What to Look for in a Rocker Recliner


When shopping for a rocker recliner, you want a chair that feels good, looks good and will stand up to several years of use. Rocker recliners combine such features as neck and back support, a variety of recline positions and rocking motion to create a versatile, comfortable chair for watching television, reading, knitting and lulling children to sleep. And though comfort is important, style, functionality, durability and affordability are essential as well. Many models today are designed with both comfort and style in mind and are available in a range of prices to fit most any budget.


  • If you’re shopping for a rocker recliner, comfort is likely a high priority. Comfort is why you choose a rocker recliner over a standard arm chair. To measure comfort, it’s important to physically sit in and try all models you are considering, even if you plan to buy your chair online. Find a chair that fits or adapts to the proportions of your body. To be fully comfortable, the chair’s seat should be roomy enough to comfortably accommodate the width of your body. And, as Consumer Reports points out, if you are buying the rocker recliner for a nursery, you should add in the extra width of a cradled baby and a nursing pillow. Many models are specially designed with extra wide seats for those who require it.

    The length of the foot rest is also important to the comfort of the chair. It should be the right length to properly support your legs. Feet that hang over or don’t quite reach won't be as comfortable. If you’re taller or shorter than average, you may want to consider a rocker recliner with a separate ottoman for greater versatility.

    Proper head and back support are essential as well. The chair back should be high enough to support your head and support it in a comfortable position. Many models offer sectioned backs or adjustable head rests and lumbar support for optimal comfort that adjusts to your needs.

Rock, Glide and Recline

  • How the chair rocks and reclines is another key issue. Does it rock smoothly? Is it a glider rather than a rocker? Gliders move horizontally back and forth, rather than rocking in an arc. This, among other things, makes it possible to elevate your feet while in motion as many glider recliners come with a gliding ottoman for added comfort. You may want to try both options before purchasing.

    The recline mechanism is also an important factor. Some rocker recliners recline with the push of a button, others use a lever or simply push back into the reclined position. Try all rocking and reclining mechanisms out to see how smoothly they work, how sturdy they feel and how easy they are to maneuver from the sitting position.


  • Though rocker recliners of the past tended to be bulky and somewhat unsightly, modern versions work hard to blend with the look and proportions of the room. Some offer sleek, modern designs with a wide range of leather, vinyl and fabric options to match an array of decors. Leather chairs come in full leather or a combination of leather and vinyl at less expense. And, for a harmonious living room look, some living room sets are designed with matching recliners included, which stylistically blend with the rest of the set.

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