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Types of Lift Chairs
Everything You Need to Know About Lift Chairs
- Single Motor Lift Chair
- Double Motor Lift Chair
- Triple Motor Lift Chair
- Common Features
- Top Sellers
- Choosing a Lift Chair
For anyone with mobility issues, transitioning in and out of plush, comfortable recliners can be hard or next to impossible. Lift chairs allow a person to move the chair into an upright position from which they can easily stand. Power recliners are excellent for helping individuals retain their independence and ability to move freely from sitting to standing.
There are multiple types of power lift chairs available on the market. They are separated into three main categories: chairs with one, two, or three motors. The chair's internal mechanics will determine how many and what kind of positions the recliner can achieve. Below are the most common types of recliner lift chairs
Single Motor Lift Chairs
The number of motors impacts how many positions the chair can achieve. A single motor chair will move the footrest and back of chair in unison, so when you are moving the chair back, the footrest comes up. When you are moving the chair forward to stand, the footrest goes down. The motor is strictly a matter of controlling the inner mechanism and does not, in any other way, contribute to the comfort of the lift chair. The recline feature of a single motor lift chair will not take you to a full recline either. It can only achieve about 2/3 of a fully reclined position. Since the head goes back as the feet go up, it also may put someone's head too far back when they need their feet elevated, depends on their preference. With dual motors head position can be changed independent of foot position.
Double Motor Lift Chairs
A double motor means that the footrest and chair back are not linked in movement. That means you can have any number of combinations, such as sitting up to watch television with your footrest up. This will also allow you to adjust the degree of incline independently. You can have your footrest barely up or all the way up and the back of the chair fully upright or reclined back a few degrees. These chairs have full recline capabilities as well as Trendelenburg, which is when your heals are over your heart. This is optimum to treat swelling in the lower extremities. The independent motion of the head and foot of the chair allows an infinite number of head/foot position combinations, hence the nick name infinite position chair. Some dual motor chairs also have powered lumbar and pillow options for comfort adjustments.
Triple Motor Lift Chairs
Something you can do with a three-motor chair that you cannot with the others is achieve the Twilight position, which is tilt in space. Three motors mean that you can control the footrest, back, and tilt angle of the chair. They can do everything that the dual motor chairs can do, plus Twilight. Currently the only chairs on the market that have power tilt are the Twilight chairs by Golden Technologies. This feature can achieve an even more accentuated Trendelenburg position as well as divert pressure from the bottom to the back, creating more circulation in your tush and preventing pressure sores.
Electric power recliners are designed for long periods of sitting, so they come with a number of standard features to make the user feel comfortable and fully supported. You can get add-on features in various models, some will have more options than others. The following are the most commonly found additional features.
Heat & Massage
Some chairs have controls with dozens of settings for the massage feature, which may be limited to one or more regions. For example, some have separate controls for the lumbar (lower back) area and the chair seat, while others have only the chair seat capable of giving massages. There are usually additional motors to control this feature, and safety limits like timed shut-offs are included. The same goes for the heat option. It can be in one or more areas of the chair, comes with a safety shut-off, and the intensity can be controlled by remote.
The ergonomic support provided by power lumbar electric lift chairs can help decrease back pain levels and increase comfort. Chairs that provide adjustments specifically to lumbar support can relieve pressure from the legs, hips, and lower back.
The top-rated Golden Technologies brand has a Power Pillow built into some of their chairs, allowing for independent adjustment of the head and neck. Several other brands have similar technologies built into their chairs. When combined with the power lumbar support feature, the user can mold the lift chair into a shape that alleviates body aches and pains. The head and neck articulation of the pillow is achieved through remote control.
The main choices in chair covering are faux leather and fabric. They both have benefits and drawbacks. Faux leather materials will be easier for cleaning if incontinence is an issue or if you want something that is uncomplicated to clean in the case of food or drink spills. However, if you live in a hotter climate or are prone to sweating, it can get sticky and uncomfortable. Fabric coverings are softer but also tend to stain and be harder to clean. They are also generally cheaper than faux leather and come in more color varieties.
Additional chair options that might be available from select sellers include vinyl, stain-resistant fabric, velvet, faux leather, faux suede, and plain fabric. Whichever one you choose, there are also the options of buying secondary coverings out of cotton, suede, or vinyl.
There are hundreds of models and brands to choose from when it comes to shopping for your first or next lift chair. However, some are a head above the rest, and Golden Technologies is one of those superior companies. They have excellent products that provide a perfect combination of relaxation and security. They are the only lift chair manufacture that builds their chairs to be lift chairs instead of recliners that they add a lift motor to. For that reason they hold up better than any other brand on the market. They are also assembled and operated out of the Unites States and their customer service is excellent. Below are their top-selling recliner lift chairs.
Golden Dual Motor Relaxer
One of the best electric power lift series comes from Golden Technologies and has a wide variety of sizes, coverings, and weight capacities. There are EZ sleepers as well as petite and large frame alternatives with their dual motors for greater manipulation of the chair sections. The features you will get with these recliners include those listed below.
• Power pillow
• Power lumbar
• MaxiComfort Cloud positioning
• Twilight Technology
Cloud Lift Chair
The Cloud Lift Chair comes in two available sizes, which are medium and large. There are several covering options and colors ranging from faux leather browns and grays to various fabric blues. It has a heated massage function, power pillow, power lumbar, and a wide range of position options. The Twilight Technology lets the user move the footrest and seatback to an ergonomic position that can place the feet slightly above the heart while keeping the chest upright for easier breathing and relief from apnea and other sleep issues.
How do I choose a lift chair?
You will want to focus on what you need from the chair. For example, if you have back or joint issues, then being able to maneuver the chair into whatever position is most comfortable might take priority, meaning a three-position chair could be best. If you simply need a little extra help standing up, then a two-position might be all you need. The look, feel, and additional features of your chosen chair will depend on what benefits you want to gain versus how much you are willing to pay to get them.
It might be helpful to write down a list of things you would find most useful in a lift chair and then look to see which brands and models accommodate those needs. Without a guide to go by, it can be overwhelming once you get start shopping and see the broad variety of options.
How Much Do Lift Chairs Cost?
There is a wide price range for electric lift chairs because there are many variables (e.g., size and weight capacity, number of motors, available positions, additional features such as heated massage, etc.), and that means they can be as affordable as $300-$400 or as expensive as several thousand dollars. The average cost of a lift chair is between $400 and $800
F.A.Q - Frequently Asked Questions
Do any lift chairs have a rock feature?
As a rule, lift chairs are steady and transition easily but slowly between positions to make it easier for anyone with joint or mobility issues. There are some with massage functions that might create a minor rocking motion, and it may also be possible to get custom features like rocking tracks for some lift chairs. However, the vast majority of electric power lift chairs will not have this function.
How long do lift chairs last?
Any recliner will last between one and two decades if maintained properly and not subjected to harsh treatment. Some fabrics may show wear patterns faster than others, and the final determination on how long a chair will last includes the following factors.
• The frequency of use
• How much weight it routinely holds
• How often the full extension is utilized, and the distribution of pressure and weight during this movement
The motors are also more than capable of lasting the same ten to twenty years.
Does Medicare pay for a lift chair?
If you can provide verifiable proof from your doctor that you have a medical need for a lift chair, then Medicare Part B or Medicare Advantage may cover the lifting mechanism, though it will not cover the chair's entire cost. You will want to reach out to your insurance provider to determine what specific proof they will need, who qualifies, and how much of the overall lift chair cost will be covered.
Can sleeping in a recliner hurt your back?
For some people sleeping on a bed can be difficult. Being able to relax and rejuvenate on a lift chair that is capable of tilting all the way back for a relaxing night's sleep can make a huge difference for anyone with insomnia or other sleep issues. Sleeping in a recliner is considered safe and might even benefit those who suffer from GERD, sleep apnea, and heartburn. Elevation during sleep is able to bring relief to all three of those disorders. It is also easier on the back for some people that might find it painful to climb in and out of bed.
What is a zero-gravity lift chair?
A zero-gravity chair will have three motors and can move into pretty much any desired configuration. The back, seat, and footrest can all be adjusted as needed so you can have everything parallel to the floor, resting back like a regular recliner, or upright with minimal backward tilt. There are a wide variety of positions, and if someone believes they may need to sleep in their electric lift chair for whatever reason, these are the best option since you can adjust them however you need to get comfortable.
Zero-gravity electric chairs can be manipulated to be parallel to the floor or have the feet raised above the hips while the chair is entirely flat. The footrest, back, and seat can all be lifted, raised, or lowered as needed, so there is an infinite number of positions available. This is incredibly comfortable for many people who otherwise would not be able to transition between sitting and lying down comfortably.
What is a 2 position recliner?
These are not capable of leaning back like a traditional recliner and have one motor. The back is pretty much straight, and this type of chair is best for reading. The movement allows for gradually bringing the chair up and forward, with the footrest moving down and back, to help ease the user's transition from sitting to standing.