Are Reclining Sofas Bad On Your Back? (Pros & Cons)

Reclining Sofas

Reclining sofas can have both positive and negative effects on your back. On one hand, they provide the option to adjust and find a comfortable position that supports your back and relieves pressure. However, prolonged use in an improper position or with inadequate lumbar support can lead to strain and discomfort. It is important to find a reclining sofa that offers proper ergonomic support.

Are Reclining Sofas Bad On Your Back?

Reclining sofas are often seen as a luxurious and comfortable addition to any living room. They provide an option to relax and recline while watching TV, reading a book, or taking a nap. However, when it comes to the impact on your back, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

  • Lack of Support: One of the main concerns with reclining sofas is the lack of adequate support they provide for your back. Unlike traditional sofas that have a firmer structure, recliners often have a more relaxed and cushioned design. While this may feel comfortable initially, the lack of proper support can lead to strain on the muscles and spine over time.
  • Poor Posture: Another issue with reclining sofas is the tendency to slouch or adopt poor posture while using them. When reclined, it is common for people to lean back and let the chair take their weight, resulting in a rounded spine and uneven distribution of pressure. This can put stress on the back, leading to discomfort and potential long-term issues.
  • Limited Movement: While the ability to recline can be appealing, spending long periods in a reclined position can restrict movement and reduce the natural range of motion in your back. This lack of movement can contribute to stiffness, muscle imbalances, and decreased flexibility, all of which can be detrimental to your back health.
  • Preexisting Conditions: If you already have back problems or conditions such as herniated discs, arthritis, or spinal stenosis, reclining sofas may exacerbate your symptoms. The lack of support and poor posture can put additional strain on these areas, leading to increased pain and discomfort.

Pros & Cons of Reclining Sofas

Reclining sofas have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their versatility and comfort. However, like any furniture piece, they come with their own set of pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of reclining sofas:


  • Comfort: Reclining sofas provide superior comfort and relaxation. They allow you to adjust the angle of the backrest and footrest, providing optimal support to your body. This added flexibility allows you to find the perfect position for lounging, napping, or watching your favorite show.
  • Health benefits: Reclining sofas can offer some health benefits. By allowing you to elevate your legs, they promote better blood circulation and reduce swelling in the lower limbs. Additionally, reclining can help alleviate back pain and pressure on the spine.
  • Versatility: Reclining sofas come in a variety of styles and sizes to fit any living space. They can be found in different materials, colors, and designs, making it easier to find one that complements your existing decor.
  • Entertainment features: Many reclining sofas now come equipped with entertainment features such as built-in USB ports, cup holders, and storage compartments. These added features enhance the overall experience by providing convenience and functionality.


  • Space requirements: Reclining sofas generally require more space compared to regular sofas due to their extended footrests. This can be a drawback for smaller living rooms or apartments with limited space.
  • Limited seating capacity: As reclining sofas typically have larger dimensions, they may not offer as many seating spots as regular sofas. This can be a disadvantage when entertaining guests or hosting large gatherings.
  • Assembly and maintenance: Some reclining sofas can be more complex to assemble and disassemble compared to regular sofas. Additionally, the moving parts and mechanisms require occasional maintenance and can be prone to wear and tear.
  • Cost: Reclining sofas tend to be more expensive than regular sofas due to their additional features and mechanisms. This can make them less affordable for some individuals or families on a tight budget.

How to Choose a Reclining Sofa for lumbar support?

When choosing a reclining sofa for lumbar support, it is important to consider several factors to ensure maximum comfort and support for your lower back. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make the right choice:

  • Look for adjustable lumbar support: Opt for a reclining sofa that offers adjustable lumbar support. This feature allows you to customize the firmness and position of the support to suit your individual needs. By being able to adjust the lumbar support, you can ensure proper alignment of your spine and relieve pressure on your lower back.
  • Check the cushioning and padding: The quality and thickness of the cushioning and padding play a crucial role in providing lumbar support. Look for sofas that have generous padding in the lower back area and provide firm support. A combination of high-density foam and supportive webbing can help alleviate pressure points and promote proper posture.
  • Consider the reclining mechanisms: Different reclining mechanisms offer varying degrees of lumbar support. Opt for a sofa that provides a full range of reclining positions, including options to adjust the angle of the backrest and footrest separately. This way, you can find the most comfortable position to support your lumbar region.
  • Test the sofa in person: It is always recommended to try out the reclining sofa in-person before making a purchase. Sit on the sofa and pay attention to how it feels on your lower back. Ensure that it provides adequate lumbar support and allows you to recline without straining your lower back.
  • Look for additional features: While lumbar support is essential, consider additional features that can enhance your overall relaxation experience. Features like built-in massage functions, heat therapy, or even USB charging ports can add to the comfort and convenience of the reclining sofa.

What Is The Best Reclining Angle When Sitting?

best reclining angle when sitting

Experts endorse the off-loading sitting position. The angle is 20 levels to the front, a part of the seat. They also recommend a 135° body thigh sitting posture as the best position.

However, it is best to try out different reclining angles until you find the one best fits you. Also, consider visiting a chiropractor to get a professional opinion on your best sitting position.

How To Test If Your Reclining Chair Has Lumbar Support?

While checking for lumbar support for your sofa, fully recline the sofa without anybody sitting on it. Look at the point where the seat and its back meet. If there is an opening where your body, especially the back fits in, that chair has lumbar support, but if the space is unnaturally big, the chair will cause backache over time.

You can also sit on the chair while fully reclined and feel if it helps your lower back.

Additionally, when you slouch or hunch when seated, it’s far obvious that your chair is bad for lumbar support. Finding a chair with appropriate lumbar support will sort all this out.

It is worth noting that rise and recline chairs come in different sizes, and you should get one that fits you. This means that you can choose a chair with the proper width, top, and depth.

It is also crucial to be aware that not all rise and recline chairs provide lumbar support. So, you should be precise about your preferred features, focus on what you want, and highlight what you need your chair to remedy. Shopping for your reclining chair from corporations that understand and care about health problems may be a good way to get the right one for your needs. 

How To Find The Proper Recliner For Your Frame

Proper Recliner For Your Frame

When finding a recliner that best fits you, there are some steps you can follow to help you out.

Step 1: First, you need to know how tall you’re. A few of the available recliner sofas in the marketplace are normally sorted out in line with different heights. When seated, your feet should bend at a ninety-degree angle. This guarantees that your legs are not dangling off the edge while in a reclined position.

Step 2: Test the seat out while at the shop. When purchasing online, make sure that the company has a return policy that lets you replace your chair if it’s too big or small.

Step 3: The very last step is choosing a seat that will match your house decor.

Can A Recliner Sofa Hurt Your Lower Back?

Yes, recliner chairs can cause back pains when you use them without proper lumbar support. When you use a chair with a gap between your lower back and the chair, you may start slouching after a while.

Slouching can stress your lower back muscles and cause backache.

When Are Recliner Seats Right For You?

After a surgical procedure, doctors normally suggest that you use a reclining chair. It assists in easing your pain and relaxing your body.

When you spend a lot of time on your feet, a recliner may be useful when you need to loosen up after work. The recliner sofa relieves the stress on your lower back if it fits you nicely.

When Is A Recliner Seat Bad For You?

Recliner seats aren’t good for individuals who spend a lot of their time seated. Spending an entire day seated and then coming home to your recliner may be bad for your health.

Generally speaking, an excessive amount of sitting is never a good thing; recliners encourage you to remain seated for long hours due to their comfort. The human body isn’t designed for just sitting and doing nothing all day.

Does Sleeping On A Recliner Cause Neck Pains?

Yes and no, depending on how you sleep. Sleeping on a recliner requires that you do it on your back. This way, your neck, and your back are supported. When sleeping on your side or stomach, you’ll experience neck pains because your neck will have no support.

A small pillow to hold up your head and neck can help reduce the chances of hurting your neck.

Health Advantages Of Using A Recliner

A recliner can be beneficial for your fitness, as explained below: 

1. It Improves Your Mental Health

After a hectic day at work, it is important to loosen up and relax. This minimizes the negative feelings from piling up and resulting in mental health problems. When your body endures stress, whether mental or bodily, there can be adverse effects like heart attacks or stroke. A recliner offers comfort to loosen up and occasionally improves blood circulation in your body.

2. It Helps People With Mobility Issues

Some chairs have power lift functions that make it easy for all people with a disability to get on their feet. The aged can use these chairs to ease their life.

3. They Are Suitable For Pregnant Women

In pregnancy, women experience back pains due to the extra weight in their womb. Recliners provide a calming sitting position, facilitating weight redistribution on their back. Recliners with appropriate lumbar support can be very helpful, and on occasion, pregnant ladies may choose to sleep on them instead of sleeping on the bed.

4. Comfort

Some recliners offer zero gravity functions which will let you lean back and take the strain off your joints.

What Are The Different Types Of Recliner Seats?

Type of reclinerAdvantages or features.
Lay flat recliner1. Creates a full layout position for ultimate comfort
Rocker Recliner1. Suits nursing mothers and insomniacs
2. Best for sleeping
3. Rocks back and forth
Glider recliner1. Rocks back and forth in a horizontal motion
2. Very similar to rocker recliners.
Power recliner1. Similar to the traditional recliner, except they are electric and don’t need manual power to recline
2. They are customizable
3. It has an infinite range of seating positions
Lift recliner.1. They are suitable for people with disabilities 
2. They can move from a sitting position into an upright position. 
3. Doctors recommend them for people with weak knees, legs, or hips
Push back the recliner. 1. They recline without a lever or button; the user has to push the back part of the seat to recline.
2. It is suitable for people who don’t mind putting in some effort in sitting or standing
Swivel recliner.1. The sofa can move from left to right
2. The chair offers a full range of motion
Wall hugger recliner1. Requires limited space and wall clearance to recline
2. The chair sits up straighter than the other recliners
3. Has a limited range of motion
4. The chair has a very comfortable resting position to get in and out of
Zero gravity recliners.1. Distributes weight accordingly and boosts blood circulation
2. Improves lung capacity and functions
3. Reduce swelling points
4. Relieves back pain
5. It is considered the best reclining sofa
Chaise lounger1. Offers support for your back and legs It is longer than most of the other seats

Final Thought

Recliner sofas are not bad for your health; they may be useful in reducing back pain and enhancing your overall health. However, long hours on the chair may be bad for your health. But, always buy a reclining couch with lumbar support to avoid hurting your back. 


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