Types Of Recliners

types of recliner chairs

Picture this: You’ve got your beer and your snack in hand and you’re ready to sit back and enjoy the big game in your favorite chair. You probably imagined the stereotypical giant, fluffy two-position recliner that still has remnants of the last big game in the seat cushions. While that is an admirable choice and a classic image, did you know you had options when it came to the type, size, and the look of your recliner? 

Gone are the days of the one-size-fits-all recliner. Now, there are several types to meet the needs of a growing market of consumers who want the comfort afforded by a recliner, but want the freedom to choose a recliner that fits their lifestyle. 

In order to make an informed decision, it’s important to know the types of recliners available on the market. Below are some of the most popular types to help you decide what is best for you.

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Types of Recliner

The Classic: The Two-Position

recliner chair

This is what people think of when they picture grandpa napping after Thanksgiving. It has two positions, either fully-reclined or upright.

Fortunately, these two-position recliners also come in a variety of colors and materials to suit the needs of the decor and the buyer.

The Nursery Staple: the Rocking Recliner

rocker recliner

This is the recliner that silently rocks both babe and mother to sleep. Generally, either a traditional rocking motion or a smoother gliding motion, it’s also great for reading, watching TV, and general conversation for those who like to fidget and gently rock back and forth while the user is upright.

The classic two-position design allows the user to fully stretch when desired.

The Power Recliner

power recliner

This recliner is nice for those who like to be able to choose how far to recline at the push of a button. It is also good for those who have physical limitations and need the assistance of a motorized recliner to get comfortable. Roy at reclinerfaq.com says that power recliners are great for older users or those who suffer from knee problems, as their forward positions can help make it easier to get up.

These automated recliners are available in a variety of colors and materials and allow the user to truly customize their experience for their particular needs at a given time. 

The Parlor Pick: the Push-back

push back recliner

This recliner often looks like a classic wing-back chair you’d find in the parlor of the fanciest home you know. But now, it’s available with comfort and poshness in one!

The push back, as the name implies, allows the user to push back the chair until their desired recline. Often, because these don’t come with levers or cords, they can be placed anywhere and closer to the wall than most traditional recliners. 

Special Features


Some power recliners also have an additional features which tired dads and exhausted moms will appreciate: the massaging back. The massage feature is generally a feature found only on power recliners or two-position recliners and allows the user to relax the day away reclined in a comfortable position.

Theater Recliners

Theater recliners are defined by their silent recline and their ability to hold all your snacks. They are sometimes bought in bulk to furnish a theater, and have at least one other recliner attached to them rather than individuals. They are great for watching a movie or relaxing in luxury, but may not be ideal for your living room.

Storage arms

Some recliners have arms and storage pockets in the back and sides for remote controls, beverages, magazines, etc. If you are person who enjoys the luxury of a recliner, but also enjoys having all the necessities within reach, then storage arms might be for you. They allow the user to feel comfortable in the moment, but put away the remote and the magazines for guests coming into the house. 

Things to Consider


Recliners are amazing for comfort, for nap taking, and for watching TV or reading a book. They do require more space than the average piece of furniture though. You need to think carefully about how much space your living area has to accommodate such a massive piece of furniture. 

Generally, recliners need to be at least 12 inches, if not more from the wall to fully recline, and then they need at least 24 inches in front of them for the footrest. Be mindful of where you place a coffee table, as the recliner’s footrest might interfere with the optimal placement. In addition, if you get a rocking recliner, or a glider, sometimes they need 360 degrees of space to move optimally. 


Recliners are often coveted in the house as the most comfortable seat in the house, so be mindful who is going to sit in it and for how long. It might behoove you to invest in a better quality recliner if you anticipate it being the most used piece of furniture in the house. 

Photo of author
Chris Rausch

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