Electric Recliners Vs Manual Recliners – Know The Difference

The key distinction between a power and manual recliner is in the way they’re adjusted.

Power recliners use an electric motor and remote control for easy changes in recline, footrest, and more. Manual recliners rely on a lever or pull mechanism activated by your body’s weight.

Power recliners offer convenience and customization, while manual ones are simpler and more affordable. If you want to know more, keep scrolling the page.

What Are Electric Recliners?

Electric recliners, as the name suggests, are reclining chairs that can be adjusted using an electric motor. They come with a remote control that allows you to effortlessly change the reclining angle, footrest position, and even the lumbar support and headrest settings in some models.

This advanced technology provides a whole new level of comfort and convenience, especially for individuals with mobility issues.

What Are Manual Recliners?

On the other hand, manual recliners operate without the need for electricity.

They typically feature a lever or a pull mechanism that allows you to adjust the reclining angle and footrest position by using your body’s weight.

While they may lack the automated features of their electric counterparts, manual recliners have a classic charm and are generally more budget-friendly.

Power vs. Manual Recliner Comparison

Let’s break down the key differences between power and manual recliners in a side-by-side comparison:

AspectElectric ReclinerManual Recliner
ConvenienceEffortless adjustments with remote controlRequires manual effort to recline
FeaturesCustomizable settings (lumbar, headrest, etc.)Basic reclining functionality
MobilityIdeal for individuals with mobility issuesSuitable for most users
Price RangeHigher cost due to advanced featuresMore affordable option
MaintenanceElectrical components may require upkeepMinimal maintenance requirements
AestheticsModern and sleek designClassic and timeless appearance

Pros and Cons of Electric Recliners


  • Customization: Tailor your seating experience with various settings for optimal comfort.
  • Mobility Support: Perfect for the elderly or those with limited mobility, offering easy adjustments.
  • Advanced Features: Some models include massage and heating functions for added relaxation.


  • Higher Cost: The convenience comes at a price, with electric recliners generally being more expensive.
  • Dependency on Electricity: Power outages can render the electronic features unusable temporarily.
  • Maintenance: Electrical components might require occasional repairs or maintenance.

Pros and Cons of Manual Recliners


  • Simplicity: Straightforward design with fewer components that could potentially break.
  • Budget-Friendly: Generally more affordable upfront compared to electric recliners.
  • Reliability: No dependency on electricity; they work consistently without power.


  • Manual Effort: Adjustments require physical effort, which might be challenging for some users.
  • Limited Features: Lack the advanced customization and extras found in electric models.
  • Less Accessibility: Not as suitable for individuals with mobility constraints.

Can You Manually Recline a Power Recliner?

Yes, you can manually recline a power recliner.

If the power is not available or the motor malfunctions, there’s usually a lever or a pull mechanism that allows you to adjust the recline angle by using your physical effort.

power recliners can be manually operated

This ensures you can still use your recliner even when the power is out or the motor isn’t working.

How to Manually Recline an Electric Recliner?

Here’s a simple guide on manually reclining an electric recliner:

  1. Locate the Release Lever: Find the manual release lever on the recliner. It’s usually located near the bottom of the chair, sometimes hidden beneath a flap or cover.
  2. Lift the Flap or Cover: If there’s a flap or cover over the release lever, lift it gently to access the lever.
  3. Gently Pull the Lever: Pull the release lever towards you or in the direction indicated. This action disengages the electric motor’s lock.
  4. Apply Backward Pressure: While holding the release lever, apply gentle backward pressure on the backrest. This will start the reclining motion.
  5. Adjust the Recline: Gradually release the release lever while keeping the backward pressure. This will allow you to adjust the recline angle to your comfort.
  6. Lock in Position: Once you’ve reached your desired recline, release the lever completely. The recliner should stay in the chosen position.
  7. Test the Lock: Push the backrest slightly to ensure it’s securely locked in the new reclined position.

Remember, manual reclining on an electric recliner might feel a bit different from a dedicated manual recliner, but these steps should help you enjoy a comfortable reclining experience.

Do Power Recliners Need to Be Plugged In?

Yes, power recliners need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. They use electricity to operate the motor that controls the reclining mechanism. Plugging them in allows you to use the remote control to adjust the recline, footrest, and other features.

power recliners should be plugged in power outlet

Keep in mind that without being plugged in, the power recliner won’t work, but some models might have a manual option for reclining in case of power outages.

Which Type of Recliner Is Right for You?

The choice between an electric and manual recliner ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences.

If you value convenience, have mobility issues, and are willing to invest in advanced features, an electric recliner might be the perfect match.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that offers simple comfort without the frills, a manual recliner could be your best bet.


In conclusion, choosing between an electric recliner and a manual recliner is all about balancing convenience, budget, and personal preference.

Evaluate your needs, explore various models, and take your time before making a decision.

Whether you opt for the high-tech luxury of an electric recliner or the simplicity of a manual one, your comfort and relaxation are what truly matter.

Remember, comfort is key, and the right recliner can transform your leisure time into a truly enjoyable experience. So, go ahead and take the plunge into the world of recliners – your well-deserved relaxation awaits!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Better to Get a Power or Manual Recliner?

Deciding between a power recliner and a manual recliner depends on your preferences. Power recliners provide effortless adjustments through an electric motor, making them great for convenience and mobility.

Manual recliners are simpler and budget-friendly but require physical effort to adjust. Consider comfort, mobility, and budget when making your choice.

Which Recliner Mechanism Is Best?

The Leggett & Platt mechanism is renowned for its durability and smooth operation. A popular choice, it offers reliable and comfortable reclining motions, ensuring lasting satisfaction. Opting for a recliner with the Leggett & Platt mechanism can ensure enduring comfort.

Do Electric Recliners Use a Lot of Electricity?

Electric recliners do use electricity, but it’s typically moderate. They consume around 100 to 300 watts, comparable to other common household devices. While they might slightly increase your energy bill, the comfort and convenience they offer often outweigh the energy cost.

Arshad Afridi
Hi, I'm Arshad Afridi, a furniture enthusiast with 3 years of experience in the recliner, chair, and sofa industry. I have a passion for creating comfortable and functional furniture pieces that enhance the beauty of any space. Join me on my blog as I share my expertise and insights on the latest furniture trends and design inspirations.