Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Back pain often interferes with everyday life and, if severe, can even make people unable to work. It is said that one in three adults may experience back pain from time to time or permanently. Back pain can be relieved and prevented with a back cushion.

Would you like to know the effects of back cushions? Then our back cushion test 2021 is the right place for you. We have summarised all the important information for you and scientifically proven it so that you are sufficiently informed.




Summary

  • Back cushions are also called lumbar support or lumbar support.
  • A back cushion can promote a healthy sitting posture and ease the lumbar spine.
  • Back cushions can be used in the case of back pain or even as a preventative measure if you have to sit for a long period of time or notice that you have an uneven sitting posture.

The best Back Cushion in the United Kingdom: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for back cushions

A back cushion can support your back and should therefore be adapted to your back and the area of use. You can look for the following criteria to find the right back cushion for you:

Only a suitable back cushion can do its job properly and support your sitting posture.

Size

Attention should be paid to the size of a back cushion so that it can also fulfil its effect correctly. Only when the back cushion is matched to your back can it be used properly. When choosing the size, you should also pay attention to the area used.

A back cushion can be used in different areas, for example, you can buy a back cushion for your home, office or car. The sizes can vary and must be adapted to the respective area of use. A back cushion can cover the whole back or just the lumbar vertebra. Which size you choose is of course a matter of taste and depends on your requirements.

Material and fabric

The material or fabric cover says a lot about the comfort of a back cushion. Your own taste also plays a big role. The back cushion or cover can be made of cotton, jersey, linen, a belly-wool mix or a net fabric. Cleaning depends on the material and whether the back cushion has a fabric cover or not. With a fabric cover, cleaning is of course easier than with a back cushion, which cannot be removed and washed in the washing machine.

First of all, you should pay attention to the care instructions of the back cushion, because each material or fabric cover may have different cleaning instructions.

For a back cushion without a fabric cover, it is recommended to keep the back cushion clean and can be vacuumed with a hoover. However, some back cushions are also suitable for washing machines and can be washed if the care instructions are followed.

Comfort

In order for the back cushion to fulfil its function, it should of course be comfortable and pleasant for you. The material, the filling and your own requirements play an important role. In principle, back cushions should be of high quality, as they are then more likely to support your back and stay with you for longer.

The back cushion should ensure a comfortable sitting posture and relieve the strain on your back, so you may prefer a higher quality. Additional functions and features can also contribute to the comfort. For example, some back cushions have a pocket for your mobile phone, a bolster or armrests.

Filling material

Possible fillings can be cotton, down, polyester or visco foam. Many back cushions are now filled with visco foam. This filling makes it possible for the back cushion to adapt to the body during use and then return to its original shape. The filling contributes to the comfort and can be selected according to preferences.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about back cushions answered in detail

Important questions about back cushions are answered here. We have summarised tips and information as well as the scientific situation on back cushions for you here.

What are the consequences of back pain?

Back pain is one of the most common illnesses in Germany and ranks third. It can be very disruptive to everyday life and can also cause other ailments.

Back pain can cause other complaints, but this is not the case for everyone. (Image source: pixabay / Angelo Esslinger)

Back pain can also cause other ailments and thus affect everyday life even more. The following complaints can also occur:

  • Headaches and neck pain
  • Sluggishness and exhaustion
  • restless sleep
  • Restrictions in movement

These complaints do not have to occur at the same time and for everyone. The back pain and discomfort can always vary.

What exactly is a back cushion and what is it supposed to do?

A back cushion is, as you can tell from the name, a cushion for the back. The back cushion is supposed to support the lumbar vertebrae and improve and promote the sitting posture. In other words, it ensures a straight and healthy sitting posture. The back cushion is also called a lumbar support or lumbar support. Our spine has a double S-shape, and lordosis is the forward curvature of the spine.

The back cushion can be used in cases of back pain or as a preventive measure.

So if you have to sit a lot or for a long time and you notice that you are not sitting in a healthy posture, a back cushion can be recommended.

The back cushion can support the lumbar vertebra. To do this, the back cushion should be placed on the lower back, just like in the picture. (Image source: unsplash / Windows)

A study tested the effects of back cushions during prolonged sitting. It was proven that a back cushion improves sitting posture and supports the shape of the spine. But more tests are needed to provide long-term evidence.

Which back cushion is best for what and where can it be used?

Back cushions can be used for different applications and should be adapted to these. A large back cushion with a bolster can be used at home on the sofa or bed, but offers no advantages at work in an office chair.

Large back cushions are therefore more suitable for use at home and are usually particularly comfortable, but they are rather impractical when travelling. Small back cushions, on the other hand, are particularly suitable for train or bus journeys.

When and for whom is a back cushion useful?

A back cushion can be used to relieve back pain and improve sitting posture. Back pain can come from a variety of factors, including sitting for long periods of time in a slouched position. A back cushion can be used before this to relieve and prevent back pain.

Back cushions can relieve the back in everyday office life. (Image source: unsplash / Tim van der Kuip)

A back cushion is especially recommended for people who have to sit for long periods of time. Whether for the office, train and car journeys or at home, the cushion can be used anywhere and at any time to enable a healthy sitting posture.

What types of back cushions are there?

There are different back cushions with different extras. Back cushions can increase comfort with a bolster, heat function, Velcro closure or straps. Here you can compare the different types and get an overview.

Type Description
Back cushion with bolster Are wedge-shaped and have a bolster, Are large and usually have a pocket
Back cushion with heat function Can be plugged into the socket and warms the back
Back cushion with Velcro or straps The back cushion can thus be attached to a seat or chair

We will describe these types in more detail in the next few paragraphs and have summarised the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Back cushion with bolster

These back cushions want to offer additional comfort and have a neck roll. The height of the bolster can usually be adjusted and thus offers individuality. The bolster can not only be used for the neck, but also as a lumbar cushion due to the adjustable height.

Either the neck or the lumbar vertebrae can be relieved.

Advantages
  • Can relieve the neck and are comfortable due to the shelf
  • The bolster can also be used as a lumbar pillow
  • Usually have a pocket and are practical
Disadvantages
  • Are often large and therefore impractical to take with you
  • Due to their shape, they can usually only be used at home

The cushions usually have a wedge shape and a sewn-in pocket. Things can be stored there and can be accessed quickly. For example, you can place your mobile phone, a charging cable or the remote control.

Back cushion with heat function

Warmth can promote muscle mobility and combat stiffness.

With this back cushion, the question naturally arises whether heat should be used at all for back pain or whether it can be relieved by cooling. Back pain can go through different phases of healing. One can say that the pain point should be cooled for the first three days and only warmed afterwards.

However, the warming function should only be used for 10 to 15 minutes and only after an hour can it be switched on again. The back cushions can be plugged into a socket and then warm up. Different heat levels can be set or only one level is available.

Advantages
  • Can further relieve back pain with heat
  • Can warm you up when you are cold or on cold days
Disadvantages
  • Heat cannot always help against back pain, it depends on the discomfort and the severity of the pain
  • Not every place has a power socket, the cable can be a nuisance

Back cushions with a heat function can therefore definitely be used against back pain. But a heat function can also be pleasant for prevention, especially if you get cold quickly and want to warm up.

Back cushions with Velcro or straps

Back cushions provide stability and can therefore no longer slip. Especially for regular use, such as on the office chair at work or in the car, the fastenings can be practical.

Advantages
  • Can be firmly placed and no longer slip
  • Thus practical for office chairs and car seats
Disadvantages
  • Cushion must fit the seat exactly in size and width
  • Velcro can wear out and no longer hold well

This means that the back cushion does not have to be repositioned again and again. The fasteners can be Velcro, or they can be fasteners or fastening straps.

What alternatives are there to a back cushion?

A back cushion is not the only thing that can prevent back pain and ensure a straight sitting posture. Gel seat cushions and gymnastic balls can also be used against these complaints. You can compare the alternatives more easily in the table.

Alternative Scientific position Explanation
Gel seat cushion Lower back pain can be relieved with a gel seat cushion. Back pain can be caused by sitting for long periods of time and is therefore particularly common among professional drivers. The positive effects of a gel seat cushion on lower back pain have been proven in a study, but the subject has not yet been adequately researched The gel seat cushion can relieve sitting pressure and promote sitting posture. A gel seat cushion is designed to distribute weight and pressure.
Gymnastic balls Opinions on the use of gymnastic balls as a substitute for office chairs and to relieve back pain are controversial. Although gymnastics balls were used in two cases in one study and were rated positively by them, sitting on the gymnastics ball also brings with it some concerns The gymnastics ball requires a straight sitting posture in order to maintain balance. This is supposed to strengthen the back and ease the spine.

Which variant you finally decide on depends on your taste and area of use. For example, the exercise ball cannot be taken everywhere and is more suitable for use at home or as a substitute for an office chair.

Image source: Siriluk Kongkead / 123rf

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