The 10 Best Recliners for Every Style and Space

Pottery Barn’s Grayson Upholstered Recliner stands out for its contemporary armchair silhouette and plush cushioning.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

A recliner chair on a colorful background

Real Simple / Amelia Manley

If you want a comfortable seat that you can kick back and relax in, a recliner chair is an obvious choice. You might think that all recliners are bound to be an eyesore in your home, but many of today's models look like regular armchairs—proving that you don't have to sacrifice style for comfort.

To find the best recliners, we researched dozens of options and narrowed down our picks based on both style and technical details. We also considered factors such as the mechanism for reclining and the type of base (like a glider or a rocker). For expert input on the benefits of sitting in a recliner, we spoke to Rosmy Barrios, MD, medical advisor for HealthReporter, and Brynna Connor, MD, a healthcare ambassador for NorthWestPharmacy.com.

"Recliners are ideal for relaxation because the body bends down, the spine rests, the back is supported, and the legs are raised," says Dr. Barrios.

Our top pick is the Pottery Barn Grayson Upholstered Recliner because it looks more like an armchair rather than an old-fashioned recliner. We also like that there are 34 different upholstery options.

Here are the best recliners.

Best Overall Recliner: Pottery Barn Grayson Upholstered Recliner

Pottery Barn Grayson Upholstered Recliner

Pottery Barn

Who it's for: People who want the sink-in comfort of a classic recliner with a more tailored style.

Who it isn't for: People looking for a rocker, glider, or swivel recliner—this one is stationary.

There's something extremely comforting about sinking into a traditional recliner, letting the chair envelop you as you kick your feet up. Unfortunately, many traditional recliners were all about comfort and not at all about style. But luckily, times have changed—and the Pottery Barn Grayson Upholstered Recliner is proof. Thanks to its ultra-plush cushions, this recliner is both extraordinarily comfortable and neatly tailored so that it looks more like a classic armchair than a recliner.

We especially appreciate that this recliner can be upholstered in one of 34 different materials, which range from a stone-colored heathered chenille to navy performance velvet. Having such a wide range of stylistic fabric choices makes this chair extra versatile. It'll work just as well in a bright and airy bedroom as it would in a dark, mid-century-style office. Just keep in mind that as you're deciding where to place your recliner, you make sure it has at least 16.5 inches of clearance between it and anything behind it (like a wall) when it's in the upright position. Because once you pull the manual lever, you're tilting pretty far back. You'll need 21 inches of clearance for a full recline.

Product Details:

  • Type: Standard
  • Material: Various upholstery options available
  • Mechanism: Manual
  • Adjustability: No

Best Budget Recliner: Homall PU Leather Recliner Chair

4.7
Homall PU Leather Recliner Chair

Amazon

Who it's for: People who want a more affordable option with a 180-degree recline.

Who it isn't for: People with larger frames who want a supportive or spacious recliner.

If you want the comfort of a recliner without the price tag of one, this affordable option from Homall has you covered. It reclines manually to an impressive 180 degrees for a full lie-flat experience. So if you're the type of person to fall asleep in a recliner, this might be one of your favorite options out there—who needs to transition into bed when you can nap this comfortably in a chair?

Between its upright or flat-bed position, this budget-friendly recliner locks at a midway point for more casual use, like watching a movie or playing a game. The chair is upholstered in faux leather made of polyurethane, and it comes in six colors, including various neutrals and a fire-engine red. One important thing to note: The recliner is on the narrower side and is only designed to hold 265 pounds, so it might be uncomfortable for people with larger frames.

Product Details:

  • Type: Standard
  • Material: Faux leather
  • Mechanism: Manual
  • Adjustability: No

Best Splurge Recliner: Design Within Reach Flight Recliner

Design Within Reach Flight Recliner

Design Within Reach

Who it's for: People who want a stylish recliner that doesn't look like a recliner.

Who it isn't for: People who want that sink-in comfort of traditional recliners.

There's a very important reason this chair is called the Flight Recliner. Its designers, Jeffrey Bernett and Nicholas Dodziuk, drew their inspiration for this piece from their experience designing in-flight seating on private jets. The result is this streamlined chair that doesn't actually look like a recliner. While it lacks that overt plushness found in traditional recliners, this chair is still ergonomic and comfortable to sit in. It also features a patented manual reclining mechanism—there aren't any levers or handles to pull to initiate the recline or return to the upright position. Simply push back gently, and you can adjust the recliner to your desired angle.

Ultra-modern silhouette aside, this reclining chair can be upholstered in more than 100 different colors and materials, including boucle, velvet, and leather options. Customers can also choose between four different base finishes in two styles: wooden legs for a more traditional style and metal rails for a more modern look. The wooden legs come in oak and walnut, while the metal rails come in black and stainless steel.

Product Details:

  • Type: Standard
  • Material: Fabric or leather
  • Mechanism: Manual
  • Adjustability: No

Best Leather Recliner: Arhaus Alex Leather Recliner

Arhaus Alex Leather Recliner

Arhaus

Who it's for: People who want fine craftsmanship in a leather recliner.

Who it isn't for: People who are looking to spend as little as possible on a recliner.

The idea of a recliner doesn't usually recall the notion of fine craftsmanship, but this one from Arhaus isn't your traditional recliner. That's because the frame is constructed by craftspeople using wood certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, while the leather is made by artisans who use extremely high-quality hides. The silhouette is inspired by vintage Parisian clubs, which explains why the form is so elegant. This recliner is available in a couple of neutral colors that are pre-made and in stock. But if you're willing to pay more, you can have this chair custom-upholstered in various leather finishes, like the caramel-colored Anilina Cinnamon and the nearly black Bronco Iron. (You can also customize the chair to have a swivel base.)

The recliner's seat features an eight-way, hand-tied support system, which is an artisan-made system of springs that supports the chair—essentially, craftspeople tie each and every spring in eight directions, allowing for maximum flexibility and support for anyone who sits on the throne. You may never actually see these springs, but your body will thank you for sitting on them anyway.

Product Details:

  • Type: Standard
  • Material: Leather
  • Mechanism: Manual
  • Adjustability: No

Best Rocker Recliner: Christopher Knight Home Alouette Rocking Recliner

Christopher Knight Home Alouette Rocking Recliner

Overstock

Who it's for: People who want a two-in-one rocking chair and recliner.

Who it isn't for: People who want a variety of color choices.

If you find the rhythmic motion of a rocking chair soothing, then this is the recliner you need. As its name suggests, the Christopher Knight Home Alouette Rocking Recliner also doubles as a rocking chair, but it's far plusher than the austere wood one you might be thinking of. This is a pretty slim recliner, so some sitters might feel that it's a bit too narrow. But if you're pressed for space, the smaller footprint isn't such a bad thing—just note that it does require 24 inches of clearance behind it to reach its full reclining position.

The rocker recliner comes upholstered in two colors, navy and black, and it has three reclining positions: upright at 112 degrees, a slight recline at 115 degrees, and a deeper recline at 143 degrees. Though this chair is a rocker, it only rocks in the upright position, not either of its two reclined positions. It also requires about 30 minutes of assembly once it arrives at your home.

Product Details:

  • Type: Rocker
  • Material: Polyester
  • Mechanism: Manual
  • Adjustability: No

Best Power Recliner: West Elm Harris Power Recliner

West Elm Harris Power Recliner

West Elm

Who it's for: People who want a modern-looking power recliner.

Who it isn't for: People who need a recliner ASAP.

For a sleeker take on a powered recliner, the West Elm Harris Power Recliner checks all the boxes. It's a larger chair, but it has clean, angular lines throughout—giving it a very modern look. Like most contemporary powered recliners, this chair has a USB port so that you can charge your phone without getting up.

The recliner comes upholstered in a wide range of colors and fabrics, including performance linen and chenille tweed. Plus, all of the fabrics come in plenty of color options, so you're bound to find one (or more!) that goes with the rest of your decor. It's also available in a leather version. Just note that this power reclining chair is made to order, so delivery will take much longer than some of the other options on our list. If you need a recliner ASAP, you should choose another piece on our list that's in stock and ready to ship.

Product Details:

  • Type: Standard
  • Material: Various upholstery options available
  • Mechanism: Power
  • Adjustability: Yes

Best Glider Recliner: DaVinci Piper Upholstered Recliner and Swivel Glider

DaVinci Piper Recliner and Swivel Glider

Amazon

Who it's for: People who want multi-directional movement.

Who it isn't for: People who would prefer a more modern look.

As you might have guessed, a glider recliner glides back and forth in a movement that's somewhat similar to rocking, but completely horizontal rather than tilted. This recliner chair from DaVinci swivels, too, which means it can turn 360 degrees in addition to gliding forward and backward. As with most rockers, gliders, and swivels, this recliner doesn't move once you pop out the footrest and lean back. This type of chair is especially popular among new parents who need some motion for their babies to fall asleep—but anyone can take advantage of its comfort.

The polyester-upholstered chair has a more traditional silhouette that recalls an overstuffed armchair. That said, its padding is quite firm and less squishy, which is ideal for sitters looking for more support, and not so ideal for sitters looking for that sink-in feeling. The recliner comes in four versatile colors, including navy, cream, light gray, and dark gray.

Product Details:

  • Type: Glider and swivel
  • Material: Polyester
  • Mechanism: Manual
  • Adjustability: No

Best Wall Hugger Recliner: ProLounger Tan Linen Power Wall Hugger Reclining Chair

Prolounger Power Wall Hugger Reclining Chair

Target

Who it's for: People who want a smart recliner that can be placed near a wall.

Who it isn't for: People who want multiple upholstery options to choose from.

One of the trickier aspects of recliners is that you need to make sure there's enough clearance behind them to recline fully. And if you don't have much space in a room, that makes things difficult. Fortunately, "wall hugger" recliners, like this one from ProLounger, exist. This chair can be placed close to a wall because it sits on a track—so as it reclines, the seat moves forward to save space. That said, you might need to make sure you have enough clearance in the front.

Not only is this a wall hugger recliner that requires just four inches of clearance behind it, but it's also a powered model—it even has a USB port for charging electronic devices. The chair is upholstered with a durable, stain-resistant polyester that mimics the texture of linen. The only downside is that the color options are a bit limited.

Product Details:

  • Type: Wall hugger
  • Material: Polyester
  • Mechanism: Power
  • Adjustability: Yes

Best Oversized Recliner: Red Barrel Studio Sanner 55'' Wide Standard Recliner

Red Barrel Studio Sanner 55'' Wide Standard Recliner

Wayfair

Who it's for: People who want a traditional-looking recliner with plenty of extra space.

Who it isn't for: People who want sleek, modern style.

If you want to sprawl out to take a nap or watch a movie, this oversized recliner from Red Barrel Studio has all the space you need. It's a whopping 55 inches wide and has a 20-inch footrest, so you'll have plenty of room to get comfortable. Given the robust nature of this recliner, it's not very sleek and streamlined—so make sure you're ready to give it the space it needs. And despite its large size, this piece only requires three inches of clearance behind it to recline, which means it can pass for a wall hugger recliner.

The oversized reclining chair is upholstered with a polyester blend, and it's ultra-padded for extra plushness. It's only available in gray, but the nailhead trim on the rounded arms makes up for the lack of other color options.

Product Details:

  • Type: Standard
  • Material: Polyester blend
  • Mechanism: Manual
  • Adjustability: Yes

Best Recliner with Ottoman: Corrigan Studio Gesine 29.92'' Wide Manual Standard Recliner with Ottoman

Corrigan Studio Gesine 29.92'' Wide Manual Standard Recliner With Ottoman

Wayfair

Who it's for: People who want a recliner with a matching ottoman so they can rest their feet.

Who it isn't for: People who are looking for a more traditional style.

If you find footrests rather uncomfortable on recliners—especially if they're not long enough for your legs—consider opting for a recliner that comes with an ottoman, like this one from Corrigan Studio. While you can't adjust the height of the ottoman, you can adjust its distance from the chair, customizing your seating arrangement just how you like it.

This model has a petite frame with a modern silhouette, though it has an extra-plush, 7.1-inch-thick cushion on both the seat and the ottoman. The back reclines to three different angles: upright, slightly reclined, and lie-flat, which is ideal for napping. Because of that full recline position, the chair needs nearly two feet of space behind it for clearance. (Keep in mind that the chair has a small ledge protruding from the back, which is necessary to support the full-recline position.) The reclining chair is available in gray polyester twill with light wood legs, which gives it a bit of a Scandinavian flair.

Product Details:

  • Type: Standard
  • Material: Polyester
  • Mechanism: Manual
  • Adjustability: Yes

Final Verdict

We love Pottery Barn's Grayson Upholstered Recliner because it's a great balance of comfort and style. Not only is this recliner extra plush, but it's also available in 34 different upholstery options to suit any style. For a more affordable option, we recommend the Homall PU Leather Recliner, which is a bit smaller but just a fraction of the price of our top pick.

How to Shop for Recliners

Type

While all recliners, well, recline, their reclining styles differ, as do their bases. That's why it's important to determine the type of recliner you're interested in. For example, there are wall hugger recliners, which have a forward-sliding recline that allows you to place them closer to walls than standard recliners. There are also recliners with rocking, gliding, and swivel bases—or sometimes a combination of them.

Material

You'll also want to consider the upholstery material of a recliner. Most fall into two categories: fabric and leather. There are many types of fabric upholstery, such as cotton and velvet, but some are more low maintenance than others, so check the manufacturer's instructions before purchasing if ease of care is important to you (especially if you have kids or pets in your home).

Mechanism

There are two types of reclining mechanisms: manual and powered. Manual reclining mechanisms require the person sitting to use their strength to recline, usually with a lever or pull handle. Powered recliners are much easier to operate as they move on their own with the press of a button.

Adjustability

Some recliners have pre-set angles that the seat back can tilt to, while others can lock into place at any position between fully upright and fully reclined. This is what's known as adjustability—adjustable recliners can lean back at any angle.

Questions You Might Ask

What are the benefits of a recliner?

Aside from simply being comfortable, recliners have a few benefits. "A recliner can alleviate stress on pressure points for a patient and can offer more support to the lower back," says Dr. Connor. "Sitting in recliners allows the spine to rest to reduce the tiring of a patient's back muscles. It also elevates the legs if you sit with the leg stand open, which can help leg swelling to diminish for those suffering from that."

How do you clean a recliner?

Recliner maintenance depends on the type of material it's upholstered with—check the manufacturer's cleaning instructions for your specific recliner. You can usually vacuum a recliner, as well as use fabric cleaner on your fabric recliners. Leather furniture can typically be cleaned with a damp cloth dipped in warm, soapy water.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Stefanie Waldek, a contributing writer for Real Simple with seven years of experience writing about home and three years of experience reviewing products. To come up with these recommendations, Stefanie spent hours researching recliners and ultimately narrowed down the list based on style, price, and comfort. She also tapped Rosmy Barrios, MD, medical advisor for HealthReporter, and Brynna Connor, MD, a healthcare ambassador for NorthWestPharmacy.com, for expert input.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles