How to Choose the Right Type of Recliner

Woman relaxing on reclining chair, looking away
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When modern recliners were introduced in the late 1920s, their popularity took off immediately as people discovered a new level of comfort. Today, with so many different recliners to choose from, you can have all the comfort you need in any look you want.

There is a reason recliners are popular. They are hard to beat for relaxing and lounging. It does not take much effort to operate one because, with the touch of a button or lever, you can recline the back or bring up the footrest.

Maybe even more importantly, a good recliner can provide excellent neck and lumbar support, making it a comfortable chair for people with body aches and spinal conditions. Recliners can rock, recline, swivel, massage, and lift—or look fabulous while also providing the most comfortable seat in the house. When it comes to recliners, one size does not fit all, but you can easily find one that fits your individual needs.

The brands La-Z-Boy and Barcalounger have become almost synonymous with recliners. You might even hear people referring to their reclining chairs by this brand name even though there are many other recliner manufacturers, such as Ashley, Bassett, and Lane.

Types of Recliners

When choosing a recliner, you should be able to find a recliner to go with your existing decor. You can also find recliners that are designed to be useful for orthopedic conditions like limited mobility or back problems. There are rocker recliners, recliners for smaller rooms, lift recliners, massage recliners—there is recliner for every type of style, taste preference, and budget.

Rocker Recliners

A rocker recliner does exactly what the name says. It rocks and reclines. It is handy to have for someone who has insomnia because the rocking motion induces nodding off. Many people even use their recliners to sleep instead of a bed. A rocker recliner is also a favorite with nursing mothers because it provides comfort for the mother while the rocking motion relaxes the baby. Most rocker recliners can have a swivel feature added for an additional cost.

Wall-Hugger Recliners

Wall-hugger recliners take up less space and are a good choice for a smaller room. Most recliners are available as both wall-huggers and rocker recliners. You tend to sit up straight in a wall-hugger, and that makes it easier to get up from the seat. There is less movement involved. Some wall-hugger recliners can be adjusted to sit higher, so people with bad knees find it easier to get up from them.

Lift Chairs

A lift chair is a recliner with a motorized mechanism that pushes the chair up from its base, making it easier to get up from the seat. It is usually recommended for people that have limited capacity to use their legs, and it is especially useful for someone with weak knees. Lift chairs come in different shapes and sizes, so it is easy to find one to fit every body type. This type of recliner is usually significantly more expensive than rockers or wall-huggers.

Massage Recliners

Massage recliners massage your back and the backs of your legs and sometimes come with a heating function. They can help lift you or recline. Sitting down in one can be comforting at the end of a long day. Massage recliners generally cost more than a rocker or wall-hugger recliners, but you might be able to find one in your price range since it comes in a wide range of prices.

Classic and Contemporary Collections

If you want a recliner but do not like how they look, do not give up on the idea. You can find recliners in wing-back and contemporary styles. 

These modernized styles continue to enter the market as women and more aesthetically-minded home decorators are beginning to take an interest in recliners. There was a demand for better aesthetics in addition to the existing features, so manufacturers obliged by offering more choices. Choices include an impressive array of fabrics with a wide range of colors and textures.