What is a lift chair?

Posted by Administrator on 10/24/2011 to * CHAIR GUIDE

When searching to find your ideal lift chair, you realize that it is not as easy as you assumed with so many options available in the market. You can still make this task easier by knowing the basics of a lift chair and its functioning.

 “What exactly is a lift chair?” Its major function is to raise the person to a standing position and also lower them into a sitting position safely. They can offer more independence and freedom in their day-to-day living. The lift chair also functions like a recliner, however it is much for advanced then just a recliner. With added features, it lets the person stand on their own, so it is an important and necessary aid that helps fragile persons to live independently. Along with it very own functions, lift chairs also work as recliners. How lift chairs differ from the standard sitting chairs is an electric motor is used to control the backrest and the footrest, this enables users to adjust the chair to their own comfortable seating position.

A lift chair utilizes a strong lifting mechanism at its base to raise the chair and the person. When the chair is fully raised, users can exit on their feet. As different types of lifting systems are used, you need to know which the safer option for you or your loved one.

Lift chairs are classified based on their degree of reclining; chairs that can recline up to 45 degree horizontally (2 position lift chairs), chairs completely reclining horizontally (3 position lift chairs), the Wall Hugger (wall away or zero wall) lift chairs can be placed about four inches from a wall. This lift chair glides forward into the room to fully recline, and completely reclining chairs with separately controlled footrests (infinite or sleeper position lift chairs). Of these four types it is obvious that the forth type lift chair is the most advanced and have more features to offer extra comfort to you.

More helpful information:

Weight Capacity


Chairs do have a weight capacity. It’s what determines the safety and durability of the chair. Most standard chairs are rated for users of or under 375 lbs.

If you weigh more than, exactly, or very close to 375 lbs then please don't buy a chair or rent a chair that is rated for users who weigh 375 or under 375 lbs. If you don't get a chair that is rated for your weight then you might break the chair (waste of money), it might not be powerful enough to lift you or support you and most importantly you might hurt yourself (this should be your primary concern to begin with!).



Leg Room



Most people like it when they can rest their feet completely on the footrest of the chair. It gives more support that way and it avoids putting all the pressure on your heels. There are a few footrests that are separate from the seat of the chair, so you will have a minor gap between the seat and the footrest. Then you have chairs that have the footrest attached to the seat (with fabric and cushion, called a Chaise Pad).

For the taller person, there are lift chairs designed just for this also. You will find them listed in the Options as “Tall”. Typically, they are for people who are over 6’ and need a higher back, deeper seat and a special leg extension on the end of the footrest.



Different body shapes and sizes



This is very important. No one has the same kind of body. There are three things to keep in mind, about size, when you buy a lift chair.


1. Height of the back - If the height of the back is more than what you need then there is a high likelihood that your head will be pushed forward when you sit in it. Like those annoying head rests on car seats. If that doesn't bother you then don't worry about the size of the back... the more the better.


2. Width of the seat - There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting in a chair which is barely fitting you. Its not very comfortable when the lift chair is so narrow that you have to squeeze into it or struggle to get out of it. Sitting in a chair that is too wide for you can be equally uncomfortable also. In a chair that is too wide your arms can't rest on the armrests in their natural comfortable position. Imagine sitting in a chair where you can only have your hands or wrists resting on the arm rests.  A suggestion is get a chair with the seat just wide enough that you have a couple of inches to spare on either side of your hips.


3. Height of the chair - this is about how high the seat of the chair is off the ground. Some people like to have their feet touch the ground when they are sitting in a chair and some like to scoot into a chair with the back of their feet resting on the cushion instead. More clearly, this is the distance from under your knee to the ground.

Our staff at LiftChairsRus is always here to answer your questions and help you with your purchase. 

We understand that  buying a lift chair is an important decision for both physical and financial reason. We are here to help you.


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