An elderly couple sat at home in a riser recliner chair

Manual vs Power Riser Recliners Explained

If you or a loved one is finding it challenging to get up from your current armchair, you may wish to invest in a riser recliner chair.

A riser recliner is designed to make life easier, particularly for those with limited mobility or poor balance.  By providing a range of adjustments, a riser recliner chair gives better-seated positions for enhanced comfort and support. This can benefit those with a medical condition or chronic illness who may find sitting in a traditional armchair uncomfortable.

With so many chairs available on the market, it can be tricky to determine which is best for your needs.  

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between manual and power riser recliner chairs to help you choose.

If you’d prefer to be guided through finding the perfect chair, contact our friendly advisors for your free consultation to get started.

What are Electric Recliner Chairs?

As the name implies, an electric riser recliner chair is powered by a mains power source. They can also be referred to as power riser recliners. These chairs are adjusted by a handset control (usually wired) which controls the chair's movements.

Some electric riser recliners come with more than one motor. This is where the backrest and legrest of the chair can be adjusted individually. Learn more about the differences between single and dual-motor chairs to discover which chair is best for your needs and budget.

In the meantime, let’s uncover the pros and cons of an electric riser recliner chair.

An Opera Parker Riser Recliner Chair

Pros of Power Recliner Chairs

Power recliner chairs offer a host of advantages that enhance both comfort and convenience for users. Let’s explore these in more detail.

Power Riser Recliners are Easy to Use

One of the primary benefits of riser recliner chairs is the ease of operation; with just the push of a button, you can adjust the chair to your preferred position without any physical effort. The advantage lies in their user-friendly electric controls, which allow for seamless adjustments with minimal effort. Typically, a simple push of a button can elevate the chair, recline it, or return it to an upright position.

This is particularly beneficial for individuals with limited mobility, arthritis, or other conditions that make manual adjustments challenging. This can greatly enhance independence and quality of life for seniors and those with disabilities, allowing them to adjust their seating position safely and comfortably.

More Personalised Seated Positions

Additionally, power recliners often come with a variety of customisable settings, including precise control over the reclining angle. This level of personalisation ensures maximum comfort and can help alleviate pain or discomfort.

For example, a dual-motor riser recliner chair allows you to individually adjust the back and leg rest sections. This allows you to specifically elevate specific areas of the body like raising the legs is ideal for helping ease swelling if you have oedema.  

Smooth and Quiet Operation

Power recliners typically feature a smoother and quieter operation compared to manual recliners, providing a more seamless and enjoyable user experience. Overall, the combination of effortless adjustment, enhanced comfort, and additional features makes power recliners a superior choice for many.

At Opera Beds, our riser recliner chair collection is built using only high-quality materials and mechanisms. Our gentle rise then tilt motion is specially designed to get you on your feet gently and safely. The quiet motion provides a safe transition from seating to standing – ideal for transferring to a wheelchair or walker unaided.

A older lady using the rise then tilt motion on a riser recliner chair

Cons of Electric Recliners

Electric riser recliner chairs, while offering numerous benefits such as enhanced comfort and improved mobility, also come with several potential drawbacks that are worth considering before making a purchase:

Higher cost

Initial purchase price: Generally, electric riser recliners are expensive when compared to manual ones. This is due to their advanced mechanisms and electric components.

Potential ongoing expenses: Depending on the quality of the chair, you may need to carry out maintenance, repairs and potentially replacing parts which can add onto the initial cost over time.

Tip: When buying a riser recliner chair, check the weight, materials and quality to ensure it is built to last. Check out our helpful guide on how much riser recliners cost.

Reliance on electricity 

Power recliners need constant power supply to function. In case of a power failure, the chair could be inoperative which can be an issue for users who rely on it for mobility.

Space requirements 

An electric riser recliner tends to be larger and heavier than a manual one. Therefore, requiring more space and making them harder to move or rearrange in a home. At Opera Beds, all our riser recliner chairs are designed to move easily with our castors on the base of the chair, we also offer a home installation service by qualified Opera engineers.

What are Manual Recliner Chairs?

A manual recliner chair is where the chair is operated by a handle on the side of the chair. When the handle is pulled it lets the user get into the correct position, by lifting the footrest or moving the back of the seat into a reclined position.

Depending on the type of manual recliner, some operate by a button only, while other chairs rely on the user's body weight to adjust the chair into place to position themselves.

Pros of Manual Recliner Chairs

If you are looking to find a more comfortable position, there are benefits to having a manual recliner chair. These include:

No Electricity Required for the Chair

When weighing up the options between power vs manual recliners, the key difference between them is how they work. Manual recliners do not require an electricity supply to use. This means it can be used anywhere within the home without worrying about experiencing an outage of power.

A Opera riser recliner chair in a static position

Simple Operation

If you struggle with technology, you may wish to choose a manual chair. All that is needed is to pull the handle on the side to adjust the chair. If you are considering a chair that has a single button, these types of chairs will need your body weight to move the chair into the desired position. They’re also simple to assemble, find out how to assemble a riser recliner in our handy guide!

Cons of Manual Recliner Chairs

Investing in a manual recliner chair can be worth it for some people, however it is worth considering the limitations that come with them. These include:

Require Physical Effort 

One of the main drawbacks of a manual chair is they require more effort to adjust. If you struggle with moving easily or have weakness, these types of chairs may not be the best option for your needs.

Nosier than Power chairs

Due to how they move, manual chairs are usually noisier when compared to the smooth operation of a power chair. If you share a living space with someone it could be a potential disturbance in the room.

Fewer Features than a Powered Recliner Chair 

Manual chairs are limited when compared to a power recliner chair. Whilst they offer reclining comfort and an elevating leg rest section, they don’t offer the same capabilities and flexibility as a powered recliner.  That’s why you’ll often see manual recliners are cheaper than a powered chair due to their limited features.

Choose the Right Chair for You with Opera Beds

Choosing the right recliner chair for you will come down to your personal preference. The best way to help you decide is by trying them in person. At Opera Beds, our friendly team of experts are on hand to guide you through the process. Here’s how you can get started:

Visit Our Showroom

We have two Opera showroom locations which display our range of riser recliners for you to try.

As well as having a 1-1 expert consultation, we’ll help find the right size chair where you can also browse our range of premium fabric options.

Yorkshire showroom – Located in Hull, East Yorkshire. Book your appointment today.

Buckinghamshire showroom – Situated in Flackwell Heath, book your visit here.

Opera sales advisor billy wearing a headset on a video call

Virtual Video Appointments

Can’t travel to our showroom? No problem, we offer virtual video appointments where you can get the opera experience at home! Learn more about our video showroom visits here.

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