Pro Guide: How to Move a Recliner Chair Safely

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: January 16, 2021

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Relocating brings a blend of excitement and fear at the same time. Well, change is always excellent and inevitable at some point in everyone’s life. But, confusion comes when moving your belongings to the new house.

Different things need different handling and especially a recliner chair. A recliner chair has a unique mechanism different from every other piece of furniture, making it delicate. If you are the type that is clueless about how to transport your recliner chair quickly and safely, this article is for you.

We have tips to help you avoid mistakes and make your transfer less stressful with your recliner chair.

Read on.

Table of Contents

Factors to Consider When Moving Your Recliner

It would help if you had professional movers’ assistance to help you relocate with your recliner safely. However, if you insist on moving alone, you need to consider several factors such as;

Protection: you need to wrap your recliner completely to avoid any damage and staining. Besides, you don’t want to sit on a dusty chair after moving, do you? Make sure you use a safe and sizable cover that will wrap the entire seat, leaving no gaps or loose ends for any damages. Again, make sure the covers hold on securely throughout the moving process. Your cover should stay intact and not come out when the journey is not complete causing inconveniences and risks. Preferably, buy a moving blanket, which is readily available at an affordable cost.

Secure the feet: the feet stand a high risk of falling or breaking while moving. Ensure you cover each foot securely with newspaper or any other cover and secure it with many tapes. Better yet, you could remove them and put them safely aside. This is the best way of protecting them until your destination.

Weight: how heavy is your recliner? Usually, all recliners are heavy and would be challenging to lift alone. Consider using a dolly to lift the chair and move it out of the house quickly. Still, it would be better to secure the chair on the dolly with ropes and straps on the moving track. This will make work easier when offloading.


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How To Move Recliner By Yourself

Whether you are moving houses or rearranging your living room’s set up, moving a recliner chair by yourself is an uphill task.

Often, the best thing to do is to ask a family member or a friend for help. If, however, there is no one nearby, you can still move the recliner by yourself if you have the know-how.

You have three priorities here:

How do you mitigate these risks?

Simple! Planning in prior.

First, you need to scout the entire root from the current position of the recliner to the new location. Remove the small carpets and rugs along the way. Also, look out for slippery surfaces where you can lose balance on.

If you are moving the chair to a different room, you’ll also need to measure the width of the doorways and narrow ways to ensure that your recliner fits through. If the recliner is too wide, you’ll have no choice but to take it apart.

It would be best to cover the chair to avoid scratching and staining of the upholstery. The recliner will then be ready to be moved.

Here are four methods recommended by professional movers on how to move a recliner by yourself.

Use Furniture Sliders

Furniture sliders, also known as gliders, are small pieces made of durable rubber, plastic, or other materials that you can stick on the edges of any piece of furniture, saving your floor and the edges of the furniture.

These small yet powerful tools will save you money and energy while moving your recliner. They also come in different shapes and sizes.

Moreover, the slider’s material varies depending on the surface the glider is to be used on. Therefore, it would be best if you inquired from the specialist at the store to recommend the right sliders for your floor before you make a purchase.

Using furniture sliders is super easy- you need to attach a slider underneath each leg or side. If your recliner has no legs and you are ready to slide your recliner across the room without damaging your floor.

Use Moving Blankets

If your recliner has sensitive surfaces like leather upholstery, you can use a moving blanket instead of sliders.

A moving blanket is a heavy-duty blanket made from a blend of cotton and polyester. They come in different weights, from light to heavy-duty -the thicker the blanket, the better.

Like the sliders, you have to put the blanket under the recliner. Once everything is set, pull the blanket in the direction you want. This technique is more manageable than lifting the whole chair.

Use Shoulder Dolly Moving Straps

As the name suggests, shoulder dollies are lifting straps that are attached to your shoulders. The upside of these straps is that they are hands-free. They primarily use the leg muscles.

In addition, strapping them on is super easy-just put on the harness over your head with the buckle in front. You then place the lifting strap under the recliner by tipping it or slide the belt under if your chair has legs.

Make sure the strap is on the middle of the recliner to ensure maximum weight redistribution.

Shoulder dollies are a good idea when you have someone to help. Also, it’s not advisable to use them when moving furniture up and downstairs.

How To Move A Recliner Upstairs By Yourself

As we have already established, moving a recliner chair from one position to another is a sweaty affair. It’s even more difficult when you have to move it upstairs.

Whether you are moving on a high floor in an apartment building or up to another room in the house, you need prior planning.

In addition, you need to take some precautionary measures to protect yourself, the chair, and your home from damage and injury.

You will also need extra hands. Get a friend or two to help you plan and move the recliner.

To move a recliner, you have two options-to disassemble the recliner and move the pieces upstairs or move the chair in one piece.

If you choose to disassemble the chair, our pro guide above will be of great help. If you decide to move the recliner in one piece, here is a step-by-step guide that will help you move your recliner upstairs.

Step 1

Measure the width of your recliner, doorways, and staircases. In most cases, the recliner’s width should be smaller than that of doors and staircases.

Step 2

Remove any obstructions such as shoes, toys, and rugs from your intended route.

Step 3

If your recliner is too heavy, remove the back of the recliner to reduce the weight. Safely place the bolts and screws in a labelled plastic bags to avoid confusion when reassembling them back later.

Step 4

If your recliner cannot be dismantled or you don’t know how to disassemble it, lock it in the upright position before moving it. Then, wrap it with a moving blanket or plastic furniture wrap.

If you use a blanket, wrap it with a rope to secure it.

Step 5

Place a hand truck under the recliner back and then tilt the chair. For easy tilting, request a friend to lift the front.

Move the truck towards the staircase and lift the truck on the first step. Wheel your recliner slowly and carefully—one step at a time.

Step 6

Once you get to the intended location, tilt the recliner back to the upright position and slide out the hand truck.

How To Move Recliner Through The Door

Moving a couch through a door is difficult for most people after purchasing a new chair or moving in or out of a house. The door always seems too narrow for the chair to pass through. The problem becomes even worse if the chair has protruding legs.

Taking the recliner apart and move the pieces through the door is an option. Alternatively, you can move the seat through the door in one piece with a bit of know-how and planning.

A little heads up… you will need extra hands to be able to pull this through.

Follow the following steps for safe and easy movement.

  1. Remove the pillows

First, remove the extraneous items like throw pillows and fleece blankets on the recliner. If the legs are detachable, remove them too.

  1. Measure the recliners dimensions

Using a measuring tape, measure the dimensions of your recliner and write them down on a noted pad.

To measure the height, extend the tape measure from the floor to the higher part on the recliner’s back. For the width, measure from one armrest to the end of the opposite armrest.

  1. Measure the Doorway

You’ll also need to know the dimensions of the doorway to determine if the recliner can go through it. Use your measuring tape to measure the length and width and jot them down.

  1. Compare the doorway and recliners dimensions.

Remember the recliner and doorway dimensions I asked you to write down in a notebook? Pull it out.

Compare the recliner dimensions with those of the doorway. If the recliner is narrower than the door, then it’s a-okay for vertical movement.

  1. Remove the door

It is always advisable to remove the door before you move your chair. It creates more space, enhances smooth passage, and reduces the risk of damages. If you find removing the door unnecessarily, you can let it stay. It will, however, reduce the doorway width by up to 11/4inches.

  1. Move the chair

If the dimensions determine that the recliner can be moved vertically, tilt the couch and slide it towards the door, then move it through the doorway. Put a towel or a blanket underneath to protect the upholstery.

If the chair can be moved horizontally, carry it straight out in a level position.

If these two positions fail, you can try moving the chair in a diagonal position. You will need a helper to be able to lift the chair on both ends. Then tilt it forward at 45 degrees allowing the first mover to hook the leading armrest around the door. The rest of the chair follows in a kind of a cock screw motion.

How to Manually Move A Power Recliner

Power recliners come with many sophisticated features that make them quite complicated to move. It’s also a little bit bulky compared to a manual recliner. You, therefore, should be careful not to damage the recliner when moving it manually.

When moving your power recliner, you can decide to take it apart or not. Most people would choose to disassemble it for easy movement, but it’s not mandatory.

Here are a few steps to take to move your power recliner manually.

  1. Make Prior Plans

If you successfully move your power recliner manually without injuring yourself or damaging anything, you need prior planning. It would be disappointing to move it in a particular direction only to discover its futile.

It would be best if you weighed options on the best route to take when moving your chair. You are also able to foresee and get rid of any obstructions that may get in your way.

It’s at this stage that you measure and compare the dimensions of the recliner and doorways to determine if your chair can pass through.

  1. Find Help

Due to its size and weight, moving a power recliner alone is a mission impossible. You, therefore, need extra hands. Contact some of your family or friends to help you transport it.

If there is no one around to help, contact a moving company. No doubt, the services of a moving company will cost you some money, but it’s safer than moving the chair by yourself.

  1. Wrap the Recliner Up

Once you have made plans, the next step is to wrap your recliner with plastic wrap or a moving blanket. This will protect the chair and also make it easy to carry.

Remember that power recliners are fragile. Handle the chair with care.

  1. Load it in the truck

This is the last step, and it’s as important as the last two. You and your helpers should carefully carry and patiently place the recliner in the truck.

Lastly, support the recliner’s sides and corners to hold it in one position. This will reduce the risk of sliding and damage when the truck starts moving.

How to Disassemble Your Recliner Chair

Luckily most recliners can be dismantled for stress-free transport, so you do not need to worry about moving them through a small and tight space (Best recliners for small spaces). Some removable parts include detachable backs and removable bars on the base that allow further dismantling.

When taking apart your recliner, remember to take pictures so that you will have an effortless reassembly. Please place them in safe plastic bags and remember to label them correctly to avoid misplacing them.

If this is your first time moving, follow the steps below to dismantle your recliner successfully.

Process 1

1. Tilt the recliner gently forward and lift the rear material. Some recliners have a back panel that allows you to lift and expose the inner frame. Look for the snaps that hold the fabric to the frames’ base and unfasten them. Next, lift the fabric panel.

2. Check the frames on both sides of the recliner’s seat to locate the locking levers. You should see a metal lever facing downwards at both sides of the recliner’s main body near the top of the arm and back joint. If your chair has a middle console, you should see levers between the frames and the seats.

3. Touch the locking levers in the middle of the back seams. If your recliner lacks detachable strips of material that expose the frame, put your hands into the back seams on the chair’s left and right sides. Monitor the seams between the seats and middle console, if any are available. Feel inside the seams for the locking lever that is facing downwards.

4. Release the seatbacks by lifting the locking levers. If you cannot pinch your fingertips, use a flat head screwdriver to slacken and raise each lever as you release the seatbacks. After you manage to unlock the levers, put back the recliner to its normal upright position. Then carefully lift the back, taking it out of its frame. Conversely, for the double seat recliner with the middle console, raise each separate seat and console back from its structure.  

Process 2

1. Overturn your recliner chair to look for the base bars. Simply lift the sofa to its front side for its back to point up straight toward the ceiling. Check underneath the couch to locate any base bars. If they’re available, they should be two or three bars screwed firmly from one end of the chair’s base to the other.

2. Unlock the bolts on the base bars. Check the heads of the bolts and screws that secure the base bars to pick an appropriate tool. Use a drill with the fitting bit to unlock all screws or bolts from the base bars. Often, base bars come with Robertson screws, so preferably use Robertson drive bits for convenience.

3. You will need an extra hand while removing the final bar. When you remove the last bar, the separate seats and middle console will dismantle easily. Having a helping hand will stabilize the chair to maintain its parts from rolling away, damages, or even destroying close objects.

Here, you go with a pro guide on disassembling a recliner.

How to Easily Reassemble

1. Ensure you take pictures while you disassemble your recliner chair. Take photos of the base, frame, and other significant components. This will help you have a clear picture of how your chair should look when it is complete. Moreover, if you are uncertain of remembering the entire reassembling process, take photos of every step of the disassembly. This will effortlessly take you through during reassembly.

2. Place all the hardware like the screws and bolts in different plastic bags or small containers. The best way is to have your storage ready as you unlock the bolts and screws to avoid losing anything. Label all the bags or boxes clearly and keep them separate for easy sorting. As you label the names on the storage, also mark the location of installation.

3. Reinstall the top bar as the first step of reassembly. Arrange every part of the base, so their backs face upwards towards the ceiling. Look for the predrilled holes on the upper base bar where the bolts or screws fit. Set the bar up with the matching holes on the chair’s bottom. Begin by tightening the top bar’s middle screws that connect it to the central part of the chair. Then work moving outward to reconnect the bar to the base of each part of the chair. After locking the top bar, fix the screws into the rest of the bars to reassemble the recliner base.

4. Reconstruct seats by substituting the backs and securing the levers. Put the chair in a natural position. Cautiously slide the separate seat back into its frame, and wiggle it a bit till it is in place. Rotate the chair forward, so the back faces upwards towards the ceiling. Look for the locking levers, and drive each lever down to lock the seat securely into position.

Also, here is a guide to making your old recliner looks like new.


It would help take away most of the stress and burden of confusion if you hired professional movers to do the job. That way, you will rest assured of a safe and efficient relocation with all your belongings in place. But if you do not like the idea, follow the above steps to uphold safety in transporting your recliner to a new destination. Also, check out various room arrangements for your furniture to fit inadequately.


  • Andrew Smith

    Andrew Smith is the founder of CozySeating, is a father of 2, and an engineer from one of the leading furniture stores in the country. Due to his 10 years of experience, he has proved to be the best person to offer advice to clients regarding different seating furniture based on their needs and performance. Besides, he is a specialist in product reviews and always keeps up with the current trends in the market.

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