What Makes a Good Riser Recliner Cushion?

by | Blog

There’s a lot that goes into a chair – especially a riser recliner!  However, once you’ve chosen the correct size frame, decided on the right motor and mechanism for movement and functionality, and selected any extra accessories you may want or need, the icing on the proverbial cake is the cushions!  That’s what gives the chair the comfort, durability, support and pressure relief that you want and need.  

So, what makes a good cushion?

When you’re buying a riser recliner or mobility chair there is more to think about and choose from than a traditional sofa or easy chair.   While conventional store-bought chairs may offer some options with regards to the filling of the cushions, the cushions aren’t created specifically for individual users’ needs and comfort – they’re more of a design feature (as you’ll know if you’ve ever been to a large furniture warehouse and sat on a few chairs!).  They can be hard and uncomfortable, too shallow or too deep, or very squishy and hard to get up from.  However, with a specialist riser recliner, the cushion options are much more varied and tailored to your personal independence, support and healthcare needs.  Obviously, comfort is a given, but beyond that you have a choice of many more features in both the back and seat cushions, to meet your current and future physical requirements.

Chair Back Cushions

The back cushions of your riser recliner are there to offer support for your head, neck, back and trunk and lumbar region.  They manage posture and support to ensure you’re sitting both comfortably and safely, negating the risk of slipping, slumping or falling forwards.  When it comes to back cushions, the primary focus is on their shape and design features to make sure they’re fulfilling this all-important job. 

  • Waterfall back cushions

A ‘waterfall back’ is, as the name suggests, arranged in a cascading fashion.  The multiple layers of fibre-filled cushions can be individually adjusted with more or less filling, to provide the optimum level of comfort and support for the user.  This style is ideal for offering maximum support to those with mild kyphosis, scoliosis and reduced muscle mass on their back. This is the most popular for support.

  • Split lumbar cushions 

In a similar way, split lumbar cushions can also be individually adjusted for each user – so, via a zipped access panel on each section, filling can be added or removed for comfort.  With slightly less support and adjustability than the waterfall back but nonetheless a good level of comfort, this is a ‘good all-rounder’ and a popular option in domestic settings for its modern styling.

  • Button back

With no adjustability, the buttons in a button-back chair are there purely as an aesthetic feature.  Again, it’s a popular choice for domestic chairs and is certainly comfortable to sit in, but button-back doesn’t provide the high-level of adaptability or support that some users may require to meet healthcare needs.  It looks great though! 

  • Lateral

Available as either ‘comfort’ (fibre-filled) or support (foam-filled), lateral cushions add lateral support when it’s needed for users with limited trunk control or balance problems.  The comfort option provides gentle support and is ideal for anyone with early stages of neurological conditions such as MS, or those who’ve suffered a mild stroke.  The support option, with foam-filled cushions, provides more sturdy support for midline trunk alignment, providing vital postural aid to anyone with more advanced neurological conditions, serious postural weakness or survivors of more severe stroke.  

  • Large profile headrests

These fibre-filled head cushions can be added to waterfall backs, or comfort or support lateral backs, to provide additional head and neck support.  A large profile headrest can help to maintain the head in a neutral position without restricting movement or activities, for those with specific head and neck weakness, as a result of physical or neurological conditions.

Whatever extra support you need, and wherever you need it, there’s a back cushion that can provide it!  Your health, safety, comfort and independence are our priority. 

So, onto the seat cushions … again, there are a wealth of options here, all designed with specific comfort, healthcare and support requirements in mind.  

Chair Seat Cushions 

While for back cushions the magic is usually in the design, with seat cushions it’s all about the material that they’re made from.  The different options listed below offer varying benefits to users, depending on their individual requirements.  From comfort to support, breathability to stability, waterproof fabrics to pressure relief, there’s something to meet everyone’s needs and preferences.  

Seat cushions can be divided into two categories – domestic and healthcare.  While the domestic seating options provide a range of choices for comfort and support, the healthcare seat cushions bring a host of further features to provide specialist pressure relief, temperature regulation and durability.    

Domestic seat cushions

The options for domestic chair seat cushions largely fall into two categories – foam or sprung.  Within these, you can choose soft or hard foam, and standard or pocket sprung.  Each option differs slightly in terms of support and comfort, but the choice is very individual and will depend what you like as well as what you need from your chair.  

Foam cushions

Foam cushions can be made from hard or soft foam, to provide varying levels of support.  They’re generally light-weight and low maintenance cushions, making them a really popular option.  Foam can be cut or sculpted in some circumstances, where needed, and the surface can be specially contoured in made to measure chairs.  

The stylish and popular Recliners Warminster has a reflex foam seat cushion for maximum comfort and support. 

Sprung cushions

As the name suggests, sprung seat cushions are made from a collection of springs, which sit within a foam or fibre filled cushion.  With pocket sprung chairs, these springs are housed inside individual fabric ‘pockets’ to prevent movement and keep them located precisely where they need to be.  Sprung seating often appears to provide more ‘active’ support than a foam cushion, reacting to your bodyweight rather than feeling as though you’re sinking into it.  Some people love this feeling, whereas others don’t!  As you’d expect, sprung cushions also ‘spring’ back nicely when you get up from the chair, therefore holding their shape well.  Pocket sprung is usually the most costly seat cushion option, but many buyers feel it’s worth it for its excellent longevity and durability.  Chairs such as the Repose Olympia offer a luxurious pocket sprung seat. 

Several riser recliners in our range, such as the Repose Chester and Repose Westbury offer a choice of either foam or sprung seat cushions.  

Healthcare seat cushions

For more specialist needs, healthcare cushions are available in a range of options to meet the user’s current and future needs and can be used either in a healthcare setting or domestic where required:  

  • Viscoform

Designed with memory foam layers on a high-density reflex foam base, this type of seat cushion provides support and stability whilst reducing pressure levels.  It’s designed to provide a, sumptuously inviting, comfortable cushion base for low to medium pressure risk users. 

  • Celliform

With a unique ‘Gelacell’ matrix atop a reflex foam base, the Celliform cushion helps to evenly distribute bodyweight and heat, to provide a cool and comfortable place to sit.  As well as offering even support, the grid also aids air circulation to further mitigate a pressure risk environment, making it an ideal cushion option for medium to high pressure risk users. 

  • Liquiform

Another option for those at medium to high pressure risk is Liquiform, which combines layers of reflex foam and memory foam, with a silicone-bound liquid gel sac sandwiched between.  This not only helps to provide pressure relief but also dissipates heat and adapts to the user’s movements for exceptional levels of comfort. 

  • Coolform

Created using the latest medical grade silicone gel technology on a reflex foam base, the Coolform cushion is designed to effortlessly conform to your movements as well as allowing air to flow through to regulate temperature.  Odourless, hypoallergenic and suitable for medium to high pressure risk users, Coolform is ideal for both domestic and healthcare settings.  

  • Airform and Dynaform

For those with current pressure sores, or anyone at high risk of developing them, these cushions utilise manual or electric air pumps which can be used to inflate air pockets which sit beneath a layer of memory foam within the cushions themselves, providing adaptable pressure relief where and when it’s needed. 

To ensure the pressure relief systems, including temperature regulation, work effectively, the healthcare seat cushions have a more limited range of fabric coverings (for example, they can’t be covered in conventional upholstery fabric, leather or faux leather) but the cover options are specially designed to enhance their durability and function – so options with antibacterial/antiviral properties as well as wipeable, waterproof and odour-free fabrics are available.  

As always, comfort is a very individual thing so we encourage you to ‘try before you buy’ and test out a range of seat and back cushions so you know exactly what feels right to you.  We can even bring a range for you to try in the comfort of your own home … because it really matters to us that you love your new chair!  And, as always, our chair experts are always on hand to offer advice if you’re spoilt for choice and unsure which option to ‘plump’ for (excuse the pun!). 

  • Dorchester 4 Motor Lift Chair

    £1,295.00
    • Lumbar and powered headrest
    • Extending footrest
    • Available in Shelly Leather
    • USB charger
    • Choice of back styles
    • Arm covers included
    • 25 stone weight limit
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  • Cosi Chair Jubilee

    £1,395.00
    • Dual motor high leg lift
    • Helps you stand
    • Tilt in space
    • Three sizes
    • 25 stone weight limit
    • Choice of 2 back styles
    • Sprung seat
    View Chair
  • Cosi Chair Ambassador

    £1,395.00
    • Dual motor high leg lift
    • Helps you stand
    • Three sizes available
    • 25 stone weight limit
    • Waterfall back cushions
    • Heat and massage available
    • Arm & head covers incl.
    View Chair
  • Cosi Chair Tilmore

    £1,095.00
    • Dual standard motor
    • Aids standing
    • Three sizes
    • 4 fabrics
    • 25 stone weight limit
    • Waterfall back
    • Arm and head covers incl.
    View Chair

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