Kristina McGuirk worked as a writer and editor for five Better Homes and Gardens special interest magazines over seven years, including titles such as Kitchen and Bath Ideas and Renovation Style. She left the editorial staff for graduate school, and after earning her degrees and keeping with the industry, she’s back to writing for the brand’s many home-related topics.
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Recliners are practical seating solutions that let you sit comfortably and put your feet up without taking up as much space as a sofa or sectional. They can also provide more targeted body support through back, lumbar, head, and neck cushions.
Whether you use them daily or occasionally, the best recliners should offer support that fits your body and style that fits your home. If the word “recliner” conjures images of overstuffed chairs demanding a big presence in living rooms and dens, you might be surprised to see the many features and looks of today’s recliners.
To better understand what factors go into buying the best recliner for you, we researched various recliners on the market and sought advice from Paula Hoyas, vice president of product merchandising for La-Z-Boy, and Anne Kellett, the designer behind A Kinder Space.
Overall, the best recliner is the Room & Board Arlo Recliner. You'll be able to customize the base, arms, and color, so you can design a chair that matches your home.
Why You Should Get It: You can customize the base, arms, and color to match your style.
Keep in Mind: It’s firmer than a big, sink-in recliner.
Reclining chairs that don’t immediately look like a recliner have been a welcome addition to the recliner market. Room & Board’s Arlo upholstered recliner earns a place on our best recliners list because it allows you to create a look that’s right for your space.
It features a hardwood frame and web seat suspension that’s topped with a high-resiliency foam core cushion wrapped in fiber, which creates a slim chair back and seat. Beyond its profile, the rest is up to you—you can choose from a modern thin arm, curved arm, or go traditional with a rolled arm. There are also multiple base options: a steel sled base, wood bases, and even a swivel base.
You choose both the base style and finish—and none of these selections impacts the price. However, the price does vary when selecting upholstery fabrics and recline options. The Arlo has more than 250 fabrics to choose from, including pet-friendly, stain-repellant, and performance fabrics. The base price is a standard push-back model, but for an upcharge, you can get a power model with a USB.
This option is fairly small, with a length of 28 to 31 inches (depending on your specific customizations) and a comfortable 22-inch seat depth. When it is fully reclined, it extends to 66 inches long. Unlike a fuller, overstuffed recliner, it has a firmer foundation that doesn’t have a sink-in feel.
Because of the number of customization options paired with its quality design, this is our top pick for the best recliner.
Price at time of publish: Starting at $2,199
Why You Should Get It: Add color, texture, and relaxation to your space for a reasonable price.
Keep in Mind: Price varies depending on the color.
You can have a midcentury modern style without breaking the bank with the Christopher Knight Home Mervynn recliner. Less expensive than powered recliners, this manual recliner is a push-back model. Push-back models are visually less obvious than a recliner because they lack a lever or other control mechanism for reclining. Also common for wallet-friendly furniture, some assembly is required for this recliner.
Traditional button tufting and slim lines create a tailored, midcentury modern look that fits comfortably in many spaces. High-density foam cushions a wood frame and legs, and the polyester upholstery comes in multiple neutrals and bright colors including cream, dark blue, muted yellow, and light gray tweed.
At just 34.25 inches deep and 27.25 wide, it packs a lot of style in a small space, and it is among the smallest of the best recliners on our list. It reclines to 120 degrees, 125 degrees, and 150 degrees. Weighing 57 pounds, it’s lightweight, too, so you can easily change your furniture layout whenever you want.
Price at time of publish: $282
Why You Should Get It: The designer recommended, this long-lasting leather recliner is comfortable and traditional.
Keep in Mind: It requires more space than other models on our list–even when not reclined.
Quality, functionality, and style are reasons to splurge on a recliner, and the Huss Recliner by Bradington-Young delivers on all three. The frame is a sturdy mix of solid and manufactured hardwood. A high-resiliency foam core is wrapped in polyester fibers covering a coil spring seat, and the seat back includes polyester backfill, constructed to create slow, sink-in comfort.
Even the back and sides of the model are padded under the leather for durability. It reclines a deep 160 degrees, and at 36 x 39 inches, it has the largest footprint on our list. The seat, however, is a standard 21 x 21.5 inches, so the size comes from its curvy, formal shape.
Bradington-Young has more than 100 leathers as well as fabric covering options; Wayfair offers the Huss in more than 25 leather options. You can also choose from five leg colors. As a made-to-order product, you can expect to wait a few months to receive your new recliner.
And if you’re looking for even more personalization, you can work directly with some Bradington-Young retailers to customize the nail head trim size and finish as well as upgrade to down cushioning.
Price at time of publish: $4,752
Why You Should Get It: With standout style, this power lift recliner is both accessible and stylish.
Keep in Mind: There’s at least 12 weeks wait time between ordering and receiving.
The Wells is a traditional statement chair with a button-tufted wingback and warm, inviting leather. Pottery Barn’s selection of quality 100% top grain, aniline dyed, and semi-aniline dyed leathers are available in a variety of finishes, from oiled leathers with more sheen to matte finishes and nubuck, which is slightly buffed to feel like suede.
They also offer three vegan types of leather made of polyester, and polyurethane. You can find styles with more patina, color, and texture variation, or choose the leather that’s more uniform in appearance–though remember, leather is a natural material, so some variation is guaranteed.
This power lift version of the Wells recliner was released earlier this year as part of a new collection of accessible furniture from Pottery Barn. Power lift models take electric recliners to another level: they not only electronically recline and close, they also rise and lower to support users getting in and out of the recliner–something that helps people with both temporary and long-term mobility issues.
Here, the power lift function is de-emphasized by the Wells’ style-first design—the giveaway is a simple remote that lifts, lowers, reclines, or moves the chair upright at the push of a button—and a handy side pocket that gives you a place to stash it.
The Wells features a corner-blocked frame and mortise-and-tenon joinery, and sinuous springs provide seating support. The polyester-wrapped cushions have a firmer feel, which, like the power lift, makes it easier to get out of the chair.
At 35 x 37.5 wide, it’s one of the larger reclining chairs on our list. It has the longest recline on our list, too, at 70.5 inches deep—it needs at least 14 inches gap between the wall in order to fully recline.
This product is made to order, so expect to wait at least 12 weeks to receive the recliner. You’ll also want to make sure you are confident in your selections—custom orders are not returnable.
Price at time of publish: Starting at $2,499
Why You Should Get It: The two separate recliners come with storage, too.
Keep in Mind: Some assembly is required.
Get storage and comfort with the Fleuridor Loveseat by Red Barrel Studio. The two-recliner loveseat has a convenient center console that offers a storage compartment and two cup holders. Each seat is a generous 22 inches wide, so you aren’t sacrificing space for storage.
However, the back only reaches 39 inches high from the ground–that’s 22 inches off the seat cushion—which may be short for taller users. The manual recliners have levers on each side to release the footrest, while pushing back will layout the recliner down to a 160-degree angle.
The microfiber upholstery covers pocket spring coil seats which are surrounded by foam, and the back cushions are foam, too. Plush pillow-top arms provide extra comfort and support for arms and elbows, and the split-back cushion allows the foam cushioning to stay in place as it ages.
The frame is made of metal with plastic legs, and the loveseat has a 500-pound weight capacity. The loveseat is available in two colors—gray or taupe—which blend seamlessly with most decor styles. Partial assembly, like installing the console back, is required.
Price at time of publish: $1,399
Why You Should Get It: This traditional rocker has an updated look and modern comfort.
Keep in Mind: It’s best for taller people.
La-Z-Boy’s Trouper rocking recliner has an updated look and simple profile that brings the overstuffed recliner into a modern living room. There are few lines but lots of cushion, and the slightly flared arms and footrest that extend over the base of the recliner are nice design touches.
It rocks on a low-profile base that conceals the locking mechanism for a more streamlined look as well. Functionality is still a priority: the chair back can recline without activating the leg rest, and the leg rest features three positions that lock into place so you can feel secure in your lounging position.
We like the classic wood manual lever as a nod to traditional recliners, but there are customization options here, including elongated and nickel levers. You can choose to have it on the left or right of the recliner, too.
Bucket seats, a well-padded back, and extra padding on the arms have all-over comfort you can sink into. La-Z-Boy says the model is ideal for taller people who are 5'10" to 6'2", so it’s not a fit for shorter folks–and you’ll need to inquire about the weight capacity.
Other customization options with the Trouper include switching to memory foam cushioning that responds to body temperature. There are hundreds of fabric and leather covering options, including patterns, so you can have an attention-grabbing accent chair that’s also a smooth rocking recliner.
Price at time of publish: Starting at $939
Why You Should Get It: Open wooden chair arms feel less crowded in a small space.
Keep in Mind: It’s only available in one color.
The Wade Logan Alexaine upholstered recliner from Wayfair will help you make the most of a small living space. Fully reclined, it’s only 54.75 inches deep, which is shorter than others on our list.
This space-saving recliner features high-density foam cushions that are supported by coil seating and a wood frame. A standard push-back recliner, it has two reclining positions, though it’s worth noting that they don’t lock into place.
The tapered legs and arms have a sleek, contemporary look that offers a light and airy vibe. Your style options are limited since it’s only available in a beige polyester fabric. However, the warm neutral and wood tones help it fit in with various design styles.
If you’re trying to sneak a relaxing chair into a small home, but aren’t sure of the best spot, it weighs only 50 pounds so it’s not overly burdensome to reposition. It comes at a great price, too, but note there is some assembly required. Wayfair has a 30-day return policy, although you will need to disassemble the chair and repack it to return it.
Price at time of publish: $700
Why You Should Get It: The recliner is available in multiple sizes so you can get the right fit for your height.
Keep in Mind: There are only two color options available.
Find a model that fits your body with the Divani by IMG Comfort. The Divani is available in three sizes to help match your height, making it a great solution for households with height disparities but who want coordinating furniture in the same room.
You might associate swivel chairs with offices, but they definitely have a place in living spaces–the swivel allows you to switch focus from the TV to a conversation area, for example. The Divani provides flexible support in key areas, such as an adjustable headrest.
A steel base is topped with a foam cushioning for comfort and support. Leather upholstery comes in sand or charcoal. In addition to small, medium, and large sizes, you can choose from manual or powered models which can glide and swivel as well as recline.
The recliners come with a robust warranty, including 10 years coverage on cushion and frame, and five years on mechanisms—so this is an investment you can expect to last.
Price at time of publish: $2,295
Why You Should Get It: The modern look offers a deep and comfortable place to lounge.
Keep in Mind: It’s only available in one fabric.
The Leisure Power Recliner 4-Piece Sectional from Crate & Barrel is a practical yet style-forward recliner. This shelter-back reclining sofa can fit close to the wall because it does not recline back—instead, the headrest raises, and the back tilts as the recliner moves forward. The backs and footrests are independently operated so you can create multiple positions perfect for reading, watching TV, or just relaxing.
At 24.75 inches, this is definitely the deepest seat among our best recliners, so you’ll have plenty of room to curl up or lay out when you’re not reclining. There’s a reclining seat at each end of this four-piece L-shaped sectional, so multiple people can enjoy the feature.
The sectional only requires one cord to power the whole piece of furniture, and the power controls are concealed along the cushion for hidden, at-hand access.
The seat and back cushions are high-resiliency polyfoams wrapped in fiber, and they’re supported by an engineered hardwood frame and sinuous wire suspension seating. Matte black-finished metal legs slightly elevate this sleek profile (and include plastic floor protectors for added protection).
It is only available in one boucle-like fabric and color, but thankfully it is a light gray that can match a neutral living room or balance out a colorful space. If you love the look but don’t have the space or budget for a full sectional, the Leisure line also offers a two-piece sofa and individual reclining chair.
Price at time of publish: $4,896
Why You Should Get It: Adjustable headrests and lumbar area offer personalized support.
Keep in Mind: These comfort upgrades come with a higher price tag.
When you’re looking for extra support for your body, opt for features like independent back and leg rests, the ability for multiple reclining positions, and power functions for less physical effort. We added the Finley from La-Z-Boy to our best recliners list because it not only includes all those features, it offers adjustable headrests and lumbar support, too, so you can get all-over comfort.
With simple, more modern lines and tight, rather than overstuffed, cushions, the Finley defies some expectations of comfort-focused recliners. Paired with the ability to upgrade to memory foam cushions, and a vast selection of fabrics to choose from, you can create the feeling you want as well as the style.
The Finley does it all on a relatively small footprint: measuring 32.5 x 39 inches, it’s among the deepest recliners on our list, but it has a fairly narrow width thanks to its slim arms and overall profile.
It is the tallest model in our selection, too, with the back and headrest reaching 43 inches. But as a wall-hugging recliner, you don’t have to worry about its grand stature needing a lot of wall clearance.
Side-mounted control panel is where you adjust the back, leg rest, and headrest, and it includes a convenient USB charging port to make the most of its electrical connection. Plus, a wireless remote upgrade is available.
Another feature that makes the Finley standout among the other recliners on our list is that it also offers two memory settings so you can save your two favorite ways to recline, or let two members of the household pick a position.
Price at time of publish: Starting at $2,119
The design flexibility of Room & Board’s Arlo Recliner earns our vote for the best recliner. For something with more cushion to sink into, the Trouper Rocking Recliner by La-Z-Boy also has customizable options and at a lower price point.
Dimension is a critical and multifaceted factor when choosing a recliner. Product dimensions include the height, width, and depth of the recliner when in an upright position, but also include how far back it reclines and how far forward the footrest extends. These dimensions will tell you how the chair will fit in your space.
Dimensions also impact how, and if, the recliner fits your body. If you intend to use the recliner often, you need something that provides the right support. “The most important factor in choosing any recliner is that it fits well, is comfortable, and easy to operate for the person using it,” Kellett says.
Some manufacturers, like La-Z-Boy, have user height recommendations with their product information but actually feeling if the recliner aligns with your body is another thing all together.
“The most important thing a consumer should do is sit in the recliner to ensure they are comfortable,” Hoyas says. Kellett recommends finding a local store to test out models before buying online.
Material is part aesthetic and part functionality. “The choice of material should fit the style and colors of the space in which it will sit,” Kellett says.
Material choice also impacts how the recliner will withstand use. Consider if the fabric can be cleaned easily and if it will stain. Think about if the material will snag easily or wear thin over time in high-touch areas. Also consider the long-term life of the recliner, like the possibility of reupholstering the chair for a new look.
Request material samples, read labels and descriptions, and compare material choices against your lifestyle and needs to find the best fit. And don’t forget that material plays a role in budgets, too, since higher grade fabrics and leathers cost more.
Other recliner materials you’ll consider include the recliner’s frame and cushions. A recliner’s frame is its inner skeleton, so look for sturdy materials like steel or hardwood for best longevity and value. Cushions with a firm core will wear longer than a single-layer soft cushion.
“Body size, besides the fit dimensions, are important for recliner longevity,” Kellett says. “A larger, heavier person needs a recliner built to take that into consideration.” Many recliner manufacturers list a weight capacity in their product information. If you can’t find the information, ask a retail associate or contact the manufacturer, because this information is important to the safety and longevity of the purchase.
You want a recliner that can last for years, and weight capacity plays into how the frame, cushions, and reclining mechanisms hold up. While our selection of best recliners generally falls in the 250-300 pound weight capacity, there are larger capacities on the market.
“Good recliners range in cost from $800 to over $3,000, depending on the cover, the features, and the brand,” Kellett says. You’ll pay more for powered models, leather, custom and higher-grade fabrics, and features like massage and heat.
At a lower price point, Kellett says you’ll be looking at faux leather, less durable and resilient fabrics, and manual recline models. “I have found that committing to spend around $2,000—it gives one the most options and better quality,” Kellett says. Remember, though, that quality and a good fit for your body should go hand-in-hand for the best value.
“The old adage, ‘You get what you pay for’ holds true here,” Kellett says, who suggests 10 years is a reasonable life expectancy for a good quality recliner, and three or so years for lower cost models. “As long as it is well cared for and not abused,” Kellett adds. Some manufacturers tout integrity testing and robust warranties, so keep an eye out while you’re shopping.
High performance fabric and leather will last longer than less durable coverings. Motorized recliners have an added feature—powered mechanisms—to contend with over time. But caring for the covering material and keeping weight capacity in mind will go a long way to keeping it in shape.
For both wear and style, leather has some of the best longevity when it comes to recliner coverings. Leather is a popular choice for its durability, but also because it patinas and ages gracefully. But leather can feel cooler to touch, may take a while to soften up and feel lived in, and can require conditioning to stay in top shape. In these areas, fabric coverings shine—they’re typically warmer, softer, and don’t require treatment unless tackling stains and spills.
“Fiber content is important when choosing fabrics. The tighter or denser the weave, no matter what fiber, will generally wear better than a loosely woven one,” Kellett says. She recommends hard-wearing nylon, wool, and linen fabrics over cotton or olefin. “I would steer away from loosely woven fabrics, especially those with long yarns that can easily get snagged.”
Consider the seams and stress points on your recliner-less durable, less expensive materials can tear and split more easily in those areas. Hoyas also reminds us to check out fabric characteristics when choosing a recliner covering. Look for tags like “pet friendly” or “stain repellant “ or “performance” fabrics, which are engineered to be durable and long lasting.
Massage Chair Salon Kristina McGuirk is a freelance writer who began producing home content for Better Homes and Gardens in 2008. For product recommendations and advice on shopping for the best recliner, she reached out to Paula Hoyas, VP of Product Merchandising for La-Z-Boy, and designer Anne Kellett, of A Kinder Space.