How to choose the most suitable recliner lift chair

How to choose the most suitable recliner lift chair

With so many different options to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which recliner lift chair – also known as lift chairs or rise and recline chairs – is most suitable for your needs.

Below you can find a few considerations that may help you decide on the perfect recliner lift chair.


Single or dual motor?

Most recliner lift chairs are either single or dual motor, some are available in either style.

Single motor

Single motor chairs have one control to operate the reclining of the seat back whilst simultaneously raising the footrest. Often powered by just two buttons, up and down, this type of chair can be easier to use for those with reduced dexterity, or cognitive challenges.

Some options have a staged action with single motor where the back reclines partially before the footrest raises, but with a single motor you cannot raise the footrest while remain in an upright sitting position


Dual or twin motor

Dual motor chairs provide independent control of the backrest and footrest. This enables you to adjust the chair to more varied positions, including an upright backrest with raised legs. Many dual motor chairs can also recline closer to horizontal than the single motor chairs.


Single motor remote versus dual motor remote


Consideration should also be given to whether the user will be able to manage a dual motor hand control, which may have 6+ buttons, or whether a simpler controller with two buttons that comes with most single motor lift chairs, may be more suitable.



Chair sizing

Lift chairs come in many different sizes to suit people of different heights and weights. To ensure the most comfort and support it is important to get the right size to support your body shape and functional needs.

father and daughter sitting on a reclined chair

Things to take note of when choosing the chair size:

  • The seat width between the arms should allow a little wiggle room on each side and should not press on or be touching your hips when in a seated position.
  • The depth and height of the seat is important so that your back is supported, and your feet are able to rest comfortably on the floor.
  • If the seat is too deep (from front to back), the user can slide forward and sit in a curved spine position, which is not comfortable or supportive
  • If the seat height is too high the users feet will dangle creating pressure at the back of the thighs and knees.

Some chairs can be customised to suit individual needs. Correct assessment and fitting by trained professionals can ensure that you find the perfect chair to correct posture and minimise the chances of discomfort or pressure build-up.


Oscar Barwon Recliner Lift ChairAir Comfort COmpact Recliner Lift Chair



The user’s functional abilities and other medical considerations

Its also important to consider how the chair will be used. Some users may only sitting for only short periods of time, while others may be intending to be in the chair for most of the day.

If the person is still quite mobile, able to change position and independently stand up and sit down, then a chair chosen for comfort and style preference is likely to be appropriate for their needs.


If the user requires assistance transferring to and from a seated position, then a chair that has higher pressure care qualities should be considered. There are many options that have pressure relieving qualities at different levels of pressure risk management. From special foam cushioning for low pressure risk, to air cell cushion inserts and 4 way stretch fabrics for greater pressure risk.


Fabric choice may also be important for pressure management as well as continence considerations and infection control in some cases.

Theorem Seagrove Recliner Lift ChairOscar Barwon Recliner Lift Chair



Environmental factors – standard or wall saver model?

As always, it’s important to consider the environment that the chair will sit in.

Person sitting in a reclined chair


Standard lift chairs require clearance behind them to recline fully and therefore need to be positioned some distance from the wall or other objects.


To avoid this issue some options feature a space saver, or 'wall hugger' mechanism. These lift chairs may be positioned as close as 15cm (6") from a wall.


Lifetime of the chair

Another consideration to factor in is how the users needs may change over time.


Some recliner lift chairs offer post purchase adjustments kits, allowing you to alter certain dimensions after purchase, preventing the need to purchase an entirely new chair.



Configura Comfort Recliner Lift ChairConfigura Comfort Bariatric Recliner Lift Chair



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