Riser Recliner Buyer's Guide
Investing in the right rise & recliner which suits your body shape and needs is very important. Whilst it is easy to simply scan over the styles and choose one based on upholstery and finish, it is very important to understand the various types of mechanics involved in how they work first. At their most fundamental level, there are two types to choose from – single motor and dual motor.
As their name implies, the chair is operated on a single motor. The amount of motors only really makes a difference to the reclining motion as the mechanics of both the single and dual motor versions have exactly the same rising motion.
One motor models are designed so that the backrest and the footrest move in conjunction with each other. However, whilst it is usual that the footrest will rise before the whole backrest has reclined, the Sienna, the Soraya and the single motor Serena's have taken this idea further by including an 'early-rise Ottoman' feature which allows you to elevate your feet without having to fully recline. Note that to use a riser recliner you can simply stop pressing the button when you have reached the desired position and the motor will stop. If you want to put your feet up rather than having to be fully tilted back, this is how you do it on a standard single motor model.
You may think that single motor rise recliners then are inferior, but there is one major advantage to them and that is easier control. The controller itself is very simple to use as it has just two buttons set to either ‘rise’ or ‘recline’. This is more suited to those suffering with dementia as the added complexity of the dual motor controller can sometimes be confusing.
Another thing to note is that single motor rise recliners do not lay flat; they can only tilt back to an angle of about 45 degrees. Whilst this is an extremely comfortable angle to watch TV or lay back with a book or simply be a part of a conversation, if you want to truly lay flat once in a while to sleep in a flat position, you will need a dual motor.
As you can now probably guess, a dual motor riser recliner has two independent motors; one to control the headrest and one to control the footrest.
This will obviously give you the widest range of choice for the position with which you wish to sit in, and will enable you to get to the lying flat position should you so desire.
However, professionals say that it’s not a good idea to use your chair as a bed as it doesn’t give the correct support over a long time (there are specialist chair beds designed for his purpose). The other challenge as mentioned previously is that with a dual model comes more buttons to press. - this may or may not be a problem based on your situation.
As you can see, neither a single or a dual version is ‘better’ than the other – it wholly depends upon what you wish to get out of your chair.
Other things to look out for:
There are many other considerations before purchase, and we will take you through them.
As this will be a place where you will be spending a lot of time it is vital that you carefully select one which suits your size. But how do you know what size is right for you? Here are a few tips:
The height of the Seat:
To calculate this easily, get someone to measure you when you are standing up from the floor by your heel to the fold behind your knee. This should give you a rough idea of your required seat height.
When you sit upright, if you can have the lower part of your leg at 90 degrees to your upper legs and your feet flat on the floor, then that is the correct seat height. You may find however (especially if you suffer with low mobility in your legs) that having a very slightly higher seat height may prove easier to get in and out of.
The depth of the seat:
The full length of your upper legs should be entire supported by the seat, so in order to find the correct seat depth for you, get measured from the tops of the hips, along the thigh and to about an inch or so before the knee. It’s important that your seat is not too deep for your frame as you may find that there will be a gap between the seat and the backrest around your lower back, which won’t be supported – it’s very important that all parts of you are comfortably supported in your seat.
The width of the seat:
In order to choose the correct width of the seat, it should be wide enough so that you can freely use your arms to perform tasks in your chair whilst being narrow enough to be able to use the armrests. Don’t squeeze yourself in too tight! This time, measure from hip to hip and add on a good few more inches. It will be your hands and arms which will need to go in the gap between your body and the sides so adjust accordingly.
As mentioned in the introduction of this guide, we can now start discussing the style and finish which will be right for you.
It’s not just about attempting to compliment the rest of the furniture in your house (that’s wholly subjective and down to you!), but you might need to look out for the different types of backrests:
You can see where this one gets its name from! The gap in the centre is of particular benefit to those with certain spinal problems as there is less pressure on the back. If this is the case with you though, we do recommend that a qualified healthcare professional assesses your needs before purchase.
This gives a very nice finish whilst also providing a good support spread across the whole back
As it says, this is a normal backrest which will blend in with your other furniture. Some of our models have different styles of standard back which have various levels of comfort around the head and neck. If you are unsure on this, please do get in touch with us.
A waterfall back has three separate cushions which provide firm and even support all the way up the backrest and is extremely comfortable.
Space requirements and proximity to sockets:
A vital consideration before purchase is a careful survey of the pace in which you wish to place it. As they are powered through mains supply you will need good close access (and perhaps discreet access if you don’t wish to have cables trailing over your carpets) to a power point (and just in case you were wondering, when plugged in the power is put through a transformer in order to make it impossible to get an electric shock!).
When the backrest gets reclined it is vital that enough space is given away from a wall in order for it to go down with no obstruction. If the backrest comes into contact with a wall, damage may be caused to the frame, which could prove costly. Make sure to carefully study the depth when reclined dimensions to see whether the space is suitable for the space you have assigned it. Placing it approximately two feet from the wall is probably a good rule of thumb.
Battery back-up systems
In the unlikely event of a power cut and the power to the chair is cut off, our range of riser recliners all come with some kind of battery back-up system which will enable you to get back out. The batteries are not to be used in any other situation as they will quickly get depleted in order to power the strong motors – they are included for emergency sitatuations only and provide peace of mind should the unlikely happen.
The weight & height of the user
We have touched upon this in terms of properly measuring yourself to choose the right riser recliner, but it’s important to also pay attention to the maximum weight allowed. Our range should suit most users, but if you require bariatric chairs, we should be able to supply them on request. Similarly, if you are too short to suit the ‘flat foot’ test, we may also be able to help you, so please do get in touch.
Left or right handed?
Something which you may not even consider, but most chairs controllers are placed on the right hand side. Apologies to the left handers out there! To get this swapped over, please mention this before purchase as we should be able to fix this to suit your needs.
We hope that that is some serious food for thought as you browse our rise & recliner chair range. If nothing else, we hope that we have stressed that it is comfort and support which is of the most importance when selecting your riser and recliner chair.
It is very important to get something which closely suits your exact needs and we hope that we can talk you through the process so that we can help you do just that!
Call us on 0800 0334 060 for more info!