The Best Rocker Recliners for Your 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.

By Kat Hodgins | Updated Dec 30, 2023 8:15 AM

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A rocker recliner in a living space

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 people all the comfort of a traditional recliner plus the ability to swing front to back gently.

Recliners are chairs that can go from simply sitting to lying back with the pull of a lever or push of a button. Nancy Mitchell is a registered nurse with 37 years of experience in geriatric wards where rocker recliners are popular. She says, “Rocker recliner chairs are highly ergonomic. They’re well-padded to provide comfort to the muscles and joints and provide relief for an achy body.” With a design that grants comfort, the best rocker recliners are a great investment for gamers, seniors, those who are tired or in pain, or those who simply like to relax or read quietly. The best rocking recliners meet a variety of space, size, and comfort requirements and last many years.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Signature Design by Ashley Ludden Rocker Recliner
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: JC Home Swivel & Glider Recliner
  3. UPGRADE PICK: ComHoma PU Leather Recliner Chair 
  4. BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Ebern Designs Upholstered Recliner
  5. BEST BUILT-IN MASSAGE: Relaxzen Longstreet Massage Rocker Recliner 
  6. BEST POWER LIFT: Red Barrel Studio Leather Heated Massage Chair 
  7. BEST FOR NURSERY: Greyleigh Baby & Kids Emily Reclining Rocking Chair
  8. ALSO CONSIDER: Latitude Run Abbotts Faux Leather Recliner
A rocker recliner in a nusery

Photo: wayfair.com

How We Chose the Best Rocker Recliners 

We evaluated dozens of rocker recliner chairs in our search for the best models currently available. The most important factor was comfort and support, which are most people’s main reasons for buying a rocking recliner. According to Raf Michalowski, founder of Meble Furniture, “A good rocker recliner chair should provide ample support for your back and neck while being soft and cozy enough to relax on for extended periods of time.” Construction is also a key issue, as recliner chairs are typically subject to greater stress than ordinary furniture.

The decorative styles in people’s homes vary enormously, so we tried to include as wide a range of fabrics and colors as possible. We were also careful to include both swivel and glider rocker recliner chair models to satisfy different tastes in the kind of motion provided. Finally, budget is always a major factor, so we looked for rocking recliners at various price points.

Our Top Picks

Bearing in mind features, quality, size, and style, here are recommendations to help buyers choose the best rocker recliner for a variety of living spaces.

Best Overall

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: Signature Design by Ashley Ludden Rocker Recliner
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Material: Polyester twill
  • Product dimensions: 43 inches high by 40 inches wide by 43 inches deep
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds (see description)

Pros

  • Durable design with a robust hardwood and steel frame construction
  • High-resiliency foam cushions for an ultra-comfortable experience
  • Available in both manual and powered reclining versions

Cons

  • No provided weight rating, though some users suggest a 250-pound limit

Ashley Furniture is well known for comfort and quality, and the Ludden rocker recliner is a fine example. The underlying hardwood and steel frame should ensure durability. The high-resiliency foam covered with hard-wearing, easy-clean tufted twill provides exceptional levels of comfort, and good support.

The lever-operated reclining action is smooth and requires little effort. While some reclining chair models have restricted movement, the Ludden will lie almost fully flat. A powered version is also available.

The chair comes in a choice of three colors. As with many rocking recliner chairs, some assembly is required. Ashley Furniture does not provide a weight rating, citing there is no recognized standard. However, several owners recommend not exceeding 250 pounds.

Get the Signature Design by Ashley rocker recliner at Amazon or Ashley Furniture.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: JC Home Swivel & Glider Recliner
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs

  • Material: Faux bonded leather
  • Product dimensions: 41 inches high by 32 inches wide by 36 inches deep
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

Pros

  • Durable construction is designed for 25,000 “actions”
  • Features hard-wearing, easy-clean fabric for low maintenance
  • Supports up to 300 pounds with a sturdy metal base

Cons

  • Footrest mechanism can be stiff to operate
  • The narrow build may not suit all body types

The JC Home Swivel & Glider recliner offers the ability to recline, rock, and turn around in the seat. Available in gray, brown, and creamy white and made of durable bonded PU leather, this is a living room chair that’s easy to clean—it can simply be wiped down with a cloth. A smaller design at 41 inches high by 32 inches wide by 36 inches deep, this rocking recliner manages to hold up to 300 pounds due to its supportive metal base and modern design. The back and headrest are padded for proper support.

This swivel rocker recliner is an affordable manual option that fits most living spaces since the arms aren’t as wide as traditional recliners, giving it a slimmer profile and more options for its location.

Get the JC Home rocker recliner at Amazon.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: Comhoma PU Leather Recliner Chair Modern Rocker
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs

  • Material: PU leather
  • Product dimensions: 40.9 inches high by 35.8 inches wide by 37.4 inches deep
  • Weight capacity: 400 pounds

Pros

  • This model offers 5 levels of massage as well as lumbar heat
  • The 360-degree swivel function lends additional flexibility
  • Durable hardwood-and-steel frame provides a high weight capacity

Cons

  • The inclusion of a power cable may restrict positioning

ComHoma’s stylish modern faux-leather swivel rocker recliner offers an exceptional range of movement. It can rotate through 360 degrees and reclines to a very restful 151 degrees with a simple push on the armrests. Cupholders ensure a beverage is always nearby, and a side pocket provides storage for book, magazine, or TV remote.

The standout feature of the ComHoma swivel chair is the massage function. There are eight contact points from calves to shoulders and five vibration levels. Heat can also be applied to the lumbar region for maximum muscle relaxation.

The hardwood-and-steel frame does offer high strength, providing a 400-pound weight capacity. The power cable is approximately 39 inches, which may limit where the chair can be positioned, though extensions are available.

Get the ComHoma rocker recliner at Amazon or Walmart.

Best for Small Spaces

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: Ebern Designs Harrel Manual Rocker Standard Recliner
Photo: wayfair.com

Product Specs

  • Material: Polyester
  • Product dimensions: 38 inches high by 25 inches wide by 37.5 inches deep
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

Pros

  • The dimensions of this chair make it ideal for modest-size rooms
  • The reclining mechanism offers top-notch ease of use
  • This compact model is available at an affordable price

Cons

  • This model is only available in 2 colors, limiting design choices

The Ebern Designs chair is designed to offer all the benefits of a rocking recliner without the bulk often associated with this type of furniture. At just 25 inches wide, and needing only 24 inches of rear space for reclining, it will fit more or less anywhere. An ergonomically positioned side lever operates the mechanism.

The fabric is polyester, which simply wipes clean, though a mild soap can also be used if necessary. Cushioning is generous, and the wood-and-metal frame offers good support. Despite the modest dimensions of the Harrel, it is rated for up to 300 pounds.

Assembly is required, and all necessary tools are included. Having someone to help is recommended. Fabric choice is restricted to two colors.

Get the Ebern Designs rocker recliner at Wayfair.

Best Built-In Massage

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: Relaxzen Longstreet Rocker Recliner With Massage
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs

  • Material: Microfiber
  • Product dimensions: 39.5 inches high by 36 inches wide by 38.5 inches deep
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

Pros

  • Includes multifunction massaging capabilities plus lumbar heat
  • Dual USB charging ports allow users to charge their devices
  • It comes in 4 colors, including a unique Realtree Camo

Cons

  • This chair has a high price when compared with other rocker recliners

Few things are more relaxing than a massage, particularly after exercise or hard work. The Relaxzen Longstreet massage rocker recliner chair is a high-quality solution providing spacious comfort and impressive massaging features.

Eight motors drive four target zones, loosening the upper and lower back, thighs, and calves. There are five intensity levels and nine different vibration modes. A heated lumbar section relieves tired muscles, helps release tension, and eases back pain.

A handy side pocket and twin-port USB charger are provided. Five colors are available, including realtree camo. At 39 inches, the power cord will have an impact on positioning. Though feedback is generally positive, there are some complaints relating to faulty electrical connections and USB ports.

Get the Relaxzen rocker recliner at Amazon.

Best Power Lift

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

Product Specs 

  • Material: Leather
  • Dimensions: 41.33 inches high by 40.15 inches wide by 38.18 inches deep
  • Weight capacity: 299 pounds

Pros

  • Innovative lift-assist technology enhances accessibility for those with mobility challenges
  • Heated functionality and massage mode offer therapeutic relaxation
  • Sturdy build with a high weight capacity of 299 pounds

Cons

  • Requires significant space to fully recline and may not suit small spaces

The Red Barrel Studio massage chair mixes luxurious comfort with advanced technology. It may look traditional with its overstuffed aesthetic and leather upholstery, but it packs a major punch when it comes to its features. It’s equipped with innovative lift-assist technology, making it perfect for seniors and those with mobility challenges.

The chair’s heating functionality offers therapeutic warmth, which is ideal for relaxation and soothing sore muscles. Its massage feature targets key pressure points and offers various intensity levels, providing a customizable experience. The integrated USB port lets users keep their devices charged while they kick back and relax.

Get the Red Barrel Studio rocker recliner at Wayfair.

Best for Nursery

The Best Rocker Recliner Option: Greyleigh Baby & Kids Baskin Reclining Rocking Chair
Photo: wayfair.com

Product Specs

  • Material: Synthetic chenille
  • Product dimensions: 39 inches high by 32 inches wide by 37.5 inches deep
  • Weight capacity: 225 pounds

Pros

  • Soft chenille fabric makes for a comfortable experience
  • The footrest can be raised without reclining the back for varied seating positions
  • 4 upholstery colors are available to best suit different color schemes

Cons

  • The modest weight capacity of 225 pounds may not be adequate for some users
  • This piece must be assembled by 2 people

The Emily reclining rocking chair by Greyleigh Baby & Kids has a number of features that make it ideally suited for the nursery. The chenille fabric is soft, and the padding is generous. The seat is spacious without being bulky.

The trigger release for the reclining mechanism is easy to reach from either side, and once in position, it locks so the chair can’t spring forward accidentally. The smooth rocking motion is particularly restful for adults and babies.

As is often the case, some assembly is required. While straightforward, two people are recommended. Tools are included. The wood-and-steel frame has a more modest weight rating than some, and instructions include a warning to keep the chair away from heat sources to avoid melting or scorching the fabric.

Get the Greyleigh Baby & Kids rocker recliner at Wayfair or Barwe Furniture.

Also Consider

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

Product Specs

  • Material: Faux leather
  • Product dimensions: 41 inches high by 32.5 inches wide by 32 inches deep
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

Pros

  • 8 massage points with intensity options for ultimate relaxation
  • Offers 360-degree rotation on a durable wood-and-steel frame
  • Compact design requires minimal back clearance for full recline

Cons

  • Manual recline gripper may require effort to adjust angles

Latitude Run Abbotts 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 high by 32.5 inches wide by 32 inches deep. This rocker recliner only needs 18.5 inches of back clearance, even though it opens to an angle of about 170 degrees.

Get the Latitude Run rocker recliner at Wayfair.

Jump to Our Top Picks



What to Consider When Choosing a Rocker Recliner

The best rocker recliner fits well into the available physical space in a particular room, feels comfortable, and has special features important to a buyer, such as technology or a place to keep a TV remote. There are some key considerations to keep in mind when selecting a rocker recliner.

Size 

Consider the space that is available in a living room, for example. There should be sufficient area for the chair in its upright position and enough room behind the chair 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 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 oversized chair. This size can be wide enough for someone to sit in with their child or pet.

Material

Rocker recliners come in various materials, including leather, faux leather, microfiber, and polyester.

  • Leather is durable, nice to sit on, and looks good. Over time, it gets more comfortable. A leather recliner 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. Bonded leather is PU that contains small amounts of actual leather fibers or remnants and is intended to improve comfort and durability.
  • Microfiber or polyester fabric is made of synthetic fibers that are soft and cozy. This material is easy to clean, commonly blended with other fabrics to increase durability, and lasts long 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 they can be placed anywhere there is room since no outlet is 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 lifespan, as the automatic movement reduces wear and tear. Power recliners usually have more angles and positions to increase user comfort. These chairs need to be plugged into an outlet, which might influence where the rocker recliner can be positioned.

Comfort 

Comfort is king when selecting a rocker recliner. It is important for people to choose a recliner that fits their physique. For instance, taller users should get a recliner with a taller back height. The recliner should support the lower back and spine for optimal comfort with proper interior padding. Armrests also add reassurance by ensuring users don’t fall out of the chair if they doze off while providing a place to rest their elbows.

Part of being cozy comes down to selecting the right chair size. For instance, if space is required for two people to sit together, it’s best to upgrade to an oversized rocker recliner. For a rocker recliner intended 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 the purchasing decision include:

  • Side pockets to store books, remotes, or reading glasses.
  • Cupholders for drinks so they don’t need to be put on a table or loungers don’t have to get up to fetch a beverage.
  • Massage elements to help relax tired muscles and unwind after a long day.
  • A heated seat and backrest to increase the feeling of coziness and help people stay warm without a blanket Note: For those who prefer to cuddle up with a blanket instead, this throw blanket guide has everything covered.
  • Different recline positions to get the perfect angle in the seat rather than just sitting upright or reclining fully.
  • A charging port for electronic devices so they can be conveniently charged while being used at the same time.
  • Swivel rocker recliner chairs rotate so the chair can twist in any direction.
  • Buyers may want to consider whether the chair pairs with a reclining sofa to coordinate the whole room.

Aesthetic

A rocking reclining chair 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, embracing 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 the style is important, consider purchasing a slipcover for the 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 the 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. For those who want a rocker recliner that holds more weight for multiple people or pets, an oversize recliner might be the best option.

FAQs 

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.

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