Car makers offer heated car seats in many models, but there is many a winter driver in Canada who doesn't have that luxury. The aftermarket offers ways to install heated seats into any vehicle, but there's also the old-fashioned method of just buying a seat cushion that offers heating and massage.
Obus Forme Heat and Massage Seat Cushion
- Available at: Canadian Tire
This seat cushion is a hybrid of sorts because it comes with both a 12V plug and an AC adapter, so you can use it in the car, at home and in an office. The selling feature here is that you get heating on the seat, an inflatable pad on the lower back and vibrating motors that massage from the upper back all the way down to the thighs.
There is no massage "technique" to speak of because it only vibrates continuously, rather than offering any kind of motion like the HoMedics one does. You can adjust the intensity using the wired remote, but only within two or three settings. Same goes for the heating pad on the seat.
Despite the relative simplicity of the massage, the experience isn't bad because you can turn each part on and off separately. If you want the seat to heat up with only the lower back massaging, while the upper back and thigh massage settings are turned off, it's easily done.
HoMedics Back and Shoulder Shiatsu Massage Cushion
- Available at: Sears
The immediate downside to using this in a car is that it doesn't come with a 12V plug, but if you have a power inverter, you can just use that to plug this in. The shiatsu massage is what stands out when using this in a car because it's like getting muscle therapy while driving.
The seat itself is basically useless in that there's no heat or massage. Instead, the heat can be applied to the back and shoulders – but only when the massage is turned on via the wired remote. You can't have any heating without the beads inside doing their job.
And the work they do is extensive. There's no pulsating vibration like the Obus Forme has, but the beads do push into the muscles in a really good way. The one issue is that the seat's headrest sticks out too much, which may force you to adjust your car seat to get the right fit.
Heatech Heating Cushion
- Available at: Canadian Tire
You won't get a massage here, but you will get more heat all around than the other two on this list. The seat cushion itself is pretty unassuming, but it feels durable enough to last for a while.
The 12V plug has two LED indicators – red for high heat and yellow for low. Since it takes less than two minutes for the whole cushion to reach its high or low temperature, you might find that you'll use the low setting once you get warm and settled. Even if you keep it on high for five minutes and then turn it off, it takes a fair amount of time for the heat to dissipate.
The size of the cushion is good for most vehicles, but there may be cases where it doesn't cover the full back or seat. It also needs repositioning every so often, which can be a bit tiresome, but that isn't altogether unusual for any seat cushion.