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Home > How to Shop for a Recliner

How To Buy a Recliner

There is nothing like kicking back with your feet up after a rough day. But getting to that point isn’t so easy. Finding a recliner that looks, feels, and functions the way you want, without having to break the bank to get it, can be pretty stressful – which is exactly why you need the recliner in the first place! Luckily, we've developed this easy-to-follow guide to picking out the recliner that best fits your needs.

What Type of Reclining Function Fits Your Needs?

Not all recliners are the same. In fact, they fall into six basic categories, and each category has a unique function. Whether you need help getting out of your chair, or you want a fully reclining relaxation experience, there’s a recliner to fit your needs.

rocker recliner

Rocker Recliner[...]

The rocker recliner is the most popular type of recliner. It rocks, reclines, and offers the ultimate relaxation. It also will take up the most space when it reclines, so putting it against a wall will actually prevent you from enjoying its full functionality. [–]

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wall saver recliner

Wall Saver Recliner[...]

The wall saver recliner does not rock. Instead, its mechanism creates a forward-sliding effect. As you lay back, the chair extends forward and away from the wall. Also known as the wall hugger, it requires some wall space, ranging from 2'' to 14''. [–]

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glider recliner

Glider Recliner[...]

The glider recliner is similar to the rocker recliner, but it has a swaying motion rather than a rocking motion. This movement has a soothing effect that a lot of new moms like for rocking their babies. Also, most glider recliners come with a swivel base. [–]

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push back recliner

Push-Back Recliner[...]

The push-back recliner does not have a lever or button. To recline, you must lean back and exert pressure on the back of the chair. This is a popular style because it looks like a regular armchair when not in the reclined position. [–]

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lift recliner

Lift Recliner[...]

The lift recliner is popular with the elderly and those who have difficulty getting out of traditional recliners. The lift chair uses a power control to lift the chair to an upright, angled position for an easy exit. Lift recliners are often recommended by physicians. [–]

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big and tall recliner

Big & Tall Recliner[...]

Big & tall recliners are built more durably to hold a larger weight capacity. They typically also have a higher back and seat for tall people. Other features, like the extended footrests, are created to ensure comfort at any height or weight. [–]

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How to Pick the Right Size Recliner

Once you've chosen the function of your recliner, it’s time to find the right fit. Your recliner needs to be the right size for your body so that you get the most comfort out of it. Sitting for an extended period of time in a recliner that's the wrong size can actually have the opposite effects of what a recliner can do for you – like relax your muscles and increase blood flow.

To get the best fitting recliner, you'll need to take measurements to find your Seat Depth, Seat Height, and Back Height.

Find an empty wall and a small stool to sit on – anything backless will do. Press your back firmly against the wall and follow each step below.

① Seat Depth

Seat Depth

This measurement is important to ensure the comfort of your legs and back. If your seat depth is too big, you won't be able to experience the lumbar support, and there will be pressure on the back of your legs.

Measure from the wall to the back of your knees.

Choose a recliner with a seat depth of 1-2 inches fewer than your measurement.

② Seat Height

Seat Height

The proper seat height will reduce knee and leg pain. If the seat height is too high, pressure and numbness can occur behind the knee and can be very uncomfortable. If the seat height is too small, the recliner sits too low to the ground for you. Your knees may ache and you will have trouble getting out of the recliner.

Measure from the floor up to the spot behind your knee.

Choose a recliner with a seat height ranging from 1-2 inches above or below your measurement

③ Back Height

Back Height

The back height of your recliner should provide support to your neck and head. Your neck should follow the curves of the cushion at the top of the recliner. If the back is too tall, your head and neck will be pushed forward, which will strain your neck and create discomfort. A back that is too short will give you no support at all.

Measure from the top of the stool to the top of your head.

Choose a recliner with a back height ranging 1-2 inches above or below your measurement.

How Do You Want Your Recliner to Look?

Once you've chosen the function of your recliner, and after you've gathered your measurements, you can narrow down your options based on appearance. Conveniently, we've put together a furniture style guide you can reference. Also, there are several considerations to keep in mind as you pick out your upholstery.

Aesthetics: Naturally, you want your fabric or leather to look great. Take time to sort through the options and find one that you love. You can coordinate it with your existing furniture, or select a unique pattern to accent to your space.

Maintenance: There are some fabrics and leathers, like top-grain leather, that require more maintenance than others. Top-grain leather is beautiful, and it feels incredible, but it requires extra care that other upholsteries do not.

Durability: Recliners are typically the most used piece of furniture in the room, so it is important for your fabric or leather to be durable. Most manufacturers only use highly durable fabrics in order to ensure a higher overall quality of their product.

Things to Remember

Shopping for a recliner can be exciting if you know what you're looking for. Following our steps will provide a smooth experience and result in a comfortable recliner that you'll be able to enjoy for years to come. Just remember – it's an investment, so you don't want to skimp on quality. With our shopping guide and your enthusiasm for comfort, you're sure to find a recliner to fit all your needs.

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