What is a Recliner Sofa?

Today, many Americans enjoy spending their free time watching the television or reading a book. A recliner sofa will be an excellent addition to this tradition. This article tells you about the differences between regular and reclining sofas. Besides, I will give you the pros and cons of such a type of couch. Thus, I hope you will find the answer you are looking for.

What is the difference between regular and reclining sofas?

Firstly, let us discuss the difference between regular and reclining sofas. A traditional sofa is a seat with arms and backrests, and people usually use those as seating for one or two people. On the contrary, recliner sofas are mainly used as seating for three to four people. A bench serves as an occasional seat because it has no back support and is not very comfortable sitting for a long time.

A recliner sofa is also a power reclining sofa or simply an electric recliner. These couches are very similar to traditional ones in design, but they have one big difference: the backrest does not stay still when you sit on it. It allows people to enjoy more comfort while watching TV, reading a book, or taking a nap because the seat tilts and slides into various positions. A power recliner can lie almost flat to become a bed. So, you have two spare beds for guests.

Reclining sofa pros

You need to understand that every single item has its cons and pros. In this section, I will tell you several pros of power recliners.

Power features

First, try to imagine sitting on a traditional sofa. Imagine how hard it is the sit straight if the backrest tilts or slides too much. You can experience that issue with your traditional sofa, but not with an electric recliner. When you buy a power recliner, you will be able to lie down at any level, angle, and position because the backrest moves along with you.

Comfortable for pets

Another pro of having an electric recliner is that many pets find them comfortable! Many cat owners recommend buying such sofas because they love lying down in the spot where they sleep every day, making using a reclining sofa even better. You should also know that you can choose among many different types of fabric, patterns, and colors. This way, you will decorate your living room in style.

Many seating positions

I already told you that power recliners allow people to move along with the backrest of this sofa. You can easily find an appropriate position for watching TV, reading a book, or taking a nap, so you do not have any neck pain after doing one of those activities on regular sofas.

High seating backs

In addition, you will find high seating backs very comfortable. They provide more significant support and can be a perfect place for putting your legs on a rest.

Reclining Sofa Cons

Now I am going to tell you several cons of power recliners. It would help if you thought about those before deciding whether to make a purchase.


First, these sofas are more expensive than traditional ones because they have unique features that regular sofas do not have. In other words, the price tells everything about the functionality of this type of sofa – they have more features that allow people to use them in various ways compared with regular ones. To my mind, it is pretty logical if someone pays a little bit more for an item that has many advantages.

Mechanics can fail

Secondly, you need to know that the mechanics of a recliner sofa can fail and those of a regular one. In this case, people may find themselves lying on the floor. I do not want to say that you should be afraid of purchasing such items because they are made from high-quality materials and tested before being sold worldwide. However, some specialists consider them dangerous because they do not always notice if the seat mechanism fails while sitting on it.

Reclining sofa styles are limited

Finally, it is necessary to tell you that sofas do not have enough styles. I am saying this because they cannot be placed in every living room simultaneously, and their style must complement the rest of your furniture and other items in the room.

If you want these sofas to stand out, buying them may result in constantly rearranging all other elements you currently have at home. In my opinion, statement recliners are a good choice because they always make an exciting decoration piece even without any additional items around them.

Lack of storage space

Another con is that these sofas do not have much storage space, which can be annoying for some people. Even though you generally get massive cushions (which is why they are more comfortable than traditional ones), there is no secret compartment, like in other sofas with backrests or benches. Besides, you will find it challenging to find a spot where you could put your feet up because these sofas cannot lie flat when you take them down to lower levels than 45 degrees.

Some disadvantages for kids

From my personal experience, power lift recliners can cause several problems for kids if they try to climb on them or use them like a slide. Many parents share their negative experiences with such sofas because it is not safe for kids to play on them as they do with other types of furniture.

Recliner Sofas – Safety Precautions

I should also tell you about certain safety precautions you need to take if you want to use power recliners and protect your children from unwanted consequences (like injuries). Before buying, make sure the sofa has a unique lock that prevents kids from accidentally sliding down the backrest. Also, keep in mind that every fabric can be dangerous for little kids because some materials can catch fire easily. The best solution is to use power recliner sofas with leather upholstery because it does not catch fire and is very easy to clean.

Now you know all the pros and cons of power recliners. If you compare them with traditional ones, you will find out that these sofas have more advantages; therefore, I am sure you will make the right choice!

Things To Keep In Mind While Buying A Recliner Sofa

The market has a lot to offer when it comes to recliner sofas. You’ll be spoilt for choice. Besides, you may also get confused about what to buy. So, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind before zeroing in on a particular product.


First and foremost, consider the size of the sofa as well as the space you want to put it in. You don’t want to purchase a recliner sofa only to find out it doesn’t fit in your room. So, take proper measurements of your room before hitting the purchase button!


Next, take a look at the fabric. There are different types of fabrics available, so you need to decide which one would be best for your needs. If you have pets, you might want to consider a fabric that’s easy to clean. Leather is a no-brainer! But you also have other options like cotton, corduroy, suede, or chenille.


Different recliner sofas come with different features. So, you need to decide which features are important for you. For example, if you have back problems, you might want to consider a recliner sofa that comes with lumbar support. Or, if you want a sofa that can be used as a bed, you can look for a convertible model.


Last but not least, consider your budget. While cheap recliner sofas can cost anywhere between $200 to $500, the expensive ones can cost you more than $1,000. So, it’s important to set a budget before looking for a recliner sofa.

But remember, just because a product is expensive doesn’t mean it’s better. Sometimes, you can find a cheaper alternative that does the job just as well! The key is to do your research right and scour the internet before deciding on a model.


I hope that I have given you an overall understanding of the electrical recliner. Here I want to answer some frequently asked questions about the recliner.

Is It Difficult To Use the Recliner?

Many people think that using recliners is more complex than regular and they might also worry about breaking the chair or sofa if they accidentally try to lift it. Fortunately, I can reassure you that using a power recliner is much easier than it seems. All you need to do is press a button and move along with the backrest of your new sofa without trying to lift it off the floor by yourself!

Will A Motor Break on My Recliner?

In case you have never bought a reclining sofa before, you might worry when the motor breaks or not after some time. Most modern models use strong engines that last for years without significant problems. The only thing that can cause a problem is using the recliner too often or overloading it with items.

Is It Safe to Use the Electrical Recliner?

If you worry about your safety while using electrical items at home, you should know that every single motorized item has been tested for safety issues before entering the market. In this case, power recliners are very safe because they have a unique lock that prevents the backrest from falling if it is not locked into a particular position. The only thing you should be careful about is to check whether your sofa has a lock every time before using it.

Where Can I Buy a Recliner?

If you have never bought a reclining sofa before, there might be several questions popping up in your head right now, and I can answer one of them for you – where can you buy power recliners at the best price? You will find dozens of online stores where people sell their used or new recliners. However, I recommend that you check out Overstock first because they often provide good deals on many types of furniture.

What Is the Best Recliner for People with Bad Backs?

As a person with a bad back, you should be very careful when buying recliners because they can make your condition even worse! If you want to avoid such problems, I recommend that you look for specific models created, especially back issues. These sofas will help you sit in the proper position and prevent many neck and spine-related injuries.


There is no doubt that modern power recliners provide plenty of advantages; therefore, we recommend this type of sofa if it fits your home interior design and budget. Power recliners are much better than traditional ones: they save much space (especially if you have small kids), are very easy to use, and come with long-lasting motors that work without any problems.

Thank you for reading this piece.

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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