10 Different Types of Recliners You Should Know

If you are new to the world of recliners, you may feel overwhelmed when facing a myriad of recliners in the marketplace. To make your decision-making process more manageable, you should first decide which type of recliners you want.

In this post, we will introduce the most common types of recliners and make sure you’ll have all the information at your fingertips.

Lever handle recliner

Lever handle recliner is the classic recliner that almost everyone can find in their grandparent’s home. For those who don’t pay much attention to the development of the furniture industry, lever handle recliner is what the word “recliner” refers to. 

By pulling the handle, the footrest will raise, and the back will recline to a specific angle. Sitting in such a chair could alleviate the strains and pressure after a long day of hard work. It provides an excellent place for people on the go to unwind and relax. 

The level handle recliner makes the recliner become a must-have piece of furniture in our family. While it doesn’t have many extra features, it fulfills the basic purpose and is usually budget-friendly. 

Pull handle recliner

pull handle recliner

This is another type of manual recliner that is popular in the market. A pull handle is embedded on the side to trigger the reclining mechanism instead of using a lever. 

When you pull the handle, your chair would immediately lean back with the footrest raising at the same time. To put the recliner back to the upright position, you have to push the footrest down by your legs. 

It would not be problematic for most users, but it could be an issue for seniors or people who lack lower body strength. 

Pull handle recliners are affordable and come in different styles and sizes.

Rocker recliner

As the name of “rocker recliner” suggests, this is a type of recliner that can rock back and forth. Many customers like to rock in the chair when watching TV shows or listening to music, and a rocker recliner can perfectly serve this purpose and offer them a place to doze off when reclined. 

Some new parents also choose to buy a rocker recliner for easier breastfeeding and relaxation. The arched legs underneath create a swaying motion that allows the baby to sleep better.

However, the rocking mechanism could create some movement while sitting down and standing up, making it not ideal for seniors or people with balance problems.

Glider recliner

Glider recliners are pretty similar to rocker recliners except for the way they move. Instead of using arched legs, glider recliners go back and forth according to the mechanism.

This design leads to a more smooth movement and less noise.  That’s why a lot of people choose glider recliners for nursery. 

The chair will stop moving while reclining so that you can take a sound sleep without worrying about it will dart. 

Swivel recliner

A swivel recliner is an excellent option for people who want to deal with multiple things in different directions. Built on a circular base, it can swivel 360 degrees. This means you can reach other things or talk to different people without standing up or changing your sitting position. 

For example, you can turn your chair to get the drinks on the end table and then turn back to watch TV. While we don’t encourage a sedentary lifestyle, the chances of standing up decrease with a swivel recliner.

Wall hugger recliner

wall hugger recliners

This is a suitable type of recliner for people who live in a small space. By employing a sliding track mechanism, wall hugger recliners are able to recline by pushing the back and the footrest forward. 

Therefore, it needs much less clearance between the chair and the wall. On the flip side, it also means it can’t lean back too far. Anyway, it is a great trade-off for people who live in small apartments.

Push-back recliner

Most types of recliners have a handle or lever on the side. If you don’t like it, a push-back recliner could be a good alternative. 

It looks just like a regular armchair when it is not reclined, allowing it to blend better with your home decor. 

As there is no handle or lever to trigger the mechanism, you have to push the back down by using the force of your back. Some models may need more effort, so we suggest you test them in person before making any purchase decision.

Power recliner

We often divide all the recliners into two different groups: manual recliner and power recliner. Power recliners are the ones that use electrical power to control the chair.

Thanks to the motors included, the recliner can recline to more angles. For an infinite-position power chair, you can stop it at any angle you want and recline it all the way to flat.

Even though it moves a bit slower than the manual one, you can save some effort by pressing the button on the side or the remote control. 

The power recliners these days have more and more advanced features. For one, some recliner chairs feature massage and heating functions, aiming to improve the level of comfort. Some come with cupholders and USB ports to provide more convenience for you.

One downside of a power recliner is that it could be hard to fix as many electric parts are involved. It also comes with a higher price tag compared to most manual chairs.

Lift chair

best lift chairs

Lift chairs are the upgrade version of the standard power recliner. That’s why we also call them power lift recliners.

They are perfect for seniors or others who need help getting in and out of the chair since they have a lifting mechanism. This makes the chair tilt forward when you want to stand up, alleviating the pressure on the knees. 

As unfortunate as it may be, our strength of legs wanes as we age. For self-esteem, some of us don’t want to ask for help to finish basic tasks. By having a lift recliner, we can stand up and sit in a chair safely without the help of caregivers.

The same as other power recliners, some lift chairs feature an array of advanced functions. Some high-end models are powered by multiple motors, allowing you to control the footrest, backrest, or headrest separately. 

They could be the most expensive recliners on the market, but Medicare covers a few models.

Heavy-duty recliner

The heavy-duty recliner is a particular type of recliner designed for taller or heavier people than average. 

It is made of sturdy materials and can hold up more weight. On top of it, it will have a spacious seat and higher floor-to-seat height.

We should look for a chair that can fit our body size because an unsuitable one would cause neck pain or back pain in the end. 

Recliner for short people

This refers to the recliners that are designed for people with small body sizes. For people who are under 5.5 feet, you should consider buying a small recliner

The small recliner ensures your feet can touch the ground firmly, and your head can get good support no matter sitting or laying.

Final thoughts

There are different types of recliners in the industry, and each one serves some particular purpose. We use different methods to classify these chairs and strive to help you figure out the differences among those types.

Think about your needs and go through the features of these chairs; you will know which type of recliners you need.

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.