The Best Leather Recliners for Relaxing at Home

Relax in luxury with the leather recliner that best suits your space, style, body, and budget. 

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Best Leather Recliner

Photo: amazon.com

The first reclining chair was reportedly owned by Napoleon III, President of France in the mid 1800s, and folks have been searching for the ideal recliner ever since. These chairs have the mechanical capability to lean back and stretch forward, letting us lounge comfortably whether sitting upright or lying back at various angles, including 45 degrees and 90 degrees.

When upholstered in leather or leather-like (typically polyurethane, known as PU) material, recliners offer a smooth feel and lend a sleek look to a host of decor styles. Some of today’s models offer specific features that may make them even better suited to your space, style, and body, so read on to learn what features and factors to consider, and why the following products are considered among the best leather recliners available online.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Esright Massage Recliner Chair
  2. RUNNER UP: Furniwell Recliner Chair
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Valencia Tuscany Home Theater Seating
  4. BEST WITH POWER LIFT: Flamaker Power Lift Recliner Chair
  5. BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Homall Recliner Chair
  6. BEST RECLINER LOVESEAT: RecPro Charles Collection 58″ Double Recliner RV Sofa
  7. BEST WEIGHT CAPACITY: Mecor Massage Recliner Chair PU Leather Rocker

The Best Leather Recliners You Can Buy on Amazon

Photo: istockphoto.com

Types of Leather Recliners

When shopping for a recliner, you’ll find plenty of options. Your first decision will probably be choosing between one of the following basic types.

Standard Recliner

A standard recliner has two positions, fully up or fully back, controlled with a lever on the side or by pushing back into the chair. On average it is recommended to have about 4 inches of space behind and in front of the recliner to let it lean back without banging into the wall or obstructing traffic in the room. The simple mechanism makes these recliners durable and affordable, and though basic, they may be just the ticket for your living room for reading, watching TV, or snuggling with a pet or small child on your lap.

Automatic Recliner

Automatic (otherwise known as power) recliners feature a push-button mechanism that makes the chair move up and down.This tends to be a good option for folks who might have trouble grasping a lever and pulling, or pushing themselves back in a standard recliner. To operate, simply press the button and enjoy the ride! Some power recliners also offer a power lift option that will lift and assist the person seated up and out of the chair. These are well suited for folks who have difficulty getting in and out of deep cushions.

Wall Hugger

A wall hugger (aka wallaway) recliner sits on a track, and as you recline, the chair moves forward on the track, rather than backward and forward as other models do. This means the recliner can be placed against a wall, a space-saving option suited to smaller rooms.

Keep in mind that a wall hugger’s design does mean a more limited range of motion than a traditional or powered recliner, providing perhaps only a 45-degree recline. On the plus side, this limited angle can make it easier to get in and out of the chair.

Recliner Sofa or Loveseat

Recliners come as full-size sofas and loveseats with individual reclining functionality. They’re available in standard and power options, and depending on the model you may also be able to decide if you want all or just some of the chairs to recline. Reclining sofas can be a good choice for families when everyone wants to sit together and relax at their preferred angle—while watching a movie, for instance.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Leather Recliner

Recliners come in many shapes and sizes and have a variety of features. Keep the following factors and features in mind while shopping for the best recliner for your home or office.

Size

The size of a recliner must fit the space and the body of the person who will be using it most. Note the seat height when shopping for recliners. This measurement, in addition to measuring the length from your knee to your heel, will allow you to judge if the recliner will be too small for you. A 6-foot-2-inch person, for instance, might not feel comfortable in a standard 19-inch seat height. Measure the dimensions of the space so you’ll have a sense of the right size recliner for the room. Also confirm the height of the tallest person who’ll be using the chair—and consider the recliner’s weight capacity (see below) as well.

Weight Capacity

Keep in mind that while most quality recliners are strong and durable enough to handle a heavier person, weight capacity can be challenged when various family members—kids, dogs, teens—all try to pile on the chair at once. This can especially be an issue with automatic recliners, resulting in a hefty repair bill.

Most recliners have a weight capacity of between 250 and 300 pounds. However, the demand for higher-capacity single-person recliners has brought a new category that can now hold up to 500 pounds.

Leather Type

Recliners are available in genuine and faux leather. The best genuine leather models are made of high-quality top-grain leather, which wears well and feels soft (unlike the grainier split-hide leather more commonly used for car interiors).

Some recliners are made of bonded leather, a fabric blend made of real leather shavings, polyurethane, and cotton. It may look and feel like leather, but it won’t last as long as top-grain leather.

Many quality recliners are upholstered in faux leather, typically a thermoplastic material similar in feel to genuine leather. Although modern technology has improved the feel of faux leather, it will still fall short of top-grain leather. On the plus side, it’s a cruelty-free option and it holds up well against spills and dirt—a simple swipe with a damp cloth can clean it.

Cushioning and Ergonomics

There are four basic types of seat cushions in recliners. In general, the more elaborate the seat cushion, the more expensive the recliner.

  1. Down seat cushions are filled with goose down feathers for a layer of soft and plush seating. The foam center of these down cushions gives the seat structure and results in a firm cushion.
  2. Innerspring seat cushions contain a set of springs surrounded by foam and typically result in a medium to firm seat.
  3. Foam seat cushions can range from soft to really firm, depending on the density of the foam.
  4. Memory foam seat cushions, typically constructed with a traditional foam core surrounded by memory foam, offer firm, form-fitting comfort. The memory foam layer hugs the body gently while the foam core gives support.

Keep in mind that although a recliner may look comfy due to lots of padding and fluff, if it is not ergonomically designed it may not actually be comfortable for sitting or for getting in and out of. Ergonomically designed recliners fit and complement the human body with the correct amount of cushioning and support. Look for models with lumbar options and/or multiple adjustable settings.

Reclining Mechanism

Standard mechanisms operate with a lever on the recliner’s side or by pushing back into the seat to recline. These tend to be more affordable and durable, due to the simple design.

Power mechanisms are easier to use for a broader range of people and are often a good choice for folks with mobility issues. Power lift recliners assist those who struggle to get in and out of deep cushions. Unfortunately, the convenience of power assist chairs can be a drawback, since if the necessary electronics break it could mean an expensive repair.

Additional Features

Some modern recliners have bells and whistles for a more relaxing and convenient experience.  These include:

  • USB ports to keep your devices charged while lounging.
  • Cup holders to keep your drinks from spilling when you’re in a reclined position.
  • Arm storage for keeping remotes and cords hidden and easily accessible.
  • A massage option that can range from vibration to more elaborate rollers and wheels.
  • A built-in tray that can hold your snack or help turn your recliner into a great reading chair.

Aesthetics

Recliners come in many design options to suit a variety of decor schemes, two of the most popular being traditional wing back recliners and simple flushed back recliners for a more modern aesthetic. The smaller details play a huge role in the design of a recliner. Things like the style of the arm rest, nailhead trim, contrasting trim, and wood finishes can make a recliner unique and fit a room perfectly. Upholstery is also available in different colors and finishes—some shiny and pristine, others with a lovely “worn in” look.

Our Top Picks

Whether you’re looking for a recliner to fit a small space, a powered model to assist with mobility, or some other relaxing and comfortable option, the models here were selected according to the criteria detailed above. These leather and faux recliners are considered among the best available, and you’re likely to find the best model for your needs.

Best Overall

Best Leather Recliner Esright
Photo: amazon.com

If you’re looking for an all-around relaxing recliner, this Esright model may suit you well. It has a doubled padded back cushion and armrest for an extra level of comfort and reclines to 140 degrees. There’s a vibrating massage function with two levels of intensity, five control modes, and a heated lumbar region. The durable faux leather upholstery feels soft, and convenient extras like 360-degree swivel, two cup holders, and side storage pockets add to the pleasure of using this chair. The recliner is easily assembled and has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.

Runner Up

Best Leather Recliner Furniwell
Photo: amazon.com

The relaxing luxury of a recliner can be had at an affordable price. This sleek faux leather version, which can suit a variety of home decor styles, is a manual push-back model with two reclining settings: 90 degrees and 170 degrees. The ergonomic design allows your body to rest in a natural position, and the chair features a massage function controlled by a remote with a power cord. The recliner has a weight capacity of 265 pounds.

Upgrade Pick

Best Leather Recliner Valencia
Photo: amazon.com

Though marketed for a grand home theater experience, this power recliner loveseat can bring indulgent luxury to the living room as well. Made of supple, top-grain leather with double foam cushions and an ergonomic lumbar area, the recliner is built for optimal comfort. Plus, power adjustments for lumbar support and the headrest can personalize seating to anyone’s preference. LED lights are strategically placed for a theater feel and easy visibility, and USB ports keep your devices charged. The quilted diamond pattern adds an extra level of plushness as well as impactful style. This recliner loveseat has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.

Best with Power Lift

Best Leather Recliner Flamaker
Photo: amazon.com

The relaxing qualities of a recliner won’t do much good for folks who can’t easily get in and out of the chair. This Flamaker model has push-button control plus a power lift to help you come and go from the seat without putting stress on your back and knees. It also offers four-point massage for the back, lumbar region, thighs, and legs, with a heat option to encourage blood circulation. The faux leather recliner is thickly padded, soft to the touch, and features two cup holders and side pockets for storage. The weight capacity is 360 pounds.

Best for Small Spaces

Best Leather Recliner Homall
Photo: amazon.com

To enjoy the pleasures of a full recliner in a small space, such as a bedroom or office, check out this Homall model. This recliner is made of quality faux leather and boasts thickly padded foam seats, an adjustable footrest, and wide armrests. The relaxing experience is enhanced with a massage function with a variety of modes. This push-back recliner has a weight capacity of 265 pounds.

Best Recliner Loveseat

Best Leather Recliner RecPro
Photo: amazon.com

This standard reclining loveseat is a wall-hugging model that can be placed just 3 inches from the wall, making it well-suited for small spaces. It’s made of soft, durable faux leather and features plush cushioning from the headrest to the footrest and two reclining positions. The classic good looks of this recliner can suit a variety of decor styles.

Best Weight Capacity

Best Leather Recliner Mecor
Photo: amazon.com

This multifunctional sofa chair is designed for comfort. It reclines and rocks, but it also features a heating system and an eight-point massage mode. The chair is made of soft, high-quality bonded leather, and it has thick padding on the seat, back, and arms. It can rotate in a full circle, and it has 160-degree reclining ability for those who prefer to take long, restful naps. The chair is 41 inches tall, 28 inches wide, and 35 inches deep. When fully reclined, it takes up 65 inches. This chair is designed to accommodate up to 330 pounds and comes in beige and brown.

FAQs About Leather Recliners

If you’d still like more info about how to select and get the most enjoyment from the best recliner, check out the answers to these frequently asked questions.

Q. What is the best recliner for elderly individuals?

The Flamaker Power Lift Recliner PU Leather with Massage is one of the best options for elderly individuals. Its power lift feature makes it easy to get in and out of the comfy seat.

Q. Is it OK to sleep in a recliner every night?

While an occasional short nap in a recliner shouldn’t lead to health problems, sleeping in a recliner on a nightly basis can lead to joint stiffness, breathing problems, and impaired circulation.

Q. Are recliners bad for your back?

If you have a recliner with customizable lumbar support and you aren’t spending hours in the chair without getting up for breaks, it should not harm your back.

Q. How do you clean a leather recliner?

Dust off the recliner on a regular basis with a soft, dry cloth. Should it become dirty or stained, check out this guide to cleaning leather safely.