April 29, 2024 | Natalie Webber

Riser recliner vs care chairs: which is best for care homes?

If you’re looking to buy supportive seating for a service user or relative in a care home, the chances are you’re probably wondering what different types of healthcare chairs exist and which is most suitable.

In this guide, we’re going to explain the differences between a riser recliner chair and a care chair, but we won’t leave you there! We’ll also give you specific advice about what level of specialist seating is normally required in a range of scenarios.

What is the difference between a riser recliner chair and a care chair?


A riser recliner chair has an electric lift and recline function and is designed to support a person who has limited mobility to stand up. A range of postural needs can be accommodated with basic lateral support and tilt-in-space features, to name a couple.


A care chair has a recline only function and typically offers an even greater range of positioning features and adjustments for users who are more immobile, transferring using a hoist and potentially spending all day in the chair.

It probably won’t surprise you that, given the top considerations for care homes buying recliner chairs, a professional seating assessment for each service user is essential when you’re looking at a potential purchase.

A riser recliner chair is likely to be best where:

  • Service user is ambulant or semi-ambulant i.e. they are able to transfer to and from the chair independently or with some standing assistance e.g. using a Sara Stedy

Service users who are likely to benefit from a riser recliner chair include those with:

Popular models:Ashore Porter Riser Recliner Chair

Here, we can clear up a common misconception that a riser recliner chair can’t also be a porter chair (i.e. wheeled from room to room). It can – because that’s exactly what the ASHORE Porter riser recliner chair does!

A care chair is best is likely to be best where:

  • Service user is non-ambulant i.e. they are not able to transfer to and from a chair independently or with a stand aid, and are lifted using a full-body patient hoist
  • Service user has complex postural, pressure care and positioning requirements

Service users who are likely to benefit from a care chair include those with:

  • Advanced dementia
  • Motor neurone disease (MND)
  • Huntingdon’s disease
  • Agitation and/or wandering
  • Life limiting conditions

Popular models:

For more modular and bespoke care chair solutions, we recommend Formal Medical.



Get in touch

Got a question or want to send us a message?  Let’s talk.



Natalie Webber

Back to Blog