Choosing a recliner is making a good choice for your health. On a daily basis we sit on chairs at work and home that are at angles not conducive for our spine. This can cause damage to it over time. This can be stopped by purchasing a recliner because our bodys are not designed for sitting upright, despite constantly doing so. A recliner encourages healthy sitting – if you select the right one for you. Therefore, before you decide to purchase a recliner, you need to be aware of some of the qualities to look for.

The Correct Size

The purpose of a reclining chair is for it to recline and retract for the person sitting in it. As it will be doing this movement, repeatedly over time, its frame needs to be made of durable quality to allow for this and to accommodate those who use it. A recliner can be used by anyone for comfort, whether it be for health conditions or if you are oversized, i.e. not of average height or weight. This makes choosing one that will accommodate those in your home important so as many people as possible can benefit from it.

If you’re in a position to test your recliner, perhaps both sitting and reclining in it at a store or having it your home for a trial period, ensure the following:

  • The heels on your feet should rest against the footrest. If they hang over it, then the footrest is too short. Over time, a short footrest can cause ankle pain and put undue pressure on your Achilles tendons.
  • There should be no space between your lumbar part of your spine and the recliner. If there is a gap then your lumbar will not receive the support it needs from that particular chair. Over time this can cause issues in your lumbar spine and possibly other health problems too.
  • If the top cushion, which supports your head, is pushing your head forward when you’re sitting on it, it means that the recliner is too short. Your neck should be in a natural position to avoid neck pain from occurring. 


The best way to ensure your recliner is strong and sturdy is to inspect it yourself, particularly looking at it underneath. By doing this it allows you to look at the following:

  • The number of sides the frame has. Ideally a recliner should have four sides to best support your body. Any less, the frame could warp and break over time.
  • Whether the base is made of hardwood. Hardwood is durable, strong and will last a lot longer than a plastic base. 
  • If there is mesh between the cushion and springs. This piece of mesh will prevent the springs penetrating the cushion and ripping it. It further allows even distribution of weight.

Recliner Material

This is where you’ll often be spoiled for choice as most recliners come in a range of colours and materials. This makes it a lot easier for you to select one that will suit your current decor, if that is one of your considerations. However you may need to consider other things like whether you want a material that is tough, durable and easy to clean if, for example, you have children or pets. If you’re inclined to select a fabric, consider one that consists of a microfibre to allow it to breathe. This will prevent you from overheating when sitting on your recliner. If, like many others, you opt for leather it will be easy to clean and durable. However be prepared to pay a bit more because real leather will cost more than other materials, like faux leather

Optional Extras

Selecting any extras will depend mostly on what you will be doing whilst sitting in your recliner. The more added to your recliner’s functions or capabilities, the more expensive it will cost. After all, you want to ensure it meets all of your needs when making such a long term investment. 

  • If you plan to relax and watch television, you may decide that having side pockets will be ideal for your remote controls. Side pockets can be placed on either side of your recliner.
  • If you plan to browse the internet on a tablet or laptop, then a foldaway side table, with USB ports could add to your comfort.
  • If you suffer from back problems, a heated chair with a massager may work wonders for your health. Even if you don’t suffer from back problems this option may still be ideal after a long day at work, especially if you have been sitting in the wrong position.
  • A light that can be controlled by your recliner’s remote control may be good for anyone who requires lighting, perhaps to read, knit or sew.
  • A cup holder will be a popular option for most people who do not have a nearby table or opt for a side table for their recliner as it prevents you from constantly reaching for the cup if it’s usually situated on the floor.
  • If you have a health condition that makes it difficult for you to get in and out of a chair, then you may want to consider whether getting a rise and recline chair or removable arms would be beneficial.

Optional extras vary from model to model, which is another thing to consider when choosing your recliner. Deciding what you want from the outset will help you narrow down your choices and focus on selecting a recliner from what is available.

One final thing worth doing is seeing if you can read any customer reviews of any recliners that you may be interested in. Reviews are useful as a guide to common themes that emerge and may highlight things you need to be aware of. Obviously opinions differ and what is a comfortable recliner for one person may not be right for another. Therefore take advantage of trial periods and opportunities to test recliners in store. Take your time to find the right one for you because you will feel the benefits which will last as long as your recliner.