Riser Chairs Guide – Active Mobility Ltd

Riser Chairs Guide

What is a Rise Recliner Chair

Rise recliner armchairs are there to assist you as you get into and out of your chair, they can assist raising you to a standing position so it is easier to get up from a seated position but can also raise your legs while seated, which in some cases can help with circulation. You can stop the chair in any position that suits you.

Having a comfortable armchair is an essential requirement of everyday life, particularly for those with mobility issues. Whether it’s reading, eating, watching television, or taking a nap, there are so many daily activities which require a person to be seated, and comfortably so, that choosing the right one is a big decision.

Do you need a Riser Recliner Chair?

Do you ever have difficulty getting up out of your armchair or sitting down? Have you been advised to elevate your legs to help with circulation? Do experience pain and need to change your position to get more comfortable? Do you tend to sit for long periods of time?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you would benefit from having a riser recliner chair.

Choosing your new riser Recliner Chair

Choosing your Riser Recliner Chair can initially seem an intimidating and difficult task, there are many different types available, which offers you a huge but sometimes bewildering choice. This guide will hopefully help make the process a bit easier for you.

Whenever possible, always sit in the chair you are looking to purchase for as long a period as you can in the showroom, so you can gauge if you are going to be comfortable in your new chair.

As well as thinking about the comfort a chair can provide, also consider the size of chair you need, the smoothness and volume of its motor operation, whether the upholstery will need to be easy-clean, as well as the handset’s functionality, and the different kinds of design that will make a chair fit in with your home decor.

What does all this mean? As we spend so much time seated, we should ensure that we are seated correctly, with support in the right places. Incorrect seating can cause, back and joint problems and even pressure area problems.

When choosing a chair, you should look to achieve the following: -

  • Maximum Stability
  • Provide a good, seated position
  • Maximum support for the parts of the body in contact with the chair
  • Reduce the need to keep changing positions
  • Support the hips and knees
  • Help reduce friction and shearing

What size do I need?

The right size rise recliner chair is crucial. You should be able to sit with your hips and knee joints bent at 90 degrees and your feet flat on the floor. When trying out riser chairs, wear your usual footwear you wear at home, your outdoor shoe heal may be higher which will give you the wrong seat height.  If your feet do not touch the floor this will cause to much weight on the back of your thighs. To calculate the seat height, measure the distance from the floor to the crease at the back of the knees.

The depth of the chair is also critical, make sure your bum is all the way back in the chair without having to wriggle to reach the back of the chair. You are ideally looking for a 1-inch gap between the back seat and the back of your knee, so the chair does not rub against your knees. By making sure your bum is at the back of the chair means your back is also supported without having to lean back or have cushions propping you up.

For the seat width, ideally if you can put your hands down the side of the inside of the seat this would be the ideal seat width, the width needs to be comfortable for you but not too wide that you are unable to use the armrests to help yourself up.

The back height of your chair should be level with the top of your head.

Your elbows should be able to rest comfortably on the armrest, without your shoulders being hunched.

Rise Recline chairs ideally need about a 2-foot gap, so the when the chair is reclining it doesn’t the wall etc. If space is an issue, then choose the wall hugger option, which needs less space.

Which Backrest styles?

There are four popular variations to choose from.

Waterfall, which is like three pillows on the back rest, these are adjustable so extra padding can be put in just where you personally need the support.

Button back is the traditional look.

Lateral back has supportive that are easily adaptable to your individual requirements.

Plain back, which can either be soft or firm depending on your preference. Generally, the softer the backrest, the more supportive, but it shouldn’t be so soft you can feel the frame.

The correct seating can and will enhance someone’s life, but it should never replace any mobility they have, just assist them to achieve their aim, so you can live your life your way.

Always consider getting advice from your GP, Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist, who know your condition and circumstances and can offer you a guide to your current and future needs.

Your Care professionals will know your case history and can give you advice and reassurance when making a vital purchase to improve your independence and mobility.

Does your weight make a difference?

Yes, Riser Recliner Chairs have different weight capacities. If you are a heavier person then make sure that you choose a chair that can comfortably accommodate your weight. It is always best to allow some leeway - many health conditions can cause your weight to fluctuate.

What are the different motors available?

Choose what is right for you, there are two main categories of Riser Recliners:

Different mechanisms provide the smooth movement and functionality to suit your comfort requirements and the space available.

Single Motor Tilt in Space

Great comfort plus good for circulation and pressure relief as your ankles elevate higher than the hips. Tilt in space means that the angle between the seat and the backrest remains the same, as the leg rest elevates, and the chair reclines. This is particularly important if you suffer with painful hip or back conditions. Tilt in Space also enables you to raise your legs higher than your hips, which can be beneficial for anyone with poor circulation or swelling in their legs.

Dual Motor Tilt in Space

Suitable for skeletal issues and if you need regular alterations in position. Again, as with the single tilt in space, Tilt in space means that the angle between the seat and the backrest remains the same, as the leg rest elevates, and the chair reclines. This is particularly important if you suffer with painful hip or back conditions. Tilt in Space also enables you to raise your legs higher than your hips, which can be beneficial for anyone with poor circulation or swelling in their legs.

With the Dual version you can then decide what position you want your back in, in relation to your legs. The Dual Motor Tilt in Space has become the most popular type of motor for Riser chairs.

Single Motor Wall Hugger

Designed for smaller spaces, it moves through the same motions as the Single Motor Tilt in Space but can operate in less space as it does so by cleverly operating over its own axis.

Standard Dual Motor

This movement offers independent leg rest and back rest functions and does not have tilt‐in‐space. Suitable if you cannot tolerate tilt‐in‐space. It does not elevate the ankles above the hips as the tilt‐in‐space mechanisms do.

Different mechanisms provide the functionality to suit your comfort requirements and available space.


As with many things in life, cost is always a factor. We offer a range of Riser Recliner chairs from basic entry level starting at £695 to £1495 through to Made to Measure starting from £1495 there is something for all budgets.

Brands available

We offer Riser Recliner Chairs from a range of leading manufacturers. We primarily work with Cosi Chair and Pride Chairs, for the Made to Measure Chairs we work primarily with Rise & Recline, Recliners and Repose. This in turn enables us to recommend to you the right chair for your needs, your advisor can talk you through all the pros and cons before your assessment.

Posted by

Tracy Suther