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Updated: 3 Mar 2022

How we test riser recliner chairs

We go further than anyone else when it comes to testing riser recliner chairs. Read on to find out how our Which? experts find the best chairs.
Sam Morris
Woman in riser chair tilting back

Watch our video to find out how we decide which riser recliner chairs should be named Best Buys and what you need to check before you buy one.

We’vetested riser recliner chairs from all the major UK brands to make sure you end up with a chair that’s comfortable, secure and easy to use.

Our reviews answer the most crucial questions about riser recliner chairs:

  • Will my chair be comfortable?
  • Will my chair be reliable and will the back-up battery work?
  • Will I be able to use my chair easily?
  • Should I buy it?

Find out which models give top-class results in our riser recliner chair reviews.

Video: what makes a Best Buy riser recliner chair

Will my riser recliner chair be comfortable?

Our panel of testers, all aged over 65, try out and rate each chair we test. In total, they make more than 100 checks on each chair.

Users sit in each chair for one hour, use its controls and experience its full cycle of movement and positions. They then rate the chair on a number of factors, including how comfortable it is in both the sitting and reclining positions.

To ensure that our test is fair, we check that each user’s leg measurements and weight are suited to the chair they are testing. We'll try to test a range of chair sizes including small or petite, standard and large.

Will my riser recliner chair be reliable and feel secure?

We also carry out numerous lab-based checks, measures and tests on each chair.

Tests include a back-up battery check, where we record if the chair can go from fully reclined to standing, how long that takes and whether you can do that multiple times. This is to see what would happen if the chair was reclined and needed to be raised in the event of a mains power cut. 

A speed check is also included, where we record how long it takes the chair to get from the recline position to standing.

We quiz our user panel on whether they felt the chair moved smoothly and enabled them to step out of the chair without feeling wobbly or uncertain. Some chairs have jerking movements which could leave someone lacking confidence when going to stand while others move smoothly.

These checks test how reliable and secure each chair is.

Will I be able to use my riser recliner chair easily?

Our panel of testers also rate each chair on how easy it is to use. This includes how easy each tester found the controls to operate and understand, as well as whether the chair has any handy extra features, such as illuminated buttons, to help you out.

 Should I buy it?

All of the assessments listed above go into making the final overall score for each riser recliner chair we review. Because we know that some elements are more important than others to you, we've weighted them accordingly:

  • 40% ergonomic assessments
  • 40% user score
  • 10% speed and technical ability
  • 10% features

Currently, a riser recliner chair needs a score of at least 71% to earn our Best Buy recommendation.

If you choose a Best Buy riser recliner chair, we think you’ll find it comfortable and feel secure as you change position.