For us to fully relax and rest, we need to lie down. Well, that’s what doctors say. American scientists have considered the recommendations of physicians and created a special chair – a recliner, and it’s “just what the doctor ordered.” One button click – and a simple chair turns into a comfortable lounger. What is it, what are the features and the mechanism – these and other questions are going to be discussed in this article?
The first models of this design appeared in the XIX century, along with tilting backrest furniture models that had a special stand for the feet. These samples served as prototypes of modern products which gained popularity and became demanded in many countries. Today, these devices are equipped by advanced manufacturers with a large number of features that can give the most comfortable rest.
The name of the special type of loungers comes from the word “recline” which means “lie back in a relaxed position with the back supported” or “lean back”. The angle of the backrest can be changed and locked in the desired position. There are enough chairs with such a function but not all of them can be called a recliner. The combination, in this case, is essential. A recliner is designed in such a way that when you press the backrest the footrest is pulled out, and some models come with an extra foot bench (ottoman).
It’s all about the mechanism
Depending on a model and, of course, the price of the chair, there are several types of transformation methods and controls – touch, mechanical, and electrical.
In the simplest pushback models, you just need to press the backrest (like those seats in long-distance buses), to return it to the desired position; on the side of the chair there is a recessed lever that you need to pull back and the seat plungers will lift the backrest. Sometimes, to return the chair with a mechanical reclining system to its original position, it is necessary to sit up a little bit and press your feet against the footrest (until it clicks), it will then be removed, and the backrest raised (together with you) to its original upright position. The inconvenience of most of such models is not only in operating but also in the limited angle of the backrest it’s just over 40 degrees.
More expensive models use remote control. When you press a button, the backrest is adjusted to the desired position. So it’s pretty effortless to make the chair unfold or fold up to its original position. The remote controls can be either wired or unwired (battery-powered).
The most recent models are infinitely adjustable and the chair can be locked in a variety of positions. “Smart” models can also “remember” the most frequently selected positions and you do not have to enchant the remote control for a comfortable fit in the chair. It is enough to lock 2-3 positions, and the chair will choose the desired angle of inclination by itself. Some models have a built-in mode that is optimal for medical recommendations (recliners for the elderly), and you can choose it.
With touch control, the contacts are located in the armrests of the chair. Pressing the right button makes the backrest rise, pressing the left button lowers it.
The chair can be transformed in several ways. The footrest in the form of a pouf leaves the bottom of the chair on telescopic rails and then unfolds like a book. Or it can be a continuation of the chair, smoothly flowing into its lower part or folding under the seat.
The most “advanced” chair manufacturers offer comfortable furniture options for every taste. There are recliners with massage functions, aromatherapy modes, seat heating, some models also have backrest built-in speakers, radio/mp3-players, etc. In addition, there are models of recliners that have 3 functions at once: rocking (a system that allows the chair to rock back and forth, as a standard rocking chair), gliding (sliding back and forward in a horizontal direction), and swiveling (360-degree swivel on a round base).
How to choose the right recliner
The main requirement that allows picking up original design lies in compliance with certain rules of choice since you mustn’t miss anything. First of all, you should consider:
- Construction stability and durability, so that the chair served you for many years (solid steel and hardwood – oak, beech, ash, maple, or cherry, as well as kiln-dried wood to avoid cracks because it is already adapted to the climate change);
- Mechanism reliability and modes (check the reclining mechanism (as it is the most wearing element) as well as all levers and buttons for malfunction.
- Recliner dimensions (it is better to make notes in advance and define a place for the chair at your place), your parameters, and comfort. Make sure that your room has enough free space for the recliner, and that it will not hit the doors and the doorway; recliners are offered in a wide range: from small to quite bulky. For greater safety and comfort, you need to choose the one that fits your height and weight. For larger people, the chair is designed to withstand the extra weight. And small recliners are constructed for people of short height so that their feet easily touch the floor.
- The upholstery (natural, breathable. and easy-to-clean materials (100% leather/microfiber/cotton/linen/polyurethane);
- The padding (it should be neither too soft nor too hard);
- Certain functions and accessories (side pockets, side tables, remote controls, etc.) that you or your family need and will use;
- The look (to fit into your place);
There are also entire recliner-sofas, consisting of several (usually 3) recliner-chairs which will provide you with daily maximum relaxation. Most of the models are designed to perfectly the office environment and will not look like a monster in your cozy living room.