Recliners are a popular choice for furniture, but what happens when you need a lift chair instead? Can you convert a recliner to a lift chair? It depends on the type of recliner and the lift chair. However, it is possible to convert a recliner to a lift chair in most cases.
However, there may be some modifications required to make the chairs compatible. Read on to learn more about converting a recliner to a lift chair. With a few simple changes, you can have a comfortable lift chair that will help make rising from a seated position easier. Keep reading for more information on converting a recliner to a lift chair.
Can You Convert a Recliner to a Lift Chair: 10 Factors to Consider
1. Lift Chair Height:
The first and most important factor is to make sure your chair can be converted. The back of a lift chair needs to reach near the middle of your shoulder blades to provide the proper support. If the lift chair back is too short, it can cause your shoulders to slump forward. If you don’t want to give up the reclining function because it feels good on your back, make sure your seat depth can be increased.
If you have a lift chair with a fold-down tray or one with removable armrests, those can be easily removed. However, if your lift chair has fixed arms, those need to be thick enough to accommodate a recliner lift’s motor mechanism and controls.
3. Removable Seat Cushion:
Initially, measuring for proper fit is extremely important for any lift chair. The seat needs to be long enough to accommodate your hips, and the back of the chair should reach near your shoulder blades. A lift chair with a removable seat cushion can have different depths.
Still, if you have one with a fixed seat cushion, it’s very inconvenient to find the perfect fit in side-by-side comparisons at a retailer. If you can do so, purchase a lift chair with a removable seat cushion that can be adjusted to two different depths or one that has a flat and split option. Most likely, it will cost more, but the convenience of being able to try out multiple seats is worth it.
4. Recliner Separate From Lift Chair:
Many lift chairs can recline without the motorized movement of the chair, but if you want the option to recline without moving your back, make sure this is an available feature. A power assist mechanism will give you more options for the position than manual controls ever could. However, there are some models that have a manual reclining lift chair and a separate motorized lift.
5. Vertical Tension:
Some lift chairs use tension when lifting, but the more common design is to have a linear actuator that moves in an up and down motion like a piston. You need to make sure your preferred mechanism has enough strength to support you in the seated position and raise you from a seated to an upright position. A lift chair that has a piston-like mechanism provides greater vertical tension than the tension rod designs of the 90s but will require more space behind your chair.
6. Seat Depth:
Seat depth is important because it allows for proper back support when using the lift-off feature. If you choose a lift chair with a back recline, the depth is less crucial because your shoulders will still be supported when you lean back. However, the seat needs to be long enough to support your thighs and allow for space between the front of the chair and the curve in your lower calf.
To determine this, sit on one side of the lift chair and extend your legs to level with the floor. Then, lean back on an angle to determine how close you can get to the front of the chair without being uncomfortable.
7. Comfort & Safety:
High-quality lift chair recliners will have a minimum weight capacity of 250 lbs. The larger the frame, the stronger the motor and actuator must be. Ensure your lift chair recliner will support your weight safely and comfortably with a strength test at the store.
A good-quality lift chair will have a warranty of at least one year from the manufacturer and come with a written instruction manual. In addition, the more expensive, high-end models may include a battery backup system in case of a power outage. Lift chairs must also comply with existing fire codes that require special wiring to be installed behind decorative covers.
9. Dimensions of the Base:
A wide base provides greater stability, and a wider base also allows room for more reclining positions. Check the clearance from the wall, as those with a larger footprint may require furniture moving to fit behind couches or recliners.
10. Highly Adjustable:
Adjustability is an important factor because it will ensure that you can customize your chair to fit your specific needs. For example, the reclining mechanism should lock into multiple angles to allow you to sit up, lean back, and lie flat. In addition, the headrest should be able to move forward and backward along with tilting side-to-side for an adjustable neck rest.
How Much Does a Lift Chair Mechanism Cost?
A lift chair mechanism can cost between $400 and $2,000. Some may go as high as $3,500. When you buy a new lift chair from a reputable dealer, the base mechanism is included in that price. The labor to install it is also included in that price at no extra charge.
However, if you purchase a new lift chair and it does not come with the base mechanism, you will need to buy one separately. Additionally, some dealers may offer guarantees on the mechanisms that they sell. This means that you get more than just a chair that works; you get peace of mind knowing that your chair won’t break down after a certain amount of use.
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As you can see, this process is not too complicated and will save money in the long run. In addition, doing so provides a more ergonomic experience for your back and reduces strain on your lower legs when getting up from seated positions. Enjoying life with less pain never sounded so good!
We hope this blog post has been helpful to clarify the answer can you convert a recliner to a lift chair. If you want to learn more about how we can help convert recliners into lift chairs or find out which one would best suit you, feel free to contact us!
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