Soft Recliners Vs. Firm Recliners: Which One Is Better For You?

When you shop for a recliner, one decision you have to make is how firm the chair you need is. Actually, it depends on your preference. In this post, we will lay out the pros, cons, and everything in between of soft recliners and firm recliners so you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips before making a final decision.

About Soft Recliners

When it comes to comfort, most people think that the softer the chair, the more comfortable it is. That’s why people like to buy soft recliner chairs. 

After a long day of tiring work, a soft recliner provides a place for you to sink in. It just feels like someone is hugging you. The soft recliner is usually very cozy and every part of your skin will feel warm and comfortable, making us fall asleep easily.

In the workplace, we have to sit up straight, and with the soft recliner at home, our body can keep in any position we want finally. That’s the feeling of freedom we desire.

On top of it, guests prefer to sit in a soft recliner chair, allowing them to really make themselves at home. So you will see a lot of people choose to put a soft recliner in the living room.

However, if you plan to finish some work on your laptop, sitting in a soft recliner chair may not be a good idea. You will soon become sleepy and can’t focus on the information on the screen. 

We also don’t recommend soft recliners for people who are suffering from back pains or other spine issues. While you may feel comfortable whilst sitting in a soft chair, your muscle will end up feeling sore and your back pains will get worse. 

This is due to the reason what soft recliners could not offer enough support for your spine and your upper body would easily bend into a “C” shape which is really bad for your spine.

It would not be a big issue for people who only sit in a recliner from time to time, but if you intend to spend hours a day in it, that’s the consequence you want to avoid.

For those who already had a soft recliner, buying an extra pillow or cushion is a cheaper and practical way to add more firmness. In this way, you can keep enjoying your soft recliner without hurting your spine. 

About Firm Recliners

We often see firm recliners in the office or other formal spaces. They look beautiful, high-quality, and sleek. It may be one of the reasons why people don’t think a firm chair is a suitable choice for the home because they want to make the home cozy and “informal”.

In fact, there is a wide range of firm recliners that could blend seamlessly into your home décor. You can easily find a chic firm recliner chair with a contemporary design that is totally different from the chair in your company.

While it can’t offer the ultimate softness you desire, it supports your body better and prevents the happens of back issues. All your back, neck, and head could keep in the right position.

Softness doesn’t always mean comfort. At first, you may hate the firm seat and firm back but your body can get used to it very quickly. In addition, a firm recliner would keep you comfortable even you stay in it for hours. 

As we said, a too soft chair would make you sleepy. A firm recliner chair is a sensible place to sit down and finish your tasks such as reading books, watching TV, or typing.

Another advantage worth mentioning is that in general, firm recliners are able to embrace more advanced features such as massage, heating, or lifting. So if you feel a bit hard to get in and out of the chair, a firm lift chair comes in handy.

If you want to make your firm seat softer, adding a soft seat cushion or a blanket could be a useful choice. 

Factors May Affect Your Decision

We already mentioned the pros and cons of both firm and soft recliners. But if you still can’t decide yet, there are a few factors you can consider.


You are buying something for your own home, so it is up to you or your family member to decide which type of recliner you want.  The ultimate purpose is to get a comfortable recliner that meets your needs. Moreover, you can always find ways to make the chair softer or firmer. Hence, you don’t stress yourself too much. 

Health Condition

Considering your health conditions is important. If you have severe back pain or other health issues that you should keep your body in a good position, then a firm recliner is the one you should go for. Otherwise, a soft recliner would be an exceptional place for you to relax and unwind.


Make sure the recliner you will get can fit the decor. A soft recliner can fit a more cozy and casual place such as a living room, while a firm recliner chair would be a good fit for the office. But as we said, there are plenty of firm recliners that are suitable for placing in the living room as well.

How Often You Will Use It

Spending too long in a soft recliner may cause pain and soreness in the end but it would not be an issue if you only try to sit in it for half an hour. 


Nobody likes setting a budget while shopping, but it is crucial for most of us. While purchasing a recliner, it is always important to decide which functions you really need. Get rid of the bells and whistles you don’t need and save hundreds of money for yourself.

Wrapping Up

A soft recliner or a firm recliner, it is a hard question to answer. A firm recliner is better for people with back pain or seniors who want a lifting function as soft recliners are often more traditional. Soft recliners can create a place for you to relax or take a snap. Anyway, no matter which recliner type you choose from, you can easily modify the firmness with a seat cushion, a pillow or a blanket.

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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.