Specialist seating for people with dwarfism

When you’re specifying seating for people with dwarfism, you need to bear a few different things in mind to ensure that your client is getting the best solution possible.

Here are some things you need to consider when carrying out seating assessments for people with dwarfism.

Seating height for people with dwarfism

The most crucial factor when specifying seating for people with dwarfism is the seat height. Any standard sized chair will be too high from the ground and won’t offer the right support.

If you get the wrong seat height, it could end up with the client being very uncomfortable and it could even lead to pressure sores around the buttocks or at the backs of their thighs/knees.

When you’re carrying out a seating assessment, make sure you measure the person’s leg length from the base of their foot to the back of their knee. In rise and recline chairs, the seat height can be specified as low as 13 inches (around 33cm).

For care chairs, it is possible to get the seat height down to around 14 inches (35cm), but you should always carry out an assessment to establish this first.

A measuring tape unrolled to be used on seating assessments.

The seat height is crucial when you’re assessment someone with dwarfism.

Do you need any motors in the chair?

Some seating manufacturers simply don’t cater to clients with dwarfism because they struggle to fit motors into chairs that are a smaller size. But this doesn’t mean that it’s not possible.

Some manufacturers will tuck the motor away cleverly into the sides of the chair so that they can still function without getting in the way.

When you’ve carried out your seating assessment and have decided that the client will need a chair with motors, always make sure that the chair you choose can accommodate motors at a reduced seat height. If you’re struggling to find a chair manufacturer who can provide the right solution, get in touch with our team.

Armrest height measurements

Another key measurement you need to think about is the armrest height. Standard armrest height on an adult’s chair is around 7 inches (18cm); for people with dwarfism, it generally needs to be less than this.

Getting the right armrest height measurement will not only keep your client comfortable, but it will also ensure that they have the right support in their chair. It will also reduce the chance of any pressure injuries forming from ill-fitted seating.

For more information on how to measure for specialist seating, download our free eBook.

A preview of the Specialist Seating eBook with lots of diagrams and text.

Our free Specialist Seating Assessments eBook is full of useful information that will help you prescribe seating for a range of different clients and medical conditions.

Other seating measurements for people with dwarfism

As with the seat and armrest height, other measurements of the chair should be checked and adapted to suit people with dwarfism. The general size of the chair will be more compact, so you need to ensure that every inch is accounted for.

The backrest of the chair will need to be smaller, as will the seat depth. Always double check the seat width needed when carrying out your assessment as this may be proportionally larger than your other measurements.

Choosing a backrest

As with any other seating assessment, you’ll need to look at the client’s positioning needs. This could include spinal conditions like scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis.

For specialist seating for people with dwarfism, you might need to consider spinal conditions and how they could possibly be supported by the chair. A waterfall backrest will give you more flexibility in where you place your support, whereas a backrest with more lateral support would be good for someone who leans heavily to one side.

Just make sure you’re noting down these details in your seating assessment so that you can specify the best chair possible. You should also consider if the person has any need for extra pressure relief or any other features you would include in a standard assessment.


If you’re wanting to choose the right specialist seating for people with dwarfism, then we recommend that you always make sure you’ve got the right measurements – particularly for seat height.

Most of the time, your client will need a bespoke made-to-measure chair to suit their needs. If you need any help specifying one, get in touch with our team!

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Lucie Hudson
Lucie Hudson

Lucie is our Marketing Manager, meaning she coordinates and writes some of our blogs, magazine articles, and brochures amongst many other resources. She also takes care of all our social media profiles, so feel free to send her any blog ideas you have!

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