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Best Recliners

Updated October 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 23 Models Considered
  • 5 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 140 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best recliners

    Last Updated October 2018

    The words “comfort” and “recliner” just seem to go together. A recliner is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon nap or relax after a long day. However, finding one that feels amazing, is durable, and has the features you need isn’t always easy because there are a so many models to choose from.

    If you need help finding the perfect recliner, you’ve come to the right place. At BestReviews, we interview experts, test products, and get consumer feedback to find the best of the best. To help you find the perfect recliner, we put together this shopping guide that explains the options and features that are available.

    If you want to learn about types of recliners and the prices you can expect to see, the guide below is the place to start. When you’re ready to buy a new recliner, be sure to take a look at our top five picks in the chart above. Each chair is something special that we believe stands out from the rest of the crowd.

    Wall-hugger or push-back recliners conserve space. The footstool or ottoman with a push-back model can be moved out of the way when not in use.

    Types of recliners

    Two-position recliner

    A two-position recliner can sit upright or reclined.

    • Lever- or button-controlled footrest release

    • Manual or electric control mechanism

    • Inexpensive compared to other types

    • Takes up a lot of space (needs two- to four-inch clearance from wall when fully extended)

    Rocker recliner

    A rocker recliner offers a wider range of recline angles.

    • Can extend footrest without reclining back

    • Fits into smaller space than two-position models

    • Budget-friendly

    Single-motor riser recliners control the backrest and footrest simultaneously. Dual-motor riser recliners operate the backrest and footrest independently.

    Push-back/flex-back recliner

    Push-back/flex-back recliners lean backward but have no extendable footrest.

    • Fits in tight spaces where two-position and rocker recliners may not fit

    • Comes with matching footstool or ottoman

    • Comparable in price to two-position recliners

    Riser/lift recliner

    A motor lifts this type of recliner, making it easier for the user to stand up. Notably, you must position a riser/lift recliner near an electrical outlet.

    • Excellent for people with limited mobility

    • May include a built-in footrest

    • Must be fully upright when rising

    • May have a remote control

    • Expensive

    Recliner materials

    • Fabric: Recliners come covered in a wide variety of materials including microfiber, corduroy, and denim. The fabric must be vacuumed and spot-cleaned to increase longevity and keep the recliner looking its best.

    • Leather: Leather is a popular material for recliners. Many people like its classic look and the fact that it’s easy to clean. Top-grain leather is highly durable but expensive. Bonded leather wears out quickly but costs less.
    EXPERT TIP

    Some leather recliners might need occasional treatment with oil or a special leather cleaner to keep them from drying out and cracking.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Adjustability features

    Adjustable recline angle

    Chairs with an adjustable recline angle offer extra comfort and versatility. If the recliner will be used by more than one person, consider buying one with an adjustable recline angle. This will make it easier for each user to find a comfortable position.

    Adjustable footrest position

    Like an adjustable recline angle, an adjustable footrest gives you more options for comfort and use, whether you want to watch television or take a nap. This feature is also helpful if more than one person will be using the recliner.

    Adjustable headrest angle

    Headrests can make or break a recliner. In the wrong position, the headrest can tilt your head uncomfortably forward or push your shoulders away from the recliner. Adjustable headrests give you the option of customizing the recliner for each user.

    EXPERT TIP

    Use a fitted slipcover to prolong the life of your recliner. It makes cleaning easy because you can remove it and toss it in the washing machine.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Other features to consider

    Size

    Recliners come in different sizes and dimensions, from petite to oversize. Measure the space available in your home and compare that measurement with the dimensions of the recliner. Take into account its dimensions when reclined with the footrest extended to be sure it will fit in your room while leaving two to four inches of clearance between the recliner and the wall. Also, make sure there’s enough space for people to walk around the recliner when it’s fully extended.

    Style

    Recliners come in all styles, from modern to rustic and everything in between. If you’re unsure what style to get, look at the furniture you already own. See if you can find common materials, colors, or accents to help the recliner blend in with your décor. There are enough recliners available that you should be able to find one that works.

    Hidden storage compartments in the armrests make it easy to keep track of remote controls. Some recliners have a refrigerated storage compartment for drinks.

    Comfort and fit

    Recliners come in all sizes in order to fit a variety of human frames. It’s important to find a recliner that fits the proportions of the person who will be sitting in it most often. When sitting, be sure your feet touch the floor and that there is no gap between your lower back and the backrest. The headrest shouldn’t touch your shoulders or push your head unnaturally forward.

    Swivel base

    A circular swivel base allows you to turn the recliner for greater versatility. You can find two-position, rocker, and push-back models with swivel bases. A chair with a swivel is nice because you can easily look around the room while sitting in it.

    Some recliner footrests lock in position and only retract when you press a button. This helps prevent the user from accidentally retracting the footrest on a child or pet.

    Wall-hugger design

    You sit in a more erect position in this type of recliner. When you recline, the back moves forward rather than tilting backward. Wall-hugger recliners sit close to the wall, conserving floor space. This design feature is most often found in riser and push-back recliners.

    Electric

    Electric recliners work well for those with limited mobility because they don’t require muscle power to operate. Some models include a remote control. These recliners have to be near an electrical outlet.

    Some recliners with a massage feature can do everything from vibration to deep-tissue massage. Many also include a heated backrest.

    Lower back (lumbar) support

    Some recliners have specially designed backrests that offer enhanced support for the lower back. The extra lumbar support fills the gap between the backrest and your lower back so your lower back doesn’t sink into the chair, thereby placing unwanted pressure on your spine.

    massage and heat

    At the high end of the price range, you’ll find recliners with massage features and heated backrests. Some models massage only the back. Others include special leg holders on the footrest for leg massages.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Your back should rest against the backrest of the recliner. If there’s a gap between your back and the backrest, you could develop lower back pain.

    Recliner prices

    You will find a recliner for every budget, from less than $300 to $1,500 and up.

    • Inexpensive: For less than $300, you can find a basic two-position rocker or push-back recliner with microfiber, cotton, wool, or bonded leather. These recliners have few bells and whistles but may come in several fabric choices.

    • Mid-Range: In the $300 to $800 price range, you’ll find standard-size and oversize recliners with microfiber and bonded leather. You’ll also find a few inexpensive riser recliners. Styles vary more; some options have details like nailhead trim, contrasting stitching, and pockets to hold remote controls or magazines. Recliners in this range may also have cup holders or trays on the arms.

    • Expensive: In the $800 to $1,500 price range, you’ll see regular and oversize recliners with top-grain leather and some fabric-covered recliners. More sophisticated design options, such as rolled arms and wingback recliners, are more common at this price point.

    • Premium: You could pay well over $1,500 for a zero-gravity recliner that has heat and massage features, as well as top-grain leather swivel/rocker/riser recliners.

    Tips

    • Microfiber repels liquid, making it easy to clean up spills, but you need to know what kind of microfiber you have. Some microfibers require you to use a water-based cleaner while others need a chemical solvent.

    • Leather does best in climate-controlled rooms. Humidity and extreme changes in temperature will eventually damage the leather.

    • Exposure to direct sunlight can cause a leather recliner to fade, discolor, and crack.

    For the best fit, measure your body before purchasing a recliner. Sit in it to be sure your back can touch the backrest and your feet can rest flat on the floor.

    FAQ

    Q. What is the difference between top-grain leather and bonded leather?
    A.
    Top-grain leather is made from the outermost hide of the animal and is not chemically treated. It is soft and supple and shows natural character. Bonded leather has small leather particles in the material but is not full leather. It isn’t as durable as top-grain leather, but it is more affordable.

    Q. What is the benefit of a dual-motor recliner?
    A.
    Dual-motor recliners have one motor that controls the backrest and another that controls the footrest, allowing you to adjust the backrest and footrest independently. People with mobility issues may find this kind of recliner more comfortable. These recliners also work well in homes with multiple users because each user can adjust the recliner to his or her specific needs.

    Q. What is a “zero-gravity” recliner?
    A.
    A zero-gravity recliner is specially designed to support the weight of the body in several recline positions without putting extra pressure on the spine. This type of recliner is one of the most versatile on the market because it fully supports the body in a reclining, upright, or forward position. These models are more expensive, too.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer

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