Mission Style Recliners – FAQ & Buyer’s Guide!

New furniture industry products continue to delight consumers with fresh designs, “delicious” colors, pleasant, overstuffed shapes. At the same time, functionality is moving to a new level of technology that can meet the needs of a businessman that spends a lot of time at the desktop.

One of such wonderful ideas is a mission style recliner. What is it? What advantages does it have? Where can it fit? This article is dedicated to an exciting variety of modern upholstered furniture that represents classic notes.

The heartfelt work and craftsmanship represented in a high-quality mission style recliner can surely add an ever-living classic or rustic charm into any living interior.

So what is that ‘Mission Chair’ after all? The word itself has appeared long ago and refers back to the designer and skillful craftsman, William Morris. Back in the days, the term ‘Morris Chair’ was actually used to describe such a lounger.

List & Comparison of Mission Style Recliners:

PhotoProductDimensionsMechanismDetails
BarcaLounger Mission 7-3323 (Craftsman) Recliner Chair - 5702-87BarcaLounger Mission 7-3323 (Craftsman) Recliner Chair - 5702-8732.7"W x 37.5"D x 42"HLeggett & Platt heavy-duty mechanismsView on Amazon
Signature Design by Ashley 1990126Signature Design by Ashley 199012634"W x 39"D x 43"HDurable reclining mechanismView on Amazon
Elm Lane Evan Legends 71J02Elm Lane Evan Legends 71J0243"H x 33 1/4"W x 38 3/4" - 65"DPush-through arm smooth mechanismView on Amazon
New Hickory Wholesale Solid Wood Recliner Chair McCoyNew Hickory Wholesale Solid Wood Recliner Chair McCoy33"W x 38"D x 41"HView on Amazon
New Hickory Wholesale Heartland Slat Amish Arts & Crafts Solid Wood Recliner ChairNew Hickory Wholesale Heartland Slat Amish Arts & Crafts Solid Wood Recliner Chair32.5"W x 38"D x 40"HSmooth reclining mechanismView on Amazon

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The classic Victorian design parameters designed by William Morris can still be noticed in modern chairs, e.g. low seats, high, not upholstered arms, and vertical bars under them.

Frames of mission recliners are typically made from a solid hardwood that is usually coated with varnish to create darker brown shades and fit ornately patterned pillows (hello, Victorian design).

Backrests of such chairs are typically hinged, allowing the chair to recline in three ways (upright position, TV mode, sleeping position). First Morris chairs had a row of pegs, wholes, notches, cutouts, or metal bar latch systems to adjust the angle of recline. As most of the world-famous inventions, these chairs were in demand due to their revolutionary design.

Morris chairs were invented in 1866 and were in high demand since then. Over time, both American and European designers have evolved the loungers into the modern mission style recliners that we know today.

The market for mission style recliners has expanded to include the following varieties:

  • Traditional Morris recliners. Such loungers have dark lacquered hardwood frames, high armrests with upright bars, plush pillows in a low seat and a hinged-back reclining seat. These recliners do not have the leg rests, developed in later models.
  • Modern mission recliners. Modern mission style recliners have not changed that much from their originals. The hardwood frame is often not lacquered and left with beautiful natural wood color, as well as the footrest that lifts up when the chair is reclined. The pillows in the recliner can be removable or attached. The padding is upholstered (typically, in microfiber or bonded leather) and stuffed with pocketed spring coils and (memory) foam. All other features remain the same as the traditional Morris recliner chair.
  • Mission style rocking chairs. Rockers were a fast adaptation of mission style recliners, incorporating the same Victorian design features into a rocking chair. Many people prefer the feel of these ornate rockers, and the durable chair construction provides stability, comfort, and reliability.
  • Mission style recliners with ottomans – one more recent adaptation of the Morris chair is a mission style recliner with a separate ottoman. Such loungers have no extending footrests but provide more flexibility, allowing you to lean back in the chair and put your feet on an ottoman. Or you can use the latter as a seat and put your feet in the chair if you want 🙂

This article would not be complete with some of the best features of mission style recliner chairs. So here they are:

  • Removable pillows. Modern mission style recliners often have integrated padding. However, removable cushions are more user-friendly and easier to take care of. For instance, you can remove them from the chair and ‘fluff’ them up in case they start to sag, which may happen over time. And you can’t do that with the padding in ordinary recliners.
  • Genuine/bonded leather. We assume, there’s no need to describe benefits of genuine leather here, right? Bonded leather, in turn, is pretty “young” material – it was not used until the last few decades. The invention of latex and other synthetic fibers gave birth to this waterproof, durable, and convenient material. High-quality faux leather is good for keeping your recliner in good condition.
  • Full recline. Some mission chairs allow more than three positions with a simple lock mechanism. These make for fantastic make-shift beds for guests and are great to take naps in if you don’t feel like moving. But three positions are usually quite enough for proper relaxation.
  • Pillow ties. If the pillows on your mission recliner chair are removable, you should opt for getting a model with pillow ties. They will hold the pillows in place preventing them from sliding when you recline.

Timeless appeal. The best feature of a good mission style recliner chair is, without a doubt, its ever-ending Victorian allure. Such chairs offer an unmatchable warm and cozy atmosphere. They look especially magnificent in rooms that have wood panels on the walls.

Whether you prefer a classic Morris Chair or kicking back in one of the other recliner types, you can be sure in having total comfort and quality craftsmanship that reliable sellers from our list below have to offer. All of the recliner models in the list below are made with the finest species of hardwood available and, of course, with love.

Review of the Best Mission Style Recliner

BarcaLounger Mission 7-3323 (Craftsman) Mission Style Recliner Chair – 5702-87

If you prefer genuine high-quality leather and classic, this vintage manual push-back recliner from BacaLounger is able to make your days brighter and, of course, more comfortable. The comfort of this chair is on another level! The Barcalounger Mission 7-3323 features a semi-attached pillow back and tight seat with pocketed coils for ultimate relaxation.

It is hand-crafted from wood (Mahogany Stained Wood finish). The Leggett & Platt mechanisms of this chair are attached to the heavy-duty wood frame with reliable bolts and T-nuts to prevent flipping over and increase stability, durability, and safety.

You will definitely like the feeling you get when sitting in such a lounger as you enjoy your life’s moments. And when you are ready to recline – simply push the chair with your back and lean back. The footrest will be uplifted into a TV position. And if you want to take a nap – push back more and fully recline to a sleeping position.

Styled and scaled as a decorative club chair, the product will surely make you satisfied. And when you try its comfortable reclining function, you will want to stay in it forever! Rustic Borbon Leather, Shoreham Blue Leather options are also available.

Specifications

  • Series name – Mission Vitange
  • Dimensions – 32.7″(W) x 37.5″(D) x 42″(H)
  • Seat dimensions – 19″(W) x 19″(D) x 19″(H)
  • Arm Height – 24.4″
  • 1-year warranty
  • Weight – 100.3 lbs (45.5 kg)
  • Weight capacity – 285 lbs
  • Needs 16.2″ from the wall to recline
  • Requires only 2.5 lbs to recline
  • Medium seat density

Features

  • All leather classic recliner
  • Distinctive design and luxurious feel
  • Leggett & Platt heavy-duty mechanisms
  • Bolt-on design featuring high-quality T-nuts
  • Delrin bushings for seamless motion, quiet operation, and longevity
  • Bullnose tight seat cushion
  • Pocketed coil springs with down wrap
  • Removable seat pillow

Signature Design by Ashley 1990126 Mission Recliner

You probably think it’s the same classic model as the one before, but we assure you it’s not. When it comes to Ashley Furniture, you should know that the name says it all. Quality is above all for Ashley, so you can relax and buy this chair with confidence. The thing is that the manufacturer stands behind every product it makes, protecting and delivering the furniture in a timely manner.

For those on a mission to recline in a luxurious vintage style chair, this high-leg recliner effortlessly tackles the task. Roughly beautiful, with a rustic finish, tight seat & back, high-density foam, corner-blocked frame, and metal-reinforced seat, it provides the look of high-grain leather upholstery.

And that feeling when you sit in this furniture piece with high-density foam padding is simply unmatchable. The chair seat is wrapped in thick poly fiber (high-quality faux leather) with decorative stitching on the plush bustle back.

The lounger masters the art of mission-style design and lets you enjoy convenient smooth reclining (press-back self-reclining motion) and experience ultimate relaxation without any levers or knobs. The mission design of the Santa Fe high-leg recliner will surely add some style and rustic vibe to your home atmosphere.

Ashley is a trusted source for stylish and durable recliners, lighting, decor, and other furniture accessories. Everyone can find something to match their taste and finances!

Specifications

  • Series – Santa Fe
  • Dimensions – 34″(W) x 39″(D) x 43″(H)
  • Weight – 146.2 lbs
  • Material – high-quality faux leather
  • Pattern – solid
  • Arrives assembled

Features

  • Press-back self-reclining motion
  • Corner-blocked frame
  • Metal-reinforced seat and leg rest
  • Durable reclining mechanism
  • Nailhead trim and tufting
  • Tight seat and back cushions
  • High-density foam wrapped in thick poly fiber
  • Exposed frame with faux wood finish
  • Affordable price
  • Removable seat pillow

Elm Lane Evan Legends 71J02 Mission Style Reclining Chair

This lounger right here is a perfect representative of an old school mix of classic and contemporary styles. Check out this clean finish and style. The chair shines with chocolate chic and luxury due to its high-quality faux leather upholstery and Southwest Mission style. The seating has pocketed coils inside and plush cushions.

The backrest is thick and comfortable and extendable leg rest can provide the best relaxation. You can seat and feel your body resting at the end of the long working day.

You can lean back and watch your favorite movie or take a nap. This chair is especially good for watching vintage movies with your second half. It fit everyone, but we assume it’s best for the elderly.

Just like in previous models, the mechanism of this chair does not have any levers, so you just have to push the back of the lounger when sitting in it, and lean in any of the two available positions. The base of the Elm Lane’s recliner is made of reliable oak hardwood and the mechanism features tension adjusters for better reclining control and smooth motion.

Specifications

  • Southwest 3-way recliner
  • Color – chocolate brown
  • Material – oak hardwood, furniture-grade plywood, faux leather
  • Dimensions – 43″(H) x 33 1/4″(W) x 38 3/4″ – 65″(D)
  • Seat dimensions – 22 1/4″(W) x 22″(D) x 19 3/4″(H)
  • Weight capacity – 220 lbs
  • Weight – 132 lbs
  • Arm height – 24″
  • Weight – 95.5 lbs

Features

  • Tension adjusters for greater control
  • Push-through arm smooth mechanism
  • Durability and longevity
  • Ultimate comfort and relaxation
  • Hardwood frame and convenient footrest

New Hickory Wholesale Solid Wood Mission Recliner Chair McCoy

If you are looking for a reliable recliner in Mission style made in the US, this model can end your search today. It comes with 100% genuine leather upholstery and pocketed coils in the comfortable seat for proper relaxation and durability. The frame is made of solid hardwood (red oak).

This model You can actually choose from different stain and upholstery (e.g. fabric) options if you want. You can have your best moments in life as you relax in this lounger, no matter is it’s while watching your favorite TV show or a movie, talking to your family, chilling with your friends, or spending time with your second half.

The armrests of this chair are wide enough to accommodate your hands and you can put a glass with your favorite drink on them. The legs of the chair are sturdy and reliable, so you can be sure that it will not flip over. Overall, it’s a stable and durable 3-way recliner that is proudly made in the U.S.

Specifications

  • Dimensions – 33″(W) x 38″(D) x 41″(H)
  • Weight capacity – 250 lbs
  • Material – solid hardwood (red oak), genuine leather, metal
  • Weight – 143.5 lbs
  • Made in the USA

Features

  • Genuine leather upholstery
  • High-density foam and pocketed coils
  • Durable and reliable hardwood frame
  • Web rider coil spring construction

New Hickory Wholesale Heartland Slat Amish Arts & Crafts Solid Wood Recliner Chair

This model is almost like the previous one, but the differences are in the upholstery and frame. The latter is made of white oak, so if you prefer this frame look over red oak, don’t hesitate! The quality is just the same! Then you also have Texas leather upholstery which some say is the best type of leather for various furniture pieces.

The dimensions of the lounger are just a bit (literally 1″) smaller than the previous model has. And it’s, obviously, a bit lighter as well. The seating is supported by coil springs for a longer lifespan of the chair and improved durability.

The legs of the chair are stable and wide, so you don’t have to worry about falling back. You have your regular 3 positions, which is quite enough for recharging yourself after a long hard day.

The vintage style of this chair will fit most living rooms with classic interior and become an amazing handcrafted addition to the atmosphere. Moreover, it’s a great gift for your parents or relatives that looks just as great as it feels.

So if you are looking for a reliable and stable chair that is made in the US, search no more, because you have found one on our list. Now, the only thing that’s left is to get one and have a sit!

Specifications

  • Dimensions – 32.5″(W) x 38″(D) x 40″(H)
  • Seat dimensions – 23.5″(W) x 21″(D) x 19.5″(H)
  • Weight – 141 lbs
  • Weight capacity – 250 lbs
  • Material – genuine Texas leather, solid hardwood (white oak)
  • Leather/fabric upholstery
  • Handcrafted in the USA

Features

  • Durability and comfort
  • Smooth reclining mechanism
  • Handcrafted in the USA
  • Web rider coil spring construction

What is a recliner?

A recliner is an advanced, high-tech category of upholstered furniture, designed for full relaxation during busy schedules. Such models were created back in the first half of the last century, but there was no need to use them in mass production. Most of the furniture customers were aviation, spacecraft construction companies that were interested in perfect support and the rest of pilots during long flights. But the accelerated pace of life, increase in production, and transition to digital technology accompanied the introduction of “space” seats in the realities of everyday work.

How Does It Work?

The operation principle depends on what type of mechanism is built into the chair. The simplest design is a mechanical construction which works by pressing against the backrest or pulling a lever/knob on the side. Such a manual option is not really smooth and requires rather little, but still physical effort.

The backrest is locked only in the specified positions, and it is not possible to choose another angle.

More functional models come with an electric drive. They have gained high popularity and are usually called power recliners (with wires or wireless) that have remotes or control panels with touch/sensor buttons on their sides.

There is a large variety of fixed positions (some have more than 40), smooth motion, additional massage/heating options, memory features to remember your favorite positions.

Many loungers have additional bonus features like side pockets/pouches, cup holders, swivel tables, USB ports, built-in speakers, etc.

The operating principle of a recliner is determined by the chosen base. The chair can have a familiar wooden frame which deprives it of rotating and rocking functions. Or it can be close to the office model with a swivel base in the form of a solid metal disk. There are also modular constructions with independent elements.

Recliner and Rocking Chair Difference

Recliner models have a complex mechanized construction which can be equipped with different types of controls, e.g. sensors, remote controls, or mechanical levers/knobs. Recliners allow you to change the angle of inclination of the back to an almost flat position, plus they are equipped with a retractable footrest.

The models combine functions of an office chair and a sofa, or just a cozy rest place. Some of them can swivel, slide, or rock provided they have the required mechanisms. But all of them can recline into and transform into a lounger. Some recliner models are also equipped with massage options for ultimate relaxation and pressure relief in the shortest amount of time.

The design of ergonomic recliners fits anatomical bends of the body so that the sitting position has no harmful effect on the spine.

FAQ

How to reupholster a mission style recliner?

Seat and back cushions or mission recliners are typically loose, which makes them easy to reupholster. You can use zippered cushion covers as an alternative to custom upholstery, as well as maintain a traditional mission appeal with (faux) leather or canvas upholstery material, or add a modern twist with a perky print or striped microfiber fabric.

Reversible cushion covers allow you to easily create a new look.

You can restore a lackluster wooden frame to its original, rich look by applying a fresh coat of reddish-brown stain. Apply a different stain color to change the wood tone. Give your mission-style chair a modern look by painting the wooden frame a coal-black color followed with a clear polyurethane top coat to add a glossy finish.

Applying a bright-colored paint – lime green, hot pink, turquoise blue, lemon yellow – conveys an edgy, contemporary feel.

Replacing a Mission chair’s back and seat cushions can increase its comfort level. The loose seat and back cushions allow them to be turned periodically for more even wear. When they’ve lost their “spring,” you can exchange worn-out cushions for new replacements. Add a top layer of memory foam to increase the cushy feel.

Wrapping a foam cushion with polyester batting and down or feathers softens a seat. Or you can stuff cushion covers exclusively with down and feathers for a plush seat you’ll want to sink in forever. Down is softer and fluffier than the protective layer of feathers.

You can also add a personal touch with metal nailheads (brushed silver, antique brass, etc) around the bottom of the seat cushion for a rustic look. Contrasting cording attached along the outer perimeter of the seat and back cushion can add a stunning, textural vibe.

You can also add brown faux leather according to winter-white canvas cushions for a striking contrast with an upscale look. Add assorted toss pillows and a cozy furniture throw to complete your chair makeover.

What is a mission recliner?

A simple, low-height, mechanical recliner chair designed in a vintage, rustic, or Victorian style. It usually has a wooden frame, leather/fabric upholstery, spring coils in its seating, and wide wooden armrests with vertical bars under them. The lounger has a footrest and 3-position mechanism.

Can a leather mission style recliner be reupholstered?

Yes. You can take off the old leather and use it as a pattern for your new upholstery.

How much does leather upholstery cost?

Around $40 to $65 per yard.

About the author

Jessica Nickson

Jessica Nickson

Jessica Nickson is a keen home and garden innovator with over 25 years of hands-on experience in, home improvement, landscape gardening and all things appliance related to making life easier and more interesting. You can contact her via e-mail - jessica@thehomedweller.com.

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