Home Health Best Reclining Wheelchairs [Buying Guide] in 2019

Best Reclining Wheelchairs [Buying Guide] in 2019

by Francesca Baptiste
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Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair, Detachable Full Arms, 18" Seat
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining Wheelchair with Detachable Desk Length Arms and Elevating Leg Rest, Silver Vein
Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Foldable Tilt in Space Space Reclining Transport Wheelchair, Diamond Black, 14" Rear Wheels and 18" Seat Width
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Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Reclining Wheelchair
Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Reclining Transport Wheelchair
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Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair, Detachable Full Arms, 18" Seat
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Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair
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Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining Wheelchair with Detachable Desk Length Arms and Elevating Leg Rest, Silver Vein
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Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Reclining Wheelchair
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Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Foldable Tilt in Space Space Reclining Transport Wheelchair, Diamond Black, 14" Rear Wheels and 18" Seat Width
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Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Reclining Transport Wheelchair

Did you know that lower body pressure is the leading cause of gastrointestinal distress in wheelchair users? The good news is that it’s entirely avoidable by use of a reclining wheelchair. Reclining wheelchairs offer an incredible range of motion and movement to make using a wheelchair much more comfortable. They provide the opportunity to expand the use of your wheelchair and an extensive range of health benefits to increase quality of life. 

For long-term users, reclining wheelchairs are an excellent option to remove the risk of sores, aches and pains, so that you are much more comfortable in your chair. They also provide an ease of use for carers of those with more serious illnesses, because you have better access to the patient with a reclining wheelchair and most offer innovative solutions to cleaning and sanitizing the wheelchair.

Not sure exactly what it is you need yet? Not to worry, Surf’n’Buy has the three best reclining wheelchairs on the market whether you’re looking for premium quality or premium value. These chairs offer a range of reclining positions, as well as different functionalities at different price points. With this guide, you are sure to find a reclining wheelchair that will offer you everything you need to properly support the wheelchair user, or even offer them a little more freedom.

So take your time and dive into our guide of the best 3 reclining wheelchairs in 2019.

Top 3 Reclining Wheelchairs

1. Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair

Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair, Detachable Full Arms, 18" Seat
  • All-Aluminum frame; Weighs under 32 lbs (Excluding front rigging) Durable and comfortable heavy gauge nylon upholstery with hook-and-loop fastener straps
  • Built-in seat rail extensions and extendable upholstery easily adjusts seat depth from 16" to 18"; Back angle adjusts from 5-degrees to 20-degrees; Back height adjusts from 17"-19" in 1" increments, adaptable for individual patient need
  • Dual Axle allows for multiple seat-to-floor height positions; Over-center cross brace eliminates need for seat guides; Works with seating and positioning accessories
  • Quick release, 24" composite Mag-style wheels; Precision sealed wheel bearings ensure long-lasting performance and reliability; Urethane rear tires and casters offer superior performance, smoother ride, and are lightweight
  • Adjustable angle caster forks have three height adjustments; Tool-free adjustable swing-away footrests feature easy-to-access release handles; Comes with adjustable flip-up anti-tipper and push-to-lock wheel locks

FEATURES

The fully aluminum frame weighs under 32 pounds and supports weights of up to 300 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight and highly supportive reclining wheelchairs on the market and the lightest in this guide. The Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair comes in three different widths with the option of detachable desk arms or full arms. 

A dual axle allows for multiple seat-to-floor positions, making the chair perfect for both tall and small patients. The chair also reclines in 1 inch increments up to a completely flat position, making it highly adaptable to individual need. The wide seat and high back ensure that the patient is supported at all angles but leaves enough room to add accessories for added comfort and support.

Quick release mag-style wheels are crafted from urethane and precision sealed wheel bearings. This ensures a smooth ride, as well as long-lasting performance, durability and low maintenance. Swing away footrests make access to the chair quick and simple, and flip-up anti-tippers ensure the safety and security of the patient at all angles. The Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair also has large enough wheels to allow for self-propulsion, so is a great option for those who want a little more independence.

PROS

  • The lightweight design and large rear wheels allow for self-propulsion with minimal effort. This is ideal for patients who want a little more freedom from their wheelchair without sacrificing the support and health benefits of a reclining wheelchair.
  • The high weight limit and unbeatable level of customization in all elements of the Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair make it the ideal reclining wheelchair for all shapes and sizes of patient.
  • The incremental incline gives the patient the freedom of choice to the level of support and movement they want.
  • Quick release wheels make travelling and storing this wheelchair quick and easy.

CONS

  • The larger design of the Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair make it difficult to navigate narrow spaces and tighter corners.
  • The leg rests do not elevate to be completely vertical and this makes them stick out slightly and require extra caution when maneuvering the wheelchair.
  • The tires are made of urethane rather than rubber and this can make them unsuitable for use outdoors and on uneven surfaces, as they may slip.
  • The reclining mechanism has no lock function, and some users have said it is a little too easy to move the position. Should a slip occur, this can be dangerous for some patients.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

If you are looking for a high quality, highly adaptable reclining wheelchair with the possibility of self-propulsion, the Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair is the chair for you.  It’s lightweight design and durable structure support patients of all sizes in any position and with any accessories. Quick release tires make folding, transporting and storing this wheelchair quick and easy so that you can get out and about.

2. Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Reclining Wheelchair

Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining Wheelchair with Detachable Desk Length Arms and Elevating Leg Rest, Silver Vein
  • Hydraulic reclining mechanism allows for infinite adjustments up to 180-degrees; Arms have support extension for reclining position
  • Nylon upholstery is comfortable, lightweight, and easy to clean; Carbon Steel frame with silver vein finish is attractive and easy to maintain
  • Composite Mag-style wheels are lightweight and maintenance free; Precision sealed wheel bearings in front and rear ensure long lasting performance and reliability; Wheels set back on frame prevents tipping
  • Padded armrests and headrest extension with cushioned head immobilizer provide added patient comfort
  • Comes with swing-away elevating leg rests, metal foot plates, rear anti-tippers, and push to lock wheel locks

FEATURES

The Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Reclining Wheelchair is crafted with a hydraulic mechanism. This allows the user to choose infinite reclining positions up to 180 degrees so that you can decide which position is the most comfortable for the needs of the patient. The arms also have a support extension to ensure maximum comfort in a reclined position.

Nylon upholstery is breathable and easy to clean, creating a more supportive and sanitary seat than vinyl options. Mag-style wheels are made from urethane, making them puncture-free and incredibly low maintenance.  That combined with the precision sealed wheel bearings in the front and back increase reliability and durability for long-term use.

Anti-tippers provide added support for a reclined position so you can rest assured that the patient will be safe and secure at any angle. This wheelchair also comes with a cushioned head immobilizer to support the head, neck and spine.  This not only increased comfort but ensures proper posture in all positions. Swing away leg rests make accessing and removal from the chair quick and easy.  The leg rests also elevate to support the wheelchair user when in a reclined position as well as seated.

PROS

  • The state-of-the-art hydraulic reclining mechanism allows the patient or carer to position the back rest at all angles, providing a high level of support and customization in this wheelchair.
  • Swing away and elevating leg rests increase the usability and support for the patient in the wheelchair, as well as making transport into the chair easier for caregivers.
  • Large rear wheels allow for self-propulsion should the wheelchair user seek to move themselves.
  • Comfortable nylon upholstery is easy to clean and breathable to ensure a steady temperature for the wheelchair user.
  • The cushioned head immobilizer ensures proper support and posture at all angles.
  • This wheelchair folds down to a width of only 16 inches, which increases its ease of storage and transport.
  • The turning radius of this chair is remarkably low, making narrow corners much easier to manage.
  • The weight limit of this wheelchair is an incredibly high 350 pounds, making it supportive enough for larger and taller patients.

CONS

  • This chair is one of the heavier options at 65 pounds and this can make self-propulsion difficult and smaller or weaker caregivers may struggle to maneuver this chair properly.
  • The hydraulic system can only be accessed by a caregiver and not the patient themselves, which can be an annoyance for those who want to use the chair independently.
  • The leg rests of this chair do not fold down to a complete 90-degree angle, which can make it difficult to manage when navigating tighter spaces.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

If you are looking for a reclining wheelchair with a high level of support then look no further.  The Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Reclining Wheelchair, with its innovative hydraulic reclining mechanism, elevating leg rests and removeable head rest ensure the support, freedom and comfort of the wheelchair user. Not only is it great when in use, it also folds down to an easy to store 16 inch width, able to fit in most standard car trunks, making it perfect for travel and transport.

3. Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Reclining Transport Wheelchair

FEATURES

The Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Reclining Transport Wheelchair weighs only 34 pounds, making it a great option for smaller carers. With a tilt range of 0-35 degrees, this chair is an excellent option for those who want to alleviate pressure on the lower body to reduce pressure on the skin, spine, and lower body.

Swing in and away footrests and flip-back arm rests make accessing the chair quick and easy, as well as allowing the wheelchair to easily slide underneath desks and tables. Removeable headrest and cushioned design ensures the comfort and support of the user, while removing the pressure caused by nylon and vinyl options. The anti-microbial upholstery ensures the hygiene and sanitation of this wheelchair, making it easy to clean and much safer for patients.

PROS

  • The low weight of the Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Reclining Transport Wheelchair and the ability to fold down to fit into most standard trunks, makes it perfect for those who want to use the chair in and out of the home.
  • Designed from aircraft grade aluminum, this wheelchair is one of the most durable on the market.
  • The lightweight, ergonomic design means that this wheelchair is easy to move around, even for smaller and weaker caregivers.
  • This wheelchair also has the ability to tilt in a seated position, which can aid helpers to clean users and to reduce pressure on the lower body of the patient.
  • The high 20 inch seat back provides support at all angles and the height adjustable arm rests make this chair suitable for taller patients as you can adapt it to the needs of the user.
  • The 16 inch seat depth provides plenty of comfort and support for the patient.
  • Anti-tippers provide security for the patient even when reclined to the maximum degree.

CONS

  • This chair does not recline to a full 180 degrees, which makes it unsuitable for a number of functions one might seek from a reclining wheelchair, such as changing, physiotherapy, or access from chair to bed.
  • The Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Reclining Transport Wheelchair has a weight limit of 250 pounds, which is much lower than other options in this guide.
  • This chair does not have wheels with hand rims so that the patient can propel themselves.  This means that it can only be used with the help of a caregiver, which and be an issue for users who want a little more freedom.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

If you are looking for a reclining wheelchair with the highest level of comfort, then the Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Reclining Transport Wheelchair is the wheelchair for you.  It’s cushioned upholstery is antibacterial and easy to clean whilst providing the most support for the user.  The 35-degree reclining possibility allow you to remove pressure from the lower body and provide all of the health and wellness benefits of increased blood flow to the lower extremities. This chair is the top of the range option currently available on the market, winning the prize of premium pick in this guide.

In Which Cases is Reclining Wheelchair a Good Option and Why?

A reclining wheelchair is designed to provide extra flexibility to better support the needs of the user by allowing them to lie back into the seat rather than remain in a sitting position. These wheelchairs  are able to increase the angle of the backrest to reduce the pressure on the legs and bottom of the patient. This allows the body to move more freely and provide a higher level of postural support, as well as providing a number of other health benefits. Reclining wheelchairs can reduce the risk of pressure sores, reduce pressure on the bowel and bladder, and add comfortability for the patient. There are a few cases in which a reclining wheelchair is a good option, but it all depends on the needs of the patient.

Long-term Use

Long-term users find reclining wheelchairs a better option because they allow for more movement in the chair. This makes them more comfortable because the body can move and this can reduce the pressure on the spine, bottom and legs.  They reduce pressure sores and hypotension caused by pressure on the lower body and increase blood flow when the patient is at an angle. Reclining wheelchairs can also be much easier to get in and out of than standard seated models, so they should definitely be a consideration in all cases.

Permanent Disability

If the patient has a permanent disability, reclining wheelchairs offer the freedom of movement to increase comfortability. They also have the added benefit of making certain methods of physical therapy easier to reduce muscle wastage. Many carers find it much easier to move a patient to and from a reclining wheelchair, such as in and out of bed or into an armchair. This can make a reclining wheelchair better for permanently disabled patients because they can increase quality of life with their added comfortability and added health benefits.

Issues with Continence

If the wheelchair user has issues with continence, it is much easier to change them when they are in a reclining chair due to ease of access in a reclining position compared to a seated one. This makes life easier for the caregiver and most options will have an antibacterial coating to ensure ease of cleaning, and the sanitation and safety of the patient.

Reclining wheelchairs are not ideal for everyone. If you are looking for a wheelchair as a means for transportation, a travel or lightweight option is best for you. Reclining wheelchairs are usually not set up to allow for self-propulsion, either. So, if you are looking for a chair you can move yourself and provide you a little more freedom, a reclining wheelchair may not be the best option. Reclining wheelchair models are a lot heavier than standard models, so reclining wheelchairs which do have larger wheels can be very difficult to move around by yourself. In the same vein, if you have a smaller or weaker caregiver, reclining wheelchairs may not be a good option because the caregiver may struggle to move and maneuver the chair on a daily basis.


Conclusion

Buying the right wheelchair is essential for patients with illness and injury, but the sheer amount of wheelchairs available can make it seem like a maze when trying to figure out your needs or the needs of a loved one. With so many options on the market, we here at Surf’n’Buy understand that finding the right option can be a challenge. If you are looking for premium comfort and support, you can’t get a better reclining wheelchair than the Karman Healthcare VIP-515-TP-18 Reclining Transport Wheelchair. It provides support, ease of use and ease of maintenance without sacrificing innovation. However, if you are looking for a wheelchair with a wider range of functions, the Drive Medical Viper Plus GT Full Reclining Wheelchair provides a full range of motion without adding weight. 

Want a temporary option that won’t break the bank? You don’t need to spend a fortune to get the right reclining wheelchair. Consider the Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Reclining Wheelchair. Although a little on the heavier side, it promises to provide you with everything you need to meet the need of any patient. If you aren’t sure what option is best for you yet, we have a fully comprehensive guide to help you figure out exactly what it is you need and the best options for you. So, if you have the time, make sure to check it out!


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