Mobility Aids

How to Fix a Recliner that Leans to One Side: 6 Simple Steps

Written by Liliane
Last Updated :
This post contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy a product after clinking on our links at no extra cost to you.

You step out into the living room one evening to relax after a long day of work, but your recliner that leans to one side, and by merely looking at it, you quickly develop a mild headache.

The recliner has been pretty useless for some time now because each time you use it, it leans to one side. But this doesn’t have to be the case; come along, let’s find a solution. 

Recliner Leaning To One Side: Why Does It Happen?

Fixing recliners that lean to one side doesn’t necessarily need a professional touch. You can efficiently complete the task by following a few simple steps in this article.

man using Vive Health Lift Chair Recliner

Before those, you might want to know what often causes recliners to lean to one side.

Poorly produced recliner chairs or cheap recliners made from low-grade materials often develop faults quickly, especially leaning towards one side. Installation is key. It is important to install the best chair leg glides.

You might notice loose levers or aged joints due to the substandard materials after a couple of months in use.

Since most commodities have manufacturer warranties attached, you can have the parts repaired at zero cost.

Another more common cause of recliners leaning to one side is the abnormal functioning of the sliding mechanism.

All recliner chairs rock because of the reclining mechanism within the chair. (1) Any component of the recliner mechanism, like the adjustment lever, tension springs, or wooden joints, can make the chair lean to one side.

Regular wear and tear caused by uneven weight distribution could make recliners lean to one side.

If you often rest more on the side of the chair than other parts, your recliner could lean to one side after extensive usage.

Your weight on that side will lead to increased pressure on the structures on that side, causing increased degradation of those parts.

Also, your recliner might seem to lean to one side because of uneven padding. You can correct poor padding by adding more cushions to the lower side.

READ MORE: Pros and Cons of Sleeping in a Recliner

3 Tools You Need to Fix the Recliner Mechanism

When you discover your recliner leaning to one side, you could get a professional to look into the situation.

Alternatively, you can quickly solve it with a few household items since the fault isn’t always as bad as it seems.

1. Wood Glue

Wood glue is a strong adhesive suitable for furniture (2). It is also more effective for strengthening wooden joints than regular glue.

man using a wood glue to fix the recliner

You apply this to correct faulty joints like the chair’s legs. You can also use white glue to join wooden panels together.

2. Screwdriver

While disassembling and reassembling your recliner, you will need a screwdriver to open screws and bolted joints.

You can get different screwdrivers, like a slotted screwdriver or a flathead screwdriver, for your faulty recliner from hardware stores.(3)

3. Oil

While fixing recliner mechanisms, you should lubricate the metal surfaces and joints. Lubricated joints move freely, causing less degradation due to friction.

Oiling rusted screws also make it easy to remove them later on. Lubricating oil bottles come in spray bottle forms and drip cans.

In this video, let’s dive into practical strategies to keep our elderly loved ones safe from falls out of their recliners:

Step-by-step Guide to Fix a Recliner Leaning To One Side

Once your tools are ready, follow the steps below to ensure a quick and thorough repair process.(1)

Step 1

Prepare your work area. Position the recliner so that you would reach the wooden panel easily. You should spread some paper on the floor, so the oil doesn’t mess it up while working.

Step 2

If you can’t still access the panel well enough, carefully remove any upholstery in the way. You can only understand why your recliner is leaning to one side if you get a clear view of the hidden panel.

Step 3

Unscrew all the bolts and nuts with the screwdriver. Take care to loosen them carefully so that you don’t release the tension in the coil spring.

You should also keep the screws so they don’t get missing. After placing the screws appropriately, apply the spray lubricant on the joints that make creaking noises.

The paper on the floor will catch any oil drops. After fixing the recliner mechanism, you should also wipe off excess spray lubricant.

Step 4

Check for cracks along with the wooden frame and joints. Both hairline and large cracks on wooden components or the seat plate require the replacement of those parts.

The seat plate is black steel material, often underneath the recliner. You should also clean every component of the recliner you take out before placing them back.

Step 5

If your recliner’s internal components or joint is broken, you can repair them with wood glue to stiffen the region. You could also add metal bracing to provide more support.

Step 6

Ensure all the joints move correctly before closing up. Arrange the wooden panel and cover the chair seat with the upholstery. By the way, if you want to change the cover, check out this fantastic tutorial: DIY ottoman slipcover. I am sure it can be used for your recliner too!

Watch this video to understand better how to fix a leaning recliner.

Fixing a Recliner Leaning to One Side: Considerations

Fixing your recliners requires knowing when to call a professional and what precautions to keep in mind. 

So, to the first question:

When Should I Call a Professional?

This will be determined by the specific issue you want to fix and your expertise in fixing it. 

Typically, you don’t always need to get professionals to fix a broken recliner. It’s often better to look at the situation before deciding to call for professional help, as it saves you some money in service fees. 

Call an expert when the issue is beyond your experience or physical capacity. 

lady stressed calling on a phone

Precautions While Fixing a Leaning Recliner

While fixing recliner mechanisms, here are safety precautions to note: 

Some of the precautions include:

● Tighten loose screws and bolts when coupling joints. The tighter the screws, the longer the joints will hold. Also, the coil springs must remain tight to maintain the tilt mechanism.

● Ensure that you lubricate rusty surfaces and creaky joints. This reduces friction in the joints and makes it easy to uncouple them.

● Ensure you get a matching replacement for your metal frame, rod, and brace. Incompatible components will only make the tilt mechanism get worse.

● Clean out every component of the recliner when you remove them. Accumulated debris could cause faults in the recliner after a while.

● Get someone to help keep the chair upright during the repair process. Considering the weight and bulk, you could get injured if you want to fix a recliner chair mechanism and hold it in place simultaneously.

It is super important to keep these precautions in mind, especially if you’re seeking guides on how to keep an elderly person from falling out of recliner. A misstep could worsen the situation. 


Are recliner chairs eco-friendly?

Yes, they are. You can opt for those produced from natural fabrics, genuine leather, and a hardwood frame.

Which recliner chairs are the best: power or manual recliners?

Power recliners. They last longer and are easier to operate. This makes them good recliners for seniors

How long could my recliner last?

Most importantly, your care and attention determine your recliner’s lifespan. Once you get a high-quality recliner chair could serve you for years with proper care and maintenance.


Your recliner could depreciate over time and start to lean to one side. However, getting a quality recliner and maintaining your chair help extend its lifespan.

If you discover your recliner leans to one side, follow the guidelines to fix it. You can also check the recliner frame regularly for any faults, even before it starts leaning to one side.

broken tv recliners

How do you fix your recliner? Please share your tips below!


  • 1. THE 15 BEST Recliner Chairs for 2022 | Houzz [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 24]. Available from:
  • 2. Furniture Adhesive for soft furniture & upholstery [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 24]. Available from:
  • 3. Chris. 14 Different Types of Screwdrivers and Their Uses | Garage Tool Advisor [Internet]. Garage Tool Advisor. 2018. Available from:

About Author

Lilian Wamaitha is a passionate writer and avid cyclist with over 4 years of experience in blogging. As a lifelong learner, she is driven by her curiosity to discover and learn new things. This curiosity and passion eventually sparked a love for the senior writing niche. She has written countless articles to help seniors find their footing in this world through healthy and holistic living. She’s passionate about seeing the seniors in society live a more fulfilling life to the end. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

1 thought on “How to Fix a Recliner that Leans to One Side: 6 Simple Steps”

Leave a Comment