The Ultimate Lift Chair FAQ

What is a lift chair?

A lift chair (also known as a power lift recliner) is a motorized recliner that aids users who have difficulty standing up or sitting down.

What is a 2-position lift chair?

2-position lift chairs are single motor chairs with the ability to lift and recline a few inches (depending on the manufacturer). Controls on 2-position chairs don’t allow customizable positions. The back and the footrest of the chair move together.

What is a 3-position lift chair?

3-position lift chairs are versatile single motor chairs that allow users to recline with a greater degree of freedom. Controls on 3-position lift chairs don’t allow customizable positions. 3-position lift chairs have a larger range of motion than 2-position chairs.

What is an Infinite- position lift chair?

Infinite-position lift chairs are customizable multi-motor chairs that give users the fullest range of lift chair customization. Controls on infinite-position chairs can operate multiple motors independently, allowing users to customize their seating. Infinite-position chairs have the largest range of motion in the lift chair family.

How does a lift chair work?

Lift chairs raise from a seated position to a standing position at the touch of a button. This process aids users who have difficulty standing up from standard recliners or couches.

How much does a lift chair weigh?

The answer to this question depends on your specific model. Most lift chairs weigh somewhere in the 100-200 lb. range. More motors and features means a heavier chair.

How do I get a lift chair through Medicare?

Medicare does not cover the full cost of lift chairs. Lift mechanisms and motors may be covered by Medicare, but a strict process must be followed.

  • Set up an appointment with your physician for a Certificate of Medical Necessity evaluation
  • Set up an appointment with a physician or specialist to obtain a lift chair prescription
  • Find a medical supply store that bills Medicare for lift chairs
  • Fill out the ABN from the merchant, stating you will cover the costs of a rejected claim

Prescriptions and Certificate of Medical Necessities need to be filled out before you purchase a lift chair. If the dates are wrong, Medicare will reject your claim.

If Medicare OKs your claim, you will be reimbursed for a set amount corresponding to the motor and lift mechanism of the covered chair. You will cover the rest of the chair cost.

How can I get reimbursed from Medicare for a lift chair?

As stated above—make sure to have your prescription and Certificate of Medical Necessity written and dated before the purchase date. From there you’ll have to ask your chair provider about reimbursement status.

How can I get a lift chair for free?

Medicare doesn’t cover the full retail price of lift chairs. Outside of donations, lift chairs are very difficult to find for free. Modern lift chairs are quality pieces of furniture, on top of being mobility aids. Secondhand sales will be your best option for extremely cheap lift chairs (if any are listed in your area).

How much does a lift chair cost?

The answer to this depends on the chair model and provider. Chair models with extra motors or features cost more than basic 2-position chairs. Different providers may offer different prices, depending on the chair manufacturer.

Many lift chair manufacturers have a pricing structure that doesn’t allow large vendors to list chairs below a certain threshold—find a local medical equipment showroom to get great local service at the same price!

What is the best lift chair?

This is a question only you can answer. Lift chairs with more bells and whistles or premium fabric will always cost more than basic models. If you like a particular chair model but can’t find one with certain features, ask the merchant if custom builds are an option. Many lift chair manufacturers can add special options to most of their chairs.

What is the best lift chair brand?

There is no ‘best’ lift chair manufacturer. Each brand offers chairs that feel different from their competitors. Find the chair you like best by testing models out at a local medical equipment showroom.

The largest two manufacturers of lift chairs are Golden Technologies and Pride Mobility. Think of them as the Ford and Chevy of lift chairs.

What is the best lift chair to buy?

The answer to this question is mostly up to you. Note that if you need a chair for a long period of time, 2- and 3-position lift chairs may not offer enough versatility. Infinite-position chairs allow users to comfortable sleep in, along with allowing legs to be positioned above the heart for circulation.

The longer a chair will be used, the more comfort customization will help.

How do I select a lift chair?

The easiest way is to stop by a local medical supply store and see what options they have in-store. Try as many chair styles as you can. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work will lead you towards making a more informed purchase.

How do I measure for a lift chair?

Each lift chair model and manufacturer has different sizing options. If you are looking for a chair that fits a specific height or weight, ask your provider what options are available.

How do I fix a lift chair?

Fixing lift chairs can be difficult. Your best option is to call your retailer or the manufacturer of your chair. If your chair has a warranty you may be able to get service in a timely manner. If you bought an extended warranty from a local medical equipment store, call them first—they will send a technician out.

My lift chair isn’t working. How do I know what’s wrong with it?

The most common solution to this question: check the plugs! Here is a list of common electricity issues with lift chairs:

  • Check to make sure the chair is plugged in
  • If the chair is plugged into a surge protector, make sure the surge protector is on
  • Light switches near an outlet may be on the same circuit. If everything looks like it’s connected, flip the nearby switch (or try each switch if there are a few) then try to operate your chair
  • Tug on your hand control (not too hard). In rare cases, hand controllers can get disconnected from their chairs.

If you hear noises (grinding, popping, etc.) coming from your chair or your chair is wobbling, STOP USING IT! Continuing to use a chair that is visibly or audibly malfunctioning can lead to much larger problems.

Call your retailer or the chair manufacturer to get details on what can be done for big issues. Do not try to fix the chair yourself!

Lift Chairs at Oswald’s

If you’re looking to try out a few lift chairs in person, stop by our Medical Equipment Showroom at your convenience. We’re open 7 days a week and have dozens of lift chairs on the floor.

Our certified team members will help you find the chair that is the best fit for your needs.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email.

If you are looking for help with a lift chair repair, we can help with that too!

Written by Wil Anderson

Wil has been working for Oswald's since 1994. A 6th generation member of the Wickel-Oswald-Kester-Anderson family, Wil focuses on web development, inventory, and sales. With over 10 years of experience selling durable and home medical equipment, Wil is an expert on helping people find what they need to use after major surgery or an accident. Wil graduated with a BA in English Literature from Knox College in 2008, minoring in History. A graduate of Naperville North High School in 2004, Wil is a lifelong Naperville resident and is currently a columnist for Positively Naperville.