Recliner vs Sofa: Which Is Better? A Complete Guide

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: July 16, 2021

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Recliner vs Sofa

Congratulations on your new house. Now that you will need to give it a face and sense of style, you must be wondering which is better to buy when it comes to a recliner vs. sofa!

Due to the change in times, you will find that the seating furniture continues to advance. Recliners provide a comfortable sitting position that adjusts easily to suit the needs of your back. This way, they also offer more health benefits, especially for the elderly and disabled.

Conversely, a couch is not adjustable though it provides a wide seating area to share with your loved ones. We understand why it doesn’t seem easy to decide between a recliner vs. a sofa with these features. However, worry not! Read on.

What Is A Recliner?

A recliner first came into existence in the late 1920s. Most house owners prefer them due to their high comfort levels. This way, they are among the most popular choices for seating furniture, both at home and in work areas.

So how does it work?

Usually, the back area adjusts to any desired position depending on your type of recliner, while the seat remains in place. Also, it has a footrest that raises the legs for better feet support. This way, the person sitting experiences ultimate comfort to their preference.

What Is A Sofa?

Most probably, you grew up with this type of chair. It will come in a single piece and not have impressive features. This way, you will need to place it in the corner or against the wall of your space. However, sofas are not as dull anymore because they come in various styles, materials, and structures to meet traditional and modern needs and preferences.

How to Choose Recliner vs. Sofa


Because people have varying needs and preferences, it is essential to know what to look for when buying your choice of a recliner. See the tips below that will guide you in making the right and suitable choice.

Space: First, get precise measurements of the area you need to put the recliner. You will need a recliner that fits perfectly into your room, whether compact or big. Also, you have to consider the space available to allow it to recline back fully.

Correct fit for your body: Some recliners may be better than others, but they may not suit you. Therefore, it would be best to walk into a recliner store and test the fitting. This way, get to it, lie and recline to get a comfortable feeling. Also, ensure your legs are comfortably resting on the footrest as well as on the floor. Better yet, the lumbar support needs to be perfect, not too soft or too hard.

Upholstery: The upholstery plays a significant role in ensuring your comfort levels are perfect. It would be best to choose a comfortable material that is also affordable and durable. Luckily, there are many options to select from, like leather, cotton, polyester, microfiber, and more.

Structure: A great form will enhance both quality and durability. People have different weights; hence it would be better to choose a design that supports you stably. Preferably, hardwood and steel constructions provide better strength and stability, not to mention they will serve you for a prolonged period.

Type of recliner: Recliners are different to match your needs and preference. So, it would help if you highlight your most important requirements to choose a recliner that will meet them. Besides uplifting your interior d├ęcor, you want a recliner that will be your best friend for life.


  • Recliners are versatile. This means that you can be comfortable sitting, reading, and even sleeping on them.
  • They do not take up much space. With the different types, you will not miss a recliner that is best for a compact space. This way, it will allow you all the benefits of a recliner and leave enough room to move around in your tiny space.
  • Recliners relieve lower back pain. Because of prolonged sitting or strenuous physical activities, back pains become a common problem for many people. Luckily, a recliner provides adequate support to the spine or the lumbar section relieving the pain.
  • It improves blood circulation. Standing or sitting for a more extended period can also lead to swollen legs due to poor blood flow. So, kicking your legs and resting on a footrest will enable proper blood flow through your body.
  • They reduce stress. After a long and strenuous day, everybody needs enough rest on a comfortable chair. A recliner provides maximum comfort in different positions.


  • They are heavy due to the additional mechanism. This can pose a challenge when moving or even rearranging your space.
  • Recliners are also more expensive due to the other features.
  • Some of them, like power recliners, are delicate and must operate via a power source. This type needs extra care and maintenance if you want to enjoy prolonged benefits.


Just like a recliner, buying a couch is also a significant investment. With a good coach, you can relax, eat, drink, sleep and even entertain your loved ones and guests. However, not any sofa will be ideal for your needs and liking. Let’s see what to do when shopping for a new couch;

Try before buying: Averagely, a good sofa has a depth of 60cm. This depth is enough to maneuver for someone with long legs and also tucking under for short people. For the height, 45-50cm is ideal for excellent back support. If you are also planning to sleep on your couch, ensure it is long enough to accommodate you stretching your legs fully. The best way to have the right one is to try sitting on it at different angles before buying.

Buy a strong frame: A quality frame will see you through a prolonged period of lounging. Preferably, a solid hardwood structure is a better choice than metal or particleboard. Better yet, take note of the warranty provided, whereby most manufacturers offer 5-10 years of guaranteed use.

Consider the cushions: What’s on the inside is as important as the outside of a couch. For pillows, you will get either the feather-filled or the foam-filled for the back and seat areas. The feather-filled provide maximum comfort however;, you will need to keep plumping them. On the other hand, foam-filled are a good alternative but likely to flatten or lose form with time. Therefore, you need to get a combination of feather and foam cushions for a squishy and shapely feeling.

Check the material: What matters is not the bold, patterned or neutral colors but the choice of material. While it is essential to ensure the material blends with your interior, it is also necessary to note that natural materials are likely to fade in extreme sunlight. Ideally, synthetic upholstery will be a better fit, especially if your sofa will be near the window.

Take measurements: There’s nothing as wrong as buying an excellent couch that will not fit into your space. Therefore, ensure you take complete and accurate measurements of your area before going shopping. For a smaller room, the sofa’s depth is essential to consider, while the height is vital if your space has things like shelves or radiators. Better yet, check the dimensions of the door and staircase to ensure the couch will pass through.


  • It gives room for entertainment. When you want to watch TV or movies, a sofa provides a comfortable spot to relax and enjoy.
  • Sofas enable socialization. Having several people sit on a couch will trigger conversations and socialization.
  • You can use a sofa for sleeping. Because it offers enough room for more than one person, you can sleep on the couch and stretch your feet. Besides, it acts as a bed when you have a guest and no extra sleeping spot.
  • It can decorate your space. Luckily, sofas come in different sizes and shapes, not to mention colors. This way, placing it in a great spot will attract attention due to its aesthetics.
  • A couch provides comfort. Due to the feather and foam-filled cushions, your baby is likely to sleep on the couch. This is because of the soft and comfortable experience it gives.
  • It provides additional space. People use sofas in the office, waiting for areas, and even hotels to offer extra space when there are many people.
  • Buying a couch is cheaper compared to a recliner. This makes it a standard option for most homes.
  • Sofas are also light in weight, making them easy to transport, especially for regularly moving people.


  • They do not offer advanced features like reclining, lift and swivel.
  • The hardwood construction is likely to grow molds and smell, not to mention hard to clean.
  • A couch offers little room for privacy because of sharing a space with many people.

Wrapping Up

A recliner vs. sofa; the choice is yours. From the above-detailed guide, we are confident that making a decision will be straightforward depending on the intended purpose. Fortunately, you can get different prices for different features from the vast market. Whatever your choice is, we wish you cozy seating!