What does user height mean for a recliner?

William Adams
 min read

What does user height mean for a recliner? Your body measurements are the basis for determining the recliner’s seat height, width, and depth, and the back rest and arm rest heights.

What does user height mean for a recliner

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your proposed recliner is not too large so that it fits in the room where you want it. That means also measuring the recliner in its reclined position.

Don’t lose money and time on a recliner when you’re unsure if it will fit your house and body type.

It’s essential to know the dimensions of the space you’re planning to install the recliner. These dimensions limit the size of your reclining chair.

On the other hand, the recliner also needs to be big enough for your body to fit in comfortably. Be sure to have a look at our comparison of the best heavy duty big and tall recliners for comfort.

Just like everything in life, don’t go into your reclining chair hunt without being prepared! Make sure you won’t regret your purchase.

What does user height mean for a recliner? Your body measurements are the starting point

What does user height mean for a recliner? In short, if you want to buy a recliner online, you’ll need to measure your body.

Because if you don’t, you’ll have to test around and evaluate each chair at local (and not so local) furniture stores for size and comfort.

Use this measuring tape method to measure (and of course write down):

  • the length of your lower legs, going from your heel to the back of your knee
  • from your tailbone to the back of your knee
  • the distance between your elbow and the side of your hand palm where your fingers start
  • your body’s width from your right hip to the left hip

Later on in this post, we’ll clarify why these specific measurements are so so so important.

What does user height mean for a recliner? Knowing your body size allows you to find the perfect recliner size

Once you have your measurements, or after shopping and testing recliners at regional shops, some tips will help you know how to find the right-sized chair.

For the proper back assistance, there should be no space between your lower back (or tailbone) and the back of the recliner when seated against it.

The distance from your tailbone to your knees must be the length of the recliner chair’s seat cushion.

When seated, not reclined, your feet need to rest flat on the floor without dangling or extending past where your heels are resting on the ground.

This will develop great knee and back support while also allowing proper blood circulation in your legs and feet.

Your armrest should go from your elbow to your hand. The back of your palm should rest at the end of the armrest for proper wrist assistance.

In other words: the armrest should be as long as your arm length, which goes from the elbow to hand.

At the same time, the chair’s width must allow at least a small space of about 1 inch between the armrest and both hips.

In a fully reclined position of the chair, your feet need to easily fit the edge of the footrest. This means that they shouldn’t be dangling over the edge.

At the same time, your feet also shouldn’t lay halfway on the footrest.

Otherwise, the reclining chair will not offer the best possible support for your back and legs.

How to determine the size of your space

Do you have a small, empty space around the house, and are you wondering if a reclining chair would fit there? Or is it the other way around: are you unsure if a recliner would fit in your cramped apartment?

There are a few things you should know to answer these questions. The most important ones are the dimensions of the recliner (and, of course, your space).

First up is the recliner’s width, which is measured from the outer edge of one armrest to the other.

Second is the reclining length. This is measured from the top edge to the bottom edge of the footrest while the chair is reclined.

Next up is the location where you want to install the recliner. Measure the width and length of the area to see if the recliner will fit.

Let’s take a look at an example. Suppose your fully reclined chair is 73 inches long and 36 inches wide. In that case, you will at least need an area that’s 80 inches long and 45 inches wide.

Don’t forget that you should also be able to reach the lever. Another example is when your (grand)children jump in the recliner.

This can cause the chair to slide back a little because of the impact. Or maybe you’d like to have a little table next to your recliner!

What does user height mean for a recliner? The user’s measurements determine the size of the recliner

There are 5 crucial measurements you need to size a reclining chair:

What does user height mean for a recliner? Height of the backrest

Measure the backrest’s height from the bottom of the seat cushion to the top of the backrest itself.

The backrest needs to be large enough to support the user’s head when sitting straight up in the chair.

If this isn’t the case, they might have neck stress or head drooping.

Read our other articles How tall should a recliner be for a tall person? and What is a high back recliner? for more detailed information on the height of your recliner chair.

Width of your seat

Seat width needs to be measured from the inside of one armrest to the inside of the other.

There should be at least a 1-inch gap on either side of the user’s hips/thighs to ensure that the arms sit effortlessly on the armrests.

A chair that’s too broad can encourage sagging or bending in the chair. On the other hand, a chair that’s too narrow can rub against the body, causing pain or pressure ulcers.

Depth of your seat

To get the best seat depth measurement, you need to measure from the front of the seat cushion to the front side of the chair’s backrest.

When the user relaxes against the chair’s backrest, the cushions need to be deep enough to support the entire upper leg, from butt to knee.

This keeps the back supported and distributes their weight evenly to avoid pressure on your body’s weak points.

Make sure that the seat isn’t too deep as well. This can put excessive pressure on the back of the knees and make the user slide in their seat.

Height of the armrests from your seat cushion

The armrest’s height is measured from the middle of the seat, on the inside of the armrest. You then measure up from the top of the seat cushion to the top of the armrest.

The arms must rest correctly, with your shoulders in a relaxed, neutral position. Armrests that are too high can cause neck and shoulder pain.

On the other hand, armrests that are too low make it more challenging to get in and out of the chair.

Height of the seat from the ground

How do you precisely measure the height of the seat from the ground? Measure the distance between the floor and the top of the seat cushion.

You may not realize it yet, but this is a crucial measurement! It triggers sagging if the seat is too high. This is because the user often tries to get comfier by getting their feet on the floor.

It’s also troublesome if the seat is too low to the floor. It can endanger blood circulation in the lower legs, which causes swelling and other discomforts.

For example, it also creates excessive pressure on the butt, which increases the danger of pressure ulcers.

Frequently Asked Questions about recliner sizes

Does the sizing change if the recliner is used for sleeping?

Seat sizing doesn’t need to change if the chair will be used to sleep in. If the sizing is done correctly, the user can recline comfortably to any position.

Sometimes people like their chair to be slightly bigger than fitted, so there is space for bed linen.

This is usually the case if the reclining chair is often used to sleep in.

Should my feet touch the floor in a recliner?

Absolutely they do!

More than 90% of the user’s body weight is put on the buttocks and thighs if the feet aren’t supported. This can easily lead to joint pain and other discomforts.

It might seem obvious, but if the user can’t touch the floor, it suggests that the seat is too high.

This is often the case with short people who are less than 5 feet tall.

The right recliner size turns out to be too expensive, so they leave their feet hanging…

To avoid slouching, poor blood circulation, and pressure sores, we advise a made-to-measure recliner chair in these cases.

You can get custom-made sizing, so you’ll get a knee to hip angle as close to 90 ° as possible and keep your feet flat on the flooring.

How do you measure your body for a recliner chair?

When you want to measure your body for a recliner chair, it’s absolutely not the same as measuring a table for your kitchen!

You want to know if the recliner will fit around their body. This crucial step is often underrated or forgotten by new buyers.

It’s pretty easy as well! All you need is a measuring tape to make the measurements! We recommend using a stiff measuring tape in inches because this is the most frequently used unit for recliners.

A stiff measuring tape allows the most accurate measurements when sizing a reclining chair. But if you’re using a fabric measuring tape, make sure it doesn’t bend around the recliner’s body.

An easily bent measuring tape will be hard to accurately measure vertical distances. This can cause false measurements, and worst case, an uncomfortable chair.

Do I need to take the measurements while seated in a recliner chair?

If possible, it’s best to take measurements while seated in a recliner chair. That should provide you the most accurate measurements. It isn’t necessary. Using a dining chair to take the sizes can work as well.

To help you on your quest for the perfectly sized recliner, here’s a final tip.

Is the owner-to-be unable to stand up straight to take measurements?

Ask them to spread their arms like a scarecrow. Their height should roughly be the furthest distance between their arms, going from fingertip to fingertip.

What does user height mean for a recliner? Conclusion

What does user height mean for a recliner? This article teaches you which parts of your body influence the size of your recliner chair and how you can measure these yourself.

These measurements will then serve to find a recliner chair that is a good fit for you in terms of seat height, width, and depth, but also back rest and arm rest height.

Lastly, you need to make sure that the recliner will fit where you want it.

Therefore, take into account the size of the recliner in its reclined position and any environmental limitations like a wall behind you or a side table you want to have nearby.

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