So many of us know the feeling — and some of us more than others: Pain in the lower back that can cause the rest of the upper body to hurt, often in part caused by extended sitting and bad posture. In fact, the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine estimates that 4 out of 5 adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.
If you count yourself in these unlucky ranks, your sitting position may be the culprit. Demetris Elia, a mobile chiropractor with PEAKiropractic in Dallas, Texas, previously told HuffPost that slouching may be “the worst habit we have in today’s society” since “it compromises the lumbar spine (low back), which does not allow the rest of the spine to be in a biomechanically advantageous position.” To compensate, Elia explained, your joints restrict and your muscles tighten up, which then causes pain and inflammation along the spine.
That said, if you’re experiencing chronic lower back pain or spasms, it’s worth seeing a doctor. Issues like bulging or ruptured discs, arthritis or ligament injury can all be sources of back pain that need special treatment, like physical therapy.
If all you need is a little at-home support, there may be a simple tool that can help. Studies show that lumbar cushions can help support the naturally curved shape of the spine, in turn helping to relieve discomfort. Yet understandably, depending on factors like a person’s height, weight and personal taste, some people might prefer certain lumbar pillows over others.
If it feels daunting figuring out what lumbar pillow might work best for your needs, don’t fret. We’ve selected a number of highly-rated lumbar pillows vouched for by Amazon reviewers, who use their lumbar cushions everywhere from office chairs to cars, couches, wheelchairs, dining room and patio chairs, and in bed. Reviewers attest that these cushions have not only helped relieve back pain, but have also helped them live so much more comfortably that it’s been “literally life-changing,” with one person calling theirs “the best investment ever.”
Read on for Amazon reviewers’ top picks.
HuffPost and its publishing partners may receive a commission from some purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently curated by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.
A square memory foam lumbar pillow with dual elastic straps
This square lumbar pillow is made with high-density contoured memory foam to help support your vertebrae and maintain the curve of your spine, which can help promote a healthy posture.
Its two elastic straps allow it to accommodate a variety of chairs, and its breathable mesh cover helps with ventilation (plus, its machine-washable, so you can keep it fresh). It's available in three colors.Promising reviews:
"So NO pic, but this is the bomb.com for me! It absolutely secures my back in every way for me, and the supports is heavenly!!!!!!!! Thank you to this company for doing such a great job! It was worth every penny!!!" — Antoinette Riley
"This product is very comfortable and easily attaches to my computer chair. It helps prevent backache while I'm sitting for long periods and keeps me sitting properly!" — S D
A full-size lumbar pillow
The full-size design of this pillow aims to help relieve back pain in the upper, mid and lower back. Its ergonomic shape also helps maintain the spine's curve while soothing back tightness. It comes with two adjustable straps so you can firmly attach it wherever you need.Promising reviews:
"I was starting to have back pain sitting at my home office, I got this on a whim and set it up as instructed (slightly elevated to align with my spine) and I felt immediate relief. A few weeks of using this and I found my overall posture improve which honestly I wasn't expecting, but was a nice touch." — Michaell Bagnick
"I have been using an office chair for four years, and my back started hurting from sitting longer in the same position. This pad turned my old chair into a new, comfortable chair.
It supports my back, and I feel less pain and tiredness when sitting for longer hours. It can be a good update for your old chair." — Art Yan
A two-pack of couch throw pillow inserts
If you're looking for something simple, these 12-inch by 20-inch pillow inserts are designed to look good on a couch while also providing back support. They're available in seven colors.
that these pillows often arrive vacuum-sealed to make them flat for shipping, so you will need to give the cushions some time to puff up after opening them. If you want to put a cover on the pillows, these velvet pillow covers
are a highly-rated option and come in 25 colors.Promising reviews:
"18x20 inch pillow insert fits 18x20 inch pillow cover perfectly. Pillow has the right amount of stuffing, doesn’t go flat at all, is sturdy. Looks good as a lumbar pillow in chairs or an accent pillow on a couch.
" — LKbytheBay
"The 2 pillows are super soft yet supportive enough for back support in my RV. Great throw pillows" — Amazon Customer
A lumbar support roll
This innovative cylindrical take on lumbar cushions is designed to ensure proper spine alignment and posture, which can help ease pain in the lower back. It's made of compressed foam that closely conforms to the contours of your back, with an option for standard density
(suitable for most people) or firm density
(if you need extra support), depending on your preference. Its removable cover also promises to effectively wick away sweat and moisture.
It's also available in a D-shaped style
"I put this around my desk chair as I work from home all day long. It takes a day or so to get used to and now I can't live without it
(it's been a few weeks since I bought it). It helps me sit up straight and is really comfortable. You can adjust it easily it slips easily over any chair (my large ergonomic chair works well with this). My PT suggested this - he also takes this in his car when he drives long distances. I haven't done that yet, but I can see how easy it is to travel with. Highly recommend." — KO_ST
"Sitting on almost any couch would kill my lower back for years. Have herniated disc L5S1 and just recently tried this out and have been amazed at the support it has given me. Can sit around all Sunday watching football with no problems now" — golf79
A cooling memory foam lumbar pillow
This pillow promises to help relieve lower and mid back pain, plus soothe tightness and numbness from excessive sitting or driving. It features firm memory foam and a ventilated cover that helps keep air circulating so you feel cool and not sweaty while using it. It comes in six colors as well as in another style
"This is so comfortable and really does help your back feel so much better. This is very well made and fits perfectly on the driver side seat. It feels so good I forgot it was there, and my back feels amazing, usually it’s very uncomfortable for me to be in the car for long distances but this really makes a difference and make back feels great" — Debbie
Ergonomic pillow for lying down
Need lumbar support while lying down, too? This pillow has you covered, since it's specifically made to use while reclining on your side or lying down on your back (in addition to sitting).
Its unique shape is supposed to closely fit the curve of the spine, which — in addition to helping back pain — can help with pain in your hips, too. It's available in seven colors.Promising review:
"I really wanted to leave a review for this thing because it seriously got the job done.
"I’ve owned it now for about a month. Prior to that, I kept thinking experiencing lower back pain after sleeping. Sometimes the pain would wake me in the middle of the night forcing me to readjust. I really want to be a back sleeper because from everything I’ve read it’s the best position to sleep in.
"I tried buying expensive beds first. Went thru a temperpedic and now the Purple. Neither made the back pains stop.
"This tiny little pillow has made the pain completely cease.
It works to sleep on my back and it even works when sleeping on my side. I seriously can’t believe this little pillow is the answer to making the pain go away.
"If you are experiencing lower back pains in the morning when getting out of bed please give this a chance. It’s a little awkward at first to sleep on but you get used to it rather quickly." — Dominique
Bestselling Samsonite support cushion
Specifically designed not to lose its shape or flatten out, this Samsonite option offers support for your lower back with memory foam that's neither too hard nor too soft. It's curved to mimic the shape of your back, which makes it especially helpful for long work days and long car rides — and even 27-hour road trips across the country, according to the reviewer below
"I bought this back support, along with another brand to try, for a ling drive across the country. I can't believe how great this back support worked for me. In the past couple of years, I have had 2 low back surgeries, plus 1 neck surgery, and sitting for any length of time can be very uncomfortable for me, but with this back support I had almost NO pain! In fact, early on our drive I decided to try the other brand I'd purchased, and let my husband try this one. Fifteen minutes later, not only was my back hurting but I was getting a weird pain running up my neck so I had to go back to using this one. Because of this product, I was able to drive 27 without back pain!
I can't recommend this support enough." — Shawn