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How to Choose a Lift Chair Recliner

A man recliners in a comfortable life chair recliner

Lift chairs help people across America find comfort and relaxation every day. Whether you have a disability or are just feeling the effects of aging, a lift chair recliner can provide the relief you need.

A lift chair recliner is a big investment, so you want to make sure you find the perfect fit for you. But with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to figure out what you really need. Check out our lift chair buying guide on features to look for and how to choose a lift chair recliner!

What Is a Lift Chair?

Learning how to choose a lift chair starts with understanding what they are and how they can help you in your daily life. A lift chair is a type of armchair that utilizes a motor to help you transfer from sitting to standing. Some lift chairs also recline into a variety of additional positions. There are a number of interchangeable terms for these chairs, including lift chairs, power recliners, power lift chairs, and lift chair recliners.

Is a Lift Chair Right For Me?

Many people like the idea of a lift chair, but they aren’t sure if they need one or not. Here are some of the questions to consider when deciding if a lift chair or recliner is right for you:

  • Do you struggle to transfer from sitting to standing in your standard armchair?
  • Do you struggle to transfer from laying down to sitting in your standard recliner? Do you have the strength and motor skills to operate your current manual recliner?
  • Do you or your loved ones worry about you falling while transferring out of your standard armchair?
  • Do you struggle with maintaining good posture in your standard armchair/recliner?
  • Do you frequently have aches and pains after sitting in your standard armchair recliner?
  • Do you find relaxing or napping in your wheelchair/scooter/power chair uncomfortable or unsupportive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a lift chair may provide the comfort and safety you desire.

Features to Look For in a Lift Chair

Once you’ve decided that a lift chair or recliner is right for you, you’ll need to learn how to choose a lift chair that provides the support and functions you need. Here are some of the most common features to consider in your shopping.

Lift Chair Position Options

Perhaps the most crucial function of a lift chair or recliner is the positions it allows. While all lift chairs allow for basic sit-to-stand functions, some chairs and recliners allow several other positions as well.

2-Position Chairs

Standard 2-position lift chairs allow you to sit up normally or recline to relax. These chairs are best for lighter use in a living room or sitting room.

3-Position Chairs

In addition to sitting up and reclining, 3-position lift chairs allow you to lay back even further. However, they do not go completely flat. These chairs are great for napping and fully relaxing.

Infinite Position Chairs

Infinite position lift chairs offer the most flexibility of all. In addition to the positions described above, they also have adjustable head and footrests to allow virtually endless options for your chair position. Infinite position lift chairs can be especially helpful for those with circulation issues who need to rest with their feet above their heart level.

Fit Options

Determining how to choose a lift chair that’s perfect for you often comes down to fit. While it may seem more luxurious, bigger isn’t better when it comes to lift chair recliners. Finding the right fit for your body is key to maintaining good posture and getting the support you need. 

When it comes to choosing your lift chair size, there are three measurements you should take into account:

  • The seat height from the floor
  • The seat depth
  • The seat width

Each lift chair manufacturer handles sizing a little differently, but standard sizes include petite, small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large. Some models may also come in wide and higher weight capacity options.

One of the best ways to find the right fit is to try out several chairs in-person and get insight from a trained professional. To try out a variety of models and get the expert advice you need, visit your local Mobility City location.

Weight Capacity

In addition to choosing the right size chair that fits your body, you’ll want to double check the weight capacity before you purchase. Finding a chair with an appropriate weight capacity will ensure that the mechanics of your chair operate safely for years to come. It will also protect you if you have any issues and need to leverage your warranty.

Style Options

At the end of the day, learning how to choose a lift chair often comes down to personal style. Luckily, lift chairs and recliners come in a variety of styles to fit the decor of your home. Most models come in several color options in both fabric and leather. Fabric feels warmer and cozier, while leather offers a high-end look that is easy to clean.

Lift chairs and recliners also take up a larger footprint than standard armchairs because of their movement. That means that measuring your space is key before deciding on a style you love, to ensure that you’ll have room to sit, recline, lay back, and stand comfortably in your new chair.

A woman looks out the window from her seat in her lift chair

Extra Features

When learning how to choose a lift chair, the final step is to consider what special mobility features and add-ons you may be looking for. Here are a few of our favorite options to look into when buying your chair.

Heat & Massage

Lift chairs with heat and massage are all the range right now. The mix of heat and pressure can assist with back and joint pain for a relaxing, spa-like experience in the comfort of your home.

Lumbar Support

If you struggle with back pain or have trouble maintaining good posture in your standard armchair, a lift chair with additional lumbar support may be right for you. Some chairs offer power control for lumbar support whereas others may offer removable support pillows.

Storage Pockets

These days, many lift chairs and recliners come with storage pockets on the outside of the chair base. You can store your chair remote, books, magazines, newspapers, and more inside.

Cup Holders

Cup holders are another feature built into many modern lift chairs. Most chairs either have one or two cup holders for your convenience.

Meal Trays

For many people, their lift chair or recliner is where they spend most of their day. Opting for a model with a meal tray can prevent unnecessary transfers for meal times.

USB Ports & Chargers

If you plan to spend time in your lift chair using your smartphone or tablet, some chairs even have built-in USB ports or wireless charging ports to keep your devices charged.

Looking for one-on-one advice on how to choose a lift chair? Need assistance getting the perfect fit? Find your local Mobility City store to get in touch with one of our trained professionals.