While comfort and ergonomics are design priorities for all chairs, recliners take both factors to another level. With their oversize plush cushions and ability to recline into one or more positions, they traditionally provide a comfortable place to relax. Modern recliners are built with an array of features that support key pressure points in the head, shoulders, lumbar area, knees, and feet, which helps alleviate muscle and joint pain.
Some recliners have motorized controls; others require users to control them manually. Some massage; others rock. Many are available in various styles and fabrics to suit living spaces ranging from game rooms to formal living rooms.
For this guide, we reviewed dozens of recliners of various types and styles to find some of the best models to suit a variety of needs. Read on to find out which features to consider when shopping for some of the best recliners and to learn why the following are some of the top recliners on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: PB Comfort Roll Arm Upholstered Recliner
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Naomi Home Landon Pushback Recliner Chair
- BEST POWER RECLINER: Ashley Boerna Power Recliner
- BEST SWIVEL RECLINER: Charlton Home Casey-Jane Manual Swivel Recliner
- BEST ROCKER RECLINER: Nason Manual Rocker Recliner
- BEST MASSAGE RECLINER: Latitude Run Faux Leather Heated Massage Chair
- BEST LOVESEAT RECLINER: Darby Home Tuthill Faux Leather Reclining Loveseat
- BEST FOR NURSERIES: Carter’s by DaVinci Arlo Swivel Rocking Glider
- BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Jummico Fabric Recliner Adjustable Chair
- BEST RECLINER FOR GAMING: Vitesse Gaming Racing Style Recliner Chair
- BEST FOR BACK PAIN: Esright 360-Degree Massage Recliner Chair
How We Chose the Best Recliners
We considered various factors to narrow the field of dozens of recliners for our list of the best recliners. First and foremost, a recliner must be built to endure the stress that’s created when it shifts from an upright position to a reclined position. With that in mind, we only chose models made from sturdy materials, including metal and hardwood frames and durable fabrics.
Style is important with any piece of furniture. Our selection includes modern and contemporary recliners fit for formal living rooms as well as more casual models for dens and great rooms. A chair’s comfort is also key, so we chose recliners with plush cushioning that resists compression and fabric that can hold up to the abuse that a recliner endures.
Our Top Picks
Whether you’re looking for the best manual recliner or a power recliner with massage features, read on to review some of the top-rated recliners available. The list below includes large recliners for rec rooms as well as recliners for small spaces.
The look and quality of construction of this recliner from Pottery Barn makes it an attractive addition to a den or even a formal living room. This modern chair doesn’t look like the stereotypical recliner with its roll arms and tailored cushions. As with most Pottery Barn furniture, you get to choose from a broad range of high-end fabrics and numerous color schemes.
A recliner should be comfortable, and this model doesn’t disappoint thanks to an extra-deep seat cushion that’s made from either soft down or memory foam. Both the arms and back come equipped with three layers of padding. With its mortise-and-tenon construction and hardwood frame, this modern chair is built to hold up to the stress of moving from an upright position to a reclined position.
- Type: Traditional
- Weight: 60 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 38 inches high by 42 inches wide by 35 inches deep
- High-quality hardwood frame with mortise-and-tenon construction
- Memory-foam seat cushion and triple-layered padding
- Tailored, sophisticated look
- Numerous fabric and color options
- Quality construction and custom options come at a premium price
- Only reclines to 1 position; may not be suitable for everyone’s preferences
Get the Pottery Barn recliner at Pottery Barn.
With its clean lines and tailored look, one might be surprised to find out this chair is a recliner, and a particularly affordable one to boot. This modern recliner chair is upholstered with linen fabrics that are available in three color options. Its clean lines make it suitable for more formal areas or even a bedroom or office.
It reclines to a single position by pushing backward on the chair. While it doesn’t recline as far as most recliners, it is equipped with a dual-function foot extension that can be set to two heights. Despite its low price tag, the chair is made from durable materials, including solid hardwood and linen fabric that resists wear. The Landon does require some assembly when it arrives.
- Type: Traditional
- Weight: 90 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 40 inches high by 30.5 inches wide by 32.5 inches deep
- Multiple color options ensure a good match for any living room or office
- A durable hardwood frame provides good support as well as long-term durability
- Features 2 footrest positions; great for napping as well as relaxing
- Doesn’t recline as far as most recliners; may not be ideal for some users’ preferences
Get the Naomi Home recliner at Amazon or Walmart.
The Boerna power lift recliner chair is an ideal spot to plop down and veg out on television or take a well-deserved nap after a long day. The one-touch controls recline the chair and adjust the headrest independently, so one can recline while still maintaining a good view of the TV. High-resiliency foam cushions ensure it will hold its shape even after heavy use. A combination of real and faux leather fabrics resist staining and wear.
There is wireless charging for a wide range of smartphones and a handy USB plug for tablets and other devices. Additionally, Bluetooth speakers are fitted into this power lift recliner chair for surround sound. Each armest contains convenient hidden storage pockets, and two smart and durable stainless steel cup holders are concealed at the front.
- Type: Power
- Weight: 165 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 44.5 inches high by 37.25 inches wide by 40 inches deep
- Versatile construction; concealed storage compartments and cupholders for convenience
- The adjustable headrest can be set to accommodate all user sizes
- Includes built-in wireless and USB charging ports for added user-friendliness
- Only 1 fabric choice; may not suit every shopper’s taste or space
- Minor assembly is required before use; may be tricky for some DIYers
Get the Ashley recliner at Amazon, Target, or Ashley Furniture.
Its soft faux-leather upholstery and separate ottoman make this ergonomic recliner an ideal place to relax after a long day. Unlike other modern chair options that offer only one or two reclining positions, this model reclines in various positions with an adjustment knob that allows for any adjustment between flat and upright. Thick padding on the back and a seat that conforms to the contours of the body provide ample ergonomic support.
Its 360-degree swivel design makes it easy to access various surfaces around the room without having to stretch or strain to reach. The Charlton Home recliner has a contemporary look that makes it ideal for study or den, and it comes in five color options.
- Type: Traditional
- Weight: 40.74 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 37.5 inches high by 27.25 inches wide by 29 inches deep (not including ottoman)
- Can recline to any position between fully reclined and upright
- Contoured cushioning provides ergonomic support; perfect for those with back, shoulder, or leg pain
- Includes a detached ottoman for a sleek and modern aesthetic
- May be too long to pair with the ottoman in some spaces
Get the Charlton Home recliner at Wayfair.
Calmly rock in this overstuffed comfy recliner chair or recline to fully relax. With its overstuffed cushions and versatile functions, this rocker recliner is an ideal choice for those looking for maximum comfort. The Nason uses a pull-tab recliner mechanism that allows the occupant to recline to any position between upright and fully reclined.
It’s equipped with a high-resiliency foam cushion that provides ample support while adding durability. Large pillow-topped arms add to the comfortable feel of the recliner and give it a relaxed look suitable for a den. With its thick polyester fabric and a metal-reinforced seat, this chair can hold up to the rigors of rocking and reclining.
- Type: Rocker
- Weight: 106 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 40 inches high by 39 inches wide by 40 inches deep
- The pull-tab mechanism allows the chair to recline in any position
- Metal framing adds ample durability for both rocking and reclining
- Comfortable plush overstuffed design is perfect for lounging and relieving stressed areas of the body
- Requires a full foot of clearance between the wall and recliner back
Get the Nason recliner at Ashley Furniture.
This massaging recliner chair features four massage modes that target thighs, lower legs, back, and lumbar areas. It also has five rhythm options with massage features, including pulse and wave modes, and two intensity levels in addition to a heat function in the backrest. It’s covered in soft faux leather, has a thick back cushion, and sports a large headrest. This recliner features two reclining positions and a lift function that enables those with limited ability to easily get in and out of the seat by raising users to a standing position.
A backup battery operates the lift in case of a power outage. Additional features include cupholders and a side pocket for remotes and magazines. At 42 inches high by 32 inches wide by 28 inches deep, this recliner offers a smaller profile than traditional recliners, making it a good option for tight spaces, although it does require 25 inches of clearance to recline fully.
- Type: Massage and lift
- Weight: 104 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 42 inches high by 32 inches wide by 28 inches deep
- Has 4 separate massage features and a reclining function; back, lumbar, thigh, and leg
- 5 rhythm options integrated; suitable for most user preferences and pain points
- Lift function has a backup battery; prevents malfunction and keeps the recliner running
- Requires 25 inches of clearance to recline; not great for small spaces
Get the Latitude Run recliner at Wayfair.
This reclining chair with an extra-wide love seat features two independent faux-leather recliners separated by a large armrest. It measures 78 inches long by 41 inches wide by 37 inches deep and has a weight capacity of 500 pounds.
Pillow-top arms with oversize cushions and a headrest add comfort, while the large center armrest features built-in cupholders and two storage compartments that are perfect for remote controls. Both recliners offer two reclining positions: a mid-level recline for watching the big game or a full recline for taking an afternoon nap. With its glide features, users can set this recliner just a few inches from the wall and still fully recline.
- Type: Traditional
- Weight: 161 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 41 inches high by78 inches wide by 37 inches deep
- Center console has a place for both storage and cupholders; perfect for a remote control or phone
- Chairs recline independently; perfect for 2 users with different preferences
- The glide feature minimizes any wall clearance required; prevents dents and scuffs
- Large overall footprint requires a lot of space in a room
Get the Darby Home recliner at Wayfair.
This versatile recliner is an ideal addition to a nursery. The ability to swivel makes it easy to grab nearby books or toys without having to move out of the chair or stretch awkwardly. The rocking function is crucial for getting a baby back to sleep. One can also easily recline by pushing backward to trigger the retractable footrest and nap with their newborn.
The simple classic wingback design and various color options make this recliner a good pick for a variety of nursery decors. Thick padding provides a soft place to sit while an additional cushion on the lower part of the backrest provides added lumbar support. The fabric is water-repellent and stain-resistant, which is ideal for a chair that will likely see many baby feedings.
- Type: Swivel rocker
- Weight: 105.6 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 41.5 inches high by 38 inches wide by 29 inches deep
- Can swivel, rock, and recline; suitable for a range of uses
- Water-repellent and stain-resistant fabric; great around kids and pets
- Includes an extra pillow for lumbar support; perfect for those with back problems
- The integrated retractable footrest may be too short for some users
Get the Carter’s by DaVinci recliner at Amazon, Wayfair, or Target.
This compact recliner chair is an excellent option for those spaces that just don’t have much room to spare. It measures 38.6 inches high by 19.8 inches wide by 28.8 inches deep and has three positions ranging from 90 to 165 degrees as well as a freely adjustable footrest. It also features durable construction with a steel frame. The Jummico recliner has a maximum weight capacity of 265 pounds.
With its clean, modern design and six color options (gray, brown, beige, black, light blue, and red), this recliner will complement most rooms. A thick back cushion with large curved armrests adds comfort. It weighs 55.3 pounds.
- Type: Traditional
- Weight: 59.5 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 38.6 inches high by 19.8 inches wide by 28.8 inches deep
- 3 reclining positions provide a range of options to suit any user’s preference
- Thick but breathable fabric covers a durable steel frame for long-lasting comfort
- 6 color options to suit any room decor: gray, brown, beige, black, light blue, and red
- Compact size may be a little too small for larger people
Get the Jummico recliner at Amazon.
This gaming recliner features high-resilience sponge foam wrapped in durable polyurethane leather, which is waterproof for easy cleaning. The recliner is adjustable to 90 degrees, 135 degrees, and 180 degrees, which makes it great for gaming or postgame naps. An extra-thick headrest and lumbar cushioning provide plenty of support for hours of sitting up straight. The recliner has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds.
A steel reclining mechanism and hardwood frame ensure this recliner will hold up against even the most animated gaming sessions. A storage area in the back stows game controllers. The chair measures 40 inches high by 31.9 inches wide by 25.2 inches deep.
- Type: Traditional
- Weight: 59.4 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 40 inches high by 31.9 inches wide by 25.2 inches deep
- Modern design with 2 reclining positions; goes from 90 degrees to 135 or 180 degrees
- Waterproof fabric makes it easier to clean spills; perfect for homes with children and pets
- Multiple color options can suit most tastes and interior spaces
- May be a little too narrow for larger people
Get the Vitesse recliner at Amazon.
This massage reclining chair from Esright offers eight points of vibrating massage power with two different massage modes to relieve back, neck, and shoulder pain. It also boasts heated settings for additional tension relief and relaxation. The chair provides a thickly padded cushion as well as a thick foam material for increased support on the back of the chair and the armrests.
This rocking reclining chair also offers a 360-degree swivel. To recline the chair up to 140 degrees, simply pull on the internal handle and then push down on the footrest to close it. Two cupholders and storage bags are integrated into the design to hold drinks, magazines, books, remote controls, and more. Black and brown faux-leather finishes are available for an elegant complement to many living spaces. The recliner can support up to 300 pounds.
- Type: Traditional
- Weight: 92.61 pounds
- Upright dimensions: 43.2 inches high by 33.5 inches wide by 35.8 inches deep
- Multiple massage modes and heat functions can be easily selected from the convenient hand controller
- In addition to reclining, the chair also has a 360-degree swivel and rocking motion
- Has useful side pockets, a pair of cupholders, and is surprisingly affordable
- Large size requires plenty of space; may not be suitable for smaller living areas
Get the Esright reclining chair at Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing a Recliner
Shoppers will want to consider not only the style of available reclining chairs but also the many variables including size, materials, weight, and controls. Those variables make all the difference when consumers shop for the best recliner for their lifestyle.
Popular Types of Recliners
Today’s recliners come in various types to suit needs ranging from relaxation to therapeutic massage to playing video games. Read on to learn about the types of recliners on the market and what you should consider to ensure that you choose the best recliner chair for your lifestyle.
Traditional recliners are large upholstered chairs with wide, thick seats and large, supportive backs. Many have coil-spring seat constructions and large padded armrests. Recliners are available in many upholstery choices, including leather, microfiber, and microsuede. They include a built-in mechanism that allows the chair’s back to recline with a footrest that simultaneously rises.
A traditional recliner generally reclines to up to three positions: partially reclined, fully reclined, and upright. Some traditional recliners offer only a fully upright or fully reclined position. They either recline using a bar located on the lower right side of the chair or through the push-pull method.
Power recliners have built-in motors. Unlike traditional recliners, which feature one or two recline positions and are sometimes manually controlled with a lever on the side, modern power recliners can stop at any position between fully upright and fully reclined. Power recliners allow users to control the reclining motion via a small control panel mounted on the chair’s side or with a corded remote control.
Some power chairs allow users to adjust the headrest, back tilt, and footrest independently. Power recliners have dimensions similar to traditional recliners but are considerably heavier, with a weight of around 100 pounds. They are also more expensive than traditional recliners.
Rocker recliner seats have long been a popular style of comfy chair. They are generally set on a base that consists of two arch-shaped legs and a spring mechanism that allows the recliner to rock back and forth. They have dimensions similar to those of traditional recliners, but they weigh about 60 to 80 pounds more. Their weight capacities are generally between 225 and 300 pounds. Like traditional recliners, rockers use hardwood frames with metal braces and steel reclining mechanisms to support the chair’s movements. Rocker recliners are popular with new parents who often use them to relax and rock infants.
The body of a swivel recliner is set on a round metal base that includes a swivel mechanism, allowing users to rotate the chair, often a full 360 degrees. This enables the user to face a person—or screen—without straining their neck or back. Swivel recliners are excellent options for rooms with multiple focal points. They have dimensions similar to those of traditional recliners; however, the swivel mechanism may make them heavier.
Some traditional, swivel, rocker, and power recliners include massage modes. These comfortable recliners have rollers inside the body of the chair that vibrate and knead the user’s core, replicating the sensation of a massage. While some massage recliners focus entirely on one area of the back, additional features may offer multiple zones that massage the upper back, lumbar area, thighs, and legs. Some models also include a heat function, which warms different parts of the seat to provide additional relief. Massagers allow the user to control the massage intensity and massage type, which includes such options as wave and pulse.
Massagers generally use standard power cords to power the massage features, which are controlled with a remote. Although massager recliners are similar in size to traditional recliners, the massager mechanism adds weight, making it heavier than a standard recliner at around 75 pounds.
Gaming—the term used to describe playing video games—entails hours of sitting in one place while using the computer. Such a position can put extra pressure on the back and neck. Since gamers must sit up to participate, this type of recliner features thicker headrests to take the stress off the neck. These comfortable chairs are designed so the occupant sits straight up to create proper posture.
Gaming recliners are generally about 25 inches wide, which is notably narrower than traditional recliners. These recliners often feature sporty designs; black leather and bright accent colors dominate the look of gaming chairs with some mimicking a race-car driver’s seat or futuristic spaceship commander’s chair.
Two-person recliners, also called reclining sofas, come in two forms. Some sit side by side, with independent reclining controls, while others function as oversize recliners with wide seats and backs that fit two people.
Oversize recliners measure about 60 inches long by 40 inches wide by 40 inches deep. Their size makes them difficult to recline manually, so this recliner style typically functions as a power recliner. They weigh substantially more—usually at least 50 percent more—than a traditional recliner.
Other two-person recliners feature two seats with independent recliners and footrests separated by a large padded armrest, which doubles as a console with cupholders and storage for remotes. These behemoths have similar depths and heights as traditional recliners, up to 80 inches wide, and can weigh more than 200 pounds.
Recliners are notorious space hogs. The average recliner, when reclined, is about 80 inches long from end to end. Users will more thoroughly enjoy a recliner if it is placed in a space that allows it to recline fully. Most recliners need at least 12 inches of clearance behind them to recline and 24 inches in front of them to allow for the footrest extension, so shoppers should consider that before they make a final decision.
A small room can likely accommodate a space-saving recliner. These units, often called wall huggers, need only a few inches of clearance behind them to function properly. They often have the same dimensions as a traditional recliner. This type of recliner is set on a track that slides the seat forward when reclining, which means it needs less room behind it to recline fully.
Quality recliners generally have frames made of hardwood or thick plywood and use metal hardware and steel corners. This sturdy construction provides enough strength to endure the movement of the chair.
The most comfortable recliner chairs are often built with molded polyester padding for the backing and batting sheets to cover hard corners. Some recliners feature exposed accents made of stained hardwood. Most recliners have a weight capacity of between 300 and 400 pounds. Recliners constructed from chip wood are weaker and often won’t last as long as those crafted from hardwood or plywood.
Recliners are often upholstered in fabric, leather, microfiber, or microsuede upholstery. Leather offers the most durable option, while fabric, microsuede, and microfiber are softer and cozier. Some recliners feature high-performance fabric upholstery, which resists stains and wear.
While many models feature the traditional rolled-arm, leather-upholstery, and overstuffed-cushion look that has endured for decades, shoppers can find a variety of styles now. In addition to leather, some recliners feature high-performance materials that are breathable, easy to clean, and even waterproof, including polyurethane leather, stain-resistant polyester, microfiber, and microsuede.
Classic recliners remain popular, but they include other styling, including contemporary and midcentury modern.
Reclining positions vary between manual recliners and electric recliners. Manual recliners are limited by their mechanism, which typically offers one or two reclining positions and an upright position with a push-pull bar.
Electric recliners, which are powered from standard 120-volt outlets, feature control buttons on the side or a handheld remote. Use those buttons or the remote to move from a fully upright position to the chair’s fully reclined position.
If you still have lingering questions about recliners, read on for answers to some of the most common questions.
Q. How do power recliners work?
Power recliners use a battery or electric-powered motor that plugs into a standard 120-volt household outlet to operate the recliner. Most use a two- or three-button controller located on the chair’s side or provided as a wired remote control. This controller operates the recliner’s back, footrest, and headrest.
Q. How do you measure for a slipcover on a recliner?
Use the following steps to measure for a slipcover for your recliner:
- Place the recliner in an upright position so it is no longer reclining.
- Measure the back of the recliner from the top edge to the bottom edge to determine its height.
- Measure the width of the chair by measuring from the outer edge of each arm.
- Move the chair into the reclined position and retake the measurements, measuring from the top of the chair to the edge of the footrest.
- Use these measurements to shop for your new slipcover.
Q. How long do recliners last?
The average recliner that receives regular use will last about 10 years.
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