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 you to manually control them. 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 what features you should 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: Landon Pushback Recliner Chair
- BEST POWER RECLINER: Cranedall Oversized Power Recliner
- BEST LEATHER RECLINER: Red Barrel Studio Noletta Leather Manual Recliner
- BEST SWIVEL RECLINER: Charlton Home Manual Swivel Standard Recliner
- BEST ROCKER RECLINER: Nason Manual Rocker Recliner
- BEST MASSAGE RECLINER: Three Posts 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 Chair Adjustable
- BEST RECLINER FOR GAMING: Vitesse Gaming Recliner Chair Racing Style
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 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 by using 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 you 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 you 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 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 massager features. These comfortable recliners have rollers inside the body of the chair that vibrate and knead the user’s core, replicating the sensation from a massage. While some massage recliners focus entirely on one area of the back, others 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 functions, 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 stress off the neck. These 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 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 by 40 by 40 inches. 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 that doubles as a console with cupholders and storage for remotes. These behemoths have similar depths and heights as traditional recliners, can be up to 80 inches wide, and can weigh more than 200 pounds.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Recliner
You’ll want to consider not only the style of available recliners but also the many variables including size, materials, weight, and controls. Those variables make all the difference when you shop for the best recliner for your lifestyle.
Recliners are notorious space hogs. The average recliner, when reclined, is about 80 inches long from end to end. You will more thoroughly enjoy a recliner if it is placed in a space that allows it to fully recline. 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 consider that before you make a final decision.
Your 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 fully recline.
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, and 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, you can find a variety of styles now. In addition to leather, some feature high-performance materials that are breathable, easy to clean, and even waterproof, including polyurethane leather, stain-resistant polyester, microfiber, and microsuede.
You will find that 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. You use those buttons or the remote to move from the full upright position to the chair’s fully reclined position.
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 recliner chair doesn’t look like the stereotypical recliner with its roll arms and tailored cushions. As with most Pottery Barn furniture, the customer gets 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 recliner is built to hold up to the stress of moving from an upright position to a reclined position.
- Type: Traditional
- Upright dimensions: 42 inches wide by 35 inches deep by 38 inches high
- Weight: 60 pounds
- 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
- Only reclines to 1 position
Get the PB Comfort Roll Arm Upholstered Recliner at Pottery Barn.
With its clean lines and tailored look, one might be surprised to find out this chair is actually a recliner, and a particularly affordable one to boot. This modern recliner is upholstered with linen fabrics that are available in two 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
- Upright dimensions: 30.5 inches wide by 32.5 inches deep by 40 inches high
- Weight: 90 pounds
- Affordably priced
- 2 color options
- Durable hardwood frame
- 2 footrest positions
- Doesn’t recline as far as most recliners
Get the Landon Pushback Recliner on Amazon.
This overstuffed and oversize recliner is an ideal spot to plop down and veg out on television or take a well-deserved nap after a long day. The chair’s large size—it measures some 52 inches wide—provides ample space to spread out. High-resiliency foam cushions ensure it will hold its shape even after heavy use, and faux leather fabric resists stainings and wear.
One-touch controls recline the chair and adjust the headrest independently, so one can recline while still maintaining a good view of the TV. A handy USB plug keeps one’s smartphone charged while relaxing. With its wall-saver design, this chair only requires 3 inches of clearance between the chair back and the wall.
- Type: Power
- Upright dimensions: 52 inches wide by 40 inches deep by 43 inches high
- Weight: 153 pounds
- Wide size and overstuffed cushions add comfort
- Adjustable headrest
- Wall-saver design
- Only 1 fabric choice
- May be too large for some spaces
Get the Cranedall Oversized Power Recliner at Ashley Furniture.
This genuine leather club chair makes a handsome addition to one’s office or den. With its rich coffee-brown color and sophisticated accents, including brass tack heads that run the length of the arms and around the recliner back, this chair gives a sophisticated look. The chair reclines to a partial or fully reclined position by holding the arms and pushing back on the seatback.
At 30 inches wide and 30 inches deep, the Noletta is narrow for a recliner, making it suitable for smaller rooms. It’s also durably constructed with a kiln-dried hardwood frame with nail and glue fastening. The Noletta’s genuine leather construction is beautiful but also expensive, making it one of the more expensive recliners one can buy.
- Type: Traditional
- Upright dimensions: 30 inches wide by 30 inches deep by 37.5 inches high
- Weight: 106 pounds
- Genuine leather construction
- Sophisticated look with exposed brass tack heads
- Sturdy hardwood frame
- 2 reclining positions
Get the Red Barrel Studio Noletta Leather Manual Recliner at Wayfair.
Its soft faux leather upholstery and separate ottoman make this ergonomic recliner an ideal place to relax after a long day. Unlike other recliners 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 one’s 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 has a contemporary look that makes it ideal for study or den, and it comes in five color options.
- Type: Traditional
- Upright dimensions: 27.25 inches wide by 39 inches deep by 37.5 inches high (not including ottoman)
- Weight: 40.74 pounds (not including ottoman)
- Can recline to any position between fully reclined and upright
- Contoured cushioning provides ergonomic support
- Includes an ottoman
- May be too long with ottoman for some spaces
Get the Charlton Home Manual Swivel Standard 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
- Upright dimensions: 39 inches wide by 40 inches deep by 40 inches high
- Weight: 106 pounds
- Pull-tab mechanism allows chair to recline in any position
- Metal framing adds durability for rocking and reclining
- Comfortable plush overstuffed design
- Requires a full foot of clearance between wall and recliner back
Get the Nason Manual Rocker Recliner at Ashley Furniture.
This massaging recliner features four massage zones that target your thighs, lower legs, back, and lumbar areas. It also has five rhythm options, 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 the user 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 32 by 28 by 42 inches, 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 fully recline.
- Type: Massage and lift
- Upright dimensions: 32 inches wide by 28 inches deep by 42 inches high
- Weight: 104 pounds
- Has 4 separate massage zones
- 5 rhythm options
- Lift function has a backup battery
- Requires 25 inches of clearance to recline
Get the Three Posts Faux Leather Heated Massage Chair at Wayfair.
This reclining extra-wide love seat features two independent faux leather recliners separated by a large armrest. It measures 78 by 37 by 41 inches and has a weight capacity of 500 pounds.
Pillow-top arms and oversize cushions and 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 midlevel recline for watching the big game or a full recline for taking an afternoon nap. With its glide features, you can set this recliner just a few inches from the wall and still fully recline.
- Type: Traditional
- Upright dimensions: 78 inches long by 37 inches deep by 41 inches high
- Weight: 161 pounds
- Center console has place for storage and cupholders
- Chairs recline independently
- Glide feature minimizes wall clearance required
Get the Darby Home Tuthill Faux Leather Reclining Loveseat 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 baby back to sleep. One can also easily recline by pushing backward to 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 bottle feedings.
- Type: Swivel rocker
- Upright dimensions: 38 inches wide by 29 inches deep by 41.5 inches high
- Weight: 106 pounds
- Can swivel, rock, and recline
- Water-repellent and stain-resistant fabric
- Extra pillow for lumbar support
- Expensive for a manual recliner
Get the Carter’s by DaVinci Arlo Swivel Rocking Glider at Wayfair.
This compact recliner chair is an excellent option for those spaces that just don’t have much room to spare. It measures 19.8 by 28.8 by 38.6 inches and has three positions ranging from 90 to 165 degrees and a freely adjustable footrest. It also features durable construction with a steel frame. The Jummico recliner has a maximum weight capacity of 265 pounds.
This recliner packs a lot into its small frame, including a single zone massager for the lower back that features eight modes and a massage-intensity adjustment. A thick back cushion with large curved armrests adds comfort. With its clean, modern design and four color options (gray, brown, light blue, and red), this recliner will complement most rooms. It weighs 55.3 pounds.
- Type: Traditional
- Upright dimensions: 19.8 inches wide by 28.8 inches deep by 38.6 inches high
- Weight: 55.3 pounds
- 3 reclining positions
- Single zone massager
- 4 color options
- Too small for larger people
Get the Jummico Fabric Recliner Chair on Amazon.
This gaming recliner features high-resilience sponge foam wrapped in durable polyurethane leather, which is waterproof for easy cleaning. The recliner is adjustable from 90 degrees to 135 degrees to 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 31.9 by 25.2 by 40 inches.
- Type: Traditional
- Upright dimensions: 31.9 inches wide by 25.2 inches deep by 40 inches high
- Weight: 59 pounds
- 2 reclining positions
- Waterproof fabric
- Multiple color options
- A little narrow for larger people
Get the Vitesse Gaming Recliner Chair on Amazon.
For its sturdy construction, designer looks, and broad range of fabric choices, the PB Comfort Roll Arm Upholstered Recliner is a great choice for a den, living room, or even bedroom. Those looking for a more affordable option will want to consider the Landon Pushback Recliner Chair, which has a modern look and an affordable price.
How We Chose the Best Recliners
We considered a variety of 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 upright position to reclined positions. With that in mind, we only chose models made from sturdy material, 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. 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.
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 as a wired remote. 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.