For many people, recliners have become an indispensable living room staple. There’s no chair that lets you kick back, put your feet up, and sink into restfulness better than a good recliner, after all. Whether you want to watch a ballgame, play some console shooters, or finish your Kindle reading list, opting for the recliner instead of the couch is always the right play.
While recliners have always been all about comfort, many modern options have also put a premium on style. Sure, some retain the beastly proportions of old-school reclining chairs (you know… the kind your grandpa had at home back in the day), but many also resemble the more compact proportions of regular armchairs. Suffice to say, many of the best recliners today are as good-looking and space-efficient as they are comfortable.
These are our favorite recliners.
Willa Arlo Alta Recliner
For this chair, the outfit took one of their popular wingback armchairs and gave it a reclining function that you can deploy with a single push. The result is a living room piece that can serve as an elegant armchair the rest of the time, all while transforming into a comfy recliner when you come home from a long, stressful day out. It can accommodate loungers up to 300 pounds, too, so you can really let your body loose comfortably on there. What we love most about this is just how classy-looking it is, with those wings on the backrest, diamond tufting, rolled arms, and turned legs.
Sometimes, you want to sink into a comfy recliner. Other times, you want to lounge in a relaxing rocker. Well, this chair has both, allowing you to kick back in a reclined position some days and enjoy a rocking armchair on others. It’s a bit on the smaller side for a recliner, by the way, so bigger individuals probably won’t find it very comfortable. For average- and smaller-sized folks, though, this is perfectly-sized, allowing you to enjoy a combo rocker-and-recliner without taking up too much space. It comes with two reclining positions (a slight recline at 115 degrees and a full recline at 143 degrees), although the rocker function is only available when the backrest is in the upright position.
One of the problems about lounging comfortably in a recliner is the fact that you don’t want to move and ruin your perfect lounging position. Which makes it an issue when your wife is trying to talk to you from a part of the room just behind your recliner. Yeah, you can’t exactly ignore her, but you don’t want to mess up such a relaxed vibe. Well, a swivel recliner like this one should solve those woes, allowing you to kick back 150 degrees and lounge in degenerate levels of comfort, while giving you the option to simply spin the entire chair to face any direction. The chair is based on contemporary wingback design, so it has a very modern look that should be easy enough to integrate into any living room setup.
There’s something about exposed wooden armrests that give even newer armchairs a vintage feel. That goes into full effect with this elegant-looking piece, whose angled tapred legs and curved arms give off an unmistakable mid-century vibe, while the two-tier leg rest and angled headrest show a careful attention to detail that even your mother-in-law can appreciate the next time she comes over. Its manual reclining mechanism can be pushed to two comfortable angles, including a near-supine 150-degrees, while coil spring seats, thick cushions, and stain resistant faux leather round out the overall package.
Styled like those fancy leather chairs in stuffy private clubs, this handsome piece takes on the classic club chair silhouette, with aniline-dyed top-grain or full-grain leather upholstery, top-stitching details along the seams, and elegant piping for a really tailored look. Of course, that traditional club chair look is deceiving because it’s also a functional recliner that’s able to tilt the backrest and raise the leg rest with just a simple push. It uses steel sinuous springs to provide no-sag support in the cushions, with elegant-looking roll arms, removable square legs, and over three dozen leather upholstery options.
While manual recliners work well enough, it doesn’t beat the convenience of being able to make a chair recline with a single button press. Which is why, if you can spare the added expense, a powered recliner is an even better pick. Like the La-Z-Boys that popularized the powered recline category, this one’s on the larger side, albeit with a decidedly contemporary look defined by clean angular lines. A button on the inside of the right arm lets you recline it automatically to a variety of angles, while a USB port on the same spot lets you charge your phone, controller, or tablet.
To ensure comfortable support, it comes with high-gauge sinuous spring and foam-padded cushion on the seat, as well as webbed cushion on the backrest. Other features include a pine and engineered hardwood frame, removable solid wood legs, and a wide selection of upholstery options.
There was a time when recliners were synonymous with La-Z-Boy. While we don’t really keep up much with furniture industry trends, it’s probably pretty safe to say that they’re still the biggest name in the category. While the outfit has long expanded their offerings in recliners, we’re still very partial to their more classic-looking, feature-packed designs, such as this power lift model.
Equipped with a wired controller, you simply press a button to get it to recline at various angles, all the way to a fully-reclined “zero gravity position.” The same lift mechanism automatically props it back up to a more upright stance, too, so you won’t have to struggle when getting out of the chair. Both the leg rest and the back rest can be controlled separately, as well, for even greater control, while the one-piece seat and back panel move together as one, eliminating gaps and providing full support to your body. Oh yeah, it also comes with optional heating and even a six-motor massage on the back and thighs, all accessible from the same controller. Sure, it’s not the classiest-looking recliner, but we doubt you’d care once you’re perfectly relaxed in it.