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Gel Foam Seat Cushion / Gel Foam Cushions for Wheelchairs

Gel foam seat cushions are a ‘hybrid’ cushion composed of both medical-grade, gel as well as foam. AvaCare Medical has a large line of gel foam cushions and gel-infused cushions engineered by top providers such as Skil-Care, Medline, and Drive Medical. Some users want an affordable cushion that provides more support than just basic foam, and gel foam cushions for wheelchairs can provide that very benefit. Read more...

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Benefits of Gel Foam Seat Cushions

If you’re looking for a supportive cushion, gel foam seat cushions offer premium support as well as numerous health benefits for their users. They are designed to allow even weight distribution while still being able to provide comfortable foam cushioning. Both gel and foam have been used for years in medical facilities and for at home use. By combining these two materials to create a memory gel seat cushion, one can expect to achieve the best of both worlds. Some of the benefits of such a cushion are:

Gel Cushion Benefits

  • Gel is known to help protect a user’s skin better than simple foam, since it absorbs more pressure.
  • Because of this ability to hold more pressure, gel disperses the user’s weight evenly across the entirety of the pad and allows more comfort and support for users with less natural cushion.
  • Gel is also known to be able to prevent pressure sores (bedsores), and is even helpful for those who are paralyzed because they have to sit so long in a cushion.
  • In terms of movement, gel cushions provide fatigue-relieving abilities without the amount of friction that other cushions can cause.
  • Many people can benefit from gel cushions, including those who have chronic and persistent back pain, degenerative hips, numbness in the legs, and users who are diabetic.
  • Gel cushions are extremely low-maintenance and yet provide excellent positioning support and a sturdy seating surface.

Foam Cushion Benefits

  • Foam cushions are low-maintenance as well and provide a solid seating surface.
  • They offer a little bit of additional positioning, although not as much as gel.
  • Foam has an extremely low cost, so this material doesn’t affect the price of hybrid gel foam chair cushions much.
  • Foam is lightweight, so it won’t add too much weight to a gel cushion.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gel Foam Cushions

Many people are curious about various things regarding these wheelchair cushions. From price to other concerns, it is important that everyone’s questions are answered, and here at AvaCare, we like to see that anyone shopping for a gel foam cushion finds the right one they need.

Are gel foam cushions costly?

Depending on what you’re trying to achieve with this type of cushion, the price can sometimes be high. The price depends also on the quality, the shape, and, more importantly, the materials that the gel foam is made of. Some basic cushions may cost around $20, while higher-priced cushions may cost almost as much as $140. The price may also depend on design, as some wheelchair cushions come with covers that offer a stylish look for the cover.

What are most gel foam cushions made of?

Some cushions offer a high-grade T-Gel for their cushioning top surface, while others offer solid silicone gel. This allows the wheelchair cushions to not only provide pressure relief but also to help with the sturdiness and additional support that the cushion can provide the user. The foam can be made of a basic foam, which offers lower priced options, but most high-quality cushions are made with memory foam. 

Gel memory foam seat cushions offer a lot more support and contour to the user’s body for added positioning stability. Gel memory foam cushions may be higher priced, but this is due to the fact that memory foam is generally more expensive than regular foam.

How often do I need to purchase a new cushion?

Of course, wheelchair cushions aren’t meant to last forever. Many manufacturers state that their products can last as long as 5 years. However, during one study trial, numerous tests examined the integrity of a variety of wheelchair cushions after being used by their owners. To remain unbiased in their study, the researchers chose products used across a wide age distribution. Further, they used the cushions to test their overload limits. The results were surprising. 

After the tests were done, it was determined that 15 of the 55 tested products had only been used approximately 3 years before the tests, and, nevertheless, were found to be so irreparably compressed and squashed in size that they were considered defective (Investigation of the Lifespan, 2020).

The study is still being conducted, so as to help document and improve the lifespan of wheelchair cushions. As a general practice, we can conclude that since a cushion that’s only 3 years old isn’t providing the support it did when it was new, one may want to purchase one about every 2 years to maintain effectiveness. Prolonged use and exposure to elements can greatly decrease the lifespan of a cushion as well.

Does cushion size matter?

Cushion size is actually one of the first factors a person needs to consider when it comes to finding the right model for his wheelchair. While some people may benefit from having a cushion that is smaller than their seat, what is important is that the cushion fits securely, but is not larger than the person’s needs. Therefore, if a user is in a bariatric manual wheelchair due to his larger size, he may need to consider wider wheelchair cushion options. Always ask a healthcare professional about a cushion before buying it.


By shopping at AvaCare Medical, you can enjoy an exceptional quality gel foam seat that was procured at an affordable price point! If you’d like more information in order to choose a quality cushion that suits your needs, you can read our comfort guide, or simply give us a call anytime at 1.877.813.7799, and we’ll happily assist you during business hours with your order! 


Reference:

Investigation of the Lifespan for Wheelchair Cushions used on a Daily Basis. (2020). Resna.Org. https://www.resna.org/sites/default/files/legacy/conference/proceedings/2008/Wheelchair%20Seating/Rivard.html