Wheelchair Cushion Maintenance

The wheelchair cushion is a very important piece of equipment. It helps to properly position you in your chair, provides the proper level of support, and helps to reduce pressure to bony areas of your body, which in turn prevents or reduces pressure sores. Regular routine maintenance of your cushion is required in order to prolong its use and to ensure it will work properly for you.

Examine your skin twice daily for any discoloration which could be the beginning of a pressure sore. Skin discoloration may be an indication that your cushion is not providing the proper level of support and needs to be replaced. As a general rule, most cushions should last for approximately five years, if you take care of them.


  • Clean the cushion according to the manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Most cushions have a cover that can be removed for cleaning. The cover should be cleaned in a washing machine. After washing the cover, it can be dried using the "air" setting. Do not place the cover in a commercial dryer. They dryer can cause heat damage.
  • Air cushions should be inspected weekly for leaks.
  • Gel cushions should be checked monthly for leaks.
  • Foam cushions should be checked monthly for areas where the foam is compressed and cannot provide the proper level of support.

Direct any medical questions to a health care professional. Always consult with your physician before modifying any course of treatment.