All About Power Lift Reclining Chairs

man lounged on lift reclining chair


If you ever suffered an injury and needed assistance when standing up/sitting down, you most probably had a friend or someone to assist you. Even though that’s nice, wouldn’t it be nicer to have medical equipment to help you with that?

What is a power lift reclining chair?

Lift chairs are chairs that include a powered lifting mechanism that is pushing the whole chair up from the base, assisting the user to a standing position.

At the moment, insurance companies may cover only the cost of the lift-mechanism and not the whole chair. You need to have a talk with your physician about needing the lift chair. Once it’s clear you need it, you should ask the insurance company if it’s covering the spending or not.

Who can benefit from a lift chair?

Benefit from a Lift Chair

When you have balance or mobility problems, the lift chair is going to help you a lot. However, the benefits of this type of chair are more than that.

Some lift chairs come with heat and massage features that make the sleeping comfortable. When you struggle with insomnia but your partner doesn’t, or when you have other sleep-related problems (restless leg syndrome), a lift chair may be the solution for your questions.

Not everyone using a lift chair needs assistance when standing up- they just like the comfort. A lift chair is an excellent option for anyone recovering from surgery or for people struggling with chronic back pain that have problems with regular chairs.

All in all, anyone can benefit from a power lift recliner chair. Who doesn’t like comfort?

How does a power lift chair work?

When you’re dealing with mobility problems, getting up and out of a chair for going to the bathroom or getting a glass of water can be difficult. The lack of muscle strength or pain can make standing and sitting painful.

How does a power lift chair work

A power lift chair is an affordable and dependable mobility help to seniors with arthritis or other health conditions that make rising out of a chair/sitting down a painful task. Getting out of a chair is going to be a lot easier as the lift chair can raise the user in a gentle way to standing position.

Similar to the traditional recliners, the lift chair features a powerful electric motor placed in the base of the chair. It even looks a lot like a regular armchair recliner, minus the handheld control that the lift chair features. The handheld remote is for controlling the motor that lifts the chair and the user up and back from seated to the standing position.

When the user sits safely in the chair, the occupant operates the remote for adjusting the chair to the most comfortable angle. As power lift chair may achieve many positions that not even the best recliner chair can. Some lift chairs come with a different mechanism for adjusting the footrest independently.

What are the main types of lift chairs?

There are many models and types of lift chairs, but we can still put them into categories. It all depends on the number of positions the motors are designed to provide.

For instance, a two-position chair is made to recline up to 45degree angle, whereas a three-position chair is going to decline even further to almost an entirely flat position.

Infinite position lift chairs can recline to a fully horizontal position, featuring a dual motor design. The design allows the footrest to run independently of the seat back.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

Two-position lift chairs

Two-position lift chairs

Two-position lift chairs are typically the most affordable type, without sacrificing the lifting function. They provide a limited reclining backrest, and the user may recline up to a 45-degree angle. The footrest flips up as the chair reclines, but it doesn’t operate independently of the backrest.

This type of chair is made for the occasional user and are an excellent choice for reading or watching TV. They’re not the best option for napping. If you know that you’re not going to use it for an extended period or sleeping, this chair is a solid option.

Unlike other types of lift chairs, this one doesn’t need much space. As it doesn’t recline all the way, you may place it closer to the wall. Some may only need 3-4 inches of wall clearance.

Three-position lift chairs

Three-position lift chairs

This type of chair reclined to an “almost” flat position, so they’re a better option for people planning to nap or relax in them.

They are very popular as they’re similar in comfort and positioning to regular (no motor) recliners. The footrest flips up as the chair reclines, so it’s not operating independently of the backrest.

Three-position chairs are a safe option for anyone replacing the recliner with a chair that is safer when in and out of the chair from standing position.

Infinite position lift chairs

Infinite position lift chairs

They’re the best of the line. Most of them come with heat and massage features, full sleeping position and so much more. They feature dual motors so that the footrest and seat back move independently of one another. The users can decide which setting is the most comfortable for their specific needs.

Anyone spending a lot of time in the chair is going to need this type of chair. It’s good for people with hypotension or if they were advised to stay in the Trendelenburg position (you elevate the feet above the head).

What are the sizes of lift chairs?

Sizes of lift chairs

As comfort is one of the most important benefits of lift chairs, you need to pay attention to many things when selecting your lift chair. The last thing you want is to order a lift chair only to realize it’s a tad small nor comfortable at all.

Always go with a size that gives a couple of extra inches on every side, for better comfort.

Here are some numbers to remember when selecting your lift chair:

  • Petite lift chairs- for anyone smaller than 5’0”
  • Small lift chairs- from 5’0” to 5’3”
  • Medium lift chairs- from 5’4” to 5’10”
  • Large lift chairs- from 5’11” to 6’2”
  • Tall lift chairs for people taller than 6’3”

Many lift chairs have a weight capacity of 375lbs. If you’re a big guy and know that you need a higher weight capacity, you should look into the heavy duty or the extra-wide chairs. They’re able to support up to 700lbs.

What to look for when selecting a lift chair?

Even if the lift chair is supposed to offer support for people with mobility/balance problems, there are many questions to ask before selecting a specific model.


As the lift chair is going to become a part of décor, you need to take price, color, fabrics, and space into consideration as well.

Position lift chairs

Most manufacturers provide an excellent range of colors and materials, matching all sorts of budgets and needs.

As the whole decision process can get a bit challenging and intimidating, here are some recommendations to consider:

  • It’s essential to know the precise needs of the primary occupant. Their height, weight and the amount of time they’re going to spend in the chair count a lot.
  • The weight and height play a big part when selecting. Most models handle over 300 pounds of weight, but you can find models that take a lot more than that. They come with several motors for supporting the load.
  • The height of the user should also count when selecting. The distance that the chair needs to lift off of the ground for helping with a safe and painless exit depends on the height of the user. A lift chair made for one over 6ft tall has to lift higher into the air than a model that needs to work for someone only 4ft tall.
  • How one is going to use the lift chair also matters. Is it going to be used when watching TV or reading? If so, a two-position lift chair is going to be enough. Anyone planning to spend more time in the chair, even nap and relax in the chair, should get a three-position chair. As a matter of fact, three-position chairs are the most popular option, and many models also include massage and built-in heat.
  • For the therapeutic application or for one spending a lot of time in the lift chair, the infinite-position model is the no.1 choice. As they recline entirely and come with a separate motor for operating the leg rest independently of the seat and seat back, you may position the infinite-recline model in several ways. Some models come with mattresses or several overlays for better comfort during the sleep. If your budget isn’t tight or you’re willing to pay no matter how much for a versatile lift chair, the infinite-position chair is your best shot.

Do fabrics and colors matter much?

Lift chair manufacturers do provide an impressive diversity of designs, colors, and fabrics. The type of fabric matters, especially if you’re spending many hours in the chair.

Selecting a Lift Chair

Some fabrics have a soft touch feel, whereas others are stain resistant or more durable than others. Breathability of the material has a significant role too, as a highly breathable fabric is going to improve comfort when sitting in the chair for a very long time.

Most manufacturers do give the possible customer the possibility to choose the fabric on the chair model, features and configurations as well. Vinyl, suede, leather, and cloth are the most common options out there. However, a good manufacturer is going to provide more opportunities than the ones we just mentioned.

You may find fabrics that are soft, comfortable, safe, breathable and long-lasting. They are also highly resistant to stains and temperature fluctuations. These aspects matter especially if the chair comes with heat and massage features.

Here are some questions to ask before deciding on the fabric of your lift chair:

  • Are you planning to eat/drink in the chair?

If so, darker color is going to hide the appearance of stains a lot better. Leather treated with a protectant is more comfortable to clean in the case of regular spills. Some lift chairs come with stain-resistant materials that are also very easy to clean.

  • Is your pet going to sit on the chair too?

Pet hair is going to stick to Microfiber or cloth a lot more than leather. Don’t forget to add a couple of inches to the width when setting the final measurement for the chair.

  • Are you planning to sleep in the lift chair?

Sleep in the lift chair

If so, you should be sure that the lift chair you intend to buy comes with the feature of a sleep chair. A lift chair may not be comfortable for your sleep unless its design allows you to.  Many lift chairs are suitable for watching TV, but they’re not good when you’re sleeping. And that’s because they’re not designed to provide that level of comfort.

  • Are you going to spend a lot of time in the chair? Do you want to use it only for watching TV?

Comfort is fundamental when selecting the model of your lift chair. Seniors may spend even 9 hours a day in a stationary position. If you’re only going to spend a couple of hours a day in the lift chair, you can sacrifice on the comfort.

Nevertheless, if you’re going to spend a lot of time in the chair, it’s better that you always look for best comfort. Some lift chairs are made to replace your typical bed, so make sure you choose right.

  • How much space do you have in your home for the lift chair?

You need to take the measurements of the room for deciding on the size of the lift chair. As previously mentioned, there are several sizes to choose from, and you should never forget the size of the space when deciding on a model.

Final consideration

Lift chairs are for anyone that is looking for comfort while watching TV or needs assistance while getting in/out of the chair. As the needs are so different, the lift chairs come in a generous variety of models too. You just need to take your time before making the final choice.




About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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