January 06, 2022 5 min read

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?
Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?

Thinking about a new sofa purchase? You aren’t the only one. Sofas are the highest-selling living room furnishings, and for a good reason. A quality sofa can be the centerpiece of your living room or even your entire house.

If you consider purchasing a new sofa, one of your first thoughts might be whether or not you should buy a stationary sofa or a reclining sofa. The two sofas are different for sure, but what are the differences? What makes a reclining sofa better or worse than a stationary sofa?

At Furniture Fair, we’ve sold stationery and reclining sofas for 50 years now, and the living room staple isn’t going away anytime soon. With that in mind, we want to help you find out if a reclining sofa could be right for your living room or wherever you want it to go.

This article will cover the basics of reclining sofas, what makes reclining sofas different from stationary sofas, and the pros and cons of both sofa types. After reading this article, you will better understand the features, benefits, and potential drawbacks that a reclining sofa could have.

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?
Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?

How Do Reclining Sofas & Stationary Sofas Differ?

Reclining sofas and stationary sofas differ primarily in the features available. Stationary sofas are designed to be used as seating and have no reclining functions, hence the term stationary. Stationary sofas have been around for ages and are an old reliable form of seating.

However, a stationary sofa does not let people recline backward. While a stationary sofa does allow the user to lay across the cushions, a reclining sofa can enable multiple people to recline in comfort.

Reclining sofas are a combination of the classic stationary sofa and the reclining mechanics pioneered by the La-Z-Boy company. The company that would eventually become La-Z-Boy began in a garage in 1927 when cousins Edwin Shoemaker and Edward Knabusch designed the reclining wood-slat chair.

The chair was the first-ever recliner and launched the La-Z-Boy brand. Today, modern recliner innovations brought about by furniture companies’ designs have made the reclining sofa a great living room seating option.

Reclining sofas usually feature two reclining mechanical sections on either end of the couch and some sofas feature reclining across the entire unit.

This innovation allows you additional seating while still letting you relax as if you were in a recliner. If you or the family like to kick back and relax after a long day of work, then a reclining sofa is a great option.

Reclining Sofa Pros

Here are a few pros to owning a reclining sofa rather than a stationary sofa.

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?

Power Features

Reclining sofas feature many recent innovations such as power reclining, power headrests, power lumbar support, heat, massage, and even USB ports for easy access to charge your electronics.

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?
Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?

Maximum Comfort

Reclining sofas are meant to make your seating experience as relaxing as possible. After a long hard day at work, sitting down on your favorite reclining couch can be just the rest and relaxation that you need.

Reclining sofas are most often oversized in their designs to create a softer, more luxurious seating feel. The weaker, oversized design will make your work-worn body happy after a long day, and in return, you will be better rested and ready to attack work head-on.

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?

High Seating Backs

Most reclining sofas have higher backs than a traditional sofa style. A higher seat back is great for people who are taller and need higher back support. Taller backs allow for more back and neck support, especially when reclining.

One particular exception to the high back rule is Hickorycraft, which offers sofas with lower ends and reclining. Hickorycraft furniture is designed to create a clean silhouette without adding too much extra bulk with the reclining mechanics.

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?

Reclining Sofa Cons

Now that we know the benefits of reclining sofas let’s look at a few potential drawbacks.

Mechanics Can Fail

A reclining sofa with broken recliners is just a more decadent stationary sofa. Worse still, if your mechanics should happen to fail in the reclined position, you have nothing but a broken eye-sore that only looks good in a dumpster on the way to a landfill.

If you want to avoid a reclining sofa that breaks, make sure you buy a couch with a good warranty and better-built mechanical elements. The Good, Better, Best System is a great way to determine which brand has better quality mechanical parts.

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?

Lying Across The Sofa May Not Be As Comfortable

Reclining sofas are usually built to maximize comfort when lounging. Thus, they have more padding and different framing; stretching across the sofa lengthwise is not quite as comfortable.

While a reclining sofa may cut back on the convenience of flopping across the couch after a long day, you might save the sofa from some potential stains left from eating while lying down on the couch.

Once again, a significant exception to the rule is Hickorycraft, which has sofas that are designed so that you can recline or stretch out across the couch.

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?
Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?

Reclining Sofa Styles Are Limited

Because a reclining sofa is built to maximize comfort, the styles usually offered in reclining sofas can be limited. You might not get that ultra-low profile mid-century modern sofa frame with a reclining attachment.

Reclining mechanics are large and need additional storage room inside the sofa, which means that reclining sofas are limited to larger frames and styles. If you are looking for a small, clean, elegant sofa, a reclining sofa may not be your best option.

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?

Know Which Sofa Is The Best Fit For You

Now that you know a few of the pros and cons of reclining sofas, you can figure out whether or not a reclining sofa is right for you. You are one step closer to finding the right couch for you!

Remember that reclining sofas are great for comfort and convenience thanks to a wide variety of features, but they are also limited in style and can be a hassle if the mechanics fail. Bear the pros and cons in mind before making a purchase decision.

If you want to learn more about the potential issues you might have with reclining furniture, check out this article about the four biggest problems with reclining furniture.

If you are looking to enhance your home with a new sofa, consider visiting Furniture Fair. We have over 11 locations throughout the Cincinnati, Dayton, Louisville, and Indiana areas, and we offer a wide variety of delivery options, including curbside shipping! Visit us today and find out more about the reclining sofas that we have available.

Is A Reclining Sofa Right For Me?