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 making sure the quality of his writing is nevertheless preserved.
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 client’s individual needs.
Last updated: May 22, 2021
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That heavenly sensation of sinking into a plush lay-flat recliner is an experience we would recommend for every human, chiefly because it is very good for your health. Reclining in a zero-gravity position takes the tension and pressure off your body and allows it to recover and rest.
However, finding the best lay flat recliner is a bit like getting a prescription – you have to think about what your body needs, special features available, and what you can afford.
Our panel of expert reviewers spent hours researching and testing some of the best lay-flat recliners. We checked special functionality such as power lift and massage, quality construction for durability, upholstery material, among many others.
While we believe that finding the best recliner chair is a personal decision, we know that these qualities can help determine functionality and value for your money. Read on to find out which among these top-rated recliner chairs best meet your needs and budget. Of more than 10 lay-flat recliners reviewed, here are our top five picks. We took the liberty of rating them based on their functionality and quality to help you choose the best ones.
What makes the Irene House recliner chair so fantastic is that it is designed for users who are elderly, invalid, or with decreased mobility. This chair is meant to help users feel comfortable without being swallowed in it, but anyone taller than 5’8” and heavier than 200 pounds might find it a bit constricting.
As we have discovered from other users, this chair is best suited for elderly people who will benefit the most from the advanced dual-motor functionality. It allows accurate control for reclining and helping them stand up with the power lift, which we found to be very gentle but firm. The quality of the motor controls is emphasized by how silent and smooth their operation is even when lifting a heavy person, and you get a hand controller with four buttons to command all these functions.
What we liked:
What we loved most, though, is that you can adjust the leg rest independently of the backrest. That’s something many recliners don’t have but which allows for a much wider range of comfortable recline positions whether you’re reading, watching TV, napping, or simply passing the time. The high-density sponge padding and fiber cushioning are also perfect for both support and soft comfort, especially given the overstuffed back and lumbar cushions. Even with the PU leather topper, this is the perfect recliner chair to sink into and relax the body.
What could be better:
Our main problem with the Irene House Dual OKIN power lift recliner is that the hand controller is very simple, having only arrows for up and down functionality. Having preset positions such as zero-gravity, injury recovery, reading and so on would have been a big help. As it is, it takes time to get used to the Up/Down buttons which have no words at all, just symbols. Plus, there’s that little problem of size as we have already mentioned.
If you’re that person who is willing to pay to get the best, this is the recliner chair for you. Everything is top grade, from the authentic Italian leather on the sitting surface to the power recline functionality and plush padding.
Catnapper has been compared with La-Z-boy mainly because of the sheer comfort and high-end construction of both brands of recliner chairs. Of all Catnapper models (which are named after people and places), the Boyd is unique because it is of its premium design and genuine leather upholstery.
What we liked:
However, what impressed us most is Catnapper’s unique Comfort Coil technology consisting of pocketed coils encased in Cool Gel memory foam. These provide far superior comfort and support than memory foam or plush cushioning – we know because we have tested all of them. Together with the power recline functions with infinite positions, this is the perfect chair in which to read, watch TV, nurse a baby, or sleep. And yes, the recliner function includes a powered leg rest.
What could be better:
The Catnapper Boyd is built around a strong steel frame, so together with its tough leather upholstery and individual pocket spring cushioning, it should last a very long time. Unfortunately, this is what makes it a pain to break in. Just like a new mattress, the memory gel pads and pocketed springs require some time to get used to. The recliner position can feel hard instead of that “sinking” feeling you would expect from a plush-padded chair. That is not a deal-breaker, though a few extra inches of soft cushioning couldn’t hurt.
The Maxxprime recliner and massage chair is highly underrated, yet it has some of the best features on our list. It has the same amazing OKIN motors that made the Irene House our top pic, but it also has unique heating and vibrating massage functions. It even has the same dual motors that enable independent adjustment of the backrest and footrest independently when you want to watch TV, read, or simply relax.
Like the previous option, the Maxxprime Power Lift Recliner chair is also best suited to users who are either elderly or have reduced mobility. While the lift function is firm and gentle, it is designed to be slow to give the user enough time to get steady on their feet; anyone else would be frustrated by the slow speed. Another reason for this is that this chair is quite short, so anyone shorter than 5’8” will have to deal with their feet hanging off the edge.
What we liked:
We did love that this chair has vibration and heating features. Anyone who experiences chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis will find it a lifesaver. It’s not a proper massage chair, but it is a significant help. Add to that the accurate and smooth controls of the OKIN dual motors and power lift assist and you have the perfect recliner for seniors.
What could be better:
Aside from the fact that this chair is on the short side, we really didn’t like the PU leather material. It looks good and is easy to clean, but in our experience, it to be sweaty and doesn’t age well. We prefer genuine leather or soft fabric, or top-quality PU leather at the very least. Note to Maxxprime: if you could design the footrest to be extensible, you could make the chair perfect for tall and big people, given that the chair is already rated for 330 pounds.
As the second Catnapper that made it to our list, the Cloud 12 impressed us with its large size and plush comfort. As one user described it, “… with this chair, I can twist, turn to find the optimal position…and cozy up however I like.” That user is 5’9” and yet he left plenty of space on this big and tall recliner chair. The Catnapper Cloud 12 is a strong, oversize, “big daddy” recliner chair rated for 350 pounds of weight, which is part of why we think it would make a better place to sleep than some beds.
We have already said that this chair is designed for big users, and there are 20 inches of seating space between the armrests. That is plenty of wiggle room, but that means small users might find themselves swallowed in it. Everything from the padding to the thick armrests and side footrest makes it a recliner for big folks only.
What we liked:
The Catnapper Cloud 12 looks great, but wait until you sit or sleep in it. To begin with, the fabric upholstery is soft and very puffy, which is something we enjoyed as opposed to the hard texture of PU or leather. Beneath that the chair is overfilled with padding made of block foam and poly fiberfill, which is both supportive and very soft. This is a heavily padded recliner chair that easily competes with the likes of La-Z-y Boy for sheer comfort.
What could be better:
The Catnapper Cloud 12 is a big improvement over previous models that had manual recline. However, it has only one electric motor for the powered recline, which means that you cannot adjust the backrest independently of the footrest. Raising the footrest means that you will have to recline. Even though there is a dedicated TV Position, trying to raise the footrest any higher will cause it to go almost flat.
The Mecor Power Lift recliner is a top-rated product, so our 9.2 rating is purely for objective reasons. Unlike most of the others on our list, it isn’t padded as generously as we might have liked. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t comfortable – on the contrary, it is one of the most feature-rich lay-flat recliner chairs we reviewed. It is a dual motor recliner with independently powered back and foot rests, stand-up power assist functionality, vibrating massage, and. heating.
The Mecor Power Recliner is the kind of chair that would be just as useful in a care home as it would be in a typical living room. It is a very versatile and modern piece of furniture, and we find that it is one of the best lay flat contemporary recliners around. Functionally, it comes with a heating function and 8 vibrating nodes to massage various points in the body such as the lumbar, thighs, back, and legs.
What we liked:
With all these premium features, the one thing that immediately stands out is that the Mecor Power Recliner offers incredible value for money. With its price, it compares favorably to many others that cost well over $1,000. It’s not just about the massage functions – the chair also offers dual motor recline and power lift functions with independent footrest and backrest adjustment. In terms of design, we liked that it has a sturdy metal and metal board frame upholstered with surprisingly good quality PU leather.
What could be better:
The one thing that peeved us out with this chair is the upholstery. It is padded as well as it should, even though we concede that it is meant to be a different, more contemporary design compared to the plush models on this list. This is not an easy chair to take long naps in, especially because the back has no lumbar support. You will need a separate lumbar cushion to avoid back pain and discomfort, which is why we only gave this chair a 9.2 in spite of its amazing features.
Things to Consider
Lay-flat recliners are complicated chairs that require some technical know-how when it comes to choosing the right one. For example, what size of recliner will suit you? What about the proper range of reclining motion? You will learn about these and other technical details in this lay-flat recliner buying guide.
Benefits of Lay-Flat Recliners
The ability to get off your feet, kick back your recliner, and relax has immense benefits. For one, it takes the weight off your body’s support system and relieves tension. This can be very beneficial to alleviate pain in the joints and muscles. It also helps to improve circulation, which is why some people may find it easier to sleep in a lay-flat recliner than on a bed.
For seniors, invalids, and those with mobility impairments, the best lay-flat recliners with lift-assist are especially helpful because they help them to get on their feet. Other functions such as heating and massage are fantastic extras but not necessary for a recliner.
Features to Consider When Purchasing a Lay-Flat Recliner
There are many types of recliners.
Push-back recliners with manual recline
Power recliners with push-button electric controls
Typical rocker recliners
Glider recliners; these move along an arched path as opposed to rockers
Lift recliners have a lift assist function for elderly people to help them get out of the chair to an upright position
In this case, lay-flat recliners are designed to recline to an almost flat position so that you can sleep in them. Many also tend to be power recliners and come with lift assist, but not always.
There are plush recliners like the Catnapper Cloud 12, and there are contemporary designs such as the Mecor power lift. Some are designed to save on space by being wall-huggers, while others are sofa recliners due to their lavish design. Most importantly, some recliners are designed to accommodate large and heavy users.
Upholstery material is critical. Leather is known for its unbeatable durability, beauty, and ease of maintenance. Fabric upholstery tends to be very soft and cozy, but it is difficult to clean if it gets sweat or spills on it. PU leather is a common material, but it needs to be high-quality with no VOCs for health reasons and be relatively long-lasting. However, higher quality upholstery generally demands higher prices.
Lay-flat recliners generally tend to be big, but the overall dimensions will tell you how much space they take. Transportation isn’t generally an issue because it comes in parts to be assembled at home, but those with limited space might need to consider smaller chairs such as the Mecor as opposed to big ones such as the Maxxprime or Catnapper Boyd.
Seat Dimensions and Height
By comparing two seats such as the Irene House and the Catnapper Cloud 12, you can see the difference and importance of specific seat and height dimensions. The Irene house has a seat measuring 18 ½” W x 21” L while the Cloud 12’s seat measures 20” W by 23” L, making the Irene House perfect for larger users and the best for big people. The Irene House is 36” tall while the Cloud 12 is 45” tall, which also shows that tall users are best suited for the latter.
The range of reclining angles is very important. A good lay-flat recliner should reach at least 1750 when fully reclined, while a lift-assist chair should make a positive angle of at least 0450.
While some low-quality recliners have preset positions already locked, the best recliners allow you to lock in the chair at any angle you wish.
The recliner chair of your choice needs to have a higher weight limit than the weight of the user to avoid accidents and ensure durability.
Ease of Assembly
Most recliner chairs are transported in separate parts for portability, but that means assembly can be a headache. Unless you are very handy with tools and machines, it’s best to go for the recliners that have minimal assembly requirements.
Most of the components such as motors should be pre-assembled, and you should get detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to put together the chair. If you can afford it, opt for white-glove service to have the chair installed upon delivery.
Recliner chairs are expensive, but they also tend to be fragile. To make sure that you get your money’s worth, you should have a minimum 2-year warranty on the electronics and at least 5 years on the frame. The best warranty or protection plan also covers labor and replacement for the first few months of service to make sure that you don’t get stuck with a lemon.
Extra features such as massage functions (vibration, heating), inbuilt speakers, remote holder, and elaborate recline control are all fantastic. However, they are not strictly essential and they add significantly to the overall cost of the chair. If you want high-end functionality, be prepared to splash $1,000 or more on a proper massage chair.
Sleeping in a recliner is safe so long as you have proper back support. Most recliners offer more support than a standard bed, which could make it easier for those with back pain, sleep apnea, and other conditions to sleep better.
The right size of a recliner chair is determined by the width and depth of the seat, as well as the height of the recliner. Measure an existing chair in your home to find the best range for the intended user.
Your head and shoulders should be slightly lower than the top of your recliner, so that only the back of your head touches the seat. In this position, your neck is perfectly aligned with your spine. If you require more support, you can add an additional neck cushion, but don’t let your head loll back over the top of the recliner.
Whether you want to buy a recliner chair for yourself or for a loved one, it is important to conduct extensive research to ensure that you find a chair that best fits your needs. It’s size, design, and features should be just perfect to ensure maximum benefits.
These five best lay-flat recliners we have reviewed caught our attention as being the best in their categories, and they should definitely be on your list. For example, our Editor’s Choice is the Irene House Dual OKIN Motor Lift Chair due to its perfect motor control for recline and lift assist capabilities.
Our Premium Pick is the Catnapper Boyd, which tops the list due to its deluxe quality construction, comfort, and durability. Finally, our Best Value choice is the Mecor Power Lift Recliner due to its affordability and impressive range of extra features.
Whichever one you choose among these or others on our list, be sure to test it extensively during the one month return period. A lay-flat recliner chair is a significant investment in your health and wellness, so take your time to find the best fit.