September 15, 2015
After having sold lift chairs for several years, I've found there is a lot of confusion when people try to select the right lift chair for themselves or a loved one. What is a two position lift chair? What is an infinite position lift chair. Should I buy a one motor chair or a two motor chair? How do I determine the right size? My goal with this post is to answer some of these questions and make it easier to determine which lift chair is the right one for your situation.
All lift chairs are motorized (electric). A lift chair is actually a power recliner when you recline and a lift chair when you press the lift button.
Lift chairs are divided into three basic categories: 2-position chairs, 3-position chairs, and infinite position chairs. Please note these terms are a little misleading. All lift chairs can be stopped anywhere from closed to their full recline position.
2-Position: a two position chair does not fully recline. It has two basic positions: closed and open (the footrest parallel with the floor). A two position chair does not recline like a regular recliner because the back is only slightly reclined. This is the most basic (and least expensive) type of lift chair. It is good for people who need the lift function and like to put their feet up to read or watch TV. It is not a good chair for napping or sleeping.
3-position: a three position chair reclines like a regular recliner. It has three basic positions: closed, TV position (footrest parallel with the floor), and fully reclined. The back of this chair will angle back like a regular recliner but does not lay flat. It is good for reading, watching TV, relaxing, or daytime napping.
Infinite Position: Because this chair has two motors you can control the back and footrest independently. This allows you to put the chair is a wide variety of positions (“infinite positions”). These chairs will lay flat (or nearly flat) for sleeping. Infinite position chairs are ideal for people that need to spend long periods of time in their chairs and sleep overnight.
Here’s a simple chart that helps demonstrate the differences between the chairs.
The next thing to consider is size. Keep in mind these three key measurements: Seat height, seat width, and back height.
Seat height: (distance from the floor to the top of the seat) 18” is about the smallest and best for people who are relatively short. 20” is typical. Anything over 20” should only be used for taller individuals (6’ or taller).
Seat width: (width of the seat between the arms). 20” is the most common width. Anything less than 20” would be considered narrow. 22-23” is a wide seat. Seat widths go up to 27” or more for larger individuals.
Back height: (the height of the back from the floor to the top) 40-42” is most typical. Anything shorter would be better for people 5’6” or shorter. Chairs that are 44” or taller are designed for people well over 6’ tall.
The best way to determine if a lift chair will fit is to measure a chair you already own in these three key areas. Compare the chair you own to the lift chair you are considering. It will help determine if the lift chair will be a good fit (or not).
One other note: many people think a chair is too short if their feet extend past the footrest. This is not necessarily true. The footrest is designed to support your legs. You heels may extend past the footrest without the chair being too small. But if you recline the chair and find both your head and feet extend past the ends of the chair, it is too small.
If you have any questions about lift chairs, please feel free to call, email, or chat with us.
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