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Riser Recliner Buyer's Guide

October 27, 2015 -
Riser Recliner Buyer's Guide

Looking to purchase a riser recliner armchair? Unsure which features would benefit you the most? Want to find out more about the different types of chair available? Then CareCo's Riser Recliner Buyer's Guide is here to help! Find out all you need to know about riser recliners (and alternative choices) before you make a final decision.

Single Motor

If you've been carrying out your own research you'll already know that there are two different 'types' of recliner chair available - single or dual. This term refers to the number of motors fitted inside the chair's frame, with each version offering their own set of


benefits. Single motor riser recliners are incredibly simple and easy to use as many models are fitted with sleek, compact handheld remotes, typically featuring only three buttons. As the motor controls both sections of the chair the back and foot rests recline simultaneously, gently easing you into a comfortable, relaxed position perfect for watching television, reading or socialising from.

Available in a wide range of sizes, designs, fabrics and colours, one of the reasons many choose a single motor recliner over a dual motor chair is the price difference - an extra motor increases the cost.

Dual Motor

While dual motor riser recliner chairs may be slightly more expensive, they do offer an increased level of comfort. Fitted with two motors, this type of chair is able to manoeuvre the sections independently of each other, giving you a wider range of positions to choose to relax in. This function makes dual motor chairs ideal for those who suffer from issues with their joints and limbs (cramp, ache, water retention, swelling) as you're able to 'personalise' the chair's position to suit you e.g. sitting with your feet raised to relieve pressure from your legs and ankles. Furthermore, as dual motor chairs are able to recline almost completely horizontally they're ideal for those who require somewhere cosy and peaceful to take an afternoon nap. This type of chair is also a great alternative for those who're housebound but want somewhere other than their bed to relax. Typically fitted with a five or six-button remote (depending on the features included), dual motor chairs may be considered an 'upgrade' to the single motor version but are just as easy to use.


Similar to many other mobility aids, riser recliners come in a range of sizes and weight limits, so it's vital you find one suited to your body shape and type. Whether you choose one that's made to measure or a standardised model, trying out your choice of recliner in-store before making a purchase is highly recommended. With so many things to consider, what should you look out for when trying out different sizes of recliner chair?

  • Note down your measurements and compare your numbers to those given for your chosen chair. This is the best way to judge whether it's the right size for you.
  • Starting at the top of your body, your head and shoulders should feel supported by the backrest - your head shouldn't be hanging over the edge of the backrest. If your chosen chair has a 'wingback' there should be enough room either side of your shoulders to allow you to adjust yourself.
  • You should be able to lay your arms completely flat on the armrests and you should feel supported from your elbows to fingertips.
  • Your hips and buttocks should be tucked into the back of the seat and should be supported by the backrest. There shouldn't be a gap between your spine and the backrest - this shows that the chair is the wrong size for you.
  • The seat should be wide enough for you to be able to place a clenched fist either side of your body.
  • When sitting, you should be able to place two fingers behind each kneecap - this is to ensure that the seat's depth is suitable for your height/leg length.
  • You should be able to place both feet flat on the floor with your heels against the footrest.

Still unsure? Visit one of our showrooms to test a range of our riser recliners and chat with our mobility experts.


There are several different types of backrest available for you to choose from (depending on the type/brand you select).

  • Waterfall: Considered the most supportive, waterfall backrests feature sections that overlap each other, resembling a waterfall. This style normally allows the user to adjust the amount of padding inside each section to tailor it to your needs.
  • Rollback: Constructed from three or four padded sections, a rollback supports the individual parts of your back - head, shoulders, spine, hips/lumbar region.
  • Pillowback: The clue is in the name. A pillowback backrest resembles the pillow design of a sofa, ensuring your recliner will compliment your current furniture suite.
  • Buttonback: This style of backrest is inspired by traditional sofa suites and chairs, ideal for those looking for a simple, classic design.
  • Wingback: A recliner with a wingback features two 'wings' fitted to either side of the chair, designed to support your shoulders. Similar to the buttonback style, wingback chairs take inspiration from time-honoured furniture.

Extra Features

Looking for something offering a little more? Then why not consider a riser recliner with a built-in heat and massage system? Included to help relieve pain and pressure, recliners with heat and massage are ideal for those who suffer from back problems as the system works on your neck/shoulders/hips whilst you relax.


As with many other types of mobility aid, there is a huge range of accessories available for your riser recliner. From cushions and blankets to hobby aids and cleaning kits, CareCo stock a varied range of extras all suitable for use with your recliner.

Setting Up Your Life Armchair

Not for you?

If you find a riser recliner isn't for you there are plenty of other types of chair available that may be able to fulfill your requirements. Other designs include high back chairs, swivel recliners, electric recliners and manual recliners, all offering different sets of features and benefits. To view our entire range in our UK riser recliner shop.

Malcolm Harrison
Malcolm Harrison

Malcolm Harrison has been involved in the development and manufacture of rise recliner chairs for over 30 years. His knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms, not forgetting his concern for comfort, makes him our expert in this field.

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