Recliner: a stylish furniture for modern interiors

For many of us, an armchair is a symbol of home comfort and an opportunity to relax. Over the centuries, artisans and then designers have experimented with seat widths, backrest heights, legs, and armrests to bring the comfort level of this piece of furniture to perfection. Almost a hundred years ago, current technologies also contributed to this process – it was thanks to them that a recliner chair was created, unsurpassed both in terms of convenience and its ability to complement any interior design style. But first things first.

What is a recliner, and how this model appeared?

The name of such chairs comes from the English word recline. It accurately reflects the model’s key feature – namely, the ability to lay out the backrest at the desired angle, a retractable footrest, and sometimes adjustable headrests due to particular mechanisms. For those who are not yet familiar with such a design, it may seem that it appeared not so long ago, but this is not entirely true: in 2028, the recliner will celebrate its centenary.

Chairs with recliner mechanisms owe their appearance to the Americans from Michigan’s state – Edward Knabush and Edwin Shoemaker’s brothers. In 1927, they began to develop their furniture business and set themselves the task of creating a comfortable wooden chair for relaxing on the veranda or in the garden. The result was so successful that it was decided to sheathe it according to all the rules and sell it as home furniture in 1928. The idea was a success, the chair was in demand, and later it was given the name – Lay-Z-Boy.

In 1969, Shoemaker and Knabush switched to the production of armchairs and recliner sofas, and just a few years later, other furniture companies became interested in the technology. Today, recliners are producing factories worldwide, and some are almost entirely focused on the production of such furnishings – for example, the Belgian brand ROM.

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Recliner types

The most important and exciting part of the recliner is the mechanism responsible for adjusting the backrest, footrest, armrests, and headrest. Depending on how this mechanism works, all models are divided into three groups:

Mechanical recliners

The backrest and footrest of such chairs are adjusted using special levers located outside the armrests. Another adjustment option is with light pressure on the back of the chair. Models with a mechanical recliner are more affordable. Still, some people note that the lever control is not very convenient: in some cases, noticeable efforts will have to be made to recline the back or footrest, and sometimes the chair unfolds too sharply and without any intermediate positions.

Electric armchairs

Electrically operated models run more smoothly and also have specific features:

  • the characteristic buzzing of the electric drive during operation;
  • placement of chair control buttons by function;
  • in some cases equipped with two separate drives for backrest and footrest.

Today, manufacturers offer three types of electric recliners. The least expensive among such models remain those powered by the network. However, due to the wire’s limited length, the chair can be installed only near the outlet. Wireless recliners operate on batteries and are controlled by remote control with a range of up to 20 meters. Several years ago, armchairs entered the market, adjustable utilizing special touch zones in the armrests – they are very comfortable and have a wide range of additional options, but their prices are appropriate.

The functionality of recliners

These models’ primary purpose is to create conditions for a comfortable body position and relieve the spine’s load during rest. Simultaneously, they can be like a classic chair frame, have rocking functions, rotate, or be equipped with adjustment mechanisms for individual modules.

A recliner with basic functionality operates in three modes. Initially, it looks like regular upholstered furniture. However, if you want to watch TV, you can slightly tilt the backrest and slightly raise the footrest, and when you want to take a nap, bring the backrest to an almost horizontal position and raise the footrest to the maximum height. However, this is not all – expensive, and most modern armchairs can be equipped with several pleasant and useful options:

  • adjustable armrests;
  • the function of memorizing the most frequently used chair positions;
  • socket for connecting a USB cable;
  • massage functions;
  • the ability to control the chair through the application in the smartphone.

In most cases, options must be ordered additionally, which allows you to collect the ideal functionality for you and refuse everything superfluous.

Fillers for recliners

For the upholstery of armchairs with recliner mechanisms, approximately the same materials are used as for ordinary furniture. The most popular and practical option is natural or artificial leather, but manufacturers often use jacquard, tapestry, fashionable monochrome lint-free textiles, and even velvet. However, the most interesting is the recliner base and fillers.

Due to the shape and volume of the mechanisms, the chair requires a fairly massive and reliable frame, for which high-strength steel or alder and birch wood is used. Fillers are responsible for support and convenience, including:

  • vulcanized latex;
  • artificial latex;
  • foam shape memory;
  • high-density polyurethane foam.

Recliners: advantages and disadvantages

Summarizing all of the above, we can safely talk about the following advantages of recliners:

  • A thoughtful approach to health. Large manufacturers involve not only engineers and designers but also orthopedic surgeons in the development of models with the functions of recliners. Such cooperation allows us to find the most suitable chair positions for the spine and competently combine them into a single control program.
  • Comfort in any situation. Recliners are equally convenient for watching TV, and for a relaxing evening or afternoon break, for young mothers who need to rock their baby and pregnant women who find it difficult to fall asleep. Premium convenience comes with options such as massage, heating, minibar, audio, and even aromatherapy devices.
  • Trendy addition to the interior. Recliner armchairs look very solid and, as a rule, are of high-quality performance, demonstrating your ability to decorate the interior using trendy solutions.

There are not so many disadvantages typical for recliner chairs. Many people note a rather bulky case and the need for a sufficient amount of space for unfolding, which makes it impossible to install models in a corner or close to a wall. Another significant drawback is the high price. However, today technologies are becoming more accessible, and the chances of finding a recliner with basic functionality at an affordable price are high.

Do not think that a high-tech chair can be combined exclusively with a high-tech style. As a rule, recliners are distinguished by traditional strict forms, precise geometry, and the complete absence of any kind of decor, but this does not mean that it is appropriate only in a high-tech interior. We offer you several styles that are perfectly compatible with the luxury seats.


The calm traditional silhouette without any frills is the best fit with the very essence of minimalism. A recliner covered with plain textiles in soothing colors will look great in a living room decorated similarly. Moreover, such a comfortable chair will eliminate the need to use decorative pillows for greater comfort – and such practicality for this direction is very valuable.


The style of the factory halls, adapted for living quarters, is quite consonant with the recliner’s design features and functions, which will become its actual decoration. Moreover, there will be no problems with the choice of appearance: the leather of brown and black shades will come in handy.

Modern office

The cabinet and recliner chair is a vivid example of the perfect union in modern design. It is this kind of furniture that promises productive work and no less productive rest. The optimal solution for fashionable offices is considered to be leather models with the possibility of rotation and a wide range of adjustments.


As mentioned earlier, the main feature of the recliner is the traditional silhouette. This means that it will also be quite appropriate in the interior in the spirit of modern, English, or American classics. To make the chair look organic, you should carefully choose the upholstery: dark leather or velour in rich colors will do.

The recliner chair is one of the most successful attempts to turn technology into the service of our comfort. Its obvious advantages include not only the ability to adapt to our usual leisure option easily but also a kind of versatility that allows this wonderful furniture to fit into almost any modern interior.

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