5 Tips to Choose the Best Lift Chair
1. Type of lift chair
The type of lift chair that you select depends on your needs. People that have poor circulation may need an infinite lift chair since it can reach the Trendelenburg position, in which the feet are positioned higher than the head. Some people may need their feet lifted while in the seated position. This is also only achievable by the infinite lift chair since it has separate motors for the backrest and the footrest. People who mainly use the chair for watching TV and only need help standing up from the seated position will be very comfortable in a two-position chair.
2. Fit of the lift chair
The fit of a lift chair is very important for your comfort. The chair can’t be too tall or your feet will not be able to reach the floor when the chair is in the “lifted” position. If the chair is too short, then the lower back may not be supported properly. Most lift chair models come with a list of height ranges that they are designed to accommodate; however, they may not be exact.
Most manufacturers offer various sizes available including petite, medium and large; often, they also offer higher weight capacity chairs, also known as ‘heavy-duty’ lift chairs. Weight capacities for these chairs start at 500 lb. and go up to 700 lb. Seats for these models tend to also be wider than standard lift chairs.
Silver Cross recommends visiting a local dealer to get properly fitted and to try out different models to figure out which one feels the best.
3. Space in your home
Spacing must be considered when purchasing a lift chair. In general, the more the lift chair can recline, the more space it needs. Space is required behind for the chair to fully recline, in front for the footrest when it is raised and when the user is being lifted into a standing position. We recommend you measure the space where you plan to put the lift chair to make sure it will fit with the listed dimensions online.
If space is an issue in the home, consider a wall hugger lift chair. Wall huggers can be as little as 4″ from the wall. When reclining, standard lift chairs recline backward and the footrest extends out the front so a certain amount of clearance is required in the back and front of the chair. Wall huggers start from the wall, and as they recline, the front of the chair slides outwards. This means they can be positioned closer to the wall. This is a great option for long-term care and other settings with limited space. However, only two-position and three-position lift chairs are available as wall huggers.
4. Material of the lift chair
Upholstery comes in many different fabrics, leathers, and faux leather. Some manufacturers even offer options to upholster your chair with custom material, so it blends seamlessly with your existing décor. This option is subject to longer lead times.
While much of the choice is aesthetic, there are some practical concerns to consider as well. Leather may not be the best choice for someone that sweats a lot, but it may be a good choice for someone who wants a chair that is easy to clean. It is also important to note that leather styles are slippery in an upright position, so it may not be the safest option for everyone.
5. Therapeutic and mobility features
Some features may be important to accommodate the needs of certain conditions or mobility issues. For instance, some lift chair models have the option for heated seats and massage which can provide therapeutic benefits. Cup holders may be important for people that have limited mobility and a hard time reaching over to a table for their drink. As well, people with arthritis or other similar conditions may want to consider if the remote control operates with a single push or constant pressure.
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