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Should I buy a riser recliner chair?

By Joanna Pearl

Find out whether a riser recliner chair could help you or your loved one stay comfy and safe by reading our expert guide.

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Riser recliner chairs (also known as reclining chairs) are becoming more popular because they offer a choice of positions to maximise your comfort and, by allowing you to get into and out of a chair without assistance, they help you maintain independent living.  

But do you actually need a riser recliner chair? Use our simple checklist and further guidance below to find out.

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Do you need a riser recliner chair? Simple checklist

  • Do you ever have difficulty or require help getting up out of a chair?
  • Do you sometimes find it difficult to sit down on a chair or sofa?
  • Have you been advised by your doctor or nurse to elevate your legs when sitting down?
  • Do you tend to sit for long periods in the same chair?
  • Do you experience chronic pain and need to change your sitting position to get more comfortable?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you would probably benefit from using a riser recliner chair. However, as everyone's needs are different, there are a few other things to consider.

Do you have enough room for a reclining chair?

Riser recliner chairs are heavy and take up a lot of room, so you need to identify a good permanent position for the chair and measure up carefully before you buy.

You’ll also need to allow for a gap of up to 60cm/24in behind the chair so it can recline fully without any obstructions. You can reduce the space needed by choosing a wall-hugging riser recliner chair. For more information on the safest ways to arrange furniture in your home, read our Which? Elderly Care guide on saftey and wellbeing in the home

Do you want to sleep in your riser recliner chair?

Although some chairs allow you to lie completely flat, they're not really intended for sleeping on for extended periods. If you have difficulty getting into bed, you should consider buying an adjustable bed or specially designed chair bed in addition to a riser recliner chair.

Do you have a serious back problem or medical condition?

If so, you may want to consider a specialist chair with extra built-in support or one with pressure-relieving features. Which? recommends that you seek the advice of an independent adviser to assess your particular needs before buying. You can find a local registered expert in your area on the College of Occupational Therapists website.

If you think a riser recliner might be for you, read our guide to buying the best riser recliner.

Alternatively, if you don't think a riser recliner chair will be necessary, but you'd like more information on the most comfortable and practical sitting arrangements for older people, check out the Which? Elderly Care guide to sitting comfortably and safely.

£899The average price of a riser recliner chair

Riser recliner chairs - how much will I pay?

Single-motor riser recliner chairs start from around £350, but dual-motor chairs range from around £500 to £1,500+, depending on the features, style and fabric chosen. Which? conducted a survey in October 2013 and found the average price paid was £899.

Our tests reveal that you can't always be guided by price alone when it comes to buying a chair. See our riser recliner chair reviews for more information.

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