When you get home after a long day of dealing with your obligations and responsibilities out in the world, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether or not you feel comfortable. While there can be a couple factors that influence your level of comfort, few will be as impactful as the type and quality of furniture in your home.
Whether you live by yourself, with roommates, or have a family, one of the most important pieces of furniture is the sofa. As a larger piece of furniture that can seat multiple people, sofas are perfect for entertaining guests or the entire household. For maximum comfort, you should make it a point to get a sofa that reclines.
Best Reclining Sofas 2021
That said, figuring out which are the best reclining sofas to choose from can be a difficult and frustrating task. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best reclining sofas, highlighting what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best reclining sofa to suit your needs.
1. Ashley Furniture Signature Design Hogan – Best Budget Reclining Sofa
When it comes to companies that manufacture and sell furniture, there are not too terribly many that have been able to carve out a publicly recognizable name for themselves. Ashley Furniture is a distinct exception to this rule as the company has been so successful and popular, earning a sterling reputation over the course of time, that they have been able to even run ads for their products irrespective of the actual distributor. In fact, the inclusion of Ashley Furniture products alone can allow a small, family-owned furniture store to flourish in an otherwise highly competitive market.
Great All-Around Value
Has Above-Average Durability
While the comfort and design features of the Hogan are impressive enough at this price point, the extra steps that Ashley Furniture takes to also ensure that this reclining sofa is more durable than most simply solidify its value. For instance, this reclining sofa features a frame that is made entirely out of metal to provide incredible durability throughout the years. On top of that, the corners of this reclining sofa are glued, blocked, and stapled, so you do not have to worry about anything happening to the upholstery at least not anything that is not caused by people.
2. Coaster Zimmerman 601712P Home Furnishings – Best All-Around Value Reclining Sofa
Coaster Home Furnishings is the residential branch of the Coaster Fine Furniture company which specializes in products designed for the home. This brand makes it a point to compete with the lower prices of more budget-minded furniture brands while providing additional functionality and features that are not commonly found on the different types of furniture they sell. Though they have only been in business for a little over 2 decades, that has not stopped Coaster Home Furnishings from identifying ways to innovate in the reclining sofa market.
Comes with Unique Features
One of the Better Constructions
Beyond the additional features, you are not likely to often find on other models of reclining sofa, the Zimmerman also provides plenty of value in terms of its build and construction. For instance, this is one of the few reclining sofas that we reviewed which uses a sinuous spring system so your reclining sofa will retain its shape while also supporting you without creating pressure points.
This reclining sofa is also upholstered in top grain leather match which means it is a combination of top grain leather for comfort reinforced with synthetic leather for additional durability. All combined, this provides the Zimmerman with a weight capacity of 500 pounds good for second on our list.
3. Homelegance Nicasio – Best Leather Reclining Sofa
Though not the most recent company we reviewed, Homelegance sits in between the other brands on our list in terms of age having been around for almost 3 ½ decades. In that time, this company has quietly made a name for itself by providing high-end furniture with some features you may not necessarily find with too terribly many of their competitors. That said, this brand definitely prides itself on style as much as substance, so those consumers looking for a reclining sofa that bleeds the cutting edge of design might want to take an extra long look at the Nicasio.
An Eye on Design
A High-End Build Quality
Though the Nicasio provides arguably more contemporary style features than most of the other reclining sofas we reviewed, it is no slouch in the build department either. For instance, this reclining sofa features overstuffed cushions that are simultaneously made sleek. This is accomplished by stuffing the cushions more than most and upholstering the entire reclining sofa in genuine leather, so you can have the best of both worlds. The power reclining mechanism ensures that you do not have to want for convenience while the entire frame of this reclining sofa is rated to hold a weight capacity of 600 pounds.
4. Christies Home Living Bill – Best Manual Reclining Sofa
Christies Home Living may not necessarily be the most well-known brand of furniture on the market, but that is in a large part due to circumstances which have nothing to do with the quality of their products. First, Christies Home Living is not actually its own company but is instead a subsidiary brand of AC Pacific Corporation which at least does specialize in manufacturing and selling furniture exclusively. Another potential reason for less name recognition is the fact that Christies Home Living’s parent company is not even 20 years old yet.
Construction is Top-Quality
Provides Exceptional Comfort
Of course, a great build quality can only get you so far in the market of reclining sofas, as a seating without comfort will not impress anyone. Thankfully, the Christies Home Living Bill reclining sofa has also made it a point to offer plenty in the way of comfort as well. For instance, this is one of the few reclining sofas that we reviewed which utilizes a sinuous spring system, so you do not have to worry about the sofa losing its shape over time while still being supported firmly without pressure points. On top of that, the Dacron fiber polyester upholstery is lush and soft to the touch.
5. Ashley Furniture Signature Design Exhilaration – Best Performing Reclining Sofa
As one of the oldest companies on our list, having been in business for over 70 years, Ashley Furniture is by far the biggest brand that we have reviewed. While the company does pride itself on providing quality, budget-minded options, they are a full-market furniture manufacturer that aims to appeal to all consumers. As such, they also offer some of the best high-end products that we saw and are not afraid to allow the quality of the product combined with the prestige of their brand name drive the price to a level that few are willing to go.
The Only Optional Recline
Great Build Top-to-Bottom
Beyond the differing options regarding the reclining mechanism, the Exhilaration also provides one of the best all-around builds that we saw too. For instance, this reclining sofa provides a frame made entirely of metal. In order to ensure this does not sink or put stress on the cushions, it also features a unitized seating frame, so that you are completely supported without pressure points. This reclining sofa also features the top grain leather reinforced with vinyl upholstery style which makes it more durable while still being stylish and genuine. The cushions themselves are filled with high-resiliency foam that resists permanent deformation and are stuffed to a plush degree. Finally, this reclining sofa secures its upholstery with a corner-blocked frame that is glued and stapled.
Best Reclining Sofas – Buyer’s Guide
Though it may not be what everyone considers the most important factor when choosing a reclining sofa, it is hard to deny the importance of the sofa’s upholstery. The material of the upholstery can impact the reclining sofa’s durability as well as its comfort and may even provide a bit of prestige or stylistic options. That said, blended upholstery has become fairly popular, and the choice of materials will have a big impact on the cost of the reclining sofa as well.
Polyester – While not used exclusively with fabric upholstered reclining sofas, it is by far one of the more popular fabric choices. This is because polyester is significantly more durable than most natural fibers, and the natural fibers which are stronger than polyester are almost without exclusion prohibitively expensive think silk. Beyond the durability aspect, polyester is also better for a fabric upholstery compared to natural fibers for another reason: water-resistance. Not only will polyester repel water and other liquids better and longer than most natural fibers, it will also resist the staining those liquids may cause.
Polyvinyl Chloride – Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, is a popular material to use for reclining sofa upholstery that advertises “faux leather.” This material is actually one of the least durable on our list, but it is also one of the least expensive as well. On the plus side, PVC is completely waterproof and will resist staining better than most materials. Beyond not absorbing liquids, it also will not be as easily broken down by regular exposure to liquids like a leather can.
Polyurethane – Polyurethane, or PU, is another synthetic material technically a plastic that is used in the manufacture of faux leather. In some regards, it is fairly similar to PVC in that both materials are waterproof and resist stains as well as not breaking down under regular exposure to liquids in general. One of the primary advantages of PU over PVC is general durability where PU actually has better torsion strength that PVC and will resist cuts or punctures better. On top of that, PU is not significantly more expensive than PVC, making it an all-around better material for most upholstery needs.
Genuine Leather – Genuine leather is the lowest grade of real leather and in fact, would likely only be considered “technically” leather to most people. This is because genuine leather is commonly made by taking the leftover leather scraps from other leather products and binding them together, often with an adhesive or thermoplastic. This type of leather is as strong or a little bit stronger than polyurethane, but it is nowhere near as strong a higher grades of leather. On top of that, it is more expensive than synthetic leather and will suffer more damage from exposure to liquids.
Top Grain Leather – Though this is technically only the middle grade of leather, it is one of the more common grades of leather used for furniture upholstery. This is because full-grain leather is incredibly stiff though it is also incredibly durable. That said, top grain leather is much softer and more supple than full grain leather and can be pretreated to provide even more textures. This is an incredibly durable material used for upholstery and is water-resistant as well as stain-resistant though constant exposure to liquids will damage top grain leather.
The frame of the reclining sofa may not necessarily steal the show, but it is by far one of the most important qualities of a reclining sofa. This consideration will often determine how much maximum weight a reclining sofa can bear as well as generally how durable the sofa is. That said, the design of the frame can also play an important factor for some of the durability aspects, but the material is an easier gauge for general durability.
Manufactured Wood – This is the weakest material used for reclining sofa frames and should probably be avoided if you can help it. While there are some types of manufactured wood which are treated to make them comparable to real wood in terms of hardness and durability, they are by far the exception and not the norm. On top of that, manufactured woods used for reclining sofa frames will generally provide the lowest weight capacities and are not as capable of withstanding years of use.
Hardwood – Hardwood is an incredibly popular material for reclining sofa frames due to the fact that it is fairly durable and can withstand regular use for years without breaking down. That said, hardwood is not the most durable material used, though it does often offer a bit more in the way of comfort. Essentially, though it is still stiff, hardwood frames to provide a degree of give which can help prevent the formation of pressure points in the reclining sofa.
Metal – This is by far the most durable material used for reclining sofa frames and will be able to stand the test of time longer than any other material all other factors being equal. This material is also generally less expensive than hardwood, though it is more expensive than most manufactured woods. On top of that, metal will also have a higher chance of creating pressure points in the couch especially over the course of years of use if you do not get the cushions periodically restuffed.
When it comes to a reclining sofa, your options regarding the reclining method are often a bit more limited when compared to a reclining chair. This is because a reclining chair is designed to seat a single individual who can apply a more personal preference for their reclining mechanism. As a larger piece of furniture, the reclining sofa is generally not as well equipped to handle the push-back method of reclining mechanism that reclining chairs sometimes employ.
Manual – This is the standard type of reclining mechanism that involves a latch or lever which releases a spring. Once the spring is released, the footrest of the reclining sofa will extend. This kind of reclining mechanism is generally a bit more reliable than a powered reclining mechanism simply because it has fewer moving parts. On top of that, this kind of reclining mechanism is significantly cheaper to fix, often requiring little more than replacing a worn out spring.
Powered – Powered reclining mechanisms rely on an electric motor to engage and control the reclining action. This can be much easier to use for certain people who might otherwise have difficulty releasing a tight manual reclining mechanism or retracting the footrest when done. This reclining mechanism will utilize some form of control panel or a remote control to activate the recline or retraction of the sofa. The only potential issue is that the motor can wear out, and when it does, it is often quite expensive to fix.
In the end, there is no reclining sofa which will satisfy all people equally, especially considering some will prefer different upholsteries, reclining mechanisms, and even form factors. That said, there are a couple products which stood out a bit above the rest and are likely to satisfy more people than their competitors.
For those who are looking for an excellent reclining sofa and are not too terribly concerned about the cost, we recommend the Ashley’s Furniture Signature Design Exhilaration. Aside from the fact that this reclining sofa is the only we reviewed which provides a choice regarding reclining mechanism, it also provides a top of the line build that is incredibly durable as well as comfortable.
If you are looking for a reclining sofa that will not necessarily break the bank but still offers plenty of value and even a few features not often found on competitors we recommend the Coaster Home Furnishings Zimmerman. Though this reclining sofa may not allow for easy cuddling, it does provide a central console that has 2 cup holders. On top of that, each occupant is provided a USB charging port.