Relax and Recline: Buyer's Guide to Recliners



Are you looking for a living room staple that is not only comfortable to the upper body, but also to the lower body? Do you envision a chair/sofa that allows you to slightly lie down while watching television or reading a book?

If you want a chair exactly like that, then a good ol’ recliner is for you. Know more about recliners and have an idea in mind the next time you go to a furniture store.

Recliner In A Nutshell


Recliners in a nutshell

A recliner, like the name suggests, is a sofa or an armchair that reclines with the user. This can be done by lowering the recliner’s back and raising the chair’s front. Also called a “reclining chair,” “armchair,” or “lounger,” recliners are built for people who want more than just an ordinary sofa

Recliners provide more than just sitting--- with its adjustable back and front parts, users can actually lie down while relaxing. Nowadays, some recliners have a headrest, lumbar support, and a foot stool that can adjust according to the person’s legs.

Aside from certain homes, recliners can also be seen in airplanes and trains, where they provide maximum comfort to people who are travelling for more than three hours. Because of its features, it can allow people to sleep even without lying completely..

History of Recliners


Recliners History

Recliners have been around since the nineteenth century. Its name became popular when, in 1850, the French introduced a portable camp bed that could function as a bed, a chair, and a chaise lounge--- and, most importantly, can recline. Following this introductions, many designs have been made in the late 1800s, including recliners made of wood and those which have book holders.

However, the first patented wooden recliner was made by American cousins, Edward Knabusch and Edwin Shoemaker. The patent was issued in 1928 and led them to create La-Z-Boy, which is now a leading company when it comes to recliners. Two years after that, they patented another recliner model--- this time, it is an upholstered one with a mechanical movement.

Another person to be remembered when it comes to recliners is Daniel F. Caldemeyer, who is fondly called the “Father of Modern Day Recliner.” He was the one who invented the rocket recliner, a design used by NASA for Projects Apollo, Mercury, and Gemini. He also patented over 300 models, including recliners with massage features and heated seating.

Types of Recliners


A recliner clearly has one function (to recline, of course), but it has various types:


Recliners Two Position

Like the name suggests, this type of recliner offers two positions for the user, which is upright or fully-reclined. With this type, you usually make use of a foot rest to recline. Two-position recliners are typically the most inexpensive kind of recliner, but can take up too much space, especially when the foot rest is in use.


Recliners push back

Unlike the first one, this type does not have a built-in foot rest. If you want something to rest your feet on, you can pair this recliner with a chair specifically for this type. Push-back recliners are also called “flex-back recliner,” because the only part of the chair that moves is the back part.


Recliners Rocker

Rocker recliners are one of the most affordable types of recliners. It has a foot rest that can be raised without having to recline too much, making it easier to position in smaller spaces or close to walls. It is also called the “rocker recliner” because it provides a gentle swaying motion when not pushed back all the way.


Recliners riser

Riser recliners are motorized chairs that can recline and lift upward, so you will not have any problems getting up and out of the chair. The most expensive of all types of recliners, this one is very versatile and can be reclined all the way back or not so much, about 45 degrees.

Choosing The Right Recliner Upholstery

When buying a recliner, you should not only look at the types, but also at the aesthetics, maintenance, and durability. Here are some tips about some recliners’ upholstery materials:


Recliners leather

Leather is a good choice for recliners--- it is a premium texture with a fire-resistant power. However, it still depends on the quality, and it can be a bit hard to maintain.


Recliners polyester

Polyester recliners are applauded for its durability, as well as its mildly stain-resistant quality. However, it can have an artificial texture that can bother some users.


Recliners cotton

Cotton (or microfiber) recliners are easy to maintain and super absorbent, but can be flammable and develop wrinkles easily.


Recliners wool

Recliners with wool as their upholstery material are very durable and have premium texture. However, they can be high-maintenance and damaged by sunlight in the long run.


Recliners acrylic

Acrylic recliners have the same texture as wool recliners and are easy to maintain, but it is also prone to fire accidents and can scar easily.

Photo sources: