What Is Relief Seat?
Relief Seat is a cordless, rechargeable orthopedic comfort cushion that can be taken just about anywhere and deliver therapeutic heat for up to eight hours on a single charge.
While relieving your aches and pains, Relief Seat’s high-density foam and contoured shape promise to evenly distribute your weight and eliminate uncomfortable pressure points. And the cutaway design will ease pressure on your tailbone.
The website tells us that it works with any chair you choose, whether you're at home, enjoying sporting events, boating, and camping, or on a picnic. Just switch the easy on/off button and the heat, and it instantly goes to work.
Then, when the time comes, the machine washable cover can be removed and quickly and easily cleaned.
It certainly seems that a comfort cushion like this could come in handy in a lot of situations. But will it deliver a better value than the competition?
Here, we’ll help you find answers, starting with the basics.
What Causes Back & Bottom Discomfort?
We’ve talked in-depth about how back pain, whether infrequent or chronic, can be rooted in dozens of different causes, including sciatica, degenerative disc disease, injury, wear and tear, osteoarthritis, and nerve damage, to name just a few.
Even if we’re otherwise healthy, sitting for long periods of time or using the incorrect posture—which many of us do on a daily basis—can aggravate the soft tissue surrounding the tailbone and the ischial tuberosity bone (informally known as the sit bones), leading to pain and discomfort. This pain can run the gamut; from a dull ache to a stiff throbbing.
The surface we’re sitting on can heavily impact our level of pain, as can the amount of cushion (fat) we have in our tush, which begins rapidly decreasing after the age of 50.
Regardless of the cause, depending on the frequency and level of pain involved, your doctor might recommend something as simple as over the counter pain relievers, or in rare instances, surgery or other correctional measures.
How Might Relief Seat Relieve Your Pain?
It’s not rocket science to recognize that most of us would prefer to rest on a softer surface than a harder one, which is why we have couches, sofas, beds, chair cushions, and so forth. In fact, humans have used cushions since ancient times to increase comfort.
Given this, a product like Relief Seat could foreseeably provide extra cushioning between you and whatever you’re sitting on, while conforming to your shape, providing added support, and reducing discomfort centered in your lumbar area.
According to Spine-Health, the heat in this cushion could also help dilate the surrounding blood vessels, which could increase oxygenation and nutrient flow to the muscles. Heat can also stimulate the skin’s sensory receptors and decrease pain signal transmission to the brain.
Finally, Spine Health tells us that heat can help stretch soft tissues in the area, which can thereby decrease stiffness, increase flexibility, and improve overall comfort.
Just keep in mind that Relief Seat’s heat will be concentrated on your rear end and not directly on any portion of your back. Consequently, although we didn’t test the product ourselves, it might make sense that a minimal amount of heat will reach your back and provide related benefits.
Mayo Clinic tells us that a “doughnut-shaped pillow or wedge (V-shaped) cushion” could also help decrease coccyx-related pain until it naturally subsides by itself.
How Much Does Relief Seat Cost?
Relief Seat is priced at two payments of $19.99, plus $14.99 S&H, bringing your total to $54.97. During checkout, you can purchase a second for an additional $14.99 fee.
Like many OnTel products, it comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, less S&H charges. To request one, customer support can be reached at 844-585-2512.
Are There Any Other Products Like Relief Seat?
Given humanity’s close association with cushions since ancient times, it’s not too much a stretch of the imagination to assume Relief Seat is up against a decent amount of competition.
Just how much, though? Entering any of the following phrases (or combinations thereof) returned thousands of relevant results:
- Portable heated seat
- Rechargeable heated seat cushion
- Heated stadium seat cushion
- Heated seat cushion
- Battery operated seat cushion
- Coccyx seat cushion
- Memory foam portable cushion
- Orthopedic seat cushion
And this is to say nothing of the options you’ll find at local retails, drug stores, and medical equipment locations. Granted, not all of these options will feature the same heating option as Relief Seat, although others will, including added features like vibration.
Price? You’ll find basic memory foam cushions as low as $10, while powered options with heat and vibration can take your cost all the way up to $150+, depending on the manufacturer, model, and options.
Referencing only portable heated options competing directly with Relief Seat, you could pick up rechargeable ones for as little as $20, while gel-based products (usually warmed in the microwave) could be picked up for less than $10 in some instances.
How to choose? Pain Away recommends that you start by focusing on where you’re looking to primarily use your cushion (e.g. sporting events, work, wheelchairs, the shower, etc.). It’s also important to understand what you’re looking to accomplish, whether it’s adding cushioning, reducing pain, helping an injury heal, improving posture, or all of the above.
Feature-wise, you might also want to focus on models with zippers, supportive filling material, a washable cover, as well as non-slip fabric.
What Can We Learn From Customer Reviews for Relief Seat’s Manufacturer?
Based out of Fairfield, NJ, OnTel Products is one of the biggest players in the ASOTV industry and has been in business since 1994. In fact, OnTel was founded by Chuck Khubani, the brother of AJ Khubani, who founded the top dog in the industry, Telebrands, in the early 1980s.
OnTel has released hundreds of hit products over the past few decades, although they held an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and 350+ complaints as of 4/29/17. Most were related to customer service issues, such as difficulty processing refunds, long wait times for orders, as well as unwanted products added to online orders.
Our Bottom Line
Based on what we learned from authoritative sites like the Mayo Clinic and Spine Health, not to mention our own research over the years, it seems pretty clear that—like many other seat cushions—Relief Seat could provide you with some level of relief from pain and discomfort. Its portable design also makes it seem that it could be used in a wide variety of scenarios.
Again, like other portable heated seats, its rechargeable easy on/off heating feature could foreseeably also provide additional pain and discomfort reduction, by impacting pain signals to the brain and relaxing the surrounding tissue.
Will it necessarily provide a better value than these other options? Without testing the product ourselves, this isn’t something we can provide firsthand feedback about. But if you feel like giving Relief Seat a try and ultimately find it doesn’t meet your needs, OnTel seems to stand behind it with a 60-day refund policy.
Just remember that you’ll have to pay to ship it back to the company, and you’ll also lose your original $14.99 S&H fee (plus anything paid for a BOGO offer).