When considering the purchase of a lift chair, there are several things to keep in mind. It’s not just as simple as seeing a chair you like and ordering it. Here at All-Star Medical, we want to help by providing you with the information you will need to make the best choice.
Getting the right chair for you is all about the numbers, measurements to be specific. There are several measurements that you will need to have in hand before you order a new lift chair. Having these numbers will ensure that your chair is a good fit and won’t cause any harm to you.
Lift chairs all have weight limits assigned to each model. If your weight falls close to the weight limit for the chair you are interested in, it is recommended that you choose the larger capacity chair. This will keep the warranty valid and prevent undo wear and tear on a model with motors designed to support less weight.
- Seat Width
For this measurement and the following measurements, it is important that you take them while seated comfortably. When you sit, your hips naturally spread wider than when you are standing, and your legs will be bent and that will affect the over length. Measure the width of your hips while seated from one side to the other. Try to be as accurate as you can be. A chair that is too wide can allow for posture problems like leaning to one side, and too narrow of a seat with be uncomfortable and put pressure on the arms of the chair. This could cause them to loosen over time, making the chair unstable.
- Seat Depth
This measurement will be from the bottom of the back of the knee to the base of your back. To ensure a correct fit you should be able to sit down and have your back touch the back of the seat and not have to wiggle to get back. Too short of a seat will, in turn, not offer enough thigh support.
- Floor to Seat Height
While seated, measure from the bottom of your foot to the back of the knee. When seated, your feet should comfortably reach the floor while your back is resting against the back of the chair.
- Size of the Room
The final, and one of the most important measurements, is the size of the area available for the chair. You will want to take into consideration how much room you will need when the chair is fully reclined. You will want to allow for several inches of clearance on either side of the chair so that when it goes into standing position it won’t catch on any tables or other furniture. Take the time to plan your room and measure for your chair before picking one out. They are very heavy and though you may get free delivery, it may cost you to have someone pick it up if you need to return it for being too big.
The biggest mistake you can make is to go out and buy a power lift chair on a whim and not doing your homework first, especially if it is for an elderly family member. If you buy the wrong sized chair, the extra effort it takes for them to get to and stay in a comfortable position can cause physical harm including undo back pain. Taking a few moments and gathering the measurements noted here will help ensure a proper, comfortable fit.
Aside from size, there are many other options available when shopping for a chair. One option you will have to choose from is fabric type and color. There are countless fabric/color combinations to choose from but know that this can affect the overall price of the chair. While leather is a popular option given that it is durable and easy to clean, it may not be comfortable for those who may sweat more or run hotter. Leather can stick to the skin and blankets will slide off. This may cause a fall risk if you have a blanket between you and the leather chair and try to stand up. There are fabrics, like microsuede and faux leather, that look similar to leather, are sturdy and come in a variety of colors but offer the comfort of breathable fabric.
This will be one of the first questions you will be asked when shopping for a lift chair. Depending on what you want your chair to do, you will need to identify if you want one motor, two or more.
- One Motor
Chairs with one motor work with a scissor like mechanism. The back and the footrest work together. One cannot be moved without moving the other. These chairs come with a more basic remote that can be easier to use for those that have dementia or related cognitive deficits. Single motor chairs still offer the standing feature, and a wedge can be used to elevate legs if the user wants to sit more upright.
- Two Motor
These chairs will allow you to have a more custom position for your chair. With an additional motor, the footrest and back can move independent of each other. You can have your feet raised while sitting upright. Like the single motor chairs, they move into full standing position. Though, with the added options comes more buttons on the remote. However, some of the newer models offer a memory where you can save positions, thus eliminating the need to fiddle with numerous buttons to get just the right fit.
- Multiple Motors
Additional motors can be added to chairs depending on the options that are important to you. Options like adjustable lumbar support, headrest, and tilt of seating angle. These all work to offer you a more comfortable and customized seating experience. These chairs may be called Zero Gravity chairs since the tilt option can give you the sensation of weightlessness.
At All-Star Medical, we know our chairs inside and out. We have the largest in-store selection of lift chairs, and our staff are ready to help you find exactly what you are looking for. If you feel you have further questions, check out our FAQ page and our video library for videos featuring different lift chair models. We also have a video on the difference between one and two motor chairs. Come in to either of our locations, try the chairs for yourself and we will help you find the right fit.