Recliners were first introduced in the early part of the 20th century and since then have continued to hog the limelight and be the centerpiece of most living rooms, often time lounge decors. Even in offices, these chairs are finding increased prominence given the emphasis on creating healthy and harmonious working conditions.
Another interesting aspect about recliners is the amount of innovation and design changes they continue to undergo. Every generation, every country, every period has added its own unique touch to these chairs and has further improved the comfort, convenience and usability quotient. Even in today’s minimalist age, the corner recliner is almost undeniably the biggest constant about home décor. But with so many options on the block, the challenge surely is identifying the one that is best suited for your needs.
The most important factor to consider in this context is the extent of recline. Each chair reclines to a different degree and caters to a specific requirement, ranging from comfort to convenience and medical considerations.
Types Of Recliners
Well, at the very behest let’s start from the earliest ones that were available and gradually move to the latest innovations.
The Classic Recliners
Transport yourself to those period dramas; envisage the dressy gowns, heavy suits and the protagonists sitting in those huge winged cushioned chairs. Yes, those were perhaps the earliest of the recliner avatars. More popularly known as the Wingback chairs or Wingback recliners, they are stately, plush and make a strong statement. You can find them available in both classical and contemporary style, and come in with a large choice of fabrics and colors.
The Rocker Recliners
As is quite obvious in the name, the Rocker recliners generally give the user several reclining angle options. Depending on the need and availability of space, these chairs can be adjusted at various angles and help you sink into its deep, soothing comfort after a tough day. Whether you choose to lift the foot rest or recline all the way down to rest your back, the two positions only enhance the comfort you derive. Additionally, this is also a highly adaptable option amongst recliners. In case you do not have wide space in your room, you can just choose recline it at a suitable angle to marry comfort and convenience. The basic rocker recliner also continues to be amongst the most affordable recliner variant.
We now move to the more expensive variant of the rocker recliner. Mentioned about it briefly in the last paragraph and as you can understand from the name, this type of recliner gives the user the benefit of two positions. You can either choose to sit upright comfortably or recline completely. The footrest can either move along with the lever, or the more expensive options have dual-motor variant where the footrest can be operated independently without the need to adjust the reclining with it. However, this type of recliners need a lot of space to accommodate it and to take full advantage of it you cannot keep it in a small room.
Wall Hugging Recliners
The name of these chairs is derived from the fact that they can be kept quite close to the wall and can be easily fitted in a smaller room or in a limited space. Most modern recliners will give you one wall hugging option for those who want to experience maximum comfort in a limited area. This is a good option for individuals with weak knee or who have limited mobility. It gives them both the benefit of chair height as well as the deep sinking comfort of a plush recliner.
The Push-Back Recliner
As we move up the comfort chain, the next port of call is a push-back recliner. You can push it back almost like an airplane seat but with added comfort, better support to your back and heightened convenience. However, these types only have a mobile back, and they do not have a built-in footrest. Another boon for smaller houses and limited areas, it helps you get maximum comfort within a budget. If a footrest is a necessity, you can pair it with an ottoman to give you almost a similar degree of comfort without a huge expense.
The Massage Chairs Or Recliners
What joy it can be when you don’t just sink into your chair but also get the much-needed massage to rejuvenate your tired muscles. Well, these electrically operated massage chairs give you maximum comfort and also help you pump new life to your tired joints, especially after a hard day it can be a great stress buster. Some of these also come with additional heating features and can be quite useful for older people, especially in colder regions. From options that massage your entire body to those with concentrated massage pockets, you have a huge choice range and come in varying price modules to fit into every budget.
Lift Chairs or Riser Recliners
These are particularly useful on health grounds, especially for individuals with a disability or limited movement issue. The best part about these recliners is that the user does not have to spend a lot of energy or effort to stand up. They are generally motorized and you can move them back and forth as per your convenience with just a click of a mouse. However, you need a lot of space to accommodate these lift chairs and significant fund investment. The good news is that in the case of injuries or ill-health you can use your medical insurance to claim full or part of the cost.
How To Shop For A Recliner?
Now that you know the basic types of recliners, would it be sufficient for you to go and buy your choice of comfort seats from the market? Well if you thought it was so simple, think again. There are several other factors that you should pay attention to like color, design, cost effectiveness, electricity consumption and how useful it is in your house.
Decide On The Fabric: This is the first and foremost concern. Whether you want to use it in your living room or bedroom, whether you have kids in the house and the frequency with which you can clean it, all go on to determine the ultimate choice. For example, if you have kids/pets or both in your house you might want to choose a more durable, albeit expensive option like leather or microfiber.
Style: The style of recliner you settle for will depend a lot on where you want to place it eventually. Whether you have a huge room or it is relatively small, whether it will be used for formal set-up or a relaxed bedroom décor and most importantly the target users and their health profile goes a long way in making the ultimate choice.
Recliner Frames: They come in all formats: wood, metals and hardwood. Whenever you go to buy one, ensure that the construction is top notch. Needless to mention the metal frames are more lasting than the plastic ones. Also, hardwood is a way better option than the compressed wood variants.
Motorized Variants: With the promise of additional comfort and convenient usage, the motorized recliners are increasingly becoming the choice of the masses. Though the manual ones are less expensive, the motorized versions are less stressful on the arms and hand.
Safety: Last but not the least of concerns is the safety of the chair you choose to buy. Of course, you will do a dummy run and check every part but would that alone guarantee 100% safety? Well, not always! If the footrest is raised, check that the gap between the footrest and the recliner seat is always less than 5 inches. You could even look at options with the footrest covered with fabric to avoid grievous injury.
Buying a recliner can be a tricky business if you are careless about the basic requirements. Whatever you choose to buy eventually has to be a happy marriage of style, convenience and cost. The emphasis should be on a practical one in neutral shades and fabric, which it’s also easy to maintain.