To Recline or Not to Recline? Pros and Cons of Recliner Sofas
You’ve added throw pillows, fluffed the base cushions, and added a stylish blanket or two. No matter what you try, however, your old couch just isn’t cutting it anymore, and you’re looking for something new and extremely comfortable. Could a reclining sofa be the right choice for you? We weigh the pros and cons to help you decide!
What’s the Difference Between Reclining and Stationary Sofas?
The main difference between a reclining sofa and a stationary sofa lies in their function and fundamental design. A reclining sofa comes equipped with adjustable features. These features allow you to recline the backrest and extend the footrest, prioritizing comfort and adaptability. Stationary sofas, on the other hand, are a traditional seating option. They’re fixed in place without any built-in reclining function for a more straightforward seating solution.
How Long Do Recliners Last?
The lifespan of recliners can vary. Factors like material quality, construction, usage, and maintenance all play a part. However, recliners do tend to have a slightly shorter lifespan than stationary sofas, thanks to their moving parts. But one that’s well-made and properly maintained can last anywhere from 7 to 15 years on average.
Pros of Recliner Sofas
1. Recliners may provide ergonomic relief
We often use the saying, “put your feet up” as a synonym for “relax” or “take a break,” and for good reason! Whether you work a desk job hunched over a computer all day or are typically on your feet for extended periods, the action of putting your feet up may take some pressure off your body.
Though many people believe “sitting is the new smoking,” WebMD reports that standing all day can also cause unnecessary strain on your muscles, joints, and spine. However, being in any one position — upright, seated, or lying down — for prolonged periods is generally not advisable, and that’s where a recliner can come in handy.
As explained by the Ergonomics Health Association, taking a few minutes or an hour of the day to sit back on a reclining sofa can help support back health by alleviating spinal load — the force gravity exerts on your back. On the flip side, reclining opens up your hips, which may provide relief from some of the lower back and hip symptoms associated with sitting at a desk all day.
2. Recliners may help support healthy blood pressure and circulation
According to Vein Clinics of America, the physical benefits of putting your feet up go beyond reducing muscle tension and spinal load — they also support healthy circulation and veins. When you’re standing for extended periods, your circulatory system has to work extra hard to pump blood against the force of gravity and back up to your heart. By taking time to elevate your legs, your veins get a much-needed break. In some cases, this may help promote healthy circulation and reduce inflammation in your feet and calves.
3. Recliners come with a range of features to suit your lifestyle.
Recliner sofas have come a long way in the mechanics and technology that support them, making it easy to find advancements in these comfortable alternatives. Most recliner sofas come with built-in footrests, but many feature additional functions.
Want to charge your laptop while working on the sofa? Opt for a small recliner sofa that features USB charging ports. Are you looking for a spa-like feel after a long day of work? Get a recliner sofa with massage and heating capabilities. From single-seater reclining chairs with built-in cupholders to four-person, L-shaped recliners with built-in power outlets, lounging couches offer various shades, sizes, and features to suit your lifestyle.
So when weighing the pros and cons of power recliners, you can easily find an option that fills your unique needs. Whether you’re looking for a comfy armchair for some “me time,” or you need a bigger recliner for family movie nights and football watch parties.
4. Recliners offer an alternative to lying in bed while reading or watching TV.
Many sleep experts, including ones at rise and shine, agree that scrolling, reading, or watching TV in bed may negatively affect your sleep. The theory behind this is that doing non-sleep-related things in bed may train your brain to associate being in bed with these behaviors rather than rest and relaxation! In turn, this may lead to chronic insomnia and poor quality sleep.
Recliners offer an excellent alternative for those wanting to break the habit of reading, working, or watching TV in bed without dropping their preferred activities entirely! If you’re one of them, a reclining sofa may allow you to enjoy the pleasures of putting your feet up and watching your favorite show or catching up on emails without disturbing the delicate association between your bed and sleep.
Cons of Recliner Sofas
1. Recliners offer fewer size, color, and style options than standard sofas.
Although recliners offer many attractive options and technologies, their variety still pales compared to that of stationary sofas. Suppose you’re very particular about the fabric, finish, or dimensions you’re looking for in your next couch. In that case, it may be easier to find exactly what you want in a stationary sofa over a reclining couch.
2. Recliners are typically more expensive than stationary couches.
Reclining sofas are often more expensive than their standard counterparts. This pricing difference usually relates to the relatively complicated manufacturing and parts that go into building reclining sofas. After all, the complex mechanisms and engineering needed to help your recliner move smoothly and reliably are more involved than the inner workings of a non-reclining couch!
The good news is that, with Rent-A-Center, you don’t need to worry about paying sky-high retail prices. Thanks to our rent-to-own options, you can bring home your recliner or couch of choice and pay it off over time with small, flexible payment options.
3. Recliners take up more space.
Recliners require more space to “open” or “lean back” wholly. To ensure that your reclining chair can tilt back fully, we recommend leaving at least one foot of space between the back of the sofa and the wall. In some cases, the necessary clearance may need to be greater to prevent the headrest from touching the wall on the way up or down.
That being said, if you have a smaller living room or are planning on placing your new sofa in an area with lots of foot traffic, a stationary sofa may be more practical.
4. Recliners demand more maintenance and cleaning.
Just like recliners require more involved manufacturing, they demand careful maintenance and cleaning. Most recliner sofas will need to have their moving mechanism and bolts oiled and cleaned at least every couple of years. Additionally, recliners need to be vacuumed and cleaned more often since dust, crumbs, and pet hair can quickly gather in their nooks and crannies.
Lastly, depending on your reclining sofa’s specialized features, other maintenance may be necessary, such as cleaning the cup holders, repairing broken mechanics, or inspecting built-in power outlets.
To Recline or Not? The Choice is All Yours
Ultimately, the choice between a recliner sofa and a stationary sofa boils down to personal preferences and lifestyle needs. If you lean toward more versatile designs and easy maintenance, the stationary sofa might be the one for you. However, if you prioritize ultimate comfort and versatility, the recliner sofa could be your perfect match. In which case, you may want to opt for recliners instead of a couch.
Shop Recliner Sofas, Stationary Sofas, and More at Rent-A-Center
Getting a new couch is a big deal! But if you’re wondering where to buy a recliner sofa, the answer is at Rent-A-Center. With Rent-A-Center’s Worry-Free Guarantee, you get the items you want at a payment you can afford, with an option to own when you’re ready. And don’t forget free delivery and set-up! Shop all kinds of sofas at your nearest Rent-A-Center today!