Best Lift Chairs for Elderly People: Standing Help to Maximize Independence and Safety

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Lift chairs, aka power recliners or lift seats, are wonderful tools that help seniors get to a standing position more easily and safely. The best power lift recliners have multiple positions, battery backups, and are soft and supportive too!

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Income Disclosure: Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. Learn More.

Simply rising from a seat is a difficult task for many seniors and elderly people.

But there is a great product available to help! Power lift chairs are recliners that feature a powered lifting mechanism that lifts or elevates the chair from its base. This makes it much easier for its occupants to stand up after being seated.

These chairs are wonderful additions in the life of anyone who has mobility issues or conditions that cause chronic pain.

But, do you know how to find the best lift chairs for elderly people who need help standing?

Keep reading to learn more!

Lift Chair Reviews

Catnapper Soother Power Full Lay-Out Lift Chair

Catnapper Soother Power Full Lay-Out Lift Chair

This recliner is a full lay-out chaise style lounger with lift and tilt features. And it looks good while doing it! And, speaking of style, there are lots of colors to choose from too. Heat and massage features are also part of the package!

It is luxurious and durable! The upholstery is rich and soft chenille fabric. The seat box is robust and accommodates up to 350 lbs. Designed for people who are small or average height, those who are taller than around 5’7″ will probably find that it is a bit too short for them even when the footrest is extended.

The heat and massage units are popular features that boost relaxation. Recline and lift are useful for those with standing and mobility issues. However, the footrest does not get as high as other units I have reviewed. This means that it may not be the best choice for an older person with leg or feet circulation issues.

The lift feature though is robust with smooth motion. It is extremely useful for those who need help moving from the recliner to a wheelchair. Overall, the chair is comfortable enough for long-term use and even sleep in.

U-MAX Recliner Power Lift Chair Wall Hugger

U-MAX Recliner Power Lift Chair Wall Hugger

This lift and reclining chair is a great combination of features and price. It features a lift mechanism for standing help and a full recline for reading or even for sleeping. And, it looks good while doing it too.

The vibrating massage and heating features add improved comfort and relaxation. You can concentrate the massage where you want it: your legs, thighs, lumbar section, or back. Plus, you can choose from five different massage style settings (pulse, press, wave, auto, and manual). A massage timer is part of the package.

This combination of high end features and moderate price is why this is my top recommended lift chair for elderly people who are looking for the total package.

A high level of comfort features are included too. The U-MAX upholstery is a soft and sturdy PU leather with extra-thick padded back, head, and armrests. It’s a wall hugger design too so it is easy to fit in any space. It only needs 10 inches of space from the wall in order to fully recline!

There are two remotes which can get confusing. All the reclining and lift features are completely motorized and controlled by these remotes. It also has two cup holders and four side bags for drink storage or even TV remote controls and reading material. It supports up to 330 lbs.

If you are looking for comfort, a sturdy build, and high end features in your next lift recliner, but you don’t want to drain your checking account, go with the U-Max.

Catnapper Power Lift Full Lay-Out Recliner

Catnapper Power Lift Full Lay-Out Recliner

This durable and powerful lift chair has dual motors that allow the back and the leg rest to move independently. This customizes the chair’s infinite positions until you find the one that is most comfortable.

This recliner has gel infused foam in the important areas that relieves pressure from parts of the body that are usually under a lot of stress. This plush recliner chair has an elegant design with three color choices that belongs even in the fanciest of homes.

Overall, though, this is a basic recliner chair. But it has all the necessary features you could want. You or your elderly loved one will rest comfortably on it because it features high-quality design and construction!

Reviewers routinely praise its soft and plush materials and sturdy and durable construction. They also comment on the chair’s firmness and comfort, saying that it is a great place for both naps and deep sleep.

Best Home ProLounger Lya Power Recline and Lift Wall Hugger

Best Home ProLounger Lya Power Recline and Lift Wall Hugger

This stylish and comfortable “Renu” leather power recliner is a wall hugger recliner with lift, recline and reading options. ,All of these are controlled by an easy to use remote. The comfortable cushions are filled with high-density foam with independent pocket coils that ensure long life and comfort.

The recliner holds users weighing up to 300 lbs and is nicely padded with good back support, plush armrests, and a comfy footrest. The upholstery is durable, breathable and has an appealing top grain leather-like appearance.

The tilt and lift features of this chair make it the perfect choice for older users or those with injuries that make standing difficult. Since it’s a wall hugger, it even fits in a bedroom or a small living room. All you need are four inches of space behind the chair to fully recline.

Set up is easy but it will need some assembly. But many people have it up and running in less than ten minutes. The supportive spring mechanism and the durable wired controller will work well for a long time. There is no remote to lose, no batteries to change, and annoying levers to find. The wired controller is easy to use, even for those with poor eyesight or Parkinson’s. The motor is smooth and quiet when in use.

One possible issue is that the leather is rather slick. This means certain positions might cause people to slide up and down it. It might be hard to get traction to adjust yourself when fully reclined too. The strength of the user and their clothing choice might affect this more or less. The chair fits people of average height and may be a little uncomfortable for taller people.

Ashley Furniture Signature Design Ernestine Power Lift Recliner

Ashley Furniture Signature Design Ernestine Power Lift Recliner

This power recliner and lift chair combination has extra plush cushions for top level comfort. Its high-resiliency foam cushions provide support and are covered in a chenille-feel upholstery. Several colors are available so this lift chair will fit right in even in the most elegant home. The back-up battery makes sure the chair still works in a power outage.

It features a one-touch setting to control the lift feature. The dual motor design takes custom comfort to a new level with infinite positions. Build quality is high in this model too. The fabrics are pre-approved for wearability and durability against AHFA standards. The metal frame is strong and durable.

RELATED: Best Waterproof Chair Pad for the Elderly

This lift chair has some of the best lift chair reviews you will read. Many of the reviews come from elderly people or people with disabilities who say this chair has made it much easier for them to sit and stand up. Many couldn’t do either before. They praise this chair for the wide range of positions it offers.

Coaster Home Furnishings Power Lift Recliner

Coaster Home Furnishings Power Lift Recliner

This is another great lift recliner for elderly people. This plush recliner chair combines modern technology with the traditional styling of a bustle back chair with thick pillow arms and plush padded velvet. The back and headrest pads are extra thick for maximum comfort. It also has pocket coil seating that provides comfortable support in any position. This chair is a great choice for those who suffer from chronic pain or recovering from injuries or procedures.

The smooth and quiet lift function helps the user get up easily without straining or risking an injury or fall. There is a convenient side pocket meant to store the remote so that you can find it easily. A back-up battery ensures that your elderly loved one can move the chair in case of is a power outage. This lift chair is available in a wide choice of colors too.

Mega Motion Infinite Position Power Easy Comfort Lift Chair

Mega Motion Infinite Position Power Easy Comfort Lift Chair

This basic lifting recliner is innovative and stylish with vinyl and fabric upholstery choices.

This comfortable chair can be used as a simple lounge chair or folded out as a comfortable recliner. The quiet and smooth lifting mechanism makes it a good choice for elderly people who struggle to get in and out of other chairs. The fold-out footrest offers maximum comfort and the recline feature makes the perfect bed for reading, watching TV, or sleeping. The chair is fairly compact and is one of the best small recliners out there. But, the seat cushion is slightly hard when sitting in the full, upright position.

The remote control has two buttons but they are a little confusing. One button selects the thing you want to move (back, legs, or lift) while the other then raises or lowers the selected mechanism. This method is slightly counter-intuitive but it does reduce the number of buttons you need to learn. Once you get used to it, however, independently operating the legs and the seat back is a nice feature. You can elevate your legs without using the recliner which is a great option for those who are suffering from edema or other swelling.

The heat and massage features of this chair are a surprise addition at this price point. Many seniors enjoy the heat feature. If they’re not comfortable in bed with their electric blanket, they can move to the recliner to sleep in a different position while still enjoying the extra warmth.

The massage feature is also handy, although it is timed. You cannot stop and start it at will. This may frustrate some people.

Overall, however, it’s a great chair that is comfortable and durable and easy to set up once it is in your living room.

Buying Guide

senior couple shopping online for the best lift chair

With so many options in the market, it can be hard to know what you need to look for in order to ensure you buy the lift chair that meets your needs. You can find a great lift chair on many different budgets, and knowing some of their key features will make it easier to find the best one.


How will you use your lift chair? Will you be sitting upright most of the time? Or, will you actually be sleeping in the chair some? These are important questions to answer because there are a variety of positioning options in these chairs.

  • 2 Position Lift Chairs offer only two basic positions: sitting or standing. Some models may have a slight recline to them but most don’t do even that.
  • 3 Position Lift Chairs add limited recline to the list of positions. So, you can stand, sit, and lay back a little for reading or TV watching. These do not recline completely.
  • Infinite Position Lift Chairs use electric motors and a remote control to move the chair into a nearly infinite choice of positions. Everything from standing up to laying down flat – and all positions in between.

Size and Weight Limit

Like many other pieces of furniture, you can buy lift chairs in all different sizes. To determine the best size for you, look at the space you have for a lift chair. If space is tight, consider a wall hugger model because they take up less room. This feature can be a godsend. These chairs only need to be placed a few inches away from the wall and still recline fully. Or, get one that is smaller in size overall.

Also, take into account the size of the user. Chairs that use power motors usually have weight limits. Most will support up to 300 lbs. But, make sure the chair you choose will support your weight.

Fabric and Upholstery

This is an important choice because this is the part of the chair that you will interact with the most. The challenge with upholstery is balancing comfort and function.

For example, leather is a popular choice because it is luxurious, durable, and, quite frankly, looks better that other choices. But, if you live in a warm climate or are hot natured, leather will make you feel hotter and sweat.

The other common fabric choice are polyester blend fabrics like microfiber. These fabrics are cooler and softer against the skin. However, many are difficult to clean and are more likely to tear and get damaged. Microfiber fabrics are easier to clean than other poly blends.

Firm vs. Soft

While you want your lift chair to be plush and comfortable, materials that are too soft might make it harder for seniors to get up. Cushions that allow the occupant to sink in will require much more effort to stand up, even when using the lift mechanism. High-density foam is a great option, since it will provide comfort but is still firm enough to be supportive of your body weight.

Back-up battery

This feature might seem insignificant, but it can be a life saver if there is a power outage where your loved one lives. In that situation, they are still be able to move the chair rather than stay trapped. This is extremely important if they live alone and aren’t very mobile.

Heat and Massage Functions

This is a luxury feature but worth considering. Power lift chairs that offer these features will provide a relaxing experience for your loved one in the comfort of their own home. These setting are usually completely customizable, and allow you to choose different intensities and characteristics.

FAQ: More Info About Lift Chairs

How Does a Lift Chair Work?

Lift chairs are chairs that feature a motorized mechanism that pushes the entire chair up and forwards from its base. This handy mechanism allows the occupant of the chair to get out of the chair and stand up easily. This system is usually controlled through buttons, or most commonly, through a remote control.

Lift chairs are usually plush and comfortable, and most also work as recliners. They are incredibly useful for elderly people, people with conditions that cause chronic pain, and people recovering from injuries and/or surgical procedures. These chairs allow the user to have greater independence and mobility, making them less reliable on helpers and caregivers.

How Do Lift Chairs Benefit Seniors?

For seniors with limited mobility, a lift chair can be a wonderful addition. They allow their users to regain a sense of independence, since they can choose when to sit down and stand up without asking for help. They can watch their favorite TV show, lay down to take a nap, or simply sit down and enjoy a cup of tea without having to worry about how they will get up.

For seniors with chronic back pain, reclining in a lift chair can also be a wonderful alternative to a bed. Using a lift chair with reclining functions, they can choose exactly the position that makes them feel most comfortable and relieves their pain. Lift chairs that also offer massage and heating functions are also helpful in relieve pressure points, chronic pain, and muscle stress.

How Do I Use a Lift Chair Safely?

Before buying a lift chair, you need to ask yourself if your elderly loved one has the cognitive skills to operate it safely. Seniors with severe musculoskeletal diseases or neurodegenerative conditions might find it challenging to use a lift chair.

Make sure the lift chair you purchase is sturdy enough to support the weight of your loved one. Cheaply made lift chairs can tilt too far up and make its occupant fall to the ground. Lift chairs with back-up batteries will ensure that your elderly loved one can climb out of the chair after a blackout. This feature can be especially important if they live alone.

Liquids shouldn’t come into contact with the lifting mechanism. This can cause hazardous electric discharges. Try to keep the cord wrapped neatly and away from your elderly loved one’s feet. Not doing this can cause them to become tangled in the cord when they get out of the chair and fall down.

Does Medicare Pay for Lift Chairs?

If your loved one’s doctor determines that they need a lift chair, Medicare will cover this expense as a durable medical equipment. In most cases, Medicare won’t cover features that they don’t consider to be medically necessary. This includes recliner, heat, and massage features. This means that if you want a lift chair that includes these functions, you will need to pay for a portion of the cost.

In order for your lift chair to be covered by Medicare, you need to make sure it is purchased through suppliers that are enrolled in their program. Otherwise, Medicare and supplementary insurances might not cover the cost of your lift chair.

Summary and Final Recommendations

Now that you know which features to look for, it will be much easier for you to find the best lift chair for you and your needs.

If you are looking for the best of the best, go with the Catnapper Full Lay Out Model at Amazon. You’ll get the benefits of a lift chair plus one of the most comfortable recliners on the market.

There are many different options at different price points in the market though. So, if you are a value shopper, go with the U-MAX Recliner Power Lift Chair at Amazon. It offers many beneficial features at a reasonable price. You can’t beat its massage and heat functions! The U-MAX will provide many hours of relaxation and comfort for its owner.

Sources and Further Reading:

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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