Recliners may be hallmarks of modern comfort, but they’ve actually been around for a long time. Did you know that the first reclining chair was supposedly owned by Napoleon III? The French invented a reclining camp bed in 1850 that was easy to transport and by the late 1800s there were both American and French designs for reclining chairs. The first patent for a recliner was issued in 1928 and was the catalyst for the founding of La-Z-Boy!
Recliners have come a long way since they were wooden benches with moving backs. But with so many new features, where do you even start when shopping? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to recliners that breaks down exactly what makes each style different, special features and what works best for your space and needs.
Manual or power reclining?
Your choices are endless when it comes to choosing how your chair will recline. The first question to ask yourself is do you want a power recliner or not? If power options are not important to you or you’re looking to save a few dollars, then a manual recliner will always do the job.
Within manual you have three options: press-back, lever or button. We weren’t exaggerating when we said your options are endless! Each method for reclining offers its own advantages based on your own comfort and condition. A lever or button may be easier to operate than a press-back.
Now, let’s talk power! Power recliners tend to offer you premium options such as a power headrest, lumbar support and power leg rests. If you have neck or back issues, trouble reaching the lever on traditional recliners or simply want the best in comfort, then any of these power features could work for you. Power recliners will come with either a remote control or a panel on the side under the arm with buttons for operating.
What are your reclining options?
If you’re short on space but still looking for a cozy seat, look for a wall recliner. These feature a space-saving design that allows you to kick back and relax without taking up too much room. Also called a wall hugger recliner, it sits up straighter and reclines forward rather than backward to prevent the chair from hitting the wall. The seat pushes forward which means you do not have to take up floor space by pulling your recliner away from the wall! Wall recliners are perfect for apartments or smaller living spaces.
If you’re someone who likes to fall asleep in your recliner (and who doesn’t?) then you might want a lay-flat recliner. Just like the name implies, it reclines completely back allowing you to stretch out and take a good nap.
What motion features do you need?
Looking for extra-smooth motion features? Rocking, gliding and swiveling can all help induce sleep, making these types of recliners essential for anyone who suffers from insomnia (or just likes to sleep in their recliners!). Both manual and power recliners can have motion features, so you are not limited to one type.
For those with mobility issues, a lift recliner can make getting up and down much easier. Lift recliners are operated by a remote and can smoothly move from sitting to inclined with positions in between. Check with a salesperson to determine the weight limit of your lift chair!
Swivel glider recliner
Swivel glider recliner
Looking for special features?
Every once in a while, it’s time to look for the recliner of your dreams. You know the one- with all the special features you’ve dreamt about for years. Here at Homemakers, we carry recliners that meet everyone’s budget, so you’ll be sure to find one!
Looking for an easy way to relax after a long day of work? Many recliners feature massage and heat functions. Simply select your preferred settings on the recliner remote, lay back and let the recliner do all the work.
Expand your search to home entertainment recliners for features like LED lighting, cup holders and built-in storage. You’ll always have a place to stash the remote and lit cup holders and a chair make it easy to move around a dark room when you’re watching movies with the family!
Many of these still have the rocking, power or massage features you may be looking for. You are guaranteed to find a recliner that fits all of your needs!
Power recliner with LED lights and power headrest
Power recliner with power headrest and storage
Lift recliner with massage and heat
Rocker recliner with heat and massage
Which recliner is best for you?
Shopping for a recliner can be daunting. There are so many power and recline options- not to mention all the special features! For more help with recliners, check out our Top Recliner Brands.
You can also live chat with a sales specialist on our site or come into the showroom to try out a few recliners for yourself!
Shop all Recliners
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