What Does Recliner Mean?

Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: August 25, 2022
Recliner Land is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

For decades, the reclining chair has been a popular way of ending a stressful day. Nothing feels better than sinking into a comfortable chair with a bag of chips in your hands in front of the TV after a long working day. A recliner chair is loved by many for all the good reasons. On top of its functional and stylish features, it offers exceptional and relieving comfort. The chairs are even better with the advancement of technology and style trends.

Comfort is, without a doubt, what we are all looking for in a recliner. But what more should you consider when buying a recliner to make the right purchase? This article contains all the ideal information you need to know about recliners, including what a recliner is, the different types, fabric options, and shopping considerations.

What is a recliner?

A recliner, also commonly known as a reclining chair, or lounger is an upholstered armchair that you can tilt backward to position your body in a relaxing way. It includes a footrest that rises whenever it reclines. It can also be tilted to a near supine position for sleeping and comes in handy in trains, airplanes, and homes.

Many modern recliners have an adjustable headrest, an independent footstool, and lumbar support. They all adjust with your weight and the angle of your legs to offer you premium comfort. The more advanced models include massage, heat, and vibration for added comfort. Some are even wheelchair accessible.

What Does Recliner Mean?

Types of recliners

Before choosing a recliner, you should be well versed with the various types available in the market to get what suits you best. Here are some of the recliners you are bound to come across when you go shopping;-

Standard two or three-position recliner

This is an ideal choice for anyone looking for comfort, style, and affordability in a recliner. The 2 position recliners are also known as double recliners and have 2 positions; fully reclined or upright just like their name suggests. They recline when the footrest is released with a lever.  They are usually the cheapest. Thus, the most popular but they have limited functions and occupy a lot of space because you can’t place them near a wall.

With a 3-position recliner, you can comfortably recline in a sleeping position, a TV-watching position, and a standard straight position. Just like the 2-position recliners, they are extremely affordable, comfortable, and easy to operate. Both of them can also help relieve lower back pain.


These have long been a favorite among nursing mothers and people who have babies. They have several reclining angles and are super comfortable. You can set their foot up without their back going all the way down. For this reason, they are the most suitable for small spaces. Actually, you can place them near the walls.

Rocker recliners recline on arched tracks that make the rock back and forth while glider recliners when they move back and forth on a linear path. They are not cheaper than the standard 2 or 3-position recliners, but they are among the most affordable recliners in the market.

What Does Recliner Mean?

Push-back recliner

If you are on the market for a good looking recliner, this should be your ultimate choice. These recliners recline when you push back into the seat. They don’t come with a lever or button to push; all you have to do is lean back and exert pressure on the back of the chair. Without buttons and levers, the recliners look like a real chair when not reclined. That is why they are popularly known for their sense of style.

Push-back recliners are ideal for small living spaces because only their back moves. They are just as affordable as 2 or 3-position standard recliners, and you can always get an ottoman as a footrest.

Power lift/riser recliner

Quite simply, these are motorized recliner chairs. They recline and lift upward so you can easily get out of the chair. They suit the elderly and people with physical disabilities or injuries who have difficulty in sitting and standing. They are the most expensive recliners, but they are highly versatile and worth the investment.

These recliners require a lot of space, so they cannot be placed near walls. You have to plug them into a wall socket, and they use a transformer to control voltage and prevent electrical shocks.

The riser recliners are made with either single or dual motor. The single motor models have one motor that controls both the reclining and the rising of the chair. Most of them usually recline up to 45 degrees, and they come with 2-button remote controls. Dual motor recliners, on the other hand, feature 2 motors, one for operating the chair and the other for the footrest. They come with 4-button remote control, and they recline fully.

Wall saver/hugger recliner

Are you looking to save on space with a stylish and comfortable recliner chair? Well, here is your best bet. Also known as a zero wall recliner or a wall-saver recliner, a wall-hugger recliner sits upright and straighter than other recliners that you can press it directly to the wall. Their range of motion is also limited, and you can easily get in and out of their resting position.

Electric powered recliner

What Does Recliner Mean?

Yet another prime choice for people with physical limitations. They are designed to offer the same comfort as the traditional recliners, but zero exertion needed to operate them. With a simple touch of a button, you will be able to sit back and relax at your most desired angle.

They are operated by automated motors either by a pack of batteries or an electrical cord. Most electric-powered recliners come with 3 buttons on the side of the armrest, one for the footrest, one for the headrest, and another for the recliner’s back.

Lift recliner

These are another great option for the elderly or individuals with knees, legs, or hips troubles. Basically, anyone having trouble getting up from a deep recliner can benefit highly from lift recliners. With the lift technology, the recliner chair is pushed for a flat seated position to an upright position that guides you into the standing position.

Massage recliner

These are recliners that not only offer you comfort but also deliver robust or gentle massages whenever you want in the comfort of your own home. There is a wide range of massage recliner chairs that offer full therapeutic massages or simple warming and relaxing massages.

They don’t have the best aesthetic appeal, and they occupy a lot of space because they are bulky, but they will help relieve your pain, aches, and muscle tension.

Swivel recliner

These are highly preferred for their full range of motion. They are built on a circular base that allows them to not only recline backward but also swivel left and right.

What Does Recliner Mean?

Fabric options

This comes entirely down to personal preference, but you should know what to expect in the market. The type of fabric you choose should suit your tastes and also be easy to clean and maintain.

Brushed, fizzy cloth

This is a great option if you have kids and pets, and you are worried about spills and messes. It is one of the most affordable, easy-to-maintain options. Brushed fizzy cloth is soft, thus gentle to the touch but also strong and thick, thus, durable. It is breathable and highly resistant to stain.


Nothing screams longevity and class like leather when it comes to upholstery. A perfect finish of a genuine leather recliner is not only bound to last you more than a decade but also adds a luxurious feeling to your living space. It is also smooth, super comfortable, and very easy to clean and maintain. Most genuine leather upholstery are also scratch-resistant.

What Does Recliner Mean?Faux leather and vynil

If you can’t afford real leather but still want a neat leather finish on your recliner chair, you can go for the faux leather and vinyl material. They are easy to clean and maintain and do not require any conditioning or special care like real leather. Vinyl also offers a wider range of colors compared to leather.

Shopping considerations

Here are a few things you have to consider before buying a recliner chair to get one that perfectly suits your needs.

Size of your room

This is an essential aspect to consider before buying a recliner. Perhaps the most crucial. Some recliners occupy a lot of space because of their bulky build and reclining mechanism. If you have a lot of space, you can go for the standard 2 or 3-position recliners, massage recliners, or the rise recliners.

If you have a small living space, then you better buy a recliner that is big on saving space like the wall hugger recliner.

Your body size

For longevity, buy a recliner based on your body size. If you are too heavy for your recliner, it will definitely wear out quickly. Check the dimensions and weight to ensure you get a recliner chair that can easily support your body weight. Heavy-duty recliners are the best choice if you are not so sure about weight capacity.

You should also ensure the height of the chair suits you perfectly. It is more comfortable if your entire body fits on the chair, especially in the reclined position. Plus, some recliners are hard to recline if you are not tall enough.

What Does Recliner Mean?


This is a major contributing factor to your recliner’s longevity. Different types of recliners have varying types of construction. After choosing what suits your style, you have to be keen on the material used in the construction of the recliner and how firm or sturdy it is.

You can check for proper stitching, the quality of upholstery material, the frame, and the ease with which it reclines to ensure the construction is robust.


When it comes to style, you are spoilt for choice. There is a myriad of recliner styles to pick from, and it’s up to you to pick what suits your tastes. Wall hugger recliners are popular not only for their space-saving advantage but also for their sleek designs.

You can choose a recliner that perfectly matches your other seats or the overall interior décor of your space. Thanks to changes in trends, there is more than just the traditional leather recliners in the market.


Like with many other products, the more the accessories, the more versatile the recliner chair is. Go for a recliner that comes with various extra accessories like remote controls, lounger storage, food and drink tray, and USB port. Some advanced models even have Bluetooth control, a seat sensor, an audio system, a music system dock, and a pop-up USB.

With extra accessories, you can personalize the recliner for optimum comfort.

What Does Recliner Mean?

In сonclusion

No one can deny the joy of sinking into a comfortable seat after a long day of life’s hustles and bustles. Nothing quite comes close to recliners in the vast world of comfortable chairs. As much as comfort is the key point of consideration when it comes to recliners, there is more to choosing a recliner than just the fact that it will deliver premium comfort.

There is no way you’re going to have a hard time or, for whatever reason, fail to choose a good recliner that suits your needs with all the information provided in this article. There’s literally everything you need to know about recliners and what to expect when you go shopping from types and fabric options to things you have to consider before buying one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.