For certain individuals, a bed is not the ideal sleep setting, and a recliner could be the perfect solution.
Although many people think of recliners as the perfect chairs for relaxing and watching TV, they can actually help people with certain medical conditions or preferences enjoy restful sleep.
People who have suffered injuries, pregnant women, the elderly, those with respiratory conditions, and individuals with acid reflux can find it uncomfortable to sleep on a flat, horizontal surface. A recliner allows them to find their ideal sleep position.
Other people simply prefer to sleep in a recliner, or sleeper chair, rather than a bed.
The general population finds this to be odd or improper, but there is no real harm in it.
These individuals have found that they wake up feeling more rested and without the aches and pains they have after sleeping in their bed. Then, bed versus recliner becomes a decision based on personal preference and circumstance.
Quick Look: Our Top 5 Picks
Recliners for Sleeping – Key Considerations
Recliner Type: There are three main types of recliners: rockers, wall-huggers, and lifts. Rocker recliners are also known as glider recliners, and they function as the name suggests—they have the ability to rock, or glide, back and forth. These are typically recommended for people who have trouble falling asleep and nursing mothers because of the gentle, soothing movement.
Wall-hugger recliners are the ideal answer to a downfall of many recliners, which is their large size. Wall-huggers are built to take up little space, so they are perfect for tight quarters and won’t take up an entire room.
Lift recliners allow their users to get in and out of the chair easily. They offer a motorized function that lifts the chair, which in turn, lifts the person into standing position. These are ideal for elderly people and those who suffer from joint pain or injuries.
Durability: Depending on how much you plan to use your recliner, you may want to consider a sleeper chair with a durable frame and durable materials. If you plan to sleep on your recliner each night, it is worth purchasing a chair with a sturdy hardwood or steel frame, since the frame is often tested, and weakened, with the frequent movement of the chair. If the recliner will be used gently, a plywood frame, for example, could help your budget.
Similarly, you will want to consider the best fabric for your sleeper chair. For a chair that will see heavy use, opt for a tough, durable cloth or leather. If your chair will see light use, faux leather or lower-quality cloth could save you some money.
Lastly, be sure that the chair is a good fit for your frame, height, and weight. A chair that is the correct size will hold up longer than a chair that cannot meet the demands you place on it.
Features & Functions: If you’re willing to stretch the budget, there are a variety of extra features and functions available to choose from. Some of these include how much a chair can be reclined or elevated and whether the chair is operated manually or mechanically, among others.
Based on your personal preference or your health, you may want a chair that reclines almost to a horizontal position or a chair that allows you to elevate your feet and legs to a certain height. In a similar way, you may decide to save money on a chair that operates manually, or splurge on a chair that has remote-controlled or motorized operation.
Other features that are available in sleeper chairs are cup holders, pockets, and heat and massage functions. Cup holders and pockets are underestimated extras that can prove useful when you don’t have to stretch out of a reclined position to reach a beverage, periodical, or TV remote. Heat and massage functions come at a price, but are especially helpful for relieving aches and pains, while providing ultimate comfort. However, it would not be typical to sleep all night with the heat and massage features running.
Comfort: Comfort is one of the most important considerations when buying a recliner because restful sleep cannot occur without it. For sleeper chairs, comfort mostly comes from materials, support, size, and position, but it is always a matter of personal preference.
Consider what you find to be the most comfortable materials, including both the fabric covering the chair as well as the padding under the fabric. Additionally, determine what kind of support you are looking for—lumbar/back? Head? Neck? Legs? You will want to choose a recliner that props you up in all the right places.
Be sure to also consider the size of the chair, meaning the area of the back and the area of the seat. Will your body fit comfortably within the dimensions? Finally, decide how much you want to be able to recline or elevate. Is it more important to be able to recline to an almost horizontal position, or to elevate your feet and legs?
What are the top five recliners for sleeping?
Here is a summary of the best recliners for sleeping, each offering a unique combination of desirable features. Each product is highly rated, and sleep tested.
What else should you consider when purchasing recliners for sleeping?
Before you buy, consider the both the benefits and drawbacks of recliner sleeping.
Usually, the benefits of sleeping in a recliner revolve around your personal health and medical conditions. Recliners typically help most with back pain, respiratory issues, blood circulation, acid reflux, and comfort in pregnancy.
Sleeper chairs can help ease the tension in your back and can offer lumbar support that is just what your spine needs after working or standing all day.
Additionally, recliners allow you to adjust the angle of back, head, and neck, which can help with breathing and acid reflux.
Recliners also allow you to adjust the angle of your lower body, increasing blood flow and reducing pain, pressure, and swelling in your feet, legs, and ankles.
Finally, many pregnant women find that they can sleep much more comfortably in a recliner because it is more supportive and adjustable than a regular bed.
There are, however, some disadvantages to sleeping in a recliner every night. Most of these disadvantages revolve around the fact that a recliner does not allow you to sleep in a variety of positions as a normal bed does.
As a result, you may find that you wake up with stiffness in your muscles and joints, most commonly in your knees and hips, after spending the night in a sleeper chair. Similarly, staying in the same position for an extended period of time can lead to poor blood circulation in your legs, which is why it is important for the recliner you choose to be adjustable in several places.
Finally, you may find that you only need to sleep in a recliner for a limited time (i.e. recovering from surgery or injury).
This is an important factor to consider because it could allow you to save money on a recliner that may be more than you need. Each of the recommended recliners above are budget friendly and appropriate for a variety of needs and preferences, including the individuals who will be temporarily sleeping in a recliner.
Whether your recovering from an injury, living with a medical condition, pregnant, or just prefer it, a sleeper chair may be the most comfortable, beneficial option for getting restful sleep.
It is best to ask yourself which features really matter to you and which features would actually improve your sleep.
With so many recliners on the market, remember to weigh all of your options, focusing on finding a perfect fit for your health and comfort.