Recliner Vs. Incliner

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: April 6, 2022

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Recliner Vs. Incliner

The main difference between a recliner and an incliner is the space left at the back of the seat. A recliner needs enough space behind for comfortable backward movement. On the other hand, an incliner doesn’t need any room for leaning back because it slides forward as the footrest moves upwards. 

Additionally, a recliner compares to an incliner in many other ways. So, recliner vs. incliner?

Recliners have fixed seat position, while incliners’ seat position is movable. Although both require extension allowance, recliners need it in front and behind, while incliners only need some additional space on the front side. The latter creates distance from the wall while the former doesn’t.

This article provides more details on these chairs’ comparison and how to make the right choice of furniture for your living room.

Table of Contents

Recliner Vs. Incliner

Giving your living room a different look by adding a new sofa is a great idea and a huge investment. Nonetheless, it’s worth it. Since many activities take place in the area, a recliner or incliner is ideal for your family and friends to rest. 

So, what are the differences that distinguish the two seats? 


A recliner chair is a flexible furniture with an adjustable back and footrest. Whether you’re watching the TV, reading a book, having meals, or just relaxing, a recliner provides your preferred position by leaning back.

Furthermore, there are manual and power recliners. You control the manual recliners require your strength to operate its mechanism. On the contrary, power recliners don’t depend on your energy to function. These chairs are controlled by an electricity-powered motor or use a rechargeable battery. 

How Do Recliners Work?

Recliners work using manual and automatic (motorized) mechanisms. Manual recliners have two reclining mechanisms, including push-back and lever-operated. 

The push-back recliners use your physical strength to operate where you exert pressure against the backrest to recline it and extend the footrest. The lever-operated ones work by pulling a lever that, in turn, tilts the backrest and raises the footrest through a cable. 

Contrastingly, power recliners have a motorized system and are remote-controlled. Thus, you’ve to plug in your chair to the main power supply or use a battery pack.

There are different types of recliners which include:

Manual     – Traditional Rocker Recliner

                   –  Push Back Recliner

                   –  Swivel recliner

Motorized – Traditional power recliners

                   –  Lift Recliners

                   – Duo Power Recliner

Why Are Recliners Good?

Recliners are good because they offer various benefits to our bodies which include the following:

Read on as we look at each of the above advantages.

1. Providing Comfort

The primary purpose of any recliner is to provide comfort to the user. After a hard day’s work, resting on a recliner helps you relax, and your body re-energizes. It allows you to rest enough to face the next day and its routine. 

2. Minimizing Back Pain Risk

Your daily routine can expose your body to back pains. Your back provides constant support to your body when you work. Consequently, it can experience stress and fatigue, leading to lower back pain. A good quality recliner has lumbar support that reduces back distress.

3. Relieving stress

A recliner gives you the maximum comfort and support you need after a strenuous day’s task. When you lie on a recliner, your back has support, your spine rests, and your feet are raised. As a result, your body relaxes, and your mind rejuvenates, and thus you’re relieved of all the stress.

4. Enhancing Easy Movement

A recliner provides you with the assistance you need to sit and stand. A single button touch lifts you safely to a standing position using a power lift feature. This support is helpful to anyone who finds it difficult to get off the chair or face standing position challenges.

5. Boosting Circulation

Lengthy periods of standing or sitting on an ordinary chair can cause vein complications that could, in turn, cause blood flow blockage. If you recline with your feet lifted above your heart level, your circulation improves naturally by gravity.

What Are The Recliner’s Drawbacks?

Recliners have various cons that include the following:

Below is an explanation of each of the disadvantages. Keep reading.

1. High Costs

Although there are cheap recliners on the market, most of these chairs are expensive. That results from the additional features that offer you the maximum comfort you need while using it. The price of these recliners is also dependent on the brand and the type.

Cheap recliners have a high likelihood of compromising on quality and comfort. Hence, a genuine one can be expensive. 

2. Difficult To Clean

Recliner covers vary from one model to the other. Some can be machine-cleaned, while others need professionals to wash them. Cleaning difficulties result from the complexity of the recliner’s structure. The fabric also depends on the brand or type. Hence, there’s a need to do thorough market research before buying.

Nonetheless, modern recliners don’t need much effort to clean and maintain.

3. Occupies More Space

Some recliners are big enough to occupy the space of two regular chairs of the same size. Therefore, if your living room isn’t spacious enough, a recliner may not be a good option. Instead, you’ll want to have two chairs in place of a single recline.  


An incliner is a piece of furniture whose seat moves forward and up at an angle, allowing you to sink into the chair and relax. The center cushion rises as the left, and the right portions incline while you place your feet on the footrest. This chair offers a sitting and a TV-watching position. 

How Do Incliners Work?

Incliners work using an inclining action. The seat position slides forward and up while your feet stretch to offer comfort and relaxation. 

Its back doesn’t move backward like the recliner’s. Instead, it slides back to make room for the new angle. Furthermore, it looks like a high-legged sofa because of its under-seat space where the inclining mechanism hides. The seat only requires extra space on the front side to allow sliding forward. Unlike the recliner,  you can place it against a wall.

In a nutshell, an incliner offers you similar services as the recliner, and they’re both suitable for your living room. You’ll get the comfort you desire when you relax on either of the two seats. Even so, these chairs have some differences.

What Differentiates A Recliner From An Incliner?

One main difference between the two comfy seats is the space preserved behind the seats. A recliner requires some space behind and in front, while an incliner only needs extra space on the front side. 

 Other differences include:

What Do You Consider When Choosing A Recliner/ Incliner?

There are several things to consider when choosing a recliner/ incliner. These key points include:

Let’s look at each of the above factors in detail.

1. Size

Consider the available space in your living room and your body size. Having the correct measurements of the area where you’ll position your recliner or incliner allows you to choose the right size of furniture. 

There are small, standard, and oversized seats. Hence,  you need to evaluate the chair that best suits your body type and shape to enjoy maximum comfort and relaxation.

2. Material 

Different recliners and incliners are made of different covers. Usually, there are leather and fabric upholstery. The leather seats are luxurious and durable and hence, more expensive than their fabric counterparts. 

Fabric recliners offer a variety of materials to choose from and breathe perfectly to provide excellent relaxation. These covers aren’t safe from stains and need more care than the leather recliners. 

3. Features

It’s crucial to examine the features and functionality of the recliner or incliner you would like to buy. The extra features include phone and cup holders, tray table, base light, rechargeable battery pack, and USB port. The more the features, the more comfort the chair offers. 

4. Type 

These comfy seats come in different styles. Therefore, you need to review each to find the recliner or incliner that fits your lifestyle. How? By checking out for customer reviews on official or affiliate websites and picking the chair with the highest rating.

5. Cost

Recliners and incliners are more expensive than regular chairs. Nonetheless, these seats are worth the price because they’re durable and offer incredible comfort and support. The number of extra features also contributes to the high overall cost. For that reason, you need to have a budget and go for a pocket-friendly seat that has features that are beneficial to you.

6. Ergonomics

Your recliner or incliner should perfectly fit and support your weight, height, and proportions. It should provide the comfort you desire, getting rid of stress and fatigue. To be on the safe side, test your chair before buying. Even if a chair attracts your eyes, it should also have lower lumbar support and good head and leg support.

7. Stability

Some low-price seats may be unstable. Find out if your chair feels like it would tip when sitting in or in a recline or incline position. Again, I’d recommend that you visit the relevant websites and check other users’ comments.

8. Inner Structure

The frame of your recliner or incliner is an essential factor to consider. You want a chair that won’t crack or wrap a few years down the line. Hardwood and solid steel frames are the ideal choices in such a case. They’re durable and give you value for your money.


What Is A Reclining Position?

A reclining position is where your body lies on the back, with your face up. In this position, your head is raised while the lower body is in touch with the supporting surface. The upper body puts its weight on your forearms and elbow.

How Wide Is A Standard Recliner?

A standard recliner is small, medium-sized, or large. Small recliners measure 20-30 inches wide, the medium ones’ width is 32-38 inches, while the large recliner chairs range between 40-44 inches wide.  There are also super-sized recliners for exceptional cases that aren’t very common.

What Is A Reclining Wheelchair?

A reclining wheelchair is a wheelchair that adjusts your sitting position to a close to sleeping position. You minimize the pressure buttocks when you change the recliner’s position to a lying-down posture.  As a result, you enjoy a break from the sitting position that can sometimes be very tiresome.

Is It Good To Sleep On A Recliner?

Yes, it’s good to sleep in a recliner. You can sleep in a recliner for short periods with minimal or no risks. The posture is ideal for people with GERD, sleep apnea, back pain, and more. However, you shouldn’t make it an every night sleeping option as it can lead to knee and hip contractures.  

Is Recliner Better Than Office Chair?

Yes, a recliner is better than a regular office chair. The former is gives you more comfort and relaxation than the latter. The recliner’s pull-out footrest offers comfy ergonomic support for your lower back as it’s adequately padded. The waterfall seats of the office chairs can be health hazards. 


The main difference between the two seats is the extra space left at the back. A recliner requires front and back spaces to allow easy back and footrest movement. On the contrary, an incliner only needs additional space on the front side because it slides forward and up.

A recliner or incliner is an ideal source of comfort and relaxation after a troublesome day. The two chairs are a bit expensive, but they’re worth the cost. Why? Because of the high-end convenience they provide. With this guide, you can visit your nearest furniture store and give your living room a new look.


  • 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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