How to Fix a Recliner that Leans to One Side: Reasons and Solutions

Robert Bernal
Robert Bernal
Research Writer
Robert is a professional writer who creates incredible science fiction short stories. When not writing about the alien invasions, he focuses on some more trivial topics maki read more
Reviewed By
William Barnett
William Barnett
Expert Consultant
William is a top sales manager in one of the local furniture stores, which sells recliners among others. Like nobody else, he knows what specs to look for to fulfil each cli read more
Last updated: August 23, 2023
ReclinerLand is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

People all around the world are in love with their recliner chairs. They can provide great comfortability, can have added features that enhance the experience, and are overall suitable for many home and professional environments. Since there’s an abundance of recliners that are suitable for different purposes, many different people use them, and they use them often.

After some extensive use, your recliner chair can take a beating. As a result, your recliner may begin to lean toward one side or the other. If your recliner is leaning to one side or another, this can dampen your relaxing experience and should be a sure-fire sign that your recliner needs some fixing. Luckily enough, fixing your recliner’s leaning problem can often be an easy fix!

Possible causes

How to Fix a Recliner that Leans to One Side: Reasons and Solutions

In truth, there are a few different reasons as to why your recliner could be leaning to the side. Figuring out the reason why your recliner is leaning will lead you to be able to feasibly fix the problem. On the other end, some issues may call for professional help. Circumstances working against your recliner, and worn out parts and components within it, can lead to a leaning recliner. These include:

  • Broken / Weak reclining mechanism: In your recliner chair, there is a sliding frame that allows it to recline back and forth. If any parts included in the sliding frame are broken or faulty, this could lead to a leaning recliner. This is often the most direct cause.
  • Uneven floor: An uneven weight distribution, over time, can lead to a leaning recliner. If one leg or area of the base is more elevated than others, the weight will be more favorably placed in one area than another, causing stress on the components in that area. Replacement parts are available, but relocating the chair as soon as possible should be the first course of action.
  • Weak / Badly built chair frame: Normally, a bad design, and construction can be noticed after the few first few times you sit in it. This is typically more common of a problem with lower-end models, that are perhaps made with cheaper material. Most of the time, manufacturer warranties are offered, so taking advantage of that as soon as possible would be recommended.


If you’re going to be fixing your recliner chair in order to stop it from leaning to one side, you’re going to need to be equipped with the proper tools in order to get the job done. There’s a good chance that you already have some of these tools at home, but if not, they can be purchased at your local hardware store. The tools you need include:

  • Oil: You’ll be needing oil to lubricate rusted or old joints to make them come off / move around more easily. This can either be applied in drip or spray form.
  • Screwdriver: This is a very common household tool that you likely have in your home already, as it’s used for multiple purposes. With a screwdriver, you’ll be taking out screws that unlock panels and joints.
  • Wood glue: Wood glue is more efficient than regular glue. It’s meant to hold together objects with a strong adhesive and is often used in construction settings. Wood glue can be used to reconnect stiffening wooden joints and/or wooden panels.


How to fix it

As mentioned, fixing your recliner chair from leaning to one side can be pretty simple. Regardless, you’ll still need to carefully follow some instructions to get the job done efficiently. If you follow the steps listed below, you should be able to fix your recliner’s leaning problem in no time! The steps include:

  • Step 1: Place the recliner in a position where you can easily access the hidden wooden panel. When you do, loosen the screws on the panel, and possibly on the footrest if this area is affected too.
  • Step 2: Remove any upholstery or coverings that are hiding the frame in order to get a better view.
  • Step 3: If necessary, apply oil to any springs and joints that happen to be rusty, or perhaps creaky. Place a towel or newspaper on the ground to catch any oil drips. Always wipe away excess oil.
  • Step 4: With your screwdriver, place back on any joints that were loosened or taken off in the process. Be extra careful with joints near springs. The last thing you want is for the spring to release tension from the coils and shoot off.
  • Step 5: Inspect along the perimeters of your recliners frame and the joints for any hairline cracks / big cracks. If you notice that any of them are cracked, you’ll need to replace them as soon as possible.
  • Step 6: With any part that you take out of your recliner for replacing, be sure to clean out the area in which the part was. After you’ve cleaned the area, refer to the recliner’s manual/new part manual for further instructions during installation.
  • Step 7: If any wooden parts happen to be broken or disconnected, they can potentially be fixed with wood glue. Extra support can be added with metal bracing.
  • Step 8: After all parts are functioning and fastened, cover back up the mechanisms with the wooden panels, and put the upholstery back down.

Main rules to follow when fixing a recliner

How to Fix a Recliner that Leans to One Side: Reasons and Solutions

There are some helpful rules that you should follow when attempting to fix your recliner. These rules are meant to keep you safer and help you get the job done in a more efficient manner. Even though these rules may seem obvious to some, they are still nonetheless important to point out. Rules when fixing a recliner include:

  • Always secure joints properly and tightly after unfastening or replacing them. Tight joints and screws will hold the chair’s components in place for longer.
  • Apply oil to any joints that are rusty and / or creaky to make them easier to unfasten and replace.
  • Use help to get the job done more safely. With help, you can easily move the recliner around as needed.
  • Always check for debris or stuck objects that could possibly be the reason for your recliners leaning and /or lever functioning problem.

When to call a professional

You may perhaps reach a point where you believe you’ve tried everything, but you still can’t seem to fix the problem. As mentioned, a lot of the time, the reason for your recliners leaning can be simple, making it a rather easy fix. In other cases, the problem may be too extreme for you to attempt to fix it yourself. Before calling a professional, always be sure to take a look at it yourself first, to possibly save yourself some money if the problem ends up being simple. Regardless, you may want to call a professional to fix your recliner when:

  • You’ve already tried to replace a part that you believe was the root of the problem. Taking the matter more into your own hands can possibly create more issues down the line.
  • You can’t pinpoint the reason for the leaning issue whatsoever. You’ve checked all possible reasons listed on the internet, but you still can’t identify the issue.
  • You are physically unable to feasibly move around and examine the recliner by yourself.

Extra tips on how to avoid such problems in the future

If you’re aware of the possible problems that could arise in your recliner after a bit of use, you can deliberately do some things now that will help to avoid these problems in the future. The key to a long recliner life is keeping it in good condition. Some tips to avoid future problems are:

  • Keep your recliner on an elevated surface to promote even weight distribution.
  • Regularly check in on the frame and structure of your recliner. Maintaining a schedule of a monthly examination would be recommended.
  • Make sure to buy quality recliners from trusted companies. Cheap recliners will deteriorate faster than others.

In conclusion

There’s no doubt in the world that dealing with a leaning issue in your recliner can be annoying. When you get home after a long day of work and activities, you just want to be able to sit down and relax in your favorite chair without having to deal with any comfort issues. The good news is that your recliners leaning problem can often be an easy fix that you can do all by yourself. Before calling a professional, be sure to check for any of the common reasons for leaning issues listed above and try out the step-by-step procedure!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *