Choosing a therapeutic cushion for yourself or a loved one can be daunting. They can be expensive so the decision is important. And not to mention a mistake can cause the user pain and discomfort, or at the very least, less comfort than might have been achieved with the correct purchase.
There are many makes and models on the market all touting their comfort and pressure relieving benefits. But how can you tell the difference between what is fact and fiction in the marketing materials provided by the manufacturers?
It is a very difficult task for anyone trying to pick a good cushion that will be both comfortable and safe. "Safe", meaning being low risk of creating pressure sores. While we are all different and have individual comfort levels and pain tolerance, there are some things where we are all fundamentally the same. Physiologically we are the same. We are comprised of flesh and blood which reacts in very similar circumstances to each other.
The first thing I would look for is user reviews. The web is very transparent and overflowing with information. Some good, some bad and some simply not accurate. However it does allow us to easy connect with others in the same situation as us and who have tried the cushions we might be considering. People are very vocal if they don't like a product and equally vocal if they are over the moon with a product that has seriously helped them. These people want to share their experience and help others make intelligent buying decisions, or avoid mistakes they may have made. It's human nature! So search for product reviews related to the specific ones you are researching. It won't take long before you will have all the information you need.
Many times I have been about to place an order for a product that sounds "wonderful", when reading the marketing material. Then I have researched the customer reviews and found information, from product users, that have totally turned me off the product, and in some cases, the company itself. So do your homework on product reviews.
Secondly, look at the technology. Is it different than the others? Or is it the same basic technology with a different "coat of paint", meaning it is just presented a little differently, but really the same thing. Has the technology been around for a long time? This can have both positive and negative implications so you need to look a little closer. A technology that has been around a long time might just be "old and tired and re-hashed". Alternatively it could be proven and reliable. Foam and memory foam cushions for example, are an example of "old and tired" and definitely past it's "use by date".
Foam cushions have been rehashed in so many different forms over so many years. Each new form is touted as a new break though, or new technology, but in the end, it's still just foam with the same old attributes and the same lack luster performance. Column buckling gel, on the other hand, is both a new and innovative technology, but has been around long enough to have been proven in many fields of use. The myriad of testimonials, clinical studies and wide use in medical fields attest to that fact.
When choosing the right cushion, remember, cost factor is not a sufficient or reliable indicator of either quality or effectiveness. It's apparent that some of the most expensive cushions can be the least effective. That's called marketing!
So, to summarize, customer reviews and verifiable science are the best indicators for you to make an informed and intelligent decision when buying a therapeutic seat or wheelchair cushion.