Wheelchair Seat Cushions

Picking the best cushion for your wheelchair is almost as important as picking the wheelchair itself. ... READ MORE

Wheelchair Seat Cushions

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Picking the best cushion for your wheelchair is almost as important as picking the wheelchair itself. Pressure points, thermal dissipation, and cover material are all important to your own situation. We carry a wide variety of gel, air, and foam options so you can find the cushion that is right for you. For more questions, please don’t hesitate to call 1-877-234-2018.

Wheelchair Cushion Buying Guide.

More on Foam Cushions

More on Air Cushions

More on Gel Cushions

Rehabpulse Learning Center

 

Wheelchair Cushion Buying Guide

When many wheelchair users think of a seat cushion, comfort comes to mind. However, a seat cushion provides benefits beyond comfort, including pressure management and positioning that can reduce fatigue, enhance seated balance throughout the day, and improve posture. Though not everyone's positioning and sense of comfort are the same, so understanding cushion technologies is key to selecting the right cushion for you. RehabPulse specializes in cushions of different types and has dedicated technical experts that are here to help you make the best choice for your individual situation. Give us a call at 877-234-2018.

RehabPulse carries one of the largest web stores for wheelchair cushions and offers the best seating solutions.

Seat Cushions are designed to offer:

  • Comfort
  • Pressure management
  • Positioning
  • Increased sitting stability

There are many wheelchair cushions available - foam, gel, and air - and in understanding the benefits and limitations of each one, you can decide which is best for you.

There are a number of reasons why you may purchase extra cushions for you as a wheelchair user, or for the loved one you take care of. The best way to choose the right wheelchair cushion is by, first and foremost, talking to your doctor or a rehab specialist. The reason is: there is no “one size fits all” solution, and if you try to simply purchase a cushion without pre-evaluation you may end up solving one problem and creating a brand new one. So, it is never too much to emphasize that the doctor’s input is priceless.

As far as the solutions you are looking for with new cushions for a wheelchair, you will have to take into consideration posture correction needs, pressure sores management, urinary tract infection risks, level of disability or injury, current skin condition, spasticity levels, etc.

We will describe here many types of cushions indicated for each scenario, just so you know what is out there for your decision-making.

 

Foam Cushions:

Foam cushions are the most basic cushion, ideal for those looking for something simple at a minimal cost. While some foam cushions are quite firm, others feature contoured bases with multiple layers of foam, designed for enhancing pressure management and positioning. Foam is light and varies widely in stiffness and density. Proper stiffness, density, and resilience help ensure adequate support and an effective lifespan. Foam envelops the buttocks well but can be hot and is damaged by moisture and light, so a protective cover should be used. Foam wheelchair cushions absorb impact loads well.

Made from different kinds of materials, from polyurethane to therapeutic foam, memory foam, and others. Foam cushions are the most basic cushion, ideal for those wishing simplicity at a minimal cost. While some foam cushions are a single density (firmness), others feature contoured bases with multiple layers of foam, designed for enhancing pressure management and positioning.

RehabPulse recommends a foam cushion if you need:

  • Low maintenance
  • Minimal cost
  • A very stable seating surface
  • Low to mid-range positioning
  • Lightweight

A foam cushion may not be best for you if you need:

  • Exceptional pressure relief
  • Advanced positioning characteristics

 

Air Cushions:

As the name suggests, air cushions are filled with air, and by adjusting the air pressure, the cushion's firmness can be adjusted. Air cushions typically offer reduced stability and positioning by comparison to foam and gel cushions, but are exceptional in the area of pressure relief, allowing pressure points to "sink" into the cushion. Air cushions are commonly available in 2", 3”, and 4" heights, with the 2" offering a low-profile, more stable surface, and the 4" offering maximum pressure relief. Air wheelchair cushions are adjustable and require regular maintenance to meet the unique needs of each user. Air cushions are extremely durable, comfortable and provide maximum protection against skin breakdown. An air cushion will provide skin protection and comfort for years to come when properly maintained.

These are very good options if you are looking for pressure sores (also known as pressure ulcers) prevention and stay dry the entire time while using it. As the name suggests, air cushions are filled with air, and by adjusting the air pressure, the cushion's firmness can be adjusted. Air cushions typically offer reduced stability and positioning by comparison to foam and gel cushions, but are exceptional in the area of pressure relief, allowing pressure points to "sink" into the cushion. Air cushions are commonly available in 2" and 4" heights, with the 2" offering a low-profile, more stable surface, and the 4" offering maximum pressure relief.

People also make use of air cushions to actually help directly on the treatment of pressure sores, not only prevention.

RehabPulse Recommends an Air Cushion if you need:

  • Exceptional pressure relief
  • Adjustable firmness
  • Lightweight
  • Low maintenance

An air cushion may not be best for you if you need:

  • Low maintenance (air cushions require regular monitoring of air pressure, and can develop leaks)
  • Advanced positioning characteristics
  • Utmost seating stability
  • Low cost

 

Gel cushions:

Gel cushions are specifically designed to optimize pressure relief by allowing one's pressure points to "immerse" into a gel pack, reducing pressure. Additionally, gel cushions typically feature a contoured base, with advanced positioning characteristics. These materials are good at minimizing heat and are typically encased by a protective cover that is easily cleaned. Because of their incompressible nature, viscous fluid and gel wheelchair cushions often use a contoured non-deforming foam base or a flat, compressible foam base to better enable the cushion to conform around the body and absorb impact.

Gel cushions are mostly indicated by specialists to wheelchair users that also need extra attention to body temperature. One of the gel cushions’ main characteristics is the ability to keep a steady temperature all day long. Gel cushions also help tremendously in preventing pressure ulcers. Gel cushions are specifically designed to optimize pressure relief by allowing one's pressure points to "immerse" into a gel pack, reducing pressure. Additionally, gel cushions typically feature a contoured base, with advanced positioning characteristics.

RehabPulse recommends a gel cushion if you need:

  • Optimal pressure relief
  • Advanced positioning
  • A very stable seating surface
  • Low maintenance

A gel cushion may not be best for you if you need:

  • Lighter weight
  • Low cost

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