Guide, Riser Recliner Chairs

Everything to consider when looking for a Riser Recliner Chair

What does Riser Recliner Chair really mean?

A Riser Recliner Chair is designed primarily to tackle potential health problems that can come from sitting in a chair. This mainly means too much pressure being placed on the wrong places and cutting off circulation or problems with standing up from the chair or sitting down in it, and a few other things. Riser Recliner chairs will allow you to raise and lower your legs, your back and, on some, your head. They also can assist in standing up and sitting down by raising the whole seat forwards to get you closer to a standing position.

Do I need one?

For some, a Riser Recliner Chair is a nice luxury feel comfier when watching the telly and for others it's a real necessity that will prevent more serious health issues, like those previously mentioned. It's best to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do you struggle to get out of and into a chair?
  • Have you been advised to elevate your legs to help with circulation?
  • Do you experience pain and need to change position when sitting?
  • Do you tend to sit for long periods of time?

If you've thought yes in response to any of these then you should probably get a Riser Recliner Chair and the amount of times you thought yes to these questions is a good indicator of how much to spend...

How much should I spend?

Riser Recliner Chairs will vary from £500/600 to around £1500 for basic entry level and will be more than £1500 for more prescriptive healthcare-focused chairs.

What are the different types?


Ideal for certain health problems.

This means the angle between the seat and backrest remains the same as the leg rests raises and the chair reclines. This is very important for those who suffer with painful hip or back conditions. This version also allows you to raise your ankles higher than your hips so is particularly good for circulation or swelling problems.

Wall Hugger

Ideal for tight spaces.

This version moves in the same way as the Tilt-in-Space version but operates over its own axis which allows it to work in tighter spaces.


Less advanced than the other options but ideal for those who find them uncomfortable.

How many motors and what does that mean?

The amount of motors a Riser Recliner Chair can have will vary between 1-4, I think this is easiest to think about as levels of ability to position you. In reality it means the amount of separate functions of rise/recline you can control individually.

Single Motor

Ideal for those with no relevant health issues and a smaller budget.

A single motor chair can still raise leg rest and recline the backrest however you can't do that individually and have the leg rest raised but back rest still up.

Dual Motor

Ideal for those with less serious relevant health issues and a smaller budget, or no relevant health issues and a bigger budget.

This is the most popular version so you're sure to have a lot more options when it comes to styles. This works so that you can rise and recline the leg rest and back rest individually and position them at whatever angle is most comfortable for you.

Triple Motor and the extra options

Ideal for those with moderate relevant health issues or none and a bigger budget.

This can really mean a couple of different things. It will always mean the same as dual motor but with extra and it's the extra that differs:

Lumbar support

Either in the form of an air bladder you can expand and deflate with a button or an added rise/recline function to control the angle of your back curve. This is ideal for those with lower back issues of any kind or general back pain.

A headrest rise/recline function

This will allow for better neck support so is ideal for those with a range of upper back/neck issues.

Vertical raise/lower function

A motor that raises or lowers the chair, this is ideal for those who struggle with standing up from or getting into the chair.

Quadruple Motor

Ideal for those with more serious relevant health issues or none and a big budget for maximum comfort.

This will have at least 2 or all of the previously mentioned extras as well as everything a dual motor has and these are more popular than triple motor versions but also the most expensive. This would really be a requirement for those with more serious relevant health issues but more those with moderate would definitely be worth considering.

An important thing to remember

Whilst looking at how many motors is ideal for you, it's important to consider longevity. 'How long do you intend to use the same chair and is there a change of increasing requirements?' is something you should ask yourself because an extra couple of hundred pounds will be better to spend than needing to buy a replacement chair before your first has lived a full life.

Does your weight matter?

All chairs will have a maximum weight limit so it is important to check this before buying one. You want to choose a chair that comfortably allows your current weight whilst taking into account changes over time as you wouldn't want it to give way if the dog jumps on your lap.

What size do I need and how do I know I've found the right one?

The right size of chair is really important as it will affect whether you can fully use it within the space available and, most importantly, whether the benefits that come from good positioning will be negated by the chair being the wrong size. Here's how you know if it's right:

Before going to a shop to try some out in person, measure the space available and write this down, as salespeople will need to know in order to find what is available for you;

Seat Height

You should be able to sit with your hips and knees bent at 90 degrees with your feet flat on the floor;

Make sure you also wear the footwear and clothes you will be wearing at home;

Seat Depth

You should have your bum all the way at the back without having to wriggle to get there;

You want a 1 inch gap ideally between the back of your knees and the seat cushion;

Seat Width

Ideally want enough space to be able to put your hands down on the seat to the side of your legs but also still be able to easily use the armrests to help yourself up.

Other details

The back height of the chair should be level with the top of your head. Your elbows need to be able to rest comfortably on the armrests without your shoulders being hunched. Ideally you also want a 2 foot gap between the chair and the wall and if this isn't possible a wall hugger option is most likely necessary.

What backrest styles can I choose from?

It's important to understand that the style doesn't just affect appearance but also comfort in certain areas.

Waterfall back

This is just like three horizontal cushions behind your back that are usually adjustable so extra padding can be added for areas where it's needed for you.

Lateral Back

This is supportive and easily adaptable to your individual needs.

Plain Back

Can either be soft or firm. The softer the backrest usually means more support but you don't want a chair that is so soft you can feel the frame.

There are various other styles available such as Button Back and Split Back but these are primarily what you will see.

What else to consider.

We recommend you speak to your GP, Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist as they will know how to accommodate for your needs the best and can give you advice on this. Also speak with your care professionals and close family or friends as they will best know your case history.


We do offer a range of Riser Recliner Chairs but whether or not you look to buy from us we are happy to give you some free advice over the phone as to what is best for you or to answer any questions not covered in this blog.

Our range of Riser Recliner Chairs

01572 755204



Joe Johnson-Copas