Lift Chair Buying 101:The Ultimate Lift Chair Handbook

Maintaining mobility and independence is crucial for people of all ages and abilities. However, as we age or deal with health conditions, simple daily tasks like standing up from a seated position can become challenging. This is where lift chairs, also known as power lift recliners, can help tremendously.

This guide will explore everything you need to know about lift chairs: the types of lift chairs, available features, and factors to consider before purchasing one. We will provide you with helpful information, so you can decide whether investing in a lift chair is right for you or a loved one. Click topic below to jump to section. 



What are the Types of Lift Chairs?


  • 2 reclining positions
  • Reclines from an upright position to semi-reclined position
  • Good for tv watching and reading a book
  • Ideal for people who don’t require a wide range of recline angles
  • Single Motor Only - backrest and footrest move in sync together
  • Weight capacity ranges from 300 to 350lbs



  • Affordable
  • Space Efficient
  • User-Friendly


  • Only 2 positions
  • Not Ideal for Sleeping
  • Backrest and footrest move together




  • Provides more recline angles than 2-position chairs.
  • Reclines from an upright position to about 135-160 degrees.
  • Great for watching tv, reading, talking with friends, and napping.
  • Equipped mainly with a Single Motor. Dual Motor may be available on some models (check product description for motor type)
  • Weight capacity ranges from 300 to 375lbs



  • More recline positions than 2-position
  • Can take naps in chair
  • Easy to use


  • Fewer positions than high end models
  • Equipped with Single Motor typically
  • Not Ideal for Sleeping





  • Offers the most reclining angles to provide the most comfort and customization.
  • Reclines from an upright position to about 180 degrees
  • Great for watching, reading, talking with friends, and sleeping.
  • May recline completely flat like a bed; great for night time sleeping
  • Trendelenburg position and Zero-gravity position available on some models
  • Equipped with Dual Motors
  • Higher end models may be equipped with multiple motors that control headrest and lumbar separately
  • Weight capacity ranges from 300 to 375lbs



  • Wide range of recline angles
  • More key features for comfort
  • Good for sleeping
  • Dual Motor


  • More expensive 
  • Maybe difficult to use for some users
  • Require more maintenance
  • Repairs can be more costly





    • Inspired by NASA technology to reduce gravity’s pressure on the body experienced by astronauts.
    • Elevates feet higher the heart to reduce pressure on the spine and lower back.
    • Beneficial for people with lower back and spine issues
    • Promotes better circulation; can reduce swelling and edema
    • Great for those with medical needs and various conditions
    • Equipped with Dual Motors
    • Higher end models may be equipped with multiple motors that control headrest and lumbar separately
    • Weight capacity ranges from 300 to 375lbs



    • Reduced back pain
    • Improved blood circulation
    • Relief for achy joints
    • Dual motor


    • Higher cost
    • Require more maintenance
    • May be difficult to use
    • Need ample space to recline





    • Developed from surgery medical practices, the position offers several health benefits
    • Elevates feet above the head, aiding blood flow to heart and possibly reducing leg swelling.
    • Ideal for those with circulatory issues, aiding in promoting blood circulation throughout the body.
    • May help breathing by expanding lung capacity
    • Beneficial to individuals with specific medical requirements
    • Zero gravity position may be included on some models. Check product description to confirm
    • Equipped with Dual Motors
    • Higher end models may be equipped with multiple motors that control headrest and lumbar separately
    • Weight capacity ranges from 300 to 375lbs



    • Reduced leg swelling
    • Improved respiratory function
    • Relief on joint pain
    • Improved circulation


    • Higher cost
    • Limited availability
    • Require more maintenance
    • Potential for misuse leading to injury





    • Created to support heavier individuals with its higher weight capacities.
    • Built with sturdier frames and components that ensure stability and durability for heavier users.
    • Equipped with Single motor or Dual motor
    • Weight capacity ranges from 375 to 700lbs



    • Higher weight capacity
    • Sturdy frame and construction
    • Ample cushioning and padding
    • Large seat width


    • More expensive
    • Limited Availability
    • Require more maintenance
    • Repairs can be more costly



      Motor Types

      Lift chairs are designed with a variety of motors to cater to the users needs and medical condition.


      • Backrest and footrest move in sync together controlled by one motor.
      • Good for tv watching, reading, napping, and lounging back.
      • Cheaper, easier to use, and may require less maintenance due to fewer moving parts.
      • Lack customization if you want to control the backrest and footrest separately.
      • Available on 2-position chairs, most 3-position chairs come with single motor (check model for motor type)



      • Budget-Friendly
      • Space Efficient
      • User-Friendly


      • Limited Positions
      • Not Ideal for Sleeping
      • Backrest and footrest move together




      DUAL MOTOR:  

      • Backrest and footrest are controlled separately with two motors.
      • Great for tv watching, reading, talking with friends, and sleeping
      • Beneficial for those with medical conditions and need more customization
      • Offers more key features than single motor
      • Some models may be equipped with additional motors to control headrest and lumbar region
      • Available on Infinite position and Zero Gravity chairs; some 3-position chairs (check model for motor type)



      • Backrest and footrest controlled separately
      • Beneficial for medical issues
      • Ideal for sleeping
      • Offers more key features


      • More expensive
      • Require more maintenance
      • Repairs can be costly



      • Equipped with 3 or more motors for the most customization and comfort
      • Additional motors adjust headrest, lumbar region, and provide tilt function
      • Backrest and footrest are controlled separately.
      • Great for tv watching, reading, talking with friends, lounging back, and night-time sleeping
      • Beneficial for those who require specific positioning and need more customization for more support
      • Offers more key features than single motor and dual motor
      • May be available on Infinite position and Zero Gravity chairs (check model for motor type)



      • Promotes better posture reducing discomfort
      • Improves blood circulation
      • Aids in more quality sleep
      • Wide range of recline positions


      • Higher cost
      • Limited availability
      • Can be difficult to use for some users
      • Require more maintenance due to more moving parts


      Key Features and Benefits

      Lift chairs are equipped with various features to suit a person's needs. See below for the features available for lift chairs:

      MULTIPLE RECLINE OPTIONS:  Provides a wide range of reclining options from upright  to lying completely flat to reduce stress and pressure on the body. May feature Zero-gravity and Trendelenburg position to cater to medical issues.

      VARIETY OF MATERIALS:  Styles ranging from plush padded fabrics to faux leather to ensure your seating experience is enjoyable and comfortable.

      ADJUSTABLE HEADREST: Can be raised or lowered to support the user’s neck and head. Some models may allow the headrest to be tilted and angled for optimal support

      POWER LUMBAR SUPPORT: Electronic mechanism that allows the user to adjust the lumbar region which can be raised or lowered to provide support for the lower back and spine. May also be able to adjust the firmness of the cushion with some models

      HEAT AND MASSAGE: Uses warmth and vibrations to target sore muscles, joints, and promote better blood circulation.

      ADJUSTABLE ARMRESTSAdjust the chair to your liking by raising, lowering, or changing the angle of the armrest for added support. serves as extra leverage to help users when getting out of chair

      EXTENDED FOOTREST: Provides additional length to the footrest that can be adjusted to provide more leg support; useful for taller individuals

      CUP HOLDERS: Convenient spot to store drinks to prevent spillage and keep your drinks within an arm’s reach; serves as storage for small items like remotes and reading glasses.

      POCKETS: Side pockets provide easy to access storage for magazines, books, electronics, or remotes.

      SAFETY FEATURES: Design elements like anti-skid feet and locking casters prevent lift chairs from moving when the user is transitioning in or out of the chair. Emergency controls stop the operation of the chair to prevent injuries if an obstruction is detected.

      BATTERY BACKUP: Ensures continued operation during power outages and emergencies using batteries so user isn’t stuck in the chair.

      Tips for Selecting a Lift Chair

      Ready to invest in a lift chair? When considering purchasing a lift chair, there are several important factors to consider. Before making a decision consider these key points:


      • Determine a reasonable budget you are willing to invest in your chair
      • Research the special features you require, as these may increase your budget
      • Consider the budget you may need for future repairs


      • Measure the available space in the room where the chair will be placed
      • Consider the dimensions of the chair, including width, depth, and height when fully reclined
      • Ensure the lift chair fits comfortably in the designated area and allows for easy movement


      • Determine the primary use of the lift chair
      • Decide on the type of lift chair that aligns with your needs: two-position, three-position, infinite-position, zero-gravity, or heavy-duty chair
      • Select a chair that aligns with your medical condition, such as arthritis, respiratory issues, post-surgery recovery, or other issues


      • Decide on the motor type your require based on your needs: single motor, dual motor, or multiple motors
      • Single motors are more affordable and easier to operate but don’t allow independent control of footrest and backrest
      • Dual motors offer specific customization and allow independent control of backrest and footrest
      • Multiple motors allow for adjustable control of the headrest and lumbar region along with independent control of backrest and footrest


      • Check the weight capacity of the lift chair to ensure it can safely support the intended user
      • Consider both the individual's current weight and any potential weight fluctuations in the future
      • Heavy-duty models are available for heavier users who need more support


      • Look for a lift chair that offers ample padding and cushioning for optimal comfort.
      • Check for features like lumbar support, adjustable headrests and armrest, extended footrest
      • Ensure the seat depth, width, and height suit the intended user's body size and proportions
      • Determine if heat and massage functions are necessary to suit your medical and mobility needs


      • Consider the upholstery material options, such as vinyl, leather, microfiber, plush fabrics, and other materials
      • Evaluate the durability, comfort, and ease of cleaning of the chosen upholstery
      • Assess the chair's design, color, and overall aesthetic to ensure it complements your home decor


      • Check warranty coverage for the lift mechanism, parts, and labor
      • Inquire about the availability of extended warranties for additional coverage
      • Examine if the chair has a battery backup system in case of power outages

      Top 10 FAQ

      1. How do lift chairs work?

      A lift chair, also called a power lift recliner, is a special chair designed to help people with limited mobility sit down and stand up easily, providing comfort, safety, and health benefits. With its powered lift mechanism, the lift chair smoothly lifts the user from a seated to a standing position, avoiding the struggle of getting out of low sitting furniture. This makes it perfect for seniors, post-surgery recovery patients, and people with arthritis or joint pain.

      2. Can I test out a lift chair?

      Some retailers allow you to test out lift chairs in person, however it's important to note that many stores, like Lift Chair Heaven, operate exclusively online. This approach helps keep prices lower because online-only retailers have fewer operating expenses compared to brick-and-mortar stores. Although you may not have the opportunity try out a lift chair in person online stores often provide detailed product descriptions, customer reviews, and flexible return policies to ensure you're satisfied with your purchase.

      3. Can i rent a lift chair?

      Rental lift chairs are available at various stores, especially those specializing in medical equipment or mobility aids. You can explore local medical supply stores, furniture rental outlets, or online platforms that offer rental services. However, it's essential to search in your specific area to find rental options that are convenient for you. While Lift Chair Heaven doesn't provide rental services, we offer a wide range of new lift chairs for purchase. So if you're looking to buy a new lift chair, Lift Chair Heaven is an excellent option, but for rentals, you'll want to explore other local or online rental providers.

      4. How much do lift chairs cost?

      Lift chairs range in price from $300 to $5000. More affordable lift chairs provide essential lifting functions, while higher-end versions include heat/massage, premium fabrics, higher weight capacities, and other amazing features. Search for sales, discount codes, and free shipping to save money on your purchase.  Remember to focus on quality as this is an investment into your health for years to come.

      5. How much weight can a lift chair hold?

      Standard lift chairs support 300lbs, while heavy-duty models can hold up to 700lbs. Evaluate your weight and the chair’s maximum capacity to ensure safe operation. Measure hip width as well to guarantee a comfortable fit.

      6. Can you sleep in a lift chair?

      Lift chairs are safe for napping and sleeping overnight in the reclined position depending on the lift chair type. Infinite position and Zero-gravity chairs are more suitable for night-time sleeping as they provide more support and comfort features. Some lift chairs recline completely flat creating a bed-like feeling. Choose a model with an extended footrest to provide full body support.

      7. Do lift chairs come in different sizes?

      Yes, lift chairs come in various sizes, from petite, standard, large size, heavy duty (extra wide). Measure hip width while seated and shoulder width to choose adequate seat dimensions. Tall and short sizes are also available.

      8. How long do lift chairs last?

      The lifespan of lift chairs can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of construction, frequency of use, and maintenance. With proper maintenance, quality lift chairs last 5-10 years with regular daily use. Higher-end models with sturdy steel frames and motors may function up to 10 years. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning, lubricating moving parts, and annual servicing can help prolong the lifespan of a lift chair.

      9. How do I clean and maintain a lift chair?

      To clean and maintain a lift chair, start by wiping down the fabric or upholstery with a mild soap and water solution. Check the manufacturer's instructions for specific cleaning recommendations. Regularly inspect and maintain the mechanical components, ensuring smooth operation and tightening any loose screws. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help prolong the lifespan of your lift chair and keep it in optimal condition. Additionally, schedule periodic servicing by a qualified technician at least once a year to perform in-depth inspections, diagnose potential electrical issues, and provide expert repairs if necessary.

      10. Does insurance cover lift chairs?

      Sometimes, lift chairs are covered by Medicare or insurance plans if medically necessary. Have your doctor write a prescription explaining your condition and need for a lift chair. File claims and appeal denials. Veterans can often get lift chairs through the VA medical benefit.

      Setting Up Your Lift Chair

      Once you’ve purchased your lift chair, proper setup helps ensure safe operation. Here are some tips:

      • Review the product manual and follow all assembly instructions carefully.
      • Position the chair near an electrical outlet and ensure cords are out of the way.
      • Attach the back cushion and any accessories like heating pads or massage units.
      • Adjust the chair to the appropriate height and recline angle for the user.
      • Use the remote to test all positions and to ensure the lift function works properly.
      • Assist users the first few times until they can operate the remote.
      • Keep the manual handy for troubleshooting or contacting customer service if needed.
      • Maintain the chair properly so it functions correctly for years to come.

      Maintaining Your Lift Chair

      Simple maintenance keeps your lift chair functioning properly and extends its lifespan. Here are some tips:

      • Vacuum the chair regularly to remove dirt and crumbs.
      • Spot clean upholstery as needed using mild soap and water.
      • Disconnect the chair when cleaning to prevent electrical hazards.
      • Keep the lifting mechanism free of obstructions.
      • Check for damages and test the lift regularly to spot any issues.
      • Tighten loose screws, nuts, and bolts on frames when necessary.
      • Lubricate movable parts like hinges if squeaking develops.
      • Avoid exposing the lift chair to moisture or extreme temperatures

      For complex repairs, contact the dealer or manufacturer to troubleshoot problems. Schedule professional tune-ups yearly to keep components clean, tight, and functional.

      If you have any questions or require further assistance, feel free to email us at