Choosing the upholstery for your care home lounge chairs is a big decision, one that will impact both your carers and residents, therefore evaluating all the options available is key to ensuring the long term comfort and practicality of the chairs you purchase. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you decide which upholstery option will be best for you, your home and your residents.
1. Infection Control
It is a common misconception within the healthcare industry that for upholstery faux leather is more effective regarding infection control than waterproof textiles. This thinking has largely been borne out of the difference in appearance of the two upholsteries; waterproof textiles appear from the outside to be the same as those in domestic settings and therefore the assumption is that they do not offer the same level of protection as faux leathers. Faux leathers have much more the appearance of a ‘typical’ healthcare upholstery and one that you would often expect to see in a healthcare or hospital setting.
Whilst severe contract waterproof textiles manufactured for the healthcare industry may deliberately have the appearance of the fabrics you and I would see at home, they have a complex composition which supports infection control and inhibits the growth of microbes, including forms of coronavirus. The diagram below shows the sophisticated make up of upholstery textiles Furncare supply with the Shield Plus treatment.
Extensive research has proved and concluded there is no disparity in the effectiveness of faux leathers in contrast to waterproof textiles treated with anti-microbial protection. Shield Plus is an inherent treatment offered by Panaz on a wide range of faux leathers and waterproof textiles and has been tested effectively against forms of coronavirus and also provides long lasting infection control even when subjected to frequent everyday use and cleaning.
When purchasing new care home lounge chairs for communal spaces, the ease with which they can be cleaned is often one of the number one considerations for customers. The ability to easily clean your lounge chairs ensures the longevity of the product, as well as the satisfaction for carers in being able to confidently complete this task. When comparing the cleaning process for waterproof textiles and faux leathers, it was found that the steps required are virtually identical, the only difference being the length of drying time required post cleaning. The sole advantage that faux leather has when looking at cleaning is that the faux leather can be wiped dry, whereas a textile would require time to dry out.
3. Aesthetics and Comfort
When you think of a ‘typical’ care home, rows of chairs in vinyl upholstery lined up like a waiting room, this is hopefully a phenomenon of the past -residents, relatives, care home owners and managers are expecting more today, not only in terms of levels of care but also about the care environment!
When making the consideration regarding aesthetics there is not really a right or wrong, and very much depends on personal preference and the ambience you wish to create. Faux leathers come in a wide range of colours, however waterproof textiles come in a far wider variety of colours, patterns and textures, so when considering all options there may be an opportunity to use a combination of the two to complement each other.
Comfort for your residents is of course a foremost deliberation, especially in respect of providing for older people with frail skin. This is where textile upholstery has a definite advantage as there are so many more textures to choose from that are less abrasive to delicate skin. Textiles are also breathable which is advantageous when residents may be spending a prolonged period in the same chair.
So in summary faux leathers and waterproof textiles both have qualities indispensable to care surroundings, both are high quality products designed to complement your home and above all provide the comfort and protection your residents deserve, together with ease of cleaning for your staff.
At Furncare we specialise in healthcare upholstery and interior design, so why not discuss your requirements and concerns with one of our advisors and we can find the right fit for you and your residents.