The 4 Different Types of Lift Chairs and How They Work

October 05, 2018

The 4 Different Types of Lift Chairs and How They Work

The 4 Different Types of Lift Chairs and How They Work

Many people recognize the benefit of using a lift chair in an effort to restore and to maintain their physical independence as they age. There are many devices, such as walkers and canes, you can use to support you once you’re on your feet, but what about getting to your feet in the first place? Just as a car requires a burst of fuel to turn on, your body requires that same burst of energy to stand and get going. If it’s difficult to get to that get-up-and-go position, it’s likely that you will put it off or decide not to get up and go at all.

This is where the magic of a lift recliner is so valued. These electric recliners work in conjunction with your body’s natural movements to bring you to your feet with ease. There are motors inside that slowly raise the chair until you are in a standing position. It is all controlled with a handheld device, so you are in full control of the rising and lowering of the unit. You don’t have to worry about getting to your feet too soon or having the chair lower too quickly.

However, these devices have much more to offer than just the basic utility of raising and lowering you. Many models come equipped with additional luxuries and bells and whistles that enhance the time you spend nestled into its cushions—watching TV, taking a nap, or maybe even sleeping for the night. Here, we will discuss some of the different chair models available to help guide you in which one may be the best fit for your needs and for your budget.

What are the Differences Between the Different Types of Lift Chairs?

There are four basic models to choose from:

·      Two-position lift chairs

·      Three-position lift chairs

·      Infinite-position lift chairs

·      Zero-gravity lift chairs

Most of these come in a variety of sizes—from petite and extra-small to extra-large and heavy duty lift chairs—in order to cater to consumers’ different shapes and sizes. However, for the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on the four models listed above, as these primarily deal with the utility and functionality of your chair.

The Two-Position Lift Chair

As the name suggests, this unit has two positions: up and down. It has one motor and its job is simply to raise and to lower the unit. The recline depth is similar to a lazy boy, not very deep but with enough of incline to allow you to watch TV and put your feet up, and with the added lift assist to help you safely get to a standing position or helps you safely reach a sitting position.

The footrest moves in connection with the backrest and will elevate to the same degree as the recline. Two positions aren’t as common as other types of lift chairs, however, we do sell them to customers who want a basic functioning lift chair. We currently carry the UltraComfort UC214 Two-Position lift chair in three colors and we commonly sell it in Amadora Almond or Amadora Cornflower.

This is the right selection for you if…

This is more of an economy selection if you’re on a small budget. It’s not going to come with too many bells and whistles, but you will still enjoy the comfort and benefits of a quality lift chair. This is also a sensible option for consumers who are not spending overly large amounts of time in their recliner, but just need a soft spot to watch some TV or read a book.

The Three-Position Lift Chair

As the name suggests, this device has three positions to choose from: lift, sit, and “napping” or a TV watching position. This chair also comes with just one motor, but it reclines into a nearly-flat position, which is ideal for taking naps or longer periods of rest while watching TV. Three-position chairs generally recline exactly like a lazy-boy and often reclines even further. The footrest’s rise mirrors the backrest’s recline so that you are gently cradled in your resting position. The hand-held remote gives you full control over the angle you find most comfortable. Of course, you will still get the same assistance with safely lifting your body into a standing or sitting position. Check out our wide range of three-position lift recliners! We sell them in many different sizes, price ranges, colors, and fabrics.

This is the right selection for you if…

This is a great option for consumers who spend hours at a time in their recliners. The extended “napping” position reduces the strain on your muscles and joints even further and helps promote better blood flow than simply sitting for large amounts of time.

Infinite-Position Lift Chair

This device has multiple positions with the most common being: lift, sit, recline, and lay-flat. It has two built-in dual motors that give you full operational control over both the backrest and the footrest. They operate the footrest and backrest separately so that you can perfectly customize the most comfortable position for yourself. The lay-flat position, which is completely parallel with the floor, allows you to move into a completely flat position, making this type of chair ideal for sleeping and improving circulation.

This is the right selection for you if…

This is a great option for those who intend to sleep in their lift chairs. Quality products will be built for both utility and comfort, so you will find the quality of the cushions and the fabric to be sufficient for extended periods of rest.

Zero-Gravity Lift Chair

This recliner has five main positions: lift, sit, recline, lay, and “zero-gravity,” which is a supported lay-flat position, making them great for taking pressure off the lower lumbar area of your back. Zero gravity chairs also have the Trendelenburg position, which helps to include improved circulation and the reduction of lower backpain because the higher rise gently stretches the back muscles and aligns the spine. It has two built-in motors that allow the backrest and the footrest to operate independent of each other so that you can control their positions separately.

Our Best-Selling Zero Gravity Lift Chair is either the UltraComfort UC550-L Stellar Comfort chair due to its wider seat and ability to accommodate users up to 6’2”, with the option to add a 4-inch footrest extension, or the Mega Motion NM1652 Zero Gravity Lift Chair because of its over-stuffed biscuit back, incredible comfort, and excellent value.

This is the right selection for you if…

This is the premium option, offering you the entire range of comforts and utility these devices have to offer. You would greatly benefit from this selection if you have limited mobility, health issues related to poor circulation, spend prolonged periods of time in your recliner including periods of sleep, and/or if you suffer from lower back pain.

A selection of past consumers of this type of chair include those with some of the following health conditions: neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, edema, degenerative disc disease and other types of back pain, and can even help remove pressure from your heart by helping to increase blood flow throughout your body—something we can all benefit from!


As you can see, there is a wide selection of models for you to choose from. You should easily be able to find an option that is the right fit for your body and your budget. It is natural for your joints and muscles to want to do less work as you move into your later years, but having so many different lift chairs available to you means that you don’t need to feel confined to your recliner. In fact, the more sedentary you become, the less your body will feel like doing overtime. This can lead to feelings of discouragement and melancholy, which further compound the problem. It’s far better to do what you can to maintain your comfort and movement so that you can preserve the highest quality of your life possible.

To learn more about our lift chairs and for help finding the right one for your needs, please call us at 1.800.201.5309, chat with us, or email us through our contact page today!


Two-Position Lift Chairs

Perfect for buyers on a budget and in need of a basic lift recliner.

Three-Position Lift Chairs

Great for users who want to get a little more out of their chair.

Zero Gravity Lift Chairs

Excellent for those who require much more out of their chair. 

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