Which? has been championing the cause for consumers since 1957, asking probing questions of businesses and manufacturers, and pursuing the answers that put the consumer in the driving seat.
Its founders wanted to make things better for consumers, and to raise standards across the board, so it started testing goods and services and publishing the results. It began campaigning too, encouraging companies to change their practices.
Today, Which? has more than 1.5 million members and supporters, making it the largest independent consumer body in the UK. Its commitment to providing unbiased advice to consumers is still at the heart of everything it does, so, from choosing a Riser Recliner Chair, TV, phone, car, or holiday, to getting a mortgage or writing a will, it is always on the consumer’s side.
To complete its tough tests, a panel of everyday users, all aged 60 or above, are asked to sit in a selection of chairs for a total of 72 hours to rate them for comfort, ease of use and, crucially, how secure they feel when being brought to a sitting or standing position. The tests look at:
Comfort – The panel rate how comfortable their legs, buttocks and back are in upright and recline positions.
Feeling secure – The chair is moved through every possible position to see how secure users feel.
Ease of use – To ensure users aren’t confused, they press every button on the handset and read every page of the instructions to check that it all makes sense.
Speed of operation – The Which? lab times how long it takes to move between different positions to make sure users find a chair they feel comfortable in.
Back-up battery – To make sure users aren’t left struggling in a power cut, the test assesses how reliable the back-up battery is.
Achieving the top score in the 2018 Review, the HSL Aysgarth, Best Buy Riser Recliner chair is at the higher end of the price bracket for some of the chairs we’ve tested, but it’s worth it. It’s comfortable, supportive and easy to use.
The CleverComfort™ Aysgarth riser recliner chair from furniture brand HSL has a waterfall back and is available in four different sizes. The filling in the back cushions can be altered by adding or removing some of the stuffing depending on how squashy you like the cushions. It comes in a range of colours and fabrics. It has wooden arm ends, known as ‘knuckles’, which provide a useful grip point when the chair is moving. The handset has five buttons to operate the chair, including a reset button, which takes it to the upright sitting position. We tested the petite version of this chair.
The Aysgarth Riser Recliner moves smoothly and reasonably quickly into different positions. When used to help you into a standing position, it rises quite high, which helps users get out of the chair with minimal effort. Almost all our panel of users who tried this chair felt comfortable in both the upright and reclined positions, with one saying the lumbar cushion is very comfortable, while another saying the neck support is also very good.
The handset on this riser recliner is great. It has clear diagrams which show you what button will operate each action. Most users felt the buttons operated the chair in the way they expected. It was also easy to reach the handset in both a sitting and reclining position by pulling on the cable. The chair has a smaller pocket for holding the handset in place when not in use.