Best Reclining Wheelchair: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

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Compared to a standard wheelchair, a reclining wheelchair could be a better choice for people who have suffered ALS, cerebral palsy, or muscle weakness. It will also benefit seniors who like to spend a lot of time in the chair. Sufficient Tilt-In-Space and recline angles will help to enhance skin perfusion.

In this post, we will shed some lights on what is the best reclining wheelchair in the market and how to choose the right one for yourself or loved ones.

Our Picks for Best Reclining Wheelchair

Compared to other types of wheelchairs, there are fewer options. The Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA would be a good choice for most users, but you are healthier than others, the chair from Probasic has 400 lbs weight capacity. For seniors who travel often, the lightweight chair from Healthline would be a good fit.

Best Overall
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining...
Heavy Duty Option
ProBasics Standard Reclining Wheelchair - Padded...
Lightweight Option
Healthline Recliner Folding Wheelchair Lightweight Full...
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining...
ProBasics Standard Reclining Wheelchair - Padded...
Healthline Recliner Folding Wheelchair Lightweight Full...
Good quality, 180 degrees recline, 300 lbs weight capacity
400 lbs weight capacity, 180 degrees recline, comfortable footrest
Lightweight frame, easy to open and fold, 350 lbs weight capacity
Best Overall
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining...
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining...
Good quality, 180 degrees recline, 300 lbs weight capacity
Heavy Duty Option
ProBasics Standard Reclining Wheelchair - Padded...
ProBasics Standard Reclining Wheelchair - Padded...
400 lbs weight capacity, 180 degrees recline, comfortable footrest
Lightweight Option
Healthline Recliner Folding Wheelchair Lightweight Full...
Healthline Recliner Folding Wheelchair Lightweight Full...
Lightweight frame, easy to open and fold, 350 lbs weight capacity

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Best Reclining Wheelchairs: Reviews

1. Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining Wheelchair – Best Overall

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Made of high-quality and strong materials, this chair is one of the sturdiest on our list.

Featuring a hydraulic reclining mechanism, this high back chair could be adjusted up to 180 degrees.

The nylon upholstery is lightweight and easy to clean, and the 20″ width seat is spacious. Plus, the head pillow is hard to move. The swing-away footrest and padded leg rest add more comfort further. All of these make sitting in it comfortable.

We also like the carbon steel frame which is strong and easy to clean. The weight capacity is 300 lbs which would be a good fit for most users.

As for safety, it includes anti-tippers and the wheels are set back on frames.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to clean upholstery.
  • 180 degree hydraulic reclining mechanism.
  • Anti tippers included.
  • Strong metal frame.

Cons:

  • The seat is not comfortable to sit for a long time. (You can add a pressure relief wheelchair cushion though)
  • The lever is behind the chair which is hard for seniors to reach by themselves.

2. Invacare Tracer SX5 Recliner Wheelchair – Best With Durability

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If you or your loved one have to be in a wheelchair for most of the day, it’s important to keep durability and comfort as the top priority in your mind when looking for the best wheelchair. That’s where Invacare Tracer SX5 Reclining Wheelchair comes in.

This chair can recline a complete 180 degrees and provides users with adjustable leg rests for the most convenience and versatility of position and use.

It also comes with a cushioned headrest and some padded armrests for the most comfort during long use.

One thing we like is the heavy-duty inner liner of the backrest and seat, making the chair could last for years

If you’re looking for a durable high-back reclining wheelchair with useful features like adjustable seats and anti-tippers,you know you can enjoy this product from Invacare, even at its costly price point.

Pros:

  • Adjustable seat height
  • The strong liner of upholstery.
  • Padded armrest and calf pads make it very comfortable to use.

Cons:

  • Expensive.
  • The weight capacity is only 250 lbs.

3. Healthline Recliner Folding Wheelchair – Best Lightweight Reclining Wheelchair

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If you like to go out and sock up some sunlight, you will not regret buying this chair.

Featuring a lightweight carbon steel frame, you will feel easy to use, fold and push the chair. The detachable footrest is adjustable and comes with a padded footrest. The cushioned head immobilizer offers a better experience for seniors.

By removing the headrest extension, you could use it as a standard manual wheelchair. By adding it, you can get a high-back chair with a 180-degree reclining mechanism.

Besides, the reinforced upholstery is strong and easy to clean. This product can hold up to 350 lbs but the 18″ seat may not be big enough for some healthier users.

Pros

  • Lightweight frame.
  • Removable head extension.
  • Carry pocket included.
  • Easy to use and fold.

Cons

  • No manual in the package.

4. ProBasics Standard Reclining Wheelchair – Best For Weight Capacity

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This ProBasics Reclining Wheelchair is an appropriate option for people who are overweight. The 400 lbs weight capacity and 22″ seat ensure the durability and comfort.

It comes with swing-away and removable leg rests to make it easy to use and provide the ideal angle adjustment for sitting. The calf pads are a nice touch.

The setback axle position and 24″ solid urethane tires allows the chair to maneuver on different terrains safely.

What’s more, the vinyl upholstery is easy to maintain and you can fully recline to 180 degrees in this chair. The headrest prevents your head from tipping.

However, the seat height is 20” which is not adjustable.

Pros:

  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Fully reclined position.
  • Tool-free adjustable footrest.

Cons:

  • The seat height is not adjustable.

5. Karman Healthcare 18” V-Seat Reclining Wheelchair – Best Premium Option

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This chair by Karman is the one with the most unique and innovative design on our list. If you would like to spend more money, this one would be a good try.

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 health experience. The foot and leg rest of the chair also provides the option of elevation for an added benefit.

This product is ideally designed to provide patient recline within a range of 93 to 160 degrees.

If you’re looking for great quality and design, this chair is meant for you.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable padded upholstery.
  • Patented Ergonomic ‘V-Seating’ for relieving pressure on the body.
  • Very easy to open and fold.

Cons:

  • High price tag.
  • Heavy

6. Medline 18″ Reclining Wheelchair – Best Foldable Option

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The Medline Excel Reclining Wheelchair is a 44-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.

The chair is designed with a standard desk length and comes with removable armrests to make it convenient to keep it 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.

Pros:

  • Lightweight frame.
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Removable headrest and armrest.

Cons:

  • Only recline from 90 degrees to 140 degrees.

7. Medline 20″ Reclining Wheelchair

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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 is less than some models we mentioned above but still great.

In terms of durability, the chair has a frame made of solid carbon steel and vinyl upholstery.

Pros:

  • 350 lbs weight capacity.
  • 20″ width spacious seat.

Cons:

  • The leg rest is hard.

How to choose A reclining wheelchair

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

Reclining mechanism

It depends on how much you want your chair to tilt. Some chairs can recline to 180 degrees but some others can just recline to 140 degrees. Reclining position help to distribute pressure and prevent bedsores. Think about the usage scenario to decide which one is a better choice.

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.

Cushion

You should opt for wheelchairs that come with a comfy cushion. This is essential especially when you are going to spend plenty of time on it. The padding on the armrest, leg rest, headrest, as well as seat and backrest are all important.

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 wheelchair with a headrest is great for people who tend to fall asleep in their chairs or those who use the chair for the majority of their day. A head immobilizer gives the option of resting your head for more comfort and ease and supports the neck to prevent any strains or issues.

Weight 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 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 and a larger loading capacity.

Price:

Usually, reclining wheelchairs are a bit more expensive than standard wheelchairs. We suggest you get one from a reputable brand as you will get a better warranty.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, our comprehensive and detailed buying guide will help you understand the different features and benefits of a reclining wheelchair so that you will be able to pick out one for yourself.

That being said, while all these products mentioned above have earned their place in the list, we still feel that one chair stands out as the definitive the best as per our opinion. The Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining Wheelchair is our clear winner!

The wheelchair comes from a well-respected medical product company. The chair itself gives a wide range of motion along with the added benefit of adjustment and comfort, all within a reasonable price range.

Cherry is the editor-in-chief of Mobility With Love. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a master's degree in Adapted Physical Activity. Her expertise includes biomechanics, biochemistry, nutrition, disability studies, and so on.

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