As a pilot, you know that long flights can be tough on the body. The constant sitting and lack of movement can lead to discomfort and even pain.
Additionally, if you’re smaller in stature, you may have trouble seeing out of the flight deck or reaching the flight controls.
One way to combat this is by investing in a quality seat cushion. Seat cushions add an extra layer of comfort to your cockpit chair and can even help alleviate pressure points and improve posture.
In this blog, we’ll look at some of the best seat cushions on the market for pilots. We’ll give you our top picks and share tips for choosing the right seat cushion for your needs. So, if you’re ready to upgrade your cockpit comfort, keep reading!
Here’s a quick summary:
- Best for Short Aviators: Sporty’s Pilot’s Elevator Cushion
- Biggest: TravelMate Extra-Large Memory Foam Seat Cushion
- Most Stylish: QYILAY Leather Memory Foam Cushion
- Most Practical: Skwoosh Pilot Gel Cushion
- Most Comfortable: Cushion Lab Seat Cushion
Should You Use a Seat Cushion as a Pilot?
As a pilot, you may wonder if an additional seat cushion is necessary. While it’s ultimately up to personal preference, there are a few reasons why a seat cushion can be a worthwhile investment for pilots.
First and foremost, seat cushions can increase comfort during long flights. As mentioned earlier, constant sitting and lack of movement can take a toll on the body, leading to discomfort and pain. A seat cushion can help to alleviate pressure points and improve posture, making the flight more bearable.
Seat cushion comfort is particularly relevant to older general aviation aircraft where the installed seat cushions may be flat as a pancake from years of occupation by pilot and passenger buttocks.
Additionally, shorter pilots can use seat cushions to add extra height to their seating position and allow them to reach the controls comfortably. Using a pilot cushion can eliminate a never-ending source of frustration from the lack of seat adjustability found in most aircraft.
When shopping for a seat cushion with added height, it’s essential to ensure it meets any regulations or guidelines set by your airline or aircraft manufacturer. Additionally, be sure to test out the added height in the actual (or simulator equivalent) flight deck to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact your ability to operate the aircraft safely.
In addition to seat cushions with thick, high-density foam, some pilots may choose to use a custom-made (and far more expensive) seat insert. Ultimately, the best solution will depend on the individual pilot’s needs and preferences and any regulations or guidelines in place.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to invest in a seat cushion, consider giving one a try and see if it makes a difference for you.
The Best Pilot Seat Cushions (2023)
- The unique design helps to distribute weight evenly and reduce pressure on the tailbone and lower back
- Made of high-density foam for durability and support
- Removable, washable cover for easy maintenance
- Lightweight and portable for travel
- Some users may not find the contoured design comfortable or effective in relieving pressure points
One of the standout features of the Cushion Lab seat cushion is its unique design, which includes a contoured surface that helps to distribute weight evenly and reduce pressure on the tailbone and lower back. The cushion is made of high-density foam and has a removable, washable cover for easy maintenance.
Regarding comfort, the Cushion Lab seat cushion provides significant relief from pressure points during long flights. The cushion is also lightweight and portable, making it easy to take with you on your travels.
This comfort does come at a price, but it is definitely worth the investment.
Bear in mind that the Cushion Lab Seat Cushion is relatively thick, so you’ll have to adjust your seat down accordingly. If you’re on the taller side, you may be unable to adjust the seat far enough to compensate for the increased height.
On the flip side, the Cushion Lab Seat Cushion will give you a significant height boost if you’re short. Ultimately, you’ll have to check in the actual aircraft or equivalent simulator to see if the cushion will work for your seating position.
Overall, the Cushion Lab Patented Pressure Relief Seat Cushion is an excellent choice for pilots looking to improve their comfort and support while in the cockpit.
- Non-skid base
- Gel-Tec material conforms to the body’s shape and provides cushioning and support
- Breathable, moisture-wicking fabric
- Lightweight and portable for travel
- Some users may find the gel material too firm or not supportive enough
- The cushion may not provide sufficient height boost
The Skwoosh Pilot Gel Cushion is a popular seat cushion explicitly designed for pilots, with features aimed at providing comfort and support during long flights. The cushion has a non-skid, breathable base, allowing it to remain in place on any seat.
One of the key features of the Skwoosh cushion is its use of gel material, which is designed to conform to the body’s shape and provide cushioning and support. The cushion is also made with a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric to help keep the user cool and dry during flights.
A considerable advantage is that the cushion is lightweight and portable, making it easy to take with you on your travels or even throw in your flight bag.
If you’re looking for a boost in height, the Skwoosh Pilot Gel Cushion may not be for you. The cushion is relatively flat and may not provide the height increase you require.
Overall, the Skwoosh Pilot Gel Cushion is a solid choice for pilots looking to improve their comfort and support during long flights. Its combination of gel material, breathable fabric, and portability make it a highly effective seat cushion.
- High-quality leather and memory foam materials for comfort and durability
- Affordable price compared to other leather seat cushions
- Easy to clean
- The leather cover may not be suitable for hot or humid climates
The QYILAY Leather Memory Foam Cushion is a popular seat cushion for pilots. This seat cushion is made of high-quality leather and features a layer of memory foam for added comfort. The cushion is specifically designed to raise the height of the pilot’s seat, providing a more comfortable position and improved visibility.
One of the standout features of this seat cushion is its leather cover, making it a stylish option for long flights. The memory foam base also helps distribute weight evenly, reducing fatigue and discomfort. The leather cover is soft, durable, and removable, and the cushion is easy to clean with a damp cloth.
However, the leather cover may not be the best choice for use in hot or humid climates. Leather can be a warm and insulating material, which may not be ideal for use in hot weather. It may not allow for as much airflow as mesh or other materials, which can help to keep the user cool and comfortable.
In addition, leather can become sticky or uncomfortable to sit on in high humidity, whereas other materials may be more breathable and moisture-wicking. If you live in a hot or humid climate and are considering this seat cushion, you may want to consider whether the leather cover will provide sufficient cooling and comfort. If you fly an air-conditioned aircraft, however, you won’t have any issues.
Overall, the QYILAY Leather Foam Cushion is an excellent investment for any pilot looking to improve their comfort or get a height boost while maintaining a sense of style and professionalism during flights.
- Made of high-density memory foam for comfort and support
- The extra-large size provides maximum coverage and support
- Highly portable with a convenient carry handle
- Soft, machine-washable cover with a non-slip silicone layer on the bottom
- The extra-large size may be too large for some users
The TravelMate Extra-Large Memory Foam Seat Cushion is a popular choice for pilots looking to improve their seating comfort during flights. This seat cushion is made of high-density memory foam, which conforms to the shape of your body to provide support and reduce pressure points. The cushion measures 19 x 17 x 3 inches, making it larger than many other seat cushions on the market. The extra-large cushion size is designed to provide maximum coverage and support, making it an excellent option for pilots who need extra cushioning or support or simply prefer a larger cushion.
The TravelMate Extra-Large Memory Foam Seat Cushion also comes with a convenient carry handle and is lightweight, making it easy to take with you on the go.
The cover is made of a soft, machine-washable fabric and consists of a non-slip silicone layer on the bottom, which helps to prevent the cushion from sliding.
The extra-large size may be too big for some seats or users, so make sure you cross-check the cushion’s dimensions with the seat you’ll be using.
The TravelMate Extra-Large Memory Foam Seat Cushion’s large size, high-density memory foam, and non-slip cover make it a top pick for long flights, and its understated design will complement any seat on the flight deck.
5. Sporty’s Pilot’s Elevator Cushion – Best for Short Aviators
- Includes back support to effectively move your seat forward
- Integrated carry handle and straps
- Additional storage pockets
- Limited stock
The Sporty’s Pilot’s Elevator Cushion is the ultimate seating solution for shorter aviators. This cushion includes a separate back support section that helps to effectively move your seat forward, allowing you to achieve a comfortable and ergonomic position even with a smaller frame. The integrated carry handle and straps make it easy to transport, and the additional pockets provide storage for small items like charts.
This cushion is made of high-density foam that holds its thick shape while continuing to provide comfort. However, the Sporty Pilot’s Elevator Cushion is bulky and relatively expensive compared to other seat cushions.
Overall, the Sporty Pilot’s Elevator Cushion is an excellent choice for pilots looking to effectively boost their height and length without compromising comfort.
Finding the right seat cushion for your aircraft can be tricky. All the cushions discussed are highly rated and offer great comfort and support, but in the end, it all comes down to personal preference.
Whether you’re looking for a height boost or simple padding, there’s a cushion out there that will meet your needs. Be sure to take the time to compare different cushion models and sizes to make an informed decision.
With the right cushion, you can look forward to more comfortable (and, by extension, safer) flights.