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How to use a riser recliner chair

By Joanna Pearl

This expert guide tells you how to get into the right position with ease and comfort, to make sure you're getting the most out of your chair. 

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Knowing how to use a riser recliner chair might seem obvious but, as you'll be sitting in it for long periods of time, you'll want to get comfortable as quickly and easily as possible.

If you're finding it difficult to stand or sit in your riser recliner, you might want to involve a health professional such as an occupational therapist, who you can find through your local Social Services department or privately via the College of Occupational Therapists.

Otherwise, follow our steps below to help you get into the right position with ease.

If you're looking for a new riser recliner chair, you can find out which of the chairs we've tested are the top performers by visiting our riser recliner chair Best Buys.

Not a Which? member? Try a £1 Which? trial for instant access to all of our test results and Best Buys.

Four steps to sitting in a riser recliner chair

1. Stand in front of the chair with the back of your legs against it
You should feel the edge of the seat behind your knees. When you do, lower yourself down and place your bottom on the seat.

2. Make sure you feel steady
Your weight should be evenly distributed across both feet.

3. Press the controls to lower yourself down
Once seated, you may need to stop and adjust your position on the seat.

4. Use the arm rests
If you need to shuffle or rock your bottom back so it's against the back of the chair for full support, use the arm rests.

Read the Which? Elderly Care checklist for sitting properly to make sure you're in the correct resting position.

Four steps to standing in a riser recliner chair

1. Press the control to lift the chair to a standing position
When you do this, your feet should always remain on the floor.

2. As the seat rises, prepare yourself to stand
Put both hands flat on the armrests and get your feet ready (they should be in line with your hips).

3. Bring yourself to nearly standing
As the chair completes its rise movement, it will bring you to a near-standing position or slightly tip you out of the seat (depending on the model).

4. Use the arm rests
Put both hands on the arm rests and stand up with your weight evenly distributed across both feet. Straighten your legs with your feet under your knees.

What if your riser recliner chair stops working?

Riser recliners don't need an annual service, but it’s a good idea to choose a company that can arrange for one of its own engineers to visit if you experience any problems.

Some companies will arrange to fix it at your home or, if this isn't possible, take the chair away to repair it and lend you a chair until it's returned.

How to change batteries or check the back-up battery is working

Some riser recliner chairs have back-up batteries, so that if there's a power cut, you have the reassurance that back-up power will assist and you won’t be left stranded in a reclined position, unable to get up. 

Once used, these back-up batteries need replacing. They tend to be the size of a matchbox and can simply be inserted into a box that runs off the main cable to the chairs - visit our guide to riser recliner chair features to find out more.

Some models also have rechargeable batteries so you don’t have to worry about replacing them after use. They tend to have a battery charge indicator so you can tell how much charge is left.

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