If you have ever had a bad back, you understand the pain and stress that comes with a chair that doesn’t correctly support the parts of your body that struggle.
This is especially frustrating if you are someone for whom standing and walking has become really painful. Not all easy chairs are easy on the back, and some are better for certain problems, like lumbar support, while others are better for mid or upper back pain.
Some offer support for medical problems, while others encourage the good position needed to prevent future back pain issues just like the toppers for back pain.
We have identified 10 great options that offer a number of different, helpful features. Read on and discover which of these chairs might be the best recliner for back pain and the ticket to some genuine relief.
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This great leather chair will give you motion, massage, heat, and anything else you want. It does this all relatively well but the massage function here is more of a pleasant vibration than an in-depth shiatsu massage.
The quality of this chair is far greater than the price, and it’s got a lot of positive reviews. A great option for sore, tired muscles!
Many different motions - rock, swivel, recline
Heat, massage, and vibration
Easy for one person to assemble
Real leather materials
Comes shipped in two boxes which can arrive a day apart
The Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner is designed for nursing mothers and a perfect way to relieve the pains caused by a recovering post-pregnancy body. This chair is a great hybrid between a rocker, recliner, and swivel chair.
It has a swivel glider, which is a position that can offer the gentle rocking motion that babies got used to in the womb while offering the added motions of recline and swivel. (Though you probably don’t want to do all three at the same time).
It is really designed to be a nursery chair most of all, and because of it, it requires a bit of power to move it out of the recline mode.
If your back pain does not cause or come with reduced overall strength, it’s a great choice. If you do have mobility issues, this may not be the chair for you.
Backrest height is tall enough for both upper back pain and for tall parents over 6 feet
Comes shipped in an easy-to-install format
Offers three convenient choices of motion
Soft, supportive seat
Can make a clicking noise when rocking
Takes some force to go from a reclined to upright position
Discover the power of this recliner, and use it to charge your devices, to boot!
If you’re on bedrest (or recliner-rest) with only the company of your favorite device, keep it powered up with the USB ports on this chair. There’s also a power outlet for your laptop and a swivel tray to hold your device or meal. Reclining is also power-activated.
The tray offers you additional posture help to keep your back and shoulders in the right location when online, and the power options keep you charged without a tripping hazard of cords coming from your chair.
Great for those who can't live without their powered devices
More comfortable alternative to a desk for online browsing with a laptop
Power recline means endless position options, not stuck at one or two manual settings
Takes no strength to operate
Some problems with the vinyl rubbing off in high-wear locations after a year or so
It offers a series of eight massage motors that work from the neck to the calves to calm knotted muscles. You can target specific areas or give yourself a full-body rubdown. It offers swivel, recline, and recline tension settings to give you a range of positioning and movement options.
This leather chair is a great option for anyone who is under six feet and wants massage and not positioning to be the solution to their back pain. A hard day working with your hands or slumped over a keyboard can be rubbed away with the flick of a remote. Add a cozy duvet insert and you are on the cloud nine already. Athletes who play hard every day can rub out their soreness, and those who get angry muscles from a twice-annual hard workout can find the benefit as well.
Again, this probably isn’t the best choice for those whose back pain has come from medical reasons with reduced mobility. It is, however, a great choice for those who retain their full strength and suffer from aching muscles at the end of the day.
The design is simple and contemporary and it comes in a number of light, neutral shades. If you want the comfort of a recliner without the styling issues that some find that they have, consider the Lucas.
However, it’s not so great if you need medical assistance for your back pain or you want additional treatment options for heat and massage.
If you suffer from a debilitating injury, have a disability, or you or the intended person for this chair is getting up in age, the auto-recline and auto-lift functions on this chair can be a godsend. It’s a good overall chair that is plush and comfortable.
Great for reduced mobility
Remote control is easy to find in the built-in pocket
Comfortable without being hard or overstuffed
Easy to assemble
Some issues with breaking after six months when you don't buy extended warranty- not the norm but a few examples
If the best thing for your back pain is a pair of magic fingers and a plush, overstuffed piece of furniture, look no further. The Dorel Living Padded Dual Massage Recliner fits the bill on every count. It offers a series of programming options for location and speed of massage and is comfortably stuffed on every surface.
If you’re looking for a chair that can do it all, this is a good one to consider. It’s not the perfect chair for someone who wants a chair that is the best at any one of the things it can do. This is often the case, however.
All-in-ones fit a lot of needs, especially when it comes to having space for only one chair. But it often comes at a cost of performance level of any one task. If you’re looking for the best chair to massage you, to recline with when you have a bad back, and to rock with, then buy three chairs. If you’re looking for a single piece that will do each of these things relatively well, then buy this chair.
Many different options for massage settings
Easy to clean
Foam stuffing makes it comfortable on every surface
Choose between reclining and rocking, use massage with either setting
Comfortably fits all people, including those who are tall
Relatively easy to assemble
Offers a lot of features, which may be too complicated for some
A little bit fragile; can't handle a rough household
This is a great chair if you’re looking for something pretty that looks good in most rooms, is neutral and not overly complicated. It’s not the end-all for a day of tired muscles, but it’s a comfortable place to rest your weary bones for a relaxing rock or to calm a fussy infant.
Will look good in both living rooms and nurseries
Pivot, glide, or recline
Durable and washable cover
Extra lumbar support
Great for nursing parents
A little big for small frames- feet won't hit the floor
This is one of the most all-inclusive options on our list. If you need to be able to get in and out of a chair with help, plus you want vibration, rocker, heat, massage, and cupholders, then you can’t do much better than this.
An attractive brown leather cover makes it somewhat spillproof and easy to clean. It looks smart, clean, and blends with most decor. All-in-all, a strong contender.
Great for those who are slow to move around
Nice feel and durable cover
Heat, massage, and recline all are remote-control activated
Some issues with customer service if it breaks after warranty. This seems rare, however
What makes a recliner good for back pain? Keep reading our buying guide to make an informed choice!
How to buy the best recliner for back pain
Basically, there are a few things that can make a recliner help your back pain. Since back pain can come from many different sources, including bad posture, heavy exercise, injury, medical conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis, aging, and more, one kind of relief will not help everyone.
Here are a few things to consider:
Posture: A good chair should have you sitting comfortably without slumping. You should feel relaxed and somewhat stretched.
Massage: Many back pain chairs offer a massage feature for back pain caused by tired or knotted muscles
Heat and lumbar support: The lower back is a common place for you to have problems with your back. Heat and support here can help to ease this.
Power options: For those with mobility issues, lift and power recline can help to prevent further injury and make getting up and down an easier task
How can recliners help people who suffer?
Much of the pain that you feel in your back can be caused by compression in your spinal column. A recliner pulls some of the gravity that weighs down your spine each day away, allowing you a more neutral, gravity-free position.
How to use the recliner for back pain properly
While recliners can be a useful tool, they only work if you’re using them in a manner that promotes good spinal health. First, use proper posture whenever you can. Don’t sit upright and slump forward- this will cause additional shoulder pain.
When sitting up, try and allow your abs to do some of the posture work. This can give your back a much-needed break. When using the recliner, be sure to find a position that is comfortable (if it’s painful, you may be doing more damage than helping).
Finally, if you are using massage and heat functions, start slow and move up. These things can release things like lactic acid from sore muscles into your system- drink plenty of water to flush them out quickly.
Recliner for lower back pain
If your main concern is the lumbar region, you need to consider a few things. First, you need a chair that has lumbar support- this is the area that we refer to as the small of your back. If the chair has built-in support, you should be able to feel like you’re supported here when you sit back.
If not, and you still love the chair, you can always add an aftermarket lumbar cushion. However, the heating features on the massage chairs are typically lumbar-oriented. This gives you some extra warmth to help lower pain and promote blood flow and healing.
Finally, choose a chair that allows you good posture to try and strengthen this area. This can prevent further lower back issues.
You not only can use a recliner to sleep, at times it can actually be a huge benefit to your back to do so. Recliners that offer proper positioning for your spine and neck can help you to keep from awakening with a lot of pain in your body.
If you’re finding that a poor bed or pillow choice is keeping you up at night or having you awaken in a lot of pain, this is a sign that you probably need a new bed. Until then, if the recliner can allow you to feel better until you can get a new, more comfortable and supportive bed, by all means, use it.
Additionally, semi-upright sleeping can help a host of conditions. This can include sleep apnea, a medical condition where breathing obstructions keep you from getting enough oxygen at night.
Also, some people with digestive issues may suffer from esophogeal reflux or heartburn, a condition where the stomach acid travels up toward your throat when you lie horizontally at night. In both cases, sleeping propped with a bit of elevation can go a long way toward preventing the problems that come with these positions.
Material and design
The material choices on these chairs offer a number of different benefits. Here is a look at the basic options:
Fabric: This is a common choice for many different chairs. The fabric is washable and treatable, though it will soak spills through to the padding. Fabric chairs offer the widest variety of color and print variations. If you love the chair but hate the fabric, they can be reupholstered to your taste.
Vinyl/Faux Leather/Vegan Leather: This is a series of artificial leather options. These seating options are more durable than fabric when it comes to spills and less expensive than leather. Vinyl has a leatherlike coating on the outside, which can start to peel off over time when exposed to regular wear. This typically happens at points of regular contact and movement, like knees and armrests.
Leather: This is typically the most expensive choice. It offers a lot of durability, is a little less water-resistant than vinyl, but holds its value and style longer than the other options Leather and vinyl can support heat and massage better than fabric as well.
There are a few things to know about design. First, aesthetics of a chair, whether it has a high or low back, can change who it is best for. Taller people need taller chairs to work. Chairs that are too high or deep for short people to touch the floor are also not good fits.
The material you choose comes with limitations for spill-proofing, massage and heat capabilities and more. This should be considered when choosing a chair that fits with a certain decor scheme.
There are three kinds of typical warranties you’ll see on a recliner, most particularly on one that has moving parts. Some will have a combination of these warranties with different expiration dates:
Money-back guarantee: This is a trial period of often around 30 days where you can return the chair if you don’t like it. Sometimes you only get a short time, like 7 days, to make this decision. Either the company or even your credit card company or the seller may offer this option.
Limited warranty: this is an option that covers some but not all parts of the chair. This would be common in chairs with motors, where it would guarantee the motor but not the rest.
Full warranty: This is a standard warranty for all parts. It may be 6 months to a year, typically.
A good nursing chair should be able to put you in a comfortable position when with your baby. It will typically have wide armrests that offer easy positioning options for feeding or nursing. It should hug your back and not make you feel like you need to slump forward to use it. Your feet should be able to touch the ground when sitting upright.
There is some medical concern that sitting too much can cause vascular and cardiovascular complications in some. Be certain to balance your resting time with some activity. Consult your doctor if you’re not sure what kind is best for you.
So choosing a favorite here had a few complications- mostly in the fact that not all of these chairs work for the same person or in the same room of the house. We realize that, and this is why we offer a variety of options for a variety of folks. But, we have to pick a favorite, so we considered a number of factors.
We decided to pick a chair that offered a number of different movement options. This gives versatility to the chair and makes it useful in a number of different situations. Glider-rocker-swivels got the highest marks here.
We also gave extra points to leather and vinyl, because of the added spillproof capabilities of these chairs. They are easy to clean and last a long time, things that are important when buying something as big and important as furniture.
We decided to choose a massage chair, because of the many different ways in which they can support the back. Heat was a bonus as well.
This makes it the most likely to be a good fit for just about anyone with back pain. The other piece that put it over the top was the high percentage of positive customer reviews. Other than a handful of people who got a bad version, everyone who got a good chair out of the box raved about it. There were no mediocre reviews, either.
All-in-all, back pain can be a horribly debilitating problem. Choosing the right chair can be a huge step toward a more comfortable life.