The Aquila SofTech vs The Ease Cushion
Two Dynamic wheelchair cushions comparison
With so many companies making so many different wheelchair cushions it is difficult to know which cushion is right for you. To add to the complexity of choosing the right wheelchair cushion there are two general categories of cushion, the static cushion, and the dynamic cushion. Static wheelchair cushions cannot create any movement on their own, so the end user must create movement and provide effective pressure relief.
The dynamic wheelchair cushion, however, has the capacity to initiate movement by itself without user inputs. Within this dynamic cushion category as you can imagine, there are several companies manufacturing them with varying features and degrees of effectiveness. Knowledge of the significant differences between wheelchair cushions in the dynamic category is key and we intended to offer a side by side comparison of two dynamic wheelchair cushions, the Aquila SofTech, and the Ease cushion, both of which are manufactured in the U.S.
In a subsequent blog I will look at some of the other alternating wheelchair cushions made outside the USA, which are available online and compare them to Aquila’s SofTech cushion.
Let me start by saying the Aquila Cushion is the only dynamic wheelchair cushion company on the market with credentials, clinical studies, and awards. Aquila wheelchair cushions have been proven to heal pressure injuries. There is not another cushion company can say the same.
The physical differences
The Ease cushion has 2 components, the cushion and the box which contains the pump and electronics. As such, Ease cushion uses hoses which connect the two components. In addition to hoses, it uses a wired remote control and electrical cables used for accessing power from the wheelchair batteries. The problem with the hoses and cables is that they can get caught on doorknobs or pulled apart and damaged. Aesthetically they are undesirable and pose the threat of damage.
Aquila’s SofTech wheelchair cushion has no external components. All system components are built into the cushion itself resulting in a clean appearance. No control box to mount on your wheelchair and operation with the BLUETOOTH wireless remote control is simple and user friendly.
The Ease cushion uses two sets of plastic tubes that inflate laterally across the seating area. This means all areas of the posterior, even areas under a pressure sore, will have the same upward pressure generated by the inflating plastic bladders. Imagine the damage that could be done to an existing pressure sore with inflated plastic tubes applying upward pressure on fragile skin and tissue, every cycle.
Aquila’s SofTech wheelchair cushion is custom made per individual. Our custom air bladders are hand sealed for the required size, shape, and location. Aquila’s bladders are not stamped out by a machine. We take special care to offload where needed to care for existing pressure sores while stimulating circulation throughout the posterior.
The Ease cushion offers no customization. In fact, the only criteria they ask for on the website is what size cushion you want and options or accessories.
Aquila’s SofTech is custom made to the specifications requested by the client. Our order process includes details of current pressure sores or past surgical locations so we can carefully customize the cushion for the necessary offloads for optimal efficacy. Any areas of the posterior which require absence of pressure or reduced pressure are carefully laid out during the construction/planning step.
The Ease cushion inflates and applies pressure to all areas of the posterior including sensitive areas or current pressure sores. This is extremely dangerous and could cause sores to become worse, potentially creating much bigger problems and health risks.
Aquila’s SofTech wheelchair cushion is custom fabricated and made to offload under sensitive areas and most importantly under existing pressure injury.
Ease cushion is offered in 9 sizes.
Aquila’s SofTech wheelchair cushion is available in any size a client requires and we can custom shape any cushion.
Both the Ease cushion and the SofTech are priced similarly. The Ease cushion retails for $3995 before adding a warranty and Aquila’s SofTech sells for $3870 with Aquila’s commonly offered promotional code discount.
The Ease cushion has a weight limit of 250 lbs.
Aquila’s SofTech wheelchair cushion has no weight limit
The Ease uses its own batteries that have a memory so you cannot charge them until they are almost drained. If they are not fully drained, you will reduce the capacity to the new recharge level.
Aquila’s SofTech cushion uses state of the art lithium ion batteries that do not have memory, therefore can be charged at any time without losing battery capacity.
Ease cushion refers to new technology with the cushion using laterally running air tubes, but this configuration has been available with other simple dynamic cushions for decades. Ease speaks of the wired remote and cables to connect to wheelchair batteries that have also been around for decades. Ease cushion has not shown any innovation.
Aquila’s SofTech cushion system has all components built into the base of the cushion. No external control box is necessary with Aquila’s advanced design. The SofTech uses a wireless remote control and an optional moisture control unit (MCU). The MCU is a fan that is built into the cushion and comes on every time the pump comes on and blows air towards the posterior to assist in keeping cool and dry. Aquila’s SofTech is the very definition of innovation.
Ease has one Google review. Aquila Corporation has 16 Google reviews.
Ease’s return policy reads “Electronic components may be returned for a partial refund within 30 days of purchase, less the retail price of the cushion.
Cushions and covers are non-refundable, as they cannot be re-sold due to sanitation regulations”.
Ease does not indicate how much the partial refund is or the price of the cushion which is non-refundable.
The Aquila cushions have a 30-day return window minus a customization loss fee of 35% if not satisfied. One must call Aquila for an RMA number.
Ease does not have any clinical studies or case reports.
Aquila’s alternating cushions have more clinical study data than any wheelchair cushion on the market which includes a 5-year Cleveland Clinic study. Aquila’s cushions were also used in a 12- patient study comparing Aquila cushion to manual lifting.
Another case study written by physician, Dr. Barry Farr, on his own experience with our cushion versus an Ease cushion while experiencing boils. The Aquila wheelchair cushion came out ahead in the study and the doctor purchased 3 additional Aquila Cushion Systems for himself.
A nursing home in MN documented the amazing results achieved by Aquila’s SofTech cushion in treating a unstageable pressure injury while the patient sat 12 hours per day.
Aquila cushions have been written about and studies published in peer reviewed medical journals and presented at the National Institute of Health.
Ease does not have awards.
Aquila’s SofTech wheelchair cushion won two engineering excellence awards from the Society of Professional Engineers two consecutive years recognizing Aquila’s SofTech cushion to be the most advanced and effective cushion on the market.
Largest medically documented sore healed
Ease has no data of healing any pressure sore.
Aquila’s cushion system healed an unstageable stage 4 injury measuring 11 cm x 8 cm x 4 cm while the client sat more than 12 hours per day.
Ease shows testimonials without customer names.
Aquila has 8 pages of client names and testimonials.
When you compare the Ease cushion to the Aquila’s SofTech cushion it is noticeably clear which cushion is superior. Aquila’s SofTech is the best choice, the only choice.