Best Reclining Sectional Sofas Buying Guide

sectional sofas with recliners
sectional sofas with recliners

RNothing is better than winding down after a long day at work on a reclining sectional right in your living room. Lounge and relax, catch up on your reading or watch your favourite TV shows in total comfort; the options are endless.

Your guests will also be able to enjoy the reclining feature, not to mention everyone will surely compliment you on how good your living room looks. Because a reclining sofa is not only comfortable, but it also provides a great way to spruce up any space, no matter how small.

Benefits of having a reclining sectional

1. Recliners are very cosy, providing comfort for all, and particularly for people who might be suffering from certain medical conditions.

2. They also offer the ultimate relaxation, especially when you top your recliner sectional with an adjustable headrest.

3. Reclining sectionals are great for changing or enhancing your living room decor. Thus, you can get a wood frame model on angled legs for a mid-century feel, while a rounded, leather recliner sofa can create a more modern look. Also, a plain, gray recliner can easily become the focus of the room when you adorn it with colourful throws and bold prints.

4. This type of sectionals is quite easy to put together and maintain for long term use. To take good care of your recliner, make sure to follow the instructions that come along with it. Typically, you will only need to wipe it clean with a damp cloth or with a sponge, mild detergent and warm water, or use leather lotion. For polyester recliners, simply wash the cushion covers.

5. Some sectional sofas with recliners require assembly while others come ready to use. There is also that in-between category, where minimum assembly is needed, but this is as easy as attaching each piece at the right angle. Depending on the brand, you may need to use the clips that come with your recliner, while in other cases you won’t need to use any additional tools.

Where a little more assembly is needed, make sure to carefully read the instructions that come along with your model – but generally, reclining sectionals are fairly easy to put together.

Factors to consider before buying your reclining sofa

Reclining type: Manual or Power Recliners

This can be either manual or power. Manual reclining makes use of a handle or lever to tilt the seat, or with some models you simply need to push back, whereas power recliners usually work with the help of a push button and a motor.

Comfort level:

This depends on several factors, such as the firmness of the cushioning, the softness of the upholstery, the reclining type, and the size of the whole product. Make sure the back of the reclining part is tall enough to prevent you from hitting your head on the wall when lounging. The more affordable reclining sectionals might be too short for tall people and offer little to no support for the head.

The upholstery:

Sectionals with recliners come in a variety of material types, from leather to linen, so you only need to determine which of these works better with the rest of your living room.

-Leather is always a popular choice because it is durable, yet soft to the touch, and it can be cleaned easily if needed. If you have a vegan lifestyle, faux leather is also great for your sectional reclining couch.

Make sure the leather is not cheap, especially if you plan to use the recliner sofa on a daily basis; rather than getting the most affordable leather model on the market, you might be better off with faux leather, with a real and faux leather mix, or even with a quality polyester reclining sofa.

An example of how the genuine / faux leather mix works is this: there can be real leather on the seats, arms and cushions, while the sides and back of the recliner can be upholstered in vinyl that looks like leather; the most important thing is that both the leather and the vinyl are high quality.

-Polyester or a polyester blend makes another great option when you prefer your reclining sectional to be comfortable, yet firm. Polyester and faux leather are also a good choice, but note that polyester is less environmentally friendly than vinyl.

-Micro-fiber feels soft and smooth to the touch, which makes recliners upholstered in it even more comfortable than polyester.

-Linen upholstery looks beautiful, but it wrinkles and gets dirty easily, which means the recliner sofa will require more maintenance. While cosy, linen is not suitable for heavy wear and tear areas, so if there are children or large pets in the house, you may want to consider another type of material for your reclining sofa.

-Durable premium fabrics on the other hand don’t require much maintenance and are a perfect choice for formal living rooms. You can even have the fabric tailored to really match your decor, for example with detail stitching and deep button tufting.


The first thing to assess before purchasing your sectional sofa with recliner is the overall build – this should be sturdy enough to withstand the daily wear and tear.

Next, the frame is generally made of solid wood or kiln-dried hardwood with structural frames sometimes manufactured from plywood. The legs can be metal or manufactured wood.

The material filling the seats is typically foam, but some recliner cushioning is made of foam and synthetic fibre. Both are fillings that comfort and support the body while you lounge.

Finally, the upholstery also plays a part in the overall durability of your reclining sofa. Some types of upholstery, such as leather, are treated to be stain resistant and therefore last a longer time than their linen counterparts, for example.

The colour:

This is another important factor to consider, as the colour of your recliner will have a direct impact on the look of your living room, perhaps even more striking than your sectional’s design.

Luckily, there is a wide array of colours to choose from for your sectional sofa with recliners. There are two ways to go about it:

a) Try matching the colour of your new reclining sofa with the colour of your living room walls.

b) However, this might not work well if your walls are already a bright colour. In this case, pick a contrasting colour for your recliner instead.

Similarly, if the walls are a dull shade, then you need a colour that makes your reclining sectional stand out and that breathes new life into your living room. You can also play on the black – white contrast quite nicely; for instance, the white walls of a living room can be beautifully accented by a black sectional recliner.

The shape:

Sectional sofas with recliners come in several shapes, namely: Curved, L-shaped, and U-shaped. L-shaped recliners in particular can be used in small spaces and best of all, they are often reversible, which means you can move the chaise or the ottoman around from one side to the other, as you see fit.

The orientation:

Depending on the size of your living room, the location of the window and door, and your personal preference, you can get a recliner sofa that faces either to the right or to the left, asymmetrical reclining sectional, or a reversible one.

The size:

Take into account the weight and overall dimensions of the reclining sofa to make sure it fits your living room.

Be sure to factor in the total length of the recliner when the foot is extended, as well as the width of both the longest and the shortest sides. If it’s too big for your room, you may need to leave one piece out and rearrange the recliner to fit the available space.

The clearance from the wall and the clearance from the floor to the bottom of the sectional are also important factors to consider. Also think about the height of the seat from the floor and its depth and width – especially if there are any young children or elder adults in the house, for whom getting on a very tall or a very deep seat may be too difficult.

The seating capacity:

It is worth thinking in advance how many family members you expect to be using the recliner, as well as how many friends you typically have over. Larger recliners can accommodate 6 people at once, while models designed for smaller spaces usually have a seating capacity of only 3.

Weight capacity:

This can vary quite a bit, depending on the sturdiness and size of the reclining sofa. It ranges between 300 and 1200 pounds, though most can support 500 to 600 pounds.

The number and type of pieces included in the price:

You can purchase a 2-piece reclining sectional which includes the sofa and the chaise, or a 3-piece model, with the sofa, loveseat, and the wedge.

Arm and back type:

Most recliner arm types fall into one of these categories: pillow top arms, round arms, or square arms, but some sectionals are actually armless. It is up to you to decide which type better suits your living room theme.

Also, the pillow back is the most widespread kind of recliner back on the market. Check whether the model of your choice comes with removable cushions and figure out their location – typically these are the back cushions.

The firmness:

For some people, a medium firm reclining sectional is truly relaxing, while others may find it too uncomfortable.

That is why it’s best if you can test the firmness of the recliner sofa before purchasing it, for instance in the manufacturer’s showroom or at your local retailer. Bear in mind that the cushioning is bound to give in with use and thus become more soft than it was initially.

The seat construction:

Sectional sofas with recliners are built on coil spring, web suspension, sinuous springs, or both pocket and sinuous springs. If you have a preference, make sure to read the specifications before you buy the product.

The extras:

The extra features you can get with some reclining sofas are not necessarily a must-have, but they are a nice way of increasing your comfort and relaxation levels.

-Some recliner brands come with 1 or 2 toss pillows included.

-Others have hidden storage spaces, usually under-seat, for you to put away extra pillows and blankets. You can typically access it manually, but fancier models feature gas-lift storage for extra comfort. An additional storage drawer is sometimes available on the side of the reclining chair, as a bottom drawer.

-Some models also come with a cup holder, while on others one of the seats, typically next to the recliner chair, can be lowered to turn into a drop table with cup holders in a built-in pocket, perfect for keeping your drinks, snacks and controllers handy when watching TV.

-For your convenience, there are reclining sectionals out there with USB docks; these are conveniently located on both ends so that you have no trouble charging your electronic devices.

-Adjustable headrests are another cool feature to have when chilling on your recliner. This way, you can easily adjust the headrests to both your height level and your friends’.

Reversible reclining sectionals are great, especially for small spaces as you can place the chaise on either side of sofa.

-Top manufacturers usually provide certifications for their reclining sectionals; these include certificates of compliance with NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and BHFTI (Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation) Upholstered Furniture Flammability codes, in addition to being GSA approved.

Product warranty:

When provided, this typically extends from 6 months up to 1 year.

Shipping and delivery:

These are often overlooked, but they matter just as much as the other factors to make sure your reclining sectional doesn’t arrive to you damaged.


With so many reclining sectionals available, you have many options for your living room, but make sure to weigh all the factors to determine the features your home needs the most.