Updated at: 03-04-2023 - By: Helen Skeates

Manual recliner chairs make it simple to find the perfect position for resting your back.

If you’re looking for a more classic design or are on a low budget, this may be the best option for you because it eliminates the need for you to physically recline the chair yourself. This post will examine the inner workings of a manual recliner chair and discuss why it is a great alternative to other types of chairs.

Ideas on the Working of a Manual Recliner Chair

There is a less expensive alternative to the conveniences of an electric reclining chair: a manual recliner. You can achieve the same, if not more, results as with a plug-in device, but at a lower price and with more effort on your part.

Levers on a manual recliner allow the user to set the chair’s angle of recline.

The third feature is a set of levers that allow you to modify how far back and how far forward the chair can recline.

Fourth, the headrest may be moved to the most comfortable position with the use of your hands.

How Does a Manual Recliner Chair Work? 4 Ideas! - Krostrade

The Benefits of a Manual Recliner Chair

As opposed to an electric model, a manual recliner chair will be less expensive.

Those who have difficulties with electric chairs’ cords or plugs won’t have any trouble using these because they don’t need to be installed.

The Drawbacks to Using Manual Recliner Chairs

The degree to which the chair leans back and reclines is a variable that must be adjusted by the user.

If there is insufficient space for your arms, you may have to raise your arm each time you wish it to return.

It’s not always easy to track down a chair with a manual mechanism. For instance, eBay dealers mostly offer electric chairs, thus these are difficult to find on that site.

How do you Recline a Recliner Manually?

When you want to relax in a manual chair, you simply pull the lever in the back or under the seat. If you want to reach down and feel how far the levers go, you’ll need to make sure your arm isn’t in the way. To readjust, simply pull again until you reach the desired height.

Some manual chairs have a lever on the side, while others have one on the base.

It’s simple to control the amount of backward and forward movement in a reclining chair, but those who have limited mobility in their arms may need assistance from a companion.

The chair’s lever is conveniently located on the chair’s side, making it more accessible to persons with limited arm movement who may have problems reaching or judging the depth to which a lever goes. Some chairs have a lever at the back or one under the seat that allows you to adjust the height, but others have a lever near the head that allows you to do it quickly and effortlessly.

Why Won’t my Recliner stay Reclined?

A side button on some recliners makes them more accessible to persons with limited mobility in their arms. If your chair does not have this feature and you are able to reach below the back, you may find a corresponding adjustment control close to where your head would rest if you were lying flat. To perhaps make the chair more comfortable, try pulling up on the lever.

How do You fix a Recliner That Won’t Lock?

Any broken levers can be easily replaced. Whether the lever on your chair can be moved up and down, you might try pressing in on the top or bottom of the unresponsive side to see if the chair will remain in the reclining position.

How do you adjust the footrest tension on a recliner?

Most chairs come with a lever that can be used to adjust footrest tension. This is usually located on the front of the chair and maybe underneath where your feet go when you’re in a horizontal position.

How do you Fix a Recliner That is Out of Level?

To do this, position a straightedge (a board) across the front of the chair’s front leg and the front of one of the levelers. If your chair is not perfectly horizontal, there will be a gap at one end. Levelers have a manual adjustment feature.

You should try to adjust them in both directions until you get it level. If that doesn’t work, you can call customer care to have an authorized technician look into the issue; they’ll require the machine’s model and serial numbers to locate and order replacement components.

Manual Recliners vs Power Recliners: 5 Differences You Should Know

1) Number of Locking Positions

Manual La-Z-Boy recliners feature a locking mechanism that allows for 16 rocking and 3 footrest positions.

That’s right, a manual recliner gives you the freedom to choose between 48 distinct configurations for both the chair and the footrest.

The four electronic buttons on a power recliner allow you to adjust the height of the chair and the footrest to your individual preferences.

Each button has an associated action, such as locking the chair or footrest in place when pressed and released. Wherever you may decide to rest.

This means that there are an almost limitless number of possible configurations for the chair and footrest when using a power reclining chair.

Some motorized recliners even include a headrest tilt and lumbar support controls that you may tweak to your liking.

2) Power Source

Power recliners, however they may seem self-sufficient, actually require access to an electrical socket.

The power recliners sold by La-Z-Boy can be either hooked into an outlet or run on a rechargeable battery stored in a concealed compartment under the seat.

If you don’t have a good place to conceal the power wire or if your recliner is freestanding in the room, the rechargeable battery is a fantastic alternative.

Arm, shoulder, and body weight are the natural propulsion mechanisms of a manual recliner.

In order to lift the footrest, you just only grab the handle and pull up. After that, using only your body weight, you can rock between any of the 16 possible reclining positions.

Consider a power recliner if the user is elderly, recovering from surgery, or physically challenged.

3) Recliner Weight

As a result of not having an internal motor and other moving parts, manual recliners are more portable.

This makes it more challenging to relocate power recliners throughout the house. Particularly when ascending or descending a flight of stairs.

La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Décor offers a comprehensive suite of furniture delivery options, including manual and power recliner delivery, for your convenience.

Our trained delivery staff will bring in your new chair, set it up, and position it where you want it.

In terms of furniture delivery services, this is the gold standard.

4) Heat & Massage

Including heating and massage functions in your favorite chair is, in our opinion, the icing on the cake.

A variety of heated and massage recliners are available at La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Décor.

However, because they require electricity to function, power recliners often only come with heating and massaging functions.

5) Price: Manual Recliners vs Power Recliners

For obvious reasons, the manufacturing cost of a power recliner is more than that of a manual recliner, which is why the former is often more expensive.

There will be a few hundred dollar premium for La-Z-Boy Power Recliners compared to regular La-Z-Boy Recliners.

Our stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia can provide you with an accurate price quote upon your personal visit.

How to Maintain and Care For a Recliner Chair

1. Prevent damage to your chair

Always better to get out in front of any furniture damage and take preventative steps. Avoiding direct sunlight is the single most important thing you can do to extend the life of your recliner. Most of the seating is leather, which can be severely damaged by exposure to sunlight. The leather deteriorates with age, becoming faded and cracked.

Limiting the ingress of pungent odors is another precaution that can be taken. People who smoke, for instance, are more likely to leave their scent behind in the fabric, which will only hasten its deterioration.

Last but not least, it’s a good idea to frequently replace the saggy cushions. The natural process of wear and tear will slow down as a result of this.

2. Deep clean the leather

Leather sofas and chairs can be a pain to keep clean. Despite the price, many people would rather have experts handle the situation. However, there is a method for individuals who prefer to do it themselves. One of the most important pieces of advise is to stay away from water. The liquid’s major drawback is the massive stains it leaves behind on leather.

Steam cleaners are a great alternative. Though it’s an added cost you might rather avoid, it will pay off in the end. Dust and any unpleasant odors are eliminated alongside the regular cleaning. Saddle soap is an alternate strategy that could be considered. Cleaning the seat regularly will not only keep it free of grime, but also protect it from cracking.

3. Look after the fabric

Fabric recliners are easier to maintain than leather ones in terms of cleanliness. However, that is not an excuse to disregard it. The use of a vacuum cleaner should be the main priority. Fabrics on reclining chairs may be fragile and require special handling. Have a gentle brush do the cleaning.

Second, baby wipes are a great tool for sanitizing car seats. A spot or two of dirt here and there can be easily taken care of in that manner.

Keeping microfiber cleaning cloth on hand is also recommended. Together with a dedicated fabric cleaner, it can provide remarkable results. Water may not damage the fabric as much as it does the leather, but it’s still best if the owner can keep it dry.

4. Take care of the mechanics

What sets a recliner apart from a regular chair is its mechanism. The ability to move it and change its orientation is also crucial when it comes to servicing it. When it comes to recliner chairs for the elderly, this is especially important because they may not be able to properly care for the seats. It’s important to remember to oil the moving parts on a regular basis.

Proactivity is always preferable to reaction, as we have said before. Don’t put it off until the chair starts making noises or the safety of the movement is suddenly at risk. Prepare it ahead of time by oiling it, and it will faithfully serve you for years to come.

Recliners nowadays can be found in a wide variety of styles to accommodate everything from lounging to massage therapy to video gaming. Continue reading to find more about the various recliner chairs available and the factors you should take into account when making your purchase.


Recliners, traditionally speaking, are big, cushy chairs with thick seats and high backs. Some of the more common features are padded armrests and a seat built around a coil spring system. Leather, microfiber, and microsuede are just some of the upholstery options for recliners. Those chairs include a system that allows the back to recline while the footrest elevates.

There are typically three possible positions for a standard recliner: fully reclined, moderately reclined, and upright. Some older styles of recliner provide no intermediate positions between fully erect and totally reclined. The push-pull mechanism or the bar on the lower right side of the chair are used to recline.

SYNGAR Manual Recliner Chair with Heat Therapy and Massage Function, Heavy  Duty Reclining Mechanism Massage Chair, Elderly Single Rocker Sofa with Cup  Holders for Bedroom Home Theater, Brown - Walmart.com


A motor is integral to a power recliner’s design. Modern power recliners can be stopped at any position between the completely upright and fully reclined positions, but conventional recliners often have only one or two reclining modes and are sometimes manually operated with a lever on the side. Power recliners have a button on the side of the chair or a remote that plugs into an outlet to operate the reclining mechanism. Some electric chairs have separate controls for the headrest, back tilt, and footrest. Power recliners are about 100 pounds heavier and have the same overall size as conventional recliners. The cost is also more than that of regular recliners.


In order to rock back and forth, the seat of a rocker recliner is often mounted on a base with two arched legs and a spring mechanism. They’re about the same size as regular recliners but can weigh up to 80 pounds more. As a rule of thumb, their maximum load is anywhere between 225 and 300 pounds. Rockers, like conventional recliners, have sturdy oak frames reinforced by metal struts and steel reclining motors. New parents frequently utilize rocking chairs to rest while gently rocking their infants to sleep.


The body of a swivel recliner is set on a round metal base that includes a swivel mechanism, allowing users to rotate the chair, often a full 360 degrees. This enables the user to face a person—or screen—without straining their neck or back. Chairs that can swivel to face any of the room’s many attractions are a great choice for communal spaces. They have dimensions similar to those of traditional recliners; however, the swivel mechanism may make them heavier.


Most swivel recliners have a spherical aluminum base with a swivel mechanism that allows the entire chair to spin around the user. This enables the user to face a person—or screen—without straining their neck or back. Recliners that can swivel to face any of the room’s many attractions are a great choice for busy living spaces. They have dimensions similar to those of typical recliners; however, the swivel mechanism may make them heavier.


A swivel recliner may be rotated in any direction, usually all the way around thanks to its swivel mechanism and circular metal base. In doing so, the user avoids putting unnecessary pressure on their neck and back when they look at another person or a screen. In a space with several main points, swivel recliners are a great choice of seating. They’re about the same size as regular recliners, however the added swivel may make them a bit heavier.

The standard width for a gaming chair is 25 inches, which is much thinner than regular recliners. Many gaming seats take design cues from the cockpits of speeding automobiles or far-flung spacecraft.


There are two distinct types of two-seat recliners. Some have separate reclining mechanisms for each seat, while others just have extra-wide seats and backs to accommodate two persons sitting in them.

These extra-large recliners often have dimensions of 60 by 40 by 40 inches. Because of their size, manual reclining is not recommended for this type of chair. They are significantly heavier than a standard recliner, by at least half.

A broad padded armrest that serves as a console with cupholders and storage for remotes separates two seats in other two-person recliners from each other. These monsters are up to 80 inches broad, can weigh more than 200 pounds, and have the same depth and height as standard recliners.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Recliner

Size, materials, weight, and controls are just few of the numerous factors to think about when shopping for a chair. Those factors are crucial to consider while selecting the most suitable reclining chair for your needs.

Available Space

Recliners take up a lot of room. When fully reclined, the typical sofa-style recliner measures around 80 inches in length. Recliners are more comfortable when used in a room that allows them to recline entirely. Before making a final decision, measure the space available behind and in front of the recliner to ensure there will be at least 12 inches of clearance for the recline function and 24 inches for the footrest extension.

Despite the limited area, a recliner chair should fit comfortably. These devices, known as “wall huggers” because of their low profile, require only a thin space behind them to function. Size-wise, they’re usually comparable to standard recliners. It requires less space behind it to fully recline because the seat travels forward on a track when reclining.


Frames of high-quality recliners are typically built of hardwood or solid plywood, and their hardware and corners are made of metal. This robust design can withstand the stress of the chair’s constant motion.

Molded polyester padding for the back and batting sheets for the corners are common components of high-quality reclining chairs. In other recliners, the hardwood frame is left exposed for a more rustic look. Standard chair weight limits are between 300 and 400 pounds. Compared to plywood or hardwood, the durability and strength of a recliner made from chip wood is significantly lower.

Fabric, leather, microfiber, and microsuede are common materials for reclinable chair upholstery. Leather is the most long-lasting material available, while fabric, microsuede, and microfiber are the most comfortable. High-performance fabrics, used in the upholstery of some recliners, are resistant to stains and wear.


You can get a wide range of models in a variety of materials and designs, including the time-honored staples like curled arms, leather upholstery, and plump cushions. Some are made using high-performance materials like polyurethane leather, stain-resistant polyester, microfiber, and microsuede in addition to leather, which makes them more breathable, easy to clean, and even waterproof.

There is a wide variety of recliners available, from classic to modern to retro.


Manual and power recliners offer different reclining angles. The mechanism of most manual recliners only allows for a few different positions: fully reclined, partially reclined, and fully upright.

Powering from regular 120-volt outlets, electric recliners can be operated with either side buttons or a portable remote. The buttons on the arm of the chair or the remote control allow you to adjust the chair’s position between completely upright and fully reclined.

The Best Recliners of 2022

Whether you’re looking for the best manual recliner or a power recliner with massage features, read on to review some of the top-rated recliners available. Recliners for both huge rec rooms and tight apartments are included in the following list.

PB Comfort Roll Arm Upholstered Recliner

Whether you’re looking for the best manual recliner or a power recliner with massage features, read on to review some of the top-rated recliners available. Recliners for both huge rec rooms and tight apartments are included in the following list.

Read on for a review of some of the greatest recliners on the market, including both manual and electric models, some of which even have massaging functions. The following list features both huge recliners ideal for home theaters and compact recliners perfect for apartments.

  • Type: Traditional
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 42.0 x 35.0 x 38.0 cm; 15.7 x 8.9 x 7.9 in
  • Total 60 pound weight.


  • a solid hardwood mortise and tenon frame
  • Cushioned seating with memory foam and three additional layers of foam
  • Dressed to impress in a tailored, elegant style
  • Various materials and hues are available.


  • Expensive
  • One fixed position alone for lounging comfort

Landon Pushback Recliner Chair

A single position recline is achieved simply pushing back on the chair. While it doesn’t go quite as far back as some other recliners, it does have a foot extension that can be adjusted to one of two heights. The chair’s inexpensive price belies the high quality of its construction, which includes a frame of solid oak and a seat and back of linen fabric that are both resistant to wear. The Landon does arrive partially assembled.

Product Descriptions and Parameters

  • Type: Traditional
  • Dimensions: 30.5 inches in width, 32.5 inches in depth, and 40 inches in height for the upright.
  • A total of 90 pounds.


  • Competitively priced
  • In other words, you can choose between two colors.
  • Durable hardwood frame
  • Durable hardwood frame

Solid wood construction that will last for years.

  • Unlike most recliners, it doesn’t go completely flat.

Cranedall Oversized Power Recliner

The chair can be reclined and the headrest adjusted separately at the push of a button, allowing the user to relax in comfort while still getting a good look at the screen. While unwinding, a USB port allows one’s phone to be charged. Because of its space-saving design, this chair needs just 3 inches of wall space behind it.

Product Descriptions and Parameters

  • Type: Power
  • Dimensions of a standard upright are 52 by 40 by 43 inches.
  • Body mass index: 153


  • Plush padding and generous dimensions make these cushions a delight to lounge on.
  • Tilt-and-recline headrest
  • The Space-Saving Design


  • You can only pick from one type of fabric.
  • The size could be an issue in some settings.

Red Barrel Studio Noletta Leather Manual Recliner

The Noletta’s width and depth of 30 inches each make it an ideal recliner for apartments and studios. Additionally, it is built to last with a kiln-dried wooden frame that is fastened together using nail and glue. The Noletta is one of the more costly recliners on the market due to its gorgeous but pricey real leather construction.

Product Descriptions and Parameters

  • Type: Traditional
  • Dimensions: 30″ wide x 30″ deep x 37.5″ height (standing)
  • As a reference, I weigh 106 pounds.


  • Leather that is actually leather
  • Exposed brass tack heads create an air of refined sophistication.
  • Construction is solid because to the use of hardwood.
  • Two different ways to relax


  • Extremely costly

Charlton Home Manual Swivel Standard Recliner

You can easily reach any area in the room thanks to its 360-degree swivel design. There are five different color options available for the Charlton, which contribute to its modern feel and make it a great choice for a study or room.

Product Descriptions and Parameters

  • Type: Traditional
  • The overall measurements of the upright are as follows: 27.25 inches in width, 39 inches in depth, and 37.5 inches in height (not including ottoman)
  • Total of 40.74 pound mass (not including ottoman)


  • Possesses a range of motion from fully reclined to fully upright
  • Form-fitting padding ensures comfort and proper posture.
  • This set also include an ottoman.


  • It’s possible that the combined length of the ottoman and the furniture will be an issue in some homes.

Nason Manual Rocker Recliner

Having a high-resiliency foam cushion, it can support your body well and last for a long time. Extra-large pillowed armrests make this recliner even more inviting and give it a casual, den-friendly vibe. This chair can withstand repeated rocking and reclining thanks to its thick polyester upholstery and metal-reinforced seat.

Product Descriptions and Parameters

  • Type: Rocker
  • Dimensions: 39 inches in width, 40 inches in depth, 40 inches in height
  • As a reference, I weigh 106 pounds.


  • The chair may be adjusted to multiple recline angles with a simple pull of a tab.
  • The metal construction makes it sturdy enough to rock and recline.
  • This oversized, soft style is perfect for lounging.


  • One foot of space is needed between the back of the recliner and the wall.

Three Posts Faux Leather Heated Massage Chair

A backup battery operates the lift in case of a power outage. Additional features include cupholders and a side pocket for remotes and magazines. At 32 by 28 by 42 inches, this recliner offers a smaller profile than traditional recliners, making it a good option for tight spaces, although it does require 25 inches of clearance to fully recline.

The elevator still works in the event of a power failure thanks to a backup battery. There are cupholders and a pocket on the side for storing magazines or a remote control, among other amenities. This recliner has a reduced footprint compared to standard recliners, measuring at 32 by 28 by 42 inches; this makes it a viable option for smaller rooms. However, it does need 25 inches of clearance in order to fully recline.

  • Function: Lift and massage
  • Dimensions: 32″ broad x 28″ deep x 42″ high (standing)
  • A total of 104 pounds


  • Four distinct massaging areas
  • 5 Tempi a seleccionare
  • The lift function has a backup battery.


  • Distance from wall to floor while reclining: 25 inches

Darby Home Tuthill Faux Leather Reclining Loveseat

The big central armrest has built-in cupholders and two storage pockets, ideal for remote controls, in addition to its pillow-top armrests, huge cushions, and headrest for added comfort. Each chair can be reclined to a halfway or fully flat position, making them ideal for both napping and watching the big game. This glide-equipped recliner may be placed just a few inches from a wall and yet allow for complete reclining.

Latitude Run® Manual Standard Recliner Chair With Massager And Heat &  Reviews | Wayfair

Product Descriptions and Parameters

  • Type: Traditional
  • Dimensions when standing: 7 feet 8 inches in length, 3 feet 7 inches in width, and 4 feet 11 inches in height
  • To sum up, 161 pounds


  • Cupholders and storage space can be found on the center console.
  • Independently reclining chairs
  • Because of the glide function, only a small gap is needed against the wall.


  • Significant global impact

Carter’s by DaVinci Arlo Swivel Rocking Glider

This recliner is a great alternative for a wide range of nurseries thanks to its timeless wingback design and range of neutral colors. Extra lumbar support is provided by a cushion at the base of the backrest, and the plush padding all around makes for a comfortable sitting experience. If you plan on using this chair for bottle feedings, the stain- and water-resistant fabric is a must-have.

Product Descriptions and Parameters

  • Chair that can swivel and rock back and forth
  • Standard dimensions for a vertical object are 38 inches in width, 29 inches in depth, and 41.5 inches in height.
  • As a reference, I weigh 106 pounds.


  • Has the ability to swivel, rock, and recline
  • Fabric that is resistant to spills and stains
  • Addition of a lumbar pillow


  • Pricey for a hand-cranked reclining chair.

Jummico Fabric Recliner Chair Adjustable

In spite of its compact size, this chair features an advanced massage system with eight different modes and an adjustable massage intensity for your lower back. Large, curved armrests and a plush, padded backrest ensure a relaxing seat. This recliner comes in four neutral colors that will match most decors: gray, brown, light blue, and red. It comes in at 55,3 lb.

Product Descriptions and Parameters

  • Type: Traditional
  • Dimensions (width x depth x height): 19.8 x 28.8 x 38.6
  • A total of 55,3 pounds


  • There are 3 possible reclined positions.
  • Isolated muscle massager
  • Choice of 4 Colors


  • It’s too cramped for those of us who are a bit more hefty.

Vitesse Gaming Recliner Chair Racing Style

This recliner can withstand the most intense gaming sessions thanks to its steel reclining mechanism and hardwood frame. Gamepads can be stashed in the rear compartment. This chair has dimensions of 31.9 x 25.2 x 40 inches.

Product Descriptions and Parameters

  • Type: Traditional
  • Dimensions (in inches): 31.9 wide x 25.2 deep x 40 high
  • Total 59 pound weight


  • Two different ways to relax
  • Waterproof material
  • You can choose from a variety of colors.


  • For those of us who are a bit wider in the girth department, it can be a tight squeeze

How We Chose the Best Recliners

To create our list of the finest recliners, we evaluated dozens of models based on a number of criteria. A recliner’s primary design consideration is its ability to withstand the strain caused by its multiple positions (standing, reclining, and so on). For this reason, we were very careful to select only models with solid frames and textiles (such metal or wooden).

A furniture’s aesthetic value cannot be overstated. We carry both formal and informal chairs for living rooms, great rooms, and dens. Recliners with thick padding that holds up against compression and durable upholstery were prioritized for their ability to provide maximum comfort.


If you are still confused about recliners after reading this, we have provided answers to some of the most often asked questions.

Q: How do power recliners work?

The mechanism of a power recliner is either battery-operated or powered by an electric motor that may be plugged into a conventional 120-volt household socket. A two- or three-button controller, either linked to the chair or mounted on the side, is typically used. The recliner’s back, footrest, and headrest can all be adjusted with the included remote control.

Q: How do you measure for a slipcover on a recliner?

Follow these instructions to get the perfect fit for your recliner slipcover:

  • Get out of the reclined position and back into the regular seating position.
  • Recliner height may be determined by measuring its back from peak to trough.
  • To determine the chair’s breadth, begin at the very end of each arm and work your way inward.
  • Measure the chair again, this time from the top to the edge of the footrest, after you’ve reclined it.
  • Find a new slipcover with the help of these dimensions.

Q: How long do recliners last?

If you use your chair frequently, you should expect it to endure for roughly ten years on average.