I am always searching for the very best seat cushion for long distance driving. As a long haul truck driver who sits in the drivers seat for up to 11 hours a day, being comfortable and pain free is priceless.
Like me you may have to buy and try out a few before finding the best one for you.
Hopefully by sharing my experience and recommendations here you’ll be able to get the right one on the first try. So far it’s taken me at least five tries to get the right amount of firmness and support underneath and behind.
Every time I think I’ve tried them all I find something new. Many of the most popular cushions are pretty much the same with different colored fabric covers. Lots of drivers swear by the blue gel long haul seat cushion for truckers.
My personal preference is for the blue gel over very firm memory foam combo. My only complaint is that it’s a little too small width wise, I wish it were closer to the size of my butt and the air ride seat I sit in. It’s 14 inches front to back 18 inches side to side and 3 inches thick.
The most important quality of this cushion is that it does not flatten out. This is because it is made from the harder (firmer) medical grade memory foam, it’s almost like there is a some rubber like material in there. It is very thick too, about three inches.
Some people may find it is a little too firm especially when it’s cold. Very cold temperatures make the foam feel very hard, this is only temporary. If you give it several minutes to warm up from your body temperature if will soften up quit nicely to the perfect level of comfort while not giving you a sweaty butt. Again it won’t flatten out either like the plain memory foam. the kind similar to a mattress is not firm enough for a car or truck seat.
The key is to have the gel and memory foam combo cushion. I forgot to mention if you leave it in the sun it will be nice and soft right from the get go without you having to wait for your butt to warm and soften it up.
What about lower back support while driving?
The right seat cushion under you goes a long way in preventing lower back pain. It’s also a good idea to have something for that lumbar support most truck seats totally lack. A chiropractor sold me an over priced air cushion which I found awkward and uncomfortable.
My favorite thing to use in the truck when my back gets tired an starts to hurt is a wire framed mesh back support like you would use in your office chair. As a matter of fact I take my cushion and mesh back support home with me to use there too.
Find the best way to use your new cushion and low back supporting device.
I may be going into too much detail here and since everyone is different you’ll have to find your own strategy for using yours.
I know this may sound crazy you may be thinking you just put it on the seat plop down on top and go. Well your right but what do you do after 4 to 6 hours when your rear end and back start to get tired. Even the very best can only last for so many hours before you have to get out of the seat and walk around a bit.
My strategy extends this time frame for me by several hours. This way I can drive up to my full eight hours without taking a break and still not getting a sore backside. Then I take my 30 minute break to stretch out get some food and then I can finish the last three hours of my re-energized day in comfort.
The way I use mine is I start out my drive with just the plain truck seat keeping the lower cushion and mesh lumbar support close by. When my seat starts to become uncomfortable I sit up and slide the cushion under me from behind. This relieves the point of contact pressure instantly. It feels like I am sitting in a brand new seat.
For my lower back I do the same thing as soon as I feel a little pain or discomfort I lean forward and slide the lumbar support so it puts light pressure in just the right part of my lower back. With this one I may do this several times a day. When I do stop for a break I usually leave the lower cushion in place and remove the lumbar support.
I’ve purchased 5 different cushions in the past year and it’s take a lot of experimenting to find the best one.
Let’s go over some of the others so I can explain why those did not work as well.
Medical seat cushion with hard foam rubber and no blue gel on top. It said it was recommended by a chiropractic association on the box. This was the worst one and my least favorite. My terrible plain factory Freightliner air seat was more comfortable to begin with than this thing.
The wedge seat cushion sold in the automotive section at Walmart. This one seemed like it would work well when you squeeze it. It feels soft and that’s the problem. It flattens out almost instantly and offers no needed support. I tried this one in both positions underneath and behind my back.
As a matter of fact I could not find anything at any retail store that actually worked. I could not find any detailed research or first hand experience online either. I just kept buying different ones until I found the best one for me. Hopefully you will benefit from the detailed reviews I am sharing with you here.