Manual vs Power – The Ultimate Recliner Comparison Guide

Manual Vs Power ReclinerSo you have decided you want to buy a recliner.  However, which one to get?  Due to recliner popularity these days and the availability of reclining chairs in all different shapes and sizes, customers have never had so much choice.  Its hard enough to pick the right style and color but what about the type of recliner.  The two main types of recliners available to you are a manual recliner and a power recliner.  Let us compare the two to see which one will be the best for you.

Manual Recliner –

The two methods of reclining a manual recliner are to use a hand lever on the side of the chair or by using body strength to push back the backrest.  Manual recliners are usually cheaper and more basic than power recliners and will also only recline to a certain angle but not to a fully flat reclined position.

Pros –

  • Manual recliners are generally less expensive than powered recliners.  A manual recliner is a more basic option compared to a power recliner, however it will still recline, lift the footrest and provide the main functions of a recliner.
  • Due to the fact that there is no power mechanism inside the frame of a manual recliner, it will be smaller, more compact and lighter, making it easier to move around and great for small spaces.
  • Another bonus of not having an internal power mechanism is that it will have less parts to repair.

Cons –

  • Because manual recliners are generally a basic machine, they normally have less features than a power recliner.
  • The recliner might develop problems over time because of excessive and vigorous use of the hand lever.   The life span of a manual recliner is often shorter than the powered version due to wear and tear.
  • The elderly and disabled may find it difficult to use a manual recliner because of the need to use body strength to recline back.

Power Recliner –

Best Recliner Lift Chair For Elderly PeopleA power recliner operates by using a motor to recline the backrest and/or lift the footrest in a smooth and effortless motion.  Power recliners normally have a remote control attached, allowing the user full control of the recline angles, all at the touch of a button.  Power recliners are powered by a battery power pack or by using a standard electrical outlet.

Pros –

  • In certain cases, power recliners are considered a medical device and the cost may be covered by insurance.  This may be an option for the elderly, disabled or for those that cannot operate a manual recliner due to medical reasons.
  • A power recliner can usually recline to more angles compared to a manual recliner.    In many cases, a power recliner can recline to a fully flat or close to a fully flat position.
  • The user can control the backrest and footrest separately.
  • Power recliners normally have a longer life span due to less wear and tear compared to manual operation.
  • Some power recliners have other features such a power lift mechanism, which assists the user to sit down and stand up. A massage feature that vibrates, heats and massages the user is often provided.

Cons –

  • Power recliners are generally more expensive than manual recliners.  The difference in price between the power and manual version depends on the brand and also how many features the power recliner provides.
  • Repairs can be more expensive if the internal electrical components break down.
  • Power recliners are often bigger than the more compact manual version and also heavier, making it more difficult to move around.
  • A standard electrical outlet is necessary to power the recliner.  This can restrict where you want to place the power recliner.

Which One Is Better For You –

Manual and power recliners both have positive and negative elements to them.  A manual recliner mainly benefits a person on a budget and doesn’t need the features a power recliner provides.  There are plenty of budget manual recliners to choose from and are of high quality.

Power recliners will definitely suit people that have difficulty using their body to activate the recliner manually. They will also help people to stand up or sit down unassisted.  A power recliner can be great for giving a person more physical independence.  What is more, a power recliner has many great features to choose from, so if you like cool features like sleeping on a fully flat recliner, or having a soothing massage after a hard day, then a power recliner is the one for you.

Both a power recliner and a manual recliner offer the benefits of lying back, relaxing, easing lower back pain, increasing blood flow and having a snooze in the daytime.  Therefore, either one is awesome!

I hope this article will help you decide whether a manual or power recliner is the most suitable for you.


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