Are you looking for a reclining wheelchair for yourself or a loved one? It can be a stressful purchase. What if you spend a lot of money on one that doesn’t work out? How do you know which features to look out for? What are other people saying about specific models of recliner wheelchairs?
We want to help you find the recliner wheelchair that will best suit your needs. That’s why we’re going to talk about all the features you should look for as well as some of our top picks for the best reclining wheelchairs available right now.
What to Look for in Reclining Wheelchairs
When you’re shopping for reclining wheelchairs, how do you know which features are important to pay attention to, and which are less crucial? Here are some things to consider when shopping for reclining wheelchairs.
While anti-tipping mechanisms are good to have on any wheelchair, they’re critical on recliner wheelchairs. That’s because reclining causes the person’s center of gravity to shift, often to a point behind the main wheels. Without anti-tippers, the wheelchair could fall over backward and drop the occupant on their head.
While anti-tippers are often standard with recliner wheelchairs, they are occasionally sold separately. Make sure you know whether they’re included with your wheelchair purchase before risking your loved one’s life.
How does the tilt in space feature work? Does it tilt and recline a little bit, or does it fully recline into a flat 180 degrees? Some wheelchairs use hydraulics to recline, while others require some physical effort. Many recliner wheelchairs also need a caregiver to adjust the chair and can’t be reclined by the person sitting in it, so keep that in mind while selecting the right one.
To be truly comfortable for the person using it, a recliner wheelchair should be as adjustable as possible. Being height adjustable helps accommodate shorter or taller users, while adjustable or multiple seat widths help fit people with varying hip sizes.
Elevated Leg Rests
A reclining back on a wheelchair is one thing, but it should also have elevated leg rests to really be comfortable. While many recliner wheelchairs come standard with leg rests, they are sometimes sold separately. Be sure you know whether or not they’re included with your purchase.
It can be a little tricky trying to recline a wheelchair with a person in it, especially when it’s entirely manual. Hydraulic assist can make the transition from sitting to reclining much smoother for the wheelchair user and easier for the caregiver.
Headrests aren’t a common feature in regular wheelchairs. However, they’re a crucial part of recliner chairs. When in a reclined position, most people’s heads need some support to help reduce neck strain. Adjustable headrests are often, but not always, included with recliner wheelchairs.
More features than seat width can impact the comfort of a wheelchair. Since people who use reclining chairs often spend much of the day in their chairs, comfort padding can help make them more comfortable and reduce the odds of developing pressure sores.
Seat Size and Shape
Since people come in all shapes, offering multiple seat sizes or seat widths helps ensure that a recliner chair will be comfortable for anybody who needs to use it.
Some armrests are fixed, others flip up, and others are removable. Everybody has different needs, but removable armrests can sometimes make transfers easier, so it’s a good feature to consider.
Automatic Vs Manual Wheelchairs
Many automatic or electric wheelchairs offer the ability to recline. However, you don’t need to invest in an expensive electric wheelchair just to get a reclining feature. Some manual wheelchairs can recline. In the end, you need to conder the needs of the wheelchair user before deciding whether a manual or automatic wheelchair would be the most suitable.
1. Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining Wheelchair
There were several complaints about this wheelchair arriving broken or missing pieces or breaking in less than six months. Apart from that, most people said the chair was very comfortable, and the reclining feature helped improve their quality of life.
Since there are complaints about the sturdiness and longevity of this wheelchair, it’s probably best for short-term use while recovering from an injury. Still, it’s an excellent chair for the price.
2. Graham Field Everest And Jennings Advantage Recliner
With an adjustable headrest and anti-tippers standard, you’ll love the Graham Field Everest and Jennings Advantage Recliner. It includes a chart pocket, has a 5-year limited warranty, and has a 300-pound weight limit.
There are very few customer reviews for this product.
This reclining wheelchair looks like a good budget-friendly option that should work well for many people.
3. Healthline Recliner Folding Wheelchair Lightweight
There were several complaints about the chair breaking within a short time, no manual included, and the person in the chair not being able to recline it themselves. However, most people were thrilled with this chair. Users over 6’ tall, in particular, felt this reclining wheelchair was extremely comfortable.
As expected at this price point, this may not be the most durable chair in its class. Still, most users find it very comfortable, especially those more than 6’ tall.
4. Karman Healthcare KN-880 Reclining Back Wheelchair
Are you willing to pay a little more for comfort and customization? You might like the Karman Healthcare KN-880 Reclining Back Wheelchair. There are two set widths and six cushion sizes to choose from, along with several other optional features. Depending on the model, this recliner has a 250- or 300-pound weight capacity.
There are very few customer reviews about this recliner.
With very few customer reviews, it’s hard to say whether this chair is worth the investment, but, with two seat widths to choose from, it looks like a good option that should work well for the average user.
5. Invacare Tracer SX5 Standard Reclining Wheelchair
For a basic recliner wheelchair, check out the Invacare Tracer SX5 Standard Reclining Wheelchair. It has a recline range of 90-180 degrees, includes rear anti-tippers, and has a carbon steel frame with a heavy-duty liner.
No customer reviews available.
Without any customer reviews, it’s difficult to know what flaws this reclining wheelchair may have. However, it looks like a good choice based on its specifications.
A recliner wheelchair is no small purchase, so hopefully we’ve helped you find the perfect one to suit your needs. Even if you don’t find the right one on our list, we’ve given you the information you need to look at available features and find the right one.