Best Recliners

Updated

Recliners are a wonderful invention. Ranging from a simple chair that can fold out into something very like a bed to amazing pieces of technology that can vibrate, massage every part of your body, and even help you sit down and stand up, they are a highly desirable furnishing. There are some drawbacks. Recliners tend to take up a lot of room. Therefore, the sort that are designed to hug the wall are a real boon to small living rooms or small dens. Recliners come in a variety of sizes from youth versions up to extra wide chairs built to sustain extra weight.

Foter is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Why trust us?

Our Picks

Updated
1
Reclining Heated Massage Chair

Reclining Heated Massage Chair

If there is anything better than a perfectly sized recliner at the end of your busy day, then it is a heated, massage recliner. Upholstered with microfiber fabric in a choice of brown, beige, camo or gray, you can easily fit it into your current living room or den décor. It reclines 120 degrees, has a footprint of 38 ½ inches by 36 inches, and requires 26 inches of lean-back space.

Merchant links are sponsored
2
Leni 21" Manual Recliner

Leni 21" Manual Recliner

Your recliner doesn’t have to look like the clunky, Naugahyde monster your grandfather might have purchased. You can have both comfort and style with a turquoise, linen upholstery over a framework that looks like a simple easy chair at first glance. A tug on the manual lever on the side of the chair, and you are in a comfortable recliner. Other colors, including prints, are also available. You can even have it in chenille.

Merchant links are sponsored
3
Minogue 21" Manual Rocker Recliner

Minogue 21" Manual Rocker Recliner

What is better than a rocking chair or a recliner? A reclining rocking chair, of course. Upholstered in soft velour, dry clean only, the resilient springs are covered with layers of foam, adding an additional layer of luxury. The recline allowance needed at the back is only 14 inches, a tidy savings on the space often needed by recliners. A manual handle is used to initiate the recline, making the change from rocking chair to recliner.

Merchant links are sponsored
4
Mcfall Manual Glider Recliner

Mcfall Manual Glider Recliner

Gliders have an advantage over regular rockers when it comes to converting to a recliner. Since they are already on a platform, there is no concern about tipping the seat to take advantage of the rocking motion. Not only does this chair recline, it has two cup holders for the seated person’s convenience. The recline function is initiated with a manual lever on the side of the chair. The polyester upholstery is backed by foam for extra comfort.

Merchant links are sponsored
5
Merion 22.5" Manual Rocker Recliner

Merion 22.5" Manual Rocker Recliner

Comfortable polyester upholstery, soft foam covering state-of-the-art springs, a manual recliner lever and a choice of muted designer colors add up to a remarkably comfortable puffy rocker/recliner. Made in the USA, it is built to accommodate people’s weight up to 250 pounds. The chair reclines into three different positions to accommodate different activities. All this adds up to a comfortable, classy chair. Spot clean the fabric with mild soap and water.

Merchant links are sponsored
6
Swarey 23.25" Manual Glider Recliner

Swarey 23.25" Manual Glider Recliner

Beautiful brown faux leather, studded with decorative nails, make this manual recliner something special. Add decorative stitching and a glider platform, and you have a rocker that can scarcely be distinguished from a regular rocker until you use the lever to extrude the footstool. It is the perfect chair to be the focal point of a study or den. Some assembly is required and a second person is needed for the process.

Merchant links are sponsored
7
Kai Manual Recliner

Kai Manual Recliner

Sleek, black faux leather, gathered at the seams to emphasize the puffy, pillow cushion invitation of this elegant armchair. It doesn’t rock, and it has only two positions, but it makes a quiet statement that has to do with professionalism and elegance. More than that, it promises comfort for those so-needed power naps needed by every person who works with computers or paperwork. No studs or fancy stitching. Just clean, classic lines.

Merchant links are sponsored
8
Hallenbeck Manual Recliner

Hallenbeck Manual Recliner

Even the appearance of this pillow armed, deeply cushioned chair with modest stitching telegraphs comfort in every direction. The soft gray polyester blend fabric has a luxurious linen look that will not look out of place in any living room. The fabric is stain resistant. The chair will recline to 145 degrees, which is nearly flat. Its maximum weight is 300 pounds, made in China. No rockers, manual recliner, but it invites relaxation.

Merchant links are sponsored
9
Lincolnton 20.5" Manual Recliner

Lincolnton 20.5" Manual Recliner

This is the recliner that proves that they are not just for him. This beautiful floral paisley print chair would be perfect in a formal sitting room, a sewing room or family living room. Perfect to team with a solidly colored couch or living room suite as an occasional chair, it is a comfortable, manual recliner. Perfect for putting your feet up in the afternoon, or even to catch a quick nap.

Merchant links are sponsored
10
Reclining Massage Chair

Reclining Massage Chair

With an upper weight limit of 330 pounds, this chair, with its wide design and broad arms is welcoming for the big or tall person on your gift-giving list. It heats up, and it massages, for end of day relaxation. The headrest and footrest are both adjustable for the best comfort. It has a remote control, and there is an automatic shutoff so you don’t need to worry about falling asleep under the luxurious ministration of this supremely comforting chair.

Merchant links are sponsored
Jump to More Ideas
Best Recliners

Buying Guide

Recliners can range from a comfortable place to relax to a utility furnishing that can assist with a physical disability. Purchasing one should take into consideration several important factors.

Your buying guide for recliners begins with assessing the size, age, and physical fitness of the person who will be using the recliner. If it is too large, the contours will not match the frame of the seated person, if too small or not sufficiently supported, the contours will not only not match, but the weight of the seated person can damage the chair. Style, material and floorplan footprint are also considerations.

User Size

Recliners are available in sizes that range from those for small children to seats designed for the big and tall crowd. The height of the person is a primary consideration because most recliners have built-in headrests.

A person who is too short for the recliner will find that their head is resting in the space normally reserved for spinal support, whereas a person who is too tall might find that the headrest becomes a neck brace. Width is also important, especially for larger adults.

It is not very relaxing to be wedged between two armrests, unable to shift legs apart from each other or to be able to redistribute weight.

Available Floor Space

Recliners tend to take up more room than your ordinary armchair. Not only are they often an overstuffed furnishing, but some models require room behind the chair so that it can be reclined.

Wall-hugging models can help solve some of this, as can recliners that are designed for small apartments. This design of recliner sits on a track, so the chair moves forward as you recline. But if you are considering the chair for a large-sized adult, the need for width can limit your ability to downsize as a space-saver. Some compromise might need to be reached between chair size and space available.

Anyway, a standard recliner typically requires approximately 1 ft of travel space to open completely. When fully reclined, the headrest and footrest of your recliner should remain no closer than five inches from the surrounding furniture or the wall. A standard recliner would also need between 40 and 50 inches in terms of width, depending on the size of the user and the chair.

User mobility

Nearly everyone has sat down on a recliner or easy chair and discovered that the soft cushions and comfortable upholstery, although great while you are seated, can make getting back out of that chair difficult.

For people who have a disability, however temporary, or the elderly, that human-eating chair can prove a real difficulty. Recliners, due to their tendency toward a lower area toward the back and a higher front, can prove especially challenging.

That's where power-lift assist chairs come into play. Power-lift assistance means that the chair can be gently tipped forward removing the need to balance on the front edge of the seat before getting up. They can allow the seated person the ability to slide out of the chair, rather than heave themselves up out of it.

This is especially nice for someone who is using a walker or crutches, or who needs to transfer from the chair to a wheelchair. It is even helpful to someone who is a little bit short for the chair.

Depth of the Recline

Recliners are not all created equal. Some have various stages of reclining, others have only one. Some recline to a gently recumbent position, while others will go all the way back and can be used as a spare bed.

It is good to know whether your recliner can become a flat, horizontal surface or whether it will simply lean back enough to be a good place from which to watch TV. The depth of the recline will also affect the amount of floor space that the chair will require to function.

If you have a small apartment or are living in a tiny house, the space your chair will need to fully recline is an important calculation.

Reclining for One, Two or More

Reclining is no longer just for one chair. Want to snuggle with your sweety? A reclining loveseat is perfect for watching movies with your dearest, while both of you are leaned back in the same seat.

Sectional couches sometimes have one or more parts that recline. They can recline at the same angle or individually. Being comfortable no longer means that you must each sit in your own chair and reach across an end table that is loaded with drinks, snacks or stacks of books and papers.

Size/Body Measurements

When you're purchasing a new recliner, you want to ensure your body fits the recliner comfortably. This is especially relevant when you're buying your new recliner chair online.

  • To discern whether the recline position will be comfortable for your body, measure yourself, and then match these measurements against the chair's specifications. Measure from your knee to your heel and record the measurement. Do the same for the length between your heel and your tailbone.

  • These measurements, compared with the measurements of the chair, will let you know if you will fit in the chair comfortably or if your feet will hang off the end when it's in the recline position.

  • To make sure your recliner will be a comfortable fit for your torso, decide if you want a shorter back, in which case your head will overshoot the top of the chair or a full back.

  • You also need to ensure that your new recliner will be wide enough. For most people, the widest part of their body is their hips. Take a measurement across your hips and compare to the width of the seat or how far apart the recliner's arms are. For some, their shoulders are also broad, so make sure the recliner can accommodate them, as well.

Electric vs. Manual Reclining

The main difference between electric and manual reclining chairs is that one has an electrical mechanism that adjusts the recline of the chair, and the other reclines with a traditional lever-pull.

Four elements can influence your decision as to whether you want an electrical or manual recliner.

  • The cost of an electrical recliner will be more than a manual one, mainly because the manual chair does not include electrical components.

  • In terms of maintenance, a manual recliner has fewer parts that are prone to damage than a power recliner. Without as many electrical components, the manual recliner, if taken care of, will need less maintenance than a power recliner.

  • One of the major reasons that power recliners are popular is that they have a variety of options and settings. Manual recliners only have two positions: reclined and sitting. However, you need to place your power recliner close to an electrical outlet to benefit from all its positions.

  • Longevity is the last consideration for anyone considering a recliner. Although power recliners are more expensive and may require more maintenance, they also endure less wear and tear due to their mechanized motion, so they may last longer than a manual recliner.

Back when recliners first entered the market, they came in one general over-stuffed style. Color choices were minimal, and the upholstery was usually faux leather. They have come a long way since those days!

You can now obtain recliners in a wide range of styles, from the original moderately overstuffed Naugahyde monster to dainty occasional chairs, gravity loungers (for outdoor use), love seats, sectionals, rocking chairs, recliners with built-in footstools, recliners with separate footstools, and more. The upholstery materials range from varying grades of faux leather to buttery-soft luxury leathers.

  • Faux leather recliners probably lead when it comes to durability. The synthetic material is tough and easy to clean.
  • Real leather is also highly durable, but a little harder to clean, especially split leather, but will go nicely with Victorian or Edwardian formal decor.
  • Fabric, in print or plaid, will easily blend with country, shabby chic or even some modern styles, depending on the color. It tends to have a shorter wear life than leather or faux leather, but can be easily reupholstered when necessary.

Some recliners are set up as rockers or gliders. These have the added benefit of the same soothing motion we experienced as unborn infants. This can be comforting at the end of a long day.

Speaking of comforting, there are also recliners that have a vibrate mode and/or heater. These are great for relaxing sore, tired muscles at the end of a long workday. No need to go to the spa or hire a masseuse. Just come home and let gentle heat, vibra-massage and a chair that fits you ease the stresses, tired muscles and general fatigue of your working day.

When looking at cost, leather is usually the most expensive, followed by fabric, then finally faux leather. Units for multiple persons are likely to cost more than those for individuals, but not always. The very least expensive recliner is the gravity balance lawn-chair/lounger, which is usually made from plastic mesh or canvas on a metal tube frame. Gravity recliners are great for the patio or for camping, but can also be used at home if you need an inexpensive seating or even extra sleeper solution.

With so many styles and designs of recliners available, you can absolutely have your recliner designed your way. Whether your home or office is decorated in formal Victorian or Edwardian styles, clean-lined modern, comfortable country, or delightful shabby chic, you are likely to be able to find the perfect recliner style for you and for your interior décor.