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Best Chairs for Infection Control

Seating is a high source of cross contamination within healthcare environments, therefore it is a key priority for multi-user care environments to minimise this risk by using the right seating technologies.


What Seating Features are Best for Infection Control?

Waterproof Fabric

Waterproof fabric is needed for effective cleaning rather than material fabric, as it is easier to wipe down and disinfect. Vinyl is a popular choice in healthcare environments as it is impervious, so resistant to bacteria, and very durable.

Minimal recesses and seams

Stitching seams and gaps in the chair harbour bacteria and germs. Smooth, continuous surfaces are far more effective from a cleaning point of view.


Wood is porous, so can absorb water and obviously, bacteria. If wood is used in construction of the frame, over time it can absorb moisture, creating odours and weakening the structure of the chair.

The frames in our Lento chairs are built entirely from coated metal, resistant to bacteria.


Velcro is another commonly used material to attach cushions that can harbour a lot of dust and bacteria. Our Lento range avoids this issue by using magnetic tabs to attach the cushions to the backrest.

Strip down for cleaning

Being able to easily dismantle the chair for deep cleaning is a big advantage from an infection control point of view. The magnetic cushions and removeable arms on our chairs allow them to be stripped back to the metal base which can be easily wiped clean, as demonstrated in the below video. The zipped cushion covers allow these to be washed separately, preventing soiling and contamination.


Which Fabrics are Best for Infection Control?

As we touched on in the features section, the choice of fabric is a key determinant in infection control. This is highlighted by the Department of Health & Social Care guidelines on seating: “Soft furnishings (for example, seating) used within all patient areas should be chosen for ease of cleaning and compatibility with detergents and disinfectants. They should be covered in a material that is impermeable, preferably seam-free or heat sealed.”

Generally, fabric that is non-porous and waterproof is best for infection control, as it prevents absorption of water and bacteria into the chair, reducing the likelihood of cross-contamination.

Vinyl is commonly used, and we use it on the exterior surfaces of the Lento chair, as it is impervious to water/fluids, and stands up well to the scrapes and bumps you can expect in a busy hospital environment. Studies undertaken by Infection Control Today give substantive evidence that vinyl is more effective for bacteria removal and preventing cross-contamination than other fabrics.

For the interior contact surfaces of the chair, patient comfort is an important factor that needs to be combined with infection control requirements.

Panaz fabrics are a popular choice for chair manufacturers, they can be style designed and have antimicrobial and waterproof properties.

Our choice of fabric for contact surfaces is dartex, a vapour-permeable fabric that is soft and stretchy to touch, and provides excellent pressure relief. It can also have an anti-microbial coating to provide a further barrier against bacteria.

Soft fabrics like suede, velour etc are absorbent, so not suitable for good infection control. Faux leather is a better alternative as it is waterproof and dries faster, however does not offer as much pressure relief as dartex.

Smooth fabrics like dartex work best, as they reduce friction and shear risk, can be stretched requiring minimal seams, and cleaned with chlorine-based solution if necessary.


What Chairs are Best for Infection Control?

These are some of the best chairs in our range for infection control purposes.


The Lento Range

The Lento chair range was built with infection control specially in mind, to be used in hospitals.

Lento Care Chair

Including the Little Lento (smaller versions), this was the original Lento chair in our range, with fully adjustable seating sizing without the need for tools. The magnetic cushions and backrest can be removed for easy cleaning.

Lento care chair

Lento Bariatric Riser Recliner

This is the larger version of the first fully adjustable riser recliner. Like the Lento Care Chair, it features removeable cushions and backrest.

Product shot of the Lento bariatric riser recliner chair on a white background.


Rehabilitation Chair

Launched this year specifically for rehabilitation wards, it has smooth seamless upholstery and plastic casing for easy wiping down.

Rehabilitation Chair

High Backed Bedside Chair

Another new chair in our range, this has a lacquered frame and antimicrobial fabric to repel bacteria in high usage hospital wards.

High Backed Bedside Chair

Infusion Therapy Chair

For dialysis or oncology patients undergoing treatment, it provides maximum stability and positioning options during treatment. Cushions and upholstery can be removed for effective sanitisation between users, and features antibacterial paint.

Infusion Therapy Chair

Mobile Day Surgery Chair

Used to transport patients through A&E wards and into surgery without needing to transfer, this is ideal for day-case patients. It has easily removable cushions for effective sanitisation.


Product shot of the bariatric ready day surgery chair with lie back & Trendelenburg feature.


With infection control coming increasingly into focus, all patient healthcare settings need to ensure their seating is up to specification. We use and are actively researching new infection control technologies to help infection control teams reduce the risk of cross-contamination wherever possible.

Speak to our Acute Seating Team to Find out More

Date Published

27 July 2023

Reading Time

4 minutes

Author avatar


Ralph Hulbert

Ralph has many years' experience in the healthcare sector. In a previous life he worked in finance, and his spreadsheet skills come in handy for all the analysis and research he does as he investigates topics and solutions for some of the world's most complex healthcare conditions and challenges. Aside from writing in-depth articles and organising webinars and interviews with top healthcare professionals, Ralph also administrates Vivid's "Healthcare Pioneers Board", a large group of healthcare specialists with multiple disciplines, who are working together to improve care for years to come.

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