Heading out for a long trip with loved ones? Road trips have been fun since you were young, but as we get older, they can be a bit more daunting. Staying seated in one (often uncomfortable) position for hours on end can cause a lot of pain, stiffness, and other issues in seniors in their legs, hips, and back. This is exaggerated by conditions like arthritis, sciatica, leg pain, or other common issues in elderly people.
Luckily, there are plenty of orthopedic seat cushions to relieve these issues and make getting to that destination just a little bit easier. Enjoy your long car trip with these seat cushions, as well as a few road trip tips listed below.
Best Car Seat Cushion for Long Drives
Here are my top 5 recommended cushions for pain while traveling in a car. Take a look at these or keep on reading to learn more about these cushions and how to chose your own!
Looking for extra lumbar support and better posture? This seat cushion that features an added cushion for back support as well.
The seat cushion itself is U shaped and contours to your body with thick memory foam encased in ventilated fabric, and also has a non-skid bottom so it stays secure. However, it’s attached to a lumbar support pillow that goes behind your back, made out of the same material that shapes and supports your lower back’s curve.
This lumbar pillow has a strap to stay secure around the seat itself, and despite its size, it’s very lightweight and portable to take with you on any long trip.
For all around comfort and support, this is the best option in my opinion.
One of the first seat cushions I’d recommended is this one from ComfiLife. It’s ergonomically designed to provide support and encourage healthy posture while relieving pressure on the tailbone with a U-shaped cutout, which is actually recommended by orthopedic doctors for treatment of chronic pain.
It’s made out of memory foam, which is incredibly comfortable, yet uniquely supportive to your personal shape.
It also has a rubber bottom, so you can be sure it will stay in place, and a zippered cover that can be thrown into the washing machine for easy cleaning. It’s highly praised by all users.
The strap attaches around the back of the car seat to keep the cushion in place for long car rides. This cushion is also larger than most at 3 inches high, keeping circulation through your legs and hips going constantly. It doesn’t have that all-important U shape, but it does have a divet at the tailbone like the others for support where it matters.
The advantage of this cushion over others is its ventilated, breathable material and it’s adjustable strap and buckle.
This cushion has memory foam for comfort, but it’s also layered with a mesh material and a foam core for added support and ventilation. This way, you stay cool and comfortable and the cushion doesn’t lose the integrity of its shape over time with that foam core.
Looking for all the customized comfort that comes with memory foam? This everlasting comfort cushion has it.
It’s made out of 100% pure memory foam with no additives, which can improve your posture and comfort but still retain its density for long periods of time. It does this by using heat reactivity. It reacts to the natural heat from your body, allowing the cushion to mold itself and compress to your ideal shape. This relieves your unique pressure points, but also provides support where you need it.
This memory foam cushion also has that orthopedic U shape that doctors recommend to relieve pressure and pain in the lower back, legs and hips. It also has those all-important safety features like a no slip rubber gel bottom to keep it securely on your seat.
It’s very small and portable as well, so you can take it along anywhere you go. To boot, the black cover is also machine washable.
If you have acute hip pain, you know how difficult sitting anywhere for long periods of time, especially trapped in a car, can be. This car seat cushion is designed for people who suffer from hip pain, with all kinds of features that are specifically made for alleviating hip pain in the car.
The Coccyx seat cushion has a contoured surface that gently cradles your hips, thighs, and buttocks while providing comfort and support at the same time with its comfortable cushioned material. It also has the U shape, taking any and all pressure off of your tailbone and spine and encouraging a healthy posture. The shape of this cushion evenly distributes weight across this area of the body, which will relieve a lot of pressure on your hips.
Some other highlights of this product include its extra wide size, able to accommodate any size adult with hip issues. It measures 18 inches by 14 inches by 3 inches, but it only weighs a pound but it’s also light enough to be portable and bring with you on the go.
It also has a luxurious velvet cover, which adds softness and comfort to the cushion, but also easily zips off and is machine washable.
BONUS: Back Support Cushion for Elderly
Need a little extra support in the lumbar region? Most elderly people do, as it’s very easy for this area to experience problems as we age. Our posture can decline, which can lead to intense pain in the lumbar region. This best selling memory foam cushion from LoveHome provides all the support you’ll need for your lower back, and you can easily pair it with any of the seat cushions above for the most comfortable car trip experience possible.
The curvature of this cushion is really what provides the most support. It molds perfectly to where your back’s curve should be in order to encourage healthy spinal alignment and a good posture. The memory foam material has enough give that if you have any acutely painful or inflamed areas, it won’t push you there, but it will remain firm and supportive on the rest of your back. The unqiue shape and material of this cushion is chiropractor recommended as well.
This back cushion also has 2 adjustable straps, instead of the typical one, to add extra security and versatility to this product. It can fit perfectly on any size or shape chair and will stay in place for as long as you need. The cushion is also covered with a 3D mesh ventilation cover to keep air circulating through the cushion and your back, keeping you cool and comfortable temperature wise as well. It measures about 13 inches high by 13 inches wide by 4.5 inches thick, and it comes in 6 colors, so you can really personalize this cushion and have some fun with it!
Features to Look For in Coccyx Car Seat Cushions
Before we dive into my recommended products, take a look at these features you should keep in mind before you buy anything.
The material of your seat cushion should be soft and comfortable, yet supportive. Memory foam is usually the top choice here, and you’ll see that many of my recommended picks below are made out of memory foam. This is because memory foam strikes a perfect balance between molding to the unique shape of your body, while retaining its supportive qualities and encouraging a healthy posture.
The material should also be breathable, which usually comes in the form of some sort of mesh cover on top of the actual cushion. This keeps air circulating, which keeps you cool and comfortable as opposed to all of the heat of your body getting trapped in the cushion itself. To make things easier on you, it also might be beneficial to look for a machine washable mesh cover to keep the cushion nice and fresh with minimal effort on your part.
Chiropractors and other doctors recommend that the best kind of car seat cushion has a “U” shape. This construction naturally forms to our bodies and provides the best support for that area. It also relieves pressure on the tailbone, since it doesn’t have to sit directly on the seat with this kind of design.
Look for added security features as well when looking for a seat cushion for the elderly. It should have extra straps to secure the cushion to the seat, and a no-slip bottom as well if possible. This will prevent any potential sliding.
Car Ride Tips and Tricks for Seniors
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask to Stop and Stretch
Make sure to tell whoever you’re driving with that you’ll need to stop at a rest stop every now and then to stretch. Staying in one position for too long can be very detrimental to senior bodies, and they’ll understand! It should only add a few minutes to your trip, and it’s likely that they didn’t even realize how much they needed a break too.
Bring a Book
Bring a book can make the trip go by MUCH faster, and possibly help you forget about any potential discomfort you may be feeling, although that should be addressed as well. Find a new book by your favorite author, check out something new on your tablet, or maybe even get an audiobook if you’re taking the scenic route and don’t want to miss any views.
On long car rides, some people tend to take off their seat belt because it might be more comfortable for them without it. This is not the case for seniors, who should keep their seat belts on at all times while in the car (everyone should, but especially the elderly). Any potential accident could be fatal for an older person, so all the protection is incredibly important for them. Aside from the safety factor, seat belts actually also provide added support for seniors’ hips and torso, so it can actually keep them more comfortable on long car rides. If the belt is irritating on skin, pick up a soft cover to keep you comfortable the whole ride long!
Summary and Final Recommendations
Heading out for a long car ride should be exciting not a cause of dread. So, if you have a long trip upcoming, check out any of my recommended best seat cushions for long drives to help ease some of the pain. Also, stop frequently for rest breaks even if you just walk around the car for a few times. Shifting positions frequently can help too!
I have other seat cushion recommendations specifically for relieving sciatica pain that you may want to check out by clicking here.
Do you have any recommendations you want to share for surviving a long car trip as a senior? Feel free to share your tips and opinions in the comments below. If this guide was helpful, please share on your favorite social media!