Choosing Comfortable & Functional Nursing Home Furniture

older woman reading a book on a couch

Choosing the right furniture for a nursing home facility is different than simply choosing furniture for a senior center or even an assisted living facility. 

Nursing homes assist individuals that require more hands-on care and medical attention, which needs to be taken into consideration when choosing furniture for senior living. For example, not only does a chair need to be durable enough to stand day after day use, but it also should support proper posture, have enough cushion to be comfortable, and be easy to clean. 

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Many pieces of furniture in a nursing home need to serve a specific (sometimes medical) function, while at the same time look “homey” enough to not make residents feel like they are in a hospital. Chairs, desks, and tables should be easy to move from room to room, adjust to different heights, and be compatible with standing machines and transfer hoists. 

Senior living furniture can also take on elements of physical therapy practices, and as such should provide features such as pressure relieving capabilities, postural support, and leg elevation.

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Durability and Quality

All items of furniture in a nursing home need to be durable and high-quality. 

Since they are typically serving long-term residents, beds, tables, desks, and chairs need to be built to last. High-quality furniture also creates a more comfortable and home-like environment and tends to provide better comfort levels, minimizing the risk of bed sores and muscular aches.

ADA Compliance

When choosing nursing home furniture, one thing to make sure of is that everything is compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

ADA is a civil rights law that protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination. Although a product can’t be legally ADA-approved, “the application, placement, and surroundings of the product within the space impact accessibility and usability” and should be determined to be compliant. 

Here are some considerations to take surrounding senior furniture to help ensure your nursing home facility is ADA-compliant:

  • Ensure tables and chairs are able to accommodate wheelchair users or have adjustable heights when necessary.
  • Windows, cupboards, sinks, and equipment should also be easily operable by wheelchair-using residents.
  • All appropriate locations should be equipped with grab bars.
  • Environments should be free of tripping hazards.
  • Everything should be accessible on one floor. For example, if residents’ rooms are on different floors, instead of having one centralized dining room, each floor should have its own.

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Easy Cleaning

In a nursing facility, as with any environment where people are being taken care of, you want your furniture fabrics to be not only durable, but easy to clean as well. The goal is to find high-quality upholstery and material that helps make facilities feel as home-like as possible while also being washable. 


Vinyl is one of the top choices for nursing home furniture upholstery because it’s waterproof,  durable, and simple to wipe down and disinfect. Vinyl material also offers a wide variety of customization options.


Crypton is an engineered textile fabric that is a popular material in nursing homes because of its stain-resistant, odor-resistant, water-resistant, and microbe-resistant qualities. 


Polyurethane products mimic the look and feel of real leather. Their luxurious look paired with its stain resistance and how easy it is to clean (simply wipe down with a mild soap and water solution) make it a top choice when it comes to nursing home facilities.


Leather furniture immediately upgrades any room, giving it a traditional, sophisticated look, and it’s also fairly easy to clean.

Look into adding an antimicrobial fabric treatment to your furniture’s upholstery, which can stop the spread of infection between residents using the furniture, as well as prevent the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.

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Comfort and Support

One main thing to consider when choosing furniture for senior living is comfort and support. 

For example, tables and desks should have smooth, rounded edges to prevent cuts and bruising, and chairs should have enough cushioning to allow for long periods of sitting, have proper backs to provide postural support, and come with seating arms to aid in an individual’s process of getting up out of or down onto the seat.

Besides physical comfort, the look and style of nursing home furniture should support residents’ emotional and mental comfort as well. Furniture should avoid looking too clinical and shouldn’t make anyone feel like they are in a hospital. 

Choose pleasant, home-y designs to make individuals feel comfortable and at ease. Color-coordinated furniture on different floors or areas may assist with memory loss and help patients navigate the facility as well.

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Consider JH Carr for Your Nursing Home Furniture Needs

A lot needs to be taken into consideration when choosing pieces to furnish a nursing home, including functionality, durability, style, comfort, and ADA compliance. 
JH Carr has been taking care of commercial furniture needs for a variety of industries in the Pacific Northwest for over 80 years, from offering the highest quality commercial furniture to providing top-notch commercial upholstery, refurbishing, and installation services. With JH Carr, you know you are in the right hands. Send us a message today to get started!