About eight years ago, I was diagnosed with a condition that causes tailbone pain, exacerbated by extended sitting. When I began working a desk job — sitting for eight or more hours a day — I sometimes resorted to sitting on my side and hip to alleviate pressure, which put my spine in an uncomfortable and precarious position. I needed a solution to relieve pressure on my behind, so I decided to try a seat cushion — ultimately, the Purple Double Seat Cushion proved to be just what I needed.
As a former sleep reporter, I had been aware of Purple’s mattresses for years — their Purple Grid is famous. The gel grid structure is supposed to collapse and relieve pressure across your entire body. It’s also designed for high level of resiliency — in other words, the structure bounces back from being compressed almost immediately, compared to memory foam, which takes a few seconds to return to normal form. And while I’ve never tried the brand’s mattresses, I had heard complaints that they were difficult to sink into and find a comfortable position in.
But I was always curious about Purple’s seat cushions, where the only true objective was pointed pressure relief — the issues I had heard about the grid in mattress form didn’t seem to apply as much. So when my tailbone pain became unmanageable, I decided to try out the Double Seat Cushion using a work-from-home stipend from my then employer. It turned out to be the best ergonomic purchase I’ve made in my professional life — I’d later see it recommended in our guide to seat cushions — and it’s made every chair I use feel like a supportive cloud.
The 2-inch-thick cushion is essentially a two-sided Purple Grid: one side with larger squares and the other with smaller ones. I’ve preferred to sit on the side with smaller squares, which the brand recommends doing for harder seats. It’s hard to describe the sensation of sitting on the cushion: It’s not soft — in fact, I would describe it as firm — but I've felt almost no pressure on my tailbone when sitting on it. Because the cushion isn’t made of foam or another dense material, the cushion remains comfortably cool, too especially noticeable (and enjoyable) after long periods of sitting. It comes in a machine-washable zip-up cover with an anti-slip bottom and a handle that you can use to transport it.
Personally, I’ve enjoyed the comfort of the gel grid, but there may have been slightly better options for specifically relieving tailbone pain: cushions with coccyx cutouts. By definition, the cutout helps ensure that there is no pressure put on the tailbone area. But what’s notable about the Double Seat Cushion is how close it comes to relieving all tailbone pressure with a uniform surface. I also appreciate how the cushion covers a large surface area — it feels less like I’m sitting on top of something and more like an extension of my seat. Some chairs may be a bit small to fit the cushion well — the back corners don’t completely fit my desk chair without getting squished — but it hasn’t affected the cushion’s function.
Other seat cushions to consider
If you’re looking for a seat cushion, but want a more traditional foam cushion or an option with a coccyx cutout, check out these other highly rated options we recommended in our guide to seat cushions.
Tempur-Pedic is known for its dense memory foam mattresses, but the brand also offers a memory foam seat cushion that can mold to your legs and posterior as you sink into it. The two-inch thick cushion can also pair with the brand’s lumbar back cushion if your chair needs the extra ergonomic supplement. The cushion has an average rating of 4.2 stars from over 590 reviews on Amazon.
This package comes with a seat cushion and lumbar pillow. The memory foam seat cushion has a coccyx cutout and an anti-slip rubber bottom, while the lumbar pillow comes with a strap for attaching to your chair and a pocket that can hold your phone, headphones and other items or devices. They both have removable and washable velour covers. The set has an average rating of 4.3 stars from over 18,000 reviews on Amazon.