Recliners – The Definitive Buyer’s Guide

Blog Posts  |  FAQ  |  April 9, 2020

Recliners – The Definitive Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking to buy a recliner but not sure where to start? This Recliners guide will outline everything you need to know before you purchase your new recliner. 

Each year, we at La-Z-Boy consult with thousands of clients in the Ottawa and Kingston area concerning home furnishings. As a manufacturer and retailer of recliners for over 90 years, we often get asked: “what do I need to know when buying a recliner?”

There are many recliner options available, but which one is right for you? While La-Z-Boy has a wide selection of recliners to choose from, we understand that we may not be for everyone. To that end, our hope is that much of the information in this recliner guide is helpful regardless of what brand you end up choosing.

As you evaluate the various recliner brands, please remember that buying high-quality, comfortable home furnishings is only half the equation. The furniture company you will do business with is responsible for the successful delivery and installation of your new furniture. Furthermore, they provide supplementary services such as design and post-purchase support that will impact your overall experience.  

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Table of Contents

Why buy a recliner? 

There are many reasons to buy a recliner, whether it be for customized comfort in your leisure time, extra neck, back and leg support, or if you’re experiencing pain. 

  • Are you moving into a new home? Will your furniture fit in your new condo, or will you require something new?
  • Are you renovating? Will the old stuff fit? Older furniture can cause back pain to get worse. The chair may look ok, but over the years, it can lose some of the support it provides.
  • Are you expecting a new baby and you need a comfortable chair for the nursery?
  • Are you experiencing back or neck pain? A new recliner may be just what the doctor ordered. Sitting in the reclined position and having support under the knees will help reduce discomfort and pain in the lower back associated with degenerative spondylolisthesis.
  • Going in for hip surgery? You will need to keep both legs elevated for the first 4 to 6 weeks following surgery. This is best accomplished in a recliner chair, or a chair with armrests and an ottoman for appropriate leg support.”
  • Maybe you’re saving up to buy your father a recliner for Father’s Day, something he’s always wanted. What a pleasant surprise that would be!
  • For some people, a recliner is a much more comfortable position to be in than lying flat. Sleeping in a recliner can also help with blood circulation, digestion and other ailments.
  •  Some doctors recommend sleeping in a recliner 
  • Are you tired of laying sideways on your couch? You may not think there’s a difference, but once you sit with your feet up in a recliner, there’s no comparison.

Read on to find out our eight tips for choosing your perfect recliner:

Eight Tips for Choosing your Perfect Recliner

1. Consider your space

Before you head down to your local furniture retailer, take the time to consider the dimensions and the features of the room, where your new recliner is to be placed.

Consider what room the recliner will be placed in.  

Will it be a family room where everyone gathers to watch tv, or will it be an adult-only room used for reading and hosting guests? Will it be for a Den or an office or are you considering it for a nursery?

Furniture Placement

Once you’ve answered these questions you then need to decide where in the room you’d like to place your recliner. For more information on arranging your furniture, you can read our blog article on furniture placement.

Other important things to consider when looking at purchasing a recliner:

  • What colour are the walls in the room? Are you planning to paint? Bringing a sample of the paint colour into the store will help match the chair fabrics.
  • Are there windows and doors in the room? You can place a chair in front of the window as long as it doesn’t block the view.
  • What furniture is staying in the room, and what will you replace? Will the old stuff go with your new chair?
  • What types of flooring does the room have? Tile or scratch-resistant? Make sure you protect your hardwood floors with felt pads.
  • What colours of furniture and accessories do you like? Do you prefer solids or patterns or both? To learn more about colour, read our article on Colour trends 2020.
  • What’s your preferred style? (Contemporary, traditional, transitional etc.) Knowing this will help you narrow down your choices.

If your project becomes a large one and you’re considering redesigning the entire room,  you may wish to hire an interior designer.

To learn more, check out our article on how much an interior designer costs.

Some furniture retailers offer free or paid interior design services. For design assistance, La-Z-Boy offers a complementary interior design service. Our designers will come to your home, assess, measure and find out your needs. This way, you can rest assured that the measurements are taken accurately, and the furniture won’t be too big/small for the room when it arrives. 

Measure your room

You will need to measure your room. Make sure to account for windows, doorways and fireplace. Measuring is the only way to be sure your recliner will fit.  

It can be deceiving when shopping in a furniture store. Showrooms are generally much larger spaces than your living and family rooms. The pieces that look great in the store may be too large for your space at home. Dimensions alone may not be enough if you haven’t taken into account the flow of the room and any other space requirements you may have. 

Bringing the measurements with you to the store will enable the salesperson to help you find a good fit. If you can make a sketch of your room and or take some photos, this will be even more helpful.

To learn more, check out how to accurately measure your room in order to buy the right furniture.


There is a saying ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’.  This can be true in furniture shopping as well. In today’s world, many people have a smartphone. Taking a few quick snaps of your space before you go shopping can help immensely with understanding the layout or your space.

There are also a ton of 3rd party space planning tools.

Download our augmented reality app on your mobile phone and see what your new furniture will look like in your own space. 

2. Who will be using your new recliner?

Is this chair for you, or is it for someone else in the household? Will you be sharing the recliner with another person? You may have to compromise if your heights differ. (Sometimes people will buy two recliners; each one sized for the person using it.)

Do you have children who may be using the chair, do you have pets? Then spills and stains are a part of your vocabulary. Leather can be easier to clean than fabric, or you may be interested in iClean furniture protection fabric for kids, pets and everyday life.

Check out our article on pet friendly furniture for tips on how to create pet friendly environment and more.

Choosing the Right Recliner that fits your Body Type (Customize your comfort)

Finding the right chair means taking into account your personal dimensions.

From petite to extra tall, your goal should be to find personalized comfort and support.

  • Choose a size based on the height of the person who will be using the recliner most often.
  • Swivel and glide or Rocker recliner?
  • Wall away chairs let you place the recliner inches from the wall and still recline.
  • Select a style that appeals to you the most, from casual to contemporary.
  • Customize: with your choice of upholstery, fabric or leather. 
  • Cushion upgrades such as Airform™ responsive cushioning.
  • Handle type: Left or right, wooden or silver ergonomic handle.
  • Headrest & Lumbar
  • Heat and Massage recliner: The wand controller operates the adjustable heat and massage functions and 2-motor, 3-speed vibration massage.
  • Any special needs required? What about a power recliner or lift chair? (Did you know that you can save the tax on a recliner lift chair when you provide a note from a doctor?) 

One size does not fit all when it comes to recliners:

  1. SizeChoose a size based on the height of the person who will be using the recliner most often.
  2. Style: Select a style that appeals to you the most, from casual to contemporary.
  3. Customize: Enhance your recliner with your choice of fabrics, leathers, handle options and cushion upgrades.

The Harbor Town recliner is a good fit for a petite body type because it has a smaller scale. It will also work well in a smaller sized room. To learn more, check out our detailed review of the Harbor Town recliner.

The Pinnacle recliner is an excellent fit for a medium-sized body type and is our best selling recliner. To learn more, check out our detailed review of the Pinnacle recliner.

The Astor recliner is one of our largest reclining chairs available and perfect for the extra tall individual. To learn more, check out our detailed review of the Astor recliner.

Just like Goldilocks, there’s a chair that’s ‘just right’ for you!

Read more on finding the perfect size and style for you.

3. How Much Does a Recliner Cost? 

Many factors influence the cost of a recliner. Quality, customization and upgrades, to name a few. It’s essential to keep in mind how often your recliner will be used and what purpose it will serve. 

Quality furniture is essential If you require it for daily use, as it will be a staple in your home. You will want to find out details like what materials the manufacturer uses in construction and what features the recliner has, including options and fabrics available. 

Warranty and protection plan information will also give you an idea of what your post-purchase protection will look like and is a great place to ask more questions about how your prospective furniture company will be able to deliver on those services.

La-Z-Boy recliners typically start at $699 and go up from there. Our specialty, however, focuses on a broad selection of recliners in the mid to higher end price ranges.

If you are looking for recliners in the introductory price range around $299-$399 La-Z-Boy may not be for you. You may be more likely to find what you’re looking for at Costco or Ikea.  

Got more questions about the cost of recliners? Read our article, “how much does a recliner cost?” 

How does a La-Z-Boy compare to other well-known brands on the market?

For more information on this topic read our article on Stressless vs. La-Z-Boy

4. Do you need a regular or motorized recliner?

From introductory to premium mechanics, the manual recliner offers a chair that can maneuver into a reclining position. While most recliner handles are on the right side, Some retailers provide a shorter lever or left-sided handle for the lefty in the family. For those with shorter arms, some manufactures will also offer elongated handles to ensure you are able to reach the mechanism.  And of course, you could also choose the manual push back model, which has no handle at all. With tension adjusters on many models, the manual recliner can be adjusted to almost any size and fit of any person. That said, it is important to ensure you have the strength to easily put the chair into the reclining position and the only way to confirm this, is to do the ‘sit and recline’ test!

If you have mobility issues or strength limitations, then you’ll need a power recliner. The motorized chair is more expensive but provides smooth movement at the touch of a button. The power recliner offers an unlimited number of leg and back movement options. When you take your finger off the button, the chair will lock into position. 

If you require help moving from a sitting to a standing position, then a power lift chair is the best option. Press a button to get in or out, or to recline back fully to a zero-gravity position. The one-piece seat and back move together, eliminating gaps and providing full-body support in all reclined positions.

The power rocking recliner with headrest and lumbar support is perfect for those looking to rock and recline and has adjustable body and lumbar support at all times. The independent support for your head, neck and lower back provides you an unlimited number of relaxing positions. It lets you maintain perfect viewing angles for activities such as reading, conversation, or enjoying TV.

Here are some more helpful articles regarding the differences between power and manual recliners:

Power and manual recliners and the differences you should know

Power recliners with lumbar and headrest in our in-depth review

Check out our article on Top 7 La-Z-Boy power recliner questions answered or watch the video below.

5. What kind of fabric/cover should you choose for your recliner?

Your choice of fabric or leather upholstery is a pivotal decision when selecting a recliner for your home. There are so many choices, where do you start?  

First, you’ll want to decide whether you want leather or upholstery.

Important factors to consider when choosing your chair cover:

  • Comfort
  • Appearance
  • Durability
  • maintenance 
  • Cost

If you decide to go with leather, the top grain is the best choice in terms of quality, but it will cost you more. Top grain is the layer of the cowhide on the surface of the animal and considered the most valuable.    

If you decide on fabric upholstery, there are many options available. Natural or human-made fibres and the type of weave are among the upholstery options from which to choose. 

Or, you could choose a performance fabric such as IClean or a sustainable fabric such as Conserve. 

iClean™ fabric offers a vast selection of durable stain-resistant fabrics that provide peace of mind.

Conserve fabrics are sustainable soft and durable fabric made from recycled water bottles.

Then it’s time to make sure your colour or pattern choices coordinate with the rest of the furniture and accessories in the room. If you are purchasing more than just one recliner, you may want to enlist the help of an interior designer.

To learn more about fabric and colour choices:

Colour Trends for 2020

6 of the most common colour choices when it comes to home decor

Cool vs. warm colours used in home decor

6. Problems with Recliners

Fundamentally, recliners have a number of moving parts. Whether it is through heavy usage, misuse, or simply age, some of these parts can and do occasionally break down.

Understanding the quality aspects and features of the recliner you are looking at will help you to better understand the likelihood of this occurring. Regardless of which manufacturer you end up selecting, it’s worthwhile spending a few moments asking about what services are available when problems arise.

La-Z-Boy has many clients who have had their recliners 10, 15 and 20 years. We also pride ourselves on being able to service these clients by providing parts for some of these older chairs with our limited lifetime warranty.

Some less expensive models with little to no back support can cause back pain. If you have a recliner that has space between the curve of the seat and your lower back, it will cause discomfort. Placing a small cushion in that space to support your lower back can help.  

There may be a problem with the frame or the mechanism of the chair. If you’ve chosen a power recliner, the motor may break down, or the remote could fail. You may also be concerned if your fabric gets stained.

It’s essential to contact the store where you purchased the recliner as soon as the issue arises. Stay off of the chair to avoid any further damage. Most retailers will offer a warranty and protection plan with purchase. They should be able to service your chair and confirm what types of coverage you’re entitled to.

Find out about the coverage offered by La-Z-Boy in the Ottawa/Kingston area in our article Is La-Z-Boy’s comprehensive protection plan worth it? 

Other areas of concern:

Read about these issues and more in our article Top 7 Problems with La-Z-Boy Furniture.

7. Secret Recliner:  Recliners that don’t look like recliners

Urban Attitudes Collection: A fresh new collection of furniture with a contemporary twist on classic styles. With clean lines and designer details, the recliners are designed to fit any room, style and budget. All Urban Attitudes furniture is easy to mix, match and is fully customizable.

Duo Collection: Revolutionary sofas, loveseats, and chairs in traditional to contemporary styles with the power to recline. Space-saving designer recliners that are both comfortable and stylish. 

You can place the recliner right up against the wall while still having the luxury of putting your feet up. There’s nothing else like it on the market today. It looks just like a regular chair but performs like a recliner. Enjoy comfort without compromise.

La-Z-Boy’s European Collection is manufactured overseas and has a sleek and contemporary style. European inspired furniture created for the European market who prefer small-scale furniture for their homes. These styles are gaining popularity in North America and particularly in Canada.

Available in several different colours of leather, the furniture is manufactured with the same quality materials as our North American models. 

For more on recliners that don’t look like recliners, check out these secret recliners.

8. Recliner Delivery or Pick-up

“When can I take possession of my new furniture?”

Save on delivery costs: If purchasing just one recliner, it’s possible to pick it up from the store as soon as the day of purchase. Some recliners come apart for easier transport. For custom furniture, you will have to wait a few weeks before you can pick up your recliner.

Most furniture stores will provide a delivery service if you live in the vicinity of their retail stores.

Recliners take a week or two for delivery if the chair you’re looking for is in stock. Custom recliners typically take up to eight weeks for delivery. These are being custom-built for the client in their specific configuration and requirements.

There is usually a fee, anywhere from $50-$125. Sometimes the cost is included in the price of the furniture, or you can get a discount with the more pieces you buy.

At La-Z-Boy, the flat fee for delivery is $99.95 within the Kingston or Ottawa markets. 

Learn more about our delivery and pick-up services

Next Steps

La-Z-Boy has over 90 years of experience in furniture. The original recliner was designed back in 1927. Two young cousins joined together to develop a chair that would add both comfort and enjoyment to the lives of millions of families—and the world’s first recliner was born!

There’s a reason La-Z-Boy has the number one selling recliner in North America.

Our highly trained sales consultants are recliner experts; they will guide you through the purchasing process to help you find a recliner. The quality and variety of La-Z-Boy recliners will ensure you find the perfect match for your needs.

Now that you have a better idea of what to look for in a recliner, you’re probably ready to find the one that’s best for you.

Below, we link to some of our top selling La-Z-Boy recliners and reviews. 

  1. The Pinnacle Recliner (medium fit)
  2. The Rowan Recliner (medium fit)
  3. The Harbor Town Recliner (petite fit)
  4. The Aster Recliner (tall fit)
  5. The Trouper Recliner (medium fit) 

We’re happy to answer any of your La-Z-Boy recliner pricing questions at any one of our locations in the Ottawa and Kingston area or schedule a virtual or in-person consultation today.

 Shop our on-line specials in-stock and ready for delivery!

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