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Sitting at your desk all day can feel uncomfortable, which can take a toll on your productivity. So, if your office chair isn’t as supportive as it should be, you may want to consider adding a lumbar cushion for extra back support.
When looking for a lumbar pillow, according to Dr. Gino Pucino of Well Adjusted Chiropractic and Wellness, it should not only feel comfortable, but it should also fit your back. “It’s important to find a pillow that will maintain its position while you sit upright. So, if you slump in the chair and the pillow falls out, that’s a good thing; the object is to train your back to maintain its posture and not to just brace the spine,” he says. “A good lumbar pillow trains the spinal muscles to maintain this curve and provides protection to the discs.”
To help you find options based on your needs, chair type, and budget, here are the best lumbar support pillows to consider.
Best Overall: Purple Back Cushion
The Purple Back Cushion is versatile enough for use on office and gaming chairs as well as car seats for long work commutes. Molded into a grid, it’s made from Hyper-Elastic Polymer, which is a pressure-releasing material; this shape allows air to flow freely and comfortably, helping keep you cool.
This cushion comes with a one-year warranty and a 30-day trial (with free shipping and returns). It’s easy to clean and comes in a case that’s machine washable. Though it’s recommended that you wash the cushion by hand, all you need is a little bit of soap and water.
Best Splurge: Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion and Lumbar Pillow Combo
If you’d like to invest in a more high-quality product, look no further than the Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion and Lumbar Pillow Combo. This two-cushion set is made of gel-infused memory foam that has strategically placed ventilation holes to help keep your body cool. Both cushions have a breathable mesh cover, which makes this set ideal for those who work in poorly ventilated spaces.
In addition to a non-slip bottom to increase stability, the seat cushion has a U-shaped ergonomic design to support the legs, hips, and buttocks. The lumbar support pillow has a contoured shape that supports the neck and spine as well as the upper, middle, and lower back. The combination of both cushions helps support the entire body all day, even if your chair isn’t very comfortable.
Best Budget: BodyHealt Roll Pillow
The BodyHealt Roll Pillow is a great option for those who have never used a lumbar support pillow before—it will give you support at an affordable price point. With medium firmness, the pillow is made of precision-molded foam that conforms to the shape of your back. The roll shape is particularly good for supporting the neck and cervical spine, which helps reduce the symptoms of both back and muscle tension. Although the price would have you believe otherwise, this is a quality pillow that will retain its shape even after using it for an extended period of time.
The shape makes this pillow a smart value because, in addition to the back and neck, it can support other areas of the body, such as the knees or ankles, and can aid in recovery from a strain, sprain, or other injuries.
Best Breathable: Samsonite Memory Foam Lumbar Cushion
If you work in a stuffy office or are often sweating in your chair, it’s best to opt for a breathable lumbar support pillow, like the Samsonite Memory Foam Lumbar Cushion. This polyurethane foam cushion extends from the base of the spine up to the lower midpoint of the back. It’s made to not only provide extra comfort but also to improve posture, thus alleviating stress and lower back pain.
Better yet, this cushion features an adjustable strap that attaches to your chair and helps keep it in place. A potential downside is that the mesh cover must be hand washed.
Best Heated: Drive Medical Heated Lumbar Support Cushion
A heated lumbar support pillow, like the Drive Medical Heated Lumbar Support Cushion, may help those who suffer from back pain. The cushion’s heat can help release sore back muscles, and it's great for keeping yourself warm in a cold office.
Although this cushion needs to be plugged in to work, you can use it without turning on the heat; its ergonomic design gives your back the right amount of comfort regardless of electricity. The cushion’s velour pillow cover can also be removed for easy cleaning.
Best for Business Travel: Tempur-Pedic All-Purpose Support Pillow
When business means traveling for hours, you’ll likely want some form of lower back support. The Tempur-Pedic All-Purpose Support Pillow may be just what you need. Measuring 13 inches long by 5 inches wide, it won’t take up too much space in your luggage, or you can always stash it in your carry-on. Alternatively, you can use the strap to carry it by hand.
The pillow’s unique peanut shape means it can be used as a neck roll, leg spacer, or lumbar cushion. Made of memory foam, it also provides medium support, and the cover is machine washable. Best of all, this pillow comes with a three-year warranty.
Best for Cooling: Therapedic Polar Nights Bolster Support Pillow
If using a lumbar support pillow in your desk chair feels too hot, opt for the Therapedic Polar Nights Bolster Support Pillow to help cool your body. With a pressure-activated cooling system that works in just 8 seconds, this pillow is also great for those who experience hot flashes or live in warmer climates.
The potential downsides, however, are that it doesn’t come with a separate pillowcase, and it’s on the large side at 36 inches long by 12 inches wide. So, this pillow will fit on an average-sized office chair but may hang off the sides.
Best Ergonomic: LOVEHOME Lumbar Support Pillow
The LOVEHOME Lumbar Support Pillow is ideal for those whose bodies ache after sitting and working all day. It decreases pressure on the coccyx, helps relieve waist pressure on both sides of the body, promotes blood circulation, releases muscle tension, and even aids in proper spine alignment.
Made of an ergonomic memory foam that’s designed not to flatten, it will conform to the shape of your back while providing proper support and relieving numbness. The pillow will also securely stay in place, thanks to its two adjustable straps.
Best Large: Gentle Living Cooling Lumbar Support Pillow
Measuring 20 inches wide by 8.5 inches long by 3 inches deep, the Gentle Living Cooling Lumbar Support Pillow is larger than a typical lumbar pillow made for a chair. Because of its size, you can use this versatile pillow to support yourself when working on a sofa (you can even use it while sleeping).
Made of memory foam infused with a cooling gel, it easily molds to the contours of your body yet won’t get too hot as most memory foam pillows do. Plus, the hypoallergenic, soft bamboo cover is machine washable.
The Purple Back Cushion (view at Amazon) and Samsonite Memory Foam Lumbar Cushion (view at Amazon) are some of the best lumbar support pillows for their high-quality construction. Both cushions are supportive and breathable, though they are made from different materials (the Purple cushion is constructed of Hyper-Elastic Polymer while the Samsonite cushion is made of polyurethane foam).
What is the purpose of a lumbar support pillow?
According to Dr. Jordan Duncan of Silverdale Sport & Spine, a lumbar pillow can be used to maintain lumbar lordosis, which is the normal curve of the lower back. “Lumbar lordosis is typically lost when sitting, which can also negatively affect the posture of the mid-back and neck,” he says. “Prolonged sitting, especially when lumbar lordosis is lost, is a predisposing factor for low back pain.”
What’s the best way to sit, and how can a lumbar support pillow help?
When you're working, the best way to sit is to make sure you get full-body support. It’s essential to choose the right chair to begin with and then add on a lumbar support pillow. “Optimal sitting posture is defined as 10 percent relaxation from extreme upright sitting,” says Dr. Duncan. “Ideally, you want a lumbar pillow that can help maintain this position.”
What’s the most comfortable lumbar support pillow?
There isn’t a lumbar pillow that’s the “most comfortable.” Dr. Pucino says it depends on your body type, back muscles, and the chair you’re sitting in. So, it may be a good idea to try out a few different options.
Why Trust Investopedia?
Amanda Lauren is an interior design expert and is well-versed in finding the right products to create workspaces that foster productivity. She interviewed ergonomics experts and chiropractors Dr. Gino Pucino and Dr. Jordan Duncan when making her selections. The products were objectively selected based on a variety of factors including materials, cost, customer reviews, and, most importantly, ergonomics. She only considered lumbar support pillows that truly supported the back to make for a more comfortable and healthy workspace. Lauren is also a freelance writer for several publications including The Balance and Forbes.