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Which? finds the best new riser recliner chairs

Our latest tests reveal two new Best Buy riser recliner chairs, so you can choose the most comfortable, easy-to-use models

Riser recliner chairs provide a comfortable spot for you or a loved one to sit or sleep. We’ve just tested ten models to find out how well they perform.

These chairs are notoriously expensive, but if you get one that’s comfortable and easy to use they can be well worth the spend, as they’ll help you get back up to standing when you’re ready to move. Before you part with your cash, it’s important to make sure you’ve got all the information you need.

We’ve tested popular models for a range of aspects that might not be obvious when you’re trying them out in a shop, including a back-up battery test and a speed check to see how quickly the chair moves between sitting and standing positions.

Read on to find out about the models we’ve just tested, or find out which ones have scored highest by reading our riser recliner chair reviews.

HSL Aysgarth, £2,040

HSL Aysgarth riser recliner chair

The Aysgarth riser recliner chair is the most expensive model we tested, but, according to manufacturer HSL, its CleverComfort 7-point ergonomic seating assessment is designed to keep you comfortable.

It’s got removable cushion filling, wooden arm ends and an operating handset with a reset button to take you from reclined back to sitting position.

But how did our ergonomic experts rate its comfort levels? They assess chairs based on the support they provide for your head, neck, upper and lower back, and legs. Then, our panel of users (all aged over 60) sit in a chair for an hour and tell us how it feels.

Find out what they thought in our HSL Aysgarth review.

IKON Aurora, £1,890

IKON Aurora riser recliner chair

The IKON Aurora doesn’t look like your average riser recliner. It’s got a stylish design, swivels around and comes with a wireless control and a USB charging port.

But is it a case of style over substance? Our panel of testers had some concerns about this chair when they tried it out for an hour.

Find out what they thought by reading the IKON Aurora review.

Royams Angela Dual, £1,440

Royams Angela Dual riser recliner chair

The Angela Dual riser recliner chair has lateral lumbar pillows – vertical pillows that provide extra padding on the side of your back, in an attempt to offer a comfier seat.

But do they really make for a more comfortable experience or do they get in the way?

Read the full review of the Royams Angela Dual to find out.

Camelot Matrix Tilt-in-Space, £1,799

Camelot Matrix Tilt-in-space riser recliner chair

The ‘Tilt-in-Space’ part of this chair’s name means that when you recline it, the whole chair tips backwards. In the other chairs, the back separates from the seat, which can create a gap.

It’s the only one of this kind that we reviewed in our most recent tests. Find out what our panel of elderly testers thought and how easy the handset was to operate, in our Camelot Matrix review.

Celebrity Somersby, £1,320

Celebrity Somersby riser recliner chair

The Somersby, made by popular riser recliner chair company Celebrity, comes in a range of sizes and styles, including two- or three-seater settees, with single or dual motors.

In single-motor models, the foot rest must rise up before the chair back reclines. A dual motor means the footrest and chair back can be moved independently of each other.

Our panel of elderly users enjoyed sitting in this chair, but did find some issues. Read the full review of the Celebrity Somersby to find out what they were.

Back-up battery problems

During the testing at our labs, we discovered that many of the back-up batteries that came with the riser recliner chairs were so weak that they only have enough power to get the chair from reclining to sitting, and can’t move further to take you from sitting to standing. This means that if there’s a mains power cut while you’re reclining, you may have to pull up from the seated position yourself.

Our lab testers warned that the batteries may be self-discharging over time, particularly as you may not need to use them for long periods. They recommended that you replace the battery at least once a year, and each time you’ve had to use it, to ensure you won’t be caught out.

Anti-crush mechanisms

According to the 2006 EU machinery directive (which covers electrically operated furniture), a riser recliner chair must be designed and constructed in such a way that it won’t start if someone is trapped underneath it and at risk of being crushed by the mechanism. This means that if anything gets in the way of the riser recliner mechanism when it is moving, it should either stop straight away, sound an alarm or give a visual warning.

However, we discovered that many riser recliner chair manufacturers do not include a system to prevent hands, children or pets from getting trapped underneath riser recliner chairs. If they do, it’s usually something you have to request, and pay extra for – only one of the chairs we tested had a safety mechanism to prevent trapping included as standard.

If it’s something you’re concerned about, we’d recommend that you ask your retailer about it before making your purchase.

What goes into testing riser recliner chairs?

We answer crucial questions when testing riser recliner chairs to make sure you buy one that’s comfortable, secure and easy to use, including:

  • Will my chair be comfortable?
  • Will be chair be reliable?
  • Will be able to use my chair easily?
  • Should I buy it?

We carry out more than 75 lab-based measures and tests, including checking how long the chair takes to move into different positions, how comfortable it feels to sit in the chair for at least an hour for a range of different-sized people, and what the controls handset is like to use.

Find out everything you need to consider by reading our guide to how to buy the best riser recliner chair.

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