How To Fix A Leaning Recliner?

Do you have a recliner that leans on one side? Recliners are one of the most comfortable pieces of furniture to relax on, but if they start to lean to one side, they can become quite uncomfortable for the user. A leaning recliner is also bad for your posture and causes severe back pain. If you have given up on your recliner because of its leaning problem, now is the time to gather hope because you can fix the leaning problem in a few simple steps.

Causes of a leaning recliner

Before we jump into the ‘how to fix your leaning recliner’ section, you need to understand the causes behind the problem. There are several reasons why your recliner may be leaning on one side, and we will discuss them one by one for better understanding.

Broken recliner mechanism

One of the main causes of a leaning recliner problem is a broken or faulty mechanism. A sliding frame is a part of the recliner mechanism which allows the recliner to open and close. This is part of the mechanism responsible for the leaning recliner problem. If the frame is broken or contains a faulty part, your recliner will most likely lean on one side. This problem is also very easy to fix with the help of some tools available in your house. You can align the frame or replace the faulty parts.

Weak chair frame

Most recliner chair frames are strong and sturdy, but if a recliner has a weak chair frame as a result of poorly implemented design or bad engineering from the manufacturer, then it could create issues and eventually cause the recliner chair to lean. The trick to knowing if a recliner chair is made from a weak frame is that you will feel it is not sturdy the moment you sit on it. It is recommended to avoid a manufacturer that implements poor designs and bad engineering on his recliner chairs.

Uneven floor

Although this one is pretty much common sense, uneven flooring causes your recliner to be higher from one side than the other. You will feel yourself lean toward the lower side of the recliner chair when you sit in it, which will cause considerable strain on the frame and weaken it over time.

Uneven padding

Uneven padding will cause your chair to appear thicker from one side and make you lean toward the thinner side as you sit on it. Not only is this uncomfortable for the user, but uneven seat padding can cause severe back pain and other problems over time. You will have to get the padding of your seat replaced if this sounds like your situation.

Loosened frame

Recliner frames are prone to damage due to prolonged use and can loosen over time. A loosened recliner frame will be indicated by creaking sounds every time you sit on it. When the frame becomes loose, the chair will eventually lean on one side because the core structure of the chair is not sturdy anymore. It is recommended that you investigate such a problem right away and get it fixed.

Tools needed to fix the recliner

The tools we will shortly talk about will come in handy when you want to fix the leaning recliner problem at home. If you do not have any tools available at home, you can purchase them from any local hardware store. It is important to keep all tools out of the reach of children so they do not cause a safety hazard.

A screwdriver

A screwdriver is an essential tool in the methods discussed below to fix the leaning recliner problem. You will be using your screwdriver to unscrew panels and joint bolts. Every screwdriver comes with a different head and size, so choose one that best fits your requirements.

A pry bar

A pry bar is a flat metal rod straight from one end and curved from the other. It is used when you need to open any part of your recliner which exhibits a lot of strain and tension. To use the pry bar for fixing the leaning recliner problem, you must have used it before as it is not easy to use.

Lubricating oil

It is recommended that you get lubricating oil in a spray bottle for easier application. Lubricating oil is important for all the moving metal parts of your recliner’s mechanism to protect them from getting rusted and making creaking sounds.

Fixing the leaning recliner problem

The first thing you need to do is locate the screws that lock the wood panel and the footrest. Once you have located these screws, use your screwdriver to loosen them. Ensure that you keep the screws you remove in a safe spot for the safety of your children and pets. You will need these screws in another step.

Remove any fabric or leather covering the mechanism frame on your recliner so you can carefully examine the parts and understand which part you need to replace or repair.

If you feel that the joints or other metal moving parts create creaking noises, spray the lubricating oil on them. If your lubricating oil is not stored in a spray bottle, use a rag to apply the oil to all moving parts and joints gently.

When working on joints near the coil or springs, take extra care not to cause the coils or springs to release tension. Ensure all the springs are properly attached to the frame.

Check the frame and joints for any cracks since they indicate an urgent need for replacement. When replacing any part from the mechanism, make sure you are cleaning the area according to the recliner’s user manual or guide.

If you find any broken wood panels, you can apply wood glue over that area. This can work if the damage is not too severe otherwise, you will have to replace the panel with a new one.

Tighten all screws properly and ensure no part is coming off loose.

Three different ways to adjust a recliner chair:

A recliner is known for being the intimate comfort chair. However, you need to set it in the correct settings to be as comfortable as you want. You can adjust with additional features depending on what kind of recliner you buy.

Here are three ways that you can adjust your recliner to fit your preferences:

Adjust the recliner tension

The recliner tension is how you can adjust the backrest of your recliner. The backward leaning is the essential part of the recliner.

Sit on the recliner and lean back to check the reclining tension. If you find it too hard to lean back, you might want to decrease the pressure on your recliner.

Especially if you are petite, you might want to decrease the tension because, depending on your weight, you’ll require less tension to give you more comfort.

Also, if you feel your recliner is leaning back too quickly, you might want to increase the tension to have a more sturdy chair.

Adjust the recliner in the forward position

Tilting the recliner forward will give you more lumbar support. To do this, you can make the backrest upright and close the footrest. The underside of the chair will be exposed, and use both hands to adjust the tension of the chair in this position.

Adjust with the mechanism

Typically in most recliners, you will find that there will be a mechanism to help you adjust the recliner. In most cases, it is wing nuts or a pair of thumb wheels. You can use this to help you adjust your chair. Depending on the model and manufacture of your chair, the nuts or bots can differ in position. If you don’t find any mechanism, you might be unable to adjust the chair.


How can I fix a recliner that doesn’t lean back?

 If your recliner won’t lean back, it’s probably because the chain that moves the recliner is blocked or kinked. Check the underside of the recliner, check if the chain is kinked, and remove anything that might be blocking the tracks.

How can I fix a recliner that leans too far back?

You will have to increase the tension on your recliner to stop it from leaning too far or too quickly. This won’t be a problem for smaller individuals, but you will need the support if you are bigger.

Frequently asked questions

Is Sitting On The Recliner Bad For My Back?

Recliners are designed to provide you with an optimal comfort experience, but sitting on a recliner for a long time can be uncomfortable for you, just like it is when you sit anywhere for a long time. To have a healthy blood flow and a comfortable posture, you need to keep moving and not sit anywhere for too long.

Do Power Recliners Break Easily?

No. Power recliners have a strong and sturdy structure, and due to automatic operation, they tend to wear less. For this reason, power recliners have a longer lifespan and are stronger than manual recliners.

How Much Does A Strong Recliner Cost?

Recliners come in different sizes and types, and most of them cost between $200 to $5000 depending on the manufacturer you are buying from.

How Can I Ensure My Recliner Is Eco-Friendly?

When you decide to buy a recliner, look out for manufacturers who use natural materials to build their recliners. Choose a natural fabric, hardwood frame, and genuine leather.


If you feel that your recliner has started to lean, you need to take care of the problem right away because it can cause extreme discomfort, back pain, bad posture, and many other health problems. It is important to identify the root cause of the problem as discussed above and then understand how you can fix the root cause. The solution to the leaning recliner problem is easier than you might have thought, and you can fix a leaning recliner within the comfort of your home in little to no time. If the solution looks complicated to you or you are not confident performing it yourself, feel free to call a local repair technician to handle it for you. Best of luck!

Last updated: 12/08/2022

About Karen Miller

Hello! I'm Karen Miller, an interior designer from Chicago with a passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces. After leading designer at Chicago Interior LLC in 2010-2020, I started to share my expertise on home comfort. I'm excited to help you transform your home into a place of comfort and joy. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

1 thought on ldquo;How To Fix A Leaning Recliner?”

  • I am having trouble finding a repairman for my catnapper lift recliner. I live in the Oklahoma City area. Can your give me a phone number to call ?

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