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The internet has given us the ability to access nearly any information that we want in mere seconds. The only problem with that is, it can lead to information overload. Too much information can lead to confusion, the feeling of being overwhelmed, and indecision.
That is why we waded into the torrent of information about lift chairs and pieced together this all-in-one guide that goes over everything you need to know before making a purchase.
This is a deep dive guide that covers the basics, the advanced details and covers twelve top-of-the-line models available now. This is the last guide you will ever need on the best lift chairs for the elderly before making an informed decision for you or a senior in your family.
What is a Lift Chair?
A lift chair is a recliner-style single seat chair with a motor that helps people get back onto their feet after sitting down. They are designed to help a multitude of different people who may struggle to get back on their feet after a long sit. These kinds of people include the elderly, people recovering from recent injuries, bariatric people as well as anyone with chronic pain. These chairs give you that helping hand without the need for another person to be nearby.
This is all done via a large electric motor that is embedded within the recliner body. This motor will gently push someone sitting up and forward so that they regain their feet. It will also stay in that helpful position to help prevent falls and imbalances. The presence of the motor means that these chairs must be plugged into a wall outlet in order to get the power needed to function properly. There is also something called a “dual motor“, which is common among top-end power lift chairs, in which the second motor controls functions like massage without relying on the central lift motor.
These chairs can lift anywhere from 300lbs to 500lbs and some specially designed heavy duty models can lift as much as 600lbs. They are incredible pieces of equipment that are medically necessary for many people.
Pros & Cons of Lift Chairs for Seniors
Lift chairs are excellent tools that can help people reclaim much needed freedom and independence in their lives but they are not completely without fault. Here are some of the biggest upsides and drawbacks to lift chairs.
- Increases independence
- Helps with mobility
- Can double as a standard recliner
- Options and extras can give a plethora of added benefits
- Can be expensive
- Needs a nearby power outlet
- Motor sometimes needs service or replacement
At a Glance: The Best Lift Chairs for Seniors
Best Lift Chairs For Seniors Available Right Now
Best Lift Chair for Seniors (Overall):
|Mcombo Large Power Lift Recliner Chair|
We love the Mcombo chairs for their number of features and their enhanced comfort. When it comes to leather chairs, they should be plush and plump, and easy to clean (you might even want to sleep in them!). That is what you get with the Mcombo. This chair has the classic look of an old leather recliner but it is also packed with hidden modern features under the surface. It can lift 320lbs and features things like handy USB charging outlets for your smartphone and other devices. The padded headrest is large and feels great on the head and neck and adds to the over-plump appeal of this chair.
Best Lift Chair for Seniors (Budget):
|Esright Sleeper Chair|
Features and Benefits:
If you’re a fan of the Zero-Gravity recline position, this affordable chair is for you. It reclines to 150 degrees, lifting your knees just above your heart and evenly distributing your weight across your entire back. Enjoy TV, a book, or a long nap feeling like you’re weightless. When you wake up? You’ll feel refreshed, more pain-free, and ready to get back to living.
This chair also has the massage and heat functions that seem to be more or less standard on lift chairs these days. You can get a full-body massage while you unwind in front of the TV- it’s convenient, helpful, and can even prevent pressure sores from forming!
With a weight limit of 330 pounds, this chair is also great for heavier users even though it isn’t technically a bariatric chair. Finally, the upholstery on the Esright Sleeper Chair, while it isn’t genuine leather, is of higher quality than other budget chairs you’ll find. All things considered, it’s a high-functioning chair that could easily be worth $200-300 more!
- Affordable, less than $500
- Great for zero-gravity reclining/sleeping
- Soft, plush headrest and backrest
- Takes a long time to assemble
- Not space-saving
Who It’s Best For?
Any senior between 5’1” and 5’9” (the manufacturer’s recommended heights) can get a lot out of this chair. It works exceptionally well, has all the features you’d expect, and should last for quite a long time before it needs to be upgraded. Whether you use it for short-term recovery or sleep on it every night, this functional and inexpensive chair is a great option indeed!
Best Lift Chair for Seniors (Top Features):
|Irene House Dual Okin Motor Powe Lift Chair|
Features and Benefits:
Dual motor-lift chairs are sought after by many seniors because they allow the user to control the movement of the backrest and footrest independently from each other. The Irene House lift chair uses two OKIN motors, meaning they were meticulously designed and built to the famously high standards of German engineers.
What does that mean for you? Simply that you’ll have a chair with two of the most dependable, quietest, and smoothest motors money can buy- and they’re not even that expensive! This chair, which boasts far more than just a pair of quiet motors, costs less than $800, well within the average price range.
The best thing aside from the dual-motor design is the softness and support that the chair’s foam and upholstery provide. It doesn’t have massage or heat, but it makes up for it by being ergonomically correct and extremely comfortable to lay on. The Irene House chair also comes with a lumbar pillow, a great benefit to anyone with sciatica or spine issues that make it hard to sit on regular chairs.
This chair also reclines to a full 180 degrees, so you can sleep on it completely flat. This is another feature that many other lift chairs don’t offer- lots of chairs only recline to 150-160 degrees. It’s just as comfortable as a twin mattress for sleeping, and every bit as good as your old favorite recliner, too. There is no need to worry about whether or not getting a lift chair will result in you being less happy with your furniture; this chair has everything you need!
- Dual OKIN motors outperform others
- Lay-flat design for sleeping
- Very good ergonomic support
- No heat or massage
- The seat is too narrow for heavier users
Who It’s Best For?
This sleeping lift chair is all about delivering supreme comfort. If you’re shorter than 6 feet and weigh less than 200 pounds, you’ll fit right in and love the way you feel when you wake up in the morning. It’s simple, long-lasting, and ideal for anyone who wants a safe way to sleep at night and be able to stand up with motorized assistance when they wake up.
Best Heavy Duty Power Lift Chair For Seniors:
|Pride Heritage Chair|
If you are looking for the most heavy duty chair available right now then you need to give the Heritage lift chair by Pride Mobility a hard look. This chair is bulky, it is beefy and it is the most powerful chair on this list by a wide margin. The Heritage lift chair can heft up to 600lbs making it the perfect chair for anyone concerned with the durability of a lift chair’s motor or someone who has a need for a bariatric patient or family member. This lifting capacity is double that of the average lifting capacity of 300lbs.
This chair also comes with Pride’s warranty that covers the frame under a limited lifetime warranty and covers the electronics for up to three years. The lifting capacity plus the warranty makes this the most heavy duty lift chair available right now, hands down, bar none.
Best Budget Lift Chair for Seniors
|YODOLLA Electric Power Lift Chair|
For some people price is more important than just about anything else. For those people we have two options that are available for less than $400. The first is the YODOLLA chair that is often listed for $399. This chair is a three-position lift chair that tries to do a lot with a little. It has basic vibration modes plus heat to give you something similar to that of a full heated massage chair. It has a powerful lifting limit of 360lbs which is 20% above average. This is a solid, well reviewed, lift chair that is available for a price that is one of the lowest on the market. If you are looking for a great bargain, this chair gives you that in spades.
|Flamaker Power Lift Chair|
On the off chance that you do not like the YODOLLA chair featured above, then you should definitely check out the Flamaker Power Lift Recliner as an alternative. This chair is available for a similar price, less than $400 and offers its own unique set of features. It is made with soft faux leather and features its own set of heat and massage options. This is a classic looking leather chair that will fit into almost any home. Again, if you are looking to get a chair that does a lot for a little bit of money, this is one of the best options available.
Best Lift Chair With Heat and Massage for the Elderly
|Red Barrel Power Reclining Chair|
Red Barrel has designed a chair that has climbed the charts on Wayfair. It is a large plush chair made with soft faux leather and features a powerful heating ability for sore muscles and aching joints. This is a three-position lift chair that can lift 330lbs with ease. It features foam seating and a vibration option as well to augment the soothing effects of the heating coils. This chair has it all and is available for $500. If you are looking for a comfortable chair with heat and massage elements you do not get much better than this excellent model available on Wayfair.
Best Wall Hugger Lift Chair For Seniors:
|Astor Platinum Power Lift Recliner|
One of the biggest downsides to lift chairs for some is the fact that they need to have so much clearance from the wall in order to function properly. This need for clearance, bulky size of many chairs, and necessity to be close to an outlet really restricts people of their ability to place these chairs in their homes. That is why some people seek out so-called “wall hugger” recliners that are able to be as close to the wall as possible.
The Astor Platinum chair by La-Z-Boy is one such chair. This chair only needs 11” of clearance from the wall in order to fully function. That is very small. Other similar chairs call for 20” or more of space in order to be useful. This chair requires less than a foot but still offers powerful lifting capabilities and the world famous La-Z-Boy quality. If you are looking for a comfortable powerful lift chair that doesn’t need multiple feet of wall clearance to function, you want to give the Astor Platinum chair a hard look.
Best Oversized Lift Chair for the Elderly:
|Golden Technologies PR-535|
Features and Benefits:
The best part about this chair, aside from how comfortable it is (we’ll get to that in a second) is how customizable it is. You can buy it in 5 different sizes: small, medium, large, tall, and extra wide. The XL has a higher weight limit of 500 pounds compared to 375 for the other sizes.
You can also select an optional heat/massage upgrade, a footrest extender that’s great for tall users, and one of dozens of different upholstery types- both material and color. If you’re tired of shopping for chairs that you can fit, buy the Golden Technologies Comforter PR-535 and make it fit you, instead.
The second thing that sets this chair apart from others is the superior level of comfort it provides. It’s made with Golden Technologies’ Maxi-Comfort positioning, which promotes better posture and reduces pain by putting you into the zero-gravity positioning. On top of that, the seat on each model other than the extra-wide has pocket coils that resemble a soft and supportive hybrid mattress.
- Lots of upgrade options
- Fits users up to 500 pounds and 6’8”
- Great warranty
- Very expensive, more than $2,000 with heat and massage
- Ships slowly, can take weeks to arrive
Who It’s Best For?
This is a great lift chair for anyone who feels left out of the conversation by other lift chairs. It can fit users who weigh 500 pounds, and people up to 6’8”, without difficulty. It’s also extremely customizable- if they’ve got the money to pay for it, virtually any senior would be well-served by this chair for years on end.
Complete Buying Guide – Lift Chairs for Seniors
Best Brands For Lift Chairs: Brands To Watch
There is a large and growing number of brands to keep an eye out for in the lift chair space. These brands range from old established furniture companies to new online retailers that aim to get modern products into the hands of their customers quickly and cheaply. Here are some of our favorite brands to keep an eye on as you shop.
Golden Technologies has been making excellent mobility-focused products for many years. They specialize in creating lift chairs as well as mobility scooters. Both run on similarly designed electric motors and their specialization has not gone unnoticed. Golden Technologies has a reputation for great customer service and products built to last.
Their specialization and attention to detail on the things they do best have put them ahead of the pack in terms of design and functionality. While other companies do lift chairs and everything else, Golden Technologies has focused primarily on the technologies that make lift chairs run.
Check out what they have to offer on their website and keep in mind that with Golden Technologies, specialization is key.
Pride Mobility is a large company that has been making durable medical equipment in bulk for years. They have rocketed to the top of most lists because of their large number of high quality products and the trust they have built as a brand over those years. Pride Mobility’s chairs are universally well liked and come with a host of modern features as well as basic chairs for people in need. Pride Mobility has featured prominently on our lists for a reason because they continue to create products that we like and trust.
La-Z-Boy is an American household name because of its long years of industry dominance. That is no different when it comes to lift chairs. Those same La-Z-Boys that we all have pined for in the past, the comfortable recliners and attention to excellence, are available with powerful lifting capabilities included. La-Z-Boy has the benefit of having showrooms and featuring heavily in other furniture stores as well so you can often find a model to look at in person. They also give buyers the ability to customize their orders to create the perfect chair for them by picking specialty options, add-ons, and upholsteries.
Rooms To Go
Rooms To Go is another large furniture company that has lift chairs available for sale. Rooms To Go has the benefit of having multiple large showrooms all across the United States. If you are looking for a friendly company that can put you in a lift chair quickly and will let you sit, touch, and feel their chairs before you buy Rooms To Go is a great option. There are large well stocked showrooms near many cities in the US and whatever they don’t have in stock they can ship quickly from their warehouse to you so you do not have to wait to get a lift chair fast.
Wayfair is a growing online marketplace for furniture and home goods. Recently, they have been selling many lift chairs to the public with great fanfare. They have a growing number of quality lift chairs available for sale that will ship directly to your home. They carry different products than similar sites and specialize in manufacturing, sourcing, and shipping bulky items for the home.
If you have not considered checking out Wayfair as an alternative online retailer for lift chairs and other similar items, now is a great time to check them out and see what they have to offer.
Price Range: Typical prices for quality lift chairs
The price for a lift chair can differ depending on many different factors. There are some common prices for standard lift chairs but many chairs can have prices that vary wildly. Things that affect the price include the brand, where it was manufactured, the weight capacity, and the added options. You might be able to find a simple three-position lift chair made overseas for as little as $400 while a custom built lift chair made with real leather and a host of modern upgrades can be as much as $2000.
That being said, here are some price ranges you can expect to see while shopping online.
Basic lift chairs: $400-$700
These are typically standard two-position and three-position chairs with good ratings and a standard capacity. They are available almost everywhere.
Slightly upgraded lift chairs: $700-$1000
These chairs often include infinite position chairs, zero gravity chairs, or lift chairs with added capacity or something special like massage function. This range can also include chairs from notable and reputable brands or chairs made in North America rather than overseas.
Upgraded chairs: $1000+
Lift chairs available for more than a grand are often the complete package. They are made from quality materials, have powerful lifting motors, include modern upgrades such as USB ports, heat, and zero gravity. These chairs can be found made out of genuine leather. They are made from good household name brands like La-Z-Boy.
These are the top-of-the-line lift chairs for people who want to buy with confidence knowing they are getting the best product available.
Note: if you can’t afford a lift chair, you might be able to get it for free! Check out our guide “Does Medicare cover lift chairs?” for more info.
Lift Chairs Near Me: Where to buy lift chairs
If you find yourself in need of a lift chair, beginning the search can feel overwhelming. Where does one buy a lift chair? There are many different places to find quality lift chairs, and not all of them are online.
New lift chairs
As we have highlighted in our extensive guide, there are many different places to search for and purchase lift chairs online. There are many reputable websites, including excellent lift chairs on Amazon, Wayfair, and Liftchairs.com. However, not everyone likes to do their shopping online. In fact, when it comes to something like a lift chair, some people prefer to do their shopping in person.
You can find new lift chairs at a variety of in person locations. Many furniture stores carry select lift chairs in stock that you can take a look at for yourself. These furniture stores include big box stores like Rooms To Go and La-Z-Boy as well as local furniture outfitters. Catnapper, a brand we love, was spun out of a local American furniture store. The first and easiest places to look would be any brick-and-mortar furniture stores in your area.
Other places to look for new lift chairs are at durable medical equipment stores. These stores often sell things such as mobility scooters, lift chairs, oxygen tanks, hospital beds, and other similar items. If you live in an area with a large retirement population or near a big hospital you are sure to have these kinds of retailers nearby.
Used lift chairs
If you are looking to save a few bucks and go with a used lift chair, there are plenty of places to look for those as well. First, you can check with local medical equipment rental stores. Some rental places will put their old units up for sale, including lift chairs.
Second, you can check online with eBay and Craigslist. These two websites help you to connect with people trying to offload their used equipment. Lift chairs are heavy and bulky and people are quick to want to be rid of them when they are no longer needed. You can also check similar online spots such as Facebook Marketplace. Since these types of online stores are entirely dependent on local individuals trying to sell their things it can take time and patience to find what you are looking for.
Free lift chairs
Free lift chairs can also be obtained, in certain circumstances. Like used lift chairs, finding a free chair will be dependent on the area and the time you are looking for one. They are not always available. However, keep looking at local Facebook ads and Craiglist ads. Sometimes people want to offload their old lift chair for free in return for someone coming and picking it up for them.
You can also check with local charities or religious groups. Sometimes, groups will come into possession of old items and would be willing to donate them for free. Places like Habitat For Humanity often find themselves with extra things and you can always ask them and similar groups if they have any free items up for grabs. The worst they can say is no.
Questions to ask when buying a lift chair
How much can it lift?
This is probably the most important question to ask. Lifting capacity is a big factor in the usability of lift chairs and they can vary wildly between different models and different brands. Some chairs only have lifting capacities of 250lbs. The most common lifting capacity is 300lbs. If you need a chair with more than 300lbs you definitely need to ask. You do not want to get home and immediately start straining the motor with too much weight because you did not double check the lifting capacity.
How much does it weigh?
These chairs can be heavy. It is probably a good idea to ask how much the model of lift chair you are considering weighs. Some of these chairs can be as heavy as 150lbs. If you need to move this chair into a living facility or get it upstairs you need to know how much it weighs so you can plan accordingly.
Have you used it or can you recommend it?
This is a good question to ask anyone so you can gauge their reaction. Don’t necessarily trust every word someone says if they admit to having never used a lift chair before. See if the salesman recommends this particular brand or ask if there are other brands that are similar or that they recommend more. You can never have too much good information when it comes to the quality and functionality of a product you are considering buying.
Does it come with a warranty or after-sales service?
Lift chairs have many moving parts and an electric motor. That means, they will eventually need service. It is a good idea to ask whether or not the lift chair you are buying has any warranty coverage or offers after-sales service. This can be important in case you have an issue with the motor soon after making a purchase, or any other problem that requires lift chair troubleshooting. Even the best brands occasionally turn out a lemon and knowing what kind of protection, coverage, and recourse you have in case of something breaking is very important.
Does Medicare cover lift chairs for seniors?
Yes. Medicare will cover lift chairs for seniors as long as certain steps and criteria are met. The first step to getting your chair covered by Medicare is to get it prescribed by your doctor. Once you have a prescription that says a lift chair is medically necessary you can start shopping. Be aware that in order to get reimbursed in full by Medicare, the chair you buy has to be enrolled with Medicare. If the vendor or provider is not enrolled with Medicare, then you might not be able to claim the chair.
After you have the prescription and find a provider that is adequately enrolled with Medicare then you can purchase the lift chair that you need. After you purchase the chair, you must then file for a reimbursement. Medicare will cover up to 80% of the cost of the chair to you for a brand new chair.
Medicare will also cover the cost of repairs and rentals. The process is the same as for buying a new chair. If you simply want to rent a chair you get the prescription and find a rental that works for you and they will cover the cost up to a certain period of time. The same goes for repairs. Medicare will cover the cost of the repairs that are medically viable up to the full cost of a replacement chair.
Lift chair rental near me – Where can I rent lift chairs?
If you didn’t know you could rent a lift chair, you’re in luck. You can easily rent a lift chair for short periods of time instead of buying one. This can save you hundreds especially if you did not need to use a lift chair for more than a few weeks at a time. You can search for medical equipment rental places to find a spot that will rent you a lift chair for short term use.
Other places such as mobility aid rental places might also have a lift chair for rent. You just have to look around and ask. These kinds of places are very prominent near hospitals and retirement communities in case you are having a hard time finding them.
You can also ask your doctor, your insurance company or look up nearby Medicare providers for some direction. Any one of those places should have an idea of where to rent a lift chair in the local area. You can also ask your physical therapist as well. All of these resources can be used to track down a place that will let you rent a lift chair.Lift chair rentals can be very affordable. Some rentals can be had for as little as $40 per week. That is a great option if you only need the lift chair for a week or two. Or you can rent a lift chair per month for $100 to $200 a month. That can also save you money in the long run if you really do not want to purchase a lift chair outright.
Tips for buying a lift chair that is right for you
When considering buying a new lift chair to fit your lifestyle there are a few things that you can keep in mind to ensure that you find a chair that is absolutely perfect. If you consider these six important factors when searching for your next lift chair, there is no way you can stumble into a bad product.
Lifting power and capacity is extremely important when considering a lift chair. The electric motor that powers a lift chair is not invincible and putting it through the hard work day in and day out will put a lasting strain on the equipment. That is why it is important to pick a chair that has a weight capacity that is right for you. You do not want a chair that is right at the limit of the weight capacity that you are planning on putting on it nor do you want a chair where you are going to be consistently over the weight limit because it will burn out the motor over time leaving you in a tough spot.
The most common weight limit for lift chairs is 300lbs. That will work for a good many people but it will not work for everyone. Double check the weight capacity before buying any lift chairs. They can vary from 250lbs to 600lbs. Getting a chair with an appropriate weight limit will help keep your chair functioning for longer.
There are a variety of different options for positions that a lift chair can take. All lift chairs have a lifting position that raises and tilts forward. However, some chairs have many more positions or very few positions. Choosing the type of positioning that you are going to use the most is an important part of buying a lift chair.
The most basic chairs are two-position or three-position that simply recline and lift. Then you also have infinite position chairs which can go all the way flat and stop at any comfortable position in between upright and flat. There are also zero gravity chairs that raise the feet above the heart to give you that classic zero gravity comfort. All of these different positions have separate use cases and differing price points to consider.
If you need a lift chair quickly, availability is important. Some lift chairs are medically necessary and waiting weeks on end for a chair to arrive is not an option. Looking for places that have quick availability or buying one off of a showroom floor can be important if time is of the essence. Make sure to look at what the lead time for different chairs is to make sure that you won’t be waiting on the hook for weeks on end.
Especially now, after the pandemic, some supply chains have been clogged and demand for medical products has gone up. What might have been a week’s lead time in the past could have stretched to multiple weeks. It is always good to double check availability before making a purchase.
Comfort is an important factor for any recliner, especially one that you are planning on spending a lot of time in. Many people can end up spending hours a week in their lift chairs and having one that is uncomfortable won’t do anyone any good.
Some important things to consider for the comfort include: what kind of material the chair is made out of, the size of the chair including the seat and the height as well as what kind of footrest it has. You don’t want a chair with a cramped seat or a footrest that is too short. Those things can add to discomfort extremely quickly. Always check the dimensions of the chair and if possible see reviews online speaking about how the comfort levels held up from verified users.
Extras & Options
Lastly, you need to decide on what kinds of options and extras you want, wants you need and ones that you are not willing to pay for. There are tons of different lift chair accessories available to purchase with modern lift chairs.
These include everything from massage functions, lumbar heat, extra motors, battery backup, cup holders, USB charging ports, embedded lights, and wireless remote controls. None of these things have any bearing on how the chairs function as lifters they only serve to add or subtract from your quality of life while using the chair. Some of these options can be added for very little money while others can cause the price to go up by quite a bit.