Extensions for Recliners, Zero Gravity, and Lift Chairs for Tall People 6

A reclined position is great for taking a load off at the end of the day. It’s also helpful for recovering from musckuloskeltal injuries, which we tall people tend to have more than our fair share of. The question though is where can you find decent recliners and other similar chairs for tall people?

I needed an answer to this question last year as I had hip surgery (for FAI) and my recovery had to be done mostly in a reclined position. So I decided to go looking for some kind of recliner for tall people. Sounds simple, right? But at 6’7″, this is a tall order. I visited half a dozen furniture stores and no chairs were nearly tall enough for me. And after searching online, all I could find was a bunch of big and tall reclining chairs I doubt would have had high enough backs to support my head and are huge. So I decided to take a DIY approach.

Update: I’m hearing from numerous tall people that they get by pretty good with big and tall recliners. One’s called The Beast and another falls into the category of “texas size recliners”. Kind of reminds of Texas King beds.

Extended Recliners for Tall People 2

The chair I adapted is a Pride Infinity Lift Chair size large. I’ll explain my criteria for picking this chair at the end of the post. They’re fairly common and I found mine used.

Pride Infinity Lift Chair Size Large
Foam Block for Headrest

Like most recliners, the frame for the back has two long wooden struts. I found I was able to screw a couple 1″x4″ pieces of wood to them quite easily. To these I screwed a piece of plywood, creating an extended section. All that was needed then was to cover a block of foam with some cloth, staple it to the plywood, and voila, an extra long recliner for tall people!

Extension for Recliner for Tall People

Okay, so it isn’t the prettiest thing in the world. But with some paint, better matching cloth and a perfectly sized foam block, you could make it pretty snazzy. Also, if you wanted to make it an even better chair for tall people, you could build a platform to raise it off the ground, and extend the footrest similarly. But I didn’t feel this was necessary as most of my unusual height comes from my torso and mine already has a lift mechanism to help me get up and down. The one aspect you can’t easily adapt to make it an ideal chair for tall people is the seat pan. But I didn’t find the seat pan to be too short at all, particularly in a reclined position.

Below are my criteria for choosing the Inifinity Pride chair.

  • Somewhat large to begin with: Though just about any chair can be adapted for tall people, it helps to start with something reasonably large to begin with.
  • Power Recline: Manual recliners aren’t designed for the long and heavy torsos of tall people and just end up reclining back unintentionally. So it’s best for tall people to go with motorized recliners.
  • Lift Mechanism: I was told I would have a hard time standing up on my own after my surgery. So I decided to get a lift chair. Single motor lift chairs tend to just dump you out. So I wanted a dual motor lift chair that allowed the back to be operated independently.
  • Zero Gravity Position: I find the zero gravity position (knees above hips) to be quite comfortable, so I wanted a chair that could do this.
  • Lay Flat Position: There was a chance I would be sleeping in the chair (I ended up doing this for six weeks!), so I wanted it to be able to recline to a flat position.

    In retrospect, I’m also grateful for the extra weight that comes with the heavy duty lift mechanism. Without it, the chair would have been very tippy. As it is, when my toddler comes climbing up on me I tip backwards!

    I know DIY isn’t for everyone. The vast majority of us would rather just spend whatever it costs to get something off the shelf. But I just couldn’t find any recliners and similar chairs that are designed for extremely tall people like myself. But perhaps I missed something you know of. If so, please tell in the comments!

    If you liked this DIY tall chair, you might also check out the patio zero gravity chair for tall people I built a while back.

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    6 thoughts on “Extensions for Recliners, Zero Gravity, and Lift Chairs for Tall People

      • Tall Life Post author

        Very interesting lowflo65, that looks like a huge recliner! The site says it will work for people almost 7′ tall. The width is a lot more than I’d personally want, but definitely looks to be a viable solution. Thanks for the tip. I’ll see if I can find one to sit in at some point.

    • Wiert

      Years ago i had a recliner called the big mens chair. It was the best chair i ever had. To bad it’s mechanism failed after 20 years. I can not.find a replacement.


    • DLH

      Here’s a simple idea using just a pillow and the wall if the chair can be near one. Position the recliner relative to a wall so when it reclines it is very close to, but not touching the wall. While sitting in a reclines position, place a pillow toward the top of the recliner back and partially resting against the wall. This extends the height of the recliner indefinitely, and eliminates the risk of tipping back. You can experiment with different sizes and firmnesses of pillows.

      • Tall Life Post author

        I have another recliner that I do that with too. Definitely simpler for a recliner near a wall. Good point.