With the touch of a button, riser recliner chairs lift you up out of your chair to standing, or raise your legs to take the pressure off. Riser recliners are in fact powered by the mains electricity and not batteries, via a transformer to reduce the voltage to a safer level. There is a wide range of riser recliners to choose from, from single to dual motors, varying back and leg features, sizes and accessories; it can seem a bit confusing. To help make your decision easier, we’ve put together a helpful buying guide which aims to take into consideration all your individual needs, requirements and personal preferences to find the perfect riser recliner for you.
If you need to ask any questions or want more advice, we’d be more than happy to talk you through it on 01323 444861. Free home assessments are also available.
Who will be using your chair?
The first thing you should establish is who is going to be using the chair. What kind of person are they if you’re buying on behalf of someone else, and do they have any specific needs or requirements to take into consideration such as dementia? This will help you to determine whether you need a single motor or a dual motor riser recliner.
Most single motor chairs will recline to a 45 degree angle – the optimal angle for relaxing whilst watching television or having conversations with people in the room. It is possible to sleep in these chairs however we would recommend a dual motor chair for extended use. When the chair reclines, the backrest and the footplate will move in tandem. When the footrest has reached its highest point, the backrest will continue to recline. If the chair is to be used by someone who has dementia, a single motor recliner may be better than a dual motor due to the simplicity of its handset.
If you intend to doze off in your riser recliner, we would recommend a dual motor chair as these all have the ability to recline fully. A dual motor riser recliner has one motor which controls the footrest and a separate motor which controls the backrest. If you would prefer to find the ideal seating position for you, the dual motor chair gives you the freedom and flexibility to do so. The handset therefore has more buttons (typically 4) than the single motor’s handset. A handy feature on some models is a 5th button which takes you directly back to a seated position, engaging both motors at the same time – very useful if you need to get up quickly for the doorbell for example.
Where will your chair go?
The next thing to consider is where your riser recliner is going to go in your room, bearing in mind that the standard chair needs to be positioned away from the wall. If you opt for a dual motor chair, meaning your chair can recline fully, you will need to account for at least a 2 foot gap between the wall and the chair.
Wallhuggers are designed with limited space in mind and are typically found on some single motor chairs. They work by moving the seat base forward as the chair reclines, enabling the chair to be positioned just a few inches from the wall.
Why do you need your chair?
You might also want to take into consideration why you need or want a riser recliner. Do you suffer from back pain or leg pain for example? This will help you to decide which features are most important to you.
If you are someone who struggles with back pain, the reclining movement on a normal chair can put strain on the lower back as the seat goes back horizontally. In this case, you could opt for a tilt in space motion chair. This type of reclining movement angles the seat of the chair backwards with the reclining back, therefore reducing the pressure placed on your lower back. This action is only available on single motor chairs.
In addition, if leg pain is a problem for you, we would recommend looking at a chair with a full chaise leg rest. This kind of leg rest has a continuous cushion between the seat edge and the footplate, providing support for the back of the lower legs when the leg rest is raised. In recliners without a chaise leg rest, there is a gap between the seat edge and the footplate.
For those who struggle with grip, we would suggest chairs with wooden knuckles on the ends of the arms as they make the chair easier to grip when pushing up to stand.
The majority of our riser recliners come with a side pocket sewn on, which is ideal for storing remote controls and newspapers within easy reach. We do also offer chairs with a pocket on both sides if this feature is something you might prefer.
We provide riser recliners with varying back types to suit every customer’s needs – from soft to firm to extra support.
The button back is the most traditional of the back styles we offer, with a neat looking finish and reasonably firm back support. A soft button back design option is also available.
The waterfall back (or pillow back) is made up of 3 pillows that cascade down the back of the chair – like a waterfall. You can adjust the amount of filling in each pillow easily to achieve the perfect comfort level for you and mould to your individual back shape. In general, the waterfall back provides a softer support than the button back.
The orthopaedic back is made up of 3 or more sections that are built into the back of the chair, mirroring the contours of your spine and encouraging good posture. The waterfall back’s roll style provides a reasonably firm support, ideal for back pain sufferers.
Finding the right size
When deciding which riser recliner is right for you, it’s also important to know how to measure your chair to achieve optimal comfort, support and pressure distribution.
The seat height is measured by the distance from the floor to the crease at the back of your knees. The best seat height for you is when your hips and knees are at right angles whilst your feet are flat on the floor. We suggest asking someone to help you measure this. If you suffer from leg pain, you could go for a slightly higher seat as this can make it easier to push yourself up to standing without exerting your legs as much.
The seat depth is measured by the distance from the back of the hips, along the thighs to around 1.5 inches before the back of the knees. The best seat depth for you is when you are able to place 2 fingers together between the edge of the seat and the back of the knee.
The seat width is measured by the distance between the 2 side edges of the seat. The best seat width for you is the width of your hips with the amount of a clenched fist either side, and you should be able to utilise the armrests comfortably.
It’s important to know that we also offer a wide range of accessories to add to your riser recliner, to make it personal to you and suit your everyday lifestyle and preferences.
If you have pets or children, we would really recommend considering the addition of a hazard sensor to your chair. This means your chair will stop lowering if it senses an obstacle in its way and therefore prevent any injuries.
We would also really recommend purchasing a battery back-up as this means in the event of a power-cut, you can still operate your chair and won’t get stuck in the reclined position. The standard battery back-ups are comprised of 2 9V batteries which allows for one use.
To protect the arms of your recliner from wear and tear, we provide arm caps which can be purchased as an optional extra when ordering your chair (available with most manufacturers), to ensure the fabric matches.
If you suffer from back pain, we would highly recommend considering chairs with heat and massage features as additional options. The ergonomically designed massage pads warm up and move in circular motions to relax your back muscles and ease any build up of tension.
We also stock neck pillows to offer support and comfort to your neck when sitting in your chair.