Seniors Mobility Aids

What Are the Different Types of Recliners? [11 Options]

Written by GrigorinaLoa
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Did you know we have dentists to thank for the different types of recliners available today?

The contemporary style of the famous piece of furniture could have been inspired by early dentist’s chairs that sought to maximize patient comfort.

Today the recliner isn’t only available in the dentist’s room. There are many types of recliners you can use anywhere.

Let’s look at each type of recliner available.

Key Takeaways

  • Recliner chairs have different designs, leading to many types of recliners.
  • Some recliners have unique features that make them the perfect living room addition. An example is the recliners with a massage feature.
  • The principal thing to consider when selecting a recliner is comfort.
  • Medical recliners help patients recover from injuries faster.

What Are the Different Types of Recliners?

Modern recliners aren’t the furniture unicorn that was a rarity in the 60s. There’s always room for innovation as furniture makers craft recliners in various styles.

Here are the most common types of recliners.

1. Traditional Recliner

The traditional recliner is also called the two-position recliner. It works with the help of a lever or button that pushes it into a fully reclined position and raises the footrest.

Two-position recliners need more space than modern versions since they recline within about three feet. They are the most common seat you’ll find in living rooms.

2. Power Recliners

power recliner which is one the best types of recliners

This type of recliner chair needs electricity to recline. So you have to plug it into a power source to enjoy the recline function.

Instead of a visible handle, they have buttons you press to activate their function. With the many innovations available, you can find power recliners with touchscreen technology.

3. Rocker Recliners

Rocker recliners allow you to rock in a seated position before finally allowing you to recline them.

This recliner chair offers excellent lumbar support throughout the rocking, which also improves sleep (2). That’s why it is also one of the best recliners for sleeping.

With available additional features, the rocking recliner is one of the most comfortable chairs for reading a book or chatting with friends.

See how to operate it in this video.

4. Lift Recliners

Lift recliners are best for individuals with injuries affecting their standing ability. They have an electric motor that moves the chair into an upright position.

That’s what makes them the most popular type of recliner for seniors. Lift chairs are a modification of the power lift chair and help people with difficulties standing up (3).

5. Push-back Recliners

Push-back recliners don’t have buttons or any lever that puts them in a reclined position. Instead, the user has to push them back manually.

A user sits on the chair and pushes with their back to recline the seat. Unless you sit on it, you wouldn’t tell the difference between this recliner chair and your everyday armchair. That’s because it has no buttons.

6. Wall-hugger Recliner

If you’re short on living space but want to buy a recliner, the wall hugger is your best bet.

The wall hugger recliner only needs a few inches of wall clearance to recline. You can see in this video how little space you need!


The sliding mechanism pushes the seat and footrest forward and reclined, even in the tightest spaces.

7. Glider Recliner

Glider recliners only differ from rocking recliners because of a gliding mechanism of movement. Rockers move in arched paths, while the gliding mechanism of glider chairs is linear.

8. Lever Handle Recliner

Lever handle recliners have a wooden or plastic lever that triggers the reclining action when you pull it.

These recliners offer classic comfort thanks to being around for a long time. Lever-handle recliners have been around for a long time. Most people consider them the classic “dad chair.”

9. Pull Handle Recliner

The pull-handle recliner is much like the lever-handle recliner. This recliner’s only difference from the lever handle recliner is the lever that needs you to pull it like you would pull a door.

The reclining position of the footrests is also faster in this chair than in the lever handle recliner.

10. Lay-flat Recliners

Lay-flat recliners are your classic chair bed. This is the perfect option if you prefer a chair that fully reclines to allow you to lie flat.

Conventional recliners only recline up to a specific level. This recliner fixes that by ensuring you can sleep in your recliner as if you’re in your bed. See how comfortable it gets for this person in the video below.

11. Swivel Recliners

Swivel recliners could be one of the best additions to your cozy home office. They have a swivel base that allows you to turn through 360 degrees.

With this chair, a simple swivel will allow you to follow a conversation from across every part of the room.

Now that you know the many types of recliners, how do you select a quality recliner?

Choosing the Perfect Recliner

If you’re looking to spice up your living room furniture with the perfect recliner, you’ll need to consider the following.

1. Comfort

No matter what type of recliner you buy, it depends on how comfortable it is. How easy will the recliner allow you to sit in a comfortable position?

If it isn’t comfortable, then it’s not worth it.

2. Mobility

You might struggle to rise from deeper recliners if you have mobility issues. A deeper recliner is a better fit for someone with no mobility issues.

Your mobility issues should tell you what kind of chair recliner to buy.

3. The Price

If you want the best reclining chairs, you’ll have to spend a lot. But the expensive option is not always the best.

Do your due diligence before selecting a specific recliner.

4. Your Body Size and Shape

If you’re the primary user, you’ll need a recliner tailored to your body size and shape. A recliner perfect for larger users might not be ideal for tall users and vice versa.

5. Living Space

How much room do you have in your living space? If you have limited space, consider recliners that only need a few inches of wall clearance. Something like the wall hugger.

6. Extra Features

Most recliners come with a wide variety of extra features. Such features should also factor into your decision to buy a recliner.

Get one that has all the features you’ll need or want.


What is another name for a recliner chair?

You can also call a recliner a Morris or a dad chair.

Are recliners cheap?

Recliners aren’t cheap unless you’re buying a used recliner.


There are different types of recliners to choose from. Knowing the kind of recliner you want is the first step toward choosing the perfect recliner.

a recliner from one the different types of recliners

What type of recliner do you think is best? Let us know in the comments below.


  • 1. Please Have a Seat: Evolution of the Dental Chair – Virtual Dental Museum [Internet]. Virtual Dental Museum. Available from: https://dentalmuseum.pacific.edu/please-have-a-seat-the-evolution-of-the-dental-chair/
  • 2. Baek S, Yu H, Roh J, Lee J, Sohn I, Kim S, et al. Effect of a Recliner Chair with Rocking Motions on Sleep Efficiency. Sensors [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 18];21:8214. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/21/24/8214/htm
  • 3. Booth J, Hall A. A Guide To The Best Lift Chairs For Seniors [Internet]. Forbes Health. 2021. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/health/healthy-aging/best-lift-chairs/

About Author

Grigorina discovered that writing is her vocation early in her school years. Since then, she's taken part in several literary contests. For the past three years, she's also been an ELS teacher, pouring her heart into showing children and adults how important English is for their future. She has a Bachelor's degree in Applied Linguistics, an ESL Teacher's degree, and a Master's degree in Accounting. Follow her on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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