The Best Rocker Recliners for the Living Space

Kick your feet up, tilt back, and even rock a little—the relaxation and comfort you get from the best rocker recliner will make it your new favorite chair.

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The Best Rocker Recliner Options

Photo: wayfair.com

Everyone has a favorite place to sit. A reclining chair is a household staple and a great place to take an afternoon snooze, read a book, or watch TV. Rocker recliners give you all the comfort of a traditional recliner, plus the ability to gently swing front to back.

Recliners are chairs that can go from simply sitting to lying back with the pull of a lever or push of a button. With a design that grants comfort, the best rocker recliners are a great investment for gamers, the elderly, those who are tired or in pain, or those who simply like to relax.

The best rocking recliners meet your space, size, and comfort requirements and last many years.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Alcott Hill Mcfall Manual Glider Recliner
  2. UPGRADE PICK: Red Barrel Studio Swivel Rocker Massage Chair
  3. BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Viv + Rae Rowe Upholstered Manual Glider Recliner
  4. BEST BUILT-IN MASSAGE: Latitude Run Abbotts Faux Leather Recliner
The Best Rocker Recliner Options

Photo: wayfair.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Rocker Recliner

The best rocker recliner for you fits well in the physical space you have available, is comfortable, and has special features that are important to you as an individual, such as technology or a place to keep your remote. There are some key considerations to keep in mind when selecting a rocker recliner.

Size

Consider the space you have available in your living room. You need to have the area for the chair in its upright position as well as enough room behind the chair for it to recline and rock back and forth.

Recliners come in various sizes to suit different needs and preferences.

  • Small recliners measure up to 33 inches wide. Generally, these types of recliners are shorter so they don’t take up as much room when they’re in the reclined position. Small-size recliners are a good choice for areas with limited space, such as apartments.
  • Standard recliners are 34 inches to 44 inches wide. These are big enough for one person to sit comfortably and require a bit more room behind the chair for reclining and rocking.
  • Oversize recliners are more than 45 inches wide. This size is suitable for large rooms that have extra space for an oversize chair. This size can be wide enough for you to sit in with your child or pet.

Material

Rocker recliners come in a variety of materials, including leather, faux leather, microfiber, and polyester.

  • Leather is durable, nice to sit on, and looks good. Over time, it gets more comfortable. Leather is easy to clean, ages well, and does not trap allergens. Its quality is reflected in the chair’s price.
  • Faux leather, or polyurethane (PU), is made from plastic. An affordable alternative to leather, this material is durable, washable, and comes in a variety of colors. Over time it might become susceptible to cracking.
  • Microfiber or polyester fabric is made of synthetic fibers that are soft and cozy. This material is easy to clean, is commonly blended with other fabrics to increase durability, and lasts a long time if maintained properly. It comes in several colors; however, the lighter colors are subject to stains.

Manual vs. Power

When choosing between a manual and a power recliner, there are a few considerations for each.

Manual recliners require the user to pull a small lever to recline the chair. These types usually only have two positions: sitting and fully reclined. Manual recliners are more budget-friendly, since they don’t have the components of a power recliner. This makes them easier to maintain as well. A big perk of manual rocker recliners is that you can place them anywhere you have room, since there is no outlet required.

Power recliners offer switches or buttons that control the position of the seat—and more, depending on the chair’s specific features. Though these units are a bit more expensive, they often have a longer life span, as the automatic movement reduces wear and tear. Power recliners usually have more angles and positions to increase user comfort. These types of chairs need to be plugged into an outlet, which might influence where you can put your rocker recliner.

Comfort

Comfort is king when selecting your rocker recliner. Choose a recliner that fits you properly. For instance, taller users should get a recliner with a taller back height. For optimal comfort, the recliner should support your lower back and spine with proper interior padding. Armrests also add reassurance by making sure you don’t fall out of the chair if you doze off while also giving you a place to rest your elbows.

Part of being cozy comes down to selecting the right chair size. For instance, if you expect somebody to sit on the chair with you, best upgrade to an oversize rocker recliner. For a rocker recliner that you intend to use for napping, find out how far back the recliner goes, since the closer it gets to 180 degrees, the more comfortable it might be for a quick snooze.

Features

Each rocker recliner has specific features for the brand or design. Some features that might influence your purchase decision include:

  • Side pockets to store your books, remotes, or reading glasses.
  • Cupholders for your drinks, so you don’t need a table or have to get up to fetch a beverage.
  • Massage elements to help relax your muscles and unwind after a long day.
  • A heated seat and backrest to increase your coziness and keep you warm without a blanket Note: If you prefer to cuddle up with a blanket instead, this throw blanket guide has you covered.
  • Different recline positions to get the angle you want in the seat rather than just sitting or fully reclined.
  • A charging port for your electronics, so you can conveniently charge your devices and use them at the same time.
  • Swivel bases that rotate, so you can twist the chair in any direction.

Aesthetic

A rocker recliner doesn’t have to look like the big, comfy chairs of old. Today, some designs are sleek and modern. A few styles to choose from include traditional, modern, and transitional.

  • Traditional style is the most popular with characteristics such as oversize, classic-design features that visually evoke ideas of comfort. Wide, rounded arms; a large, padded footrest; and solid color fabrics are cornerstones of this style.
  • Modern style is generally smaller with clean lines and fluid curves. Modern style has a slimmer profile and typically comes with a pedestal base.
  • Transitional style is the midpoint between modern and traditional styles. Transitional rocker recliners are standard size and combine curves and straight lines with simple contours.

If changing up your style is important, consider purchasing a slipcover for your rocker recliner to protect the fabric as well as keep things fresh.

Weight Capacity

A rocker recliner is meant to hold a full-grown adult. Weight capacity ranges, depending on the size, style, and brand of rocker recliner. Generally, a rocker recliner holds a maximum of about 250 pounds. Some designs hold 300 pounds or more. To maintain the integrity of the chair and ensure it lasts as long as possible without excess wear and tear, stay within the advised weight capacity. If you want a rocker recliner that holds more weight for multiple people or pets, an oversize recliner might be your best option.

Our Top Picks

The considerations above are the foundation of the picks that follow. These criteria are meant to help you decide what is important when purchasing a rocker recliner. Bearing in mind features, quality, size, and style, here are recommendations to help you choose the best rocker recliner for your living space.

Best Overall

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: Alcott Hill Mcfall Manual Glider Recliner
Photo: wayfair.com

Available in solid steel, chocolate, or latte colors, the Alcott Hill Mcfall Manual Glider Recliner should look good in most any living room. Fluffy, foam-filled cushioning creates a soft place for you to sit, recline, or rock with support and comfort. A manual recline system offers two positions for sitting back and two cupholders to store your drinks and enhance your relaxation. The frame of this rocker recliner is constructed from a combination of solid and manufactured wood and covered in 100 percent polyester upholstery.

With a 250-pound weight capacity and a size of 41 inches by 36.6 inches by 42.5 inches, this recliner is standard size. The Alcott Hill glider needs 26 inches of back clearance for reclining, so be sure you have adequate space in the location you’re considering.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: Red Barrel Studio Swivel Rocker Massage Chair
Photo: wayfair.com

The Red Barrel Studio Swivel Rocker Massage Chair is for those looking for an elevated recliner experience. Plus, the chair offers a design focused on functionality. This chair has a 360-degree swivel function, remote-controlled built-in heating pads, and an adjustable footrest, in addition to massage capabilities for your lumbar region. Using the same remote as for heating, the user can select either vibration or full body massage to shake off the day.

Available in brown or gray, this manual-recline chair is constructed with a metal frame, canvas upholstery, and a polypropylene cotton seat fill for comfort. An adjustable footrest customizes your coziness. This recliner measures 42 inches by 32 inches by 28 inches and has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.

To recline all the way, the chair requires a back clearance of 25 inches. For the massage and heat functions, the seat needs to be plugged in; it comes with a 1-meter long cord, so choose a location near an outlet for this seat.

Best for Small Spaces

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: Viv + Rae Rowe Upholstered Manual Glider Recliner
Photo: wayfair.com

The Viv + Rae Rowe Upholstered Manual Glider Recliner is a stylish option for any room, including nurseries. The convenient size of 33 inches by 32 inches by 30 inches and a weight capacity of 250 pounds gives you the chance to have a recliner in rooms that don’t typically allow the space. Position this chair 18 inches from a wall to use the full-manual reclining capability. A metal base offers a 360-degree swivel and soothing rocking motion.

This recliner is built with a solid and manufactured wood frame hidden beneath foam cushioning and upholstered in water- and stain-resistant polyester fabric. Available in gray linen, beige, or dark gray, the design is classic enough to stand the test of time. It does not recline fully flat, but far enough that you can feel relaxed for a nap.

Best Built-In Massage

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: Latitude Run Abbotts Faux Leather Recliner
Photo: wayfair.com

Latitude Run Abbotts Faux Leather Recliner is a suitable option for those looking to maximize their relaxation. The seat has eight massage points with different intensity options that you control via remote. The remote also controls the timing and backrest heating functions of the recliner. This rocker recliner rotates 360 degrees on a solid wood and steel frame. The comfortable seat is filled with high-density sponge and covered in PU leather that comes in black or brown. A manual recline gripper helps you lie back into a comfortable position, with various choices of angle.

Additional features include a side pocket for storage and cupholders on both armrests, giving you plenty of room to keep your beverages or reading glasses in arm’s reach. It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and measures 41 inches by 32.5 inches by 32 inches. This rocker recliner only needs 18.5 inches of back clearance, even though it opens to an angle of about 170 degrees.

FAQs About Rocker Recliners

A rocker recliner is a great investment if you like to get off your feet and relax. Though it sounds simple enough, there are plenty of questions that come up regarding rocker recliners, such as proper use and placement. Below are some common questions and answers about these types of living room chairs.

Q. What is a rocker recliner?

Rocker recliners are comfortable chairs that rock back and forth as well as recline.

Q. Can you stop a rocker recliner from rocking?

Rocker recliners are meant to be used to rock back and forth. If you prefer a chair that doesn’t rock or glide, you might be interested in another style of lounging recliner instead.

Q. Can a rocker recliner go against the wall?

To reap the benefit of the rocking feature of a recliner, it should be placed 1 to 2 feet away from the wall.

Q. How long should a recliner last?

Choosing the right recliner with long-lasting fabric and giving it proper care should make it last for several years.