Sometimes life puts you in some bad situations, and your only choice is to move on as best you can. Accidents happen everyday, and some cases leave some terribleconsequences, like being stuck in a wheelchair, permanently or not.
Types of wheelchair cushions
There are a few different types of cushions for you to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. A good chair and a high-quality cushion will change your quality of life considerably. It will help you sit in a neutral, stable position and operate the chair safely.
We are not talking about old-school foam anymore. It has come a long way since a few decades ago. Now you can find it in all sorts of densities, shapes, and in many degrees of memory. It will preserve its shape as you sit, which will make you feel more stable. The advantage is that memory foam can adapt to any shape but is still able to provide the support you require. The pressure will be distributed on the entire surface of the cushion, instead of a few pressure points. Foam is extremely affordable, and it’s easy to modify its shape. If you suffer from pressure sores, the cushion can easily be cut to relieve some of that pressure. However, it is recommended that a specialist does this. Only he can correctly identify the changes in your cushion. The disadvantage of foam cushions is that they wear out quicker than other types. But as long as it’s cheap, this shouldn’t bother you. Just make sure to replace it when you first notice discomfort. Otherwise, you can develop pressure sores. And believe me, you don’t want.
Gel cushions attempt to replace the support of atrophied muscle tissue. This applies to people who have been stuck in a wheelchair for quite some time. As a result, the muscles atrophied, and you lost support. But a gel cushion has the ability to provide that much-needed help. It’s a simple pouch filled with highly engineered gel fluids. Usually, they are attached to a foam base, but it’s not a must. It depends on the design. As a result, they can provide an excellent distribution of pressure, which will ultimately make you feel very comfortable. On the other side, gel cushions are heavier than other types, which may prove difficult for you. It will make your wheelchair heavier, and depending on your situation, that may be a challenge. Another drawback is that there is a possibility for the gel to “bottom-out.” The gel is pushed aside by your weight. But you can prevent that from happening by kneading the cushion once a day. A gel cushion can also leak, but they usually come with a patching kit. However, if the leak is at the seam, there isn’t much you can do about it. Also, you should know that gels won’t help with your skin temperature. Unlike other types which cool the skin down, with gel cushions the temperature will remain static.
Air flotation cushions
This kind of cushions will hold you entirely on air. Usually, it is made of interconnected balloons that are arranged in rows. The pressure underneath is stabilized by the air shifting out to surroundingballoons. That way the weight is distributed evenly. Unlike gel cushions, air flotation cushions cannot bottom out. In the eventof pressure sores, you can tie together individual balloons. That will reduce contact under areas where you experience discomfort. These cushions are very lightweight and waterproof. You can use them in your tub or if you go on a boat. On the downside, air cushions don’t provide very mush stability for people who move a lot in their chairs. But you can find manufacturers that offer low-profile cushions or quadrant options. That should solve the problem. As all balloons, air cushions can get punctured, but not easily. The rubber manufacturers use isquite heavy duty. Patching them is easier than repairing gel designs. It’s harder to find the leak, though. You can try submerging it under water. Also, keep in mind that air cushions are high-maintenance. They require regular pressure checks. Especially if you suffer from pressure sores.
Urethane honeycomb cushions
They are the latest development, and honestly, they exceed any expectations. Such a cushion is made of many individual cells, like a beehive (hence the name of the design). The weight will be distributed perfectly even. There is no chance of leaking gel or air. The air travels a lot easier among the cells. This will cool your skin, and there is no chance of retaining moisture. These cushions are lightweight, excellent shock absorbers, and low profile. The support they provide is significant. It will improve your sitting on that chair like no other cushion. It’s easy to maintain. Throw it into the washing machine or dryer, it will not suffer damage. That aspect makes it perfect who have a problem with incontinence. Because this design is relatively new, no disadvantages have occurred so far. There are few things that we know at this point. It’s one of those things that we just have to wait and see. But so far, so good.
What are the best wheelchair cushions?
I must say that the answer to this question really depends on the person. It depends on the reason why they ended up in that chair in the first place and on the time they need to spend in it. Not all cushions are best for everyone, and one that may fit one person may be harmful to another. The point is that you know best what you need. Here are a few suggestions that may make your search a bit easier.
Comlife Seat Cushion
This model is not for wheelchairs only, but people have used it for this purpose and seem to be very satisfied with the comfort it provides. It is made with memory foam of the highest quality. Even if foam cushions don’t last very long, this will last longer than any similar products. The bottom has a non-slip feature, there is abuilt-in handle for easy transportation, and the velour cover is removable and machine washable. It is very important that you clean your cushion easily. Comlife will provide excellent posture support through its innovative design. The rear is slightly elevated, which will provide optimal sacrum support. A correct position is important to anyone, to a person in a wheelchair even more so. As I said earlier, this is not designed only for wheelchairs. It can be placed on any seat, at home or at the office. It can help you recover from various conditions, such as lower back pain, hernia repairs, tailbone injuries, sciatica, and other back problems you may have. The seat is ergonomic and helps relieve pressure on the coccyx and tailbone. It does that by “hugging” the thighs. The tapered front will minimize leg numbness. It’s so much better than the regular U-shaped pillow. On the downside, this cushion is not recommended for people who have the habit of fidgeting in their chairs. Individuals who sit in a chair all day long are squirming back and forth, so the cushion may also move, despite the non-slip feature. But if you are a person less fidgety, then this pillow is perfect for you. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Drive Medical Gel “E” Skin Protection Wheelchair Cushion
You may probably know that one of the most common issues with long-term wheelchair sitting is pressure sores. People who are disabled develop these problems from too much pressure on certain points. But the Drive Medical wheelchair cushion will solve this issue. It is designed to distribute weight evenly on its surface, which will help with prevention, treatment, and management of pressure ulcers. The secret lies in a viscous gel bladder that is encased in a fire-retardant polyurethane foam shell. The combination of foam and gel will provide the proper support and comfort by ensuring an optimal pressure redistribution. The cushion is formed by multiple layers of foam among which the gel bladder is placed. You can even change the position of the bladder, for maximum comfort. The top of the cover is made of nylon coated with urethane, which makes it low-shear, breathable, and water resistant. The base of the cover is waterproof vinyl, which will ensure durability and safety. It will not slip. You can always take it out and throw it in the washing machine. It is easy to clean and will not suffer any damage. It also has a built-in handle for easy transportation. The weight capacity for this wheelchair cushion is 275 lbs. People who are heavier than that may not enjoy the cushion at its full potential. Also, if you are not being careful with the gel pad, it may leak. Make sure not to put pressure always in the same place. But just to be safe, you can buy one of those patching kits. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
KiebaCoccyx Seat Cushion
This wheelchair cushion combines both gel and memory foam designs for maximum comfort ad relief. The memory foam is layered with soothing gel technology. Both materials are very comfortable on their own, so you can only imagine how they feel combined. The design is a bit larger than regular gel cushions, but that will only improve the user’s experience. It will relieve pain and tension from the lower back, coccyx, hip, spine, and sciatic areas. Numbness from prolonged sitting will become a distant memory. As far as quality goes, it cannot be questioned. It will not flatten even if you use it all day, every day. I know that memory foam flattens out after a period of time, but the fact that the Kieba cushion is layered with gel prolongs its life. The bottom of the cushion has a non-slip feature that will make sure the cushion stays in place and does not shift or slide on any surface. The ergonomic design encourages perfect posture and spine alignment. Your weight will be evenly distributed, which ensures a comfortable sitting for hours at end. You don’t have to use on wheelchairs only. You can use the Kieba cushion on any chair, bench, car or plane seat. The cover is made of velour and is removable for an easy cleaning. You can throw it in the washing machine and wash just as the manufacturer recommends. Keep in mind that at first the cushion may seem hard to sit on, but after a while, it softens up, and you will be very satisfied with your purchase. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
All three products are high-quality and affordable at the same time. However, the Kieba wheelchair combines two designs, foam and gel, which in my opinion makes it one of the best wheelchair cushions on the market. When you are in your chair, pressure sores will not happen, and if you move on the recliner, for example, you can just take it with you. It will improve your quality of life considerably.
Sitting in one place can prove to be very unhealthy for your body. If you are lucky to be able to get up now and again, that’s perfect. But some people cannot. All they can do is sit all day. At least a wheelchair cushion can make their life a little bit more bearable. Click here to buy on Amazon
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