Whether you need a riser recliner for mobility reasons, or simply to enjoy leaning back and putting your feet up at the end of a long day, it's worth taking time to choose the best model for your needs.
While it might be tempting simply to take some measurements and order a riser recliner from a catalogue or website, we'd always recommend trying before you buy.
Once you've found the perfect fit, you can order your new chair from wherever offers the best price or most convenient delivery options.
While you can get basic riser recliner chairs for as little as £350 or so, the cheapest models are likely to be single-motor versions that don't let you control the back and footrest independently.
Typical prices for dual-motor riser recliner chairs that we've tested range from £500 to around £2,000 but don’t assume you need to fork out a fortune to sit in comfort.
Our cheapest Best Buys start from less than £1,000 - and we've found some riser recliners costing nearly twice as much that performed averagely at best in our tests.
The price you pay may also depend on the features and fabric you choose, as well as which company you buy your chair from, and it's always worth shopping around.
If you need a riser recliner chair because of a medical condition or to help you live independently at home, you may be eligible to get one through your local authority.
Different local authorities have different rules around what they'll pay for, but your first step should be to contact your local council and book an assessment.
If you have a mobility problem and you need special equipment to live independently you may also qualify for VAT exemption.
Not sure if you need a riser recliner chair yet? Use our simple checklist below to find out.
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.
Riser recliner chairs are heavy and take up a lot of room, so you need to identify a permanent position for the chair and measure up carefully before you buy.
You’ll also need to allow for a gap behind the chair so it can recline fully without any obstructions. You can check the space needed on in our riser recliner reviews under the Tech Spec 'Space required behind chair'. As a general rule of thumb make sure there's at least a 60cm/24in space.
Although some chairs allow you to lie completely flat, they're not really intended for sleeping in 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.
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 website.
Once you've found a comfortable chair that's the right size for you, ask yourself these questions to help you choose the most suitable functions:
A comfortable chair will have support in the right places.
For example, extra padding at the bottom to support your lower back, and at the top for your head. It will have a leg rest that supports your whole lower leg down to your heel and at the same height as your seat.
The chair should be soft, but not so soft that you can feel the frame.
It's important to make sure the chair's measurements are a good 'fit' for your body. Think about:
Just as you would with any other product, try out as many chairs as you can - there's nothing to stop you walking into several retailers to try out different chairs, even if you decide to have one built for you.
Disabled Living Centres (DLCs) are well worth a visit. These are a network of local centres that provide independent advice. Most are charities and may not sell chairs, but they're a good place to start to understand the range and styles offered, and to test out chairs on loan from manufacturers.
Some retailers may even come to your home, so it's worth exploring that as an option too.
If your recliner isn’t right, not only will it be uncomfortable but it could cause you physical problems. It’s important to remember that most chairs will feel comfy when you first sit on them, but to be really sure about the comfort level you need to sit in one for about an hour.
As that's not very practical in a shop or showroom, the only way you'll really be able to tell is once you're using it at home. It's wise to check that the retailer has a good returns policy, so you can get a full refund should it prove unsuitable within a certain time limit, such as 28 days.