How to Rate the Best Recliners

If you have an old, comfortable chair in your living room or den which has seen its last days, and you want to replace it with a new recliner, there are a lot of choices out there.

Recliners are now modern conveniences with many functions.Recliners are now modern conveniences with many functions.
It is important know what features are necessary in order to purchase the best recliner.

Sit in the recliner to see if it fits your body type. When you sit in the recliner, make sure the proportions are correct for your body. The cushion behind your head should not be too large and should support the neck. Extend the recliner and see if your feet and ankles reach the foot rest. The cushions should support your body comfortably when you are sitting upright or reclining. Put the recliner in the upright position and see if your feet rest on the floor.

Choose what extras you want to have included on your recliner. Special conveniences that recliners may or may not have include rocking bases, swivel bases, heating and massage units installed in the seats and backs, sectioned backs for comfort, a removable back for easy delivery and moving from room to room, and storage pockets on the sides, among other things.

Check out the reputation of the manufacturer. Reliable manufacturers offer warranties and back up their claims with figures.

Choose a color and fabric you like.

Choose the color and material of the upholstery. The upholstery material you choose should be not only tasteful, but long-lasting and comfortable to the touch. Examine the upholstery fabric to make sure it is attached with bolts and plates to the frame and not with fabric staples. Types of upholstery include polyester chenille, synthetic microfiber, leather, wool and leather vinyl. Check to see if the material covers a wool or foam filling with a density rated at 1.9 or more.

Ask the salesperson how the footrest is raised. There are usually three ways to raise foot rests and lower the back, including the "pushback" method, the lever mechanism and the electric motor. Try out the different types of foot rest mechanisms and determine which suits your needs. Look at the foot rest mechanisms and linkage to the lever or motor. The mechanisms should be made of heavy-gauge steel and move easily. The parts should move quietly and precisely.

Turn the chair upside down or onto its side and look at the structure of the frame. Do not get a frame made of pressed wood, which is soft and does not last long. Make sure the joints are reinforced mortise and tenon joints. Look for heavy-duty screws that fasten parts to the wood or steel, as small screws or plastic fasteners will not hold for long.


  • When you place the recliner in your room, make sure there is plenty of room for the chair to lean back and that there is also room in front of it for the footrest to extend forward.


  • Avoid chairs with spaces between the moving footrest and leg support parts, as pets, fingers and clothing can accidentally get caught between them when they move.
  • Obtain warranties on the chair for at least a three-year period.

About the Author

Jill Baker began writing at 13, with a diary, and has written every day since. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor, a Master of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute. She has edited and written for national magazines and newspapers. She has written and published three books.