Don’t you think wheelchair cushions should be comfortable, durable, and strong? Everyone does.
But when we look at them from a closer perspective, there are a few types of wheelchair cushions available to choose from. All of them have different properties and characteristics.
Today I’ll tell you all about different types of wheelchair cushions.
What are Wheelchair Cushions?
Wheelchair cushions are pads attached to a wheelchair to keep the rider comfortable. Wheelchair cushions come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but they all serve one function: soft.
Wheelchair cushions come in several varieties, including gel wheelchair cushions, memory foam wheelchair cushions, and PVC wheelchair cushions.
They can be made of both hard and soft materials, with soft materials serving to make the rider more comfortable.
Many people use wheelchair cushions because they find them more comfortable than sitting directly on the wheelchair’s seat pad.
Severely disabled individuals who have lost feeling in various parts of their body may feel pain when sitting directly on the seat pad due to pressure on sensitive body areas.
Wheelchair cushions, however, can relieve most of this pressure and prevent many types of discomfort.
Wheelchair cushions may also improve circulation in a person’s legs by elevating them somewhat above sea level. This prevents tightness in the legs and promotes better blood flow through them.
Wheelchair cushions are a necessity for anyone who is a wheelchair user. People who use wheelchairs or scooters need to have the correct fit, and the proper fit will help them stay in their chairs longer with more minor pressure sores.
The cushions also help with pressure sores by washing, sanitizing, and drying out. Wheelchair cushions have been used for quite some time now.
They are essential for the proper support of the body. The importance of wheelchair cushions should not be taken lightly by anyone. Many people out there do not know how much these cushions can help them and their bodies.
These people could benefit from using wheelchair cushions.
What should you know about Wheelchair Cushions?
Wheelchair cushions are:
- Made from foam.
- Available in different thicknesses.
- Available in different sizes.
- They are designed to be used on a wheelchair seat.
- People who use a wheelchair regularly are valuable equipment in their possession.
- Perfect for anyone who needs to sit in a chair for an extended period and wants to avoid getting pressure sores or other problems related to sitting on the same area of skin for an extended period.
- It is usually covered with a vinyl coating that can be removed and cleaned when it gets dirty or soiled from exposure to bodily fluids like blood, urine, stool, and saliva
- Wheelchair cushions are Usually made with a zipper that allows the cover to be removed without much effort and without having to remove the cushion from the wheelchair as well if it is required at all times that the cover remains clean and germ-free at all times so that the person using it will not develop additional skin problems due to the exposure of their skin directly to the foam cushion beneath it.
- Available in colors such as black, white, blue, brown, and some other colors, depending on what the user prefers and how they want.
What to look for in wheelchair cushions?
When buying wheelchair cushions, there are a few things to look for. First of all, they should be comfortable, and a wheelchair cushion should cushion your back as you sit in your wheelchair.
They are also very helpful in preventing sores on the skin, and cushioning your body will improve circulation and avoid pressure points.
Look at the size of the chair and make sure that it fits your chair. The size of your original cushion may not fit your new wheelchair, and if it doesn’t, it could cause discomfort or pain in your body.
If it’s not a perfect fit, try to find a cushion that is similar in shape, and that way, you’ll still feel comfortable.
Also, make sure that the material is breathable so that you won’t sweat while sitting in it all day long.
Breathability allows air to circulate the surface of the wheelchair cushion so that you won’t get hot and uncomfortable when using it for an extended period.
The best way to determine if a wheelchair cushion will work for you is by trying it out firsthand before purchasing one.
At most medical supply stores, they’ll have models available for you to try out so that you don’t waste money on something that’s going to be uncomfortable or inconvenience you.
Four foam options for wheelchair cushions
Why foam? Foam is an excellent material for wheelchair cushions, and it is a good combination of softness and support.
It is also easy to keep clean and wash, which can be important if you need to remove urine or other fluids.
What is the best kind of foam to use in a wheelchair cushion? There are four basic kinds of foam: open-cell, semi-rigid, closed-cell, and high-density.
- Open-cell foam has lots of little cells that look like bubbles in a cup of coffee or lumps in brown sugar. It is soft and spongy but not very supportive, and it’s what you want if you need a cushion that will mold your body. Semi-rigid foam has fewer cells, and they are larger; it feels more solid than open-cell foam. It offers some support but still bounces back a little when you press it.
- The closed-cell foam feels hard under your hand; it does not give at all when you press on it. It is for people who need zero give or don’t need much cushioning; it is also less expensive than other foam. High-density foam looks solid but has lots of tiny air pockets inside.
- Semi-rigid foam is firmer than soft foam, and this firmness can help with pressure sores, although the cushion should be replaced often if you don’t use an underpad. Semi-rigid foam also works well as a wheelchair seat cushion for someone who has good ankle movement, as the person can put pressure on the rigid sides of the cushion to propel the wheelchair forward. Soft foam does not work well with pressure sore prevention or propulsion because it is too soft to put pressure on the sides of the chair.
- High-density foam: if you have a cushion with this material, you might want to consider replacing it. This type of foam does not provide enough support for your body and can cause unpleasant pressure points or indentations.
One way to tell if your cushion has high-density foam is if it’s less than 2 inches thick. High-density foam is also very hard, so you’ll be able to feel it through the cushion’s fabric.
The best way to test if your cushion has this type of foam is to give it a light squeeze. If you can feel the firmness of the foam, then you know it’s not a good choice and should be replaced with something else.
Wheelchair cushions for wheelchairs with arms vs. without arms
Wheelchair cushions with arms vs. wheelchair cushions without arms is a complicated question. It’s not that it’s hard to answer; it’s just that there are a lot of variables involved, and it can be tricky to get things worked out.
Trying to make up your mind about wheelchair cushions with arms vs. wheelchair cushions without arms will probably be a big part of your life for a while, so you’ll have lots of time to figure everything out.
But in the meantime, here are some basic things you should know about wheelchair cushions with arms vs. wheelchair cushions without arms.
One thing you’ll want to do is check out the reviews on this site for wheelchair cushions with arms vs. wheelchair cushions without arms, so you’ll get an idea of what other people think about them.
Another thing you’ll need to do is talk to some people who use either wheelchair cushions with arms vs. wheelchair cushions without arms, or else some experts on the subject of wheelchair cushions with arms vs. wheelchair cushions without arms, so you can get some advice on how best to decide between the two options.
After that, you should talk to your doctor to see what he thinks about either wheelchair cushion type.
The wheelchair cushion without arms is attached at the bottom of the chair and has a pocket along the backside to hold a pillow or blanket.
The wheelchair cushion with arms is attached in front of the chair and has an area to store items.
Tuck-N-Go Cushion Features:
- Removable arms
- Dimensions: 34” x 14” x 3” (38”-42” seat width)
Wheelchair Cushions with Arms Features:
- Compatible with most wheelchairs- Dimensions: 16” x 18” x 4”
Wheelchair cushions are used for additional comfort and support for people who use wheelchairs. The tuck n’ go cushion is designed for wheelchairs that do not have armrests, while the wheelchair cushion with arms is designed for chairs with armrests.
Both are available in various sizes.
Types of Wheelchair Cushions
Some types of wheelchair cushions that you can find online are:
1. Standard Wheelchair Cushions
Some wheelchair cushions come with a removable cover and washable cover. Some wheelchair cushions are made from foam, memory foam, or gel.
Standard wheelchair cushions are designed for users of different weight ranges. For example, some wheelchair cushions can support up to 250 pounds, while some can support up to 300 pounds.
Some wheelchair cushions may have additional benefits, such as built-in lumbar support, head support, and adjustable armrests. Standard wheelchair cushions are available in different colors such as red, black, blue, and beige.
Standard wheelchair cushions are made from leather (vinyl), synthetic leather (pleather), and vinyl materials. Some wheelchair cushions have textured or raised backings or seating surfaces for added comfort.
2. Gel wheelchair cushions
Wheelchair cushions are designed to reduce pressure points and provide better comfort for wheelchair users. With technological advances, gel cushions are now available for wheelchairs.
These gel cushions are proving to be a better type of wheelchair cushions than foam cushioning which has been the norm for many years.
Gel wheelchair cushions are now more popular for several reasons. First, they provide a more contoured fit by molding the user’s body. Second, they do not cause pressure points that often occur with foam cushioning.
This can help make long trips more bearable and even reduce pain in some cases. Third, they are not affected by moisture like foam cushions used outdoors in moist climates.
In addition to these benefits, gel wheelchair cushions can also reduce shear and friction, allowing for greater mobility and comfort while sitting or driving in a wheelchair.
While wheelchairs need to be modified depending on each patient’s condition, certain modifications may be able to take advantage of gel cushioning to create a more customized fit that is beneficial to that patient’s overall health and well-being and their comfort while using their wheelchairs.
3. Air Flotation wheelchair Cushions
Air flotation wheelchair cushions are more comfortable and better for your posture than the other types.
Air flotation wheelchair cushions create an air pocket between the wheelchair seat and the user’s posterior, which keeps the user from feeling pressure or heat on their tailbone.
The air pocket also helps prevent pressure sores and provides a significant amount of extra comfort.
From a medical perspective, air flotation wheelchair cushions can help alleviate pressure sores and pelvic pain caused by sitting too long in one position without any cushioning.
The air cushion allows users to move around more easily without worrying about getting up and down because they are uncomfortable.
The main reason that people choose to use air flotation wheelchair cushions is that they offer a great deal of extra support and comfort while still offering the freedom of movement necessary for everyday life.
Air flotation wheelchair cushions are also very safe because they are designed to lock in place, which prevents them from sliding around as you move around in your wheelchair.
4. Foam Wheelchair Cushions
Foam wheelchair cushions are among the various types of wheelchair cushions designed with a wide range of needs and conditions in mind.
Those older or who have experienced the effects of aging on their bodies may need a cushion that provides extra support.
These cushions often feature contoured designs, which help keep the body properly aligned while sitting.
People who suffer from circulatory problems, such as those caused by diabetes may require a wheelchair cushion that keeps blood flowing freely.
Depending on how severe the condition is and how it affects the body, these cushions often feature special designs that prevent excessive pressure buildup in key areas.
5. Cushion Thickness
Wheelchair cushions come in three common thicknesses: 5/8-inch, 1-inch, and 1.5 to 2 inches. The most popular choice is the 1-inch cushion.
The thinnest cushions (5/8 inch) are used for light-duty wheelchairs and folding chairs. They provide less comfort than the thicker ones, but they are easier to transport and take up less storage space when not in use.
Some people find that a thinner cushion makes sitting more comfortable because it can sink into their wheelchair seat more effectively.
The thickest cushions are commonly used by people whose disability results in them having very high body mass index (BMI), such as those with morbid obesity or paraplegia, or due to other conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS)
The extra padding provides extra support for the buttocks and thighs of someone who has a high BMI because it raises the user higher from the chair’s seat.
This can make their chair feel more stable and prevent their lower body from sinking too far into the seat, which can cause skin breakdown or difficulties with mobility devices such as a wheelchair footplate or crutches.
Wear & Tear Study for wheelchair Cushions
We’ve gone through all of the data we’ve collected over the last few years, and it’s time to release our findings!
We will be conducting a wear and tear study to see how long wheelchair cushions last, and our research needs funding to continue to provide the best products for our clients.
We will be conducting a study that tests the durability of wheelchair cushions by using several different variables.
These variables are as follows:
- The type of material the cushions are made out of (vinyl, gel, memory foam, etc.)
- If they have a cover that is removable or not
- How often the cushion is used (once a week, every day, etc.)
- The size of the cushion (small, medium, large, etc.)
- The weight capacity (under 200 lbs., under 300 lbs., under 400 lbs., under 500 lbs., etc.)
- If used outside or inside (we’ll track this based on what the customers tell us).
- Whether or not it has been tested for pressure sores or not.
This is a preliminary report on the results of our wear and tear study of wheelchair cushions.
We used 100 cushions in total: 50 blue ones 50 red ones. There were three different wheelchair cushions: hard plastic, soft plastic, and fabric, and people with varying physical characteristics used the cushions.
The test subjects were broken into three age categories: small children (under six years old), middle-aged adults (18-59), and seniors (60+).
A total of four different tests were performed to determine the effects of use on the life expectancy of each type of cushion.
We measured their tear strength, abrasion resistance, indentation height, and resilience.
Each cushion was placed on a wheelchair to measure tear strength; it was then dragged across a concrete floor to measure abrasion resistance; it was then placed in a metal vise, and the height of the indentations was measured after being pressed into it for one minute; finally, they were all sat upon to measure resilience.
All measurements were taken multiple times over one week.
Results showed no significant difference in tear strength between any cushion or user group. Abrasion resistance was highest in soft plastic wheelchair cushions.
If you’re someone with mobility issues and who relies on a wheelchair to get around, then knowing the right types of wheelchair cushions to use could be crucial to your freedom.
And since these cushions can vary in size and shape, you must look at all your options before deciding on one or two. The cushions you choose will protect your back from pain and prevent further damage from occurring.
They will also allow you to sit up in your chair for more extended periods without experiencing any discomfort or pain.