Selecting the Right Type of Lift Chair and Features for Your Needs

by Medical XPress

Many elderly individuals struggle to get up from a seated position. They may require the help of a cane, or assistance from another person to pull themselves back to their feet. But when another person is not around, and you don’t want to rely on a mobility device to stand up, there is another option available—lift chairs. Here’s what you need to know about lift chairs, the different types available, and key features to consider to ensure you’re selecting the right lift chair for your needs.

What Is a Lift Chair?

A lift chair is a mechanically powered armchair that is designed to help you stand up from a seated position. With the press of a button, this chair will slowly tilt upward, and help you get into a position where you can comfortably stand up on your own.

Types of Lift Chairs

There are generally three different types of lift chairs, differentiated by how much they can recline, their recline mechanism, and the position of the chair’s footrest:

1. Two-Position Lift Chairs - These chairs can recline up to 45 degrees. This is a comfortable position for many people to read or watch TV in.

2. Three-Position Lift Chairs - Three-position lift chairs recline more than two-position chairs, and can reach a nearly flat position—with the ability to stop at any degree between nearly-flat and upright. This means you can comfortably recline to watch the television or read a book, as well as putting the chair all the way back for a comfortable nap.

3. Infinite Lift Chairs - Also referred to as zero-gravity or full recline chairs, infinite lift chairs can recline to a fully flat position, with the backrest parallel to the floor. They can also be reclined to any position between flat and upright. On some infinite lift chair models, the footrest can lift a person’s feet to a position above your head—known as the Trendelenburg position—or above your heart, into the zero-gravity position. These positions can be very helpful for individuals dealing with persistent back and neck pain, as they relieve pressure on the spine.

Important Features to Consider

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different types of lift chairs available, let’s discuss the different features of these chairs. Here are a couple of things you’ll want to look at, in addition to the chair’s model, to determine which lift chair is best for you:

1. BackrestThere are many different styles of backrests for armchairs, including pillow back, split back, and button back. For the most part, these different styles only matter for the purposes of appearance; you’ll simply want to select a style that best complements the décor of your home. However, it is important to note that the style of backrest can have a slight impact on the firmness of the backrest. Button back chairs tend to be firmer than other styles, while pillow back chairs are usually plusher when compared to other chairs. So, if you’re very particular about the firmness of your chair’s backrest, keep these things in mind.

2. Controls The controls on your lift chair are extremely important. You want to ensure that the mode of operation suits your needs. Most chairs have a simple control panel on the right-hand side of the chair. The simplest models will have an up and down button, which you will hold until you reach the desired position in your chair.

3. Additional Features If you’re looking for something a bit more high-end than the standard lift chair models, you can look for one with additional features like heat, massage, or position programming. Lift chairs with programming options can remember your preferred position for watching television or taking a nap; instead of holding the down button until you reach the desired position, you can press a single button once, and the chair will assume the pre-programmed position for you.

Average Cost

You now have a pretty thorough overview of different types of lift chairs, as well as the various features and options that you can choose from. So, we have now come to the question of cost. Prices for lift chairs will vary widely based on the type you choose, the features it includes, and even the upholstery you select for the chair.

Two-position lift chairs tend to be the most affordable option, with prices starting around $600. Three-position lift chairs are slightly more expensive, and typically start at about $650. Infinite lift chairs are the most expensive option, with the cheapest models usually costing about $1,100. These prices will go up as you add more features, or upgrade to a higher-end upholstery like microfiber or leather.

To learn more about lift chairs, or to take a look at our available models, stop by one of our many Texas locations today!