A reclining sofa, as the name says, is a sofa with a backrest that you can tilt back to have a reclined position. Some models also include a footrest that tilts up automatically or independently when the back rest is lowered. Some of the best reclining sofa models include additional functions such as vibration for massage, heated pad, cup holders, etc.
9 Factors to Consider When Buying a Reclining Sofa
Here is a simple guide to help you purchase the right one for your needs.
Before you rush into the market and probably overwhelmed with the available choices, take your time at home and measure the space to put the sofa on. Dimension of a reclining sofa should be measured at fully reclined position with extended footrest. This means you have to put it not too close to the wall to allow for full extension. You can narrow down the search quite easily based on the dimension.
Similar to choosing any type of furniture pieces, the best color is one that complements the room. If you need to put it in a living room or bedroom, make sure you match the color well that it will not appear to striking or even contrasting with the overall interior scheme. Black usually does well in any room, but it is not always the best choice. Please also consider your flooring to find the proper color.
Upholstery material plays major role in determining the overall quality of an armchair. The best reclining sofa should meet all requirements in all aspects including durability, comfort, easy maintenance, and aesthetically beautiful. Some of the most commonly used upholstery materials are leather, cotton, wool, polyester, and acrylic.
Each of those materials has its own advantage and drawback, for example leather is fire-resistant but it requires careful maintenance and it can be difficult to determine its actual quality unless you are really familiar with it. On the other hand, cotton is almost maintenance-free, but it is flammable.
The same thing applies for wool which is very durable but maintenance is necessary to maintain its good looking. Acrylic is close to wool in terms of texture, making it comparably comfortable but it is also a flammable material. The best compromise is probably polyester for its durability and stain-resistant feature. Polyester is, however, an artificial texture.
Aesthetic and functionality should be bundled as a package in all products, and armchair is not an exception. In most cases, the required functions depend entirely on users. If you have pets in your house, you will not want a rocker armchair (one that moves like a rocking chair). Your small pets probably wander around and take a nap under the chair, and therefore it can be dangerous for the pet unless you check if there is something under the sofa before rocking it.
Some elderly people may need electric-powered armchair, allowing them to set a desired position by simply pushing a button instead of pulling lever. All reclining sofa does the same simple function, but the mechanism can be different depending on models. You will need to try to use it before purchasing to find a perfect fit.
All furniture pieces including an armchair should be well-made from quality material to improve durability. A chair must support the entire weight of the occupant, especially when the foot rest is extended. Upholstery materials do play important roles, but the framework basically does all the hard work to support your weight.
Some of the best reclining sofa models are made from strong wood or metals such as oak, pine, and steel. Metal and wood are your best bet, because hard-plastic frame is probably not as strong as it looks. Another important thing is warranty on the product. Good companies stand behind their products because they know about the durability aspect. As a general rule, the longer the warranty, the more durable the armchair is.
Special features are mostly additional functions to improve comfort and ease of use. A basic armchair usually has a lever to adjust position, but certain models can use electric-power to do the same function. It is easier to get a fully reclined position with a press of a button, but the chair is probably more expensive too.
It is safe to assume that you will spend a considerable time relaxing on an armchair, and this is the reason why you may need some special features such as built-in power station for your portable device, cup holder in the center console, small compartment inside sofa’s armrest, or even heated pad and massage functions. More features mean the price is higher as well.
An armchair can be as low as $250 to a hefty $5,000 or even more. The first rule is that the best reclining sofa is not necessarily the most expensive one. As previously mentioned, price is affected by some factors including upholstery material, special features, construction frame, and mechanism. Armchairs are like shoes, meaning you have to try them before making a purchase.
You are probably attracted to the design or appearance, but comfort it actually more important. If you cannot afford to purchase a combination of aesthetic, comfort, and durability, you should leave the aesthetic behind to get quality chair that is comfortable to use without spending too much.
If you are purchasing from brick & mortar retailers instead of online store, you have the chance to try the armchair before buying. You may want to check build quality by inspecting stitching details, screws, reclining mechanism, and more.
If you have to buy online, however, you cannot try it, but at least read customer reviews to get a better understanding of the product and some possible downsides which are not informed by manufacturers. Some reviewers even use video to share their experiences, so you can see the chair in action instead of still pictures.
You will want long warranty, but you don’t actually want to use it for manufacturing defect. Longer warranty from reputable manufacturer improves your confidence in making a purchase. Some manufacturers even offer lifetime warranty on reclining mechanism and frame, but only 3 or less for upholstery.
Lifetime warranty is the best option, but it best to purchase one that offers warranty for an overall chair instead of individual parts such as reclining mechanism only, frame only, or upholstery only.
To help you find the best reclining sofa in the market today, we provide below comparison.
|Homelegance 9700BLK-3||Flash Furniture MEN-DA3439-91-BRN-GG||Contemporary Mocha Hogan 2|
|Dimensions (inches)||83 x 39 x 40||43 x 66 x 39||96 x 44 x 42|
|Where to buy||Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
4 Popular Types of Reclining Sofa
Although every model from every manufacturer does the same exact function, armchairs can be categorized into some variants based on reclining mechanisms as follows.
The most basic of all models is two-position recliner. It does what is says to do, providing two different positions including upright and fully reclined. There is usually a footrest which can be tilted upwards by pulling a lever attached to the side of the chair. As the footrest goes up, the backrest tilts downward to get a fully-reclined position.
Besides limited in function, two-position recliner takes quite a space. When the footrest is extended and backrest is at horizontal position, the chair expands into about twice its upright-length.
Most rocker recliners provide not only two-different positions, but several reclining angles. This particular model does not even need to provide a fully-reclined position because it moves like any rocking chair. There is also a footrest which has its own tilting mechanism, separate from the backrest. A rocket recliner does not require a lot of space, meaning you can put it close to the wall without decreasing its functionality.
If you need simpler model, push-back recliner is a good choice. It does not have foot rest, lever, or button to operate the reclining mechanism. All you need to do is push the backrest backward slightly when you are sitting on the chair and you are ready to go. Often referred to as flex-back recliner, the only moving part of the chair is the backrest. For some people, fewer moving parts indicate better durability. The only downside is the absence of footrest, but you can always pair ottomans for this function.
The most modern and sophisticated version of armchair is riser recliner. It has motorized reclining mechanism, powered by electricity. You need to connect or plug the cable to an AC power outlet for the motor to work. Footrest and backrest can be operated by a single motor, so they are connected and move together. In dual-motor version, those parts move independently. Another good thing is that the entire chair can tilt upwards so you can get out of it more easily.
Also, the electric motor makes it more versatile armchair because manufacturer may equip it with additional features such as mobile phone charger, heated pads, and more. Riser recliner takes a lot of space and more expensive with more additional features.
Bottom line, the best reclining sofa in 2018 is one that is best for your needs. It depends entirely on your personal preferences concerning material, functions, and additional features. It can be a hefty expense to purchase a fully-featured model with lifetime warranty, but careful consideration of the aforementioned factors helps to make good expense of your money.
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Mike Nikko is a blogger with over 15 years of experience. I will bring you the best product reviews and other useful life experiences, tips to increase height, tips to improve health… If you have any questions, feel free to ask Mike Nikko!