So, you are interested in buying a lift chair—great choice! You will love how easy it is to get up and down from a sitting or standing position. No more straining your legs and clutching to the arm rests like your life depends on it. But as you started shopping for a lift chair, you’ve probably noticed that there are so many of them! Some have “zero gravity” features, others boast how soft and comfortable they are—but which one should you choose? We get this question a lot in our Maryland lift chair store. And here are some of the tips we give our customers on what NOT to do when buying a lift chair.
Misunderstanding the Positions
Probably the first thing you should look at when comparing different lift chairs is the number of positions. The most basic lift chair has two positions: the default seated position and the reclined position. Notice that the raised/lifted position is not counted in this classification because it’s a given for all lift chairs. Also keep in mind that a 2-position lift chair reclines to only about 45 degrees, which many manufacturers refer to as “TV recline.” If you want your lift chair to recline fully, then you would need a 3-position lift chair or an infinite-position one.
Getting the Wrong Foot Rest
All lift chairs come with a foot rest, but the way it’s engaged is different. Two-position and 3-position lift chairs, for example, have a single motor that operates both the back and the foot rest. Therefore, you can’t use one without using the other. This prevents you from sitting straight with the foot rest up or reclining with the foot rest down. It may not sound like a big deal, but if your doctor has recommended you to maintain certain body positions, the wrong foot rest can be a problem. In an infinite-position lift chair, on the other hand, the foot rest and the back of the chair are operated by two separate motors. This allows for such unique combinations as lifting your feet above your heart, which can be good for improving circulation in your extremities.
Misjudging the Size
The size of your lift chair should be appropriate for your body size. If the chair is too deep or too short, your body won’t be positioned right on it and you won’t be able to take advantage of all the benefits it has to offer. Your feet should touch the ground in the seated position while your back is all the way against the back rest. Unfortunately, this is hard to judge when you are shopping online, so it may be a better idea to visit a local mobility showroom instead. Another reason to carefully evaluate the size of the chair is to make sure it fits in your dedicated space. Don’t forget that a lift chair will recline back and the foot rest will expand forward, so you will need more room than the lift chair initially takes up.
Overlooking the Material
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the features and overlook what the chair is actually made of. For some people this may not be important, but for someone who sweats a lot or suffers from incontinence, picking the right material is a big deal. Leather is easier to clean up, but it can also be cold to touch and is not best for sleeping on. Microfiber is another upholstery fabric to consider.
Forgetting About Extra Features
A lift chair is designed to do one thing, and it does it well: helping you avoid strain and pain when sitting down or standing up. However, many modern lift chairs also come with other luxury features, such as massage or heated seats. These features could make a huge difference in the quality of life for some individuals, so let’s not forget they exist and are probably within your price range! Fortunately, many of these mistakes can be easily avoided if you shop for your lift chair in our Hanover, MD lift chair store and consult with one of our certified aging in place specialists. Give us a call to schedule a visit or simply stop by our showroom!