August 15, 2023 | Natalie Webber

What is a dual motor riser recliner chair? Your ultimate guide

Are you having an initial look at rise and recline chairs and trying to understand exactly how the different mechanisms work?

Here we’ll explain, in depth, what dual motor riser recliner chairs are and how they work, so you can understand if this might be the right choice for you.

Here’s 3 things you’ll know in approximately 4 minutes time:

  • What they do and how they work
  • What each type is used for
  • What sizes, weight limits and options are available

Dual motor riser recliner

What is a dual motor riser recliner chair? 

s you might imagine, a dual motor rise and recline chair has two motors. One motor powers the backrest, and one powers the legrest and rise function. This means the backrest and legrest operate independently of each other, so you can choose from a range of positions for optimum comfort.

When you’re ready to stand up, the chair will lift you up to a point where it feels comfortable to walk away, or transfer from. The rise function also works in the opposite direction to help you lower yourself into the chair the next time you sit down.

Types of dual motor riser recliner and how they work

Besides the basic actions we’ve described above, there are different types of dual motor riser recliner chairs which change how the chair moves. Each type has applications it’s best for, so understanding the differences is the first step in deciding what would work for you. As with our single motor guide, let’s have a good look at each type.

Dual Standard Motor – sometimes called 2 motor 3-way or Dual Static Seat

Dual Std Motor PositionsOn a standard dual motor riser recliner chair, the backrest will remain upright as you raise the legrest, because they operate on two separate motors. This means the backrest reclines independently. To give you some examples of positions you can achieve using a dual standard motor riser recliner, you can:

  • Put your feet up while sitting upright. As described, just raise the legrest.
  • Recline to lay nearly flat. First, raise the legrest to its highest (horizontal) position and then
         recline the backrest up to its full extent (around 60 degrees) to enjoy a comfortable
         resting position.

Dual Motor Tilt-in-Space (TIS) 

Dual TIS Motor PositionsWith a dual motor tilt-in-space mechanism, the whole seat tilts to keep the seat to back angle fixed as the chair reclines. This keeps your hip angle at 90 degrees, preventing shear and friction and distributing your weight evenly.

In addition to this tilt-in-space action, the second motor allows you to set the back angle independently. Now, I understand why this may sound confusing! For total clarity, let’s break it down, step by step, so you can see exactly what this means.

1. As you raise the legrest to begin reclining, the seat tilts as described above.

2. By the time the legrest has reached its highest position, you will be tilted backwards to
    around a 45-degree angle.

3. If you choose, you can then recline the backrest further, so your back is in a virtually 
    horizontal position. Your seat and legrest position stay in the tilt-in-space position, so
    this isn’t quite the same as laying flat.

In this sequence, because the seat tilts, then the back fully reclines, it reclines further back than a dual standard. You also achieve higher leg elevation.

Depending on the seat dimensions you require, you may have an option called Variable Angle Lift (VAL). This gives you a choice of 3 lifting angles, providing more or less support as you stand up from the chair.

2 motor 4th position

You can think of this as a hybrid dual motor rise and recliner chair. When the legrest reaches its highest position (and without changing the backrest angle), the chair will move into tilt-in-space. The chair can then reach a ‘trendelenburg’ position, where your legs are at a higher level than your heart.

Now, if you search hard enough, you just might come across other less common dual motor riser recliner mechanisms, or models that operate in slightly different ways. We’d hate to be accused of missing something out, so we should say that this is intended to be your ultimate guide to most common types!

Controls of a dual motor riser recliner chairDual Motor Handset

Obviously, the various models available mean you’re likely to see differing control styles. A dual motor riser recliner chair will usually have a handset with four or six buttons. Some handsets may also have an On/Off button, reset button or an optional key lock.

Here you can see a typical handset used on both dual standard and dual TIS motors. When used on a dual standard motor, the top two buttons control the backrest, and the bottom top buttons control the legrest and rise function. If you have a dual TIS motor, the bottom top buttons will control the tilt-in-space and rise function.

What each type of dual motor riser recliner chair is used for

A dual standard motor is ideal if you need a variety of positions, including to put your feet up without moving the backrest or tilting the seat.

Designed for pressure relief and prevention, a dual TIS motor is commonly used where you’re likely to spend long periods of time in your chair.

A 2 motor 4th is a natural option to shortlist if you need particularly high leg elevation. Also note that the footrest extends as it raises, so this may be a good option for taller users.

This gives you a quick run through of what each type of dual motor riser recliner is best for, but we’ll discuss this in more depth in other articles.

Sizes and weight limits

The way the various dual motor mechanisms work means they are built into different frames, with varying weight capacities. Most dual motor riser recliners will have a safe working load of either 95kg (15st), 130kg (20st) or 160kg (25st). There are also bariatric models, which can have weight limits of between 220kg (35st) and 445kg (70st).

Dual motor armchairs are available in both standard and made to measure sizes. Depending on the mechanism, dimensions typically available are:

  • Seat height: 16-22 inches
  • Seat width: 16-35 inches
  • Seat depth: 18-22 inches

If you need a made to measure rise and recline chair, discuss what sizes and configurations are available to meet your needs in your seating assessment. For example, optional seat depth reducer pads may provide for a seat depth of just 16 inches.

What options are available for a dual motor riser recliner

There is a huge range of options and accessories you can choose for a dual motor rise and recline chair. Along with the obvious things like fabrics and protective covers, you’ll also have choices of:

  • Backrest style
  • Pressure relief seat cushions
  • Battery back-up
  • And much more!

Well, we may have given you a lot of information, but you should now have a good understanding of dual motor rise and recline chairs! After all, if you’re going to part with a chunk of cash and invest in a dual motor riser recliner, you want to be sure you’re spending it on the right thing.

A final note: because dual motor riser recliner chairs have more functionality, you can probably imagine why there are more nuances than with a straightforward single motor chair, for example. For this reason, we must recommend consulting with a seating provider before purchasing a dual motor rise and recline chair.



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What is a single motor rise and recline chair? Your Ultimate Guide



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Natalie Webber

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