Nothing feels better than coming home, taking off your shoes after a long day, and sinking into your favourite chair. For that, you need the perfect recliner.
Whether you’re young or old, reclining chairs deserve a place in the home. Manual or automatic aside, not only do they offer incredible support, but they also come in a variety of neutral tones and comfortable materials to match any home decor.
Artiss is here to help you choose the ideal reclining chairs at the best price. Our handy recliner buying guide will help you know what to look for when shopping, enabling you to choose a supportive chair with confidence.
Let’s get started!
Measuring your space
Where are you planning on putting your recliner? Of course, the living room seems like the obvious choice to lay back, but if you’re pressed for space, you may need to move it to a home office or enjoy reclining in your bedroom. In any case, to get the perfect fit, you’ll need to know the dimensions of the room, the décor of the room, and what sort of atmosphere you want to cultivate.
When measuring the room, make sure you leave room for moving between other furniture pieces. For example, if you want the recliner to form part of the living room furniture, consider the surrounding space especially if your living room furniture is modular. You also want to avoid blocking vents, outlets, and other important fixtures.
Measure the recliner's full range of movement, so you can be sure how far it will extend into the living space. Don’t forget to measure your door and check the package dimensions – there’s no point in buying a chair you can’t fit inside the house!
Choosing the right living room furniture
Are you buying the recliner for yourself, another family member, or for everyone to use? Chairs can be very personal, so choosing exactly the right materials and features will be paramount.
If you’re buying for someone who is elderly, you may care more about features providing optimum comfort. Is the chair easy to get out of? Does the recliner have lift functions, a dedicated headrest and sufficient lumbar support? It's all in the details.
If you’re buying for someone younger, you may care more about style, ease and budget. What’s a material that has a better chance of standing the test of time? What features might you have to sacrifice due to budget or space concerns? Is the recliner chair easy to move to other rooms around the house?
Besides age and preferences, consider the height of the person who will be using the armchair the most. As a general rule of thumb, your knees should be at a 90° angle. When the chair is horizontal, the highest point of the chair should be just below your kneecaps.
Before purchasing, consider all family members, including those with fur. Some pets may enjoy curling up peacefully on the couch, while others enjoy chewing and clawing on brand-new surfaces. If it’s the latter, you’ll want something tough and resilient to prevent damage from stray claws and paws – or you’ll need to find some good armchair covers!
Choosing the right level of support
Recliners are made of four basic components: frame, support, mechanisms and padding.
The frame is typically made from wood and reinforced with metal nuts, bolts, screws and other supports, while mechanisms are made from steel. These materials help the chair withstand constant movement, as well as shifting from chair to recliner position.
Support structure varies across chairs and chair types, but steel springs are the most common type. They create a bouncy feel and are strong and stable. The best and most comfortable support is an 8-way hand-tied spring system, but this kind of support has the biggest price tag. Another type is a lattice or webbing support, which is stapled to the frame and produces a sleeker chair (as it takes up less space than springs).
As far as padding is concerned, recliners use rigid foam, usually made from polyurethane, as the base for their cushioning. For the ideal cushioning for extended time sitting, you should check out the foam’s resilience and density. High-resilience foam has a bouncy feel and is flexible, supportive, and comfortable, making it one of the most popular foams in the bedding industry. High-density foam is much firmer, but that firmness allows it to hold its shape much longer.
Now that you know exactly what your new recliner is made from, let’s move on to the look and feel.
The upholstery of your recliner chair will be one of the most important aspects of its construction. It’s the first thing you’ll feel when you sit down, so you’ll want to choose a suitable material to keep you comfortable, while also keeping in mind cleaning and maintenance. Luckily, there is an extensive range of materials to choose from, so you can find the perfect comfortable addition to your home.
A natural fibre, cotton is one of the most popular choices for upholstery thanks to its many benefits. It’s breathable, durable, easy to wash, and very soft. It is resistant to pilling, and it will feel cool in summer and warm in winter. It also has hypoallergenic properties for sensitive skin and noses. The drawbacks: it is easy to wrinkle, easy to stain, and may fade and weaken under direct sunlight.
Velvet is a densely tufted pile fabric that is traditionally made from silk, but can also come in synthetic fibres. It is beautifully aesthetic, fade-resistant, soft to the touch, and comes in various styles and colours. It will suit a modern or retro home. If treated and maintained properly, velvet can last for years without losing its charm. Unfortunately, it can be very hard to clean, and it attracts a lot of dust. It is also very obvious when velvet has not been well maintained.
Derived from flax crops, linen is a sustainable and versatile material that is strong, breathable, and durable. It is hypoallergenic, bacteria-resistant, and eco-friendly. While it's easy to maintain, like cotton, it is susceptible to wrinkles. It also tends to err on the more expensive side compared to other fabrics.
This material is perfect for those who put comfort first and don’t mind a little extra maintenance to get it. It is robust, water-repellant and flame-resistant, as well as being deeply warm and soft. Unfortunately, it is not only expensive to buy but expensive to clean, as it can only be dry cleaned.
One of the most popular synthetic fabrics, this is a durable, soft and stain-resistant material perfect for the chaotic home. It does not absorb smells, is easy to clean, and is durable enough to last you years. It does, unfortunately, tend to absorb body oils and perspiration, and is not the most breathable fabric, especially in extreme temperatures.
A leather chair is one of the most luxurious-looking items you can own in a home, and it is also one of the most durable. It does not absorb stains or odours like fabric and has a beautiful look and feel. Maintained properly, a luxury leather chair will last a lifetime it looks better with age, as consistent use develops a ‘patina’ (a soft sheen). This luxury material suits many spaces, from an executive office to your dad's home theatre. However, leather is prone to cracks and tears from sharp objects and bodily oils, and it is especially hot, sticky and uncomfortable in the summer heat. It is also expensive upfront, even if the durability may save you money over time.
A synthetic and more affordable alternative to leather, PU leather is made from polyurethane resin. It is a great alternative for those who want the stylish look of leather without the price tag, but the savings come with a decrease in durability and longevity. PU leather also does not develop a patina like genuine leather. Proper maintenance can make it last longer, but it will not go the distance as genuine leather, or even synthetic fabric.
This material is similar to PU leather but is derived from ethylene instead of resins. It is more durable than PU leather, is easier to clean and is slightly more affordable, but it is also stiffer and less breathable. For a recliner chair on a budget, the price is right with vinyl.
Types of recliners
There are many different types of recliners available to suit your needs. You should be on the lookout for features that will benefit you now and in the future.
Lever handle/pull handle recliner
A wood or plastic handle acts as the mechanism to recline the chair, a classic style popularised in the 20th century that you’ve probably seen in homes while growing up. This mechanism can come as either a lever or a pull mechanism. This type of chair is affordable and comes in a wide variety of styles, but manual operation may become difficult as the user gets older.
Wall hugger recliner
This type of recliner is specially designed for smaller spaces. Instead of laying the backrest down, a sliding track moves both the seat and the footrest forward, allowing the recliner to ‘hug’ the wall. It's easier to relax knowing you're not going to hit a wall!
These recliners are incredibly easy to use – just lean back and relax to reach your perfect angle. Since they don’t have a visible mechanism, these come in a variety of sleek designs that will blend in nicely with your interior, so you can recline in style. Guests may not even notice you have a recliner at all!
Set on a circular base, recliners are designed to swivel 360° as well as recline backwards. If you suffer from lower back pain, this chair is great to reduce pressure from twisting around. They’re also lighter than other types of armchairs, making them easy to move around.
When not reclined, a rocking recliner allows you to rock back and forth. Rocking has been shown to have therapeutic benefits, helping to calm individuals with anxiety, stress and insomnia. Studies have also shown that rocking may improve blood pressure in the elderly. Don't be fooled by old fashioned designs - rocking recliners, armchairs and even sofas have made a comeback, so you will find one that suits your unique style. Ultimately, a rocking chair is a perfect choice to sit back and take a breath after a stressful day.
If you have a hard time getting out of chairs, for whatever reason, a lift recliner is a perfect choice. The chair can go from flat to upright using an electric motor, making it easy to get out of the chair with minimal effort. More than a luxury purchase, electric recliners help you get into your perfect reclined position quickly and easily, and are especially useful if you have trouble manually adjusting chairs.
The most luxurious chair on the list, massage recliners are the ultimate comfort chair to relax into at the end of a long day. These chairs can have a huge range of features, from automatic smart body scans to rollers that stimulate deep tissue massage techniques. This type of chair is an excellent investment if you have a little extra money to spend and want to treat your body and sore muscles in style.
Additional features and accessories
Some recliner models will allow you to lift the armrest and expose additional storage space. This is a great place to keep your favourite books and tech gadgets, including the TV remote if you want it all to yourself! Recliners can also have built-in cup holders, perfect for enjoying a cup of tea on a cold evening or a stubby on game day.
Built-in USB charger
With a built-in USB charger, you’ll never have to worry about getting up to charge your phone or tablet ever again. Get yourself a recliner with a built-in USB charger and keep all your devices powered and ready to use.
You may also want to choose recliners with adjustable headrests and lumbar support. If you enjoy laying back to watch TV or read, you need to keep your head supported to avoid neck strain. The easiest way to do this is to buy a recliner with this feature built-in, but you can also purchase separate head support accessories that attach to your existing chairs.
Built-in tray tables
Do you enjoy writing your next bestseller in your favourite chair? Or do you like to eat dinner in front of the news? A built in tray table gives you the additional support to eat, write, browse or even work in ultimate comfort. Recliners with built in trays are great for the office or bedroom, where multifunctional furniture is always welcome.
Get two pieces of living room furniture for the price of one! Matching ottomans help keep your décor consistent, allow you to fully stretch out even when you're not reclined and can be used as additional seating for unexpected guests.
High-quality recliner chairs from Artiss
With an extensive range of high-quality recliner chairs and a hassle-free shopping experience, you’ll love choosing a new recliner from Artiss. Our online store is easy to navigate, while our courier partners make delivery prompt and worry-free, so you can lay back and relax. With our friendly Australia-based customer service team, rest assured any issues will be dealt with quickly and with care. So, what are you waiting for? Shop the Artiss recliner chair collection online today and see the latest offers we have in store.