Recliner Basics: Everything You Need to Know About Recliners

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: March 21, 2021

Disclosure: This site is reader-supported & contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more

After a long and tedious day at work, nothing beats a long hot shower, then sinking on your favorite chair with your feet up. Thankfully, technology has given us recliners to allow us to enjoy such nifty comfort. If you got no recliner yet, then you are missing a lot.

If you have been contemplating getting one, but you first want to get all the nitty-gritty, you are in the right place. Read on and discover everything you need to know about these comfy and relaxing seats.

Table of Contents

What Is A Recliner?

A recliner is a sofa or an armchair with a backrest that can be tilted/reclined backward and a footrest that may be extended forward using a lever or automatically. Depending on your origin, a recliner can also be referred to as a reclining chair, armchair, or lounger.

9 Types of Recliners

1. Traditional Recliner

The traditional recliner seat quite simple in terms of design and is the most common type. It comes with a lever to move the backrest forward and backward and a gear to position the footrest to the desired position.

The traditional recliner seat is best suited for large spaces as it requires about 3 feet of space behind the heart for it to recline fully.

2. Power Recliner

The power recliner seat has the same design as the traditional recliner. Instead of a lever and a gear, the only difference is that it comes with an electric power button to position the backrest and footrest to the desired angle.

3. Rocker Recliner

This type of recliner does precisely as the name suggests: it reclines and rocks back and forth. It is ideal for the elderly and nursing mothers. It is also an excellent sleep-inducing tool for a person who has insomnia.

4. Glider Recliner

Glider recliners has an almost similar design as rocker recliners. They both move. However, the glider recliner moves back and forth in a linear path while the rocker moves along an arched way. Read our guide on the Difference Between A Glider and Rocker Recliner.

5. Swivel Recliner

These types of recliners are designed with a round base that enables them to swing right and left. Like most recliner armchairs,  you can also recline the backrest  of the swivel recliner backward.

6. Push-Back Recliner

The push-back recliner has no lever, gear, or buttons. To recline the backrest, the seat requires you to exert a little pressure on it and automatically recline. This recliner is the most recent and comes with modern designs that make the seat look like a regular armchair.

7. Wall-Hugger Recliner

You must be wondering why and how in God’s green earth would a wall need a hug, but I promise it’s got nothing to do with hugs. A wall-hugger receives its name from its ability to sit up straighter and thus be pressed against the wall.

The Wall-hugger recliner’s beauty is that it doesn’t occupy too much space and has a sitting position easy to take.

8. Lift Recliner

This type of recliner is also known as the riser. As the name suggests, this seat rises upwards, allowing you to get off the chair quickly. The riser is ideal for the elderly and people who have leg and knee problems. It is also one of the most expensive types.

9. Orthopedic Recliner

This recliner seat is specially designed for people who have medical conditions and require consistent comfort. These recliners feature an adjustable headrest, massager, and heater.

Which Type of Recliner Is the Best?

Well, that depends on your needs. As stated above, each type of recliner comes with different features, conveniences, and ergonomics. You should therefore choose the type of recliner with your preferred features. For instance, if you got back problems, then an orthopedic recliner would be your best choice. If you are limited on space, a traditional recliner would be a bad idea.

How Long Does A Recliner Last?

Truth be told, no chair lasts forever. However, your recliner can give you a few years (10 years or more) of comfort if it is well built and taken care of.

The materials used to build the recliner should be top-notch for it to stay longer. Some of the long-lasting materials to look out for include high-quality material or genuine leather, stainless steel frames, dense and thick padding, stable bases, and sturdy reclining mechanisms.

The way you treat the chair and overall maintenance will also determine the durability of the seat. It would help if you kept it safe from sharp objects, pets, and kids who might tear it. Don’t play with the levers or remote controls. You should also follow the proper cleaning methods given.

How Much Does A Good Recliner Cost?

A lot of work and technology make a recliner seat to provide the consumer with maximum and support. Therefore, it’s expected that you have to part with a bigger buck than you would when buying with a regular sofa.

Generally, the prices range from $100 to $5000. There are also some cheap recliners under $100 in the market.,

As always, the cost of the recliner depends on its features. This includes the upholstery type, base variation, cushion thickness, reclining angles, and other additional features (vibration, massager, heating, USB port, etc.).

Is It Wrong to Sleep on A Recliner?

The answer: NO! It’s not necessarily wrong. You can sleep on your recliner overnight if you want to. However, just like anything else, too much of it is not recommended. I’m sorry if you thought you wouldn’t need your bed anymore.

You see, sleeping regularly on the recliner means that your feet will mostly be folded. This may result in hip and knee contractures which translates to extra medical costs. To know more, read this: is It bad to sleep in a recliner?

Power or Manual Recliner: Which One to Choose?

The main difference between a manual and a power recliner is that the power recliner is adjusted and controlled by inbuilt electric buttons while the manual one uses pull levers.

There is the right choice between the two. It all boils down to your preferences. However, the electric recliner is more versatile as it gives you more settings; it is also more durable as it has controlled movements.

On the other hand, the manual recliner is much easier to maintain and is less costly.

Wrapping It Up

At the end of a tedious day, you deserve to sink and relax in a comfortable seat. A recliner is an assurance for much-needed relaxation and comfort. Now that you know everything about recliners, I bet your next stop is a recliner store. Our reviews will help you choose the best recliner for your needs.


  • 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.

Leave a Comment

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments