Furniture Risers Consumer Guide


A furniture riser is a device made of wood or high strength plastic used to raise the height of low seating or beds, making it easier for a person to rise. Some risers can also be used to raise the height of a dining table. Although widely recommended as a solution to raise the height of furniture for increased ease of use or accessibility, there has been little or no research on whether risers are safe to use. In our limited testing, we have discovered safety issues that you need to be aware of, especially if you're considering using risers on a chair.

Supported Weight

Some manufacturers (Standers and Richard's Homewares) state that their risers support from 300 to 350 pounds, depending on the riser (person and furniture included). Another manufacturer, EZ Mobility Solutions, states that their products support from 1,500 to 3,000 pounds, depending on the riser.



PROS
Raising the height of a low sofa or bed may make a big difference in reducing the effort required to rise – allowing the person to transfer more independently, with less help from you, the caregiver.
Some risers can also be used to raise the height of a dining table, so you can get a person in a wheelchair closer to the table. But this only works if the table legs are far apart. If the table legs are close together, the risers may prevent either a wheelchair or even a dining chair from fitting between the legs. Be sure to check with the manufacturer before purchasing.

Risers can be used under some beds if you're using a lift and need more space under the bed for the base of the lift.

Furniture risers are an inexpensive way to modify the height of a sofa, bed, or dining table and can help avoid the cost of new furniture.
Most risers are available in a variety of heights, from 2 to 5 inches, depending on the manufacturer, allowing for a "custom fit."
Check to make sure the furniture leg can sit in the "recess" on the top of the riser – many risers accommodate a furniture leg up to 2.5 inches in diameter.


CONS/CAUTIONS

Most risers are not permanently attached to the feet of the furniture and the feet may slip off. We found only one manufacturer, Mobility Transfer Systems, that recommends permanently affixing the riser to the furniture leg (they also include screws). Permanent attachment may make a riser more stable, but the attachment may not be very strong or rigid, since the screw is only supported by the 1/8 inch-thick top of the riser.
Risers for seating may be safest to use on a couch rather than on a chair. If used on a chair, permanently attaching the riser to the chair may make it safer to use, but we haven't tested this feature.

A deeper recess might reduce the possibility of the foot slipping off the riser, but both seating risers that we tested have only a shallow recess.

There is a trade-off between the potential trip hazard posed by the riser extending out from the furniture leg and the benefit gained from a higher seat. Manufacturers generally recommend centering the foot on the riser.

Follow ALL manufacturer's instructions. In one of our tests, the tester forgot to use both the non-skid rubber strips and the foam inserts, and the chair leg slid off the riser when she adjusted her position in the chair. In this case, there were also wheels on the chair legs. In a later email, the manufacturer recommended not using risers on chair legs with wheels.

Risers are NOT recommended for furniture legs with wheels or casters.

If the risers come with pads or rubber strips, they must be used to prevent skidding (especially on a wood or vinyl floor); skidding would increase the likelihood of tipping over or the chance that the foot might skid off the riser.

We recommend using risers on couches and sofas rather than on chairs, as the higher center of gravity could cause the chair to get tippy. A sofa or couch, on the other hand, is so wide, that it is less likely to tip.




MANUFACTURERS/VENDORS
Standers, Inc.
Stander.com

EZ Mobility Solutions
EZmobilitysolutions.com

Bed, Bath, and Beyond
BedBathAndBeyond.com

Check with the manufacturer for the name of the store nearest you that carries the product you are interested in or do an internet search.

COST $15 - $35



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