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The Difference Between a Lift Chair and a Recliner

The Difference Between a Lift Chair and a Recliner

If you’re considering buying a new recliner, it’s important that you consider comparing it to a lift chair before making your purchase. Recliners are a great addition to the home, but if you’re looking for something more convenient and safer, a lift chair is the way to go. Let’s review some of the main differences between the two. 

The Basics 

Recliner: A standard recliner is simply an armchair that can be tilted backward. There’s a footrest that extends from the front at the same time, allowing the user to lay back and elevate his or her legs and feet. 

Lift Chair: A lift chair is similar to a recliner but with more options and a powered lifting mechanism. By the press of a button on the chair’s remote control, the user can automatically adjust the position of the chair to what’s most comfortable for them. The chair can also be positioned entirely upright from its base in order to assist the user to a standing position. 

Position Options 

Recliner: With a recliner, usually the positions are limited to a normal seated position and reclined with the back tilted and footrest up. 

Lift Chair: Lift chairs have various positions depending on the chair. The four most common types of lift chair recliners include two-position, three-position, infinite-position and zero-gravity. The infinite-position chairs enable the backrest and the footrest to operate independently from one another so that an even greater variety of positions can be reached. 


Recliner: If you’re completely independent and don’t have issues sitting or standing on your own, a recliner is a safe option. 

Lift Chair: As previously mentioned, lift chairs rise at the base and can bring the user to a standing position. This allows individuals with mobility issues to sit down and stand up safely and comfortably. Even if you don’t have mobility issues, lift chairs are a long-term investment so you’ll be thankful you made the investment down the line. 


Both recliners and lift chairs can be beneficial for individuals with edema. The leg rests allow users to elevate their feet which helps the extra fluid move back towards the heart for circulation to the rest of the body. 

Lift chairs usually have the option to raise the leg rests higher than normal. In cases where the user has edema, they'll want to raise their feet above heart level. Lift chairs with the proper abilities can make that position possible while recliners have a standard leg rest position that can’t be raised any higher than it’s set to.  

Now that you know the difference between recliners and lift chairs, it’s time to decide which is the better choice for you and your unique needs. Visit our website to check out the lift chairs we offer and be sure to contact us with any further questions!