The Best Wheelchair Cushions In 2020
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Almost over 10 million people worldwide rely on wheelchairs to for independence and mobility. However, a long period of sitting in the wheelchair can lead to pain, discomfort, and poor blood circulation. Without proper support, friction, pressure, and shear, sitting can lead to costly and dangerous skin breakdown and even skin injuries. Choosing the best wheelchair cushions for your wheelchair is therefore important in redistributing pressure and preserving your skin integrity.
Wheelchairs are designed are specifically made to assist wheelchair users to position themselves more comfortable while seated. Available, in almost any thickness and shape and designed using a variety of materials, wheelchair cushions can significantly help reduce the risk of skin breakdown and pressure ulcers. While encouraging posture control and proper body positioning. However, with several materials and styles designed to combat various issues, choosing the right wheelchair cushions for your needs I very important. If you are shopping for the best wheelchair cushions click here to read our in-depth review about the best ones.
Benefits of wheelchair cushions
According to National Wheelchair Reviews, One of the main advantages of wheelchair cushions is that they usually make sitting for long periods of time in a wheelchair much more comfortable. They also protect the skin from uneven and excessive pressure. Since there are a variety of cushions in the market you can always choose the one that you think is best for your needs. From gel to foam, to memory you can always pick one based on what you are looking for. More so, since they come in a range of prices you can always select the one that you are using for.
Another important benefit of wheelchair cushions is that they provide you with the stability that you need. Even if you are an amputee or you are unable to walk the right wheelchair cushion will significantly support your spin so you feel as comfortable as possible. If your body already has some asymmetry you need to be supported in a way that will not contribute towards your spine deformity. If you are a manual wheelchair user, greater stability in your wheelchair also means that you can always push the wheels with a lot of strength and even more confidence so you are always stable. For more details, check out www.nationalwheelchairservices.co.uk.
Types of wheelchair cushions
So you have chosen the right wheelchair for your needs and the next step is looking for the best accessories such as a cushion. Before making this step you need to know that there are a range of wheelchair cushions including 16-inch wheelchair cushion, 16 x 16 wheelchair cushion, 18 wheelchair cushion, 18 x 18 wheelchair cushion and 4-inch wheelchair cushion. While choosing the right wheelchair cushion one thing that you need to ensure that the cushion is not only comfortable but it also does the medical functions that its meant to do. Here are the main types of wheelchair cushions.
Foam Wheelchair cushions
As compared to all the wheelchair cushions out there this is the most basic one. If your requirements are basic and you are looking for a low maintenance and lightweight option, then you might realise that this is the right wheelchair cushion for you. The foam that’s used in most models is not only high in density but also meets the rigorous quality standards so it won’t crumble or crack over time.
These wheelchair cushions and air-filled wheelchair cushions are the most suitable ones if you are looking for decent support for your back or tailbone with an added benefit of being portable and being easy to manoeuvre. The good thing is that you can easily transfer them to your car or even regular chair as long as you need and even use them as a backup or as a high-quality cushion for your needs. The good thing about them is they are affordable, versatile, lightweight and require low maintenance. Overall, this wheelchair construction is basic and very simple. This means that it’s the most affordable option that you can always use. If you are looking for something that can last long or more advanced then it might not be the right one for your needs.
Gel Wheelchair Cushions
Although Gel wheelchair cushions may not be the most suitable wheelchair cushion for preventing pressure sores, to some people it’s more than adequate. These cushions often consist of a foam shell with a gel insert on the inside to provide one with stability and comfort. The gel works in such a way that it distributes your weight evenly and also provides the required support needed for your weight. This makes them among the best wheelchair cushions out there.
Since it’s fitted with advanced positioning characterises it does a great job of creating a stable base. It can also be very effective at distributing pressure and relieving pressure points to a larger surface area. The gel pocket also adds weight hence if you have mobility issues and weight restrictions, it might not be the most suitable for you. Overall, some of its advantages include providing pressure points distributions, provides you with adequate position and gives you adequate surface area.
If you are searching for moderately priced wheelchair cushion that will offer you the best support and give you an average pressure relief then it’s the perfect one to use. The good thing is that they are also fitted with a contoured surface that will ensure proper positioning above the gel layer. That will also act to moderate the temperature. If you are looking for additional stability then this wheelchair cushion may be the right one.
Air wheelchair cushions
In recent years, there has been a lot of improvement in air wheelchair cushions. The need for increased pressure relief and better weight distribution has led to the development of air technology in wheelchair cushions. Unlike other wheelchair cushions, air wheelchair cushions usually come with a number of sacks and cells that hold air at the desired amount and are determined by the requirements and weight of the user. In addition to adding and removing the cells, the air can also be adjusted with a pump.
The pressure relief that these wheelchairs provide is suitable for anyone who still suffers or who has suffered in the past from haemorrhoids, pressure sores or other related health issues. Their air works by distributing the weight of the pressure points evenly which will significantly help prevent any circulatory issues and other conditions among the users. However, you need to know that unlike other wheelchair cushions, these are not good at providing positioning and stability to the wheelchair users. If you have issues that are related to tailbone, orthopaedic coccyx, and pain you need to consider getting a hybrid version. However, these cushions are not only lightweight but also adjustable as well thus some of the best cushions in the market.
Honeycomb wheelchair cushions
This type of amputee wheelchair cushion is actually self-explanatory. This is because it mimics the design of and natural formation of honeycomb. Its design lends itself to being stable and being able to withstand extended periods of pressure and usage. The comfort and support that they offer also makes it the best consideration for most individuals.
The main advantage of this design is that it provides to increase comfort while still giving you the kind of support that you need. In addition, to the support, you’ll also realise that it remains cool with the added avenues that will allow the air to circulate throughout. This best wheelchair cushion for preventing pressure sores is also machine washable and very much durable hence one of the best ones to use.
Since they are easy to customise the way you want they are a great choice for users who are suffering from varying degrees of health conditions. If you just can’t find a wheelchair cushion that not only feels right but can also stand several hours of use then it’s worth considering. The comfort and durability that they come with also make them the best option if you are looking for the best weight distribution and proper positioning.
Hybrid wheelchair cushions
This is one of the most advanced wheelchair cushions that are currently in the market. The function and design of this wheelchair cushion are based on a number of years of testing and feedback from individuals with different needs such as postural stability, pressure reduction, skeletal realignment, pain prevention, and harmful movement reduction.
Any person that spends several hours in a wheelchair or even sitting in the same position might find that this is the right type of wheelchair cushion for them. Their air cells, contoured foam base, and moisture control cover are just some of the best features that you’ll find on them. Their design also allows for optimal displacement and immersion is just one of the things that you’ll enjoy with them.
This also means that your pelvis area will experience pressure distribution with increased blood flow while providing your soft tissue and skin with the protection that they need. This means that they are the best among all the wheelchair cushions out there. If you are looking for wheelchair cushion that delivers the best this one will definitely not disappoint you.
Alternating air pressure cushions systems
If you are looking to prevent ulcers and pressure sores then this is arguably the best wheelchair cushion that you need. They may also be the only option that works for those who are unable to move. This unique wheelchair cushions will provide you with construct movement that promotes circulation while offering you the support and comfort that you need. This is according to the National Wheelchair Cushions.
These wheelchairs cushions also consist of several inflatable bladders that are similar to air cushions and that controls the deflating and inflating or air every 4minutes throughout the day. These cushions are also fitted with a portable battery unit that will supply them with the power that they need and that can make them last in excess of hundreds of hours before needing a recharge. However, as compared to other wheelchair cushions these ones are a bit expensive. But if you are looking for this advanced technology then they are definitely worth it.
How to maintain wheelchair cushions
Every style and type of cushion usually comes with different levels of maintenance. Regardless of style, the best wheelchair seat cushion will require occasional cleaning. The majority of seat cushions are always sold with a regular washable and waterproof cover. That can be cleaned as often as necessary.
With the more advanced wheelchair cushions, you’ll realise that maintenance includes things such as constantly releasing and adding air and also recharging the batteries. If you don’t want to be bothered with ongoing maintenance then this is something that you need to consider as a consumer it’s also important to know the rule that the more expensive wheelchair cushion is the longer the warranty period provided. If you experience any defect in workmanship or premature breakdown then you should be able to return the cushion or exchange it for one that’s working well. However, this will generally depend on where you bought it from.
Wheelchair cushion advice and tips
• Before buying any wheelchair cushions make sure you speak with a certified healthcare professional so you can discuss things such as demands, lifestyle, and requirements.
• You may also need to receive physical examination that will include a postural assessment, overall health, body symmetry and, coordination, balance, and cognition.
• Make sure that you measure the size of the wheelchair cushion that you need before buying one.
• Make sure you regularly inspect your cushion for damaged or any worn-out materials. This will ensure that you get the best one.
• If necessary make sure that the wheelchair air cells are properly inflated.
• Ensure that you replace your wheelchair cushions are regular as possible so you may always end up with the best one.
• If there is any chance that your wheelchair cushions may be exposed to fluid then a wheelchair cushion cover should be used to ensure that it’s protected well.
How to clean your wheelchair cushion so you can extend its life
If you want to extend the lifespan of your wheelchair cushion then one of the most important things to do is to clean it well. When you do this weekly you’ll not only prolong its lifespan but also ensure that it remains clean and fresh for long. However, before taking it out you need to ensure that you know its precise location and position in the chair to ensure that you’ll always put it back where it’s supposed to be.
Comfortable wheelchair cushions features
The majority of wheelchair cushions come with either a Velcro closer or zipper. After you’ve removed the cover you need to be able to clean it well inside a washer. However, since it’s a little bit delicate ensure that you use cold or warm water with gentle soap and no bleach to clean it. However, to prevent any harm that might originate from the heat you should make sure that you tumble dry it. This is because many industrial dryers may become too hot for them thus may end up damaging them completely. Here is some information about how to clean the cushions based on the types of wheelchair cushions available.
When cleaning air cushions you need to ensure that the valves are closed. Next, you need to rinse the cushions with water and deodorise them with a solution of either vinegar or baking soda. You should then rinse them with freshwater and air dry them well. A point of caution, you need to avoid cleaning your air cushion in a washing machine.
Closed-cell or coated foam cushions
When it comes to cleaning these cushions you need water and soap. If there are any components that need to be removed make sure you first mark their locations before removing and cleaning them. You should then rinse and towel dry them.
• Gel and fluid filed cushions. These cushions should just be cleaned with soap and water and then dried.
• Honeycomb or flexible matrix cushions. These kinds of cushions are designed in such a way that they should be easily cleaned. The good thing is that most of them come with laundry bags in which they can be laundered and then tumble dried.
• Open-cell cushions. Since any liquid can easily damage them, you need to be very careful when cleaning them. More so, after removing the cushions from the chair you need to check underneath them so you know what’s there and clean them out.
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Top tips for buying the best wheelchair cushion
Since there are several wheelchair cushions in the market it’s always very important to choose the best one. Here are some of the tips that will help you but the right one.
• Postural support. This is perhaps one of the most important considerations when looking for the best wheelchair cushion to buy. Before anything else you need to determine the level of support that you require so you can choose the best one if you are looking for wheelchairs for sale.
• Skin condition. It’s also important to determine whether you are suffering from any skin condition and whether you are likely to develop pressure injuries or if you have fragile skin that may easily tear. This will ensure that you end up with the best one.
• Mobility. You also need to determine whether you’ll be sitting for a long period or of you’ll be moving out of the wheelchair once in a while.
• Height. You also need to factor in your height so you can know the thickness of the cushion that you need and to ensure that you can always prevent your feet from touching down.
• Weight. You also need to determine whether the wheelchair cushion has the right weight capacity to suit you.
There you have it. All about wheelchair cushions. Generally, the wheelchair cushions that you need will generally depend on your needs. However, it’s important to choose one that will offer you the comfort that you need and meets all your requirements according to your medical needs. If you are searching for the best wheelchair cushions, it’s important to keep any inside a shopping basket so you can review it later. This will ensure that you get the best.