion that negates your access to the brake pedal can be dangerous, and sitting for long hours in the office with your feet in the air can have adverse long-term effects on your spine.
There are two types of cushions as far as the manufacturing process is concerned, the honeycomb gel seat cushion and air inflatable bladders cushions.
Both of these products are gel cushions for long sitting but are slightly different. The honeycomb version uses hallowing layers of soft rubber, while the air inflatable cushions use discreet bladders filled with air.
These techniques deliver comfort and breathability in almost equal measure, and their lightweight nature serves very well in thick cushions.
The only downside of these cushions is the lateral instability caused by lateral movement. The air-filled bladders cause slight movements while you sit, and some users find this discomforting.
This is rather obvious, but we will state it anyway. A quick search on the web will reveal a wide array of cushions to choose from. The main distinguishing factor of these cushions is the price. Some prices will seem fair, some too high, and others just too low.
Before settling on any particular gel cushion, look into the factors mentioned above and select the item that best suits your needs. Do not let price lead you; it is a major trapping technique employed by unscrupulous manufacturers.
What Are Gel Cushions Made Of?
The primary manufacturing materials for gel cushions are soy, latex, and water-based gel. Several brands incorporate foam in their products to improve stability, but there are not many.
All these materials are good and serve their purposes effectively except for several disadvantages. The water-based gel, for example, is said to be unstable, especially when used in high vibrating cars. They are also affected by weather and tend to freeze during the winter.
How Long Do Gel Cushions Last?
Gel cushions are long-term investments; they can serve for up to 10 years. However, for a gel cushion to last this long, it must be taken care of. Some users claim to have used their cushions for over 15 years without any problems.
The number of years a cushion will serve depends on, among other things, the type of material used and the application.
A wheelchair cushion with the daily subjection to pressure will not last long. Unlike office cushions, wheelchair cushions might need replacement after every three years. You will not necessarily throw the old one away; you can always use it as a backup if the new one fails.
Why Should You Replace Your Cushion?
With time all cushions are bound to give in to the pressure. Using a worn-out cushion might allow spine and back problems to creep up on you. Wheelchair cushions are the most affected by late replacement, and the consequences are felt deep.
Are Gel Cushions Gods For Pressure Sores?
Pressure sores or what experts call bedsores are health complications that result from long hours of skin and object contact. It mainly affects people who sit for long hours, like office employees and wheelchair users.
This condition can be prevented by using gel cushions which prevent direct chair and body contact. When the body lands on a soft surface, the pressure is absorbed and distributed along the cushion to prevent skin soreness.
These cushions are called pressure release cushions and are readily available in the market. They promote circulation along the user’s backside. Any wheelchair user not applying a cushion to their seat is at risk of soreness.
Can Gel Cushions Help With Posture?
When used with the right chair, gel cushions can help users sit upright without feeling trapped. A few brands manufacture gel cushions for use on office chairs, and posture is usually their primary concern.
Posture is also essential in other areas like relaxation couches at home; a well-designed cushion will make sitting more comfortable.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Gel Cushions?
They Have A Cooling Effect
One problem facing cushion users is the heat retention by the cushions. You would want a cushion that cools you rather than contributing to your heat problem.
Gel solves his problem perfectly by absorbing heat from our bodies and redistributing it within itself to create a cooling effect. This can be easily proven by simply laying your hand on a gel cushion; you will feel the cooling effect after a few seconds.
This feature allows for the use of this product even for long periods without the inconveniencing sweat.
The Support Is Better
Gel cushions are both soft and firm. They let you sink in but not too deep. This way, you get to enjoy the soft landing while protected from the side effects of altered body posture. Sitting for long periods on a weak surface can result in back pains.
For a cushion to offer optimum practicability, it must conform to the body’s contour while still offering adequate support.
Gel Cushions Offer More Comfort
The comfort features that come with gel cushions are unmatched. The cooling effect coupled with solid support guarantees the perfect sitting experience. Once you are used to sitting on gel cushions, you can never feel entirely complete in an ordinary chair.
A simple gel cushion can abolish any form of numbness that you might be experiencing due to extended sitting.
Gel cushions are known to last up to 10 years without any signs of backing out. This, however, depends on the quality and application of the product. If the cushion bears strong and well-built gel, you can expect it to serve you for the next decade and vice versa.
Accommodates Allergic Persons
Ordinary cushions have dust mites that cause allergic reactions to allergic persons. The dust mites thrive due to the spaces within these cushions. Gel does not hold any dust mites and can be used by an allergic person as a seat cushion or even a pillow without any form of health reaction.
Any Downsides To Gel Cushions?
Well, quality is expensive. Compared to other cushion materials, gel is more expensive. The improved comfort and reduced heating come at a cost, though. The price moves even higher if the cushions come with designer covers.
The Cooling Effect Might Not Last
One of the reasons doctors advocate for gel cushions is the cooling effects that make all-day use practical. However, this feature might not last ten years like the cushion because of low manufacturing standards by some manufacturers.
Gel cushions are a product of modern engineering and are an addition to the great things science has to offer. The need for comfort was met by the development of a cushion that offered both conformity and support. If you plan on spending on a cushion, why not get the best. The experience is like no other.