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Speaking of good sleep, imagine a comfortable, wide bed with soft, fluffy pillows and warm, cozy blankets. This is the only place where you can get full-body relaxation, right?
For elderly people or those with chronic pain, recliners are sometimes the only comfortable option. And my reviews of the five best recliner chairs for sleeping prove that you can get a comfortable sleep as good as, if not better than, a standard bed.
Let’s dig in!
A Quick Preview
Best Overall — Editor’s Pick
Mcombo Electric Recliner Chair
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Best Massaging Recliner Chair
Esright Power Lift Chair
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Best Budget Recliner
Homall Recliner Chair
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Best Power Recliner
ANJ Electric Recliner Chair
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Best for Petite Sleepers
FDW Recliner Chair
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- side pockets and cup holders for extra comfortable lounging;
- full-body vibration system for gentle, relaxing massage;
- high-quality faux leather upholstery for easy maintenance.
The first item on our list of the best recliner chairs is this sturdy guy by Mcombo. Available for use in 3 different positions, it makes a great chair for sleep, lounging, and the elderly (thanks to its Power Lift system that pushes the entire chair up to help the user stand up with minimal stress on the knees and back).
What makes this model stand out from many competitors is the massage function it offers. Ideal for people with pain or anyone seeking fast relaxation, the chair has 8 vibrating points and works to deliver a gentle full-body massage. Additionally, there’s a heating point in the lumbar area. You can adjust the heating time and use the auto-off feature, which would come in handy if you don’t want the heater to remain on all night.
Another cool thing about the Mcombo recliner chair is its smart design. First of all, you are definitely going to love those deep pockets on both sides. You can keep your books or journals there, your phone (for the morning alarm), or even some light snacks, because why not? There are also cup holders, so you can keep water close and always stay hydrated. You might also appreciate the extra-padded headrest, which will gently cradle your head and support it all through the night.
- Elderly or people with slight mobility issues. This chair has a Power Lift system and will help you get up with almost no effort, protecting your knees and back from strain.
- Someone who needs a recliner for both sleeping and lounging. This chair is great not only for sleep but also for reading or watching TV. It has convenient pockets and cup holders for your drinks and snacks, plus it can be used in a couple of positions for extra comfort during lounging.
- Chronic pain sufferers. The Mcombo comes with a massage feature that is meant to help your whole body relax fast. Enjoying the gentle, calming massage every day, you might also start to experience pain alleviation.
- the massage vibration is somewhat noisy and might annoy some users;
- might not be large enough for taller individuals (your legs may end up handing past the footrest).
- sturdy alloy steel frame for reliable performance;
- comes in 4 color variations to fit into any interior;
- powerful and silent motor, helps sleepers stand up using a special lift system.
The next recliner chair that deserves to be among the best ones is this model by Esright. I am sure you will appreciate its ergonomic design, but the massage function is what might really win you over. There are 8 vibration points, 2 intensity levels, and 5 massage modes, which means this chair will do a bit more than just support you. It will also help your muscles relax (which might aid pain relief too).
Now, this is a rather sturdy model that can accommodate the weight of up to 330 pounds. The chair has a reliable metal frame and a powerful (but quiet) motor. The backrest is strategically overstuffed to provide proper support for your back and especially the lumbar area. The upholstery is made of soft fabric, so your skin won’t be irritated even if you sleep in this recliner chair every night.
The lift control is placed on the right armrest and not on the remote, which means you will always have easy access to the lift controls (as we all know, remotes often tend to get lost). And of course, there’s a handy LIft feature that pushes the chair up and can help you stand up easily.
- Chronic pain sufferers (or sleepers who want fast muscle relaxation). This chair offers 5 massage modes and 2 intensity levels, so there’s a relaxing option for almost any user. The massage function can potentially aid pain relief and might help you relax faster and, consequently, fall asleep easier.
- Someone who is looking to create a cozier feel in the room. Faux leather chairs can often seem “cold”, while this chair’s textile upholstery looks (and feels) comfy and warm. It also allows users to sleep in the chair without any sheets.
- Heavier folks. Using a sturdy metal frame, this model can support up to 330 pounds and would work for larger individuals looking for a reliable recliner.
- the textile upholstery might be finicky to clean, especially if you spill something;
- can seem stiff at first and might require a break-in period.
- separate controls for the upper section and footrest;
- push-back construction;
- PU leather upholstery is easy to clean and maintain.
Looking for a stylish and comfortable recliner chair that won't empty your wallet? Then consider the Homall. This model boasts many features including sturdy design, easy-to-clean upholstery, high comfort levels, and of course, reasonable pricing.
The thing I love most about the Homal is the ability to adjust the angle of the leg supporter, regardless of the backrest angle. This allows each member of the family to choose the most comfortable position. No more getting annoyed after somebody sits in "your" chair and forgets to put it back exactly how you like it.
Considering how small in size this chair is, you might question its durability. However, you'll be pleased to know, the metal frame of this recliner feels very sturdy and is able to withstand sufficiently large weights (up to 265 pounds). The upholstery is high-quality PU leather which makes it quite resilient. It's also easy to clean. All you need is a damp sponge and warm soapy water. And voila - brand new again.
If you’re looking for convenience and a no-frills design, this push-back recliner for sleeping will definitely appeal to you. Just note that it might be not suitable for those with health issues or limited strength, as it requires applying some force in order to adjust it for a comfortable sleep.
- Those who need versatility. Thanks to the ability to control the upper and lower sections independently, every family member can adjust the chair to get comfortable.
- Heavier sleepers. The weight capacity of the Homall recliner is 265 lbs, so it can easily accommodate larger users.
- Those who are looking for a budget option. The Homall is an affordable recliner with basic construction, yet, in terms of reliability, is on par with more expensive models.
- if you’re a tall person, this recliner might not be the best option for you;
- some users report squeaking over time.
- two-button operation;
- built-in USB port;
- durable construction.
If you need a recliner chair that combines smooth operation, ergonomic design, and durability, the ANJ model is a solid choice. It’s a power recliner with straightforward controls and a durable metal frame that can withstand years of active use.
To put the ANJ into a reclining position, simply press and hold the button on the right side. Both back and foot sections start to move simultaneously and recline until you release the button. This helps you get the most comfortable position.
And it’s got a built-in USB port. Imagine charging your devices from the comfort of your chair. We're all about this kind of convenience.
The ANJ is extremely comfortable. It comes with slightly overstuffed cushions that easily adapt to your body, and give you that extra muscle relaxation you crave. Whether it’s an accidental nap in front of the TV or regular sleeping sessions — the ANJ has got your back, literally.
Overall, I think the ANJ is one of the best recliners for sleeping. It has all the features you need and works well for both regular and occasional sleeping.
- Heavy sleepers. The metal frame can withstand active use and increased weight, so the ANJ makes a sturdy pick for overweight sleepers.
- Those who are in recovery. Whether you're recovering from surgery or have wandering aches and pains, button controls make it easy and stress-free. Recline the chair with a simple click of a button, rather than fighting to force it to recline.
- Regular sleeping. The ANJ is comfortable and contours nicely to your body. You can easily use it as an everyday sleeping spot without having to worry about your health.
- the foot section doesn’t move independently;
- you might need some time to adjust to the feel.
- comfy headrest;
- water-resistant upholstery;
- three colors available.
If you don’t want anything bulky in your home, the FDW recliner chair might be a good pick for you. This model is more compact and sleek than many other competitors, and might work perfectly for petite individuals.
The push-back design means you need to press your body against the back section to put the chair into the reclined position. And that’s it! No levers, no cords lying here and there — just one move back and you have a comfy chair to rest on.
And by comfy, I mean the cozy headrest to relax your neck and the ergonomic foot section to support your legs and ensure healthy blood flow. Plus, the FWD chair has really soft cushions that adapt to your body weight and promote restful sleep.
The upholstery is made of PU leather and comes in several colors that can fit any interior. It’s immune to spills and stains and feels good to sit on.
To sum up, the FWD won’t surprise you with fancy features, but its functionality is pretty decent. For those who are looking for something cost-efficient, this is a reliable choice that's capable of serving you for years to come.
- Small users. The FWD is a bit smaller than other models and may not accommodate a person who’s taller than 5’7”. Smaller sleepers, however, will feel right at home.
- Late-night guests. The basic design and budget-friendly price make the FWD a good pick for guest rooms or occasional sleepers.
- Those on a tight budget. The FWD costs less than $150 and offers pretty good value for money. So, if you are limited, this chair can make a perfect fit for your home.
- might not suit heavy and/or tall users;
- the upholstery is a bit noisy when you move in the chair.
Do Sleeping Recliner Chairs Have Benefits for Your Health?
Most of my friends who have a recliner at home admit that they only use it as a cozy spot for watching TV after work but have never slept in it due to a belief that it's unhealthy.
So, is sleeping in a recliner actually that bad for you?
Scientists used to claim that recliners were quite harmful to your back, so the suggestion was to only use them for a limited number of hours.
But the good news is, those times are long gone.
Modern recliners are not only comparable, in terms of comfort, to beds but in some cases actually surpass them altogether.
Washington University Physicians indicate in their guidelines for patient care that a recliner is a more comfortable place to sleep and rest during the recovery period after shoulder and elbow surgery (1).
Harvard Medical School professors Hope Ricciotti, M.D., and Toni Golen, M.D. note that sleeping in a semi-sitting position does not have any significant risks compared to sleeping in a standard horizontal position (2).
So, the straight answer the question above — no, sleeping in a recliner is in fact not bad for you. But what about the benefits?
Oh, there are plenty of them.
Improved Blood Circulation
Long office hours at a desk and a sedentary lifestyle have quite a severe amd negative impact on our health. Blood vessels in the legs and feet are particularly affected by this. Deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and edema are just a few of the most common conditions in people who spend a lot of time sitting or standing.
Now, a recliner chair has the ability to raise your legs to the level of your heart, which directly improves blood circulation. It decreases swelling of the feet, and gives your legs a welcome relief at the end of a hard days work.
Back Pain Relief and Joint Relaxation
Joint pain is a common issue, not only for elderly people, but also for younger individuals. The causes are all the same — mainly a sedentary lifestyle and the occaisional chronic illness.
Sitting in a recliner allows the body to take a relaxed position and creates comfort for the main pressure points. Therefore, these chairs are often used for palliative care in nursing homes and hospitals.
“Getting up from a recliner is much easier than from a bed or a sofa, which is another benefit for people with limited mobility or the elderly.”
The position of the body in a recliner allows you to relax the muscles of the diaphragm, facilitating breathing, and keeps stomach acid from going up. This makes recliner chairs suitable for those who suffer from the following conditions:
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD);
- acid reflux;
- sleep apnea; and
People who survive a heart attack may also have dificulty breathing, so they might be advised to sleep in a recliner chair too.
Nervous System Relaxation
In addition to physical fatigue, you may also experience depletion of the nervous system, which is expressed by moodiness, irritability, and problems with memory and learning.
Guess what you can do to cope with these?
That’s right — take some time to rest in a recliner.
I don’t know about you, but I get relaxed just by thinking about it!
Deeper, slower breathing, which is what relaxing in a recliner leads to, has a beneficial effect on the digestive system.
It allows your body to process everything you’ve eaten during the day more effectively.
That’s why, when you happen to have a full stomach in the evening, it’s advised to have a short nap or relax in a reclining chair before going to bed.
What to Look For in the Best Recliner for Sleeping?
Well, now you know napping in a recliner won’t cause you any harm, and in some cases can even be more beneficial than sleeping horizontally in a bed.
However, choosing the right model can be a daunting task. Modern sleeping armchairs come in a huge variety of types, sizes, and configurations. And if it’s your first purchase, researching all the finer details can take quite some time.
So, how do you choose the best recliner chair for sleeping?
Let me walk you through the main criteria.
In most sleeping recliner reviews, a lot of attention is paid to various features of a reclining chair, except for one: how these features are controlled. The controls are mainly manual or electric.
What are the pros and cons?
Manual controls can be implemented with the help of levers located in the lower part of the chair. In some models, you can simply apply force; lean back on the chair to put it into a reclined position.
Manual chairs are generally lower in price and work without electric power or charging. But on the flipside, their mechanisms age quicker and they are prone to jamming.
Electric recliners use either a power cord to connect to the outlet or rechargeable batteries. Usually, the electric drive allows you to get a smoother transition between positions. Electric recliners also have the ability to embed extra functions, such as massage or heating of some sections. As a result, they tend to have a much higher pricetag. Plus, the controllers may fail due to a power surge or physical wear and tear.
Type of Reclining
Now, let’s quickly go through the basic configurations of reclining chairs on today’s market:
- Two-position recliners. Usually the cheapest, they have two positions: upright and fully reclined. To switch between them, you need to manually move the lever in the lower part of the chair, or if you have an electric model, push the button in the armrest. When fully reclined, they tend to take up more space than other types of recliners, so this option is generally best for larger rooms.
- Rocker recliners. These combine the functions of a rocking chair (in the upright position) and a recliner (in the reclining position). This type is especially popular among nursing mothers, as it allows them to gently rock the child while nursing and then put the chair in the reclined position and have some rest themselves. Plus, you can adjust the angle of recline, which allows using this chair even in a smaller room.
- Swivel recliners. In this chair, you can turn around without getting up. Quite often this feature can be found in rocker recliners.
- Push-back recliners. They usually do not have a leg rest, and in order to move the chair to the reclining position, you just lean on its back. Typically, it’s a more compact version of a two-position recliner, so it can be used in a small space.
- Lift recliners (risers). Apart from the main reclining feature, these chairs will also help you get out of them with minimal effort by pushing you up. This makes them a perfect model for elderly people as well as for those who have weak knees, chronic back pain, or are recovering from surgery. Note, though, that risers typically take a lot of space and need to be placed away from walls to make sure that they don’t damage them (3).
Weight Capacity and Size
Other important points that you should pay attention to when choosing a recliner are the maximum weight capacity and size.
Electric chairs, along with a wider range of sizes, usually have greater weight capacity than that of manual models.
Pay attention to the materials of the chair frame: metal elements can withstand greater loads than wood and plastic can.
Now, the furniture industry nowadays offers many options for upholstery, but the most common are the following:
- genuine leather and suede are mostly used for top-rated recliner chairs for sleeping;
- PU leather and eco-suede are often more durable and less expensive, compared to natural options;
- synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and microfiber, are pleasant to the touch, durable, affordable, and available in a wide range of colors;
- cotton, viscose and other natural fabrics are usually more breathable and do not have unpleasant smells.
Depending on the upholstery material that you’ll choose, the cleaning process will be either easier or more difficult. Leather and polyurethane are generally the easiest to maintain.
Other Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best Recliner Chair For Sleeping
- Padding. Different recliner types can offer different levels of padding. Some feel plush and cushion the sleepers so much that they often feel like sinking into the padding material. Other models feel slightly stiffer, or simply have less padding and don’t hug the sleeper that much. Whatever the case is, shoppers need to decide which option would work for them the best. For instance, extra-cushy chairs might not be ideal for users with mobility issues. The enveloping padding can make it harder for them to get out of the chair. Just like that, firmer models aren’t ideal for users with tender joints. They can lead to pressure accumulation in those sore spots.
- Extra features. This aspect can affect one’s comfort not only sleep-wise. For example, there are recliner chairs that have a massage feature, which can help users relax before sleep and during the day. Some models come with built-in chargers, cup holders, side pockets to hold books or remotes, built-in heating, and more. However, shoppers need to remember that more features would also mean a higher price.
- Sleeper’s height. Some of the larger recliners can be hard to get out of for shorter users. Just like that, taller individuals probably don’t want their feet to dangle because the footrest is too small. Therefore, it’s crucial to check the chair’s dimensions when shopping and pick according to one’s height, not only weight or comfort preferences.
- Room size. Some chairs can take up a lot of space when reclined, so shoppers need to consider their room size before finalizing the purchase. For smaller rooms, it might be a good idea to choose a model that has a wall-hugging design, for example.
- Budget. It is possible to find a good recliner chair that would cost from $200 to $500. Anything more expensive would be a more high-end option, with extra features and impressive durability. Models that fall under $200 are usually very basic and don’t offer that much comfort, unfortunately. They can do the job for budget shoppers, but users shouldn’t expect any fancy features in this case.
Possible drawbacks of sleeping in a recliner chair
Recliner chairs for sleeping are a good investment for older people, people with limited mobility, persons diagnosed with sleep apnea, bad heart conditions, pregnant women in the early stages of pregnancy, and so on. However, the same way it has its benefits is the same way it has its disadvantages; here is a list of potential ways the reclining chair might be harmful to your health.
- Breathing problems. If you are an individual with existing lung problems, you are not advised to sleep in a recliner chair as the sleeping position can cause a reduction in the amount of air you’re able to breathe in.
- Stiffening in muscles. Your hips, calves, and hamstrings are subject to acting up over a while if you consistently use a recliner chair for sleeping. This is caused because your hips and knees are basically bent throughout the night, which can lead to deep vein thrombosis, a condition that can be life-threatening in extreme cases.
- Blood flow. A reduction in body movement translates to a reduction in blood circulation. Couple this with being stuck in an unnatural position, especially at the knee; sleeping in a recliner chair can be bad for you.
- Poor sleep. Sleeping in a recliner chair can cause poor sleep. Due to the position at which you’re sleeping, your body is not fully at ease, which registers in the brain. The brain protects the body by not being fully relaxed in sleep; being stuck in a cramped position for hours on end also hurts your sleep.
- Vertigo. You can feel unstable while trying to stand and walk or have a sense of imbalance after using a recliner for a long time. This is caused by hip and knee contractures resulting from tightened muscles limiting upright and standing posture.
How to Take Care of Your Sleeping Recliner?
Any furniture requires proper maintenance. When taking care of your recliner, you might encounter the following issues:
- dust accumulation in corners;
- unpleasant odor;
- accidental spills and food stains;
- natural wear and tear, which can be more noticeable on headrests, armrests, and cushion edges.
To deal with all of them, first and foremost, refer to the manual. In some cases, the cleaning guidelines might be indicated on a label placed somewhere on the product itself.
Typically, upholstery should always be marked with a letter code that will help you choose a cleaning solution:
- S – waterless cleaning with rubbing alcohol or other solvents;
- W – you can use water-based products, for example, soap water or baking soda solution.
- SW – you can use either waterless solvents or water-based cleaning options.
- X – dry vacuum cleaning only.
Recliners that require only vacuum cleaning are usually made from more delicate materials. So, establishing the rules of no eating and drinking in such a chair might save you a lot of work.
Quick tip: before you start cleaning the recliner, test your chosen detergent in a less visible area, like the back, to see how it affects the upholstery fabric.
Is it ok to sleep in a recliner when pregnant?
As long as you feel comfortable, yes. Sleeping in a recliner can take some load off your pelvis and lower back, which is especially good for those in the last trimester.
The number of models of modern recliners is growing rapidly, and this can turn shopping into a nightmare. But once you know exactly what you’re looking for and how much you're willing to pay, it becomes much easier. All the recliners I showed you offer great value for money. So, if you’re deciding what to buy for your first recliner, these can definitely can be a solid starting point.
My personal favorite is the Mcombo Recliner Chair. Why? Well, firstly because I felt very comfortable sleeping in it. Secondly, this chair has an effective Power Lift function and can make getting up almost effortless, which would come in handy for older users or chronic pain sufferers. And let’s not forget about the lumbar heater and the massage feature, both of which can help you relax almost instantly before sleep. Overall, the Mcombo is a worthy find, and I’m sure it has a chance of impressing you just as much.
Which is your favorite out of these models? Would you choose one as your sleeping place? Let me know in the comments below.
- Washington University Orthopedics. (n.d.). Postoperative Care. Retrieved from https://www.ortho.wustl.edu/content/Patient-Care/3144/Services/Shoulder-Elbow/Overview/Shoulder-Instability-Information/Postoperative-Care.aspx
- Harvard Medical School (published February 2019) Is it dangerous to sleep sitting up? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/is-it-dangerous-to-sleep-sitting-up
- Renee Miller (n.d.) Types of Recliners. Retrieved from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/types-recliners-84730.html
Recliner Chairs Considered
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted