Although sleeping in a bed is the norm for most of us, it’s just not possible for some people. Whether it is because they are elderly, have back pain, or suffer from a condition such as sleep apnea, there are many people who prefer to sleep in recliner chairs. Some might even just like to sleep in a recliner chair because they think it’s more comfortable than a bed!
Especially for the elderly, sleeping in a recliner can make “bed” time much more comfortable. It might even allow them to sleep better and more deeply. Good sleep is fundamental to happiness, proper cognitive functioning, healing tissues, and hormone regulation. Some studies have even linked good sleep with a longer lifespan!
So, what is the best sleeping chair for elderly people? Here you go!
Quick Picks: Power Recliners for Sleeping
There are many different sleeping chairs for the elderly available in the market. But how do you know which is the best recliner for elderly to sleep in? Here are some of my top picks:
Golden Technologies EZ Sleeper with Twilight
For utmost comfort and relaxation, the new EZ Sleeper with Twilight technology from Golden Technologies is designed with a stylish track arm and innovative Twilight technology. The innovative features of the latest addition to the Twilight family are all packaged in a modern, stylish and well designed lift recliner.
The EZ Sleeper is designed to comfortably accommodate users who weigh up to 375 pounds, with an average height of between 5’4” and 5’10”. To provide the most relaxing and health boosting experience to users at all times, this new tilt recliner is designed with the patented 5-motor system from Golden Technologies.
- Twilight Cradle Technology: Thanks to the three motor Twilight tilting system, this seat shifts your body into a weight neutral state for utmost relaxation. With your body relaxed and in a comfortable position, falling asleep becomes less of a challenge. Furthermore, with your body cradled into the most relaxing position, your weight is evenly distributed, thus relieving pressure points and any associated pain or discomfort.
- PowerPillow And Lumbar Support: This tilt recliner also comes with a power headrest and power lumbar support feature. These innovative features, together with the Twilight Cradle Technology work in tandem to support proper posture by ensuring that the natural S-shape of the backbone is well supported.
- Elevate Feet Above Heart: This tilt recliner is capable of lifting the user’s feet to a level that is above the heart. This feature helps improve the user’s circulation, boosting their health as a result.
- Offers multiple positions thanks to the patented 5-motor system, ensuring utmost comfort, relaxation and pain relief.
- Lots of space for your torso and legs
- The arms remain accessible even as the chair is in a reclined position, thanks to the innovative track arm design, giving you a stable base from which you can lift up yourself if necessary.
- Boost circulation by elevating feet above heart
- Stylish finish
- No extended footrest is available
Golden Technologies Cloud PR-510 with MaxiComfort
Golden Technologies Cloud PR-510 with MaxiComfort offers a very good balance of comfort, support, and features. The chair itself can be comfortable to sit in for long periods of time due to it being packed full of features specifically to enhance comfort in all positions.
Not only does it feature Golden’s one-of-a-kind Zero Gravity positioning, but it offers features that improve the comfort you experience even when reclined. The seat is designed to simultaneously raise while the chair reclines to help you get an effective lower back stretch in. It also allows for a high enough foot raise that will allow you to ensure that your feet are able to rest above your heart to keep your feet from swelling.
The chair features an overstuffed biscuit back design in order to offer plenty of support for your upper back. The chair’s chaise pad design is meant to cradle your entire lower body. The armrests are purposefully positioned in a way that allows you to position them comfortably while fully reclined or seated upright.
To put it simply, you will be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable chair. The Zero Gravity positioning can help you rest your entire body unlike any other chair on the market. Each position was well thought out with the design and it can keep you comfortable for a long time. The thickness of the padding is perfect and the pressure on your upper and lower back is evenly distributed throughout.
The implementation of the programmable hand controls makes it very easy to save your favorite position and swapping positions is very accessible.
This chair’s superb comfort and quality of life features come at a cost. There is no denying that this chair is expensive. However, you do get a lot of value for your money.
- Comfortable overstuffed design with lots of support
- Zero Gravity positioning for a restful sleep
- Hand controls are easy to use and understand
- Price is higher for this model than others
This is one of the best chairs on the market if you want something that is comfortable and easy to use. Anyone that has back problems or even circulatory issues should consider this chair.
Golden Technologies Comforter PR-505 with MaxiComfort
Golden Technologies MaxiComfort PR-505 features its standout Zero Gravity positioning. This ensures that your entire body will be able to rest when you recline in the chair. This can help anyone that suffers from aches and pains or those that might want back relief. The chair even offers the ability to raise the hips or recline into a position where your feet are above your heart’s level for reduced foot swelling.
- Zero Gravity
The Zero Gravity positioning technology is unparalleled. It is the same technology developed by NASA and it can do wonders for anyone that tends to get aches and pains even white seated.
The remote that the recliner comes with has pre-programmed recline settings which are optimized for TV viewing and for taking advantage of the included Zero Gravity technology. There is also a setting that you can use which will raise your feet above your heart to minimize swelling in your lower extremities. However, it also offers the ability to program your own which can help you save custom positions so you don’t have to rediscover it every time you sit down.
- Different Sizes
This chair comes in 5 different sizes including small, medium, large, tall, and junior petite. Therefore, you won’t have to settle for a size that isn’t optimal for your body type.
- Good Comfort and Support
The recliner features good padding in all areas including the lumbar region for better lumbar support and in the seating portion. With its design, there is no uncomfortable gap between the seat and the footrest. This ensures that it offers high-level comfort when completely seated and while laying down and sleeping.
- Weight Capacity
While there are sizes that can handle a weight capacity of 500 pounds, if you are looking for a chair in junior petite or small, you will be limited to 300-pound capacity.
- Medium Extra Wide Chairs
If you are looking for this specific model, you won’t be getting the AutoDrive hand remote along with the purchase. Instead, you will get a 6-button hand remote.
This is a very comfortable chair with best-in-class Zero Gravy technology. If you are looking for a chair that is targeted at comfort and pain-relief, this is a model you should consider. While it comes in different sizes, there are limitations to the different sizes that you should be aware of prior to purchasing.
Pride VivaLift! Elegance
Pride’s VivaLift Elegance meshes classic looks with newer and more modern features that you would want in a recliner. It essentially takes everything you know and love about older and more classic recliners and pairs them with now must-have features that can enhance accessibility and comfort. Each model size offers a 375-pound capacity and a 21-inch to 22-inch wide seat depending on the model.
The chair comes with a power recline and infinite lay flat capabilities. It offers a fully adjustable headrest and lumbar pillows to make for a much more comfortable seating position. The chaise is fully padded giving excellent leg support and it offers good leg extension for a comfortable laying position.
- Contemporary Design With Modern Features
If you have a contemporary aesthetic in your room, this chair will fit right in. A lot of the recliners that are packed with the newer modern features have a design that doesn’t mesh well with contemporary decor. This chair ensures that you will be able to get the look you want without sacrificing features.
- Contoured Seat
The chair featuring a contoured seat helps you get center positioning which allows you to leverage the backrest for optimal comfort.
- Battery Back-Up
The chair comes with a USB remote that is not only easy to use, but it features a battery back-up to ensure that you are able to use it even without power.
- Leg Rest
While the leg rest does lift high for seating comfort, it doesn’t raise feet above the heart’s level.
Should You Buy?
The VivaLift is a good model for anyone that is seeking modern features in a contemporary/classic design. This recliner will provide ample comfort and the right accessibility features to ensure that you are able to get the most out of it whether you are watching TV or taking a nap.
Golden Technologies Comforter PR-535 with MaxiComfort
The Comforter PR-535 with MaxiComfort is one of the newest lift recliners from Golden Technologies featuring a host of upgrades on an earlier, but highly popular seat design.
For unrivaled comfort, the PR-535 with MaxiComfort features patented MaxiComfort Zero-Gravity Positioning Technology from Golden Technologies packaged in one of their most sought after seats. The chair is available in Small, Medium and Tall sizes capable of comfortably accommodating a weight of 375 pounds. The Medium-Wide variant is designed to hold up to 500 pounds.
- MaxiComfort Zero-Gravity Positioning: To provide utmost comfort, relaxation and pain relief, MaxiComfort technology makes it possible for you to recline your seating position to the NASA developed zero gravity position. This not only helps relieve muscle tension but also relieves back pain. With your feet above your heart, while in this position, circulation is boosted, helping alleviate any associated swelling in your feet.
- Plush Backrest and Armrest With Extra Padding: For the best comfort this chair is also designed with extra padding in the armrest and backrest. The new placement of the seams on the backrest combined with the plush padding provides better support for the spine, further enhancing your level of comfort. Falling asleep is much easier at this level of comfort.
- Available in a variety of sizes, from Small to Tall
- Supports the Trendelenburg position, with the feet raised higher than the head and heart thus boosting circulation.
- Extra padding for utmost comfort
- Easy and customizable controls
- Extended arms to help you sit down or stand up from the chair when reclined
- No heat function
- No massage function
While the Comforter PR-535 with MaxiComfort appears to have all the upgrades needed to make it the best lift recliner out there, the lack of heat and massage functions leaves some room for improvement.
Designed to offer unmatched comfort levels, the VivaLift Metro is exactly what you need if you are in the market for a comfortable chair that you can watch TV, nap or just sit and relax in.
The Metro not only comes with an overstuffed backrest, but also supports multiple positions for utmost comfort for users. The chair’s back, with its split seam, practically has two backrest pillows that support your head as well as your lower back. Your legs, from the knee down to the toes, are also supported by the full chaise leg rest. The chair has a 375 pound weight capacity, and can comfortably accommodate users with a height of 5’4” to 6’0”.
- Lay Flat Infinite Positioning: To ensure that you can find your preferred position, whether you are interested in taking a nap or sitting upright, the Metro has a lay flat infinite positioning feature.
- Power Headrest and Lumbar: While the above feature ensures that you find your preferred position on the Metro, the power lumbar and headrest functions help you adjust the backrest to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible while on the chair.
- Easy To Use Hand Controls: The VivaLift Metro also comes with an easy to use hand control that you can use to adjust the settings of the chair to your liking. The USB charging port included in the hand control unit ensures that charging your phone or tablet is also simple and convenient.
- Comes with a footrest extension for taller users as standard
- Secure seating area thanks to the contoured seat
- Highly comfortable thanks to the overstuffed backrest
- The Metro has a comfortable and inviting appearance
- Comes with a backup lithium battery
- No massage function
- Remote does not come with a memory function
- No Trendelenburg capabilities
The VivaLift Metro is built for comfort; and is a great choice for those looking for an affordable but comfy chair to simply relax or even nap in.
Catnapper Soother 4825 Power Full Lay-Out Lift Chair Recliner
This stylish recliner is a full lay-out chaise lounger with lift and tilt features. It is available in a range of colors. The chair comes with heat and massage features and is easy to use, with a simple remote control that puts the user in full control.
The chair is upholstered with luxurious chenille fabric, and the seat box is robust enough to accommodate up to 350lbs. The chair has a waterfall back with comfortable padding, arm rests, and a padded footrest area. The chair is designed for people who are small or average height, and those who are taller than around 5’7″ may find that it is a little too short for them when the footrest is extended. The width of the chair is 21″ between the armrests, which should suit most builds. Some people opt to use a neck pillow with the chair if they are going to use it for sleeping in.
Heat and Massage
The chair has a heat unit and massage unit are popular features and make this great for people who want to relax and rest in a chair instead of in a bed with an electric blanket. The recline feature and lift features are useful for those with mobility issues, however, the leg lift does not get as high as it would on some other units. This means that it may not be the best choice for an older person with circulation issues.
The heat and massage features operate on a timer, which runs for about 20 minutes and then will auto switch off. There is the option to lock the controller so that the heat feature cannot be triggered accidentally.
The remote control can be counter-intuitive at first. The ‘down’ button is used to recline the chair and raise the feet, while the ‘up’ button is used to lower the feet and return the seat to an upright position. It may take a little while for a much older person to become confident with using the chair, but once they have gotten the hang of it, the increase in their wellbeing and confidence is clear.
Having the ability to use the lift feature to get out of the chair can be useful for those who may otherwise need assistance to move from the recliner to a wheelchair. The lift feels robust and the chair is comfortable enough for long-term use, and even to sleep in.
- Robust tilt and lift feature
- The heat and massage features on the remote can be locked for safety reasons
- Luxurious fabric
- Ideal for average-sized people, nice and low to the ground
- The massage feature is timer-based and more of a gentle vibration than a full massage
- The recliner does not raise the feet to above the level of the heart
The Catnapper Soother Power Lift is a comfortable recliner with a lift feature that makes it easy to transfer from the recliner to a wheelchair if necessary. The massage and heat features make it even better value for money.
SEE ALSO: Wheelchairs That Recline
Sleeping Recliner Chair Buying Guide
Recliner chairs are popular with senior citizens and those with mobility issues. For someone who struggles to get in and out of a normal chair or bed, a recliner can be a good option. A good recliner chair can be comfortable to sleep in, too, but not everyone should sleep in a recliner.
Talk it over with your doctor before making a switch. And, before you start routinely sleeping in a recliner, you should learn the benefits and downsides of doing so.
What are Sleeping Recliners?
Put simply, sleeping recliners are designed to allow you to place the different parts of the chair in a reclining position. They are usually made from plush materials and are heavily stuffed to make sleep more comfortable.
Why Sleep in a Reclining Chair?
There are many reasons to sleep in a recliner. Many illnesses can make it difficult for you to sleep flat on your back. A recliner chair can allow you to sleep in a different position which will alleviate your symptoms. It is important to remember that good, deep sleep has many health benefits. Sleep is essential for our bodies to be able to function properly.
When sleeping in a bed becomes cumbersome, using a recliner can be the best option to let your body rest and heal. It also allows muscles to relax and gravity makes it easier for fluids to return to your heart. This decreases fluid retention and cardiac stress. People with mobility issues can also get a greater sense of independence from being able to change positions easily.
Of course, it’s important to choose the proper recliner. To help you out with this, I listed some of the best sleeping chairs for the elderly at the beginning of this article. An uncomfortable recliner with insufficient support can actually hinder mobility
The Pros And Cons Of Sleeping In A Recliner
A lot of people love to relax in recliners. After all, they are conducive to relaxation and comfort. Being able to rest and lift your legs up can be very comfortable if you are someone that typically stands on your feet all day. Now, you might be wondering whether or not it is good to sleep in a recliner. Below, I’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of sleeping in one.
Pros Of Sleeping In A Recliner:
- Back Pain. For those that suffer from back pain, sleeping on a recliner might be a good way to limit the pain you are experiencing. The reason a recliner is a good option for those that suffer from back pain has to do with the kind of support that you will get with a recliner. Typically, a recliner is going to offer greater support than what you would be able to get from a regular bed.
- Sleep Apnea. If you are someone that suffers from sleep apnea, you might find it beneficial to sleep on a recliner simply because it forces you to sleep in a position where your airways are much more open.
- Pregnant. Another good reason to consider sleeping in a recliner would be if you are pregnant. Sleeping in a traditional bed can be difficult while pregnant if you are not used to sleeping on your back. By sleeping in a recliner, it forces you to sleep on your back and it provides a lot more support.
Cons Of Sleeping In A Recliner:
- Positional Flexibility. The primary con associated with sleeping in one of these chairs is the inability to move around and to choose your optimal sleeping position. You are pretty much going to be stuck in a specific sleeping position no matter what.
- Lower Back Pain. While it can be good for your back pain if you are suffering from a lack of support and your recliner offers it, this type of sleeping can be disastrous for your back pain if your chair doesn’t offer optimal support.
As you can see, there are pros and cons that can sway either way largely depending on the quality of recliner you end up getting. With proper support, you can sleep in a recliner comfortably and safely here and there. However, if your recliner doesn’t offer the proper support or comfort, it could contribute to poor sleep and even back or joint pain, as a result.
Types of Sleeper Recliners for Elderly People
Once you decide to buy a sleeper recliner for an elderly person, you’ll be able to find many options available. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the huge variety of recliners and different features. You might even find it complicated to settle on the right one. Keep in mind that there are different types of recliners, and they all have their own advantages:
- Manual vs electric mechanisms: like their name suggests, you’ll have to change the position of a manual recliner, well, manually. Electric powered recliners come with a motor which does all the work for you –but of course, they’re usually pricier.
- Rockers: some recliners allow for a soft rocking motion that users might find soothing.
- Wall huggers: these chairs can be placed near a wall and still fully recline. This makes them ideal if you have a limited amount of space.
- Lift chairs: these recliners have a mechanism at their base that pushes this portion of the chair up to allow the user to get up from the seat.These chairs are usually among the best sleeping chairs for the elderly. You can read my lift chair recommendations by clicking here.
- Massage recliners: these are usually the priciest recliners in the market, and they incorporate rollers or vibration mechanisms that can massage your back and legs. Many of these recliners also feature heating pads.
Features to Look For in a Sleeping Chair for Elderly Loved Ones:
- Comfort: look for plush materials and a heavily stuffed design to maximize comfort.
- Manual vs. electric recline: this decision will depend on your budget and the needs of the person who will use the chair. An electric chair will be pricier, but it will make it much easier for an elderly or disabled person to change positions.
- Lift Option: this is probably the best feature for those with mobility issues. It will allow them to get on their feet safely and give them greater independence.
- Weight Limit: keeping the weight of the person who will use the recliner in mind, look for a chair that specifies the amount of weight it is made to hold.
- Heat: this feature can be an amazing way to help muscles relax and ease chronic pain. Look for heating pads with adjustable temperature settings.
- Vibrating Massager: what could be better than getting a massage any time you want one? Although these recliners tend to be pricier, they are great for sore muscles and will usually last you many years.
- Easy to Use: features such as remote controls and battery backups will make it easier for you to use your new sleeping recliner.
- Easy to Clean: durable fabrics which are easy to clean will help you prolong the life of your recliner chair and make your day much easier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Are There Health Benefits Of Sleeping In A Recliner?
Better Circulation – Admit it. It feels good to put your feet up after a long day. Whether you stand up for a long time or sit at a desk, blood rushes down to your feet and legs. If you can elevate your feet higher than your heart, your lower body gets relief. Also, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.
Relief From Back Pain – This common ailment hits everyone sooner or later. Your core and back muscles struggle all the time to balance your lower body with your upper one. Reclining takes pressure off your spine. It’s a chance for your core muscles to take a badly needed break. Sleeping in a recliner actually gives them a chance to recover and grow stronger. Who would have thought that time in a recliner could make you stronger?
Deeper Breathing – Some people suffer from sleep apnea. That can be a result of obesity or just sleeping on flat surfaces. A recliner helps your body avoid tissues putting pressure and even restrictions on airways, since you’ll always be at an angle.
Stress Reduction – This might be the biggest and best one. Stress never does any good. It poisons everything that it touches, including other health issues. Recliners are the opposite, since they’re just comfortable. Not only that, you can adjust them for perfect sleeping positions. That helps you avoid tossing and turning and constantly fluffing your pillows. Recliners might actually be better places to sleep than your own bed!
Are There Dangers of Sleeping in a Recliner Chair?
Sleeping in a tilted position in an overly padded chair, with your legs flat, could put undue pressure on your spine. You can reduce this though if you use the footrest of the recliner and elevate your legs slightly. By raising the legs you improve the alignment of the spine. This means that a good recliner, properly set up, could actually be a better choice than an overly soft bed.
Some recliners have a PVC/faux leather outer, which may be quite slippy. If you plan to sleep in a recliner, choose one with fabric coverings instead to ensure that you do not slip or fall out of it.
If you are recovering from an operation or have a specific health condition, be sure to discuss your sleeping arrangements with your doctor. They will be able to advise you if there is anything specific that you should be worried about, or any special support your neck or back may need.
Is Sleeping In A Recliner Is Bad For Your Back?
The Upside – Recliners aren’t complicated. They help you relieve your back pressure and weight by distributing more broadly than a normal chair. On top of this, your spinal cord gets rest, which a regular chair won’t ever do. When you sit, there’s tension in your spine and contraction in your lower back muscles. Sit that way long enough, and lower back stress turns into back pain.
Recliner chairs also help since they elevate your legs. That reduces the stress on the spinal cord. Also, elevated legs improve circulation, minimizing inflammation everywhere your body.
The Downside – Sleeping too long in a recliner might result in contractures of the knees and hips. This is when muscles tighten up over their joints, which will limit upright walking and posture. Both of those will negatively impact your back over time, as well as risk your chances of falls due to an improper center of gravity.
Finding The Right Recliner – What you need is good lumbar support. That means there’s no gap between the chair and your lower back if you put up your legs. Your lower back needs support in all positions so you can relax fully. If any gap forms around the middle of the recliner as you put up your feet, then your body sinks down and you slouch. That will strain the muscles and ligaments of your low back.
Is sleeping in a recliner actually bad for your back? Obviously, there are benefits and risks alike. Finding the right lumbar support is what tilts the odds in your favor though.
Will Medicare Pay For A Sleep Chair for Elderly People?
Can You Really Buy Sleeper Recliners for Elderly People Online?
How to Clean and Care for a Sleeping Chair
First of all, you should be aware of the materials your sleeping recliner is made from. The upholstery on your recliner can be made of leather, faux leather, cloth, microfiber, amongst other types of fabric. Keeping this in mind, look for a cleaning agent that is specifically made to clean the material your chair is made of.
Clean your recliner chair with the appropriate products at least once a week. Make sure you are vigorous enough to really clean the chair, but not so rough on the fabric that you damage it. You can also vacuum your chair before or after cleaning it to get rid of any small bits that might get lost between the folds of the chair. You should also make sure that sharp objects don’t come anywhere near your chair since they can puncture the upholstery and leave nasty holes that will be difficult to repair.
Summary And Final Recommendations
This guide will hopefully help you choose the perfect recliner for you or your loved one. These are some of the best sleeping chairs for the elderly on the market, but there are many more options out there.
Keep looking until you find your perfect fit! Now you know which features you should keep in mind when shopping, and how each one can help you or your loved one get better and more comfortable sleep.
In my opinion, Relaxonchair when it comes to a great price-quality relationship. It is well made, sturdy, comfortable, and comes with many additional features that will make it feel like you have a spa in the comfort of your own home!
Have you tried sleeping in a recliner chair? What tips and advice do you have? Please share in the comments below! Also, please share this on your favorite socials if you found it helpful!