What is the difference between a sofa and a recliner?

Megan Smith
 min read

What is the difference between a sofa and a recliner? And which one should you choose?

what is the difference between a sofa and a reclinerHave you noticed how many sitcoms constantly show people sitting on a sofa?

And let’s face it, what’s not to love about a couch?

If you’ve chosen well, it looks good and offers a sublime resting place after a long, hard day.

What is the difference between a sofa and a recliner? Introduction

Google ‘seating options for small living rooms’, and you’ll be served with 57,613,000 hits in less than 2 seconds.

With anything from couches and rocking chairs to loungers and loveseats and a few more, the choice is astounding and overwhelming.

Despair not, and read on!

Some of us want or need something more than just a gathering point in a room.

The idea of being comfortable for hours on end is supremely attractive, but after a while, a regular sofa may make you feel somewhat stiff.

And that’s not what you want while you’re binge-watching that sitcom.

Which is better? Sofa VS Recliner chair

We love ’em. We love ’em both.

But as in everything else, recliners and couches both have their own particular pros and cons. So let’s find out what these are.

A sofa is multi-purpose.

It looks good, you can sit on it, and is the go-to place for an afternoon nap.

Some even consider it as a space saver as a two-seater will take up less space than two single armchairs.

On the other hand, a recliner is more versatile.

Granted, you can sleep and sit on it just as you would on a sofa, but it is definitely easier to place than its static cousin, given that it needs less space.

Thanks to its adjustment possibilities, it can also allow for a better and longer rest.

Nothing better than a recliner to rest your weary bones on!

Tip: Two types of recliners exist: Powered recliners and manual recliners. Read How does a manual recliner work? to learn more!

Why purchase a recliner chair instead of a couch or sofa

So you’re doing up your living room, and you find yourself in a quandary: To recline or not to recline?

And that, in a nutshell, is the fundamental question you need to ask yourself.

Reclining chairs provide a wonderfully comfortable seat that can be adapted to fit your own particular physical needs.

On the other hand, sofas are seldom adjustable.

However, they do offer a better seating option to snuggle up with someone, or if you’re just inviting some friends around to watch NFL Sunday Night Football, NBA TV, or The Super Bowl.

What are reclining chairs?

As the name implies, they allow you to sit in the same place while tilting back to a chosen angle.

Not only that: They elevate the feet to give the user the ultimate comfort in moving from vertical to horizontal with minimal effort.

Modern recliners originally entered the stage in the first half of the 20th century.

Thanks to their level of comfort and practicality, they instantly became a best-seller.

And there’s nothing to suggest that it’s going to change any time soon.

Interested in more information? Then read our related article What kind of recliners are there? for more in-depth information.

Advantages of sofas

If you’re short of space and into entertaining, a couch is your best bet.

You can choose from any size, style and material to fit your taste, and you’ll thank yourself for it the next time you’re inviting people over.

It can be used as a bed if you’re having people over and nowhere to put them up for the night.

You don’t have to worry about anything except making sure that it can fit in the intended space.

Advantages of recliners

On the other hand, a recliner chair is a more flexible piece of furniture.

Not only is it used as a chair, its adjustability means that you can sleep on it with a higher degree of comfort.

It takes up less space than a sofabed, so you should seriously consider this option if you have a problem with that.

Recliners are ideal for relaxing after a long day.

You can sit back in comfort in front of the TV and catch up on your favorite programs or watch a movie.

Power recliners require no physical strength to operate, so you don’t have to worry about physical issues.

Buying tip: Check our best recliners for plus-size men list and discover the best heavy-duty recliners!

The adjustable parts are usually sectional, so you can choose different angles individually.

This means that not all parts need to recline simultaneously or in relation to one another.

Why are recliner chairs better than sofas?

We love our sofas. Seriously. They look good, feel good and provide a safe haven in a turbulent world.

But recliners go just that step further. They provide relief from the pressure of sitting down.

They also enhance blood circulation and prevent swollen feet through the actual action of reclining.

Recliners are excellent at giving comfort to sore joints, too.

What is the difference between a sofa and a recliner? Conclusion

So, if you’ve established what is it exactly what you need from your new purchase, there are numerous options out there.

A recliner is marvelous for relaxation and comfort and any physical issues are immediately thrown out of the window with its versatility.

The same goes if you’re planning on spending long hours using it.

On the other hand, a sofa (or a sofa bed) provides additional seating.

Still, it will need more space and, in the long term, is not as comfortable as a recliner when it comes to lying down.

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More