How to Correctly Shop for Wheelchair Cushions

Choosing the right type of wheelchair cushion can have significant health impacts on the user.

Written by: The Foam Factory

Finding the right wheelchair replacement cushions for your loved one can be a difficult process. There isn’t a specific type of cushion for every individual – so one size does not fit all in most cases. It’s vital that you purchase the right type of custom cushion for the user could end up suffering from sores, discomfort, or even spinal cord injury.

Review One’s Medical History

Prior to any purchase, one’s medical history should be reviewed. Remember, if there are specific medical conditions that increase the risk of pressure ulcers, extra care and consideration must be taken. This will also help decide which cushion will work best with the user as well. Sensation should also be considered due to the fact that the user may not have enough feeling in his or her body to tell if there is inadequate blood flow to the buttocks.


Another consideration is whether or not the individual has had a history of pressure ulcers. This is extremely important due to the fact that the skin is less durable and strong after it has been exposed to a pressure ulcer. Finding the correct type of equipment is also mandatory. Consider the type of pressure-relief technique that best suits the user. Whether it’s a depression, side leaning, or power tilt, the right type of equipment will minimize the risk of sore formation and promote good posture.

When shopping for custom foam cushions for a wheelchair, you have to consider whether the user spends most of his or her day in the chair or also walks. The longer the individual sits, the riskier it becomes. Some users that have very little sensitivity or suffer form nerve damage don’t even know that they have pressure ulcers until it gets to the point that it requires surgery. There are specific types of cushions that provide pressure relief to the patient if he or she is confined to the chair at all times. Any other replacement would be detrimental to the user’s health.

The Bottom Line

There are numerous considerations that need to be thoroughly implemented when purchasing replacement cushions for a wheelchair user. The wrong purchase could end up with them having to go under the knife for a serious pressure wound. Be sure that you carefully consider every option before committing to one.