The 6 Best Reclining Wheelchair: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

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Whether your old age has let you down, or some trauma, disease or accident has affected your ability to move, there’s no need to feel despondent. Life goes on, and it doesn’t have to be all bad. Wheelchairs these days are easier to use, built with more features and offer a lot more movement and options, so you can feel good all the time. Reclining wheelchairs are one such type.

Reclining wheelchairs come in different types, prices, and brands. Some could be great for everyone, while others help specific people with their problems. This can be very confusing for people, especially those buying wheelchairs for the first time. That’s why this buyer guide will help you the best reclining wheelchair for you, and our list of reclining wheelchair reviews can you give you the options you want:

Our Picks for Best Reclining Wheelchair

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What is a reclining wheelchair?

A reclining wheelchair is a chair whose backrest can be reclined. Generally designed to be lightweight, these chairs are made for people with medical problems like orthostatic hypotension or hip extension contractures. They also help you spread pressure to prevent skin breaks.

(See also pressure relief cushion for wheelchair to help you to prevent pressure sore)

Besides all that, a lightweight reclining wheelchair with a headrest can also make disability a little more convenient for people who need the chairs as their main way of mobility. The reclining aspect works in increments to improve safety and stability while also avoiding pressure problems.

The main difference between a regular wheelchair (such as transport wheelchair and folding power wheelchair) and reclining wheelchair is essentially the reclining aspect itself. The structure and design of a lightweight reclining wheelchair are different too. You can get a reclining wheelchair with headrest and extra leg support to make the recline as stable and safe as possible. Some also provide a tilt feature to tilt the seat and give more skin safety against bed sores.

Pivoting prevents skin breakdowns by uniformly spreading the weight, to avoid sores caused by pressure. Generally, both the recline and tilt can be managed with a hand brake system. This option is generally present on the handles at the rear of the chair to avoid any accidental slips or fall of the user while they’re moving in the char.

Who needs a recliner wheelchair?

Most people can benefit from a lightweight reclining wheelchair with a headrest, but the chair can help some people better than others. The main people who benefit from this kind of wheelchair are ones that require additional support and have problems with skin breakdown.

Reclining wheelchairs can also provide an ideal design for elderly people who can get sleepy when out of the house for any errand or event with people. Younger and more mobile people might prefer getting another type of mobility aids such as cane for balance problem or 3 wheel walker.

Some reclining wheelchairs don’t come with self-propulsion just like some manual wheelchairs, and these can be heavier than lightweight models. These wheelchairs usually use four small wheels, which makes it very difficult to propel yourself your arms.

The chairs also usually do not come with a folding option and cannot be stored in the trunk of a vehicle, so if portability and storage are important, a reclining chair might not be the ideal choice for you.

How to choose the best reclining wheelchair

There are many factors that you should take into account when looking for the best reclining wheelchair. The most important ones include:

  • Adjustable armrests: For the user’s comfort and ease, you need a chair that comes with adjustable armrests. Generally, these armrests can be pulled up and can also be removed completely to provide the convenience of space and movement in and out of the wheelchair.
  • Tilt option: A tilt option allows you to avoid skin issues since it is able to evenly distribute the weight in the chair.
  • Cushion and seat pan: You should opt for wheelchairs that come with a comfy cushion. The seat pan should also be strong to comfortably support the cushion.
  • Anti-tipping option: An anti-tipping option is crucial for people who fear the chair could tilt backward and cause an accident. The feature can stop the chair from tipping backward to give a more stable chair.
  • Folding option: If you’re someone who travels a lot or goes out often, then you’ll need a wheelchair that can be easily folded and stored at your convenience for easy use and mobility.
  • Headrest: a reclining wheelchair with headrest is great for people who tend to fall asleep in their chairs or those who use the chair through the majority of their day. This gives the option of resting your head for more comfort and ease and supports the neck to prevent any strains or issues.
  • Load capacity: Some chairs are designed to carry heavy weights while others are built for lighter individuals. You should see the loading capacity of each product to pick the one that suits your loading requirement.
  • Weight: Some reclining wheelchairs are designed heavier than others, and this can be problematic for people who have to move the chair constantly since it can be burdensome on the body and difficult to move. That said, the heavier models usually provide more stability, features, and a larger loading capacity.
  • Price: Budget is imperative when looking for the best reclining wheelchair. Some come from high-end brands that charge a lot for a wide variety of features and top quality. Others tend to fall in the more affordable price range with slightly reduced quality and a smaller number of features. Go for the wheelchair that best suits your needs and fits your budget.

The best reclining wheelchair reviews

Now that you have a better idea of what to look for in the best reclining wheelchair, here’s a list of our picks for the top reclining wheelchair reviews of 2018:

1. Drive Medical 18″ Silver Sports Reclining Wheelchair

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Made using high-quality and strong materials, the Drive Medical 18″ Silver Sports Reclining Wheelchair is one of the sturdiest and simultaneously the most comfortable wheelchairs on our list. It comes with nylon upholstery, making the chair both lightweight and comfortable, while also providing users with an easy cleaning solution.

Furthermore, the chair features a solid carbon steel frame with a beautiful silver finish that is both stylish and easy to clean. When it comes to the quality of the wheels and features, users get to enjoy the lightweight composite mag-like wheels which make the chair both convenient and easy to recline.

Besides requiring little to no maintenance effort, the chair uses precision sealed bearings both in the front and back which adds to its reliability, durability, and longevity. Another benefit you get with this reclining wheelchair is its hydraulic reclining system that provides 180-degree adjustment. Furthermore, it comes with an arm support extension to aid the reclining position.

The Drive Medical Silver Sports Reclining Wheelchair is the ideal option if you’re looking for a user-friendly reclining chair. No wonder people consider it the best reclining wheelchair with its premium-grade materials, wheels and reclining mechanism, leaving them with a comfortable experience.

Pros: comfortable; adjustable; reliable; high-quality design; affordable

Cons: difficult to maneuver through narrow spaces


2. Drive Medical 20″ Sentra Reclining Wheelchair

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Size, weight, and design are all very important when picking the best reclining wheelchair. Since you or your loved one have to be in a wheelchair for most of your day, it’s important to keep ease of use and comfort as the top priority in your mind when looking for the best wheelchair. That’s where The Drive Medical Sentra Reclining Wheelchair comes in.

The wheelchair can recline a complete 180 degrees and provides users with adjustable leg rests for the most convenience and versatility of position and use. One major drawback of the chair is the weight. While it is made using solid carbon steel to give additional strength and sturdiness, the heavy material ultimately puts the chair at a huge weight of 65 pounds.

The chair’s hydraulic reclining system provides you with unlimited adjustments up to 180-degrees. Moreover, it comes with a headrest extension, a cushioned head stabilizer and some padded armrests for the most comfort during long use.

The chair has a carbon steel frame with three protective coats over its chrome design for a stylish, chip-resistant and easy-to-maintain finish. It makes uses of durable heavy-duty Naugahyde upholstery as well as composite Mag-style wheels for a lightweight and easy-to-use design.

If you’re looking for a reclining wheelchair with useful features like anti-tipping mechanisms and adjustable seats, you know you can enjoy the Drive Medical Sentra Reclining Wheelchair, even at its costly price point.

Pros: adjustable; comfortable; anti-tipping feature; strong design; stylish look

Cons: expensive; heavy


3. Medline 20″ Reclining Wheelchair

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The Medline Reclining Wheelchair is ideal for all people regardless of age or gender who have to recline their body or lift their legs on a regular basis. The reclining wheelchair’s easy-to-use elevated leg rests are a great help for any patient who had a surgery that involved the use of a splint or leg cast.

The chair can be reclined from 90 to 140 degrees which makes it both convenient and user-friendly since it provides people with a large range of position choices when reclining it. The chair’s ability to recline from 90 to 140 degrees is a huge benefit since it provides users with a great deal of comfort while they’re constantly sitting in their chairs.

In terms of durability, the chair has a frame made of solid carbon steel, as well as chip-proof chrome combined and vinyl upholstery. All these high-quality materials and designs add to the durability of Medline Reclining Wheelchair.

In the end, you’ll definitely get a great value for your money with the Medline 20” Reclining Wheelchair. It offers you a wide variety of well-designed high-quality useful features such as its elevated leg rests, durable carbon steel frame and adjustable recline, all within an affordable price tag.

Pros: great for patients or people who had surgery; good recline; durable; affordable

Cons: seat material isn’t as comfortable


4. Roscoe Medical 22″ ProBasics Reclining Wheelchair

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The Roscoe Medical 22” ProBasics Reclining Wheelchair is a great reclining wheelchair for people who are in need of a chair that they can completely recline in order to stay healthy, comfortable and well-rested. It comes with swing-away and removable leg rests that come pre-installed to make it easy to use and provide the ideal angle adjustment for sitting.

In addition, the chair embraces leg rests with calf pads which make it useful to adjust your legs into the ideal position while reclining it. You have the option to make adjustments with the angle during any time of the day for better comfort, making it the best reclining wheelchair for a lot of people.

The chair makes use of an enhanced and reliable reclining mechanism. The method of reclining it is pretty smooth and simple with the use of a finger trigger release mechanism. Also, you get an extra comfort and safety with the chair’s headrest extension and back anti-tippers pre-installed in the wheelchair.

Ultimately, the ProBasics Reclining Wheelchair is a great investment with its wide variety of relevant features such as the adjustable leg rests, reclining mechanism, headrest extension, and back anti-tippers so that you can feel safe and comfortable.

Pros: comfortable; removable leg rests; calf pads for comfort; adjustable; affordable; easy recline

Cons: hard to recline while sitting


5. Karman Healthcare 18” V-Seat Reclining Wheelchair

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The Karman Healthcare 18” Ergonomic V-Seat Reclining Wheelchair is one of the wheelchairs with the most unique and innovative design that makes sure you get the most comfort and maneuverability than most other reclining wheelchair models out there on the market. It’s no surprise that many people consider it the best reclining wheelchair they’ve ever used.

The Ergonomic V-Seat provides you with two options in back wheel sizes: 14 inches and 22 inches. This option is somewhat of a rarity among most of the others in the competition. Moreover, the chair comes with cushioned armrests and an adjustable height for maximum comfort and convenience.

What’s great is that the chair features the Karman Healthcare Aegis anti-microbial upholstery seen in the armrests, foot and leg rests and the rest of the chair. This upholstery is germ-proof and easy to clean for the best healthy experience. The foot and leg rest of the chair also provides the option of elevation for an added benefit.

The most popular extra feature is that the wheelchair is ideally designed to provide patient recline within a range of 93 to 160 degrees. This range of recline is something any people appreciate for the most comfortable and useful position options. If you’re looking for great quality and design, this chair is meant for you.

Pros: good recline; ergonomic; adjustable seat; specialized cushioning

Cons: expensive; heavy


6. Medline 18″ Reclining Wheelchair

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The Medline Excel Reclining Wheelchair is a 47-pound lightweight foldable wheelchair that provides you with better mobility and comfort. You can recline the chair’s back to provide an easier position for any situation like eating, sleeping or resting. Individuals can also keep their legs elevated so that they can get better blood flow while their leg’s in a cast or splint for pain and swelling relief.

While reclining, a fast-adjust handle lets you recline the chair within a range of 90 to 140 degrees for better comfort when sitting. The chair is designed with a standard desk length and comes with removable armrests to make it convenient to keep the wheelchair under a table or surface.

Solid carbon steel is used for the frame as well as chip-proof chrome to give the chair a sleek look and sturdy durable design. The vinyl upholstery provides a durable, long-lasting surface that can be easily cleaned and stays germ-free.

If you want a wheelchair that is easy to clean and comfortable within a very reasonable price range, then look no further than the Medline 18″ Reclining Wheelchair. With its removable armrests and smooth recline, you can be sure you’re getting a top-quality wheelchair.

Pros: adjustable; comfortable; sturdy construction; easy to maneuver; removable headrest and armrest

Cons: no front-back adjustment; limited mobility


Bottom Line

Hopefully, our comprehensive and detailed buyer guide will help you understand the different features and benefits of a reclining wheelchair, so that you will be able to pick out a wheelchair for yourself, either through our list of best reclining wheelchair reviews or through your own research.

That being said, while all these products mentioned above have earned their place in the list, we still feel that one reclining wheelchair stands out as the definitive best reclining wheelchair as per our opinion. The Drive Medical Silver Sports Reclining Wheelchair  is our clear winner!

The wheelchair comes from a well-respected reputable medical product company that provides top quality designs and styles. The chair itself gives a wide range of motion along with the added benefit of adjustment and comfort, all within a reasonable price range. If you wish to buy this product or any of the others on the list, simply click the Amazon links provided and you’re good to go.

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