Seniors Mobility Aids

How to Make a Recliner More Comfortable: Top Tips and Tricks

Written by Claire Bonneau
Last Updated :

Have you ever wondered how to make a recliner more comfortable? Well, you’re not alone.

As a self-proclaimed ‘comfort connoisseur,’ I’ve spent countless comfortable nights exploring the art of relaxation.

Let me assure you, making your recliner more comfortable isn’t an impossible task but a science that hinges on personalizing and refining your preferences.

So read on, and I’ll help you transform your trusty recliner into a haven of relaxation that feels like a warm, welcoming hug.

Key Takeaways

  • Making a recliner comfortable is all about personalization. Evaluating your comfort needs and understanding what causes you discomfort is essential.
  • Don’t be afraid to adjust your chair’s reclined position, angle, and pop-up footrest to create a seating experience tailored to your unique preferences.
  • Simple enhancements like adding extra throw pillows, cushions or upgrading the upholstery can significantly boost the comfort of your recliner.

How to Make Your Recliner More Comfortable: 6 Effective Tips

It’s time to dive into the comfort science of your reclining throne. Don’t worry; it’s less complicated than it sounds, and it’s an absolute game-changer!

#1 Evaluate Your Comfort Needs

First things first, you need to identify any current discomfort issues. It’s crucial to ensure you achieve a peak balance of comfort in your favorite recliner.

For instance, I almost gave up on my beloved armchair because of a pesky lower backache [1]. But I realized it was a simple issue of lack of support.

So, observing how your body feels after you spend time in your recliner is critical. Any stiffness, aches, or spasms are clues you can’t afford to ignore.

You’ll also need to think about your personal comfort preferences. Just as I swear by my plush throw blanket and a perfectly positioned neck pillow, your tastes are unique to you.

It could be a fabric that makes you feel at home or a footrest height that relieves you. These preferences aren’t frivolous; they’re the secret ingredients to your comfort recipe.

Lastly, assess any physical health factors that could affect your comfort. Take it from me, a guy with an old sports injury.

I’ve learned that the angle and firmness make a world of difference to my knee comfort. So consider your posture, any pain, or conditions when fine-tuning a recliner.

#2 Adjust the Recliner

Since you’ve evaluated your comfort needs, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – adjusting the recliner. Honestly, a tweak here or there can make a tremendous impact.

man using Vive Health Lift Chair Recliner

Let’s begin by talking about your recliner’s position. Based on my experience, moving it just a few inches can affect the lighting, the room temperature, or your TV’s viewing angle.

Finding this sweet spot will take some trial and error. In my case, I had to move my recliner three times to get it right, but oh, was it worth it!

Once your preferred position is found, it’s time to fine-tune the reclining angle. The key is that a proper recliner chair should align with your body’s natural curve.

For me, a 45-degree angle hits the comfort jackpot every time. But don’t be shy about finding your own magic angle.

I’ve also found that the footrest can be the unsung hero of a recliner’s comfort. After all, adjusting your footrest can alleviate pressure on your legs and back.

I discovered this when I got an adjustable footrest. It was like giving my legs a cloud to rest on.

#3 Incorporate Additional Support

I’ve found that extra pillows or seat cushions can transform a recliner from “okay’ to “wow.’ Not only do they offer additional comfort, but they add some personality to your setup.

Choosing the right cushion or lumbar support pillow can be a fun adventure. I still remember the day I found my favorite memory foam cushion.

The key is to focus on level of comfort, support, and fabric. Sometimes, it’s about trial and error until you find the one that’s perfect for you.

As for placement strategies, there’s no one-size-fits-all. I put my cushion at the small of my back, which works wonders for my posture.

This position helps prevent my notorious bad posture from becoming a serious issue. It’ll help protect me the complications like “back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders and a potbelly” [2].

But you might prefer it behind your neck, under your knees, or even on the armrests. Explore different placements to see what gives you maximum comfort.

If you want to step up your comfort game, consider heated or massaging cushions. Trust me on this one.

I was initially skeptical, but after using a heated cushion one cold winter night, there was no going back. It’s like having a personal spa right in your living space.

#4 Upgrade the Upholstery and Fabric

A recliner’s upholstery and fabric often get overlooked in the quest for extra comfort. But I’ve understood that your recliner’s material plays a significant role.

Trust me, the correct change in upholstery can sometimes feel like a brand-new chair altogether. I just changed mine on my older recliner; the results were astounding.

Meanwhile, hundreds of fabric choices cater to different comfort needs. As someone who tends to feel chilly, I’ve found that a plush, soft material is ideal.

But if you’re more prone to feeling warm, choose something breathable, like cotton fabric [2]. Honestly, it’s all about finding what feels best against your skin.

Keeping your fabric clean and well-maintained is another crucial aspect of comfort. Nothing disrupts a relaxing reclining experience like a stain or a rough patch.

I’ve learned that investing a bit of time into cleaning my recliner’s upholstery pays off in heaps of added comfort. The fresh, clean scent is the cherry on top of my relaxation cake.

So, don’t underestimate the power of good upholstery and fabric. They’re not just about aesthetics but can significantly contribute to your recliner’s comfort level.

#5 Replacing Your Recliner

There are a few telltale signs that your recliner needs replacing. If you notice that it no longer supports your body as it used to or if it’s causing you discomfort or pain, it’s time to part ways.

My old recliner, once a throne of relaxation, started giving me neck pain. After this happened, I knew it was time to depart with my old friend.

When looking for this new recliner, consider the features that cater to your comfort needs. For me, a wider seat and an adjustable headrest were non-negotiables.

Prioritizing these features helped me find a recliner tailor-made for my relaxation. Without them, it just wouldn’t be the perfect recliner for my living room.

I’d recommend this short video if you need help picking out a replacement recliner. 

It’ll point to some stellar on today’s market. I’m confident one of them will be tailor-made for your needs.

Speaking of tailor-made, considering a custom recliner for personalized comfort can be a game-changer. It’s the easiest way to ensure your needs are met.

Of course, it’s more expensive than choosing a furniture showroom recliner model. But it’ll allow you to ensure every piece or feature suits your comfort.

#6 Regular Maintenance of the Recliner

Engaging in simple maintenance tasks can keep your recliner functioning well. Due to this, I make it a point to regularly clean my recliner and check for any loose screws or squeaky sounds.

Not only does this keep my recliner looking and feeling good, but it also helps me catch any issues early. Of course, there are times when a bit of DIY maintenance won’t cut it.

In these cases, you’ll need to consult professionals. Like that one time when my power recliner’s reclining mechanism jammed – no amount of Googling could help me fix it.

So it’s best to rely on a professional’s expertise regarding more complex issues. Otherwise, you’ll probably make it worse.

Lastly, a well-cared-for recliner rewards you with comfort and relaxation. A little effort goes a long way in prolonging your chair’s life and enhancing your comfort level.

3 Benefits of a Comfortable Recliner

A comfortable recliner is more than just a cozy spot to unwind after a long day. It’s a source of numerous health benefits that anyone could use.

#1 Alleviates Back Pain

One of the standout benefits of a comfortable recliner is that it can significantly alleviate back pain [2]. I experienced it firsthand when my recliner provided the proper lumbar support.

It’s why recliner chairs are one of the most recommended products for seniors. It can help them manage their chronic back pain issues.

#2 Improves Leg Circulation

A comfortable recliner can work wonders for leg circulation and blood flow. Elevating my legs on the adjustable footrest has helped swelling and discomfort after long walks.

elevated feet in a recliner

It even helped me recover from a nasty sprained ankle from playing basketball. I just kept it elevated on the leg rest while icing it,

Honestly, I expected my sprained ankle to keep me out for a more extended period. But my recliner got me in good enough shape to where I was playing again in a few days.

#3 Aids Neck and Shoulder Tension

Moreover, the right recliner can aid neck and shoulder tension. MY NECK STRAIN PRACTICALLY DISAPPEARED once I found the ideal headrest angle and added a soft lumbar pillow.

It ends up being the perfect sitting position for my movie marathons. But please, remember to move around every hour or two to avoid circulation issues [4].


#1 What are some common reasons a recliner might be uncomfortable?

Inadequate support, wrong reclining angle, improper footrest position, or unsuitable upholstery material could all make a recliner uncomfortable.

#2 How often should I maintain my recliner?

Recliner owners should do regular maintenance every few months or as needed. It’ll include cleaning, checking for loose screws, and addressing wear and tear.

#3 Can an uncomfortable recliner affect my health?

An uncomfortable recliner can lead to health issues like back pain, neck strain, or poor posture. Due to this, It’s essential to ensure your recliner offers proper support.

#4 What type of fabric is best for my recliner?

Fabric choice depends on personal preference. If you prefer soft and warm, go for plush fabrics. If you prefer cool and breathable, cotton could provide optimum comfort.


Understanding how to make a recliner more comfortable isn’t too complicated. It’s all about knowing your optimal comfort needs and personalizing your space.

Once you do, the next step should be apparent. It could be about making the proper adjustments, incorporating additional support, or choosing the right upholstery and fabric.

But remember to keep with regular maintenance. It’s the only way to ensure your recliner stays cozy for years without needing a replacement.

And finally, remember the journey to extreme comfort is unique to each of us. So, what changes can you make today to elevate your recliner experience?

After all, isn’t it worth investing time and effort to create the perfect comfortable position for yourself?


1. Watanabe S, Eguchi A, Kobara K, Ishida H. Influence of trunk muscle co-contraction on spinal curvature during sitting reclining against the backrest of a chair. Electromyography and clinical neurophysiology [Internet]. 2008;48:359–65. Available from: https://europepmc.org/article/med/19097476

2. Services D of H & H. Posture [Internet]. www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/posture#:~:text=The%20complications%20of%20poor%20posture

3. How to manage low back pain before it gets worse [Internet]. NIH MedlinePlus Magazine. Available from: https://magazine.medlineplus.gov/article/how-to-manage-low-back-pain-before-it-gets-worse

4. Restaino RM, Holwerda SW, Credeur DP, Fadel PJ, Padilla J. Impact of prolonged sitting on lower and upper limb micro- and macrovascular dilator function. Experimental Physiology. 2015;100:829–38.

About Author

Claire Bonneau
Claire is a registered nurse with experience in freelance medical writing. She is very passionate about geriatric nursing and seniors care and education (it is her favorite area of nursing). She worked with many seniors in a variety of medical settings to provide high-erLATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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