You know how the story goes. In modern times, humans are spending more time than ever in the sitting position. Working, gaming, driving, eating, watching TV, all such things (and many more) are done in a chair. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of time we’re spending sedentary can have real consequences for our bodies.

While chiropractors may diving into their swimming pools full of cash for giggles, those who suffer from back pain are in no mood for celebration! That’s why we’re here to help with a lineup of the best back cushions for office chairs and cars — all designed to prevent the worst of the pains and aches.

Kick back pain and poor posture to the curb, and let’s get started.

Zoom In: The 10 Best Back Cushions

Whether you’re looking for the best back support for office chairs or car seats, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve even included a couple of the best posture corrector braces in this list.

While experimenting with a few models may be your best bet in finding the perfect fit, we understand budget constraints may not make that possible. If back pain persists or worsens, we recommend consulting with your doctor.

1. Castle Knight Lumbar Support Pillow

The best back cushion overall

Brand: Castle | Type: Cushion | Materials: Polyester & Memory Foam | Dimensions: 18 x 15 x 5 inches | Colors: 3 | Price: 💰💰

At #1 on our list is the Knight Lumbar Support Pillow from up-and-coming brand, Castle. We dig the wave aesthetic on this backrest and find that the shape, dense foam, and notch on the bottom side help facilitate a healthy posture. The high-density memory foam (70D) allows just the right amount of give and responds to the user’s micro-adjustments without compressing too much. 

Just how good is the compression, exactly? Suffice it to say, this foam passed an 80,000 compression test, meaning it’s built to last for the long haul. If you spend time in your chair five days a week, eight hours a day (or every day), that’s a very good thing — you need something you can count on.

The Knight’s soft polyester cover is, thank goodness, removable via zipper and machine washable. The strap helps anchor it down to your office chair or car seat, so it won’t move out of place even if you like to slide around on your chair and break out in dance and song from time-to-time to liven up the workday. Castle includes a drawstring bag and strap extension with this product.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Comes in three pleasing colors
  • Ergonomic design w/ memory foam interior
  • Durable, having passed an 80,000 compression test
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Expensive, around $40
  • On the softer side; some prefer firmer support
  • Support strap isn’t always long enough (even with extension)

2. Ziraki Memory Foam Lumbar Cushion

The best budget back cushion

Brand: Ziraki | Type: Cushion | Materials: Velvet & Memory Foam | Dimensions: 15 x 12.5 x 4.5 inches | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰

Soothe your back with a quality memory foam cushion from Ziraki. This easily made our list of best lumbar support cushions due to its excellent quality and affordable price.

This cushion was first designed for wheelchair users, but it is an excellent solution for both car seats and office chairs. It features an adjustable strap as well as a carrying handle built into the side. Though it is not the most beautiful backrest, the quality of the memory foam for the price is tough to beat.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Soft velvet exterior
  • Affordable, with an MSRP around $15
  • Quite firm, making it ideal for orthopedic purposes
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Unappealing grey color
  • Prone to sliding around
  • Some users find it too firm

3. The Original McKenzie Lumbar Roll

The best McKenzie cushion

Brand: OPTP | Type: Cushion | Materials: Standard Foam & Polyester | Dimensions: 11 x 4.75 inches | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰💰

This lumbar roll is approved for use in the McKenzie Method, a DIY treatment series by Robin McKenzie, an influential figure in orthopedic physical therapy. Some chiropractors swear by the lumbar roll design, which pushes outward on the mid/lower back to enforce healthy posture. It may annoy some users, but it forces you into healthier habits if you can stick with it for a couple of weeks.

The 100% polyester removable cover is easy to wash and does a good job at moisture wicking. The built-in strap is universal and works on nearly all types of seating, whether it be a car seat, airplane, or office chair. Another cool thing about this offering is that you can choose from firm density or standard density foam. All these factors contribute to making this roll one of the best lumbar support for office chairs and one of the best lumbar supports for car use. 

  • USERS LIKE
  • Moisture-wicking polyester
  • Easily portable w/ carrying strap
  • Works with the McKenzie Method, which is trusted by orthopedic experts around the world
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Stitching is not reinforced
  • Standard firmness squishes too much
  • Noticeable QC issues; some are more durable than others

4. Go Lumbar Support’s Breathable Back Cushion

Go Lumbar Support's Breathable Mesh Lumbar Back Cushion

The best mesh back cushion

Brand: Go Lumbar | Type: Cushion | Materials: Mesh, Silicon, & Rubber | Dimensions: 17 x 9 x 4.5 inches | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰

Could this odd-looking device really be one of the best lumbar support cushions for office chairs? The Go Lumbar Mesh Back Rest features a unique and lightweight design that offers a surprising amount of support. What’s more, the ergonomic contour is designed to relieve pressure by up to 50%!

Employing polypropylene, silicon, and elastic rubber, this cushion has also achieved CE certification. This product is a wise choice if you run a bit on the hotter side body temp wise. Why? Due to its breathable mesh design, of course!

Once you get used to using it, you won’t even notice it has your back.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Breathable mesh webbing
  • Lightweight and portable; just 0.5 pounds
  • Ideal for the office, car, everywhere you go
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Stitching isn’t very durable
  • Too much support for some
  • Difficult to position correctly

5. BraceUP Stabilizing Lumbar Lower Back Brace

The best back support belt

Brand: BraceUP | Type: Belt | Materials: Neoprene, Velcro, & Silicone | Dimensions: 44 x 8 x 2 inches | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰💰

Seeking one of the best posture correctors and best back braces all rolled into one? The BraceUP provides a comfortable custom fit, even underneath clothing. This is all thanks to the dual adjustable straps, which make getting the right fit — with minimal bunching and slipping — a cinch.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind, however. Despite the breathable mesh material and strap design that allow for optimal airflow, this belt still gets hot in warmer weather. It’s also pretty stiff, which may be good for posture, but is uncomfortable in the long run.

Overall, BraceUP put together a holistic package that easily cements this option as the best back brace for lower back pain.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Alleviates back pain
  • Innovative design w/ excellent quality materials
  • Ideal for supporting the lower back during mildly strenuous activities
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Some find it too stiff
  • Irritates the skin without a layer underneath
  • Gets hot in warm weather and during workouts

6. Lovehome Memory Foam Lumbar Support

The best memory foam back cushion

Brand: Lovehome | Type: Cushion | Materials: 3D Mesh & Memory Foam | Dimensions: 13.5 x 12.5 x 4.5 inches | Colors: 8 | Price: 💰💰

Next up, we have another memory foam cushion, this time from Lovehome. Much like the Ziraki cushion mentioned earlier on this list of best back cushions, it uses a quality and affordable memory foam interior. The big difference here is the 3D mesh cover. This cover is extremely convenient, as you can remove it with a zipper and then machine wash and dry it. The cushion’s mesh offers more ventilation than its microfiber counterparts, so sweat and moisture don’t become a problem.

Oh, and the best part? Lovehome is so confident in their product they offer a hassle-free 60-day return policy.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Rarely slips
  • Breathable 3D mesh cover
  • Comfortable, quality memory foam
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Stitching starts to unravel over time
  • Memory foam compresses during use
  • Not quite thick enough (4.5-inch width)

7. Everlasting Comfort Lumbar Support Pillow

The best portable back cushion

Brand: Everlasting Comfort | Type: Cushion | Materials: 3D Mesh & Memory Foam | Dimensions: 13.5 x 12.5 x 4 inches | Colors: 5 | Price: 💰💰

One of the biggest problems we have with backrests is that they constantly slip off-center, which means continually reaching back and readjusting them. The Everlasting Comfort Lumbar Support Pillow side-steps all that with a dual strapping mechanism that stays put no matter how much you move around.

It also features an ergonomic, contoured design complete with comfy-cozy memory foam and a hypoallergenic 3D mesh cover that you can easily remove and toss in the washing machine. Place it on your gaming chair, car seat, or recliner, and enjoy robust lumbar support wherever you go!

  • USERS LIKE
  • Machine-washable mesh cover
  • Dual straps (strap extenders included)
  • Thick, soft, and supportive memory foam
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Straps are actually too long for some seats
  • Doesn’t provide enough pain relief for some
  • Some find that the bulky design pushes them out of their seat

8. Fellowes Professional Series Back Support

The best back support for office chairs

Brand: Fellowes | Type: Cushion | Materials: Cloth, Plastic, & Memory Foam | Dimensions: 15 x 14.5 x 2 inches | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰💰💰

This unique back support cushion from Fellowes features an innovative design that is arguably the best back support for office chairs.

Using a triple strap system (or as Fellowes calls it, the ‘tri-tachment system’), it stays put even if you get a case of the wiggles. The entire unit looks and feels extremely professional, and the four memory foam zones conform nicely to backs of all sizes. What’s more, the multi-tiered support system features a mid spinal support module as well as a lower lumbar support module that accents the natural curvature of the spine.

The downside to this unit is that it doesn’t fit every chair. Make sure to check out your chair’s dimensions before purchasing.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Comfortable memory foam
  • Fits big & tall chairs, no problem
  • Unique design relieves back pain and provides excellent postural support
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Slippage on curved-back chairs
  • Straps aren’t particularly durable
  • Pricey compared to other options

9. AidBrace Back Brace Support Belt

The back support brace

Brand: AidBrace | Type: Belt | Materials: Neoprene & Velcro | Dimensions: 48 x 8.5 x 3 inches | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰💰

If you’re looking to go the back brace route, AidBrace’s Support Belt is hard to beat. It’s a bit more spendy than your run-of-the-mill backrest cushion, but it provides steadfast support to your lower back and even the abdomen and hip area.

This back brace has a removable cushioned lumbar pad insert that allows you to customize your desired padding level. Many users with herniated discs and other spine issues swear by this design to help them get through their day. These factors (combined with the removable back support cushion) make this one of the best back support belts for lower back pain.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Very breathable
  • Fantastic herniated disc support
  • Comes in three sizes (small to extra-large)
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Velcro is on the weaker side
  • Rides up the waist on some users
  • Taking it on and off can be cumbersome

10. Castle Squire Memory Foam Backrest

The best lower back cushion

Brand: Castle | Type: Cushion | Materials: Polyester & Memory Foam | Dimensions: 17 L x 12 H x 4 W inches | Price: 💰💰

The Squire is a memory foam support pillow that hugs your lower back, extending from the bum to about halfway up the spine. It boasts a medium-firm 70D memory foam interior, with contouring padding that follows your body’s natural curves. The back strap makes securing it to your favorite gaming, office, or car seat a cinch, and it unbuckles in a snap!

In terms of style, the Squire features a low profile and comes in three muted colors — Bone (white), Stone (grey), and Nightfall (black). You’ll be pleased by how well it blends into any environment, keeping you safe and supported without any giant eye (or back) sores.

One thing to keep in mind is that this doesn’t provide complete back support, nor is it orthopedic doctor approved. For that reason, we recommend it for casual back pain, not long-term chronic ailments.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Fun, quirky company w/ excellent support
  • Versatile design works at home and on the go
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Some find it too soft
  • Loses shape after a while
  • Not suitable for full back support

Back Support Guide Part I: General Thoughts on Back Cushions

Back Support 1
Image: Pixelshot via Canva

What is a back support cushion? A back support cushion is a type of backrest specially designed to support the lower (and sometimes upper) back of the human body. It achieves this by reinforcing the natural space between the lower back and seat (a result of your spine’s curvature), serving as a buttress that props your lumbar up. It also helps improve your sitting posture.

Together, this provides a short-term and long-term fix. In the short-term, your body has adequate support, which lessens back pain and improves posture. In the long term, the new-and-improved posture leads to a stronger, better-aligned spine.

Prevention Is Key

One of the most common ailments of those spending too much time sitting is lower back pain. Neck pain, shoulder pain, and other areas of the back crop up occasionally but not nearly as often as the demons of the lower back. Slouching and bad posture can exacerbate these aches and pains. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 80% of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetimes.

With that in mind, you must remember: we are not made to sit for long periods of time. As humans, our bodies crave movement and variation. Therefore, a good ergonomic backrest is half the puzzle, but you still want to get up and move around periodically.

We strongly encourage our fellow gamers and desk jockeys to take short breaks every 20-30 minutes or so. Whether it’s getting a snack, going to the bathroom, or some vigorous jumping jacks while twisting and circling around your office chair — it’s all good. 

Back Support Guide Part II: Do Back Cushions Really Work?

Back Support 3
Image: Pixelshot via Canva

In recent decades, a lot of research has gone into the effects of an unhealthy vs. healthy workplace. The results of these studies are… well, about what you’d expect. Companies that implemented supportive practices and ergonomic setups (like lumbar support cushions) saw increased productivity due to better health and overall well-being.

We’ve scoped out a couple of excellent studies demonstrating the power of back pain prevention and ergonomic setups. Check ’em out below.

Intel Case Study

View the complete study here.

At the end of the last century, Intel management concluded that the number of employee complaints and sickness was on the high side… and they were determined to get to the root of the problem.

So the company pumped money into ergonomics, purchasing supportive office furniture, and taking on 28 full-time ergonomic experts across various departments.

The result? Despite quadrupling their number of employees over the years, they were able to reduce ergonomics-related absenteeism by 95%!

OSHA / USPS / National Postal Mail Handlers Union Case Study

View the complete study here.

In 2003, OSHA, USPS, and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union decided to join forces for an ergonomic strategic partnership. The first order of business? Developing an ergonomic risk reduction process. For this, the heads of the study analyzed 7,000 everyday tasks to understand what was going wrong and where.

After this, the team trained 77,000 postal employees, offering them the tools they needed for proper ergonomic support.

The result? 38% fewer physical complaints, resulting in a savings of nearly 2 million dollars on medical expenses! Not to mention, thousands of happier, healthier postal workers.

Back Support Guide Part III: Benefits of Back Cushions

Prevent Lumber Pain with one of the best back cushions

As you might expect, there are several advantages to back and lumbar supports. These are the most important benefits of utilizing a cushion for your chair:

1. Eases Pain. The primary purpose of a back cushion is to ease pain. And the top options on our list are mighty effective at doing just that!

Memory foam back cushions, in particular, will conform to your body’s shape, support your spine, and keep your body in a neutral position. This allows you to sink back (just a bit) and relax without sacrificing good posture. Moreover, back cushions are lightweight and easy to take with you for back pain relief everywhere you go!

2. Improves Posture. You don’t just want to prevent slouching; you want to develop a healthy posture for the long haul. 

Back cushions enforce good posture by physically preventing slouching. How? Well, supportive back cushions limit unnatural bending of the spine, which is crucial since slouching can cause the lower part of the spine to bend outward (the opposite direction it should naturally bend). 

Having your back or spine curve unnaturally for long periods is a big no-no, as it can lead to pinched nerves, muscle tightness, and even vertebrae restructuring.

3. Saves Money. Hey, physical therapy and chiropractors are expensive! Chronic back pain is slow in developing and creeps up on you. Before you know it, you’re walking around with a cane. Nip it in the bud before you start getting old and serious problems really start to crop up. Relative to the alternatives, a back support cushion is mighty cheap. The cost isn’t prohibitive, and even if you first get one you don’t like, you can try a different model until you find one that works for you and your chair.

Back Support Guide Part IV: What To Look For in the Best Back Cushions

It is essential to find a backrest that is the right fit. Due to wide-ranging physical characteristics in humans, that’s not always an easy task.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop:

1. Height of the backrest: While a short backrest may be perfect for someone who is about five feet tall, it’s sure to annoy a tall 6’5 person. Furthermore, you must decide whether you want lumbar support or something that reaches the upper back too. For really uncomfortable chairs, you may want a backrest that spans the whole back of your chair.

2. Adjustable straps: You want something that will firmly anchor the cushion to your chair, becoming one with the chair, so to speak. This feature prevents the backrest from moving around when you shift, get up, and sit in your chair. For both car lumbar cushions and office chair cushions, this is a critical feature! Without it, you’ll quickly become annoyed from having to reach behind and continually adjust the backrest.

3. Removable cover / washable: Just like our office chairs, lumbar support cushions get a lot of use! Being able to remove the cover and throw it in the washing machine is really convenient. Plus, it keeps things looking and smelling good.

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