National Furniture and Mattress Buying Group

Recliner Buying Guide

Remember Martin Crane (Frasier’s dad) and his favorite chair? That eyesore is what many people think of when they hear the word “recliner”. Contrary to that image, motion furniture today is available in many fashionable styles that can be included in almost any setting. Hidden release mechanisms, tucked-away foot rests, and wall-away construction provide great function without compromising style.

The options in reclining furniture are virtually endless. In addition to the motions of recline rock, swivel, and glide, some manufacturers include features such as built-in massagers, heating pads, cup holders, storage cubbies, phones, laptop computer sockets, and even coolers. Power mechanisms, long the norm in Europe, are becoming more common in the US market. New designs in motion furniture have been created for home theater settings. In addition to reclining sofas, loveseats and sectional sofas, one of the latest trends is found in a modular approach that allows you to join together individual reclining units at the arms. These arrangements can align flush to one another, or they can form an arch for optimal screen viewing.

Regardless of the options you choose there are some things you should keep in mind while shopping. Scale varies, so measure the spot you plan to place the recliner to be sure it fits and to be sure there will be enough room to operate it. Test out the mechanism. It should be easy to operate and sturdy. The sturdier the mechanism, the longer the recliner should last. The mechanism should also be securely attached to the frame. The footrest should be well padded for comfort. Think about the motions you want the chair to have; if it will be placed near the center of a large room, consider a swivel chair so that it can be used in multiple conversation areas. Many recliners hide features and controls under the arms, so be sure to have the sales associate demonstrate the recliner’s features for you.