Best Recliner For Back Pain: My Ultimate Guide!

If you suffer from back pain, muscle pains or mobility problems you may be thinking of buying a recliner. If you’re looking for the best recliner for back pain, there are a number of things you need to consider first.

What is a recliner?

First we need to find out how a recliner differs from an ordinary chair.

As the name suggests, the back of the chair can recline so you can sit upright, lean back or in some cases even lie down. Some chairs allow you to recline to whatever angle you like, while some have set recline points. Recliners are great for relaxing and very useful if you have muscle pains or back ache as they are designed to provide you with the best support. They are also designed for comfort, so they often have leather, faux leather or soft fabric upholstery.

While arm chairs can be supportive and ergonomic, a recliner will have a head rest, usually offer additional lumbar support, a foot rest, and some come with the option to add heat or a massage. This gives your body the right support it needs so your muscles can relax and provide you with a comfortable place to sit or lie down.

Some recliners also have the option to tilt forward, making it easier for less able bodied people to stand.

Types of recliner

Not all recliners work in the same way so here are the most popular options available and how they work.

Two-position recliner

This type of recliner offers exactly what it says: two positions.

The two positions actually refers to the recline options. All recliners have the option to sit upright, so a two-position recliner will also have two fixed recline points. The first position will be a comfortable recline angle, often between 100 and 130 degrees, while the second is usually fully reclined. Some chairs will have a slightly different second position so check just how far back the recliner goes before you buy one. The foot rest will come up as the back goes back.

This type of chair is best for those looking to simply recline and relax, but it also offers good help and support for those looking for help with back pain or muscle problems.

Cost wise these tend to be more for those with a lower budget and you must allow plenty of space against a wall for the back to fully reclined.

Rocker recliner

These provide several different angles for reclining so they are easier to get into the most comfortable position for back pain. They can be manually operated or electrically operated. The foot rest will rise even if the recliner is not fully reclined so you can still sit with your feet up.

They also have a rocker feature, so they can be used similar to a rocking chair.

When it comes to placing this type of recliner you don’t need to allow quite so much space from the wall so it will fit into a small room.

Push-back recliner

A push-back recliner differs from other recliners in that it does not always have its own built-in foot rest. Some models will but others come with a separate foot rest or Ottoman which can be moved into the best position depending on your size.

To operate the recliner mechanism you simply lean back and the chair reclines as you go. Some of these recliners will have fixed locking positions, while others will allow you to choose exactly the angle and position that you want.

Electric recliner chairs

These recliners allow you the best control over how far back you recline.

These recliners also usually have many additional features. These can include a heat function, vibration and variable massage, and a swivel option. They are the more expensive choice of recliner, but if you are looking for the best recliner for back pain, then they will be the best recliners to have.

They are operated using a simple remote control which can often be kept in one of the storage pockets on the chair itself. Electric recliners also have the option to rise or tilt and some come with dual motors.

Riser recliner

A riser recliner, as well as having a back rest which reclines, also has a riser or tilt mechanism. This slowly eases the whole chair forwards making it easy for anyone with back pain or mobility problems to stand. The riser mechanism is operated using the same remote control as the other functions on the chairs and as it rises the foot rest will go down.

Dual motor recliners

These provide the ultimate in flexibility and choice. With these recliners one motor operates the reclining part of the chair, while a separate motor operates the foot rest. This means if you want to sit upright with your feet up it is very easy for you to do so, unlike some other recliners. You can even recline with the foot rest down should you wish to do so.

Things to consider

While recliners are very good for back pain, they don’t all have the same features, so you do need to consider one or two things before making a purchase.

  • Budget. This is always a major factor in making any purchase, but if you want the best recliner for back pain you have to be prepared to have a budget which allows you to buy one. A recliner at the lower end of the market will provide you with good back support, but it won’t have many other features to help you.
  • Size. Not all recliners are the same size, so always take into account the space you have available and also how large you are. If you only have a limited amount of space in your room, you can purchase smaller recliners to fit and some can be placed closer to a wall than others. Most recliners have a maximum weight that they can hold and while this should be suitable for everyone, it is always best to check.
  • Space. When placing your recliner always remember to allow room for it to recline. If you place it too close to a wall the back will not be able to recline. Most recliners will give a guideline on this.
  • Power. If you have a recliner which is electrically powered, it will need to be placed close to a socket. If in doubt check the length of the electrical cable to check before you buy.
  • Assembly. Not all recliners require assembly but some do. In most cases this is quite simply putting the top onto the base. Although this sounds quite easy, recliners can be quite heavy and bulky so you may need someone to help you put it together.
  • Recline angle. Not all recliners offer the same when it comes to how far you can recline. Some have fixed recliner points while others offer you complete control over the angle of recline.
  • Warranty. All new furniture should come with a manufacturer’s warranty and a recliner is no exception. Always check this to see exactly how long it is for and exactly what is covered by it.
  • Obviously you don’t want to have to return your recliner, but in case you do, check the suppliers returns policy before you buy. Recliners are large, heavy items and if you experience a problem with it, you need to know that the suppliers or manufacturers will help you with the return.
  • Lumbar support. Most recliners offer this as standard, but it’s worth checking. The right lumbar support will do a lot to help back pain, as it eases the pressure on your lower back when you are sitting down. Supportive foam padding is also often added to the arms and seats and this too can help your pain.
  • Most recliners are covered with fabric which is both sturdy and comfortable, such as leather or a soft fabric. The fabric must be durable so that it can handle the movement of the recliner without splitting.

Additional features

When you’re looking for the right recliner, there are a number of different features which you may, or may not, want to consider. Some of these features are designed purely for your own comfort, while some are designed to help ease muscle pain or help with mobility difficulties.

Foot rest

Most recliners come with a foot rest but they don’t always operate in the same way.

  • Some foot rests are designed to rise as the recliner goes back.
  • Some foot rests operate independently of the seat recliner so you can get the best position for your own needs.
  • Some will require you to move them manually, usually with a simple catch, while others will have their own independent control.

Tilt / rise

If you find it difficult to stand up or simply need a little help, recliners are available with a tilt option. This slowly tilts the chair forwards making it easier to stand.

Heat and massage

Some recliners come with the option of providing you with heat or a massage and these can be a huge benefit for back pain.

  • Heat: If you suffer from back or muscle pain, adding heat can help relax the muscles and ease the pain. It can also help those who feel the cold, such as the elderly, or if you simply want to curl up and relax on a cold night. The heat is normally in the back and seat of the recliner and most recliners which offer this option provide you with several heat settings to choose from.
  • Massage: If your recliner offers massage as an option, this can be very beneficial to almost everyone. There are usually different speeds, modes and intensities to choose from so you can opt for gentle relaxing massage or something a little stronger to help ease your pain. Recliners don’t always have the same number of massage points, so always check where these points are so that you know they will massage the areas you want.


Some recliners also come with a swivel function which is usually 360°.

If you have difficulty moving or standing, this makes it easy to turn your chair so you are facing in any direction you want.

Cup holder

Some recliners have a holder for a cup or glass in the arms. For those who simply want a relaxing evening it means you can recline and relax with a drink at hand. If you suffer from back pain and have problems getting up to get a drink, having one close by means you can sit and rest your muscles as well.

Storage wallet

Storage pockets on recliners are very useful but not all recliners have them. These can be on the front of the arms and at the sides of the chair and are usually suitable for magazines, cell phones, remote controls, eyeglasses and even iPads and tablets.

This helps create a wonderful relaxing place to rest, and means anyone who feels back pain doesn’t have to keep getting up to get the things they need.

The benefits of a recliner

One of the main benefits is that even if you do not suffer from back pain a recliner is a very comfortable place to relax and unwind. There are also many other benefits which they offer.

  • If you suffer from back pain the lumbar support in a recliner can help you sit or lie in a position which eases your lower back so you shouldn’t feel any additional pain.
  • Being able to adjust the angle which you are sitting at makes it easier for you to get your body into the most comfortable position for your own requirements.
  • A heat function can help in many ways. Heat can help relax muscles to reduce pain, and can simply relax the whole body if the weather is cold. In the elderly it can also help them to stay warm in winter and keep them healthier.
  • Massage functions do vary on a recliner and these are very useful in helping to control pain and assist with good blood circulation.
  • Being able to sit in the right position and fully relax also helps to relieve stress.
  • For those with arthritis or mobility problems the right recliner will take pressure off your muscles helping you to stand up with ease.

Top 5 Best Recliners For Back Pain

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when looking for a recliner to help ease muscle and back pain. Here are 5 recliners which all offer different functionality, but which all provide great support for the back.

1. The Esright Massage Recliner Chair

The Esright Massage Recliner Chair is a recliner which offers the best in comfort and support. The upholstery is made from soft, comfortable PU leather which has been filled with thick sponge to make it supportive for the muscles and comfortable to relax on.

The features include:

  • Easy to use remote control
  • 360° swivel action
  • Heat function
  • Massage function

The heat function and massage functions can be used independently of each other, so you can simply warm the chair if you’re cold or to heat and relax your back. This is a useful function for those who feel the cold or are affected by it. If you prefer, you can add the heat to the massage function for a nice, warm massage.

The massage function has 5 different modes, including vibration and kneading, and they all have 2 levels of intensity. All functions are controlled with a very easy to use remote control. This chair is ideal for anyone suffering with back pain as the combination of massage and heat can relax and ease your muscles and reduce pain. It even has a built in safety feature and will turn itself off after 20 minutes.

The recliner will go back to 150 degrees, so you can lie back to fully relax and rest. To operate, there is a lever at the side, which you pull and the seat will go back. The foot rest comes up at the same time, and when you are ready to stand, simply push down on the foot rest and it will return to its original position.

This recliner also swivels through 360 degrees so you can turn to face a table or the TV with ease. This is a very useful feature for those in pain or who have problems with their mobility. It also has 2 cup holders, one on each side, and 4 storage pockets, which can hold cell phones, magazines, eye glasses, iPads and tablets, and of course the remote control. These are very useful as it does mean you can sit without having to keep standing up to get the things you need.

Although the recliner isn’t electrically operated, the heat and massage functions are, so it does need to be sited close to a plug socket.

2. The Lifestyle Power Recliner

The Lifestyle Power Recliner is a great recliner for anyone looking for great support or to help them relax. It is upholstered in stain resistant chenille which is both strong and soft to the touch.

The features include:

  • Electronically controlled
  • USB charger
  • Wallsaver

This recliner is electrically operated and you can choose exactly how far you recline with the simple touch of a button. As you recline the foot rest will rise and the back can go flat enough for you to lie down.  It also comes with a wallsaver design, which means you can place it close to a wall. Even with the recliner fully back, it does not need to be pulled out.

The recliner is electronically operated so you can select the exact angel of recline that you want, and it is operated by a simple button at the side of the chair. Just press forward to go up, or backward to recline.

It even comes with a handy built-in USB charger, so you can use your phone or tablet and not have to worry about the battery running out.

For those with back pain, the style and design offer you the best support whether you are sitting or lying, and the foot rest supports your legs which helps ease your lower back.

3. HomCom PU Leather Heated Vibrating 360 Degree Swivel Massage Recliner Chair with Remote

Anyone with back pain can get help with the HomCom PU Leather Heated Vibrating 360 Degree Swivel Massage Recliner Chair with Remote. For those wishing to sit back and relax it is covered with soft PU leather which is both warm and comfortable, and the design makes it quite simply a stylish addition to any room.

The features include:

  • Heat function
  • Massage function
  • Drink holders
  • Side pockets
  • Swivel action

It has several built-in features designed to help ease and relax tired and aching muscles and help to relieve pain. The heat function warms and relaxes the muscles in the body. It can be used separately to the massage function or at the same time to provide a heated massage.

The massage function has 8 massage points, 1 on each side of the body for the upper back, lower back, thighs and calves. There are 5 different massage modes to choose from, including pulse and press, and it has 2 levels of intensity: high and low.

It has a swivel function of 360° and the back will recline to 150° so you can even layout and sleep on it if you want to.

The chair is operated with a remote control which allows you to choose the exact angle of recline. It also has four storage pockets so you can keep the remote control handy at all times. With a cup holder on each arm, everything about this recliner is tailored for your relaxation and comfort.

If you have back pain then this can help relax you and relieve the pain, as well as provide a comfortable place to sit at the end of a hard day.

4. Best Choice Products PU Leather Massage Recliner

The very stylish Best Choice Products PU Leather Massage Recliner proves that looks can be deceptive when it comes to looking for the best recliner. The back rest is double padded and the seat, arm rest and Ottoman all have soft cushions extra comfort.

The PU leather exterior give it an elegant appearance and the recliner comes with its own Ottoman as a foot rest. While some may see this as a disadvantage, it does mean that people of different heights can move the foot rest into the right position for them, and it can even be moved out of the way if it’s not needed.

The features include:

  • Separate ottoman
  • Heat function
  • Massage function
  • Side pocket

The recliner action is not electrically operated, so to recline you simply lie back and relax.

When you in the right position, you can use the wireless controller to set the heat and massage options to relax and ease your muscles. When not in use, the controller can sit conveniently in a pocket on the side of the chair.

The massage function comes with five pre-programmed massages which have nine different levels of intensity, so you get complete control over the strength of your massage. The massage function can be used on its own or in conjunction with the heat option. There are two different massage modes and these can cover the upper back, lower back, thighs and calves. The massage can also be set with a timer so you can relax and go to sleep and it will turn off when it is finished.

This is a good chair for back pain as it not only provides a supportive place to sit, but the added heat and massage options help control pain and stress too.

5. BONZY Recliner Chair Contemporary Leather Recliner

The design of the BONZY Recliner Chair Contemporary Leather Recliner suggests comfort and style and that is exactly you get.

BONZY have built a reputation for building products which are environmentally friendly while being comfortable and supportive. This recliner has been made with high quality, low emitting materials, and with eco-friendly laminated veneer lumber. Not only is this good for the environment, but it provides a very strong and stable frame.

The functions include:

  • 2 recline angles
  • Strong construction
  • Easy assembly

This recliner has been crafted and finished to create the best support for the back and legs and the high quality of its build means that it will provide you with a comfortable place to rest and relax for many years to come.

The recliner is operated via a simple lever, and has fixed recline points at 110° and 145°, as well as an upright position. As the Ottoman is separate you can choose whether or not you want your legs up as you sit. If it is not needed it can be moved out of the way to create more space.

What this recliner lacks in functions, it makes up for in style and comfort. Everything about this chair is designed to help for anyone with back pain by making sure you sit in the best position and with the right support. Not only that, it is a very stylish and elegant item of furniture.


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