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23 Feb 2021

Sherborne vs Fenetic vs HSL: which riser recliner should you buy?

Our latest riser recliner testing reveals a new Best Buy and backup battery problems across several models
woman reclined on a riser recliner chair

The latest riser recliner chair reviews are in. Having undergone rigorous assessment by our expert testers and user panel, Which? has uncovered a new Best Buy.

However, our testing also found that many of the backup batteries that came with the riser recliner chairs were so weak that they didn't have enough power to get the chair from reclining to sitting.

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 recommend replacing the backup batteries at least once a year, and after every time you have to use them. This is to ensure that they're in the best condition should you need to rely on the backup batteries.

Find our latest reviews below, along with our top five tips for buying a new riser recliner.

Discover the chairs that aced our tests inBest Buy riser recliner chairs

Sherborne Roma - £1,075

Sherborne Roma Riser Recliner chair

The Sherborne Roma has a crush prevention mechanism, to help reduce risk of objects being trapped under the chair. It also comes with adjustable lumbar support and the handset has a reset button - very handy to get back to the perfect upright sitting position. The bells and whistles are there, but did our user panel find it a comfortable seat?

Read our full Sherborne Roma review to find out if it's right for you.

Fenetic Hartington - £1,619.99

Fenetic Hartington Riser Recliner Chair

The Fenetic Hartington is a dual-motor model, meaning you can control the backrest and footrest independently. The handset also allows you to adjust the lumbar and headrest positions. Throw the supplied side cushions into the mix and you have all the makings of a very comfy chair - but is this what our expert assessors and user panel found?

Read our full Fenetic Hartington review to discover if it's your dream riser recliner.

HSL Ripley - £1,680

HSL Ripley Riser Recliner Chair

HSL Ripley comes with lumbar support and a backup battery, the latter allowing you to raise the chair even if there's been a power cut. The handset has a reset button, which usefully brings the chair to an upright sitting position. The wooden armrests provide users with extra support when getting into and out of the chair. But was it easy to use and comfortable for our user panel?

Read our full HSL Ripley review to find out how comfortable our user panel found this chair.

If none of those tickled your fancy, check out the other riser recliner models from our latest tests:

Or look at all our riser recliner chair reviews.

Price correct as of 23 February 2021.

Not sure what features to get? Our Riser Recliner features explained guide has you covered

Senior woman using laptop

Five top tips for choosing a riser recliner chair

If you choose a riser recliner chair without the right advice, you risk spending more than you need to, or ending up with one that's uncomfortable and frustrating to use.

Our user testing panel found all our Best Buy riser recliner chairs comfortable, but it's well worth doing your own research and trying before you buy to make sure you agree.

Here are five top questions to ask yourself before choosing a riser recliner chair:

  • What's your budget? This may affect what type of chair you can afford. Dual-motor chairs let you control the backrest and footrest independently, so in principle make it easier to get into a position that's comfortable for you. They cost from around £500 up to £2,000, while more basic models cost around £350. However, price isn't always an indicator of quality. Our cheapest Best Buy costs less than £1,000.
  • Does the chair have any weight restrictions? If the chair isn't suitable for your weight, the frame may become unstable. If this is the case, you may be better off with a special heavy duty chair.
  • Should you consider a waterfall back? Waterfall backs provide tiered layers of padding in three separate pillows that cascade down the chair, for a softer feel.
  • Do you qualify for VAT exemption? If you have a specific mobility problem and you need special equipment to live independently, you may be able to apply for VAT relief when buying a chair.
  • What features do you want? Some chairs come with additional features - for example, a backup battery to help you out in the event of a power cut, or an anti-crush mechanism to prevent fingers from getting caught.

Head to our in-depth article on how to buy the best riser recliner chair for more detail on all these factors and our expert shopping tips.