How To Replace Recliner Springs: A Complete Guide

Even though buying a recliner is a relatively big investment for you, the mechanism of a recliner may not be as complicated as you expect. If you find something wrong with the recliner springs, you could remedy it with some patience and time instead of thinking about buying a new one.

How to replace recliner springs? We will provide all the information you need at your fingertips so that you can fix it properly, even if you are not a handyman.  

Different types of recliner springs

Before we dive into the repair procedure, I want to show you the types of recliner springs so that you will not buy the wrong products in the store. Most of you don’t really understand much about recliner construction, and some don’t know where the spring goes on a recliner.

Mechanism tension springs

These springs are recoil springs. They are located in the metal mechanism and are responsible for providing the tension while you want to open and close the recliner. Therefore, if you feel the chair is much easier to recline than before, you may need to replace these tension springs.

Seat springs

The seat springs are zigzag springs underneath the seat. These springs support your body and prevent the seat cushion from sagging. One or a few seat springs may have broken when you feel your body sink into the upholstery too much.

How to replace recliner tension springs

Step 1: Prepare the tools

Replacing recliner springs could get you injured, and you should be careful. The spring may pop up and hurt your eyes, so wearing a pair of eye goggles is essential.

A spring puller is also a must-have. It could either be a metal spring puller or a heavy twine spring puller. Personally, I think the heavy twine spring puller is easy to control, cost less, and very flexible. Some may use a pair of pliers which I believe is not as effective as the spring puller.

Step 2: Flip over the chair

tension springs

You’d better place a protective sheet on the ground to prevent the chair from any damage. Flip over the chair to access the mechanism. Remove the covering carefully if you think it will make your work easier. 

Step 3: Locate the recliner tension springs

recliner tension springs

Depending on the design of recliner chairs, there may be a few tension springs located at different places of the mechanism. 

Check the conditions of these springs and decide which ones need a replacement. 

Step 4: Remove the old springs

remove recliner tension springs

Make sure the footrest is fully extended. In this position, the tension springs have the least tensions, which is much safer for you to handle. 

Use the spring puller to pull the spring end out of the hooked hole. Do this slowly, and remember to wear goggles to avoid injuries. 

Step 5: Buy new recliner seat springs

I suggest you take these broken springs to your local repair shop or upholstery stores to get compatible replacements. Order the replacement directly from the manufacturer or dealer could ensure you get the right one. 

Step 6: Install the new springs

Hook one end of the spring in the point and then use the spring puller to pull the other end of the spring to the opposite hole. 

If you feel the spring is too tight to pull, you can insert some coins into the spring to stretch it out and remove them after pulling the spring in place.

I learned this method from the video below:

Step 7: Turn the chair upside down and test it

Once the springs are installed, close the footrest and turn the chair upside down. Take a seat and test if the chair is as good as before.

This video shows you how to replace recliner tensions springs precisely as we mentioned above:

How to replace recliner zigzag seat springs

Step 1: Gathering the tools

Like repairing the tension springs, you will need eye protection while fixing a seat spring. Other tools include a screwdriver, a staple remover, and a staple. 

Step 2: Get access to the seat springs

remove staples

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to access the recliner seat springs. You may need to remove the back or remove the seat cushion. You may need to use the staple remover to remove the staples around the frame and upholstery during the process. 

I suggest you take photos so that you can recover them properly later. 

Step 3: Reattach or remove the old seat springs and clamps

It is possible that the spring is not broken but only unattached from the clamp. Then you could attach it, and you are all set.

If one of the zigzag springs is broken, it indicates that all of the springs are going to die at some point. Hence, it would be best if you replaced them all at once.

The clamps on end are also possible to break. If it is the case, you can unhook the springs and replace the clamps. 

Step 4: Buy a new set of zigzag springs

As the length and tension of the zigzag springs vary, I think your best bet is to get a new replacement from the manufacturer or retailer.  Otherwise, you need to take your old springs to the local store and look for compatible springs.

Step 5: Install a new set of zigzag springs

Attach the top end of the springs to the hook and then attach the bottom end to the clamp. You could use a spring puller to make it easier to get the job done. 

Step 6: Put the chair back into an upright position

Use the staple to put the cushion, upholstery, and other parts back. Now it is time to test your chair, and it could support you firmly, just like a new chair.


In this post, we guide you on fixing and replacing different types of recliner springs. In general, replacing a recliner mechanism spring is very easy, but replacing a seat spring could cost you more time. Anyway, you can fix it if you follow the guide step by step. 

Photo of author
Rachelle is the founder of Best Chair Finder. She is a fanatic of home improvement, and as an engineer, she knows well about each chair's mechanism. You can find her story on the About page.