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Best Recliners for Back Pain: 11 Surprisingly Stylish Options

Best Recliners for Back Pain
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updated: May 30, 2024

From weekend naps to late-night lounging in front of your favorite TV show, a good recliner chair is a must if you want to add more comfort and coziness to your space. And, if you’re experiencing back pain, finding the right recliner for your particular needs can be a great way to ease those tired muscles so you can finally relax.

According to Nicole Reiss, PT, DPT, COMT, & Clinic Manager at Potrero Physical Therapy in San Francisco, the best way to scout out a good recliner chair is through trial and error. “I’ll often tell patients to take note of how they feel sitting in different chairs. You can even test chairs when you go to someone else’s house. It doesn’t necessarily mean you buy that particular chair, but do you like sitting in that type of chair? Does it give you good back support? Can your feet rest comfortably on the floor? That’s usually where I advise patients to start out, so you can hone in on the features that will be the best fit.”

Read on for some of the key features to look out for when you’re shopping for a new recliner chair.

What to consider when buying recliners for back pain

The size of the chair

According to Reiss, it’s common to experience discomfort in your recliner chair if it isn’t the right size for your particular body. She explains, “if a smaller person is sitting in a wider chair, that often will not give you enough support. Depth can pose an issue as well. For example, if you can’t sit upright in the chair without your feet dangling, or without the chair cutting into the back of your calves, then the chair might be too deep for you. And if you’re a shorter person, then that might be uncomfortable. So it’s important to find a chair that’s the right size for you.”

Comfort features

Recliner chairs are available in a wide variety of styles and a range of features. Which features you prioritize though, will depend on what type of back pain you’re experiencing. Reiss shares, “It all depends on what’s going on. For example, heat functions can be very helpful for people experiencing nerve pain, and also arthritic and muscle pain, so if those issues are at play you might consider a recliner with a heat function.” For lower back pain, Reiss says, “lumbar support is key, so you want a chair that has firm padding and support in that lower back area.”

Some recliners also come with massage functions (like you’d see in a massage chair), which can be beneficial for back pain. Just make sure not to overdo it! Says Nora Fantry, licensed massage therapist, “It can feel nice to press on muscles that are hurting, but you also want to be gentle and take breaks to make sure you don’t inflame those painful areas with too much pressure.”

Your furniture layout

As Reiss points out: if you want to make sure your recliner chair is comfortable for you, location is key. “Orientation of the chair is so important. If you’re using the recliner to watch TV, does the chair fit into the space so that you can face the TV dead on? Because if you have to turn your head or neck to focus on what you’re doing, that can cause or exacerbate pain issues. You want the chair to really fit comfortably into that space.”

Our top picks for best recliners for back pain

Best budget recliner for back pain: Furniwell Massage Recliner Chair

A sleek design, elegant faux leather, the ability to fully recline, and even massage functions—all at a budget friendly price. The Furniwell Massage Recliner Chair is perfect for sitting, lying and sleeping. With full 170 degree recline capability, this chair is the ideal way to capture those zen vibes. This recliner is made from quality leather and soft padded sponges, the kind you’d expect from much more expensive items. Thickened backrest and headrest make it ideal for long sessions of relaxation.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 29.1" D x 19.5" W x 38.5" H
  • Weight: 56.5 pounds
  • Material: Leather
  • Type: Wingback
  • Price on publish: $124.99

What we like:

  • Very nice price
  • Extremely comfortable for the money
  • Simple to assemble

What we don’t like:

  • Chair is a little small
  • No wireless remote available

The bottom line:

For those looking for a recliner at a real bargain, this is the ideal chair for gaming, reading and everything in between.

Best budget recliner for back pain
Furniwell Massage Recliner Chair for Living Room Adjustable PU Leather Reclining Chair Home Theater Seating Modern Winback Single Sofa for Adults with Footrest (Leather, Black)

Furniwell Massage Recliner Chair for Living Room Adjustable PU Leather Reclining Chair Home Theater Seating Modern Winback Single Sofa for Adults with Footrest (Leather, Black)

Best recliners for lower back pain: ASHOMELI Infinite Position Dual Motor Large Power Lift Recliner Chair with Massage and Heating

This recliner features a thick, comfortable cushion for ultimate support, heating and massage functions, and also allows you to lay flat to take the pressure off the lower back. Full-body vibration and 180 degree tilt recline are features that make this chair premium quality. A USB charging port allows you the convenience of charging your devices, while also unwinding. Dual motor massagers and a study metal frame are a great addition for the price.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 40.5" D x 40.5" W x 40.9" H
  • Weight: 110 pounds
  • Material: Leather
  • Type: Power lift recliner
  • Price on publish: $699.00

What we like:

  • 2 separate side pockets for storage
  • USB charging port
  • Timer setting for extra convenience

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews say it reclines too slowly
  • Some reviews say it’s not long enough for very tall people

The bottom line:

This chair offers a bevy of features that are sure to help anyone dealing with some soft of back pain, or those just looking for some extra relaxation.

Best recliners for lower back pain
ASHOMELI Infinite Position Dual Motor Large Power Lift Recliner Chair with Massage and Heating

ASHOMELI Infinite Position Dual Motor Large Power Lift Recliner Chair with Massage and Heating

Best recliners for neck and back pain: Osaki Sonno Zero Gravity Recliner

These quality Osaki recliners relax the neck and back through zero gravity, a position that takes pressure off the spine. The recliner also features air massage functions and a leather neck pillow. The 3 Cell Full Spinal Air Massage system provides precise compression that is therapeutic for all. This beautiful chair is designed in a contemporary style and should fit seamlessly into any space. The ability to combine and customize different massage modes is a very welcome feature.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 37" D x 29.3" W x 42.1" H
  • Weight: 110.4 pounds
  • Material: Leather
  • Type: Zero gravity recliner
  • Price on publish: $1,999.00

What we like:

  • Contemporary design style.
  • Lumbar heating
  • Terrific for small spaces

What we don’t like:

  • Chair not ideal for taller users
  • No side storage

The bottom line:

With 11 various heat and air massage modes and additional customizability, the Osaki Sonno Zero Gravity Recliner is great for relieving pressure and dealing with back pain.

Best recliners for neck and back pain
Osaki Sonno Zero Gravity Recliner

Osaki Sonno Zero Gravity Recliner

Best luxury recliner for back pain: Svago Swivel Zero Gravity Recliner

Everything about this chair screams quality—from the sleek, modern design, to the sumptuous leather upholstery, adjustable foot and head rest, and massage functions—all at the touch of a button. It comes in three elegant colors, and its zero gravity recline offers a new way to access the deepest depths of relaxation. 280 degrees of swivel also make this one of the most practical chairs available.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 35"D x 33"W x 49"H
  • Weight: 131.2 pounds
  • Material: Leather
  • Type: Zero gravity recliner
  • Price on publish: $3,199.99

What we like:

  • Remote control is intuitive and gives full access to all features
  • Leather seat is very soft
  • Headrest and footrest are both adjustable

What we don’t like:

  • Coiled cable for remote
  • Faux woodgrain side not ideal for all

The bottom line:

Whether your wish is to quickly dose for a nap or take a longer session to massage and decompress your spine, the Svago Zero Gravity Swivel recliner is an excellent choice.

Best luxury recliner for back pain
Svago Swivel Zero Gravity Recliner

Svago Swivel Zero Gravity Recliner

Most compact recliner for back pain: Persaud Upholstered Recliner

This recliner is stylish and unique, as well as slim and compact so it fits into your dorm room, studio apartment, or tiny home and adds charm and character to any space. The 160 degree tilt capability transforms this chair into the ultimate recliner for unwinding. With a premium polyester material, this chair is both lovely on the exterior and built for comfort inside. Nailhead trim detailing adds an extra element of style that you don’t always see in recliners. (If you’re looking to also upgrade the rest of your living room furniture, check out our guide to the most comfortable couches.)

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 41.25'' H x 27.5'' W x 34.75'' D
  • Weight: 62.17 pounds
  • Material: Polyester
  • Type: Manual push back
  • Price on publish: $325.99

What we like:

  • Minimal assembly required
  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Ideal size for small space

What we don’t like:

  • Only available in two colors
  • Footrest can be difficult to close for some

The bottom line:

The Perasuad Upholstered Recliner offers a classic look at a reasonable price, and looks very beautiful in a reclined or standing position.

Most compact recliner for back pain
Persaud Upholstered Recliner

Persaud Upholstered Recliner

Best recliner for back pain for older adults: SENYUN Power Lift Recliner Chair with Heat & Vibration, Massage Lift Recliner

Lift chairs help older adults and people with mobility issues; at the press of a button you can raise or lower the chair to make it easier to get up and down. This power lift chair boasts hundreds of 4+ star ratings, and it also features both heat and vibration. The chair’s overstuffed padding is soft to the touch and easily allows you to sink into ultimate comfort. The eight point massage system covers nearly everything and the easily operable remote makes it ideal for young and old. To top it off, the easy two-button recline options on the side of the chair make it simple to unwind.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 32" D x 36" W x 41" H
  • Weight: 125 pounds
  • Material: Textile
  • Type: Power lift recliner
  • Price on publish: $295.98

What we like:

  • Silent lift motor
  • USB charging port
  • Timer for heat control functions

What we don’t like:

  • Chair is ideal for those under 6’0”
  • Only darker colors available
  • Delivery costs extra

The bottom line:

With thoughtful storage space, USB capability, and a plethora of heating and massage options, this is a feature-packed power lift chair.

Best recliner for back pain for older adults
SENYUN Power Lift Recliner Chair with Heat & Vibration, Massage Lift Recliner for Elderly, Short-Pile Fabric Lift Reclining Chairs for Home Living Room, Dark Coffee

SENYUN Power Lift Recliner Chair with Heat & Vibration, Massage Lift Recliner for Elderly, Short-Pile Fabric Lift Reclining Chairs for Home Living Room, Dark Coffee

Most customizable recliner: La-Z-Boy Charlotte High Leg Reclining Chair

This chair has hundreds of color and pattern options, and you can even design your own! This means you can customize your chair to work in almost any space imaginable. No matter what fabric you choose (there are 383 options), the tapered wooden legs and tailored silhouette give the chair a sophistication you don’t necessarily expect from a recliner.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 33.0" W x 35.0" D x 38.5" H
  • Weight: 77 pounds
  • Material: Fabric
  • Type: Push back recliner
  • Price on publish: $799.00

What we like:

  • 2 position recline
  • Very small and lightweight
  • Fabric feels high-quality

What we don’t like:

  • Ideal for smaller users
  • Best for users under 5’9”

The bottom line:

For a quality chair that is beyond expectations of quality and comfort, the Charlotte High Leg Reclining Chair is a great place to start looking.

Most customizable recliner
La-Z-Boy Charlotte High Leg Reclining Chair

La-Z-Boy Charlotte High Leg Reclining Chair

Best recliner for sleeping: Pantasis Power Recliner Rocking Chair with Adjustable Massage Function

This chair allows you to fully recline so that you’re laying flat. It’s also built with thick, soft cushions so that laying on it is like sleeping on a cloud. Plus, it features massage capabilities, and best of all, heating functions—so you can drift off while staying cozy on a chilly day. With a fabric designed to be more breathable and soft padding throughout, the Pantasis Power Recliner is a comfortable chair for anyone.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 40.5'' H X 32'' W X 36.6'' D
  • Weight: 92.4 pounds
  • Material: Fabric
  • Type: Power recliner
  • Price on publish: $439.99

What we like:

  • Upholstery material appears durable
  • Side pockets conveniently hold remote and other items
  • Reinforced steel frame seems very strong

What we don’t like:

  • Chair not ideal for taller persons
  • Unavailable in black color

The bottom line:

If your goal is total relaxation, this theater style recliner from Pantasis is a fantastic chair with multiple massage features and classic comfort.

Best recliner for sleeping
Pantasis Power Recliner Rocking Chair with Adjustable Massage Function

Pantasis Power Recliner Rocking Chair with Adjustable Massage Function

Most innovative recliner for back pain: Gravis Zero Gravity Recliner with Air Massage

This innovative chair features zero gravity capabilities, heat functions in three different zones, air massage technology, not to mention an innovative design that evokes a mid century modern aesthetic.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 45" L x 30" W x 49" H
  • Weight: 400 pounds
  • Material: leather and wood
  • Type: zero gravity recliner
  • Price on publish: $5,499

What we like:

  • Heat functions in three areas
  • Sleek modern design
  • Fully adjustable

What we don’t like:

  • Very expensive

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a high quality recliner that has all the latest features, this is a great choice

Most innovative recliner for back pain
Gravis Zero Gravity Recliner with Air Massage

Gravis Zero Gravity Recliner with Air Massage

Best manual recliner for back pain: Nerviano Manual Recliner

The Ashley brand is known for quality furnishings, and this manual recliner has a lot to offer. The plush polyester cushions are soft and cozy, while its “zero wall” design is a great space-saving feature. It boasts a 4.6 star rating with over 100 reviews, and it comes in three earth tone color options.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 33.50" W x 42” H x 37” D
  • Weight: 90 pounds
  • Material: Polyester
  • Type: Manual recliner
  • Price on publish: $328.95

What we like:

  • Easy assembly
  • Space-saving design
  • Affordable price point

What we don’t like:

  • Not a lot of color options

The bottom line:

Comfortable, practical, and affordable; this is a great manual recliner chair to suit every budget

Best manual recliner for back pain
Nerviano Manual Recliner

Nerviano Manual Recliner

Best modern recliner for back pain: Lilly Recliner Chair

Ultra sleek and stylish, the Lilly is a hip recliner chair that blends seamlessly into any home’s modern design. It also comes in a wide variety of gorgeous color options, and you can further customize your chair by choosing between various different fabric options, including velvet, leather, and more. The comfortable seat cushion is constructed with high density foam, and the retractable footrest adds an extra level of comfort.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 32" W x 39" D x 41" H
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Material: customizable
  • Type: pushback recliner
  • Price on publish: $3,057 - $4,280

What we like:

  • Ultra modern design
  • Highly customizable with many different fabric and color options

What we don’t like:

  • Very expensive

The bottom line:

If style and design are your top priority, this recliner is a great choice.

Best modern recliner for back pain
Lilly Recliner Chair

Lilly Recliner Chair

How we selected the best recliners for back pain

I started by researching the top recliner chairs available on the market today, comparing and contrasting the range of different features offered between models. I also considered other factors like price point, color options, size, and style. Then I consulted with experts to better understand what people with different types of back pain might gravitate towards in a recliner chair. Finally, I compared the recommendations of experts against the highest rated options on our list, to select the best recliners for back pain.

How recliners can help alleviate back pain

A recliner chair can help alleviate your back pain by allowing you to rest in a comfortable position, or to lay down and take the pressure off of your spine. Depending on the features of the recliner chair, it may also help alleviate back pain through heating or massage functions, or by allowing you to rest in a “zero gravity” position that elevates the feet and reclines the back, enabling a relaxing weightless sensation.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Does a recliner help with back pain?

A recliner chair can certainly help alleviate back pain, provided that you select a chair with features to suit your particular pain conditions and needs. It’s key to find a chair that provides comfortable support in any pain areas, like a lumbar cushion for lower back pain, or neck support for upper back and neck pain. Other features, like heat, vibration, and massage functions can also help alleviate an aching back.

Physical therapists will typically recommend finding a chair that supports good posture and spinal alignment. Says Reiss, “finding a good recliner chair for your particular pain needs is highly dependent on not just your condition, but also how it presents for you specifically—so for best results, always consult your physician.”

If you are looking for support while you rest, consider investing in a mattress for back pain (or at least a mattress topper for back pain.)

How do you sit in a recliner without hurting your back?

If your recliner chair is hurting your back, you may have the wrong chair for your needs—or you may just need to take a break! Reiss explains, “no one is going to just sit for 6 hours and feel amazing, so we always recommend that people, if they can, take breaks from sitting to stand up and move around; that’s still one of the best things you can do for your muscles, nerves, and joints.” Reiss also suggests making sure the chair is the right fit for your body, neither too big nor too small, and that the cushions are providing enough support.

Why does my back hurt after sitting in a recliner?

According to Reiss, “there could be a few reasons. One thing to look at is how soft the chair is: we do like support, so a very squishy chair might be uncomfortable. Also if the chair isn’t giving enough low back, or mid back support, that can lead to discomfort. Because of course, your thoracic spine and your lumbar spine play off each other, so if you’re not getting that upper spine support, that could be an issue. So in short, if your back hurts after sitting in a recliner, look at how deep the chair is, how soft it is, its height, and whether it offers enough support.”

Are recliners for back pain suitable for everyone?

Each person’s body is unique, so you may have to try out several chairs or even consult your physician if you’re unsure whether or not a recliner chair will alleviate your back pain. But given the wide selection of recliner chairs on the market, and the plethora of available features, styles and designs, most people will find a recliner chair that is comfortable for their body and can help alleviate their back pain.

Which recliners are recommended for people with degenerative disc disease?

Reiss suggests consulting your doctor for recommendations, as they will be most familiar with your particular symptoms: “Degenerative disc disease can present very differently in different patients, so your body is your best guide for what feels comfortable for you,” she says. “Always consult your doctor with any specific questions or concerns.”

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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