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Product Advice

An individual's condition will determine what type of equipment is the most suitable. Here are some useful considerations you should take into account when you are purchasing daily living aids and equipment. This helpful guide has been produced by the in-house Occupational Therapists at Nottingham Rehab Supplies.

Choosing a Chair

A chair should be easy to get in and out of, should increase comfort and provide support. It is important that a chair is not too big/small, too high/low or too soft/hard.


  • A chair with a firm high seat is easier to stand up from than a low soft chair
  • When seated the hips and knees should be at right angles and the feet should be flat on the floor
  • The seat of the chair should support the length of the thighs, but there should be two fingers width between the edge of the seat and the back of the knee
  • The seat width should allow the person to sit comfortably, being the width of the hips plus a clenched fist on either side
  • The back rest should be high enough to support the head, neck and shoulders
  • The back rest should have a slight slope to allow a comfortable sitting position, but should not be too sloped as to make activities difficult
  • The armrests height should be elbow height, to allow comfortable resting of the forearms without the shoulders being hunched
  • Are any activities to be carried out in the chair, such as eating, reading, writing?
  • Check the maximum user weight of chair

  • Rise and Recline Chairs

    These are motorised armchairs that can rise to lift the user to a standing position and lower to a reclined position. They usually have a hand held controller to operate the motor. They are designed for people who have difficulty in standing up and sitting down, even when a chair is at the correct height.


  • Most rise and recline chairs have one or more motors to power them, they require plugging into the mains, rather than battery powered
  • Usually the hand control unit will be connected to the chair with a cable and gives the user control over the chair
  • A dual motor chair allows the foot rest and the back rest to be controlled simultaneously, while a single motor allows the foot rest to be brought up then the back rest to be lowered. A dual motor chair usually provides a great range of recline
  • Positioning of the chair needs to be considered as there needs to be a gap between the chair and a wall, to allow the chair to recline
  • Check the maximum user weight of the chair

  • Self Rise Cushions

    Self rise cushions are placed on a chair and assist with lowering and raising the user to and from the chair.


  • The cushion should fit the depth and width of the seat safely
  • The height of the chair and cushion should be considered, the feet of the user should be flat on the floor while seated
  • The seat of the chair should be firm to support the cushion safely
  • Check the maximum user weight of the cushion

  • Pressure Relieving Cushions

    Pressure relieving cushions can help prevent or treat pressure sores and improve comfort. They are used with those who are unable or have difficulty in changing position or moving themselves.


  • How long will you be sitting on the cushion for?
  • What level of pressure relief do you require - low/medium/high?
  • There are different types of cushion cover available, including waterproof, towelling and breathable material. Check cleaning methods of different covers
  • Check the cushion will fit into the seat or chair that it is required on, the cushion should not be squeezed into a seat that is too small
  • Check the maximum user weight of the cushion

  • Nottingham Rehab Supplies professionally trained Occupational Therapy Helpline Operator will be pleased to help and guide you on product purpose, suitability, usage and provide technical details to help you make the right choice of product.

    Telephone: 0845 121 8110