Ideas + Advice

Shopping Basics

What Is a Power Recliner?

While manual recliners are a timeless living room staple, the hand-operated mechanisms – which require using force to pull up and down on a lever – are not always the most practical solutions, especially for those with physical limitations.

Designed to offer the same comfort technologies as the traditional recliner, with none of the physical exertion needed to operate it, power recliners make it effortless to sit back and relax – at exactly the position and angle you prefer – all at the touch of a button.

Operated by automated motors via either a battery pack or an electrical cord, modern power recliners feature three buttons built into the side of the armrest: one for the recliner’s back, one for the recliner’s footrest and one for the recliner’s headrest.

Power Recliner vs. Manual

A power recliner is operated with power, coming from a power source of either electricity or battery. (Some designs offer both electric and battery operations.) The way a manual recliner differs from a power model is that it does not rely on either electricity or battery power – for all intents and purposes, it's a traditional chair that can be moved the old-fashioned way (by exerting force with your hand).

How to Manually Move a Power Recliner

Sometimes, a source of electricity or power isn't always reliable. Whether you're dealing with an outage or dead battery, you'll quickly learn that power recliners don't work without power! However, that doesn't mean you still can't enjoy the comforts of a power recliner that's stopped working the way you're used to! 

To move a power recliner the manual way, first check the product manual. The ways recliners work are different and manual overrides may involve a set of instructions specific to your model. Some tips that usually work universally include:

  • Unplugging. Unplugging the recliner and plugging it back in again may help to 'reboot' the mechanisms.
  • Checking for blocks. Sometimes, the culprit is as simple as an object that's somewhow worked its way into the reclining mechanism. Disassemble the recliner to examine for loose or lodged pieces.
  • Lubrication. Over time, gears can get stiff. If you've checked the manual and tried the steps listed above, you may find it helpful to disassemble the recliner and grease any stuck or stubborn parts. 

Do Power Recliners Have to Be Plugged In?

It depends on the type: some power recliners have to be plugged in, and some don't. If your recliner relies on a power cord, you will need to place it near a wall socket for electricity. If your recliner relies on a battery only, you can place it anywhere and still enjoy the reclining features!

Do Power Recliners Have a Manual Override?

Your power recliner may have a manual override. Read the manual if you're not sure; forcing a recliner down when it's not designed for manual reclining can damage it, so it's better to stay safe than sorry! Keep in mind that power recliners are built with a lot of moving parts and pieces (think of it as the furniture version of a car) – knowing how your recliner works is the best step toward preventing mechanical problems.

Ergonomic Designs

Many modern power recliners are also often recommended for ergonomic neck and back positions, and feature lay-flat reclining with full-extension footrests – for even weight distribution and orthopedic support.

Built-In USB Ports

Perhaps we can all agree that there are few things more annoying than this scenario: you’ve finally found and settled into your most comfortable position, curled and snuggled up on your favorite living room recliner, and just when you’ve entered into serious relaxation mode, you realize you’ve left your phone or device on the table across the room. (Even worse: you have your phone or device with you, but it’s at low battery – and the nearest outlet or port for charging is on the wall – ten feet away.)

While it is definitely one of those trivial situations that makes you laugh looking back at it, when you’re actually in the moment, it can be pretty frustrating (having to get up and leave your ‘comfy place’ is the last thing you want to do!) – and this is exactly the line of thinking behind one of the most convenient features of modern power recliners: the built-in USB port.

Designed to make modern lounging luxurious and convenient, today’s power recliners bring both ergonomic comfort and built-in smart features, allowing you to recharge your batteries – both literally and figuratively!
power recliner controller

Featured Products

— More Great Articles —

Related Categories 

Read the Latest

Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.