Taking a break from work or just having a hot evening coffee? Sitting by the poolside or working on a PC? You sit to relax but sitting for long times in one place under compulsion gets tiring too. That’s what seat cushions are for. Seat cushions provide comfort and relaxation while sitting, no matter what material or texture your seat is made of. Next time you feel your chair is getting a little too grumpy to be allowing you to sit for long periods of time; you don’t have to necessarily look for a new chair. Try buying a seat cushion instead. Here we have made available for you everything you need to consider before looking for the perfect seat cushion to make your evenings and Sundays a good time to relax by the fire or the balcony.
What is the type of seat you are considering getting a seat cushion for?
Look at the chair. What kind of seat is it? There are different kinds of chairs, all suited for specific tasks and places. The seat cushions to be bought will depend on the type. These seats may be:
- A normal, flat chair: found in corners of your room used to sit for shorter periods of time.
- Dining chair: comes with a dining table mostly. These are also not used for long periods of time as used for dining purposes only, unless the dinner leads to a very important family discussion.
- Rocking chair: Found by the fireplaces and used for longer periods of time. Mostly used by kids or retired, elderly people with less chores to attend to.
- A bench: normally found in your lawn, can be used to sit or lie on. Mostly found outdoors, though.
- Club chair: found in drawing rooms mostly. Also used for longer periods of time, depending upon the kind of guests you are expecting.
- Wing chair: found in your living room. Used for random sittings and casual talks with family/friends.
Apart from these few, there are wide varieties of chairs that will later turn out to be uncomfortable. All in all, what you have to consider is what the chair is made of and how long do you have to use it on average. This will then help you in our guide to getting you the perfect seat cushion.
What qualities do you have to look for in a seat cushion?
Around the market and the places you will go looking for a seat cushion, you will come across different kinds of seat cushions, each promising a unique experience and comfort. Consider these few aspects when making a decision on which one to spend on.
- The material it is made of. Needless to say, the material will be the greatest factor to decide how comfortable a seat cushion is. Hard and compact material seat cushions will lead to soreness whereas spongy and expandable material cushions will lead to heat and sweatiness. Look for a material that is somewhere in between. Look for the common comfortable and widely accepted type of material. A better seat cushion could be using more materials in a mix.
- How heavy is the seat cushion you are looking for? If physically purchasing, you can just use your hands to pick it up and analyze and if looking for one online, always look for the net weight provided by the seller. A heavy seat cushion will no doubt be made of dense material which may not be coming up to the standards of comfort most of the time whereas a light cushion will be made of expandable material which is normally more comfortable to be sitting on. This, however, is not the only thing you need to keep in mind as exceptionally light cushions may not have the material inside to cushion anything at all.
- This depends on the weight and structure. Does the cushion weigh light enough to be carried from one place to the other? Does the shape make it easy to pack it up in a suitcase and head for a vacation? Does the shape allow it to be laid on different kinds and sizes of chairs? Use your previous experiences and some quick math to determine.
- Dust and water resistance. Does the material look dust and water resistant? Seat cushion is something that is by purpose found lying here and there. As used for sitting on, they will come into contact with sweat and occasional spills of water or the coffee you are sipping on. Is the material going to absorb it? Will the spill damage the material? Are the pores on the cushions wide enough to allow dust to settle in? Look for material which has a surface moderately resistant to liquids and dust.
- Molding support. Does the cushion shape itself according to the user’s structure? This again depends on the material the seat cushion is made of. A cushion that will adapt itself to the shape of the sitter will be without a doubt more comfortable as discomfort lies in adapting to the structure of what you’re sitting on. If the cushion adapts itself, you will automatically feel more comfortable.
- Appearance and design. After the comfort, judge whether the design is appealing. When used at home or away from home, the design and appearance will outwardly reflect on how aesthetic and clean you are. Good materials with vibrant colors will look good but lighter colors will tend to get dirt very fast and look more unhygienic than they normally are. Darker color on the other hand will look professional, but absorb and store heat faster and longer. Look for a blend of appealing colors and designs so as to make it blend in right with the situations.
Different materials of seat cushions:
After looking on the basics, let’s come to decide what kind of seat cushion you may need. Different kinds of seat cushions are:
- The therapeutic memory foam cushion: Memory foam is the most commonly used kind of material for seat cushions. This is normally purchased for its comfort and occasional usage. Durable and inexpensive, memory foam cushions are the best provision if you’re looking for comfort on a budget. Moreover, the memory foam adapts to temperatures real fast so it can be a great match for almost every kind of weather. The foam is also resistant to dust mite and allergy causing factors, making it long lasting and naturally hygienic.
- Gel seat cushion: Made of center filled gel, gel cushions are also preferred by many people as comfortable and hygienic. These are normally developed with great engineering as they possess structures that immerse into the pressure points, providing relief from occasional pains too. This promotes blood circulation and therapeutic properties of the cushion, allowing sitting for longer periods of time. These cushions are well known for their shock absorbing properties. You can come tired and fall down in your chair without noticeably feeling the presence of any cushion. Easy to maintain, gel cushions can readily be washed and cleaned with any preferred detergent and liquid as the material is already known for its resistance by holding the gel in place. They can be packed and taken almost anywhere, thus are portable too. On the other hand, the gel can be a little bit of a problem when adapting to different temperatures as a liquid.
- Foam seat cushions: The most basic form of cushions, foam seat cushions are to just a formality in the name of seat cushions. Incredibly cheap and widely available, these cushions are lightweight and easy to be carried around. They provide sufficient support to be relaxing for shorter periods of time but are not very resistant to different matters and need a lot of maintenance and cleaning. Can be bought for temporary and occasional use.
What fabrics should you be choosing?
After choosing from your preferred material of the cushion foam based on your needs, you have to choose from different kinds of fabrics to suit your usage. The fabrics widely used are:
- Indoor fabric: Apparent from the name itself, this fabric should be preferred when looking for a cushion for indoor usage. Made of a mixture between cotton and polyester, it is not well durable under extreme conditions. Indoor fabric requires high maintenance as it is prone to shrinkage and disfigurement when put under strain with liquid. The fabric is normally died to visual perfection so it is to be necessarily used indoors only thus limiting mobility and usage of the cushion itself. The use of cotton makes the cushions hard to dry out moisture.
- Olefin fabric: A blend between plastic and fiber, olefin fabric is a good mix of inexpensiveness and durability. The fabric is woven into patterns and not died or printed thus making the look of it lasting enough to be used. Due to the limit of patterns on the fabric, it is normally available in a vivid range of colors to be chosen from. The fabric itself is resistant to stains and moisture thus making it a good choice for light outdoor usage too. In cases of stains or any mishap, the fabric is pretty easy to clean and dry. Can be used outdoors easily without any worry. The only downside to the fabric is that it is extremely sensitive to heat and cannot be expected to provide temperature comfort.
- Spun polyester fabric: Self explanatory by its name, it is made of 100% polyester fabric. Different patterns can be easily printed on it and made to stay for long, thus making it a good choice for outdoor usage too. Soft in touch, it is comfortable and acceptable to all types of skin conditions. Due to the polyester, it is also not only resistant but repelling to water and moisture. With all of these qualities, it is pretty durable to be used in any kind of situation and is thus a good option for mobility and packing. The color of the fabric fades over time but the material itself can be used for as long as desired. It is pretty cheap to manufacture thus is very economical to the cushions cost.
Looking for cushions that ease medical conditions:
Are you looking for a cushion because of pain in your back or the tailbone? Consider looking for:
- Coccyx seat cushion: Specifically designed keeping the coccyx (tailbone) in mind, these provide elevated support to sit on by providing comfortable posture and independence to the tailbone at the same time. Slouching gets easier while sitting on a coccyx seat cushion as the tailbone is not touching any part of your seat and can independently take time to recover from any previous pain or prevent any upcoming pain. When used in accordance with the back support, these also provide pain relief in lower back and spine as they reduce any pressure on the lower spine. Can be used in seats that are responsible for prolonged periods of sitting such as office chair or car seats.
- Lumbar seat cushions: Lumbar, the lower part of the back, can be very sensitive when exposed to prolonged lapses of irregular posture. A lumbar cushion can be your solution to comfortably sitting in front of your computer all day or driving for a couple of hours straight. Not necessarily placed underneath before sitting, these provide support to lower back by providing original shape and structure to the back for staying comfortable regardless of your position or the chair shape. Not only the lower back, but lumbar seat cushions will help you get relief from incidences of neck pain, cramps and hemorrhoids too. These are a must use for prolonged sittings.
Using this guide, all you need to do to make the right choice for your next purchase of a seat cushion is:
- Judge your intended usage.
- Keep in mind the kinds of chairs you want to be using it for.
- Choose the preferred material of the cushion.
- Choose the preferred kind of fabric for the cover.
- Decide whether you are dealing with a medical condition.
- Check the market for a combination of your choices.