If you landed on this page, you are likely researching the best lumbar back support to buy. If that’s the case, you came to the right place. This article contains in depth product research on back supports including comparisons, different types of back supports, and considerations when purchasing.
In this article, we present the best back supports with supporting information for each. This includes a summary of each support or cushion, their pros and cons, and our overall view of each.
A lumbar back support is a highly individualized purchase. Everyone’s needs differ whether it is the type of back support required, the firmness, or shape. The goal of this article is to provide the information necessary to assist you in choosing the best back support to meet your needs.
The Case for a Back Support
Back supports can be used almost anywhere. Your office chair, vehicle, living room chair, and wheelchair are a few common examples.
The reason most people buy back supports is pretty straightforward — to help relieve back pain and/or improve posture. We spend a lot of time sitting, whether it’s at work, in our vehicles, or at home. Quite frankly, that’s not a good combination. In addition, most of us use poor posture while seated for countless hours, manifested in the fact that we tend to slouch. Slouching places a great deal of pressure on our back muscles, as it positions our spines out of their natural alignment.
If nothing else, when sitting down against a back support, it makes you aware of your posture. The awareness in itself will help encourage better posture, especially if you are prone to keeping your head forward and slouching at your desk.
Whatever the reason, the main idea is that if you are sitting for long periods of time and have back pain, you may want to consider a back support for your chair. A back support may help improve your posture, and as a result, could assist in relieving some of the back pain you are experiencing.
Back Supports are Cost Effective
In general, lumbar back supports are relatively inexpensive. You may find they are a simple, low-cost solution to your back pain, sciatica related or otherwise. They are certainly less expensive than going out and buying a new ergonomic office chair. That’s not to say back supports are better than an ergonomic desk chair, but they are generally a cheaper option than purchasing a new chair altogether.
They also go a long way in improving your posture and discourage slouching in your chair. In our view, it’s hard to go wrong with purchasing something that helps improve your well-being by reducing back pain and improving posture.
Back Supports Can Be Used for Travel
Since most lumbar back supports are small, you have the option of carrying them with you almost anywhere you go. This works out well in two instances – when moving the back support from one chair to another (i.e. from your vehicle to your office chair) and when traveling.
Some back supports are made especially for travel. Our recommended back support for travel (Travel Pal), is one of those. It is a self-inflatable back support that rolls up when deflated and can be stored compactly in your luggage.
Lumbar Back Support Comparison Table
The comparison table below contains our top picks for back supports in each category.
|Back Support||Price||Type||Key Features|
|Go Lumbar Support||Check Price on Amazon||Open-Air Mesh Back Support||- Option to purchase with a built-in massager|
|Everlasting Comfort Back Cushion||Check Price on Amazon||Memory Foam Cushion||- High quality memory foam
- Cover can be removed
- Adjustable straps
|McKenzie Lumbar Roll||Check Price on Amazon||Lumbar Roll||- Available in a firm density version
- Easy to carry wherever you go
|Travel Pal||Check Price on Amazon||Inflatable Lumbar Pillow||- Self inflates
- Small and compact; great for travel
|Mueller 255||Check Price on Amazon||Back Brace with Lumbar Support||- Removable lumbar support pad
- Dual layer wraparound design for a tight fit
Types of Lumbar Supports
There are several different styles of lumbar supports. The recommended support for each type is located in the comparison table.
- Solid back cushion. This is a basic cushion/pillow that is used to sit in or strap around your chair. Most are made of some type of orthopedic foam or memory foam. These are the most common lumbar supports and are often used in office chairs, cars, and wheelchairs.
- Open-air mesh back support. These are similar to the basic, solid back cushion except they are made of mesh and commonly rubber. They have the feeling of being “spring-loaded” when you rest your back against it. In other words, when you sit back it slightly pushes against the curvature of your back to provide support. The open-air design also helps prevent sweating since it offers ventilation and is breathable.
- Inflatable lumbar pillow. Inflatable lumbar supports are typically used for travel. When deflated, they are compact and ideal to carry on a trip. They are usually thinner and do not provide the support a standard solid back cushion would.
- Lumbar support roll. The most popular lumbar roll is the McKenzie® Lumbar Roll. It is a soft pillow shaped like a cylinder and fits in the curvature of your back. When sitting, you place your bottom against the back of the chair and slip the lumbar roll between the chair and the top of your pant line. It does a great job to help prevent slouching.
- Lumbar support back braces. There are back braces available with extra lumbar support. On some models, the support is built into the brace. In others, the extra support comes in the form of removable pads.
What to Consider When Buying a Lumbar Support
Within our comparison of lumbar back supports, we identify several key features to focus on when deciding which back support to choose. All the supports reviewed in this article will suffice; some are just designed a little differently than others. In order to make an educated purchase, let’s quickly review a few primary considerations when shopping for a good back support.
- Type of lumbar support. Lumbar back supports come in a variety of different types including cushions, pillows, open-air mesh, rolls, and inserts in back braces. We have a separate section in this article dedicated to the different types of lumbar supports. You can also review our recommended models by type in our comparison.
- The area of your back you are targeting. If you are supporting anywhere but the base of your back, consider one that is adjustable. Many models have straps that wrap around the chair. You can move it up and down to customize the position that works best for you.
- Firmness of the support cushion. The firmness comes down to personal preference and is the most personalized decision there is to make when choosing a lumbar support. Some folks like a firmer support while others like those that have a bit more cushion. In any case, you need one that is going to support your back based on your body size and customized to the chair it is being used in. Effectiveness not only depends on the shape of the lumbar support but also the shape of your chair and how soft or hard the cushion is.
- Size considerations for travel. If you are traveling (especially on a plane), you will want to choose one that is compact. There are inflatable back supports available for travel. While deflated, they can be rolled up and placed in a compact suitcase or backpack. When ready to use, you can inflate it to the level that provides the amount of support you need.
- Customer reviews. What are actual buyers of the back support saying about the back support you are considering? By far, the best place we have found to read customer reviews is Amazon.
When all’s said and done, the last point, buyer feedback and customer reviews, are key when making a final buying decision. When shopping online, we recommend looking at back supports with 50 or more customer reviews. Back supports are commonly purchased and you should not have a problem finding multiple supports with this number of reviews. When push comes to shove and you still can’t decide which one to purchase, actual customer feedback should be the determining factor.
Best Mesh Back Support: Go Lumbar Support
Our favorite office chair back support is the “Go Lumbar Support.” It is made of recyclable plastic (polypropylene), silicon resin, and elastic rubber. There are many knock-offs of the Go Lumbar Support out there, but this is the one you want. It is made with high-quality materials and is built to last.
The support is available in two different versions: one with a built-in massager and another without it. The built-in massager is a set of raised plastic beads. It is not electric, but rather a stationary fixture that rests against your back while you sit. On Amazon’s product page, you have the option of selecting the original or beaded version.
The support attaches to a chair with a single strap elastic band. There are some lumbar supports that simply sit in the seat. This one can be held in place on a seat with the included straps. Since it can be strapped down, the support can be used in several different types of seats. The most common places this support is used includes an office chair, a vehicle, and living room furniture. If using it in your car, it can even be wrapped around your headrest to serve as a neck support as well.
The Go Lumbar Support is only somewhat adjustable. Since the strap is only one piece, it relies on its elastic to hold it in place. One of the unfortunate pieces of the design is the strap is not a two-piece system that attaches with Velcro. That’s one of the biggest downsides of the design in our view. In any event, the elastic band does a good job at holding the support in place when strapped around your chair. It allows you to customize the positioning that best fits your body type. If you are tall, you may need to adjust it up; if you are shorter, you may need to adjust it down.
The fabric is made out of a mesh material. The mesh is breathable and will help keep your back cool and dry while sitting. Since the lumbar support protrudes out and leaves a gap between you and the back of the chair, air is allowed to circulate. This helps to keep your back cool and prevents sweating.
The back section on the Go Lumbar Support measures 17” x 9.2”. The version with the massage has a sewn in, raised bead middle section that is 4.5” thick at its widest point. The elastic strap that holds it in place is designed to fit a wide-range of chairs, including big and tall executive style office chairs.
The support weighs 5.6 oz. and comes in black.
In our view, the Go Lumbar Support is the best open-air mesh back support available. You will find that it provides the support your office chair lacks, is breathable, and is cost-effective.
First, we like the back support it provides. It does a great job firming up the average chair’s backrest. You will tell a big difference the first time you use it. Over time it will feel “normal” and you will not even realize it’s there. All the while, the support will help you keep good posture and may help to relieve your back pain.
Second, it is made of a breathable mesh material. Since it is made of a mesh fabric, air can circulate between your back and the chair. This is especially good in the warmer months. Think about your car when it’s blazing hot outside. The support helps keep back sweat to a minimum.
Finally, it’s priced at a point where most folks can afford to buy one support for each chair they routinely sit in. For example, you could have one permanently stationed in each of your car, office chair, and living room chair. If you are interested in trying it out to see if it helps with your back pain, you are not out too much money in the event you do not find it helpful.
Best Memory Foam Back Support: Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Back Cushion
The next back support in our lineup is the Memory Foam Back Cushion by Everlasting Comfort. In our view, the Everlasting Comfort cushion is the best memory foam back support available. If a memory foam back support is what you are looking for, this is the one to buy.
The key to this back support is the quality of materials it is made of. The Everlasting Comfort back support is made of premium quality memory foam. It has just the right amount of firmness to provide support, coupled with enough cushion to provide comfort.
Overall, we believe the pros far outweigh the cons for this particular memory foam lumbar support.
The Memory Foam Back Cushion comes with two adjustable straps. The straps are significant for two reasons. First, they are dual straps. Instead of just having a single strap to hold the lumbar cushion in place, there are two. This gives extra holding power when strapped around your seat. The second reason we favor the straps is because they actually snap into place and can be adjusted. Where other lumbar supports may only feature a single elastic strap, this one allows you to manually wrap the straps around the seat, snap it in place, and then pull the straps to adjust to the tightness that works best for your chair.
Another feature we really like about Everlasting Comfort cushion is that the outer shell can be removed. This serves two purposes – it is washable, and you can insert a heating pad. The ability to wash the outer shell is a good thing because over time it may start to smell bad. This is especially the case in the summertime with increased sweat. The memory foam insert can be removed from its zippered compartment and the outer shell can be thrown into the washer and dryer. It’s important to note that the memory foam should not be placed in the washing machine or dryer – only the black outer shell. You can also insert a small heating pad. It works well holding a heating pad in place. Just unzip and insert it next to the memory foam cushion.
The Everlasting Comfort cushion features a memory foam lumbar pillow. The key feature that ranks this lumbar support so high is the quality memory foam it is made of. The shape forms well, it features what we would describe as a medium firmness, and enough cushion to provide comfort while using.
The lumbar support measures approximately 14” wide x 13” tall x 4” thick at its deepest point. To add additional context to its thickness, it is about 3” thick at the top, 4” thick in the middle area, and 3.5” thick near the bottom. In other words, it is thickest in the lumbar area.
The outer shell is a 3D, hypoallergenic mesh cover. The mesh cover provides some breathability, but not nearly as much as the supports without the memory foam pillow. It is only available in black and its total weight comes in at around 1.6 lbs.
With any product, there are going to be pros and cons. Overall, we believe the pros far outweigh the cons for this particular memory foam lumbar support.
The memory foam interior is designed to comfortably keep your back and spine aligned naturally. At the same time, the outer fabric works to wick away moisture in an effort to keep your back cool and dry. The cushion works well for people of all heights on a variety of different types furniture including couches and recliners.
For larger seats such as vehicle seats, the included removable extender allows a good fit. As a result, Everlasting Comfort promotes their back support not only for office chairs but for all kinds of seating applications.
Best Lumbar Roll: The Original McKenzie Roll
Our favorite lumbar support roll is The Original McKenzie Lumbar Roll from OPTP. The McKenzie is a cylinder-shaped lumbar support roll that can either be strapped around the back of your chair or simply wedged between the small of your back and a chair.
The McKenzie Roll is sold in two different versions, a firm density and standard density roll. The standard density version has a mix of firmness with extra cushion for comfort. The support is firm enough to support your back for hours at a time, while comfortable enough to actually use it for that period. The firm density version is for folks that need extra support. It holds its shape much better than the standard version and is one of the firmest lumbar supports we have found.
The things we like most about the McKenzie roll are its simplistic design and the fact that is mobile. It has a very basic cylinder-shaped design. Sometimes simple is better. You can easily use it on your office chair during the day and take it with you to the car for the ride home.
It comes with an adjustable strap to secure it to almost any chair or seat. This includes office chairs and vehicle seats. If the seat is too large (such as an airplane seat), you can strap it around your waist to secure it. While it may sound odd, some folks actually strap it around their waist so the support goes wherever they go, including from the dinner table, computer chair, recliner, etc.
The following video shows a demonstration of the McKenzie roll, courtesy of Bryan Bingham on YouTube.
The McKenzie Lumbar support is in the shape of a cylinder and measures about 11” long x 4.75” diameter.
The cushion itself is made out of foam. It comes in two versions – standard density and firm density.
The outer shell is made of polyester and can be removed. This allows you to periodically wash it. Even though polyester wicks away moisture, the ability to wash it is a plus as it will likely absorb sweat over time.
The strap is thin and made of elastic-like material. It does a decent job at securing the support to chairs, but expect to have to readjust often. The straps are not removable.
While there are a few downsides (mostly regarding the strap), the good far outweighs the bad. The McKenzie Roll’s very simple design has stood the test of time, and according to the product listing, it has been the preferred choice of back pain and spine experts worldwide.
At the price point, most folks could afford to buy multiple support roles – one for each chair they frequently sit in. It’s much more convenient to have a “permanent” support that is there whenever you need it rather than having to constantly move the same one from chair to chair. If you are planning on using the McKenzie Roll in multiple seats (especially your car), we recommend buying one for each. It’s a bit cumbersome to loosen from one seat, take it off, put it on another seat, adjust, and tighten. For what it costs (check pricing on Amazon), you would be better off buying one for each of the seats where you need extra support.
Finally, really consider the amount of firmness you need. The support roll comes in both standard and firm densities. The standard density version compresses a moderate amount while the firm holds its shape well.
Best Inflatable Lumbar Support: Travel Pal Self Inflating Pillow
Our favorite inflatable lumbar support pillow is the Travel Pal by Healthy Back. This back support is a self-inflatable pillow that is ideal for travel. Inflating and deflating is a simple as turning the valve.
There are two features we like most about the Travel Pal back support.
- It is compact and ideal for travel.
- You are able to control the firmness by the amount of air you allow into the support.
From a travel standpoint, the Travel Pal can be deflated, rolled up, and stored away in your luggage or backpack. When space is at a premium you will be glad you have a lumbar support that you can easily tuck way and inflate when needed. It is definitely useful for longer flights such as transcontinental flights or even those across the country.
You can adjust the firmness of the pillow by allowing as much air as needed into the support. If you need it very firm, allow it to completely inflate. If you need a little more cushion, only fill it ¾ of the way full.
It comes with a zip-up carrying bag to store when not in use. The back support itself also has a snap closure to keep it rolled up for storage. Just roll it up, snap it closed, and drop it in the carrying bag.
When blown up, the inflatable pillow measures about 16” wide, 6” tall, and 2” thick. You can bring the thickness down to about ½” by letting air out of it. Deflated and rolled up, it is approximately 8” x 3” x 3”.
The outer shell is made of a nylon-like ripstop material. There is an air bladder inside that holds the air when inflated.
It comes in four different colors: black, blue, gray, and red. Typically, back supports only come in black, so the variety of colors available is a plus if you’d like to show a little personality.
The Travel Pal comes with a limited lifetime warranty where Healthy Back will repair or replace any defective unit.
The Travel Pal is a highly recommended inflatable lumbar support, especially if you are using it for travel. It deflates, rolls up, and fits nicely in your luggage.
We are surprised at how well the support inflates without having to manually blow air into it. Once you open the valve, it does an excellent job of inflating on its own.
If you are looking for a dedicated lumbar support for your office chair, we recommend looking into purchasing a solid-back or open-air cushion. If you are looking for one for travel or occasional use, this is the one to buy.
Best Lumbar Support Back Brace: Mueller 255 Back Brace
If you need a back brace with lumbar support, we recommend the Mueller 255 Back Brace. The back supports we have reviewed so far are those suitable for chairs. This one takes a different approach. It is an actual back brace with a lumbar support included. It is typically used in environments such as occupations that require manual labor, or hobbies that require physical activity.
The feature that sets this back brace apart is the removable lumbar support pad attached to the brace with Velcro. You can attach the lumbar pad when you need the support. If there are times you do not need the support pad you can simply take it off. Since the cushioned lumbar support pad is small and can be placed where desired on the Velcro portion of the belt, it offers concentrated support in the area you need it most.
The brace has two sets of straps. The inner set of straps holds the belt in place and the outer set provides tension. Mueller calls this a “double layer design.” The basic idea is the dual straps offer a customized fit and adjustable compression around your abdomen and lower back.
Below is a video showing the Mueller 255 back brace courtesy of Fistaid4sport on YouTube.
The straps are elastic and have quite a bit of tension. The two sets of straps on the brace really allow you to customize both the fit and tension level. Inside the belt are steel spring supports that run along the spine. The steel supports keep the brace in shape and prevents it rolling and bunching up.
There are two different sizes available. The regular version fits waist sizes 28” – 50”. The plus size version fits waist sizes 50” – 75”. A word of caution, the belt runs small. If you have anywhere near a 50” waist, go with the larger size.
The lumbar support piece can be completely detached from the brace. The lumbar support is just a small pad/pillow that can be removed. The brace can be used with or without the lumbar support.
The fabric is breathable which helps prevent sweating as much as you could reasonably expect. This is a plus if you plan to wear it all day long.
It comes in black.
If you need a lumbar support inside a back brace, we recommend the Muller 255. It cross functions as a general back brace and a lumbar support at the same time. If you use a separate lumbar support in your chair, this back brace complements it well since it offers support while you are up and moving around.
Other than it being a little bit bulky and running a little bit small, there are not many downsides. It fits snugly, is adjustable, offers good support, and overall, does exactly what it is intended to do.
Other Good Lumbar Back Supports
While the following back supports did not make our top cut, they are good alternatives in the event our top picks do not meet your specific needs.
The following back supports are our “runner-ups.”
- Ziraki Lumbar Cushion (memory foam)
- LoveHome Lumbar Support (memory foam)
- EasyPosture Lumbar Back Support (open-air mesh)
Our top picks in each category can be found in the comparison table.
Ziraki Memory Foam Lumbar Cushion
Another good memory foam back support is the lumbar cushion by Ziraki. It has a high-quality memory foam core. The outer shell is a grey (and very soft) velvet or suede-like material.
The feature that sets out the Ziraki lumbar support is the shape and feel of the cushion. It is curved to the shape of your back both horizontally and vertically. From side to side, it tends to wrap around your back. Top to bottom, the cushion has a protruding curve in the middle that fits well in the curve of your back. The cushion really allows you to sink right down into it.
There are elastic straps included for you to secure it to a chair. They are adjustable and have a plastic clasp that lets you take it on and off the chair easily. Also included is an extra extender strap. You may need this to wrap around larger chairs such as the seat in your car.
On the bottom of the pillow, there is a zipper where you can open the shell and remove the memory foam interior. You can take the cover off and wash it as needed.
The cushion measures approximately 13” wide x 12” tall x 4” deep in the center.
Ziraki includes a travel bag to carry your cushion in while you travel. While it is not as small as those designed especially for travel, the carrying bag is a nice addition for those who need a cushion for long trips on a plane, for example.
Below is a YouTube review of the Ziraki cushion.
LoveHome Memory Foam Lumbar Support
The LoveHome Memory Foam Lumbar Support is another great option for a memory foam back support. It is a firm back support comprising of 100% high-density memory foam.
The feature we like most about this cushion is the elastic strap system. The straps have two plastic clasps along with a horizontal strap. This cushion adds extra value with its vertical strap. One of the biggest pain points with most lumbar support cushions is they tend to slide down the chair and you have to constantly readjust them. The LoveHome lumbar cushion has a vertical strap that solves this problem. There is one strap that goes around the chair horizontally to secure it (as most other supports do). There is a separate strap that goes around the top of the chair which keeps the vertical alignment in place. You will find you do not have to adjust this support nearly as often as some of the other ones out there without the vertical strap.
The exterior shell has a zipper where you can remove the memory foam core. The shell can be washed as needed. It is a 3D mesh cover that does a good job at wicking away sweat. With its elevated surfaces, it is breathable which encourages airflow and discourages your back from perspiring when sitting against the cushion.
Weighing 1.4 lbs., LoveHome’s memory foam cushion measures 13” x 13” x 4.5” (thick). It comes in a variety of different colors including black, beige, blue, and brown.
Easy Posture Lumbar Back Support
The runner-up in the best mesh lumbar back support is the Easy Posture Lumbar Back Support. This is an open-air mesh back support with great air circulation. The ventilation this support provides will help those who are concerned with back perspiration.
One of the key features of this support is how wide the sides flare out. It really hugs and supports the sides of your trunk, which helps keep your spine aligned as nature intended.
The Easy Posture back support does a good job at keeping its shape over time. It provides firm support to your back where it’s needed most. The Easy Posture support prevents slouching while tasking away at your desk or riding in a car.
Back supports are a life saver for many who spend their day sitting in an office chair or driving a vehicle. In addition to helping relieve back pain, they also encourage good posture and help prevent slouching, which can lead to other problems. The lumbar back supports we have featured in this article will assist on all counts.
Back supports are not a very complicated purchase. They all are made with the same general idea in mind which is to compliment your chair by providing extra back support where the chair falls short. Some have a few different features and are made for niche purposes, of which we outlined in our comparison table and expanded upon in the article.
Most lumbar supports are cheap. Even if you are not certain you need one, you are not out much by purchasing one to try it out. The upside is potentially helping your back pain and improving your posture. The downside is you are out what many would consider a nominal amount of money.
Best of luck in your search for the best back support that meets your needs!
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