Which reclining sofa is best?

Real seating satisfaction is finding the right combination of support and cushioned comfort. Reclining chairs are great, but only seat one person. Sofas are great for seating two or more, and when it comes to watching movies and television with family and friends, reclining sofas really shine. Sofas with built-in recliners add an extra level of comfort to relaxed seating, so you can kick back and watch a show, read a book or simply fall asleep in one.  

What to consider before buying a reclining sofa

Sofa seating width

  • Small sofas are at least 50 inches wide, seat two people in cozy side-by-side comfort and are sometimes called loveseats.
  • Medium sofas are traditionally from 78-88 inches long, big enough for three to be seated in a row.
  • Large sofas seat four or more with widths of 90 inches or more.
  • L-shaped sofas are the choice when you want to seat more than four. The larger the sofa, the more likely it is to be two sofas joined together at right angles.

Weight capacity

A good rule of thumb is that a reclining sofa should support 250 pounds for each individual seat. Small sofas with two seats should hold 500 pounds, medium sofas 750 and large sofas at least 1,000 pounds.

Seat depth

Measure from your rear to the back of your knees to get your ideal seat depth. Standard seat depth is considered to be anywhere from 20-28 inches, so check this dimension carefully before buying. 

Seat height

This is another standard measurement and can be anywhere from 21-24 inches. Measure from the inside of the back of your knee to the floor to get your ideal seat height. 

Surface

  • Synthetics can be woven into textured fabrics that are durable and easy to clean with a damp cloth.
  • Natural fabrics are good-looking but require more care.
  • Leather is durable and rich-looking when real. There are many faux leathers that go under different names such as leatherette, pleather, PU leather and more, none of which is real leather. Always check thoroughly when choosing leather furniture so you are not misled.

Electronics

More and more reclining sofas have electronics built right in. Look for sofas with USB ports and electrical outlets for charging your phones and tablets. Some have LED lighting underneath to provide ambient room lighting.

Pampering

Some reclining sofas offer pampering features – they may have massage abilities to soothe aching muscles, or have self-heating abilities to help you relax and is an extra comfort on cold nights watching TV or reading.

Motorized vs. manual

Manually reclining sofas are the most common. Sofas with motorized controls that adjust seat backs, foot rests, heat and massage with the touch of a button cost more and are heavier.

Best reclining sofas

Reclining sofas under $1,000

Best Signature Design by Ashley Tulen 87-inch Modern Manual Reclining Sofa

Signature Design by Ashley Tulen 87-inch Modern Manual Reclining Sofa

This 170-pound three-seat recliner arrives fully assembled. The polyester fabric is textured chenille wrapped around plush foam cushions. The back is a waterfall design, the armrests are pillow tops and the recliner is activated by a manual pull tab.

Sold by Amazon

Best Christopher Knight Home Halima 2-Seat Reclining Sofa

Christopher Knight Home Halima 2-Seat Reclining Sofa

This 46.5-inch wide sofa weighs 90 pounds, seats two comfortably and cozily and has a footrest that runs the full width of the sofa. The surface areas are made of synthetic fibers over an iron frame that is sturdy and durable.

Sold by Amazon

Best Signature Design by Ashley Jesolo Faux Leather Double Reclining 88-inch Sofa

Signature Design by Ashley Jesolo Faux Leather Double Reclining 88-inch Sofa

This three-seat sofa is wrapped in polyester and polyurethane upholstery. The recliners are activated by pull tabs and the center console holds drinks, phones and the remote control. 

Sold by Amazon

Reclining sofas from $1,000-$2,000

Best Whitney 88'' Square Arm Reclining Sofa with Reversible Cushions

Whitney 88-inch Square Arm Reclining Sofa with Reversible Cushions

With 54 colors to choose from, you can find one that perfectly fits your decor. This three-seat sofa is made of synthetic fibers, weighs 194 pounds and has pop-up foot and leg rests. There are two USB ports built in and the cushions are button tufted and reversible.

Sold by Wayfair

Best Homelegance Pecos Leather Gel 88-inch Power Reclining Sofa

Homelegance Pecos Leather Gel 88-inch Power Reclining Sofa

This 212-pound sofa has a wood frame and leather surfaces everywhere. All three sections recline, the controls are easy to use. It has cup holders and LED lighting underneath. It comes in four pieces and is easy to set up.

Sold by Amazon

Best Signature Design by Ashley 84.5" Game Zone Faux Leather Power Reclining Sofa

Signature Design by Ashley Game Zone Faux Leather Power Reclining Sofa

Each end of this sofa is a power recliner with adjustable positions and one-touch power. The headrest is powered, too and the upholstery is polyester polyurethane. It has a USB charging port and flip-up armrests with cup holders.

Sold by Amazon

Best Mcombo Power Reclining Loveseat Sofa

Mcombo Power Reclining Loveseat Sofa

This two-seat fabric sofa is made with a loose pillow back and the plush seat cushions are filled with a combination of foam and springs for relaxing while reading, watching a movie or taking an afternoon nap. The frame is made of kiln-dried laminated wood.

Sold by Amazon

Best Recpro Charles Collection 58-Inch Power Reclining Sofa

Recpro Charles Collection 58-Inch Power Reclining Sofa

The dual reclining bucket seats are operated by one-touch power controls. The jumbo cushions are diamond-stitched and ultra-padded, with adjustable headrests. LEDs light the cup holders, a drop-down table has overhead lights that flip up and the USB ports are handily located.

Sold by Amazon

Reclining sofas over $2,000

Best Valencia Tuscany Premium Italian Top Grain Nappa Leather Home Theater Seating

Valencia Tuscany Premium Italian Top Grain Nappa Leather Home Theater Seating

The seats have three powered areas: recliner, headrest and lumbar support. The electrical outlets, USB charger and LED cup holders add to your theater experience and the armrests open to reveal hidden storage.

Sold by Amazon

Best Secsofier Faux Leather Power Reclining Sectional Theater Sofa

Secsofier Faux Leather Power Reclining Sectional Theater Sofa

This sofa seats five and holds 1,500 pounds. Metal springs are attached to hardwood frames and the cushions are filled with highly elastic sponges. The two center consoles have cup holders and the underside of the sofa is lit by LED mood lighting.

Sold by Amazon

Best Homelegance Pecos 4-Piece Sectional Reclining Sofa

Homelegance Pecos 4-Piece Sectional Reclining Sofa

This sectional fully reclines by hand. It is covered in leather gel, seats six and can be configured many different ways. It weighs 362 pounds, is 222 inches long and has a console hidden in a backrest.

Sold by Amazon

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