Accessibility Statement
Link to main content
Sign up for volume pricing

Buying the Perfect Recliner

You’ve made up your mind and decided that you’re going to buy a recliner. That was the easy part. Now it’s time to decide what type of recliner is going to suit your needs and fit in with the rest of your furniture. Before making a decision, here are a few things to consider before adding a recliner to your living space. Since recliners first arrived on the scene, they’ve been associated with a high level of comfort. Because of the design – a reclining back and raised foot rest – it’s nearly impossible to find a recliner that won’t offer at least a moderate amount of comfort.

Leather or Synthetic

One of the most obvious decisions you’ll have to make when choosing a recliner is whether to go with leather, microfiber or fabric. The most popular choice is obviously leather, which provides a sleek and sexy look and feel. While leather may be the most desired type of recliner, it is quite a bit more expensive and is susceptible to scratches. As an alternative, microfiber material can often do a great job of mimicking materials like suede.

Traditional, Rocker or Push-back Recliners

These are the three main types of recliners available. The traditional recliner is a two-position chair – either sitting straight up or reclined – and the person sitting is required to pull a lever or press a button to transition between sitting up and lying down. A rocking recliner combines the rocking motions of a rocking chair with the functionality of recliner. Finally, a push-back chair reclines without a switch or button. The person simply uses their own weight to push the back of the seat into a reclining position.

Recliner Size

Depending on the size of the room you’re planning to furnish, there are multiple size options available to you when you’re choosing a recliner. The majority of people are looking for a single-person recliner, and there are tons of models, brands and sizes out there. But what some people don’t know is that you can buy love seats and full-size sofa recliners. So if you have the space and you want to avoid a fight over who gets to sit in the recliner, a love seat or sofa recliner might be a smart choice.


Many recliner chairs today are available with extras including built-in cup holders, refrigerators, heaters and massagers. It’s up to you to decide which of these extra features you need.


The price of your recliner is one of the biggest factors when you’re buying a chair. If price isn’t a barrier, then a leather recliner with all the bells and whistles is a no-brainer. But if you do have a budget, you may have to make some difficult choices. Leather recliners are going to be more expensive than a microfiber or fabric. Extra features like the ones mentioned above are also going to cause the price to climb, so make sure you prioritize: is leather more important to you than having a built-in fridge? That’s for you to decide.

The Recliner should Fit You

When shopping for recliners, look for one that lets you sit comfortably, with your feet flat on the ground, thighs parallel to the floor, head centered over the shoulders and back fully supported. The perfect recliner for your body type should allow you to sit upright with your lower spine fully supported by the backrest. The recliner should also gently cradle your shoulders and neck, both when in an upright or reclining position. If you do find a recliner that you just must have, but it isn’t an ideal fit, you can select one with a stationary ottoman. This will let you position the ottoman exactly where it needs to be to take the pressure off the backs of your legs, one of the first places to experience discomfort when a recliner is not supporting you like it should.

If you’re big or tall or big and tall, big man recliners are good value for your money. Many manufacturers offer oversized recliners that are comparable in price to their standard sized counterparts, but are designed to be more durable; constructed with heavy duty materials, extra-strength fabrics and reinforced frames and seams.

The Recliner should Fit the Room

Even though the recliner will be in a class all its own, you still don’t want it to stick out in an obtrusive or unsightly way. A casual contemporary oversized recliner, while very comfortable, might look a little out of place in a more traditional or formal living room. Match the style of the recliner you’d like to purchase to the style of furniture currently in the living space. The corners of rooms like dens, family rooms, home theaters and living rooms are “custom” made for recliner chairs. Position a recliner or leather recliner in one corner of your living room or den and pair it with an end table or side table and a lamp, and you’ll have the ideal place to relax after a busy day. Keep in mind that the standard recliner needs approximately six inches of space from chair back to wall to be able to fully recline. Even if you purchase a zero clearance recliner or wall-hugger recliner, plan on giving it a bit of breathing space.

The Recliner should Fit your Lifestyle

Since recliners, like Mac Motions recliners, are available with a variety of different designs and features, make sure that the recliner you are interested in buying fits all of your needs, especially your lifestyle. If you’re buying your recliner for the family room, a swivel recliner might suit you best, allowing you to position yourself comfortably wherever the action is, whether that’s the television or a little one showing you what they made in class.

Want you’re recliner as someplace really comfy to watch TV or read a book? Then select a recliner that has a magazine pouch and/or a remote organizer.

Some manufacturers like Global Furniture USA offer recliners that have massage/heat capabilities.

Take the time to do a little investigating to see what’s out there; when you’re relaxing in your new recliner with all of the features that makes it “your” chair, you’ll know it was worth it.