How to remove the back of a recliner?

Many armchairs today come with reclining backs. These products are called reclining sofas or lazy boy recliners. It is very important not to be afraid about the whole process. I understand that it is very frustrating for newbies to hear about metal locking tabs, locking levers, detachable back panel,s and other special words.

However, remember that the manufacturer understood that you will need to detach the backs of your leather recliner sofas or recliner chair to clean it. Thus, companies spend extra money to create a simple mechanism. This article will provide you with common questions about recliner chairs and helpful tips on how to remove the back of a recliner.


Let’s start with a basic understanding what is the main difference between manual and electric models. This is important because the process differs according to which type of recliner you have. 

Manual armchairs (Lazy Boy recliners and etc…) are reclining chairs that do not have electric motors. Electric recliners function with electricity. Besides, you control the whole process by pushing a button. Manual recliners are more straightforward. All you need to do is just flip the recliner over so it would be easier to access its locking levers, locking tabs, and metal tabs later. On the other hand, make sure that you are not damaging the electric part of a lazy boy recliner. 

However, you are reading this to understand how to remover back on a reclining sofa and not to conduct complex cleaning procedures. The most important is that you understand that you need to be careful with electric versions due to their price and dependence on electricity. I think that we have to come back to the topic of this article.


I have good and bad news for you. Let’s start with the bad one. It is important to understand that recliners are not standardized. Thus, every single manufacturer has different procedures that you will need to do to remove the back of the recliner. On some models, you may need a flat head screwdriver to catch the locking lever bolted into the frame. However, you can use your hands to do the majority of things on the recliner from another manufacturer.

On the other hand, the manufacturers try to make the whole process as easy as possible. Besides, they include special instructions for reassembling your specific model. It includes a detailed guide about how to remove the back of a recliner. However, here I will explain how to do it on the most popular model on the market. I recommend you check out the manual from the manufacturer if your recliner sofa requires extra attention. 

Some recliners have straps that attach to them while some recliners do not. If your recliner does not seem to be attached, then it is likely strapped in place by a piece of fabric or felt-like material which can usually be easily removed using minimal tools like scissors or knives. Some models require removing everything on the backside of the recliner chair and attaching straps before flipping over (usually for deep cleaning). Besides, it will give you access to the center console. thumb screws and will move the chair forward. That will make the whole process a lot easier.

Once flipped over, look for any attachments holding up your recline chair – these are typically found at either end near where your armrests would normally go but they could also be found elsewhere along its surface as well so make sure you explore all angles!


  • Armrests may also block access to some of the reclining mechanisms found beneath the recline chairs’ surface! To remove this hindrance, remove any armrests present and recline the recliner back to its furthest position so that you can access it more easily.
  • If your reclining mechanism is found behind a recliner’s seat cushion, be sure not to forget about this when removing furniture from the home! You may need to use objects like kitchen chairs or stools in order for you to pull down on these mechanisms – alternatively, if they are accessible via an easy-to-reach area of the recliner chair then feel free to do without them.

The back of your armchair is likely something you see every day, but never think about how to remove the back of a recliner. This blog has given a few different methods and techniques on removing the back of a recliner that should help if yours needs some attention now or down the line!

Check out my earlier articles if you are interested in how to take care of your recliner and how it is better to make your recliner last longer.

How to remove the back of a Lazy Boy recliner?

There are a few ways to remove the back of a Lazy Boy recliner, but the easiest is to use a screwdriver.

Start by locating the screws on the back of the recliner. They will be either visible or hidden behind fabric or panels. Once you’ve located the screws, use a screwdriver to remove them.

Once the screws are removed, you should be able to lift the back of the recliner off. If it’s stuck, you can try wiggling it or using a pry bar to loosen it.

How to remove the back of the recliner sofa?

In order to remove the back of your sofa, start by finding two screws that are attached near either side. Once you’ve located these fasteners, use an Allen wrench or driver and loosen them enough so they can be easily taken off but not too much where their heads fall through in anticipation between couch cushions below!

Then using either pliers or channel locks (depending on what type it is) gently pull up while simultaneously pushing towards yourself until all three pieces separate exposing hidden wires inside which should make this process go smoother next time around – just remember: never point anything finely scored directly downward at anyone nor allow its path anywhere close beneath gas lines because if things get ignited there could be an explosion!

Last updated: 25/04/2023

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!

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