It’s a great big world of premium, comfy upholstery fabrics
If your electric recliner research has brought you this far, there’s a good chance you’re closing in on a final recliner decision.
Especially when choosing adaptive equipment, upholstery can almost feel like an afterthought, perhaps with good reason.
It’s easy – and also important – to make sure your electric recliner checks all the boxes when it comes to function, dimensions and comfort.
First, you’ve got to choose between 2-position, 3-position, infinite position and zero gravity models. Then you’ve got to pick one that fits your particular shape.
But to get the Goldilocks of electric recliners, you’ve got to make sure the upholstery fabric matches your home decor and personal aesthetic.
Describing all of your options in a single article here could get a little complicated, so let’s start at the top and talk about material.
We get the question a lot, actually. So we’re glad you asked. We have an answer ready.
Short answer – because all of our recliners are FDA-approved Class II medical devices, we can’t use leather. But even if we could use leather, we’re not sure we would.
Manmade materials can just about achieve the same look and feel (maybe not the distinct smell) as natural leather with extra benefits. It’s infinitely easier to keep clean. Some man made materials even to resist microbe development.
The premium label fabrics we use on some of our collections are designed to be cleaned over and over again without losing their appearance or character.
Manufacturers like Crypton and Mitchell regularly supply medical device companies with easily-cleaned materials. They also serve the regular commercial and interior design market. That gives them the distinct advantage of knowing both arenas. They understand the latest trends and advances in upholstery, and they can also meet higher standards of the medical device industry.
Now that you understand why you won’t see any genuine leather in our collections, let’s break down the difference in the primary synthetic fibers used in Pride recliners.
Polyurethane is used in a zillion products, but especially in the furniture business. In fact, our friends at Mitchell say the furniture industry accounts for more than one-fourth of all polyurethane use.
It’s used to make the cushion inside your chair, and also the one in your car. It’s in Pride Mobility’s industry-leading power chairs and mobility scooters, too.
Because it’s more flexible, and can be manufactured to achieve a genuine leather finish look, our faux leather lineups are typically made with 100% polyurethane.
Polyurethane trumps vinyl – another popular material for faux leather – on several fronts, which are mostly aesthetic. It’s softer, more comfortable and looks better, while still being just as easy to clean and maintain.
We’ve come a long way from the leisure suits of the ’70s, which you might be thinking about right now a bit nostalgically. They were cool at the time. Just don’t ask your granddaughter her opinion on them, even if you can pull her away from her Tik Tok feed for long enough.
Polyester upholstery is still made with plastic fibers, but they’re a little more rigid, so you’ll most frequently see them in more woven upholstery fabrics.
The upshot on upholstery fabrics
Both polyester and polyurethane are powerful synthetic materials that last long, don’t fade and resist bacteria and germs. They’re easy to clean and won’t stain easily when subjected to spills or other accidents.
Now let’s talk about what fabrics you’ll find through our electric recliner collections.
There are a ton of options, you’re probably better off checking out Pride’s power lift recliner fabrics guide to see if the chair you need comes in the colors you want.
With the exception of a few collections, namely the VivaLift! lineup, just about every electric recliner collection offers a standard fabric style and color (one clarification, the VivaLift! Escape has the option to upgrade to Ultraleather, but more on that in a minute).
Colors aside, here are the finish types and textures you’ll find in our standard selections:
Astro A softer, more textured faux leather appearance begs you to climb in for an extended relaxation experience. It’s also another exclusive fabric we use only on the VivaLift! Tranquil power recliner.
Stonewash It’s a plushy, suede-like finish available only on the VivaLift! Urbana.
Saratoga A plush medium weave for what just might be one of the plushiest recliners on the market, the Oasis true-infinite position recliner.
Things start to get more complicated when we discuss optional upholstery upgrades. They’re not available evenly across all models, but worth exploring as you zero in on the power recliner of your dreams.
Ultraleather When it comes to faux leather, Ultrafabrics Inc. leads the pack. And its Ultrealeather product is at the tip of the spear. It’s the closest product we’ve found that looks and feels like real leather.
Crypton This manufacturer is so sure of its Super Fabrics line, they guarantee its moisture barrier for five years. Crypton fabrics handily resist spilled drinks, food and bodily fluids and wipe clean in a snap.
Sta-Kleen Last but not least, the ultimate, cleanable faux leather surface comes from Mitchell. It’s antimicrobial, durable to withstand sustained daily use, but continues to look amazing. It resists fading from sunlight and stains from spills. If you want a chair that can take a beating, but still preserve it’s dignity, look for one of our Sta-Kleen optional upholstery upgrades.