Reclining furniture was invented in 1930 and has become an increasingly popular choice. If you take a trip to a furniture store, you'll see many different types and styles of recliners on display. With such a wide variety of styles and reclining mechanisms, it can be difficult to choose the right recliner for you. We have created this simple guide to explain what the main types of recliners are, and how each type works.
Manual Action Recliners
Manual action recliners are the most popular type of reclining furniture. They are simple to use and have no power cables, so they can be located and operated anywhere in your room. Manual recliners are usually operated with one of two mechanisms.
The first is a simple pull handle located on the side panel of the sofa or chair. Pulling this handle releases the kickboard, allowing the sofa or chair to lean back into a fully reclined position. To reset this type of recliner, you have to push the kickboard back down with your legs. This can be difficult if you have poor strength in your legs.
The handle on this type of recliner is connected to a cable that releases the mechanism. This cable can often stretch over time or snap altogether. The handle itself can also break with heavy use.
The second type of manual recliner also uses a handle located on the side panel of the sofa or chair. To operate this type of recliner, you simply pull the handle to an upward position, which releases the kickboard. You can then lean back to achieve a fully reclined position. The difference between this type and the first type is that to reset this second type of recliner, you do not have use your legs to return the kickboard to its original position. Instead, you simply use the handle again, this time pushing it downwards.
Electric recliners use an electric motor to power the reclining mechanism. To operate an electric recliner, you simply press one button to extend the kickboard, and another to retract it. The buttons on an electric recliner are most commonly found on the side of the recliner itself, but can also be on a hand-held remote control.
Electric recliners usually get their power from an electrical outlet, but some manufacturers offer recliners with rechargeable battery packs. These eliminate the need for a nearby electrical socket. Battery packs usually last for around 150 cycles between one recliner position and another before they need to be recharged.
Power recliners are a great choice for people who find manual recliners difficult to operate.
Pros of Electric Recliners
- There is no need to use physical strength to operate the mechanism.
- Unlike manual recliners, electric recliners allow you to stop the kickboard at any position, which is ideal if all you want to do is rest your ankles.
Cons of Electric Recliners
- You often need to position the recliner close to an electrical socket.
- Trailing wires can be dangerous and unsightly.
- Electric recliners are more expensive to buy and repair than manual recliners.
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