6 Things to Consider When Buying Recliners

By: Grant King, MedicalSearch Writer
24 May, 2016

Recliners make a great addition to healthcare lounges, wards and bedrooms.

But there are some things to consider in terms of bulk, comfort and functionality. So here are a few tips to help you find recliners that fit your circumstances and patient needs.

Be mindful of bulk

Recliners tend to be larger than a standard armchair and require even more peripheral space in order to fully recline. So always base room fit on a fully extended recliner. The good news is that some models only require a few inches between the recliner back and the wall. If space is limited in hospital bedrooms or narrow common areas, a wall hugging recliner is your best option.

Consider comfort

Moving patients from bed to recliner and back again can be stressful for both patient and carer, so the less moving the better. If it's desirable for patients to be out of bed and in a recliner for part or all of the day, be sure to choose recliners with optimum comfort.  Recliners are not to be seen as an alternative to beds and can cause aches and pains, especially in patients unable to adjust their position.

Choose the best reclining options

There are basically three ways your chairs can recline. With a single motor chair the backrest and footrest move in tandem up or down. With a double motor chair the backrest and footrest move independently for more sitting flexibility. The third reclining method tilts the whole chair back or forward and is an extra option in many single and double motor models.

Choose the most practical materials

Recliners are generally upholstered in leather, PVC or fabric. Your choices will come down to cost and manageability. Leather and PVC are easier to clean if spillages are a regular concern. Fabric offers more versatility of colours and patterns. Whichever way you go it's a good idea to have wooden grips for easier sitting and standing. 

Consider pressure care extras

Patients who are immobile or frail can develop pressure sores if they remain in the same position for long periods. While recliners allow carers to make regular adjustments to posture, carefully positioned memory foam or gel cushions can provide better support in all the right places and prolong comfort.