December 4, 2023 | Natalie Webber

Top 3 drawbacks of riser recliner chairs, with solutions

If you’re researching riser recliner chairs, you may have read about their downsides and have reservations about making a purchase.

There are pros and cons to every choice we make, and riser recliner chairs are certainly no different. The question you’re probably asking is, are the cons of riser recliner chairs big enough to mean it’s not a good investment for me?

So, in this article, we’ll address the top 3 drawbacks of riser recliner chairs head on. The good news is that, in all honesty, these disadvantages are usually either easily overcome, or less of a problem than they might appear at first. So, we’ll also propose solutions for each potential problem.

The 3 top drawbacks of riser recliner chairs:

  • Space requirements
  • Difficult to move
  • Entrapment risk

1. Riser recliner chairs take up too much space


Riser recliner chairs are often perceived to be big, bulky items of furniture that take up a lot of space. In an upright seated position, they don’t necessarily take up any more space than any other armchair. Where they do require extra space compared to standard armchairs, is when you use the recline function.

In terms of design, there are 3 factors that determine how much room space your riser recliner will use:

  • Size

It’s easy to look at product images in a brochure or on a website and assume riser recliners are all the same size. In fact, if you have a proper needs assessment and get a correctly fitting riser recliner chair, the standard dimensions may well change. What seat width and seat depth measurements you require will impact how much space your riser recliner chair uses.

  • StyleArm Style Comparison

Options like armrest style affect the overall width of your riser recliner. For example, a traditional scroll arm takes up more room than a more contemporary flat arm. The impact may be subtle, but nonetheless helpful where space is limited. A slimmer design can also make the appearance of a riser recliner more proportionate in smaller rooms.

  • Mechanism

Obviously, a riser recliner will take up the most space in your room when fully reclined. There are different types of riser recliner mechanism which affect the way, and extent to which, it reclines. A standard dual motor riser recliner, for example, requires more space than a single motor riser recliner, because it can recline further.



Usually, potential space constraints can be overcome by re-arranging furniture or having your old armchair removed. If you’re extremely tight for space, in a flat, for example, then a wall-hugger riser recliner mechanism may offer a solution. This changes the way the chair moves as you recline, meaning that you only need about 6 inches of wall clearance.

Single Motor Wall Hugger Positions

2. Riser recliner chairs are difficult to move


Like most sofas and armchairs, riser recliners are not designed to be regularly moved or relocated. While some riser recliner chairs are supplied on castors, these are usually small and it can become difficult to move the chair, particularly on carpet. This design feature has the best of intentions, keeping the riser recliner stable to reduce the risk of you falling when getting in and out. Nonetheless, if a regular hoover underneath your armchair is important to you, this may be very frustrating!



You can choose heavy duty braked castors or glides, depending on your floor surface, toBraked castors or Glides make it easier to move your riser recliner chair when you need to.

Note: this does not make the riser recliner chair suitable for daily repositioning e.g. moving the chair between rooms in a care home. In this scenario, you will need a mobile riser recliner like the Ashore Porter.


3. Riser recliner chairs pose an entrapment risk


This risk of entrapment in a riser recliner chair is usually very low, provided you’ve had a professional assessment that indicates it’s a suitable style of seating for your needs, and you only use your chair in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions in the user manual. Where entrapment is of more concern, is if you have pets or young children, as it is possible for them to become trapped underneath the chair as it’s lowered, for example.



All our domestic ASHORE riser recliners have anti-entrapment sensors built in asRiser Recliner Chair Anti Entrapment Enclosure Skirt standard. These sensors are fitted to the underside of the riser recliner and, if anything makes contact with them, the chair will stop moving.

You can also choose an optional anti-entrapment enclosure skirt for your riser recliner. As the name suggests, this encloses the mechanism when the chair is either in the full rise or recline positions.


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Natalie Webber

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