Is a Power Recliner Better Than Manual

Updated May 27th, 2020

When looking at recliners, the age-old question is, are power recliners better than manual? There are benefits and drawbacks to both manual and power recliners, and some of the decision comes down to personal preference. Let’s take a look at some of the differences, both positive and negative, and try to answer the question, is a  power recliner better than manual?

Manual Recliner Pros and Cons

Manually operated recliners are the best option for those who are purchasing on a budget. Manual recliners are operated by hand using a lever or switch for immediate recline.


  • Due to having less expensive and personalized components, regular manual recliners are a cheaper option than power recliners.
  • Manual recliners call for fewer repairs – their simple internal workings require much less cost and effort in case there is a need for repair or replacement of a part.
  • These recliners are much smaller and more easily transportable – around the house or to a new living space – because of their lightweight.


  • The lifespan of a manual recliner is usually less than that of a power recliner as a result of more force required to recline, causing more “wear and tear.”
  • Manual recliners generally do not have as many settings or options for how far back they will recline.
  • The head and foot rests move simultaneously; this may lead to less comfortability for your personal recliner experience.

Power Recliner Pros and Cons

Power recliners have left a lasting impact on the furniture world since their debut. These pieces use electrical controls to move components as opposed to a regular, manual lever. Here is what adds to their allure:


  • Power recliners are an easier option for the elderly and those with disabilities. Power recliners do not require as much physical effort to operate, crowning them a favorite among those who lack the strength to use a regular, manual recliner.
  • Power recliners typically offer more position options compared to manual recliners. The different settings may also provide the ability to move separate parts of the recliner individually.
  • Because of the electrical operation, less “wear and tear” and a longer lifespan on your investment are a huge bonus.


  • Due to the nature of the recliner, the separately moving parts, and electrically powered operation, power recliners tend to be more expensive than conventional recliners.
  • Because of the mechanical components inside the chair, power recliners are more challenging to transport. They are heavier and usually bulkier than manual recliners.
  • Power recliners need an electrical power source at all times to work. This may leave you confined to certain areas of your home.
  • Electrical parts within the recliner may break; these parts are more expensive to repair compared to manual recliners.

So are power recliners better than manual recliners? Despite power recliners having a few more “cons” than manual recliners, the “pros” of power recliners seem to outweigh those of manual. Due to their ease of use and convenience, power recliners are a much more versatile piece of furniture, offering a broader spectrum of comfort to a much larger group of people.

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