How Does a Manual Recliner Work?

William Adams
 min read

What exactly is a manual recliner, I hear you ask. How does a manual recliner work? and what does it do?

how does a manual recliner work

What is a manual reclining chair?

It's quite simple, really. A manual recliner chair is a seat that can move back into a reclined position without using electricity.

The most typical ones use a lever to move it into place, but there are other types, too.

How does a manual recliner work? Introduction

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Manual recliner chair chairs can be operated in two ways: Either by (1) a lever mechanism or (2) entirely by hand.

A manual recliner has simple maneuverability, but the downside is that it offers fewer reclined positions than an electric one.

Usually only two reclined positions are possible: Either upright or reclined.

How to move to a reclined position?

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Some manual recliners use a "push/pull" movement to move from a seated upright position to a reclined.

Some change position simply by the user pushing on the armrests while leaning back against the backrest.

As the word 'manual' implies, the user changes the position and then uses body weight to adjust the shape and extend the footrest.

There are several reclined seating choices.

You should push forward on both arms while seated, and the tilt-in-space action holds you in a fixed position with the hip and the back angles remaining in ratio.

It's pretty simple to move to a reclined position. While seated, you push forward on both arms, and the footboard will rise to a horizontal position.

The chair then moves downwards to a reclining position by leaning on the back.

To reverse that, all you have to do is simply push on the footboard and the chair will return to a seated position.

Difference between manual recliners and power recliners

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Manual recliner chairs are somewhat simpler than power recliners.

They can be put anywhere you like (you don't need a nearby power outlet) and they tend to be less bulky.

And thanks to some imaginative designers, most manual recliners don't look like a typical recliner.

They're also lighter than their electrical cousins as they don't have a motor and additional parts inside.

Discover even more differences between the two models in our related article Can power recliners be operated manually?

Difference between recliners and sofas

Read our article What is the difference between a sofa and a recliner? to discover all the distinctions between the two options.

Not recommended for people with (temporary) mobility problems

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Of course, we cannot shower praise on these chairs without pointing out some of their drawbacks, the most significant of which is the added effort it needs to push it back.

If that is a problem, a manual is not the right choice. But happily, not all manual recliner chairs are the same.

Some have a mechanism that defines specific models as stressless because they are easier to push back.

Manual reclining chairs are powered by your arm, body, and shoulder weight.

Reach down and raise the footrest, and then you can go through the different reclining positions with your body weight.

We must point out that you've just had surgery or are overweight or older, you really should consider a power recliner. It will be a lot easier.

Check our buying guide Best recliners for a heavy person if you wish to discover the most comfortable models for heavier people!

How do you recline a recliner by hand?

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To recline a manual chair, pull on the lever at the back or underneath the chair, and move it to a comfortable position.

Changing back is simple: Just pull up until you discover your preferred angle.

Some manual chairs have a lever on the side while others lie underneath.

It's easy to change how far back or how much of a recline you want from your recliner.

But if you have issues with your upper mobility ability, then you may need someone else's help.

If this is the case, try to choose a chair with a lever found on the side, which will make it easier to operate.

Some models come with an adjustment control near your head, allowing you to quickly change position without having to reach back or beneath the chair.

Many are hand-operated.

Usually, you'd have to push on the armrests while leaving on the back simultaneously and then use your body weight to change the chair and extend the footrest.

The occupant then utilizes their body weight to change the chair shape and extend the footrest.

How does a manual recliner work? Analysis of benefits and drawbacks

The advantages of a manual recliner chair

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Manual recliner chairs are easy to operate and perfect for those wanting one that uses their body weight while having an overall body and back assistance at all times.

When bringing back the chair to an upright position, you might hear some noise.

Don't worry, it's completely normal. You haven't broken it.

A manual recliner chair is the cheaper option when compared to an electrical one.

It doesn't need any setup and is easy to use for those who want to avoid problems with the cords or plugs that come with electric chairs.

The downsides to utilizing manual recliner chairs

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A manual recliner has less advantages than a power recliner for plus-size or obese persons with mobility problems.

You'll have to adjust the reclining chair manually and they have fewer locking positions.

You'd also need sufficient arm space to maneuver the chair comfortably.

About William Adams

I’m an engineer and a happy plus-size individual myself. I love to blog online if I can have a positive impact on the lives of others. I help other plus-size people with in-depth product guides to make shopping for products and services less stressful in their busy lives. Read More