The 7 Best Chair Aids of 2022

Able Life Universal Stand has handles to assist you into a standing position

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Chair aids can be a helpful addition to someone’s home life if they are having difficulty transitioning from sitting to standing. The chair aids are good for “someone who either has some kind of weakness or not enough core strength or hip strength to get from sit to stand,” says Dr. Eliana Cardozo, a physiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Chair aids can “help, particularly if someone has pain from arthritis,” says Karen Jacobs, OT, an occupational therapist and clinical professor at Boston University. 

Reviewed & Approved

Able Life's Universal Stand Assist has padded handles to assist you into a standing position. We recommend Stander's CouchCane for seniors who need some assistance standing.

When considering what device might work best for you, it is important to have a conversation with your doctor about your injury and what options might be available to improve your ability to go from sitting to standing. Weight capacity and ease of use are other factors to take into consideration when shopping for a chair aid. We researched dozens of chair aids and evaluated them for material, size, ease of use, weight capacity, setup, and pricing.

Here are some of the best chair aids on the market today.

Best Overall: Able Life Universal Stand Assist

4.8
Able Life Universal Stand Assist

Amazon

Pros
  • Adjustable

  • Padded handles

  • Easy to use independently

Cons
  • May be difficult to transfer to other seats

  • More expensive than some options

What do buyers say? 81% of 1,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

We chose Able Life's Universal Stand Assist as the best overall pick because it helps people to stand up and sit down with ease. This device is easy to assemble and has an inconspicuous design that allows it to be placed flush against any surface.

You can place the device underneath your couch or chair cushions or on top of them, depending on what you prefer. All it takes is grabbing onto the padded handles on either side to help you gently lift yourself into a standing position. 

Price at time of publication: $120

Materials: Metal | Type of Assist: Manual | Weight: Product weighs 7 lbs; supports up to 300 lbs

Best Budget: Able Life Handy Handle

Able Life Handy Handle

Amazon

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Evenly distributes weight

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Requires assistance

  • Handle size might be small for some users

Able Life’s Handy Handle is an affordable option if you’re looking to assist or be assisted from sitting to standing. After each party grabs onto a side of the handle, the person doing the assisting can gently pull to help lift the other person into a standing position.

The handle is created with rubber grips on either side in an effort to prevent any tearing or rubbing of the device against the users’ hands. It is also lightweight and portable, making it an easy option to take with you no matter where you’re going. The one downside is that this device does require the assistance of another person, which is something to think about depending on your own personal needs.

Price at time of publication: $20

Materials: Rubber | Type of Assist: Manual | Weight: Product weighs 1 lb; supports up to 350 lbs

Best for Physically Impaired: Bandwagon Portable Chair Assist

Bandwagon Portable Chair Assist

Amazon

Pros
  • Portable

  • Budget-friendly

  • Multiple handles

Cons
  • Can be difficult to assemble

  • Base slides on some surfaces

The Bandwagon Portable Chair assist is a great option for anyone who is recovering from a surgery or suffering from physical impairments. The device is portable, so you can use it wherever needed throughout your home. The device can be set up right against a chair or sofa, where its sturdy design allows you to grab onto any of the three available handles to help lift yourself into a standing position.

The multiple handles are an added bonus of the device because it gives you different grip options for however you want to stand. The device is also more affordable compared to some of the others on the market, making for an optimal choice for anyone on a budget.

Price at time of publication: $70

Materials: Metal | Type of Assist: Manual | Weight: Product weighs 5.9 lbs; supports up to 300 lbs

What the Experts Say

“One of the things that is really important too is the footwear that the person wears. You want to make sure that they are wearing supportive footwear when they get up and sit down.” — Dr. Karen Jacobs, an occupational therapist and clinical professor at Boston University

Best for Seniors: Stander CouchCane

Stander CouchCane

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Adjustable height

  • Optional tray attachment

  • Storage bag included

Cons
  • More expensive than some options

  • Heavy

Not only is the Stander CouchCane functional to help transition anyone from sitting to standing, but it also addresses other needs someone might have. The cane comes with a four-pocket organizer pouch that can store items such as glasses, TV remotes, or cell phones. For an extra cost, you can purchase a swiveling tray that fits right at the top of the cane to make for the perfect table to use wherever you need. 

The cane itself is adjustable both at the base and in its height, allowing it to work for a variety of couches and chairs around a home. Its ability to be secured underneath a couch or sofa makes it especially safe for users who require help with balancing.

Price at time of publication: $190

Materials: Steel | Type of Assist: Manual | Weight: Product weighs 20 lbs; supports up to 250 lbs

Best Portable: Carex Upeasy Seat Assist

Up Easy

 Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Portable

  • Comfortable

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Doesn’t work for all chairs

  • No handle for added support

This portable device is a manual lifting cushion that works to transition someone from seating to standing. The hydropneumatic gas spring in the chair will slowly release as the user stands up, pushing the seat upward to bring you from sitting to standing.

For best results, the device should be used on chairs or sofas with firm seating and backing. The product is not recommended for softer surfaces like recliners and soft chairs. At only eight pounds, this device is easy to carry around with you wherever you go and can be used in multiple settings. The cover of the chair is also machine washable.

Price at time of publication: $130

Materials: Polyester | Type of Assist: Hydropneumatic gas spring | Weight: Product weighs 7.9 lbs; supports up to 300 lbs

Best for Wheelchairs: DMI Transfer Board

DMI Wooden Transfer Board

Amazon

Pros
  • Available in multiple sizes and styles

  • Includes grip handles

  • Portable

Cons
  • Wooden slab feels too thin for some

  • Surface not as slick to slide

Transfer from one location to your wheelchair with ease with the help of the DMI Transfer Board. This board comes in four different sizes, so you can find a size that fits your needs in particular. It also comes with built-in handles that will allow the user to grip onto the board as they slide from their wheelchair to a different surface or vice versa.

However, if you’re not looking for a handle option, the company has also created a board free of the handles that can just be used to slide from seat to seat. To use the board, position one end on the wheelchair seat and the other on the other surface. The person can then slide across the board easily to transfer to the new spot.

Price at time of publication: $42

Materials: Plastic and bariatric wood | Type of Assist: Manual | Weight: Product weighs 1 lb; supports up to 440 lbs

Best for Cars: Able Life Auto Cane

Able Life Auto Cane

Amazon

Pros
  • Portable

  • Lightweight

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • May not work in all vehicles

  • Can lack stability

You shouldn’t have to struggle in order to enter or exit your vehicle, and the Able Life Auto Cane is the portable solution that will help you out of any car seat. The portable cane slots into the U-shaped door striker latch that one can find on the back of the door frame. Once slotted in, you can grasp the handle to help transition your body into or out of the vehicle. 

This handle features a soft rubber handle provides a sturdy grip for the user and can support up to 300 lbs. The only downside of this device is it only works with U-shaped door striker latches, so make sure it is compatible with your vehicle prior to purchasing.

Price at time of publication: $15

Materials: Aluminum and soft rubber | Type of Assist: Manual | Weight: Product weighs 0.4 lbs; supports up to 300 lbs

Final Verdict

Chair aids are an easy and effective way to offer functional support and independence around the house, whether you're looking for short-term help following an injury or a longer-term mobility solution for chronic conditions.

The Able Life Universal Stand Assist (view at Amazon) is one of the best choices on the market for its ability to slot into any couch or chair surfaces and can be used without help. If you're looking for an option that provides even more direct assistance, the Carex Upeasy Seat Assist (view at Amazon) offers an extra boost with its pneumatic spring and can go with you anywhere.

What to Look for in a Chair Aid

Type

There are a variety of chair aids on the market that are created with the different patients in mind who might be seeking out a device that will help them transition from sitting to standing. Whether it be a cane, electronic seat, or a handle, all of these devices work differently and can provide different benefits for the user. “I would recommend trialing the chair aids,” Dr. Jacobs says. Besides trialing the different devices, it is also recommended to speak with your doctor about what type might work best for you. The doctor will take into consideration the reasons as to why you’re seeking out a chair aid in the first place and advise which ones might be more beneficial compared to others. 

Additionally, there are devices that are manual and devices that are electronic. “Anybody who is going to be a caregiver, someone who is helping, should consider that if you don’t get an electronic one that you have enough strength to manually adjust the chair,” Dr. Cardozo says. Selecting between manual or electric is largely up to the user, but the price could influence that decision given that electronic devices tend to be more expensive. But no matter what type of device you choose, Dr. Jacobs recommends paying attention to the positioning of the device for the user. “You want the handle of the device on the dominant hand,” she says. “For an older person, that will make it easier for them to follow directions.” 

Weight Capacity

When researching chair aids, you might notice that the companies advertise the weight each device is capable of holding. This product description is important because the user is relying on the device to hold all or a portion of their weight when they transition from sitting to standing. “The device has to withstand the weight of the person if they are going to help themselves up,” Dr. Cardozo says. “It has to be installed correctly.” Installation of the device can impact if it will be capable of bearing the weight of the user.

Most devices will come with instructions on how to properly set up the aid and then anchor it, if that is required. Pay attention to the device’s assembly instructions when shopping and seek the assistance of an expert, like an occupational therapy practitioner, if you’re unsure if the device will properly hold your weight or is anchored correctly. 

Home Assessment/Training

One of the most important factors when purchasing and using chair aids is that the device will be compatible with your home life and that the people using, and assisting with using, the aid have the proper training. “Having an occupational therapy practitioner to come to the home to provide training, observe, and make recommendations is critical,” Dr. Jacobs says. This training does not just involve the person who will be using the device, but also any caregiver who might be assisting while using the aid. “Bottom line for use or safety is to have a health practitioner come to the home and provide an assessment,” Dr. Jacobs says. “Training for the caregiver so the caregiver, themselves, is safe when helping their clients is also essential.” 

These home assessments can involve the practitioner observing all areas of the home—from the bedroom, to the kitchen, to the living room. They can then offer any additional recommendations that could improve someone’s home life so they are able to easily move throughout their space without risks of falling or getting injured. “The chair aid is just one aspect of the home,” Dr. Jacobs says. “A home assessment is really critical.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are some benefits of a chair aid?

    It doesn’t matter if someone is using a chair aid for the short term while they recover from an injury or if they intend to use the device for longer. People can experience a variety of benefits from the devices. “The aid is not just getting up but for sitting down as well.” Dr. Jacobs says. “it's quite helpful and it allows them to be able to live life to the fullest in the sense of being more mobile and being able to get up and down and do the things that are really important to them.”

    Besides mobility, the chair aid also can provide safety to the user, giving them the ability to transition from standing to sitting and vice versa with a decreased chance of falling.

  • What are some risks of a chair aid?

    Although chair aids can help to eliminate safety concerns for the user, these aids, if used improperly or are of poor quality, could still cause falls. “Safety is always at issue,” Dr. Jacobs says. “Everybody has to be mindful of the physical challenges and any cognitive challenges that they might have.”

    One sign to look out for when using a chair aid is if you still feel unstable. “If they feel unstable at all when using it, like they might fall or they might lose their balance, then it is probably not a good device for them,” Dr. Cardozo says. She recommends for anyone who is looking to use a chair aid to first be evaluated by a doctor to ensure they are buying the correct product for themselves.

What the Experts Say

“Before someone just goes out and gets one of these things on their own, or before a son or daughter gets it for their parents, the user should be evaluated by their doctor to make sure they get the right device or make sure it is even something that they need.” —Dr. Eliana Cardozo, a physiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City

Why Trust Verywell Health

As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.