Sleeping in a Recliner vs a Bed – A Sleep Comparison Guide

Sleeping On A Recliner Versus A BedEverybody wants to sleep in a soft and comfortable bed at night.  Ever since we are old enough to sleep outside of our crib, we are transitioned into a bed, moving from a twin size bed to a queen or king size when we are adults.  This is the conventional way of doing things and not many venture outside of this path.  However, not everybody can unwind and fall into a deep sleep on a bed.  Not every person can comfortably sleep horizontally.  Many people have spent thousands of dollars changing mattresses, like they are searching for the holy grail.  They are in search of the perfect mattress and once they find it, then all their sleep issues will be solved and they will finally have a solid night’s sleep, every night.  Of course, the new mattress doesn’t always solve the problem.  A thousand dollars spent, however still an uncomfortable, restless night.

What if it isn’t the bed’s fault.  What if it had nothing to do with the mattress.  And, what if you just can’t sleep in a horizontal position.  In this article, Sleeping in a Recliner vs a Bed, I wanted to research on whether some people might have a better night’s sleep in a recliner rather than on a bed.  First of all, lets have a look at the positives of sleeping on a bed compared to sleeping on a recliner.

Recliner Versus Bed – Let The Battle Begin!

Round 1

Bed : Firstly a bed can come in all shapes, sizes and textures.  If you want an extra large firm bed for two people then, no problem.  If you only need a twin size bed for one person that is also super soft, then you will find that also.

Recliner : Recliners can come in all different sizes as well.  If you need an extra large recliner, then they are available.  If you want a small one, great.  Soft medium or firm, the choice is there.

Verdict : A Draw!

Round 2

Bed : On a bed you can sleep in any position you like.  Whether you want to sleep on your back, front or side, a horizontal mattress allows you the flexibility to sleep in any angle or position your body allows you.

Recliner : Unfortunately, a recliner doesn’t offer the same flexibility.  Realistically you can only sleep comfortably in one position on a recliner and that is of course on your back.  Sleeping on your side is a possibility, however on your stomach is a no-no because of the elevated angle.

Verdict : Bed Wins!

Round 3

Bed : A bed is fully flat, therefore you can only sleep horizontally.  Many people stuff multiple pillows under their head to prop themselves up but this isn’t always the most comfortable solution.

Recliner :  A recliner allows you to sleep at a very comfortable angle.  Some recliners can even recline to a fully flat position, therefore giving you the option of sleeping horizontally or at an angle.

Verdict : Recliner Wins!

This is a dead heat so far!  No winner there.  Lets have a look at who may benefit from sleeping on a recliner.  As already discussed in more detail here, there are people suffering from certain medical conditions that have found great relief when sleeping on a recliner.  They either felt pain, couldn’t breath or couldn’t fall asleep on a regular bed, however sleeping at an angle made a world of difference.  Some of these conditions were :

Medical Conditions –

Sleep Apnea :

Sleep Apnea is a condition that causes certain people to stop breathing at various times during their sleep.  This happens when soft tissue at the back of their throat collapses and blocks the airways, preventing oxygen from travelling to the brain.  Sleeping on a recliner chair could reduce the collapsing of the airways due to the elevated angle, making it far less likely that the person would stop breathing.

Acid Reflux :

Acid reflux is a condition where acid in the stomach travels up the oesophagus causing great discomfort to the person suffering from this condition.  Anyone that suffers from acid reflux will know that lying horizontally makes the condition worse because lying flat makes it easier for the acid to travel up the oesophagus.  Many acid reflux patients have used pillows and wedges to elevate their upper body when lying in bed, however sleeping on a recliner is a perfect solution for a person that is having a bad acid reflux attack.

Aches and Pains :

For people that suffer from bad aches and pains, lying on a bed can be very difficult.  Areas that can be especially painful are the back and hips.  Lying horizontally can put the spine in a painful position, making it difficult to relax and sleep.  Many people suffering from these aches and pains have found that sleeping on a recliner reduces the pressure on these affected areas and allows them to have a more relaxing sleep.

Elderly and Disabled :

As we age, our bodies become less mobile and doing everyday tasks like getting in and out of bed can be an issue.  This is the same for people with a disability or recovering from surgery.  Power sleeper recliners have given these people a lot more independence by making it a lot easier to get in and out of the chair.  Sleeper recliners have also allowed them to sleep at an angle, making it easier for them to fall asleep.

Breathing Difficulties :

Whether it is from an asthma attack or some other lung condition, when a person finds it difficult to breath, , lying flat can make matters a lot worse.  Finding it difficult to breath is a very distressing circumstance to be in and many sufferers have found themselves exhausted and finally falling asleep sitting up against their headrest.  Sleeping on a recliner, can be very helpful for situations like this because breathing is improved and it is a lot more comfortable compared to a regular chair.

This Amazing 81 Year Old Woman Found Some Novel Ways to Exercise On Her Recliner

Who Might A Sleeper Recliner Chair Be Suitable For?

  • A person suffering from one of these medical conditions above
  • Individuals that like to sleep at an angle with many pillows underneath their head and shoulders
  • People that fall asleep on their arm chair a lot and wake up with neck and back pain
  • A person that likes to have naps during the day
  • Pregnant women that will find some relief from the pressure on their spine by relaxing at an angle
  • A person that needs to raise their feet on a footrest to get better blood circulation in their legs
  • People that sit down a lot
  • A person that loves relaxing in the most awesome chairs ever invented!

Conclusion :

A recliner isn’t a cure or perfect solution to all these conditions, however as an aid, it certainly is helpful.  Sleep is so important and without regular sleep, our health deteriorates and medical issues become more serious.  One thing is for sure, a bed is not the be all and end all for a perfect night’s sleep.  Some people sleep perfectly well on a hammock, some can sleep all night on a sofa, some could sleep for hours on a transatlantic flight.  Whatever makes you feel comfortable is the most important thing.  If you sleep well on a recliner, then sleep on a recliner.  If you like to sleep on a recliner a few times a week, then go for it.  Also, if you are considering trying a recliner, then why not check out our favorite recliners for sleeping, so that you can see which types are available and which ones would be the most suitable for your lifestyle.  I hope you enjoyed this article on sleeping in a recliner vs a bed and I hope you have learned some of the benefits to sleeping in a recliner.

Let us know your opinion.  Do you sleep better in a bed or a recliner?  Have you had any positive experiences by sleeping in a recliner?



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