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In the modern world, we spend a lot of our time sitting down, and it’s actually very damaging to our spinal alignment and posture. If you spend hours at your desk without moving, you could be developing a bad back like millions of people around the world.
This issue goes bone deep. Even if you try to take some time off to rest and let your back recover; because of the alignment issues, it’s not easy to get back to 100%. We put a lot of stress on our back everyday, from squats at the gym, to poor sleeping positions, to spending all day on the computer—all this takes a heavy toll on our backs, wearing down joints and putting immense pressure on the spine.
Even at rest, our weight is already more than enough to pull at our bodies, and all the extra pressure from day to day activities wreaks havoc on our back. This intense back strain can cause a lot of pain, and can result in low-quality of life, and even addiction to prescription painkillers.
The best way to address any impending back issues is to find seating that adapts to our natural body posture and gives it support. Control your back pain before it controls you!
We’ve also reviewed the best massage chairs here, check the guide.
Why Am I Always Getting Back Pain?
Back pain can be caused by gaining weight, pregnancy, or just regular aging. Occasionally, it can also be a symptom of a more serious condition, like rheumatoid arthritis, or a slipped spinal disc. Temperature changes can also make your back more sensitive, making heat therapy a possible option for pain relief.
Pain may also be the result of your activities. If you’re into weightlifting, you might find your back aches a lot more after a day in the gym. Overdoing it with fitness is a big cause of back pain. While it’s good to get exercise, if you don’t pace your routines properly or you fail to warm up enough before you get started you could cause serious injuries and back pain.
For the most part though, you can chalk up your back pain to bad posture for a prolonged period of time. Slouching over a table causes unnecessary wear and tear on the joints, and can deform posture. The lack of lumbar support in many chairs—both in the office and the home—is also why many people are advised to get up to stretch every couple hours to avoid compression of the nerves.
Unfortunately, in the modern world, it’s hard to escape sitting down for hours at a time, so to really prevent back pain from worsening, you’re going to need to attack the problem at its source, you’re going to need to invest in healthier seating arrangements. The best recliner for back pain can be the source of rest and relaxation that you need.
What is a Recliner?
Recliners are, at their most basic, your average easy chair with a reclining function. They’re not just your grandpa’s worn, cozy armchair. A regular chair keeps you seated upright, and this position puts a lot of stress on the lower back. A recliner eliminates that problem by allowing you to shift your position with angles and rests that will let weight be better and more evenly distributed all over your body. No single body part will experience extreme stress, so your lower back will feel comfortable and more relaxed, allowing you to stay seated for longer periods.
Nowadays, recliners are designed with more elaborate features, such as improved arm and footrests, ergonomic headrests, and massagers. A good recliner can address specific muscle strain conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. You can put your feet up, completely lie down, or simply recline—you’ll definitely be able to settle into the most comfortable position for you in a recliner. Many of them come with remote controls, making them ideal for people with more limited mobility.
An excellent recliner will get a lot of use in the home, so it’s a great long-term investment. But because of all these added features and new products on the market, it becomes difficult to single out that model that’s just right for you. It’s not even a matter of choosing which chair feels a lot softer anymore. You can go beyond a plain armchair and pick one kitted out with the bells and whistles, like vibrating massagers and warmers. Because of all these choices, a lot of people go to the store, get overwhelmed, and return home without buying anything.
Top 5 Best Recliners for Back Pain Reviews
Save yourself the trouble of going through a million webpages and reviews by reading our quick guide. We’ve compiled a short but comprehensive list of the best recliners for back pain you can choose from this 2019, and made an FAQ to help you decide.
You won’t be looking at your average cushioned easy chair here. These picks have unique features that can ease back pain, improve your posture, or simply make you feel pampered after a long day on your feet.
#1. Full Body Electric Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner
A favorite amongst comfort junkies, this electric recliner is guaranteed to roll away those knots and stiffness with its Japanese massage style known as Shiatsu, which uses pressure points to promote balance between the mind and the body. Sounds a bit hippy-dippy, but after you’ve sat in this chair for a couple of hours and tried out the heat and vibration features, you’ll feel like you’ve found yourself your own personal spa.
There are other massage settings you can try so you can pick the ideal mode to ease your back strain. We highly recommend that you try out the combination of tapping and kneading, as the pressure variation will feel fantastic on exhausted limbs.
This stylish option is available in three different colors and has an elongated footrest. It’s perfect for stretching out and relaxing. Just pick your preferred heat settings, tilt that seat, and get the hang of the remote so you can choose your desired massage style. Who needs a trip to the masseuse when you can set one of these up at home?
It comes with airbags for various parts of your body like your wrists and hips, giving additional support and promoting better circulation to problem areas. The intuitive control panel makes it easy to customize for even the most tech-challenged user.
Because of all the add-ons, this model is a bit difficult to assemble, and it’s kind of heavy. We suggest that you assemble it on the spot where you already intend to place it to save you some lifting. It’s also one of the more expensive models on this list, but it does come with a three-year warranty that will save you maintenance and repair costs.
#2. Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800
The Kahuna remains a constant favorite when it comes to recliner recommendations. It has plenty of cushioning and six possible programs to knead and tap your joints, and provides air massages for your shoulders, calves, and arms thanks to its specially placed cells. These air massages spread out pressure through your whole body in waves, soothing tight knots and swollen joints.
It comes with dual rollers for your feet and a unique yoga positions preset. Using this program, you’ll be able to stretch out your muscles and shake off the lingering pins and needles. Yoga is also known to help improve flexibility, which makes this a good pick for people who are recovering from surgery, or maybe just want to strengthen their joints.
The 3D full-body scanner is one of its biggest selling points, as it can identify which areas are under the most stress and require more TLC. You can also change the intensity of the massages you receive, and use its zero-gravity customization to adjust the recliner’s angles and provide support no matter which way you’re sitting or lying down.
This chair is also a huge space saver as it’s neatly and compactly designed—this makes it perfect for smaller areas in your house or office. It’s also a breeze to maintain as it’s washable and made from very durable materials. It is a little complicated to assemble, but some elbow grease and extra help from a friend will get it done. The Kahuna is also one of the more budget-friendly recliners on this list—you won’t have to break the bank if you choose this chair!
The Kahuna is also programmed to automatically turn itself off after thirty minutes. This is wonderful if you’re forgetful, but a problem if you want to use its electronic features for several hours. It also doesn’t support mp3 playing, but if you want to have soothing background music while you get massaged, you can easily set up your mobile phone or another portable device.
#3. Mac Motion Oslo Collection Recliner
The Mac Motion Oslo is a handsome high-end recliner with a top grain leather finish. Its separate ottoman gives you plenty of room to stretch out your legs and prop up your feet. Since it’s separate, there’s also no need to adjust the footrest’s height, your reclining position will simply naturally adjust to your height.
The ergonomic design of the Mac Motion Oslo takes the pressure off like magic and helps undo all those little persistent knots throughout your back. It comes with a 360-degree swivel allowing for ease of movement, so there’s no need to stand up to get that mug that’s juuuust out of reach!
The gorgeous design makes it look professional and polished—you just might be able to sneak in this beauty into your office. Imagine getting to bask on a memory foam seat without being worn out by hours of typing!
The adjustable incline gives this chair more flexibility, and the additional foam seating core only bolsters the memory foam layers to provide all the support you need in the workplace. However, the design limits the height range of those who will feel most comfortable in this chair. If you’re taller than six feet or very short, this may not be the recliner for you.
It doesn’t have as many fancy features, and it’s not that cheap. If you’re set on getting a chair with more add-ons, this might not the model for you. But if you want a luxurious recliner that gives you some killer lumbar support, I strongly recommend the Mac Motion Oslo. They also have great customer service ready to give you a hand and answer your questions.
#4. Homelegance 9668BRW-1 Glider Reclining Chair
The Homelegance is particularly classy as it has a bonded leather finish and elegant nail head trim, making it a fancy addition to any home. It’s also very simple to use as it focuses primarily on using cushioning and size to ease your back pain—no fiddling with complicated instructions if you buy the Homelegance!
Its roomy seating space is ideal if you have a wider lower back area, perfect for those who need a lot of hip and butt support. That makes the Homelegance especially comfortable after sitting in ill-designed chairs all day. You can even have another person recline with you—that’s how much space this recliner provides! The larger model means you’re going to need more space in the room for it in your living room, but we’d say it’s worth it! A cramped recliner is useless!
There’s a small lever at the side of the recliner that makes adjusting the angle a snap, and it has padded head and backrests that will provide excellent lumbar support.
The recline angle is more limited on the Homelegance 9668BRW-1 chair, so it won’t go beyond eighty degrees, which can be a deal-breaker if you’re set on reclining further back or need a certain angle to ease your back pain. The vinyl material is also not that durable, so you’ll have to maintain the upholstering carefully.
But if you’re looking for a basic recliner with a few simple extra features, it might be a good pick for you, as it’s one of the least expensive choices on this list.
#5. Cozzia Dual Power Recliner
Sitting in zero-gravity sounds like a tagline from the space age, but the Cozzia Dual Power Recliner is a sleek design that makes the impossible, possible. The effect on your back is unbelievable—it eases so much of the pressure that you would normally feel on your spine. The adjustable head and footrests operate independently, and will help you find that perfect angle for lounging.
The Cozzia Dual Power Recliner’s build may look less sturdy, but it’s actually made of strong beech wood and good quality leather. Don’t let the lighter look fool you—it can provide support for up to 400 pounds, so even if you’re resting the full weight of your back and lying down, you’re not going to fall and hurt yourself. Though it’s a minimalist little creation, the Cozzia packs a small but powerful motor. It’s also very quiet, so you can have a lovely midday nap without any rude awakenings. Picture yourself watching your TV shows in your comfy Cozzia, without a loud motor whirring over the music or dialogue.
It even comes with a memory foam pillow that you can detach and position for maximum comfort. The cushion’s foam molds to your limbs and provides an extra layer of softness that will keep your spine from aching. The controls are also very easy to use, so you can set those massage timers and heat therapy with just the press of a button.
If you’re experiencing most of your aches in your lower back and your butt, this is not as padded as our other recliners on this list—you’re better off with some stronger cushioning for your behind. It’s also a bit more expensive, but the chair incline is so easy to customize and the numerous features make it worth it the price tag.
What Should I Consider Before Picking a Recliner for Back Pain Relief?
Now that we’ve shown you a range of options, think about which factors are most important to you before you make a final decision. The first concern is always your budget. Set a particular price point which you can use as a baseline, and if you are eyeing extra features that you’d like, you can decide how much you’re willing to spend above that point to get them. You may not be as willing to spend more for a cup holder in the armrests, but that vibrating ottoman and head massager might look mighty attractive for a little extra dough.
It’s also good to factor in how much weight a model can bear. If you’re a bit heavier, you’ll need a sturdy recliner that can support your weight. While more flexible recliners mean better angles, they may not be able to bear more pressure and pounds, damaging the chair and putting you in danger.
Material is also key; some fabrics are more prone to wear and tear, and might not as easy to maintain because of the way they were upholstered. Some materials will bring up the price of the recliner, but end up making it sturdier, like leather. It can also just come down to a matter of preference. Maybe you want a recliner that fits the decor, or maybe you have a certain aesthetic in mind. If you’re planning to spend that much money on a recliner, you don’t want to hate it on sight!
Check if you’re fine with getting a manual model, or if you would prefer an electric recliner. Manual models are always much simpler and less expensive. Electric recliners are pricier and mean a small increase in your power bill to use all the features—heating therapy is just not possible without electricity.
Lastly, consider how much extra you’re willing to shell out for a recliner with a certain warranty. Some warranties only cover repair, maintenance and replacement for a handful of years. Others have a lifetime warranty, and this definitely comes with a premium price tag. You could also be willing to just get a money-back warranty, which won’t fix your malfunctioning new recliner, but will at least guarantee that you are properly refunded.
Benefits of a Recliner
If you do not own or use a recliner chair, you are missing a lot. Many of us know that the benefit of recliners is comfort. There are several other benefits of recliners, including the following:
- Alleviate all tensions and pains on your back by relieving strain and pressure from the spine.
- Prevent the elderly people from developing back and joint pains.
- Help in preventing problems such as spinal, neck and shoulder pains that are caused by incorrect posture of your body when sitting.
- Help you position your body to the most comfortable and relaxing angle.
- Some recliners have heat therapy and massage features that help in relieving pain from the body and improve blood circulation.
- Relief back pain in pregnant women.
- Useful for people with mobility problems, such as after surgery or injury, because they can help them change from a sitting position to standing position easily (by use of remote control).
- Promote relaxation.
- Minimize pressure on the lungs and heart.
- Reduce edema and swelling.
Types of Recliners for Back Pain Relief
There are different types of recliners suitable for varied back pain needs. This means that you have to understand the various types of recliners so as to be able to choose the one that suits your specific needs.
The recliners are designed to help relieve the excess pressure applied on the spine and other vulnerable parts such as joints. That is why reclining chairs are very common in people suffering or at risk of back pains including the elderly and athletes.
Most of the recliners are suitable for the young, adults and senior citizens.
It is also important to note that recliners can be either manual or electric.
The various types of recliners include:
Zero Gravity Recliners
These recliners are designed to provide you with supreme pain relief, relaxation and comfort.
They are distinctive because of the spacious technology incorporated in their design to imitate and accommodate your entire body shape. When you sit or lie on this chair, it reclines according to your back and hip pain relief needs.
They position your body in a way that distributes your weight throughout the body thus relieving pressure from your spine. They also have a strong lumbar support that ensures safety when you are relaxing.
These chairs are your choice if you want ultimate soothing and relaxation.
They come with motors, rollers, vibrating and heating features that warm your muscles, eliminate joint stiffness and relieve stress giving you a soothing sensation.
These chairs also have reclining features that will stretch your body muscles, improve blood circulation and relieve stress.
They are also good for people who are suffering from arthritis and back and neck pain.
These recliners are the old-styled. They contain the basic design elements of recliners – lumbar support and foot support.
These units are suitable for people with basic neck and back pain.
Comes with an expanded back to provide additional support. Most importantly, classic recliners have a remote control that enables you set the sitting position of your choice very easily.
If you love traditional but elegant products, this is the best choice for you.
These recliners are the best for people who are suffering from chronic back pain or the senior citizens who are victims of arthritis that make them experience sitting and standing problems.
The recliners have adequate controls to help you choose the right sitting position, and also raise or lower the chair according to your convenience.
Additionally, these reclining chairs come with heating and massage features that will sooth your muscles and improve blood circulation.
This chair is very stylish and will always stand out from the rest. They also come in different colors, so do not worry about getting one that will match your home or office decor.
Recliners with Detached Ottoman
One of the best things about recliners is that they help you sit or recline in a position that works for you best.
Most recliners come with both the headrest and footrest attached on the main chair. But this recliner is a bit different because it comes with a detached ottoman that you can position anywhere depending on your needs.
If you have unusual height or not comfortable with the typical recliners that come with joined footrests, this is the best type of recliner for you.
Recliners with detached ottoman also have the lumbar support that promotes comfort and relaxation of your back. Above all, these recliners are stylish, unique and occupy little space.
1. Is it alright for me to sleep in a recliner?
The best place for you to really get some quality sleep is your bed, where your whole body is fully relaxed and the only pressure you feel is from gravity. Still, so many recliners are so cozy that it can’t be helped. Plenty of customers take an afternoon snooze in their recliners with no serious problems. Just remember to shift your position every now and then! An extra pillow for added support would also make that short nap comfier.
2. How do I clean my recliner?
We can’t emphasize this enough: please regularly clean your recliner! Crumbs and dust accumulate real fast, and you may end up picking off some nasty stuff if you don’t keep an eye on your recliner’s maintenance. Check the material it’s made of for the best cleaning method: leather finishes will require a special solution to keep the fabric sleek and supple. Others are readily tidied up with a dampened washcloth. Don’t forget to vacuum every nook and cranny!
Please remember not to get any electronic parts of your recliner wet. That’s just an electric shock waiting to happen, and you may damage the functionality of the recliner. Use organic solutions or the smallest amount of water possible if you can—harsh chemicals may do more damage to your upholstery instead of removing that stubborn stain.
3. What are the other health benefits I can get from using a recliner?
Apart from easing backache and preventing joint pains, a recliner can help correct your posture and keep your spine and shoulders strong. It is particularly helpful to pregnant women, who bear an extra load 24/7; older customers may find that special heating and massage functions are a godsend for weaker bones and exhausted muscles. It also has a psychological bonus of placing importance on rest and relaxation—something we all forget with the fast pace of modern life.
Because of the superior alignment, using a recliner can improve your circulation and breathing. This decreases the risk of getting a heart attack or heartburn. The decreased pressure to your lungs also means you could cut the discomfort of a cold or the flu and keep your nose from feeling plugged up!
That improved blood flow also eases headaches. Many people don’t realize how much support their head needs in a day—poor posture can cut off proper circulation to the brain and cause severe neck strain. If you’ve gotten persistent headaches, and thought maybe you weren’t drinking enough water, maybe you should think again. The cushions and support of recliners can definitely go a long way in relieving the aching back of your head.
Recliners aren’t a cure-all, though. If you experience pain persistently, it’s good to consult a doctor in case there’s a more serious medical reason for it.
4. Can’t I just recline in a regular chair and get the same benefits?
Nope. Your average armchair doesn’t have flexible joints, massagers, extra footrests or angles for reclining, so you can forget about evenly distributing your weight. Most of its parts are fixed, so freedom of movement is a negative here.
We’ve seen some people try to recline in a regular seat by just carelessly tilting back and relaxing…that can easily end up in some bruises, sprains, and wounded pride. You’ll end up injuring yourself and breaking some furniture. Please don’t risk it!
5. Inclines, angles…ergonomics? Do these recliners really work as advertised?
Reviews from satisfied customers show a resounding “Heck, yes!” Your back pain will be relieved significantly when you start using any of these recliners. Just choose one with the features that will address your specific needs, and you should see the same improvements in your health and posture. Don’t forget to check the user’s manual very carefully to make the most out of your new purchase!
Back pain is a problem that can affect anyone no matter how old they are or what kind of lifestyle they lead. But you can prevent getting a bad back by looking after yourself and picking comfortable seats with the right support. Go beyond the average chair and find something that provides true comfort. Treat yourself to a cozy chair and think of it as an indulgent investment in your health.
The worse your back gets, the harder and more expensive it will be to manage the pain. Keep back pain from developing into more serious issues by getting a supportive recliner. You deserve it! Whether you’re hunched over your computer for hours, or simply want to sink into a cushy seat with a soft pillow after a long day, there’s a recliner out there for you.