In a Nutshell:
The Ashley Furniture Ernestine Power Lift Recliner is an unobtrusive, surprisingly comfortable lift chair, offered by one of the biggest names in the American furniture industry. Recommended for anyone weighing 350 pounds or less who’s looking for a capable, comfortable lift chair on a budget.
Value for the Money
Is your mobility issue cramping your style?
Do you despise the fact that you’ve begun to have increasing difficulty with simple things like getting in and out of your favorite chair?
It doesn’t matter what the root cause of your mobility issue is, what matters is that it’s not fun. It’s uncomfortable, it’s inconvenient, and it ultimately means a loss of personal freedom.
The good news is that there’s a simple solution for at least one part of the problem. You can buy a lift chair! No more having to sit and wait for someone to come to help you to your feet. One push of a button and you can get up with ease!
The bad news though, is that the top-end lift chairs tend to be expensive.
Fortunately, a number of companies have begun offering more modestly priced chairs for sale, and recently, Ashley Furniture, one of the biggest names in furniture in the US, has entered the market, too. In our view, this, the Ashley Furniture Ernestine Power Lift Recliner, is the best of the models they offer, and it’s well worth your consideration.
We’ll be quick to admit that the Ernestine is not a perfect chair, but it is surprisingly well-appointed for the money, and honestly, a badly needed addition to chairs offered in its price range. We’re thrilled to see a well-respected company like Ashley Furniture getting into this market segment, which is dominated by smaller, off-brand companies.
In the sections that follow, we’ll walk you through everything this tremendous little chair can do, and let you know about its limitations. To be sure, it’s got them, but we think you’ll agree that for the money, this is a solid performer!
If you’re anxious to learn more, let’s jump right in.
Signature Design by Ashley Ernestine Power Lift Recliner Overview
That’s likely to be the first word that springs to mind when you first see the Ashley Furniture Ernestine Power Lift Recliner. That’s interesting because it’s actually a fairly sizeable piece of furniture, measuring 38.75” x 37” x 43” but thanks to its styling, even if you put it in a relatively small room, it tends not to dominate. It fades nicely into the background, making it easy to fit it into just about any home décor scheme.
Despite its impressive size, it fits easily through a standard 30” doorway and weighs in at a surprisingly modest 145 pounds. That’s not light, but it’s certainly not excessive, either.
Here are some other relevant statistics:
Based on the stats above, the chair will serve you well if you’re between 5’4” and 6’2” or so, but be advised that if you have longish legs, the footrest may be a little on the short side for you. Given that, we recommend trying one out on a showroom floor before you buy if that’s possible.
This model is offered in slate grey and is covered in reasonably durable polyester fabric. While we’d prefer to have seen a better-quality fabric here, we totally understand the decision. After all, Ashley Furniture made every effort to keep the price of the chair low, and this was one of the ways they managed to do so.
In our view, polyester fabric is a far superior choice to bonded leather, which can’t stand up well to heavy daily use and tends to start showing its age quickly. Given that this is a value-priced model, we very much approve!
Of course, there’s more to a power lift chair than its aesthetic and upholstery, so starting in the next section, we’ll take an even more in-depth look at the model.
Adjustability & Comfort
Recline & Lift Function
The Signature Design by Ashley Ernestine Power Lift Recliner features two motors, one for the recline function and one controlling the lift function.
Note that the remote allows you to independently recline the seatback and the footrest, which gives you a virtually unlimited number of recline positions. Unfortunately, there are no preset recline positions available at the touch of a button, which is another limitation.
The Ernestine is padded with conventional block foam, so it doesn’t offer the most luxuriant seating experience on the market. On the other hand, there’s a generous amount of padding, which does enhance the comfort.
Overall, it’s above average, but if you’re willing to spend more money, you can find more comfortable chairs on the market.
While the chair does not lay completely flat, it does recline far enough that you can take a nap, and perhaps even an extended nap in it. Having said that, if your mobility issues are severe enough that you find yourself having to sleep all night in the chair several nights a week, our recommendation would be to spend a little more and get a chair better suited to that.
Storage & Extras
The Ashley Furniture Ernestine features a pair of generously sized side pockets which gives you plenty of space to store your favorite books, magazines, and other supplies you’ll want and need if you spend several hours of every day sitting in the chair.
If you’re not big into reading, the pockets will, of course, easily accommodate your phone when you’re not using it, snacks, a couple of bottles of water, or pretty much anything else you’d care to keep close at hand.
The chair also features a battery backup system, which is incredibly handy, allowing you to get out of the chair even if the power should fail while you’re sitting in it. Unfortunately, though, that’s about all you get in terms of extras.
Some Assembly Required
The company says that some assembly is required, but honestly, you don’t have to do a lot more than figure out where you want it to go and plug it in (Note that plugging it in also includes hooking up the battery backup system). The instructions are clear and well-written, so you’ll have it ready for first use in a matter of minutes.
Pros & Cons of Ashley Furniture Ernestine Power Lift Recliner
So where does that leave us?
Well, for the money, there’s undeniably a lot to like about the Ernestine. In the budget segment of the market, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better chair, offered by a better and more respected company.
The padding and upholstery are both about what you’d expect from a chair offered in this price range. There’s nothing inherently wrong with them, but block foam has its limitations, no matter how much of it there is, and the polyester fabric is attractive but not as durable as some of the other upholstery options the company could have gone with.
Unfortunately, upgrading either of these would dramatically increase the price of the chair, taking it out of the budget segment of the market, so these things we can certainly understand and live with.
One thing we would like to see, however, if we could get any feature from our wish list added to the design, would be at least one preset seating position offered on the remote, and Ashley would get extra points if that seating position happened to be Zero-G.
Sure, this would add marginally to the cost of the chair, but in our view, it would be an excellent addition and well worth a few extra bucks. Alas, that is apparently not in the cards. Even so, the Ernestine’s positives far outweigh its shortcomings.
Ashley Furniture Ernestine Power Lift Recliner Review Conclusion
We really like the Ashley Furniture Ernestine Power Lift Recliner. It’s a well-designed, decent-looking, surprisingly comfortable chair, offered at a price that’s more than fair. Sure, it’s got its limitations, but if you’re on a budget, it would be a mistake not to put this one on your shortlist. We recommend it without reservation but will note that you get what you pay for. The other, more expensive chairs on the market are objectively better, but if they’re simply out of reach, this is a great choice, no doubt.
References & Resources: