June 18, 2021 6 min read

If you are considering purchasing a recliner, you might just be surprised at how many options are available to buy. The standards for reclining technology have risen significantly over the past ten years, and today’s recliner can have almost as many options as a fast-food menu.

With so many options available to choose from, including the ability to custom order furniture, deciding which recliner to choose can seem like a daunting task.

Many customers end up picking the first recliner that seems like it’ll do the trick. However, with a bit of research and helpful information, finding a perfect recliner is easier than you may think.

So just what are the types of recliners available, and which one is best for you? Are all recliners the same regardless of technology, or should you be focused on finding the perfect recliner with the features best for your needs?

This article will cover the many types of recliners now available to purchase and why they may or may not be suitable for your home.

Furniture Fair’s goal is to help you complete that living room, reading room, or corner of your bedroom so that you will be comfortable and satisfied with your new manual or power recliner purchase.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?
What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

The Most Common Types Of Recliners Available

Now let’s sit back, kick our feet up, and take a look at the most common types of recliners in the furniture world today.

After reading the options below, you will have a much better idea of which type of reclining armchair will suit you and your interior design style, whether it be a classic leather recliner or an ultra-modern lift chair.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Lever Handle Recliner

Sometimes the classics are the way to go. The lever handle recliner is arguably the most iconic image for recliners in general and, more than likely, what comes to mind when you hear the word recliner.

Your parents probably had matching ones that went beside their reclining couch, or maybe your dad had that classic “Dad chair” that was always reserved for when he came home from work.

Regardless of your history with the lever handle recliner, this recliner is a classic for a reason.

Lever handle recliners use a wood or plastic handle, that when pulled, triggers the reclining mechanism, raises the built-in footrest and leans the back of the chair to a more reclined position.

While usually light on bells and whistles, a lever handle recliner is a comfortable and iconic piece of furniture that will help you relax the same way your parents did after a long day.

If you want to recreate that classic feel and are more budget-minded, lever handle recliners are an intelligent investment.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?
What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Pull Handle Recliner

A pull handle recliner is a slightly updated variation of the lever recliner, with a somewhat easier reclining function.

The pull handle is recessed into the side of the recliner and triggers the recline function when pulled, similar to some vehicle door handles.

Once pulled, the recliner footrest pops up to the reclined position faster than what a lever pull would, and then that back of the recliner can raise and lower by pushing into it with your body.

An interesting difference between the lever pull and the pull handle is that you need to push your feet into the footrest to move a pull handle recliner back into a locked position.

If you like manual reclining and want an even easier reclining method, then a pull handle recliner might be the way to go for your living room, reading room, or even a relaxed home office.

Pull handle recliners offer a good balance between the simplicity of a lever handle recliner and are available at many price ranges and qualities.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Wall Hugger Recliner

A wall hugger or wall recliner is a type of recliner designed to function in smaller spaces efficiently without needing space behind the chair to recline.

If you don’t like having the backs of your recliner showing, or you have a smaller space, a wall hugger recliner may be right for you.

Wall hugger recliners are built using a sliding track mechanism that slides the seat and footrest forward into a reclining position, eliminating the need for as much space behind the recliner.

If your living area has a wall behind where you want your recliner to be, consider using a wall hugger recliner and cut down on the unnecessary use of space.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?
What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Push-back Recliner

A push-back recliner shares many similarities to a wall hugger recliner in that it slides on a track. However, a glider recliner is not designed to save space behind the chair but rather slide as efficiently as possible into a reclined position.

Push-back recliners are unique and trendy due to their ability to blend in when not used as a recliner. When not reclined, a push-back recliner looks like an everyday armchair meaning this style can easily integrate with other kinds of décor.

If you like sleek, trendy designs and a low-profile silhouette, the pushback recliner may suit your needs. Comfy, easy to style, and effortless to recline, a push-back recliner will complete your living room no matter your style.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Rocking Recliner

A rocking recliner is just what it sounds like; a recliner rocks when not in the reclined position. Rocker recliners can have multiple reclining handle types and body designs but are built around the ability to rock and then recline when you are tired of rocking.

If you like to rock when chatting with friends or reading a good book but want to keep the ability to stretch out and relax after a long day, a rocker recliner may be the right option for you.

For even more comfort, find your perfect match of the features available to add to a rocker recliner.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?
What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Glider Recliner

A glider recliner is similar to a rocker recliner but rather than rocking on an arc, glider recliners move on a track, making the ride feel slightly smoother. Glider recliners are great for cozy living rooms or nurseries where rocking is integral to keeping the baby happy.

Most recliners disengage the rocking feature when fully reclined so that when you are fully kicked back you won’t get that seasick feeling that many boat passengers know.

If you have a newborn or are outfitting a room with “comfy-core” as your aesthetic, a glider recliner is both comfortable and functional.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Swivel Recliner

A swivel recliner is perfect for those spaces in your home where you want to be able to move your chair as the conversation requires effortlessly. Swivel recliners can spin 360 degrees in some instances and are perfect for living rooms or cozy home offices.

Swivel recliners are built on a circular base, so they can swivel back and forth and recline. If you enjoy not feeling limited by the motion of your chair, consider getting a swivel recliner.

Swivel recliners are great living room furniture or office furniture if you want a more relaxed office feel.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?
What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Power Recliner

Power Recliners use electricity for the recline function and offer a wide variety of styles and button variations, with some even featuring touch screen technology, infinite positioning, power massage, heating functions, top-grain leather upholstery, and other custom options.

A power recliner uses electric motors to recline and incline at the push of a button. However, if you like the instant reclining that a lever recliner offers, a power recliner may feel a bit slow.

If you don’t like pushing your footrest closed to get up, the power closing function will be perfect for your needs.

For an in-depth comparison of manual recliners versus power recliners, check out our video comparison right here. If you want more information, check out why a power recliner made the list of our best chairs for gaming.

Power recliners are the newest advancement in the recliner world. If you are worried about electrical outlets and ugly cords needing to be concealed by a tv stand or end table, many power recliners now offer battery packs, leaving the option open to not use a charge cord.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Power Lift Chair

A further innovation to the power recliner, the power lift chair is a chair built to assist anyone who may have difficulty getting in and out of furniture.

Power lift chairs (a type of medical recliner) are beneficial for older individuals or people who need a little assistance getting out of the chair.

Lift recliners use electric motors to lift the chair from a seated position to a standing position. With a lift chair, mobility is just a little bit easier, and your time spent in the chair will be comfortable and relaxing.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?
What Are The Different Types Of Recliners?

Ready To Find Your Ideal Recliner Type?

Now that you know what types of recliners are available, you can have an easier time deciding which one may be right for you.

Remember that there are multiple types of manual and power reclining chairs and that the kind of recliner you choose should depend on whether you prioritize comfort or mobility.

If you like kicking back and relaxing in your living room, office space, consider looking for a rocking chair recliner, lift chair recliner or a power lift recliner at Furniture Fair.

We have been in business for over 50 years, and we have a wide variety of recliners, reclining sofas, reclining loveseats, and accent chairs available.

Visit us online for furniture reviews and ratings from every brand we carry. We have over 11 locations throughout the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Louisville areas, and we offer a wide variety of delivery options, including curbside delivery!