How do you adjust the pitch on a recliner?

Many people buy recliners to have a comfortable seat to watch TV on but struggle to understand how it works and adjust it according to their preferences. In all honesty, a recliner is not a simple office chair that can be put up high or low. Different recliners come with various settings and options, and it can be difficult for a common person to understand the instructions in the user manual. 

If this sounds anything like your situation, fret not. This step-by-step guide will walk you through different methods to adjust the pitch on your recliner.

The first things you need to look out for are the small screws and parts of the recliner you might be working with within these methods to keep them away from children and pets, so they do not cause any safety hazards.

Many people give up and pay someone else to do a job as simple as adjusting the pitch on a recliner, but that should not worry you anymore. With our guide, you can adjust the pitch with ease at home. Let us roll!

Steps to adjusting pitch on standard recliners

First, you need to know what recliner pitch means. Recliner pitch refers to the height of your recliner when everything is put in its default position. The back seat is upright, and the footrest is closed. Are your feet able to touch the ground, or are they too high for your level of comfort?

Testing the recliner pitch can be difficult sometimes when it is not adjusted according to your liking. If it is too high, your knees are likely to fold, and this uncomfortable position will strain your legs, and you will have to adjust the pitch to be slightly higher. If it is too high, your legs will probably dangle in the air, and your feet will not be able to touch the floor. A high pitch means you need to set it to a lower pitch.

Put your recliner forward

The first step to adjusting the recliner pitch is to tilt the chair forward. Put everything back in its default position; the footrest should be closed, and the backseat straightened, and then gently tilt the chair forward until you can see the bottom of the chair. Make sure it is resting on top of its backseat, and both your hands are free to work around adjusting the mechanism.

Try to look for cam bolts at the bottom of the recliner chair. You will find them at the base mechanism, typically found at the center of the bottom of your recliner. Cam bolts, commonly known as camber adjustment bolts, are commonly found in cars and are used to adjust or modify your car’s camber angle.

Remove the cam bolts

Normally the frame is held in place by four bolts with two bolts at the backside of the chair and two at the front of the chair. What you need is a wrench of your liking and one you are comfortable with, a regular to a large-sized one. Start by loosening the two bolts at the back on either side of the base mechanism but do not loosen them to the extent that they fall or drop out of the frame but loosen them enough for the recliner to move around a little.

Your next step is to work on the two front bolts. Loosen the front bolts using the same wrench all the way through until they drop out of the frame. You need to remove them completely, unlike the back bolts, and store them in a place that is out of the reach of your children because you will need them in the next few steps.

Adjust the frame

Now here is the tricky part of adjusting the pitch of the recliner chair by adjusting the frame’s position. The front part of your frame is movable since you just removed the front two bolts from it. You need to move the front part of the frame up or down depending on whether you want the recliner to be closer or away from the ground. Moving the frame will adjust the recliner pitch accordingly. 

If you want your recliner chair to be closer to the ground, push the frame up and then back, eventually increasing the recliner front pitch. If you want the recliner chair to be further away from the ground, you need to push the frame down and then forward, thus increasing the recliner’s rear pitch.

Note that you can adjust your recliner pitch up to five to nine different settings depending on how many slots are there at the front of the cam. These slots are where the front cam bolts go. After you make your final adjustments, you need to put the bolts you removed before this step from the front of the frame in these slots. Different recliners allow a different number of adjustments that you can make. At most, you can alter as many as 9 different settings. 

Please keep in mind that the recliner pitch is sensitive to even the slightest changes, so it is recommended not to make a drastic change right away since it might result in your recliner pitch being too high or too low. Try to work in small increments and work your way up or down as needed.

In this next part, you will need to retrieve the bolts you earlier kept in a safe spot and tighten them back.

Once you have set the cam in place, insert the front bolts at the bottom of the frame. Before using a wrench, use your fingers to rotate them loosely into the right slots and double-check their positions before moving ahead. Now use your wrench to tighten these bolts securely in their place.

Now recall loosening the back bolts before you completely removed the front bolts. You can use a wrench or a power ratchet to twist the back bolts in their place tightly. After tightening all four bolts, your base frame, which is at the bottom of the chair, should be steady and firm in its place. Check this by trying to move it; if it moves, you need to tighten the bolts more, but you are good to move ahead if it does not move.

Test your adjustments

After making all adjustments to the base frame, put the recliner chair back in its upright position. Position yourself in the seat and check your posture. Are your feet touching the ground and your knees bent perfectly at right angles? If yes, this is the ideal recliner pitch for you, and you have successfully completed the adjustment process. If you still feel the recliner pitch does not feel right for you, then tilt the recliner forward again and continue adjusting until you find the right pitch for yourself. Repeat the same steps from start to end until you are satisfied with the result.

Steps to adjusting pitch on Lazy Boy recliner

Alright, we know you might be thinking that none of the steps above work for your lazy boy recliner, and we agree. The mechanism on the lazy boy is a tad bit more difficult to understand, and many users face issues troubleshooting problems for it. For this reason, the lazy boy recliner receives many negative reviews, but that is going to change! 

Put your Lazy Boy recliner forward 

The first thing you need to do is turn the recliner over for you to have a better look at the mechanism at the bottom of the chair. Tilt your lazy boy recliner chair so you can see the bottom part of it. You will need to grab a pair of piler or screwdriver, whatever is available at hand. You will mainly work on the front two legs of your recliner. If you see any screws on the front legs of the recliner chair, unscrew them completely and remove them. Please make sure you keep them in a safe place so that you can retrieve them when you want to screw them back in. 

Adjust your new feet

Now find a measuring tape and use it to measure how further away you want your new feet. One inch of recline adjustment with foot spacing translates to one inch when reclined. After you have measured your desired spacing, grab the screws you previously completely removed from the chair’s front legs, place the new feet, and screw them tightly in place so there is no chance of them coming off. 

Test your adjustments

Put your lazy boy recliner in an upright position. Sit on your chair and check whether your feet are touching the ground and your knees are bending at a right angle. If you still feel uncomfortable with your posture, you can test your new adjustments and see if you would like to make further adjustments to the height of the recliner. Sometimes the recliner might end up getting too low on the front, and you would want to raise the height.

You will again need some pliers or screwdrivers to twist the screws off, depending on how tightly you screwed them back last time. Once they are removed, please put them in a safe spot to be used later. Now adjust the height of the feet a few inches higher than you did last time and grab your screws. Screw the feet tightly in place, so there is no movement, and test the recliner to see if you are satisfied with the adjustments.

Is your recliner right for your height?

In some rare cases, no matter how many times you adjust the height of your recliner, you feel that you can not seem to get it right. You end up in the same uncomfortable position where your legs never touch the ground or your knees are always awkwardly bending. This is probably because your recliner is not right for your height. Maybe you are a short person, and you have lowered the recliner height too many times, but it is just not working out. If this sounds like your situation, then there are two options: you return your current recliner model for another that suits your needs, or you get yourself a footrest.

Buying yourself a footrest is an easy and efficient way if you cannot adjust the recliner pitch. A footrest will help restore the comfortability that your recliner mechanism cannot, and you will not be bothered by your feet unable to touch the ground. It will support your legs through which you can rock your lazy boy recliner chair, not leave them dangling in the air and help keep the blood flow on in your legs.

Frequently asked questions:

  1. Can I sleep on my recliner?

There is nothing wrong with sleeping on a recliner, but sleeping on a quality mattress is best. However, if you struggle to do that, sleeping on recliners is an excellent option.

  1. Can I secure my recliner to the floor?

Yes. There are many ways to stop your recliner from moving about on the floor, including non-skid mats, cork, and furniture grippers.

  1. Can I remove the back seat of my recliner?

You can remove the back seat of your recliner, but you should check with the manufacturer to know if there is a way of doing it without damaging any part of the chair in the process. Seek help from a local professional if you are unsure about the procedure.


Gone are the days when you would pay someone who is just as inexperienced as you a hefty price to do tasks as simple as adjusting the pitch on your recliner. Understanding the recliner mechanism and adjusting the pitch yourself has never been easier. It would be best to maximize the relaxation you can get out of your recliner by changing the adjustments to whatever makes you feel more comfortable. Otherwise, you are up for backache, awkwardly bent knees, unhealthy posture, poor blood circulation, or legs dangling above the floor without any support. But this is not what you paid and signed up for.

Depending on the recliner you have, grab a pair of pliers, screwdrivers, or wrenches, and put your recliner bottom up. Remember to be patient and understand the mechanism. Follow the steps in this guideline closely. Keep small parts like cam bolts away from children or pets in a safe spot. Push back or forward the base frame depending on whether you want your recliner chair’s pitch to be higher or lower. Screw it back in position. Test your adjustments, repeat the steps if necessary, and you should have your recliner’s pitch adjusted in no time! 

Last updated: 22/02/2022

About Karen Miller

As an interior designer, I believe that living spaces should be welcoming and comfortable. When you walk into your home or office for the first time after it's been remodeled by me - all of those efforts are paid off with a sense of comfort in knowing how much care went into making sure every detail was attended too!

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