March 15, 2024 | Natalie Webber

What fabric or upholstery is best for my riser recliner chair?

When there are potentially hundreds of upholstery choices for a riser recliner chair, it’s understandable that it feels a bit of minefield to find the right one for you.

And while some of our customers just want ‘something sensible’, there are also lots of people who have more specific wants and needs.

In this guide, we’ll go through 5 common scenarios and pinpoint exactly what upholstery is most suitable for your needs.

1. You live in a care facility


As you might expect, there are regulations for upholsteries used in public settings like care homes. As it relates to riser recliner chairs, the fabric must be ‘Crib 5’. This means it has passed the Crib 5 test and conforms to UK fire regulations.

The upholstery will normally need to be harder wearing than a domestic setting, so we recommend choosing upholstery with a Martindale rub rating of at least 100,000 – and one that is waterproof and wipe-clean.

If you’re supporting a service user who displays behaviour that challenges, we recommend a Martindale rub rating of 400,000 or above.

Popular choices include:

Visit our Bespoke Gallery for more ideas!

Ashore Porter Riser Recliner Chair



2. You experience incontinence


This is also where waterproof upholstery comes in. A lot of waterproof options are also wipe-clean and stain resistant.

It’s important to note that the upholstery can’t protect the mechanism from damage due to severe incontinence. But adding waterproof upholstery does enable easy cleaning and better hygiene where there’s likely to be leaks or spills.


Bespoke Ashore Styler Riser Recliner Chair

Visit our Bespoke Gallery for more ideas!



3. You eat meals in your chair


If you’re chair is likely to get messy, it’s a good idea to go for wipe-clean upholstery. You may also want waterproof properties but, at a minimum, wipe-clean upholstery will allow you to easily clean the seating area of your riser recliner.

Popular choices include:

4. You have a pet at home


Paws and claws don’t always mix well with standard domestic fabrics! In this scenario, you can take advantage of a newer type of fabric called ‘Aquaclean’. As well as being anti-bacterial and cleanable with just water, Aquaclean Extreme fabrics have a special construction which makes them scratch resistant. It doesn’t make them indestructible, but they’re a definite improvement over traditional fabric!

Aquaclean vs traditional fabric comparison

5. You need pressure relief


You can have the best pressure relief seat cushion built into your riser recliner chair, but there’s very little benefit unless the fabric that sits on top of it is 4-way stretch and breathable. This is because friction, heat and moisture can all be contributing factors in pressure ulcer development.

So, there are specially designed fabrics for pressure relief in riser recliner chairs. These can be used to cover the whole chair or just the seat and/or back area. Most people choose the latter and, in so doing, you can create a good-looking two-tone design!

Popular choices include:

Bespoke Ashore Carey Riser Recliner Chair

Visit our Bespoke Gallery for more ideas!

Ashore Haven Riser Recliner Chair



If none of these scenarios are applicable to you but you want something more than beige fabric for your riser recliner chair, be assured that there is a myriad of fabrics for every taste – traditional and modern – and we’re on hand to help you find just the thing!


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Natalie Webber

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