Looking for a recliner for your home? Here are some frequently asked questions and what you need to know before buying a recliner.

disclosure: this post is sponsored by Southern Motion Furniture.

what to know before buying a recliner chair

(total aside: before we get started—I wanted to let you know I took these pictures months ago downtown in one of our historic buildings. Isn’t this building amazing?)

Hello rock star.

I have a question for you.

Have you ever thought about how to choose a recliner before?

Oh, good.

Me, too.

My husband has always wanted a recliner. He’s talked about and dreamed about it and brought it up in conversation 247,000 times. But me? I’ve been a little recliner resistant. 

Until I found this one.

This is the amazing, incredible Primrose Park recliner from the Elevate Collection that we chose for our home.

Here’s why we chose it.

And how we chose it.

And all the questions we asked along the way.

Here are all the FAQs about what to know before buying a recliner.

what to know before buying a recliner

What To Know Before Buying a Recliner

Q: What is the best material for a recliner?

There were so many options for this Elevate recliner and we had dozens of fabrics to choose from. Here were a few of my favorites:

*leather–classic, timeless, easy to clean, comes in a variety of colors and textures

*printed upholstery–trendy, creates a statement piece in a room, comes in a variety of patterns and colors

*solid upholstery–one of the most common choices, able to match with the existing decor, great basic foundation piece

Q: What features should you look for to determine comfort?

When determining what to know before buying a recliner, you want to look for a recliner that is well constructed with a solid base. Seats and cushions should have evenly distributed stuffing to ensure practical comfort. You also want a recline that adjusts to your body and that you can personalize for your own seating needs.

what to know before buying a recliner chair in room

Q: What are the advantages of a power recliner?

I cannot recommend a power recliner enough. Until we found this Prime Rose Park recliner from the Elevate collection, I had only used recliner that simply pulled out the feet with a lever on the chair. This recliner is a power recliner. There’s a button on the side that adjusts the incline of the bottom and the top.

what to know before buying a recliner button

When you press it, you can move the bottom of the chair up to whatever position is most comfortable for you. Simply press and hold down on the button on the left until the angle of the chair is adjusted exactly where you want it to stay. In addition, you can also adjust the angle of the headrest as well. Simply hold down the button on the right and adjust it up and down.
I put together a fun video of the chair adjusting to several different positions.

These are just a few of the ways you can adjust the angle.

All with the touch of a button.

Q: How to measure to make sure the recliner fits in your space?

When deciding what to know before buying a recliner an important thing, space is something that so many people never consider. You’ll need to measure the recliner when it is fully extended as well and the height, width and depth of the chair.

Check the area you want to place the recliner in. Is there a wall that the recliner might bump into? Use your measurements as a guide. Then you can ensure that your recliner is going to fit into the floor space in your room when fully reclined.

Q: What style of recliner are you looking for?

We chose a classic timeless style with this Primrose Park recliner from the Elevate collection with its wooden feet, silver nail heads and leather upholstery, but there are so many different options of recliners available. Look for upholstery options, feet options, trim and detail options and choose the style that fits your decor the best.

Q: How long should a recliner last?

A typical recliner will last 10 years with regular use, sometimes longer. This is why it’s so important to choose wisely when selecting a chair for your home. A recliner is an investment and it’s important to look for quality and construction when picking a chair like this for your home. If you are making an investment in a piece of furniture intended to provide you with comfort and reliability, it’s important to select a brand that’s designed to last.

I hope you enjoyed our discussion on what to know before buying a recliner.

And one more thing before we go—I know we bought this chair for my husband.

And he loves it.

But just between us?

I’ve been known to snuggle up here, too.

I couldn’t help it. It was calling my name and don’t tell the other chairs—but now? It’s officially my favorite.

Maybe because I discovered something amazing?

It’s the perfect companion for Downton Abbey and sweet tea.

disclosure: this post was written in collaboration with Southern Motion furniture.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Esther Esther

    Beautiful chair!! You forgot to mention (in the material section) DO YOU HAVE A CAT? They can wreak havoc on many materials (I speak from experience).

    1. Image for Maggie Rowe Maggie Rowe

      Esther, I am wondering about this too, We are looking for a leather recliner, but we have two cats with claws! Will they scratch the leather??

      1. Image for Wendy Wendy

        I purchased a leather recliner a few years ago; while having two cats. Do not choose leather. Their rear leg claws catch the seat when jumping. The same is true when they want to lie on the top of the chair.. The nails make little holes or superficial scratches. As time goes on these become more noticeable. Disappointing because leather was more expensive than fabric.

  2. Image for Peg Peg

    You might think you don't need a power recliner but, once you've had one, you'll never go back! The positions are limitless which adds to the comfort!! Highly recommend!!! xoxo

  3. Image for Shelley Kahn Shelley Kahn

    Can you tell us where you purchased it and approx. cost. When I looked on their site for locations, there were none listed within 50 miles of McKinney. Thanks so much!!

  4. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    I've always been anti-recliner (I hate to sacrifice aesthetics for comfort), but you found a beauty! And, to tell the truth, I know that if we had one I'd settle right into it!

  5. Image for Judy Judy

    Some additional tips: A powered recliner requires electricity so it is necessary to have an electrical outlet near the place the chair will be, pay attention to the weight limit for the chair if members of your family are big, and speaking of big...tall people need recliners made for them. I speak from experience with a husband and two sons who are 6’3” to 6’6”!

  6. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Love this look....My hubs loves his recliner for all things football (any sport) watching, and I always wanted a stylish, scaled to the other furniture, put together, less frat house looking chair.....and voila! You found it! Thanks again for being the original ROCK STAR. :)

  7. Image for Perry Perry

    Agree. Totally. It's perfect and I love the look of this recliner. Will be looking for it in the Chicago area. Thanks!!

  8. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    We bought 2 Southern Motion power recliners last year and LOVE THEM. The fabric has pilled up quicker than I thought, but I've ordered a cute little shaver thingy to take care of that (a razor didn't work for me). The thing that makes us laugh almost EVERY TIME is that it takes exactly 2 rings of the telephone to put the footrest down to get up! LOLOL!! We feel so old!

  9. Image for Maggie Rowe Maggie Rowe

    We have been looking for a recliner, but I visited the link several times and can't find the price for the Primrose model you recommend or where I can purchase on. Help!

  10. Image for Teresa Teresa

    I did research for over a year on various recliner manufacturers and we almost went with Southern Motion but instead opted to go with Hooker Furniture. The one issue with many recliners is that most men are taller and the footrest isnt long enough. We ran into this problem time and again. So if your reclining furniture is going to be used by a male in the family make sure they do a test drive. They wont be comfortable reclining in a chair with their feet hanging off the end! Every one has their own personal preferences but we found that the one piece flat footrests were more comfortable for us and liked the power buttons on the exterior. I would also advise to do your homework on the furniture manufacturer. Southern Motion is made in the U.S. as well as Hooker. We have a Palliser swivel recliner chair that is made in Canada but very well made. Enjoy your new chair its very beautiful!

  11. Image for Laurin Laurin

    Speaking of recliners, I have a design question. I know most designers would not choose a reclining sofa, however we chose one for comfort in our den. If you had a reclining sofa, would you still use a coffee table although it has to be a good distance from the couch because of the recliner coming up or just leave the space open and use side tables?

  12. Image for SuZeQ SuZeQ

    One more thing to take into consideration. That is the SIZE of the individual that will occupy this chair. A smaller man is dwarfed while sitting in a huge recliner. A larger man looks stuffed in while sitting in a smaller recliner. Don't ask HIM how I figured this out.

  13. Image for Martha L Mooney Martha L Mooney

    I have a lift chair and since you are having electric you need to use a battery backup. Electricity goes out, you are stuck!

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      Good point. My mom has a power recliner (not a lift chair) and it does have battery backup--we have been told that the backup is only good for one use so you don't want to attempt to use it multiple times when it's being powered by battery. I would agree with the above-mentioned comments about making sure you have a power source nearby. I also like it that KariAnne talked about making sure you have space both when it is sitting up as well as in the reclining position. We moved my mom from independent living (a larger space) to assisted living (much smaller) and trying to put the chair near a power source with room to recline so she can see the tv (which also needs power), have an end table for her stuff, and not block the heater in her room ... oy vey! THAT was a challenge. Well worth it as it's so comfortable and easier to manage than a manual chair. Another thing to keep in mind--for some reason, the wiring in the cord got messed up (not sure how) and the furniture company had to come out to fix it--so be sure to ask about that in the warranty!!

  14. Image for june june

    Awesome post...how did you know we have been talking about purchasing recliners?🤣 Wish this company was available in MN...once restrictions loosen, we hope to get out and give a few a test ride.


    Love the recliner idea, and the new designs. I agree with SuzeQ one size does not fit all. Spent many a day looking for one for my mother. We found a very stylish design in petite size. Love the leather.

  16. Image for Jackie Jackie

    Loved this. At one time I had 8 recliners in my home. 4 were power and when I had rotator cuff surgery I had to sleep in a recliner for 9 weeks. It a great. I now have one in the home and it’s my husband’s favorite. Shopped for several months to find the right one that fit him. Our puppies love it also.

  17. Image for Kathie Kathie

    Two other important factors to consider when choosing a recliner are the height of the back and the depth of the cushion from front to back. High backs are great for tall people and so are the deeper seats!

  18. Image for Jean Waldrop Jean Waldrop

    There is only one way to buy a recliner. Take the person who will be sitting in the chair and let HIM sit in the chair of choice. He will know instantly which chair to purchase.

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