How to Buy the Right Size Lift Chair For You

September 24, 2018

How to Buy the Right Size Lift Chair For You

How to Buy the Right Size Lift Chair For You


As your body matures in years, it doesn’t always perform the same way it used to. Therefore, you may find it necessary to use a lift device to help you maintain and preserve the quality of your life. Here, you will find information on how to buy the right lift chair that will offer you the best utility and comfort for your unique body type.

You can expect the loss of some of your mobility as your joints and muscles age. They will naturally lose some of their suppleness and flexibility, and it may be harder to get around as quickly or as easily as you once did. It’s easier to become more sedentary when it’s not as comfortable to move around as it once was, and it’s normal for those who are aging to choose to sit for longer periods of time simply to avoid the struggle or pain of standing up.

Unfortunately, this tendency to sit for longer periods of time can make the problem worse—not only physically, but emotionally as well. When you’re used to getting up and going whenever and wherever you want to, it can be a bit discouraging to feel as if you’re losing some of your physical independence. However, this discouragement can lead to longer and more serious periods of depression, which only aggravates the situation further. Therefore, it’s important to work to preserve and to restore your physical freedoms and comfort. This will improve and protect the overall quality of your life.

Purchasing and using a lift device can help alleviate all of these things, as it easily restores your ability to stand and sit with ease by working in partnership with your body to do so. Not only does it help to restore your natural and proper movements, but it increases your comfort during the periods that you’re sitting as well. This limits the feelings of not being able to do the things you once did and increases your feelings of independence. Because you can quickly and comfortably get to your feet, you will be more likely to do so more often. Using your body will improve your blood flow and circulation and help you maintain a larger range of motion throughout your body. Clearly, this is a product that can improves your overall quality of life—but only if you find the right one for you.

In order to glean all of the benefits possible from your device, you need to understand why buying the right-sized life chair is important.

Why Buying the Right-Sized Lift Chair is Important

Every person on this planet is unique, and we all come in different sizes. Our heights, widths, and weights all vary, and each of these variables need to be considered when making your chair selection.

The lift chair recliner you choose becomes an extension of your body. The right-sized unit will be as perfectly-sized as your shadow. Otherwise, you will not get the value you’re looking for—and it won’t be because of the device itself. It will simply be because it wasn’t the right selection for you.

Just as you would never consider purchasing shoes that were so small they pinched your toes or pants that were so big you had a hard time keeping them from falling to your ankles, you don’t want to put yourself into a chair that is not going to work with your unique size. If you were suffering in footwear that was three sizes too small, would you complain that the maker of the shoe simply makes a bad product? Or, if you were wearing pants made for someone 100 pounds heavier, would you complain that they were simply the wrong brand? Absolutely not. The reasons of your discomfort would be obvious—both to you and to anyone else.

Similarly, if you fail to take the time to make your furniture selection with care, you may be missing out on ­all the benefits it was intended to give you in the first place. The reason it’s so imperative that you find the custom fit for you personally is because of the way this product is designed to work. 

How Does a Lift Chair Work?

As the name of the product implies, it is equipped with technology and mechanisms that work together to lift the chair up and down—bringing you to your feet or to a sitting position with ease. There are motors built into this piece of furniture that quietly and comfortably help your body do what it was made to do. It removes the strain from your back, legs, joints, and other body parts that previously bared the brunt of your body’s movements. In addition, these devices don’t only cater to the utility of your movements. Many of these are manufactured with built-in luxuries to make your lounging experience as comfortable and luxurious as possible. So, the right dimensions are key to ensuring the optimum performance in both utility and comfort.

The Importance of Height

The height of your chair will determine how high it rises. If you are 5’ tall and select a unit that has been designed for someone who is 6’ tall, your unit will rise too high for you! This could lead to a very unstable and unsafe experience. On the other hand, if you are 6’ tall and the unit is designed for someone much shorter, it is not going to rise high enough, and you will still be faced with the struggle and strain of having to go “the rest of the way” on your own, which completely defeats the purpose of having the unit in the first place.

These dimensions are also important while sitting. It’s important that you are able to plant your feet on the floor while in a seated position. If your selection is built for a taller frame than yours, your feet are going to dangle while sitting. On the other hand, if you select a unit that is designed for someone much shorter than you, your knees are going to tower above seat. Either of these scenarios are going to dramatically affect both your comfort and the utility of the recliner itself.

Your lift chair is designed to support you in all the right places, but in order to ensure that, you need to make sure that your joints are properly situated when moving into a sitting, standing, or laying position. Think about the pivot points of your select piece of furniture. You want your hips to nestle into the crease at the back of your chair so that you have the back support that you need. You want your knees appropriately situated at the curve of the seat your feet don’t meet the floor too soon or fail to meet it at all. You want your feet and ankles extended far enough that you are able to move into a standing position with ease. If they are several inches shy of the end of your footrest, then you will have to slide, stretch, or “jump down” into a standing position.

The Importance of Width

Your recliner is designed to be a place of comfort for you, both when moving to another position and when sitting for long periods of time. You want to make sure that it is properly fitted to your unique width or you risk losing some of its functionality and comfort. If it is too wide, your lift experience will not be as secure. You will have too much “roll room” as it is moving up or down, which can create a feeling of instability and increase the possibility of injury. While you’re sitting, you will not have the physical support you need. Your arm rests will be further from your body, so you will have to extend your arms, do without, or lean to one side. This discourages proper posture and could lead to unwelcome aches and pains.

The Importance of Weight

If you select a recliner that is not built for your unique weight capacity, it could affect both the functionality and the longevity of your unit. Make sure you know your exact weight—and even add 20% to the number—before you make your selection. You don’t want to select a product that is not equal to the tasks you need it to perform. These devices come in a wide selection of options, including those specifically designed for larger occupants. This should not be a point of embarrassment or shame for you. It is simply about utility and getting the most value out of your purchase and your long-term consumer experience. You want your piece of furniture to last and to do its job as long as possible. Failing to make a selection based on your unique weight will void all of its warranties and can lead to the unit becoming damaged and possibly unsafe.

The Dimensions and Measurements

All of these size considerations breakdown to the following dimensions of your chair:

Weight Capacity: This is the range of weight allowances for the unit.

Seat to Floor: This is a height measurement from the top of the seat to the floor.

Seat Depth: This is the measurement from the front of the seat to the edge of the backrest.

Seat Width: This is the measurement of the seat from the inside of one armrest to the other.

Top of Back to Seat: This is the measurement of the backrest and is measured from the bottom to the top of the backrest.

Overall Chair Width: This is the measurement from the outside of one armrest to the other. It is the total width of the chair, which determines how much floor space it will require.

Weight: First, you will get your weight measurement, as this will immediately direct you to the range of models that are capable of safely lifting your body. When in doubt, round up.

Seat to Floor: You will get this height measurement by measuring from the bottom of your foot to the top of the back of your knee. If you are using a measuring tape, position it just below your heel and extend it up the back of your calf until it rests behind your knee. Make sure you get this measurement while in a seated position. Accuracy is key because you want to avoid having your feet dangle or having your knees being too elevated—both of which will throw off the other measurements of your unit, such as the leg extension and seat depth.   

Seat Depth: You will get this measurement by measuring from the base of the back of the knee up to the base of your back. While in the seated position, place the measuring tape behind your knee and then extend it along the back of your thigh to the base of your back where it would rest at the point where the back and seat of the unit would meet. Accuracy is important because if you get a seat depth that not designed for your unique frame, you will not have the correct back or knee support. If it’s too long you will have to scoot back to get the back support you need, which will cause your feet to dangle. If it’s too short, then your knees and thighs will extend too far beyond the seat, and your feet and ankles will dangle off of the foot rest when you’re in the reclined position.

Seat Width: This will be the measurement across both of your hips while seated. It’s imperative that you are in the seated position because your hips spread wider when you are sitting down. You will measure the widest part. Hold the measuring tape on the side of one hip and extend it beneath your lap to the side of your adjacent hip. Accuracy is critical because if you select a seat that is too wide, you will likely end up leaning to one side or the other, which can create posture problems. If it’s too narrow, you will feel pinched and restricted while lounging. Not only will this cause discomfort to you, but it will cause unnecessary wear and tear to the unit itself.

Top of Back to Seat: This is the measurement from the base of your back up to the top of your head. Be sure to get this measurement while seated. This will ensure you have the proper back and neck support you need.

Overall Chair Width: This is a measurement of the chair alone. Pull the measuring tape from one side of the armrest to the other. This is an important measurement so that you can be sure it will fit in the space you have.

To help narrow down the sizes you should be shopping for, you can also check out our lift chair buying guide for additional help. 

How to Buy the Right Lift Chair Online

These measurements are extremely important as you begin your shopping process, especially if you are opting to buy your lift chair online. There are a lot of benefits to doing so, as you can skip the physically draining aspects of shopping on foot and going from store to store. Often, the “store to store” process ends with you settling on a unit that is too expensive or not best fitted for your body because you’re simply too physically exhausted to continue your search, or you go home empty handed because you weren’t able to find what you wanted in the store’s limited stock. You can also expect to find less expensive options—without sacrificing quality and durability—when you buy from the comfort of your own home by the simple fact that online retailers have far less overhead than their brick and mortar counterparts.

Even though you won’t have the opportunity to “try before you buy,” this does not need to be a deterrent. With the right guidance, you will find that the online buying experience provides a lot of value for you in its fast and easy process.

One quick and easy way to figure out which selection will be best for you is to compare the size selections online to seats you already have in your home. This will be especially simplified if you already own a recliner (lift or not) that you love. You can simply take the measurements of that piece of furniture and compare it with your online options. This also works if you have a seat you don’t particularly love. What are the factors that you would like improved? Are you currently sitting in something that is too wide? That measurement will help guide in finding a narrower seat. Love it or hate it, taking measurements of an existing chair will guide you in your selection.

If you don’t have something you feel comfortable making a comparison to, your personal measurements of your body will be sufficient. 

What Are the Different Lift Chair Sizes?

Once you have each of your measurements, you are ready to find the best lift chair for your unique body type—online or otherwise. Generally, you will find the range of sizes based on your height and other measurements as follows:

Petite: 5’4” or less

Small: 5’4”

Medium: 5’4” – 5’10”

Large: 5’10” – 6’2”

X-Large: 6’2” and above

Heavy Duty: Lift Chairs designed to hold extra weight

Wide: Units designed from wider consumers 

As you can see, there is a wide range of designs. Even though you may not find the perfect fit, you are certain to find a comfortable one. The more precisely you are able to match your measurements with your selection, the better your recliner will perform and the more comfortable you will be. Check out our selection of lift chairs online and feel free to chat, email, or call for help if you have any other questions about buying a lift chair online. 





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