Rise and Recline Chair

Rise and Recline Chairs for Mobility – All You Need to Know

Living Room

A rise and recline chair is a mobility chair that rises up and tilts to help it users to stand up from a seated position. They are also known as riser recliner chairs, chairs for the elderly, riser chairs and electric mobility chairs.

What is a rise and recline chair and how does it work

A rise recliner chair is an electrically operated armchair that both reclines and rises. The backrest reclines to provide a resting position for the user and an adjustable footrest enables the user to lift their feet. The whole chair is on a riser mechanism that lifts the whole chair upwards and then tilts forward to enable the user to get in and out of the chair easily.

These functions make rise and recline chairs an ideal choice for the elderly, disabled and infirm. The reclined positions enable you to rest comfortably and the riser function provides mobility assistance. The essential function of rise recline chairs are the same, however there are some differences based on the care requirements and dependency of the user.

The different types of chair

Comfort & Mobility

Comfort Rise Recline Chair This is the most popular and common type of riser recliner chair. They are designed to provide comfort and mobility assistance for elderly and disabled people in their own homes. They are usually upholstered in a cloth/fabric or leather and are constructed to withstand domestic use.

The foam padding and upholstery on these chairs are primarily for comfort and usually do not have any pressure relieving or skin sensitive properties. Some comfort and mobility riser recliners have features such as wall hugging to save space, making them an ideal choice for smaller rooms in the home.

You can find chairs like these in mobility shops, home furniture showrooms and also online. Prices range from £250 right up to £5,000+. The quality of construction and the chairs’ functionality are the main price determiners. Most suppliers will offer a service where they come and fit the chair in your home and also demonstrate how to use it.

Specialist Care & Support

Specialist Rise Recline Chair

Specialist care rise and recline chairs are designed to accommodate users with specialist and complex care needs. They offer posture control and advanced pressure relief for users with severely restricted mobility. The chairs are often portable chairs to ease patient transfer and functions are usually operated by the carer/assistant.

Specialist care chairs are designed and constructed for heavy use environments such as care homes, hospitals and disability units. Upholstery is waterproof to facilitate users with incontinence and the chairs are also easy to clean and maintain. They are priced from £1,000 to £12,000+ depending on their build quality, upholstery and ability to facilitate complex needs.

Bariatric & Extra Wide

Bariatric Rise Recline ChairBariatric and extra wide riser recliner chairs are designed for large users who have special weight or sizing requirements. These chairs are robustly constructed and are designed to withstand excessive user weight. Electric motors are powerful and enduring to ensure they can recline and raise the user effectively.

Upholstery varies but padding is usually pressure relieving as users tend to spend long periods of time in the chair without movement. Prices range from £3,000 to £12,000+ and are usually distinguished by their safe working load and maximum user weight capacity.

Single motor, dual motor and triple motor chairs

If you’ve been looking around at different rise and recline chairs, you will notice most designs have a single motor or dual motor option. A single motor chair is where all the functions are operated through one motor and one set of buttons. One button reclines the backrest and raises the footrest, the other raises the backrest, drops the footrest and raises the whole chair.

A dual motor chair is where two motors operate the functions. The backrest is operated independently of the footrest and riser mechanism and as a result, there are two sets of buttons. Triple motor chairs have three sets of control buttons and you can control the backrest, footrest and riser function all independently of each other. Triple motor chairs are normally specialist care chairs for high dependency users.

Cloth/fabric vs. vinyl/leather

There are no limits on upholstery options for rise recline chairs. Options include fabrics/cloths, leathers, leatherette/faux leathers, vinyls and more. The key considerations to bear in mind are friction, comfort, cleaning and water resistance. Let’s take a look at the two main options and the points you need to consider for each:


Rise and recline chairs upholstered in a cloth/fabric offer excellent comfort and tend to have a more homely appearance. It is the most common upholstery type but you do need to ask the supplier of chair about durability and cycle testing as cheap fabrics are likely to wear quickly. Most fabrics are not water resistant and are not suitable for users who have incontinence.


Vinyls and leathers offer a practical alternative to fabrics. They are wipe-clean and easy maintenance, particularly useful for incontinent users. Good quality faux leathers or genuine leather will ensure longevity, again you must ask questions of your supplier as there is little more frustrating than a perfectly functioning chair that is let down by worn, poor-quality upholstery.