Comfort is universal. Regardless of circumstances, situations, or personal preferences, everyone likes to feel comfortable. Luckily, there are many ways to achieve optimal levels of comfort no matter what your needs happen to be. If you spend considerable amounts of time in a wheelchair or in a seated position, one simple way to seriously increase your comfort-level is to find the perfect memory foam wheelchair cushion. It seems like a minor detail, but it can truly be life changing! Why, you ask? Check it out:
A large part of feeling comfortable comes down to how much support your body has. For example, when you buy shoes you often think about arch support. Well, the same goes for your back, butt, and legs when in a seated position. When looking for a high-quality wheelchair cushion, you should definitely keep support in mind. The materials used can make a huge difference in the amount of support you get, something filled with cotton or hollow fiber is just not going to hold up to the continued use. You need a cushion not a pancake.
In addition to materials and fillers, support can be added through design. Orthopedic experts have discovered several tricks for supporting a body in the seated position, thus relieving some of the back, hip, and leg pain that is often associated. Certain shapes and design elements can really make a difference when it comes to long term use of any product. This is where you want to find a company that knows their customers and knows what they’re doing. Paying attention to product or company awards, medical institution involvement, and individual user reviews can really give you the insight you need to make sure you’re getting a well-designed product.
Another common issue with many wheelchair cushions is their rigidity. If you take a look at a mattress or a couch, there’s a lot of give as well as support. This was traditionally done with the addition of springs, but nowadays, memory foam is more likely. Memory foam is a unique substance that allows for both flexibility and strength. A memory foam cushion will flex under your weight but will still hold its shape, returning to its original position after each and every use. It’s the preferred material for high-end mattresses, pillows, bike seats, you name it, so of course, it makes sense to use in wheelchair cushions as well, arguably some of the most high-trafficked seats out there.
Another massive benefit to memory foam is that when it’s warmed by, say, someone’s body heat, it actually conforms to whatever object it comes into contact with. This means that when you sit on a memory foam cushion, it will mold itself to your body for individualized support and comfort. And because of its viscous properties, if you change positions, it will change and reform with you. This feature is incredibly useful for maintaining good posture throughout the day, and again helps in keeping the pressure off key points in your back and hips.
Breathable and Easy to Clean
Something else to think about when looking for the perfect cushion is the breathability factor. Regardless of climate or temperature, sitting down tends to block the airflow to the backs of your legs, butt, and lower back. Unfortunately, over time this can get uncomfortable and cause unnecessary sweating or moisture. So when looking for a seat cushion, the material on the outside is actually just as important as what’s on the inside when it comes to comfort.
Thinking beyond physical comfort, you might also want to consider how easy your wheelchair cushion will be to clean. The materials used have a lot to do with how you can clean the cushion, but the design also matters. For example, a removable, machine-washable seat cover is extremely useful for spills or general cleaning. Memory foam is generally a material that is not meant to be thrown in the washer/dryer, so make sure there are proper care instructions provided with your cushion. There are also protective covers you can get if you need an extra barrier between the outside world and your cushion.
Finally, another key element to consider when looking for the perfect wheelchair cushion is its versatility. In general, you want your cushion to be suitable for wheelchair use, but if you can find a cushion that can also be used in the car, in your office chair, or in a variety of other locations, allowing for increased comfort regardless of your chosen seat, that would, of course, be even better. Finding a detachable, well-designed cushion can make all the difference. You want your cushion to be tailor-made for you, not necessarily for your wheelchair.
Ultimately, you just want to be comfortable, and surprisingly, a superior wheelchair cushion might just do the trick. Remember to look carefully at the materials used, the design of the product, as well as its versatility, and there’s no doubt you’ll find just the right cushion for you. Then all you have to do is to sit back and let the comfort wash over you — sounds great, right?