A Guide to Choosing the Right Chair

People with mobility issues due to ageing, injury, or disability often find that having a chair with more support or assistive technology built in makes it more comfortable to sit and easier to get in and out of without help. There are several types of chairs available and many features to consider when purchasing a chair.

Chair Types

High back chairs provide excellent support for the upper body and can often be fitted with wings for additional shoulder, neck, and head support. Typically, high back chairs have high armrests for added security and promote an ergonomic, comfortable sitting position.


Manual riser chairs and motorized rise and recline chairs are ideal for people with limited strength or stiff joints. Manual riser chairs have lever which operates a tilting mechanism built into the chair that makes it easier to get up and sit down. Motorized chairs perform a similar function, but require minimal effort as the motor is engaged using a simple handset.


High dependency chairs usually have many adjustments and lots of extra padding to support people whose movements may not be coordinated well. Typically, they’re mounted on a mobile base and have comfortable footrests and cushioned side wings. The cushioning should be designed for effective weight distribution to prevent bed sores since people generally spend extensive periods of time in these chairs.

Other Features to Think About

Depending on your needs and lifestyle these addition features can change a good chair into the perfect chair.

·      Removable arms make side transfers easier for everyone.

·      Angled seats are tilted slightly forward and make it easier to stand up

·      Wheels or a mobile base make it easier to move without having to do a transfer

·      Chair raisers boost the seat height which can make it easier to get up and sit down without the expense of purchasing a whole new chair. Essentially, they’re simple risers that fit under the legs of the chair.

·      Seat raisers are also an alternative to buying a new chair. Using a simple cushion to raise the seat can make it easier to get in and out of, however, it also tends to make the seat close to the top of the chairs arms so be sure it doesn’t create and unstable or unsafe situation. Raising the seat can also mean that once seated your feet no longer reach the ground, which is also a safety concern to be taken into account before changing the seat height.

Fabric Types

Often, finding the right fabric is simply a matter of finding one that you like and that works with your décor. However, in addition to color and texture, there are some practical considerations to keep in mind.

·      Durability. This chair is going to be use a lot. It’s going to need to withstand many years of regular use so it’s critical that the fabric you select can stand up to the wear and tear of daily use.

·      Hygiene. Let’s face it, spills happen. Selecting a material that’s easy to clean, or even waterproof like polyurethane or vinyl can be best if this chair is going to be used frequently in the dining area. In addition, certain microfiber fabrics are easy to clean and feel warmer, which can be helpful in cooler climates.

·      Breathability. In hot weather, a vapor permeable fabric prevents perspiration from building up and creating a damp, uncomfortable feeling.



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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).