Not all recliners are the same

  • Posted: September 5, 2012 
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Men buying recliners is like women shopping for jewelry, it might take a while.  This is intended to be a guide to maybe shorten the experience and come home with what you intended at the price you intended to pay.  So take a seat, pay attention and prepare to welcome the newest member of your family.

get the answers

If you want the best recliner for your needs (and your buck), consider the following questions before heading to the store:

1. What does your room look like?

Narrow down your search by determining what style you’re looking for, to make sure the recliner matches the room. Is it modern or traditional? There are recliners to suit every decorating theme, so there’s no need to put grandpa’s recliner in your ultra-cool den.

2. How much are you willing to spend?

It’s easy to get swept up by the idea of an amazingly comfortable chair, especially if you intend to spend more time on the recliner than in your bed, but make sure you have a grasp of your budget. If you’re aiming to spend $500, then don’t convince yourself that you can afford to withhold mortgage payments in order to get a chair that’s double the price — even if it can change the channel and open beer for you.

You can find recliners from $99 to $2,000, so get an idea of your needs and you’ll avoid getting overwhelmed by recliner paradise.

A salesperson can help you find the best recliner for your price range, by selecting a less expensive fabric (like microfiber; a synthetic fabric that feels and looks like suede, but is actually a lot thinner), for example. As well, the mechanisms and frame of the recliner can raise or lower its price, so get informed on the possibilities. Stick around, as I will be covering the three major categories of recliners later on.

3. Who is going to be using the recliner most?

Yeah, this one is pretty easy to answer — after all, you are likely buying the recliner for you and you alone. But if your woman gets her hands on this article and she wants to buy you that recliner you’ve been talking about for years, tell her that you must try out the recliner yourself. You wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first, would you? Okay, bad example, but since this is likely a much more expensive purchase than shoes, you need to make sure the recliner is not only comfortable, but also suited to your height, frame and weight.

The comfort of a recliner is directly associated to the user’s measurements and weight, so if your legs are too short, you won’t be able to touch the floor, making the recliner hard to use and quite uncomfortable.

4. How much space do you have for the recliner?

Depending on where you position the recliner in a room, it’s important to know whether you have enough space for a recliner. If it’s too close to the wall, for example, a chair that reclines all the way back wouldn’t be practical. Make sure to measure the space before going to the store, so that the salesperson can measure the distance needed to recline all the way and relax.

3 types of recliners

According to, there are three categories of recliners:

1- The Traditional Two-Position Recliner:

This recliner, which is a less expensive option (some go for as low as $99), features a mechanism that unleashes the foot rest and allows the user to recline fully.

Most two-position recliners that are available in leather are in fact not totally covered in leather; while areas like the seat base, arms and legs are covered in real leather, parts like the outside back and outer side panels are actually covered in vinyl. Don’t worry, the vinyl matches the leather so it won’t obstruct the decore of your pad – and it dramatically decreases the price of the recliner at the same time.

- Affordable
- Comfortable

- Limited selection of styles, fabrics and colors
- Warranty only good for one year

2- The Rocker Recliner/Wall-Saver Recliner

As opposed to the aforementioned two-position recliner, this kind is the most popular choice of recliner and therefore the most widely manufactured. Its mechanism allows you to rock while seated upright and features a wide range of reclining angles. And if you’re going for the “wall-saver” option, you’ll be able to position your recliner closer to the wall, which is ideal for smaller spaces as you’ll be able to fit all other necessary furniture pieces in nicely without causing too much clutter.

Like two-position recliners, rocker and wall-saver recliners are available in leather-vinyl combinations, also known as “leather match.”

- Wide array of styles, fabrics and colors
- Mechanism can include different types of handles, making it convenient and comfortable for the user
- An assortment of reclining options and angles
- Also available as a “wall-saver,” which is perfect for smaller or more cramped rooms
- Warranty is usually five years on frames, with a lifetime guarantee on the unit itself

- More expensive
- Going from reclined back to an upright position can be difficult — it’s usually done by pushing the footrest down or bringing the handle forward
- Wall-saver recliners do not have a rocking mechanism

The Push-Back/Flex-Back Recliner

The only part of this recliner that actually reclines is the back, so an ottoman is usually used as a footrest. This is a great option for stylish, casual guys with a more modern-looking room, as you can find sleek styles of this type of recliner.

Most push-back recliners are completely covered in leather, making the chair more expensive, but more stylish. On that note, push-back recliners are also available in more detail-oriented styles and trimmings, such as piping.

- Its subtle, understated look makes it suitable for any room or position
- It’s a great “extra” chair, thanks to the fact that it doesn’t automatically recline when someone is seated. In addition, the ottoman serves as another extra seat, for extra company
- Because it’s so versatile, you know you can likely bring it along if you move, and you can change its location easily

- Even more expensive
- Doesn’t have a standard reclining mechanism; you have to push on the back in order to recline… hence the name
- Does not fully recline
- Might not serve the purpose of an all-out recliner

some final tips

Make sure you know which extra features you want/need: Some of today’s recliners are full-on entertainment units, with built-in phones, fridges, massagers, heaters, and more. Determine what you need and what you can do without.

Make sure to test-drive the recliner: Not only is it important for you to sit in the chair, but it’s also imperative that you test out all its mechanisms and features. You might not want to share it, but if the recliner is for other people as well, then make sure they try out the recliner before you buy it.

Think about fabric: Leather is sleek and stylish, and it ensures that your recliner won’t get stained by buffalo wings and hot sauce. But it can really increase the price of the recliner, and leather runs the risk of scratching. For a less expensive option, consider covering the recliner in microfiber, which looks as slick as suede. Just make sure to get it scotch-guarded if you’re worried about stains.

If you’re unsatisfied, bring it back: You may have sat in the recliner and tested out all the positions, but the chair just doesn’t feel as comfortable as it did in the showroom or store. It’s possible that the recliner you bring home feels differently, and if that’s the case, bring it back. A recliner can last years and it’s not an everyday purchase — you want to make sure it suits you and that you’re happy with it.

recline in style

It’s safe to say that most men want a recliner that looks great and feels just as good, if not better, and today it’s possible to get ultimate comfort without sacrificing style. By taking the necessary measures before and while choosing your recliner, you’ll be leaning back and reclining in style like every man should be.

If you are interested in reading more about subjects like this – I mean subjects for men you can go to Ask Men.


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