Best Lift Chair for Elderly in 2024 | A Clinician’s Review
Written By Kobi Nathan, Pharm.D., M.Ed., CDP, BCGP, AGSF
Sleep Disorders
September 30, 2023

Instability, frailty, the Geriatric Syndromes, and a gradual decline in functional reserve due to the aging process all take their toll when you get older.

However, having these issues does not mean that you have to lose your independence.

Powered lift chairs are the perfect choice for older adults who need that extra “push” to get up from a chair safely while minimizing the risk of falling.

But, which one of the myriad choices available on the internet is the best lift chair for elderly loved ones or yourself?

In this article, I’ll define what a lift chair is, review the different types of lift chairs, discuss key factors before purchasing, list the pros and cons of using lift chairs, and provide real customer reviews.

Let’s jump in…

What is a lift chair for elderly individuals?

A lift chair is a recliner designed to assist individuals with limited mobility, particularly older adults and those with limited mobility and functional ability.

Also known as power lift recliners, lift chairs have a motorized mechanism that gently lifts the user from seated to standing and vice versa.

This feature eliminates the need for strenuous effort, making it easier for elderly people to sit down or get up without putting excessive strain on their joints and muscles.

Additionally, the reclining function is particularly useful for older adults with fluid buildup in their lower legs due to medical conditions such as heart failure, lymphedema, varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, etc., needing to elevate their legs.

Lift chairs for elderly individuals are designed to provide comfort, support, and safety, with features like padded cushions, adjustable positions, and sturdy frames.

When looking for the best lift chair for the elderly, it’s essential to consider factors such as weight capacity, size, material, and additional features that cater to their specific needs.

Types of Lift Chairs and Their Benefits

3 main types of lift chairs are available:

2-position lift chairs

The go-to option, this type of lift chair reclines to a 45-degree angle. This allows the older adult to lay back at a comfortable angle, but not too much.

The chair’s lifting and reclining function and footrest are controlled by one motor.

Usually, the footrest and reclining function move together with this type of chair.

In other words, you cannot recline without extending the footrest.

For context, think of a movie cinema recliner chair – as you press the button to recline the chair, the footrest also extends.

These chairs are best used when watching movies or reading.

3-position lift chairs

This type of lift chair also operates on one motor, meaning the footrest moves with the backrest, just like the 2-position chair.

The chair reclines even further to an almost level or flat position.

This type of chair allows you to “hinge” at the hip, with your feet and knees positioned higher so that you are seated in a “V” position.

This position takes the load off your lower back muscles (quadratus lumborum), a common cause of chronic lower back pain, and significantly eases discomfort in this area.

This chair is ideal for napping, especially if you cannot lie completely flat due to your lower back issues.

Infinite-position lift chairs (zero-gravity chairs)

This type of chair is the most expensive but has the most options (you get what you pay for).

Unlike the previous types, this version contains two motors.

One motor controls the backrest, while the other controls the footrest.

With this capability, you can adjust your backrest to sit in a typical seated position while having your footrest in an extended position, allowing your feet to be aligned with your hip.

You can also control both the backrest and footrest to lie completely flat.

While zero-gravity chairs can have positive health benefits, such as reducing the load on your heart, joints, and muscles and increasing blood circulation, they can also cause hip and knee contractures and muscle tightening.

Before purchasing an infinite position lift chair, consult your doctor to ensure your choice aligns with any underlying medical problems.

Key Factors to Keep in Mind While Purchasing a Lift Chair For Elderly

When purchasing a lift chair for elderly loved ones, it’s important to consider the key factors such as the size, weight capacity, and features that best suit your needs.

Here are some features you may wish to consider:

Material

Full leather may last longer than “bonded” or “faux” leather, which may degrade quickly with little use.

Size

Research the chair’s dimensions (some can be large!) and the physical space where it will go.

Proper placing of your chair and fitment will reduce the risk of clutter and hospitalizations due to sustaining falls.

Type of chair

Identify if you want a 2-position, 3-position, or infinite-position lift chair based on your needs and physical limitations.

Weight capacity

Consider the fitment of the chair to your body size.

Most lift chairs can handle a weight capacity of 300 pounds (136 kg).

Sturdy chair bottom

Make sure your chair is firmly planted on the floor with non-slip material.

The last thing you want is the chair sliding out from under you as you sit down or stand up.

Cool, useful features

Some lift chairs have added features such as heating and massage modes, wireless remote controls, USB charging ports (how cool!), and cup holders.

Personally, I think they are worth getting if you plan to spend your money on a good lift chair!

Pros and Cons of Using Lift Chairs For Elderly People

There are pros and cons to using lift chairs, so it’s important to carefully consider whether they’re the right choice for your needs.

Pros

As stated in the introduction, lift chairs are helpful for seniors who want to maintain their independence.

  • Lift chairs reduce the risk of fall-associated injuries and hospitalizations.
  • Helps older adults feel less “burdensome” to their loved ones, as they do not need much assistance while sitting or standing.
  • Increases quality of life, improves blood circulation, and reduces load on muscles and joints.

Cons

  • The cost of lift chairs can be high (Medicare can cover some parts of the lift chair – more on that below).
  • Lift chairs must be used wisely. Inappropriate, long-time use may lead to deconditioning of muscles and joints due to a lack of mobility and exercise (don’t love your chair too much!).
  • Make sure you are a good candidate for using a lift chair. Avoid use if you have balance or muscle weakness problems.

Lift Chair Cost

The cost of lift chairs can vary depending on the brand, features, and materials used.

When looking for the best lift chair for the elderly, it’s important to consider both the price and the quality.

Lift chairs can range in price from as little as $300 to more than $2,000.

However, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for, so please research your inexpensive lift chair before purchasing it.

Insurance and Medicare coverage for lift chair for elderly

Your private insurance company may cover your lift chair if your medical provider notes it is needed due to your existing medical conditions and sends the paperwork to your insurance.

Since health insurance plans differ greatly, always check with your insurance provider first to verify your benefits before purchasing your lift chair.

Medicare covers certain parts of the lift chair only, NOT the cost of the whole chair.

Typically, Medicare may cover up to 80% of the cost of the motorized portion of the lift chair, if you qualify.

You will be responsible for the non-motorized portion of the lift chair, including any deductibles or co-pay amounts specific to your Medicare plan.

To determine if you qualify, you must:

Step 1

Have your doctor verify a medical need and write a prescription for the lift chair.

Click here to view Medicare’s official Certificate of Medical Necessity for Seat Lift Mechanisms.

Step 2

Your doctor must verify that you have a severe neuromuscular disease or severe arthritis of the knees or hip.

The seat lift mechanism must play a direct role, as determined by your doctor, to improve your medical condition or slow its progression.

If you are able to stand up without assistance from any chair or regular armchair in your home, you do not qualify.

Once you stand up, you must be able to walk, with or without assistance from a cane or walker.

Medicare will not pay for the covered portion of your lift chair if you are in a skilled nursing facility or hospital.

Also, if Medicare has already paid for a powered wheelchair, scooter, or manual wheelchair, it will not cover your lift chair.

Step 3

You can select your lift chair, and your provider will submit the claim to Medicare on your behalf for reimbursement of the motorized lift portion of the chair.

My recommendations for power recliner lift chair for elderly individuals

I may earn a commission if you purchase products using the links below. Thank you for supporting my website!

If you’re looking for an electric power lift recliner chair, I highly recommend purchasing the chairs from Amazon and Vive Health.

These lift chair recliners are designed with the needs of the elderly in mind, offering excellent support and ease of use.

The lift chairs from Amazon are backed by Amazon’s legendary customer service, low price points, and thousands of real user reviews.

The Vive Health lift chairs provide great value for money without compromising quality.

Great lift chairs from Amazon

I chose the following lift chairs from Amazon based on their real customer reviews, low price, and most importantly, the high number of units sold in the past month:

MAIDeSITe Electric Chair Lift, Get Up from Floor, Floor Lift for Elderly, Can be Raised to 20”, Help You Stand Up Again, Support Up to 300 LBS, Item Weight 30 LBS
  • [Durable Construction] - The lift chair weighs 30 pounds. Lightweight and sturdy electric chair lift with high-strength supporting steel rod material has a weight capacity of 300lb. Provides convenience and safety for the elderly and individuals prone to falls.
  • [Foldable Side Wings] - There are two foldable side wings designed to move easily from the ground to the lift chair. Equipped with seat cushion that is more conducive to cleaning, making it safer and more comfortable for you to use.
  • [Fully Waterproof] - We adopt the IPX8 waterproof standard, the chair lift can be safely submerged.Our chair lift can work normally even in the bathtub, and there are 6 suction cups to improve the stability of the electric chair lift.
  • [Electric Lifting] - No power supply is required. The chair lift is equipped with rechargeable batteries. It can adapt to the requirements of most environments, please pay attention to charging the battery. (Note: When the hand control is charging, the indicator light will not light up.)
  • [After-Sales Service] - We provide a returnable service. If the chair lift is damaged in transit, please contact us directly. You can count on us to provide you with quality products and excellent customer support.
Sale
Flamaker Power Lift Recliner Chair PU Leather with Massage for Elderly Ergonomic Lounge Chair Classic Single Sofa with 2 Cup Holders Side Pockets Home Theater Seat (Light Black)
  • [Power Lift and Recliner] The motor equipped recliner can lift you up when you want to get up from your chair, by pressing a button on the remote control, it lifts or reclines smoothly and quietly, it enables you to stand up easily without putting force on your back or knees. And it features reclining to different angles by electric control, you can lie down in a cozy position and take a rest, or TV watching, and the footrest can be extended and retracted that allows you to stretch your body.
  • [Massage Function] The four points massage (back, lumbar, thigh, leg) with three adjustable modes and three intensity options, offers you a full body massage at your own home. It will be good for waist pressure relief and blood circulation, taking away the stress and tiredness. There is timer function in 15/30/60 minutes which is convenient for you to set massaging time.
  • [Classic Style and User-friendly] Designed in classic style with smooth PU leather surface, wide seating space, and thick sponge padded back, armrest and bottom seat, and the slightly raised headrest can well support your neck when you lie down. There is a pocket and cup holder on either hand, which is convenient for small things and books storage, or tea drinking at hand. If you drop water on it, it is easy to wipe with a clean dry cloth.
  • [Superior Material] The chair is made of good quality material, it has thick cushions padded with high-density sponges, which is supportive when sit in the chair but yet very comfortable, and soft PU leather with nice finish and stitching, which is wear resistant and waterproof, and sturdy metal frame in durable and safe quality.
  • [Easy Assembly and Customer Service] It takes only several steps to assemble the chair, with an instruction manual inside and no extra tools are needed. The chair is delivered in two boxes, may not arrive at the same time, kindly wait and you will get all soon. If you have a question, we will provide you with solutions.
Sale
Best Choice Products PU Leather Electric Power Lift Chair, Recliner Massage Chair, Adjustable Furniture for Back, Legs w/ 3 Positions, USB Port, Heat, Cupholders, Easy-to-Reach Side Button - Black
  • DEPENDABLE COMFORT: This versatile power lift recliner chair is the perfect choice for a mainstay in your living space, with built-in cupholders that allow for further lounging convenience
  • POWER LIFT DESIGN: Operating this chair is made easy with adjustment functions that work at the push of a button; an easy-to-reach button on the side lets you tilt forward or recline
  • MASSAGE + HEAT: Equipped with a remote control and 3 massage modes that target your back, lumbar, thighs, and lower legs at high or low intensity, plus 2 heat settings that radiate warmth from the lumbar area
  • STURDY & CONVENIENT: Heavy-duty base is made with a sturdy, anti-tipping design, while side pockets let you keep reading material at arm's reach and a USB port makes it easy to charge wireless devices
  • 3 POSITIONS: Adjust to your preferred position for maximum comfort by transitioning between a reclined & lifted position, a lifted leg rest, or a lifted chair position; OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 38"(L) x 33"(W) x 40"(H); WEIGHT CAPACITY: 330 lbs.
Sale
Phoenix Home Large Power Lift Chair with Massage and Heat for Elderly Recliner, Brown
  • 【8-Point Massage & Lumbar Heating】The electric lift recliners offers an advanced 8-point massage system with 2 different vibration intensities and 5 adjustment modes. Our power lift chair targets key areas of the body including upper back, lower back, thigh and lumbar, providing a soothing and therapeutic experience. Lumbar heating element helps to relax and relieve tension in the lower back and promoting circulation.
  • 【Power Lift Chair with Safety Motor】The Phoenix Home large lower lift recliner prioritizes the comfort of the elderly. With counter-balanced lift mechanism, pushing the entire chair up to help seniors stand up easily without putting strain on their knees and back. You can press the side button, which can be adjusted to any position. Whether you want to recline partially or fully, or lift themselves effortlessly to a standing position.
  • 【USB Charging Port & Side Pocket】This recliner is designed with convenience in mind. The lift chair inclusion of USB ports for enabling easy charging of electronic devices like smartphones or tablets. Furthmore, the side pocket offers you more convenient way to store your remote controls, magazine, books or other small items. To provide you with the maximum convenience. (Notes: The USB port ONLY for low-power devices, such as iPhone, iPad)
  • 【2 Cup Holders & Antiskid Fabric】The power lift chair includes two hidden cup holders, allowing users to keep beverages within reach. This recliner is made of high-grade antiskid material. Overstuffed pillow designed on back, seat and armrest for support and comfort with a high back, thick cushion and high grade antiskid upholstery. Providing you with a comfortable and safe sitting feeling.
  • 【Dimension and Easy to Install】The overall Size: 40"W x 39"D x 42"H, Seat Size: 26"W x 25"D x 19.3"H, Weight Capacity - 350 lbs. Easy to assemble in minutes using packaged parts and tools with clear and concise instructions. The lift chair comes with 3 boxes, we send out the boxes at the same time, but they may not arrive at the same time, With 1-year warranty guarantee, feel free to contact us for any purchase.

 

Vive Health lift chairs

The Vive Health power recline lift chair for elderly individuals is another great option for those looking for an inexpensive lift chair.

Vive Health has been selling high-quality health and medical products since 2014, with headquarters in two locations in the United States.

Online reviews of the company are highly positive.

As of the date of this writing, the company has a 4.84 rating out of 5 stars, based on 7,712 reviews!

On BBB, the company has a 4.11 rating out of 5 stars.

I am also impressed with the company’s professional, transparent, and ethical responses to customers’ disputes.

Here are nine reasons why Vive Health lift chairs for seniors are a great, affordable option:

  1. Live customer service support daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.!
  2. Highly responsive, professional, and courteous customer service (based on online  reviews)
  3. Free shipping for orders over $39
  4. 30-day return policy if returned in original packaging and condition (read policy carefully)
  5. VERY inexpensive compared to competitors!
  6. Sturdy construction – supports up to 300 pounds
  7. 1-year warranty
  8. Lift chairs come with massage function
  9. Easy, no tool, one-person assembly

First-time orders qualify for a 10% discount!

Additionally, you can save up to 15% when you bundle products.

The company offers two types of lift chairs, a regular-size, and a large-size option.

Click the images below to learn more and buy on the company’s official website:

Vive Health Regular Size Lift Chair

Vive Health Regular Size Lift Chair

 

Vive Health Large Size Lift Chair

Vive Health Large Size Lift Chair

See the table below for a list of important features and information about Vive Health lift chairs:

Important Information About Vive Health Lift Chairs

FeaturesVive Health
Price$599-$899
Cool featuresOnly Massage, no Heat
Warranty1 year
Return policy30 days
Customer supportlive phone support 7 days a week, email
UpholsteryPolyester-nylon blend
One-person assemblyYes

If you want to check out my other recommendations for lift chairs, read my other article here.

Conclusion

The aging process can lead to decreased mobility and quality of life and increased risk of falls and injuries.

Lift chairs can greatly help older adults struggling with frailty and mobility issues.

Choosing the best lift chair recliner for elderly loved ones can seem daunting.

However, high-quality, dependable, inexpensive options are available for those looking to save money.

Overall, investing in a lift chair can greatly improve the quality of life for elderly individuals, providing them with the necessary support and assistance.

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