How Should a Recliner Fit?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Let’s face it, sitting in a reclined chair is relaxing and can help you unwind but, the challenge is just finding the right one. It needs to not only fit in your home but you should only fit into it properly. Thus, it is important to figure out how a recliner should fit.

How Should a Recliner Fit?

A recliner should fit in a way that your feet are resting at the footrest edge when reclined and at 90 degrees when sited upright. Your back and neck should be comfortably supported and your head should also be able to easily lay on the cushion.

Your arms should comfortably sit on the armrest from your elbow to the end of your palm.

How Do You Buy the Right Recliner?

Getting fitted for your recliner seat will prevent unnecessary aches. The first point to consider is your eight. Different recliners are built for different heights.

Some of the common body size measurements include:

Two leather recliners in a bright room
  • Petite- 5’4” and below
  • Small- 5’5” up to 5’9”
  • Tall- 5’10” up to 6’2”
  • Super tall- 6’3” upwards

Having determined your size, you should ensure then evaluate how the recliner fits on the pressure points.

When you sit, your knees should be bent appropriately at 90 degrees. Your feet should have no problem touching the ground. Your shoulders should comfortably fall into the space between the back cushions.

As you lay back, you need to have perfect lumbar support. The middle cushion should easily fit into the natural curve of your lower back. It should not exert too much pressure as this may cause backaches.

Your head and neck should lie comfortably on the cushion without straining your neck or your spine. After reclining, your feet shouldn’t dangle too far off the edge.

The Armrest

An important factor to consider when selecting a recliner is whether the armrest fits or not. Other than comfort, the armrest can also offer support when standing or sitting.

You can tell if the armrest fits is by measuring it against your hand. The length should be equal to the length from your elbow to the end of your palm.

The reason for this is so that it can provide ample elbow and wrist support when you are relaxed. Laying your arm on the armrest should leave you in upright good posture.

If your shoulders are hunched, curved or shrugged at rest, then that is not the recliner for you. It will lead to aches and discomfort.

You should also consider the space between the armrest and your hips. You shouldn’t fit snugly into the recliner. There should be a gap to allow you to easily adjust when trying to find the best position.


It is important to consider what you require from your recliner. You should consider not only who the recliner is for but also what they intend to do with it.

A manual recliner can be maneuvered by pushing and a handle on the side of the chair.

If it is for an elderly person or anyone with mobility issues, you can get a power recliner which is motorized through a button. The durability of the motor is also quite durable.

A rocking recliner can allow you to rock in the recliner position. It is perfect if you have a new-born in the house. It can help to soothe them.

A lift recliner can assist you from a standing position to a seated position thanks to its ability to move from a fully standing position to a zero gravity stance. It works through a button.

Two people sitting in a recline with one sitting in the armrests while holding a laptop

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Measure a Recliner?

When planning to buy a recliner or any furniture, you need to always consider the physical space available in your room in comparison to the size and the shape of the recliner. This can be done by taking measurements of both your space and the recliner.

Measure your recliner’s width and reclining height and compare it to the room’s measurements. For a recliner to fit comfortably, you need to leave enough moving around space. For instance, if your recliner measures 72” x 36”, it would best fit in a space that measures 80” x 40”.


The best fit for a recliner is where your feet are comfortable at the edge of the footrest. They should not dangle too far off, otherwise, you will not be comfortable.

When buying a recliner, you also need to consider important factors such as the functionality and how it fits into the space in your house. You should also choose a recliner with a comfortable armrest.

Brett E.

Brett E. is the Owner of  Brett comes from a long line of craftsman and foreman, and has been involved with the construction and renovation world ever since he was a boy while working for his families construction and remodeling company.  After graduating with a a degree in Interior Design, Brett is the go to guy for any interior design or remodeling questions!