Reclining Wheelchairs (2024 Guide)

What Is A Reclining Wheelchair?

A reclining wheelchair is a specially designed wheelchair to assist people with mobility issues. A reclining wheelchair is highly efficient and effective for people who are facing concerns because of spending too much time in a static wheelchair. A reclining wheelchair arrives with a reclining backrest and an adjustable footrest. This increases the comfort level and eliminates the irritation from using a wheelchair. The backrest can be reclined, thus assisting the person to shift from a static seated position to a nearly lying down position. This increases comfort and eliminates aches in the back and lower parts of the body.

Features Of A Reclining Wheelchair


Lightweight materials are the widely chosen variants for the construction of a reclining wheelchair. Aluminum and steel are preferred for their lightweight and durability. This makes moving easier along with strength.


Reclining backrests are the proximate feature that distinguishes a reclining wheelchair from the rest. The reclining backrest ensures comfort and keeps away pains and aches. The backrest can be set to different angles according to the most desired position of the person using the chair.


Footrests are made to be adjustable to increase the level of comfort. Adjustable footrests allow the person using the wheelchair to position their legs in an elevated position which eliminates discomfort and irritation


Padded armrests are an additional feature to enhance the coziness.


One of the vital features of the reclining wheelchair is the presence of anti-tippers to prevent the person from falling backward while reclining on the wheelchair. This is equipped in most of the reclining wheelchairs to make reclining stress-free and safe. 

Benefits Of A Reclining Wheelchair

  • A reclining wheelchair helps improve the posture of the person using it. The reclining position of the wheelchair provides the user with the freedom to adapt to different positions, thus making it ideal for people with posture concerns. Additionally, they will also be free from aches and pains caused by stressing the body to attain a comfortable position. 
  • Back pain is a common complaint in most of the persons using a wheelchair. Prolonged sitting in the same position will pave the way for back aches as there will be a minimal amount of blood flow to the parts of the body. A reclining wheelchair provides complete relief to back aches caused by a wheelchair. Shifting between positions is simple, thus keeping the aches and pains away from the body.
  • Pressure sores are another common issue when it comes to wheelchairs. Pressure sores are usually caused because of constant pressure applied to the lower parts of the body. Thighs, lower backs, and knee folds are the common areas that face pressure sores due to sitting in a wheelchair. Opting for a reclining wheelchair will eliminate pressure sores as the person using the reclining wheelchair can shift between a seated position and a lying position.
  • Structure of the footrest is constructed to elevate while the wheelchair reclines. This relaxes your foot area and ensures enough supply of oxygen to the legs. Movement of the legs also eliminates discomfort caused because of the static position while sitting for longer periods of time.
  • Bedsores are a common issue faced by most of the wheelchair users. This is caused by the elongated hours of staying in the same position. A reclining wheelchair keeps away bed sores as the reclining position of a wheelchair maintains the flow of blood, thus preventing your skin and tissues from getting damaged.
  • Reclining wheelchairs are highly comfortable as the cushions and armrests are designed and structured to be cozy. This makes seating for longer hours comfortable without any chances of irritation on the skin and the body.
  • Independence is one of the greatest advantages of a reclining wheelchair. A reclining wheelchair allows the person using the chair to independently operate the reclining mechanism through a remote control or a button. This eliminates the need for an assistant to support the disabled or sick person. This also enhances the mental health of the person using the reclining wheelchair.
  • Reclining wheelchairs have higher portability. They are structured to provide ease of transporting and also can be stored in boots or small spaces.

Who Can Use A Reclining Wheelchair?

Elders : Adults who have lost their stamina to walk or sit in the right posture may choose to use a reclining wheelchair. This will prevent them from looking for assistance to change positions. Recovery : People who have undergone surgery and are currently in the recovery phase can choose to invest in a reclining wheelchair. While using a reclining wheelchair, pains, and discomfort caused due to the surgery can be kept away. Neurological disorders : Persons who are facing discomfort because of a prolonged or chronic neurological condition can opt for a reclining wheelchair. Reclining wheelchairs will increase their postures and will also enhance the supply of blood as the individual can shift between positions. Pain Management : Elders and persons with disabilities are prone to severe back pain and muscle fatigue as they are seated in the same position for long periods. This is either because of their inability to shift position because of a static wheelchair or due to their bedridden condition. Choosing a reclining wheelchair will keep pains away from the body as there are possibilities of shifting between seated and lying down positions. Posture enhancement : People looking for posture enhancement can effectively get back to shape while choosing reclining wheelchairs. Regular wheelchairs will increase their aches and pains whereas a reclining wheelchair will assist them to regain their posture with no irritation and discomfort.

How Does A Reclining Wheelchair Differ From A Regular Wheelchair?

A reclining wheelchair gives the user the advantage of changing the positions of the body. The person seated on the reclining wheelchair will be able to attain a nearly lying down position from a seated position. In contrast, in a regular wheelchair, the person will not be able to shift positions. The seated posture is the only one that can be attained in most regular wheelchairs.

Precautions While Using A Reclining Wheelchair

  • Ensure that the person is stable enough to move by themselves from their bed to the wheelchair. Assist if they are in need. 
  • Position the body in a comfortable position with the right posture before choosing to recline the backrest. There are chances of slipping off the chair when the feature is enabled without attaining the proper position.
  • Using the remote control to recline to the desired position is advisable to prevent damage to the chair.
  • When stepping out of the wheelchair, attain the inclined position from a reclined position to have a safe step out.

Maintaining A Reclining Wheelchair

  • A reclining wheelchair needs maintenance just like any other equipment. Regular maintenance will increase the life of the product and will also provide the user with the highest levels of comfort for longer periods. 
  • Lubricating the metal parts and adjustable parts of the reclining wheelchair is mandatory to retain the smooth transition. Wheel axles and bearings must also be lubricated at intervals. Invest in a lubricant that is advocated by the retailer or the manufacturer of the reclining wheelchair.
  • Wheels and tires need to be inspected every time before you land on the reclining wheelchair. This will prevent any mishappenings caused due to the damages to the wheels and tires.
  • Brakes must be inspected regularly. It is advisable to replace the brake pads with new ones as they are prone to wear and tear.
  • Reclining mechanism might not function properly at times. To avoid such circumstances, lubricate the area. This will ensure that your mechanism does not stop or strike while changing positions

Things To Consider Before Buying A Reclining Wheelchair

  • Weight capacity is the primary thing to consider when choosing a reclining wheelchair. The chair must be able to hold the entire weight of the person using the chair. Not all reclining wheelchairs are the same. Each of them varies significantly in their construction and material used. 
  • Safety features must be equipped in the reclining wheelchair. Anti-tippers must be present on the wheelchair to prevent the person from falling off the chair while reclining or inclining.
  • Consulting a healthcare professional before investing in a reclining wheelchair is highly recommended. This will prevent you from making the wrong investment. Healthcare professionals will be well aware of your condition and will suggest you with the best options.
  • Reclining wheelchairs must suit the person’s body measurements. The body must be comfortably positioned while seated on the chair. The arms and back must not face any strain while you are reclining or inclining.

Final Words

Reclining wheelchairs are one of the finest picks for people with disabilities and health conditions. Enhancing the quality of life is a definite takeaway while using a reclining wheelchair. However, it is vital to assess a person’s body condition by consulting a healthcare professional and seeking his advice while investing in a reclining wheelchair. Also, advice can be sought from the manufacturer regarding the usage of the wheelchair.