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rubyclaire1

Recliners...The Good, Bad & Ugly

last month

I've never considered a recliner chair before but here we are. We have a 30+year old super comfy Ethan Allen chair in the primary bedroom that gets a great deal of use - mainly by DH. I am considering replacing it and wondering if now is the time to consider a recliner. Many of our friends have found them invaluable for surgery recovery and other health issues that have popped up. I'm still unsure but have started looking at the options. There are many - power, manual, leather, fabric, swivel, rock, etc.


For those of you who have a recliner or are thinking about one - what are your thoughts about all of these variables? And, has anyone seen options that are both stylish and functional?

Comments (59)

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    We have a very nice leather recliner. When not reclined, it looks more like a club chair. It is push-back and seems to push back easily (my husband uses the chair, I have only sat in it not reclined).

    FWIW, we also have a leather stressless chair, which my husband likes to nap in. LOL


    rubyclaire thanked Tina Marie
  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Including below an old post that has a pic of my recliners in our living room-sorry, you will have to scroll down just a bit. (Couldn't find actual pic in my phone or computer) I bought ours locally as I think it is so important to sit in them first. We are average size, so not real tall people-and I absolutely hate sitting in chairs or sofas where my don't comfortably touch the ground. I specifically did not want anything electric on ours, and I only wanted leather.

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6241243/coffee-table-books-on-the-coffee-table

    rubyclaire thanked OllieJane
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  • last month

    Oh Maddie.. that is so funny!!!

  • last month

    storm coming, return your seat to an upright position”

    Too funny!


    OJ - thanks, love your chairs and your room.

  • last month

    Definitely get the power option. The manual can be harder to move than you might think.

    rubyclaire thanked sushipup2
  • last month

    Agree with Sushi. If you are using the chair for recovery, reaching down and yanking on the handle can be difficult if not impossible.

    rubyclaire thanked dedtired
  • last month

    We had one about 20 years ago. Ended up giving it away. My husband has long legs and was never comfortable in it. Ottomans are a much better fit for him.


    Someone here, many years ago, posted a photo of her recliner with ottoman. It seemed like the perfect combo.




    rubyclaire thanked Judi
  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Be careful about buying a chair that swivels. If you really need to use the chair's arms to get up and down safely, and those arms are moving, you've got a serious problem.

    rubyclaire thanked iread15
  • last month

    Yes, I think we have ruled out any chair that swivels or rocks for those reasons. I'm actually not particularly fond of the power option but I understand it may have value in certain sceenarios.

  • last month

    rubyclaire, I really don't care for the power option either. My dad had that. Ded, you don't have to have the "handle" to push down/back. There are many models that you just push/lay back. Leg rest comes up but you can push back down (with your legs/feet), so that just back is reclined. Ours is the push variety and my husband likes it. "My" chair in our great room has an ottoman. We also have a chair/ottoman in the guest room and one outside with our patio seating. Works well for a shorty like me!

  • last month

    I have my mother's old one in the guest room and we've lugged it upstairs on occasion when we need it for surgical reasons. I looked into getting the recliners built into sofas, but if they're attractive, they're not that comfortable. Others can be too big for our small bodies. And I really don't like the look of the 'brown marshmallows".


    What we did, and I'm very pleased, is get the motion platforms under our beds...it allows for head up, upper body up and feet up and all the variations in between making getting out of bed much easier. It also has vibration in various modes which DH likes for easing his back before he goes to sleep. Friend busted his arm and had a great deal of difficulty getting out of bed...but if he had one of these, it'd've gone a lot easier for him.

    rubyclaire thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • last month

    We have two sets of recliners. My favorites that now live at our desert place, they are similiar to Rubyclaire's style, they are made by Hooker, upholsteted in a carmel leather. Even though DH tested and approved the Hooker recliners prior to purchase, he is not a fan, I think they are just a bit too small for him at 6'2". I like them, but as they are smaller they might not be the best post surgery..The set that is now in our family room are from Lazy Boy, Finley, not my favorite but a compromise to keep DH happy. They are very comfortable, and not horribly puffy so I agreed to them. Pebbled leather, in a cocoa brown, wanted navy leather but it was back ordered with delivery 14 months out, so we settled on the brown. Not a fan of recliners or most brown upholstery/leather yet here I am an owner of recliners in brown.

  • last month

    TinamarieTinaMarie, i looked at the pushback recliners and they are generally less expensive. However, depending on which surgery youve had, you may not have the ability to push.

    I completely agree with Annie! I bought an adjustable bed for recovery and it was a lifesaver. When my shoulder was in a big honking sling, i would put the back of the bed up, then get in and use the remote to recline to a comfortable position, then do the opposite to get up.

    rubyclaire thanked dedtired
  • last month

    Sorry ded, I didn't think about surgery and pushing back. Ours was not inexpensive, but it is leather. My husband says it's easy to push back/up, but neither of us have used it for surgery!

    We bought an adjustable bed several years ago and my husband attached our headboard/footboard to the adjustable frame. Pretty much all we use is the head up (for reading, watching tv, stuffy head, etc.); but we love the bed. Yes, I would go with that over a recliner.

    rubyclaire thanked Tina Marie
  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Re the Westport recliner above, I know it's all about personal associations, but to me it looks too much like the kind they use in nursing homes. I couldn't go there. I also want upholstered arms and solid so that pillows and such won't fall through, or if I want to keel over on my side ... which I do in my reading chair all the time ... I have something soft to curl against.

    rubyclaire thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • last month

    Many years ago we had la-z-boys in our old house. They were comfortable and very durable. But they didn't work in our new house. Also a consideration is if they are wall-away...in other words, do you need space behind the chair to lean back, or does the seat move forward so the recliner can be close to the wall behind it.

    rubyclaire thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • last month

    Interesting thoughts about an adjustable bed vs recliner.

  • last month

    I wish I had the adjustable bed when I broke my ankle as they said you should lay with your foot above your heart to reduce swelling, and that wasn't easy on a flat bed.

  • last month

    A recliner is a must have according to my DH. For years we had a very ugly brown leather manual recliner. When we moved, we did not take the recliner.

    My DH was adamant that he wanted a manual recline, fabric chair. He also wanted one with a high back and one where his legs did not hang off. He is 5'10". We went to many furniture stores. He ended up with a power model. The salesman showed us models with motors made in China, which were slow. However, he tried one with a US made motor which was much faster and smoother. It swivels.. which is a nice feature for our space.


    We got it at Living Spaces. I don't think they are a national chain. I don't love it, but he does.

    Baxter recliner



    When I fell and fractured my tibia, I slept in the old, ugly brown recliner for a few nights. It was the most comfortable option. The manual recline mechanism was well broken in and it didn't pose a problem getting in or out.

  • last month

    We go to a movie theatre that has reclining chairs with heat. It's considered the ultimate luxury. We own several recliners, manual and electric ones. Our leather couch by Lane is a "Wall hugger". It can sit against a wall and still recline.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I mean, the old and ugly "marshmallow" ones, as Annie put it-are the most comfortable-if you can get past the ugliness. I just can't. LOL

  • last month

    We go to a movie theatre that has reclining chairs with heat.

    And I would be asleep within 5 minutes, no matter the time of day.

  • last month

    I don't want to go to a movie theater anymore unless it has a giant recliner and cup holder!

    rubyclaire thanked Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
  • last month

    I thought the recliners at movie theaters were silly when I first saw them, but who wants to just sit there with your feet on a sticky floor when you can recline?

    I think it is good to have something that reclines in a room where someone can spend time in recovery mode. For us, that has been a recliner portion of our sectional, a chaise end on the previous sectional and before DH had his knee replacement we got a new mattress with an adjustable base, Our sons both have a leather chair and ottoman -- similar to the stressless chairs, and that fits their tall bodies and long legs best because you can move the foot support. None are perfect, but all are helpful, so I think it's a good idea and it sounds like a chair fits your situation best.

    I would recommend thinking about power as well as the placement of the switches if you want it to be a recovery option. What seems easy to push back or return upright when everything is healthy can be very different from what it feels like when something is out of sorts - strength, balance, pain, swelling, dizziness can all be issues. Something to think about.

  • last month

    My aunt’s chiropractor told her that there were 2 things that kept him in business: golf and recliners.


    I cannot sit in a recliner. It does something terrible to my lower back.

    rubyclaire thanked bbstx
  • last month

    Dedtired, your semipermanent solution that is still there is my greatest fear, lol. I am having surgery next month and have been advised that a recliner will be my best sleep option for about a month afterwards, so I am looking into renting one for a month or so.— just to make sure we don’t keep it!

    rubyclaire thanked Kswl
  • last month

    Kswl, I wonder if you can rent a decent reclliner. If not, you could do what my sister did before her surgery (in her case because she couldn't get out to go shopping). She ordered a recliner from Amazon! It came in 2 boxes, IIRC, and was very simple to put together. I sat in it and it was comfortable. It has a cup holder and a pocket so she didn't have to worry about things being away from her. I wouldn't want it a a permanent addition, and who knows how long it would hold up, but for the cost of something like that, you could use it for a month and then donate it. I'm sure there are places that would love to get it.



  • last month
    last modified: 29 days ago

    We are on our second Hancock and Moore leather recliner and it was a godsend for DH after major surgery. He slept in it for four months. Our current one is power and when not reclined, not sure you would know it's a recliner. If you go to their site, they have three pages of different styles with dimensions including the total reclining length in inches.

    rubyclaire thanked lizbeth-gardener
  • last month

    Lascatx that is a great idea! So far we have been told that without a minimum order of stuff there would be a huge surcharge— far more than it would cost to buy one of those on Amazon that I’ve just seen. I will have to makr advance arrangements with someone to pick it up so there is no question of it staying 😎 Thanks!— I never think of Amaz for anything large.

    rubyclaire thanked Kswl
  • last month

    @jill302 - the chair I posted above is indeed from Hooker's custom line. Wish it had a leather option but there is a similar one in their basic line but it only comes in one color leather called parchment. I'm getting a sample so we shall see. Still not sure of the fabric vs leather option.


    @lizbeth-gardener - saw a couple of Hancock & Moore recliners that were great but over budget :(. Will take another peak to check out all their styles.


    @Kswl - good that you can plan to have a recliner in place for when you need it and send it on its merry way when you no longer have the need. This is certainly an option for us as well but since I need to replace our old chair, it seems like the time to consider an acceptable recliner option.


    @czarinalex - the Baxter looks nice. Curious why your DH chose fabric over leaather? And so interesting about the different motors and speed.


    @bbstx - I wonder why a recliner bothers your back. I will have to look into this a bit more given the anecdotal evidence from your aunt's chiropractor!


    Thanks all - the search continues...



  • last month

    I don’t think I’d want to rent a recliner unless I absolutely knew that I was the first person to use it. Prior users may not have been very fastidious.

  • last month

    Yes, i would want a new one and that can actually be requested. At this point I think we’ll do the Amaza order instead. It only has to last 8 weeks at most.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I love my petite wing back chair recliners that don't look like recliners at all.

  • last month

    I had rotator cuff surgery a couple of years ago. The first day my daughter went to Big Lots & got me a recliner, it was only a couple of hundred dollars but I slept in that chair for a couple of months. 1I do not know how I would have slept without it. When I was finally able to sleep in the bed again the recliner was gone. I set it out for bulk pickup & someone took it from the street before bulk came.

    rubyclaire thanked girlnamedgalez8a
  • last month

    Our HomeGoods almost always has a great selection of recliners. And I love that they are fully returnable. So unlike purchasing from a furniture store, where return options are limited at best, you can take it home, see how it looks, try it for a few days, and then take it back if you don't love it.

  • last month

    Kswl, I almost didn't say anything about Amazon because it would not be the choice in this crowd, and I would never have thought to look there for a large piece. My sister had a few days and couldn't get out and about to look, so she was shopping for everything online then. I was surprised when she told me, but we were pleasantly surprised when it arrived. I last saw it at the end of her PT -- close to 2 months after she got it, and it still looked new then. I haven't been in a Big Lots for years, and Home Goods is hit and miss with furniture selection. I see a lot of chairs but not a lot of recliners == and prices on a lot of the chairs have gotten up there. But the idea is the same -- find something you can buy and donate for a price that feels like a rental -- and a tax deduction. Hope it works out for you.

    Rubyclaire, do you have an Arhaus store? I haven't been in ours for some time, but we got our sectional from them and they had nicer chairs too. Hope you can find something that fits the bill. I think you are smart to look when you don't need one if you want something you will be happy with for years. Furniture is kind of one extreme or the other, isn't it?

    rubyclaire thanked lascatx
  • last month

    @lascatx - our area has more typical furniture stores but I have a few more urban areas within 1.5-2 hour drive. So I am not ruling anything out. The only power option I saw at Arhaus was in a performance fabric and I don't mind the slipcover-ish look:



    Crate & Barrel has one in a performance fabric as well in a somewhat similar look:



    Good thing I've started early as I had no idea there were sooo many options!

  • 29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    you can take it home, see how it looks, try it for a few days, and then take it back if you don't love it.

    Fine for those who like lugging large pieces of furniture back and forth. Easier said than done for most people.

  • 29 days ago

    I forgot that this was the darling of the FB decorating set a year or so ago. https://www.walmart.com/ip/760064226

    rubyclaire thanked bbstx
  • 29 days ago

    Ha! I remember those @bbstx. Influencers were very "go team" about those chairs. I would absolutely try one if I didn't feel like power was a desirable. Friends with power recliners suggest that one has more position options which is apparently quite the plus.

  • 29 days ago

    RC, I haven’t read closely, so you may have already nixed this. Have you looked at a tilt back with ottoman? Bradington Young makes some nice ones. You can also order a battery pack in case you can’t locate it near an outlet …. or you have power outage.


    rubyclaire thanked bbstx
  • 29 days ago

    Have not looked at tilt back chairs with ottomans at all. Would these be similar to the "Stressless" chairs?

  • 29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    I don’t know, but I doubt it. On the surface, it looks like a club chair with an ottoman but the back tilts like a recliner. The major difference AFAIK is that when the back tilts, your feet don’t fly up. They stay on the ottoman.

    ETA: I ordered one for DH. Sadly, he died before it was delivered. The sweet people where I bought it, refunded my deposit and sold it to someone else. So I never got a chance to see it in action. However, I had a friend who had one and loved it!

  • 29 days ago

    The thing about a chair with an ottoman is that sometimes the ottoman is just in the way. With a recliner the footrest tucks away when not in use. Just something to think about.

  • 29 days ago

    The thing about a chair with an ottoman is that sometimes the ottoman is just in the way


    That's never been a problem here. I love the idea of a reclining club chair with an ottoman.

  • 29 days ago

    Aw, bbstx Bbstx, that’s sad. Glad the salespeople did the right thing.

  • 29 days ago

    Both of my sons have tilt back chairs with ottomans. I don't remember feeling like the ottoman was in the way. but he does move it at times -- and someone has even sat on it even though it is at an angle. The chairs were suggested by a salesperson who said they were the best fit for tall people. I sat in a stressless chair years ago and don't remember sitting in it very well now, but they are at least somewhat similar

    rubyclaire thanked lascatx
  • 29 days ago

    We have always had a recliner or 2 in our house- one in our family room and the other either in the basement or when we had a sitting room off of our bedroom. I am not a major fan, but DH insists.

    Several years ago we were at a hotel that had a version of stressless chair with ottoman, and DH thought i was the best thing ever. I thought it was fine, and I liked it better than a recliner. So we bought one, ( an inexpensive dupe)and it was great until it broke several years into its service.

    We replaced it with a similar one, and it's going strong. Again, I don't love it, but I like it way better than the full on recliner. Our full on recliner resides in the basement man cave now and I'm fine with that. The stressless clone resides i our family room/living room.

    I personally find the ottoman extremely comfy and not at all in the way. We really don't move it.

    rubyclaire thanked salonva
  • 29 days ago

    Dh shares his ottoman with these two.




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