Recliner Styles 101

May 26, 2015


Interested in purchasing a new recliner? Curious to learn more about the options available? This quick guild will get you started. 

Traditional two-position

This is the original reclining chair. As you might have guessed, traditional two position recliners alternate between a fixed upright position and a fixed reclining position. They typically include a built in footrest that deploys when the chair reclines. Their position is determined with a small lever or button. Though less flexible than other options, traditional two position recliners remain a favorite due to their classic style and simple design.

Wall saver

Designed to accommodate small spaces and minimalist designs, wall saver recliners are built to recline with just a few inches of space behind the chair. While these chairs rarely feature built in footrests, some wall savers may offer an optional separated foot rest. Many wall saver recliners also include a rocking feature.

Rocking, gliding and swivel recliners

These options are all intended to allow motion. Rocking recliners vary in both size and style—from small framed chairs to wall savers to oversized rockers. The uniting feature is the ability to gently sway back and forth along an arched track. The similar gliding recliner design allows the chair to rock along a linear track. Swivel recliners, on the other hand, are built upon a circular base that allows the chair to twist left and right as well as recline backwards.

Push back

The newest (and typically most expensive) style, push back recliners are designed to look sleek and modern. Instead of being activated by a lever or button, push backs recline when pressure is exerted against the back rest. This allows push back recliners to look like regular chairs when in their upright position. 


Risers are motorized recliners that make sitting down, reclining, and standing back up much simpler and more comfortable. For this reason, they are often recommending for people who have injuries or physical disabilities that limit their range of motion.