How to Sit on a Donut Pillow for Maximum Pain Relief and Comfort (2023)

Using a donut pillow is not always as easy as it sounds. You need to use it right for it to work like it’s supposed to.
Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
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Last updated: August 16, 2023
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There are different reasons for using a donut pillow but most of the time it’s designed to provide relief for your coccyx or for ailments in that area of your body. They are known to be used for things like tailbone injuries, hemorrhoids, and more.

The intention is to take the pressure off the area that has been affected while you are sitting. Normally, when you sit, your bottom takes all the weight and applies pressure in that zone. But when you use a donut pillow correctly, it can provide relief. It can also be used in your daily life for things too.

If you’re wondering how to sit on a donut pillow correctly, we’re here to help! Check out this guide to learn more about the benefits and how to use your donut pillow.

Benefits of Using a Donut Pillow

How to Sit on a Donut Pillow for Maximum Pain Relief and Comfort (2023)
Donut pillow helps relieve tailbone pain, allowing comfortable sitting for those suffering from problems with the coccyx, hemorrhoids, or prostate.

Does sitting ever seem hard for you? Whether you’ve experienced some sort of an injury or you’re prone to discomfort, these are the things a donut pillow was designed for. It’s not always just for that tailbone injury or for someone who has recently experienced hemorrhoids either.

While they are known for these ailments, there is so much more that can benefit as well. In fact, did you know that you can use a donut pillow as a meditation pillow too? You can sit more comfortably and enjoy the restfulness that comes from meditation.

For Relief from Hemorrhoid Pain

Facing ailments like hemorrhoids can make a person absolutely miserable. This is the most common need for a donut pillow. When you sit normally, the inflamed skin and veins around the rectal area are agitated and have extra pressure applied.

However, with a donut pillow, the shape and the hole in the center help to relieve that pressure, reducing your pain when you’re sitting. It won’t heal or stop hemorrhoids but can provide pain relief or comfort as well.

For Relief from Sciatica

Sciatica leads to chronic pain for people, particularly along the sciatica nerve. In some cases, that nerve could be strained or even injured. You can’t do a lot, aside from allowing the nerve to rest and heal. When you sit on a normal chair, there is the pressure that aggravates the nerve.

But using the best coccyx cushion or donut pillow might help to relieve some of that back and leg pain because of the difference in where the pressure is applied when you sit.

For Tailbone Pain

Tailbone issues, particularly bruised or broken tailbones are another common reason that donut pillows are used. Options like this Everlasting Comfort Support Pad are designed to relieve pressure from the tailbone to allow you to better distribute the weight of your body when in a sitting position.

It’s all about the re-distribution of pressure.

For Women Who Have Recently Given Birth

Giving birth to a child puts a woman’s body through immense changes and strain. As a woman recovers, her posterior region is going to be sore from the work of pushing out the child. And if there was any type of tearing that occurred, this will have an impact too.

The recovery process can take several weeks to even feel comfortable sitting again. But a donut pillow can help here. Just like with these other ailments we talked about; it helps to distribute the pressure of sitting away from the tender areas to give you some relief.

How to Sit Properly on a Donut Pillow

How to Sit on a Donut Pillow for Maximum Pain Relief and Comfort (2023)
Sit on the donut cushion, ensuring that your tailbone is centered over the cushion’s hole, with each buttock cheek resting on either side of the cushion’s opening.

Now here’s the tricky part. You could have the best donut pillow on the market but if you aren’t using it right, it won’t bring you the relief you need. In fact, it might actually make your issues worse in some cases.

Before you toss the pillow out, consider looking at these tips to make it work how it’s meant to. It’s so natural for us to sit lopsided on our seats or even just sit lopsided and at an angle with our bodies. You may find yourself doing this because it helps to take pressure off those problem areas.

But when you use a donut pillow, sitting lopsided or off-center is not going to help it be effective. You’ve got to make the effort to sit on the pillow right in order to feel the relief and hopefully healing that will come with the change in your sitting patterns.

Put the donut pillow completely on the chair you are pushing, push it clear to the back, and try to center it the best you can. When you sit down on that pillow, center yourself and let the hole rest right below your tailbone or affected area.

The sides of the pillow will surround you and help to distribute your sitting weight away from that location and out to the rest of your body. It’s more ergonomic and often far more relieving too.

How to Use a Donut Pillow: Tips

Donut pillows come in different shapes and forms. It’s really not tricky to use but you will want to make sure to pay attention to some minor details to get the best results from it. For example, if the pillow is only halfway on the chair and you’re not actually sitting on the whole pillow, it isn’t working.

Check these things:

  • Always make sure the back of the pillow is touching the back of the chair.
  • Center the pillow on the chair, ensuring it touches the back.
  • Center yourself on the pillow so that the hole is directly under your tailbone.
  • You’re going to sit straight up rather than leaning back or hunching forward

Now, follow these additional tips to make sure you get the most out of your donut pillow.

Use It Everywhere

How to Sit on a Donut Pillow for Maximum Pain Relief and Comfort (2023)
Donut pillows provide comfort as they relieve pressure on the tailbone, and they can be used anywhere—sitting on a chair, on the couch, or even in your car.

Learning how to sit on a donut pillow for tailbone problems encompasses learning to use it everywhere that you might sit. If that means that you need to purchase more than one pillow, it might be a good idea to do so.

You won’t find relief from your struggles if you only use the donut pillow when you’re sitting at the dining room table. You need to use it everywhere and anywhere you go. This includes the office, the car, restaurants, and more. It’s the same concept for how to sit on a donut pillow for hemorrhoids. It’s only effective if you use it everywhere and not just one place a day.

We mean use it everywhere! Say it with us now.

Place It Directly on the Seat

Above, we went through some small tips for how to place the donut pillow on the seat you are using. You need to be sure it’s centered and pushed to the back of your seat. However, one thing we didn’t touch on was making sure it’s directly on the seat you are using.

This cushion relies on the solid surface beneath it to properly distribute weight when you sit on the pillow. If you place a lush pillow or blanket beneath it, it may not work correctly. In addition, avoid placing it lopsided or only halfway on the chair. This simply doesn’t work well.

Keep It Clean

How to Sit on a Donut Pillow for Maximum Pain Relief and Comfort (2023)
Clean the cushion cover with gentle washing, and don’t forget to vacuum the cushion.

You’re going to be sitting on this cushion likely for an extended period of time. You want to keep it clean. Think about the fact that you need to sit on it everywhere you go. It could be subjected to germs, dirt, and grime.

Be proactive and keep your pillow clean. In most cases, these pillows have a removable cover that you can take off and toss in your washing machine. This may be something you want to specifically watch for. You can even add your own cover to protect the pillow beneath.

Wash that cover regularly to keep it clean and sanitized on your behalf.

Sit in a Chair with a Back

You can use donut pillows for things like meditation and oftentimes, that happens in a central location. However, when you are using a donut pillow for routine sitting or to help relieve something like sciatica, tailbone pain, or hemorrhoids, you need to use it right.

Always be sure that the chair you are sitting in has a back. Ideally, a high back is best to offer support to the rest of your body too. Remember to push the pillow clear to the back of the chair and center it in the seat as well.

The back of the chair simply provides additional support for you, as well as the pillow you are using. If you feel imbalanced or your legs get uncomfortable, some people choose to use footstools to help with this factor.

Use Ice or Hot Packs

How to Sit on a Donut Pillow for Maximum Pain Relief and Comfort (2023)
You can fill these packs with the required filling for added relief and particular hot or cold therapy.

A good way to contribute to the benefits of a donut pillow is to also use ice or hot packs for additional relief and soothing. Just like with other injuries or swelling, these can contribute to the relief you need.

To use a hot or cold pack, you just need to wrap it in a towel and place it right in the hole in the center of your donut. Additional soothing and relief are added with this method.

Sometimes different packs are used for different injuries so be sure to check which one will be most effective for your needs. In general, cold packs are good for swelling, inflammation, or acute pain. However, heat is used for soothing, particularly with stiffness and muscle pain.

How to Choose the Right Donut Pillow?

There are a ton of donut pillows out there. You can even choose options like this lumbar support pillow that aren’t donuts at all but provide sufficient support for certain comfort needs. How can you possibly choose the right pillow? Well, we have a few recommendations for things to look at before you make a decision.


How to Sit on a Donut Pillow for Maximum Pain Relief and Comfort (2023)
Though the cushion does not cure hemorrhoids, a donut cushion can offer greater comfort to someone suffering from hemorrhoid pain or any other pain due to its perfect shape.

The different pillows might be made with varying materials. You need to choose based on what you feel will provide you with the comfort that you need. Consider things like how firm the pillow is and how thick it is as well.

There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer here, aside from the fact that you want to choose what you think you will like the most. Do you want something that feels really soft or would you prefer the added support of being slightly firm?

Foam or gel materials are always good because they will move and conform to your body when you sit.

Think Budget

Consider your budget as you’re looking at options. You want good quality but you will find there are several different price options. Some donut pillows can get pretty expensive so do your best to shop in a price range that you are comfortable with.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can buy some great pillows for cheap. If you want the very best options, you might be spending a little bit more. Don’t forget to consider whether you need to buy more than one pillow as well.

Pillow Thickness

Not every donut pillow is made with the same thickness. Some are very slim, while others can be as thick as 7 inches. The thicker the cushion, the more support that usually comes from it. In thickness, you might consider the support you need and where you will be using the pillow as well.

If you want something that is less conspicuous, you might stick to a thinner pillow. However, for people who are heavier, having a thicker pillow might be better for providing the support you need.

Final Thoughts

There are several different types of donut pillows out there and even different reasons for using them. You don’t even have to be experiencing pain or discomfort to take advantage of the benefits they provide. They force your body into a more ergonomic position and have even been shown to provide some benefits to your posture while you are forced into a different position.

Using a donut pillow is generally all about relief and comfort, specifically with back pain, hemorrhoids, and tailbone injuries. Use this guide to know how to sit on a donut pillow properly and get the best results. Remember to center the pillow and push it to the back of the chair. This allows it to properly support your sitting position.

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