The best recliner is made with a durable hardwood or plywood frame and provides the user with plenty of cushion and comfort. Our pick, Dorel Living Camouflaged Rocker Recliner, may have an unusual print, but the comfort of this rocker recliner can’t be beat.
Introduction to the Recliners
Recliners have been a popular piece of furniture for decades. Although the styles may have changed over the years, their popularity hasn’t changed and people still connect a cozy, comfortable recliner with the ultimate in relaxation. There are many different styles, types and options available when it comes to choosing the perfect recliner for your home.
All of these choices can feel overwhelming when you start going through them all. Do you want a recliner with a massage feature? Do you want it to rock? One of the first steps in choosing the perfect recliner is knowing what you want and need.
This guide will help you navigate the recliner purchasing process from start to finish starting with helping you determine what you want. This information will help you understand the differences in the different types of recliners and how to choose the one that will meet your needs, match your home’s décor and fulfill all the items on your checklist.
People have long since associated recliners with total relaxation. Even those who may not understand the appeal, change their tune once they sit down in a comfortable, plush recliner and put their feet up. There is a large variety of styles, design and features that recliners of today offer customers. Styles can range anywhere from classic to contemporary to very elegant.
There are many things that you will want to take into consideration before you start researching a recliner. These factors will help you determine what you are looking for so you can sort through the tons of choices and options available and help you select the perfect recliner for your living room or den.
The information in this buyer’s guide is designed to help you understand the differences between recliners and to help you choose the one that best fits what you are looking for.
Recliner Buying Guide
There are a few things you want to consider when shopping for the perfect recliner for your needs. We have listed these considerations below.
- There is nothing wrong with setting a budget for your recliner but keep in mind that you get what you pay for when it comes to furniture and buying cheap could result in a very uncomfortable chair that falls apart in just a few months. Look for frames that are made of hardwood but plywood is an acceptable material as well and provides the stability you want. Make sure that hardware is study and read reviews to see what customers are saying about the sturdiness and maneuverability of the recliner.
- Make sure that if there is a gap between the seat and the leg rest is not more than 5” apart. This is a safety issue for kids and pets that may be in the home. Anything wider and they can get stuck in the gap.
- There are many different upholstery options available for recliners. This choice is up to personal preference but you do want to ensure that the fabric or leather used to upholster the recliner is high quality and comfortable. Again, reviews and customer comments will give you a lot of insight to this matter.
- Purchase your recliner from a reputable and well respected company that offers a good warranty on the recliner you choose. Warranties are a good way to see if the company stands behind their furniture. Make sure that you understand the details of the warranty being offered and ask questions of the warranty company if there is anything you are unclear about. It is better to take the extra time before you purchase to make sure you are getting the warranty you want.
Types of Recliners
There are many different options and features that recliners can come with from speakers in the headrest that can be hooked up to surround sound, to cup holders. Think about the features you are interested in and look for recliners that offer those options. We have listed the different kinds of recliners below along with characteristics of each one.
- Standard Recliner – There are many different standard recliners on the market. A standard recliner offers a back that will lean back when you push backwards. The footrest is lifted by a lever on the side of the recliner.
- Power Recliner – If the recliner you are purchasing is for elderly parents or you are a senior yourself, you may want to consider a power recliner. You will need to place the chair near an outlet. Power recliners extend into the reclining position at the touch of a button so you do not have to exert force. This is very beneficial for those who don’t have the strength to do the required maneuvers to recline the chair properly.
- Rocker Recliner/Glider – This type of recliner is a little different than the typical recliner but they are still considered recliners. This type of recliner comes with a separate, freestanding ottoman that makes this type of chair great for a nursery.
- Wall-saving Recliner – recliners can be large in size which makes space even more important. If you need to make more room, consider the wall recliner. This is a type of recliner that only requires 6” between the wall of the room it’s in and the chair itself. This 6” will help heal things between reports.
- Lift Recliner – If you have a difficult time getting out of the chair, consider getting a lift chair. These chairs have a strong, powered mechanism that lifts the chair up from its base so the user doesn’t have to push up from a seated position. They are supported throughout the lift and then can stand up from a supported, almost-standing position.
- Massage Recliner – These recliners have built in mechanical massage features, making an already relaxing chair even better. These massage features are very beneficial for relieving pains and aches associated with day to day activities.
- Extra Large Recliner – Oversized recliners take comfort to a whole new level. These chairs are about 1 ½ times the size of a regular recliner and are perfect for larger people or extremely tall individuals. These oversized recliners are household favorites regardless of the person’s size due to the room and comfort they provide.
Choosing the Upholstery
There are several important things to think about when it comes to the upholstery of a recliner. These include how it looks, the durability of the fabric/leather and the durability of the upholstery. Full leather recliners require more care than other materials but they feel and look fantastic. Acrylic tends to show wear and tear much faster than other less durable materials. We have listed the most popular choices of upholstery used for recliners.
- Leather – Leather feels and looks wonderful and is fire-resistant as well. The quality of leathers will vary from type to type and it requires more care than other materials but most people feel it is well worth it.
- Cotton (Microfiber) – Cotton is an absorbent, easily maintained fabric that is comfortable to sit on. Drawbacks to cotton is that it is flammable and easily wrinkled.
- Polyester – The man-made texture is durable but not very comfortable and can be hot in the summertime. It does have some stain-resistant properties.
- Acrylic – Acrylic fabric has a texture like wool and is very easy to maintain. Downsides include easy scarring and it is flammable as well.
- Wool – Wool has a lot of durability and a premium texture as well but it is high maintenance. It is not resistant to sunlight and can fade and have issues with appearance from being in direct sunlight.
Things to Think About
There are a few pointers that you will want to keep in mind when you are looking at different recliners. Consider these factors before you purchase so you get the right recliner for your needs.
- If you have pets make sure that you consider them and their indoor behavior before purchasing a recliner with delicate or expensive upholstery like suede or even leather. Recliners with cotton microfiber are good alternatives because they stand up to the demands pets can place on furniture.
- There are different types of leather on the market. One type of leather is Aniline which is also called the “naked leather”. This is due to the fact that it is the most natural appearing leather available. There are semi-aniline leathers that have been changed a little bit so the surface us more resistant to stains and dirt.
The strongest type of leather is pigmented leather but the texture of this type of leather isn’t as desirable. Another type of leather is bonded leather. Bonded leather is durable but is made of pieces of leather rather than whole hides so it is susceptible to coming apart.
Purchasing a new recliner is an exciting venture that should result in your having a chair that you love relaxing in and that fits in with the rest of the room you have put it in. Taking the time to learn about the different recliners and materials they are made of will help you decide on the best one for your needs.
The three choices of recliners we have featured above are all from reputable companies that are dedicated to producing quality furniture that will last and provide plenty of comfort and style. If none of these recliners are what you were looking for, use the information you have learned in this guide to make an informed decision that will meet your needs and preferences.