Why Do I Sleep Better In A Recliner Than A Bed?

Have you been finding yourself having a comfortable sleep on a recliner? Well, that’s a common cause for people with health disorders, especially those with back pain. Since a night of good rest is vital for a healthy lifestyle, it can be challenging to get through daily activities without proper sleep. 

Are you’re wondering why you’re getting better sleep in an inclined position compared to a standard pose? You’re in the right place. I will help you clarify your doubt and share some valuable information

Sleeping on a recliner can be cozy and comfortable, allowing you to doze off quickly in a more comfortable position. Of course, there are some health benefits, but it also has its disadvantages. In this article, we’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages that come with sleeping on a recliner so that you can be aware of the positive and negative effects on your health. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the details!

DISCLAIMER! I’m not a professional medical expert. It would be better for you to address your physician to discover more about health benefits and restful sleep. Don’t conduct any actions before speaking with your doctor.


Since manufacturers spend extra time and money to provide comfortable armchairs, some people prefer sleeping in a recliner to an ordinary bed. There is a chance that your mattress is too firm or soft for you to get a night of proper sleep. Not only that but there can also be a lot of other conditions and issues because you’re getting better sleep in a recliner as your health also plays a significant role. 

Sleeping on a recliner keeps your head elevated, and you get to adjust it according to your liking, whether it’s high or low. And maybe it can also be the reason why your body feels more comfortable in different sleeping position.

So, if you’re having a hard time getting a comfortable rest on your bed tossing around during the night, a recliner might be helpful. But you should also be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of sleeping on a recliner. I will discuss them in detail below.


Generally, the benefits of sleeping in a recliner are plenty. This comfortable chair gives a relaxed luxury feeling with an option to extend the footrest, allowing you to rest your feet and refresh yourself. The good thing is other than its comfort, it also has health-related benefits. 

Some of its benefits are:


We all know that back pain is one of the most common problems that most people experience, and you cannot just shake it off. Thus, you are suffering and can’t fall asleep. On the other hand, sleeping in a recliner provides a good sitting posture or a place to relieve the pain. Besides, it is very uncomfortable to wake up with back pain is even worse, which most of us experience at some point.

Sometimes, for some individuals, the pain can be mild, which gets better after some time. But for some, it can become chronic, and the pain can be excruciating. Whichever the reason, backaches, and pain in core muscles usually occur because our back muscles continually work to balance between our upper and lower body parts. 

Sitting upright for several hours can put a strain on your muscles which eventually leads to back pain. In that case, relaxing on a reclining chair can help you relieve pressure on your back, allowing your muscles to tone down and heal. Hence, a reclined position is most beneficial if you want to get a good night’s sleep.

Besides, some people state that the bed is adding more to the problem with continuous discomfort, then getting sleep in reclined sleeping position can be great for you. In addition, researchers also suggest that a reclining position puts the least amount of stress on your spine and helps lessen back pain.


Heartburn is another health issue that can be prevented by resting on a recliner. It usually occurs when your stomach releases acid (also known as acid reflux), and it moves up to your esophagus, worsening the condition, especially if you sleep in a horizontal position. Hence, sleeping on a recliner provide a better night’s sleep and keeps the acid down. 


Spinal stenosis typically occurs among older people. It can cause back stiffness or lower back pain mostly caused by sleeping on an ordinary mattress. Or also, the springs or coils in a mattress can add excess pressure on the back, which can also be the cause. 

In such cases, sleeping in an inclined position is the best option to alleviate the pain and pressure on the back, allowing you to rest comfortably. Sleeping on an elevated surface can equally distribute the pressure around your body and enable you to sleep soundly. It can also improve your sleep quality. In addition, especially for older folks, a recliner can make it easier for you to get up in the morning and sit in the most comfortable position.


If you’ve noticed swollen legs or feet, it’s probably because of poor blood circulation causing veins to be clogged for prolonged sitting or standing. This problem can cause adverse health effects such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or muscle cramps. And so, sitting on a recliner can allow frequent changes in sitting position, which helps improve the blood flow. Elevating your legs can naturally allow proper blood circulation around your body and enable you to relieve your stress. Additionally, it can also help with aching legs or ankle pains. 


Pregnant women usually experience severe back pain because of the added weight, which causes discomfort while falling asleep. Not only that, but it can also be stressful, making it difficult to sleep on a bed comfortably or relax on ordinary sofas. 

Most pregnant women report that a recliner helps them fall asleep soundly because it allows them to rest in a proper position without being uncomfortable. A recliner is ideal for pregnant women as it equally distributes weight and relaxes their feet, which is beneficial.


If you have breathing-related issues during sleep, like snoring or sleep apnea, it can be helped by keeping your head in an elevated position while sleeping. It happens when air fails to travel freely on your airways because your tongue falls back into the throat, blocking the airway. 

Sleep apnea usually happens with people who have a narrow throat and is also one of the most common breathing-related issues during sleep. Significantly, resting on a flat surface or on your back can contribute to this issue. It’s because the weight of your body presses down the airways causing them to close or block the air. To tackle this problem, sleeping on a recliner is helpful as it keeps you in a semi-reclined position and prevents your body weight from pushing the airways. 

As a result, sleeping on a recliner or an adjustable bed in an upright position can help reduce pressure and enable you to have a comfortable sleep relieving the issues. Besides, many people are suffering from stomach acid, so a recliner chair can be very useful for some people.


Sleeping on a recliner does come with benefits, but there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of. Unless you’re spending the majority of your time on a recliner, it shouldn’t be a problem. 

Regardless, if you enjoy relaxing on a recliner, its drawbacks should also be a concern to you.

Some of its disadvantages are:


If you’re sleeping on a recliner every night, chances are there’s a high risk of developing DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). This condition happens when you sit motionless for long hours, and DVT can be life-threatening. 


As we all know, our body goes through a healing process while sleeping by transferring nutrients and oxygen into our system. In that case, resting with your knees bent for an extended period can disrupt your blood flow as it prevents the blood from reaching the upper parts of your body. 

Hence, sleeping on a recliner with your legs straight can allow better air circulation to prevent this problem. 


Sleeping on a recliner means fewer body movements as you’ll be sleeping in one position for a prolonged period. Over time, it can cause adverse effects on your health, causing tight calves and hips. That is why getting up from the chair becomes difficult after sitting for an extended period. 

It can happen to anyone, but especially older people are more prone to this health problem as their joints are weak. 


If you’re someone who prefers to change sleeping positions while sleeping, then sleeping on a recliner can prevent you from getting proper sleep. It restricts you from shifting positions, creating discomfort, and you’ll probably wake up feeling exhausted. Additionally, it can also cause sore muscles. However, if you can sleep in one position or don’t move much during sleep, this shouldn’t be a problem. 

But for those who keep shifting positions, sleeping on a mattress can provide better sleep than a recliner. 


You can sleep on a recliner every night as it provides proper body support. However, ensure that the chair is fully reclined to receive appropriate support. The only problem with sleeping on a recliner is that if you’re resting in a seated position with your legs bend, it can add excess pressure on your spine and lead to more problems. 

The good thing is, that sleeping or resting on a recliner can help you to relax your muscles and relieve tensions. 

The Right Way To Sleep In a Recliner

If it’s your first time sleeping in a recliner, you might want to learn the proper way to do so. This way, you can ensure a comfortable experience instead of a crick in your neck the next morning. Here are a few tips:

  • Get your pillows and blankets in advance
  • If your chair is made of synthetic materials or leather, put a sheet over the best recliner
  • Keep your legs supported on the footrest
  • Use a pillow to support your lower back or neck for extra comfort.


How to tell if your bed is causing back pain?

It really depends on the kind of mattress you’re sleeping on. However, if you often wake up in the morning with a sore back and neck, your bed might be to blame. Moreover, people with chronic pain usually find that lying flat aggravates their symptoms, so a mattress that’s too soft might also be an issue.

Is sleeping in a recliner good for sciatica?

Sleeping in a recliner can help alleviate the symptoms of sciatica, provided you choose a high-quality, comfortable recliner.

Is it okay to sleep in a recliner every night?

No, I wouldn’t recommend sleeping in a recliner every night. Sleeping in an upright recliner for long hours can lead to neck and back pain. It’s best to sleep on your recliner for only a few hours at most.

Is it healthy to sleep sitting up?

The answer to this question depends on how long and often you sleep sitting up. If you do it occasionally for a short nap, it’s perfectly fine. However, if you make a habit of sleeping in an upright chair every night, it can lead to health problems.

What are the dangers of sleeping in a recliner chair?

Some common dangers of sleeping in a recliner chair include blood clots, neck and back pain, insufficient blood flow, and stiff joints.


Since recliners are super comfortable, it can be tempting to spend most of your time in a completely relaxed position. And sure, with all the benefits it provides, it’s worth investing in a piece of helpful furniture. It hosts various health benefits like helping with sleep apnea, preventing heartburn, relieving back pain, etc. And not to mention, it’s also beneficial for pregnant women. 

However, every product comes with a limitation, and so it’s advisable to enjoy its benefits in moderation as it also has its disadvantages. 

Good sleep is all that matters at the end of the day, and a recliner can help you sleep faster and provide better comfort.

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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