Penny Gilliam. Recliner. January 15th , 2018.
Power recliners are just another name for lift chair recliners. They are designed for those needing assistance getting in and out of the seated position. Power recliners are made to look like a typical mechanical recliner but use electric motors to recline the chair back and lift a person up to a standing position. All this is done with the click of a button. Regardless of the word or term used to define this medical device, the fact is they are perfect for people with back, knee, hip and/or joint problems; someone who just had surgery; or for people that just do not have the strength to work a manual recliner. This article focuses on explaining the difference between the three available power recliner positions, so that readers are better educated in the purchasing process.
In the late eighteen hundreds, a number of designs emerged for motion chairs. Typically made of wood, with a padded seat and back, these early recliners may have been more conversation piece than a furniture staple like a chair or sofa. Designs from France and America often featured what was referred to as document or a book holder. Two American cousins, Knabush and Shoemaker, are credited with gaining the patent on a wooden recliner. There was nothing remarkable about the design as it resembled a wooden beach recliner. The difference between this and other recliners was the patent. Issued in nineteen twenty eight, the patent led to the founding of LayZBoy. It would not be until nineteen thirty one that the cousins would patent an upholstered model with a mechanical movement. It would not be until nineteen forty seven that a competing company would add a built in foot rest. The addition of a foot rest would become a standard part of recliner design.
Though the cousins were not the first to develop a piece of reclining motion furniture, they were the first to create a branding strategy for their product. Many other furniture companies began to produce and sell recliners using very similar designs for mechanisms. It was not long before other companies sprang up to produce a variety of recliner mechanisms. From relatively simple designs to more complex motorized and power actuated models, todays recliners offer specialized solutions to user needs. Most recliners require the user to sit in the chair and actuate the mechanism by pushing backwards, lifting a lever or pulling on a cable. Power lift recliners have the ability to literally rise up to meet the user. The development of the power lift chair proved to be a boon to folks with limited mobility. Power recliners generally feature some type of remote control that allows the user to operate the chairs movements with the push of a button.
Although the health benefits have not always been clear in some critics minds. Rather they viewed as these chairs as a means to just relax. This being said the recliner has been used through history, and have come in a wide variety of styles, from the very ornate to the downright plain. The first recliners where seen in the 1700s and 1800s and were non-motorized. There were models of these recliners that permanently reclined. It was not a given that these chair would come with a foot rest. Multi position reclining chairs began to be seen in the late 1800s. These chairs could be manually adjusted to recline in various ways. One notable instance in history of these reclining chairs is Napoleon III, who is rumored to have had a padded armed, cot style recliner. In fact this may have been the first recorded instance of a recliner. Edward Knabusch and Edwin Shoemaker, in 1928, came up with what they thought was a great new idea for a reclining chair. Their earliest models reclined whenever you leaned back in them. However, these gentlemen were not the only ones who know people liked to relax.
If three position power recliners lack flexibility, one can step up to the more versatile and expensive infinite position recliner. Gaining more bells and whistles, the primary difference is the number of motors. Two and three position lift chairs have one motor to do everything limiting flexibility and precise position selecting. An infinite position recliner has two motors, one to raise the foot section and another to recline and lift the recliner. An example why one would want an infinite position recliner over others types of lift chairs would be someone needing to operate the feet section independently of the back. This allows one to raise the feet leaving the chair seated in the upright position more suitable for eating and reading.
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