Who will be using this piece of furniture the most?
a. How tall are they? How much do they weigh?
Just like any recliner, you want a lift chair to fit your body size. For those with circulation or pain management issues, getting the right size lift chair is imperative. If you get a chair that is too big, your feet and legs will not get comfortable and getting out of a deeper seat cushion is difficult. Get a chair that is too small and the mechanism might not be able to lift your mass. All of Parentgiving guide's on Lift Chairs begin with size consideration because getting an accurate height and weight measurement for a lift chair user cuts the array of choices into a far more manageable list.
How will they be using the chair?
a. TV and light reading (3 to 4 hours /day) vs. Pain management with little mobility (12 — 18 hours / day). The more hours a user will be in a lift chair (per day), the more important a mattress type construction of memory foam and/or coil springs inside the cushion system of the lift chair.
b. Does the user need to fully recline? Zero Gravity and Infinite position chairs allow for a full recline position while 2 position chairs allow a max 45 degree recline.
When shopping lift chairs, you'll see some are '2 Position', some '3 Position' and some 'Infinite Positions'. Infinite position models have two motors to let the footrest move independently of the back portion. A user who wants to sit upright but with the footrest up, will require an infinite position chair. Both '2 Position' and '3 Position' chairs require the backrest to recline to have the footrest slide out because they only have a single motor. '3 Position' chairs differ from '2 Position' types in that they allow almost a full recline; 2 positions only recline to 45 degrees.
Upholstery options to consider in a Lift Chair
a. Does the user require IV's or catheters or suffer from incontinence? Leather or "pleather" or microsuede might make more sense than a fabric upholstery in this instance.
b. Does the user sweat a lot? Leather and/or memory foam can "sleep hot" so a fabric option may be more appropriate.
What size room will hold the lift chair?
a. Reclining chairs for seniors tend to be overstuffed and most standard models extend both outwards and backwards. Some more advanced lift chairs can start against the wall and slide forward without hitting the wall behind it. Bottom line — measure several times to ensure you have ample room before buying a lift chair.
An Overview of Typical Lift Chair Models
Still unsure of which powered recliner to select? The following brief outline of what's available among the electric recliner classes should get you started.
2-Position Lift Chairs - A two-position lift chair has a sitting and reading position (typically which is a 15 degree recline), and a lifted standing position. 2 Position Lift Chairs are the most affordable of powered lift chair and come in a variety of fabrics and styles.
3-Position Lift Chairs - A three-position lift chair typically has a sitting position, a reading position, and a recline position (sometimes called a napping position but it is not a full recline). 3 Positions chairs are the most popular category for electric lift chairs as it offers the most features while still retailing for under $1000.
Infinite-Position Lift Chairs - For those seeking a full-recline position for circulation, limited mobility, pain management, and easier catheterization than an infinite-position chair is the choice. Infinite Position Lift chairs can elevate the feet above the heart in what is known as the the Trendelenburg Position. More information about the clinical efficacy of the Trendelenburg Position (or not) can be found here.
Infinite-position electric recliner chairs have dual motors which allow the user to control the backrest and the footrest independently. If the electric recliner will be used for sleeping, than an infinite position lift chair with its full recline is a great choice.
Zero Gravity Lift Chairs — Thanks to a seat that lowers and raises to orient the hips into better alignment, these chairs are a life-saver for those with back issues, spinal issues, or pain management issues. Zero Gravity electric recliner chairs for the elderly provide balanced support for the entire body, thus reducing pressure on any single area, and this zero gravity position increases circulation and relaxation while minimizing spinal pressure.