A recliner is a wonderful furniture to have in your home. It is a great chair to relax, sleep, watch your favorite show or read an interesting book. Recliners today come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, models, and brands to choose from. And one important aspect is choosing between power recliners and manual recliners. But what is the difference?
What is a Power Recliner
Manual recliners are mechanically operated recliners and power recliners are electric recliner chairs. This type uses a motor or series of motors and it needs electricity to function. It is controlled and adjusted using buttons and electrical movement rather than the conventional lever adjustment of manual recliner chairs. A power recliner is primarily designed to help individuals who have difficulty opening and closing standard recliners or standing up from a sitting position.
- Smooth movements – A power recliner does not require much effort and exertion of physical strength to work. With a just a push of a button, you can experience the smooth and easy back and forth reclining feature. It is very convenient for people with disabilities or for the elderly to operate.
- Durability – Electric recliners are much more durable. They undergo less wear and tear and so they have longer lifespans than a manual one.
- Covered by insurance – Since recliners are medical devices for many people, the cost may be covered by insurance.
- Warranty – The electric motor and its parts are covered under a warranty.
- Technology – Electric recliners are created or designed using modern or advanced technology.
- Custom settings – The power recliners usually have many more positions and settings than a regular recliner. You can adjust and manipulate it into many different positions or whatever angle suits you best. The different parts of the recliner like the headrest and footrest can move separately and the seat of the chair can be tilted forward to help the user stand up.
- Cost – The biggest drawback of a power recliner against the manual recliner is the cost. Power recliners are generally more expensive and if you are on a tight budget, the manual recliner would be a more practical choice as you will be able to save about $100 -$200.
- Room placement – A power recliner chair requires electricity to work and so it needs to be placed near a power source or outlet, making its room placement limited. You can’t really put it in the middle of a room or away from the wall. However, there are some that use a rechargeable battery pack to power the chair, which may need to be charged time and again for it to work.
- Mechanical and power failure – If there is a power outage or motor failure, the reclining features of the chair will be rendered useless. The chair will just be good for sitting until the electricity comes back or its components are fixed or replaced. Also, the electrical components of the chair are rather expensive to repair.
- Weight and movability – Power recliners are heavy because of the gears and motor inside. They are, therefore, more difficult to move around the house than the manual recliner.
The simpler counterpart of power recliners is also a very comfortable chair to lounge and relax in. It is operated using a lever that is pulled by hand and uses the weight and motion of your body. It also has its own advantages and disadvantages that you should consider when making a choice.
- Cost – Compared to electric recliners, the manual is way cheaper because it doesn’t have any of the expensive components. Also, its repairs require less money and less effort.
- Simplicity – When it comes to design, the manual recliners have simple and elegant designs. There is also no electric circuiting done inside. Its reclining features will work without electricity as it doesn’t need any charging or power source to function.
- Mobility – The manual recliner chairs are lighter and smaller than power recliners and so you can move them around your home with greater ease. They do not have wires and do not need to be placed near an outlet.
- Speed – The manual has a faster but abrupt reclining motion.
- Durability – With the constant use of the lever of the chair, damage may occur. And when this happens, the reclining feature would be unusable. It also means that its lifespan is generally shorter than that of power recliners.
- Settings – It does not have many settings like that of the power recliner. Usually, the reclining features only go to two positions. The headrest and foot stand move together. You can’t really choose the angle you will be best comfortable at.
- Effort – This recliner chair needs effort when you want to utilize its features. You need to pull the handle or push a button and sometimes push the backrest for it to move and recline. It employs a spring lock that allows you to open the footrest. And to close the footrest, you need to use some a significant amount of leg strength. It is not ideal for the elderly, those who are suffering from back pains or those with low core strength.
Other Factors to Consider
- Space – Before purchasing your recliner, make sure you have enough space in your home where you can enjoy your chair. So, get the measurements of the place where you plan to put your recliner.
- Style – You do not want your recliner to be out of place in a room, so it is important to take into account the color scheme or style of your space and search for a matching or complementing reclining chair.
- Special features – A lot of recliners offer additional features like cup holders, remote controlled settings, massage features or heated seats.
The power recliner chair and manual recliner chair are great chairs that have each its advantages and disadvantages. Weighing these things plus your own budget and preferences will help you arrive at a well-informed decision.