The 6 Best Living Room Chairs for Back Pain Sufferers

best living room chairs for back pain sufferers

Do you find yourself dreading the thought of sitting in your living room chair for an extended time?

Finding the right living room chair can make all the difference in the world for people suffering from back pain.

A good ergonomic (orthopedic) living room recliner chair (with lumbar support) conforms to the natural alignment of your spine, keeps you in the proper posture, prevents back pain, and even relieves existing backaches.

In this post, we’ll explore the best living room chairs for back pain sufferers and the top-rated recliners for back pain relief.

Quick Summary

Selecting the right living room chair is crucial for preventing or relieving back pain.

Since these chairs do not come cheap, it’s important to consider factors like lumbar support, foot elevation, recliner size, build quality, and reclining mechanism.

Optimal sitting in a recliner involves a 135-degree body-thigh position, promoting back health and reducing compression.

As for sleeping, an ergonomic recliner is safe for sleeping and can be beneficial for back pain sufferers, providing relief and improving circulation.

Are Recliner Chairs Good for Your Back and Neck?

Nothing feels better than coming home at the end of the day and putting your feet up in a super comfortable chair.

However:

The wrong living room chair can cause or aggravate back pain, hip pain, and neck pain, while the right recliner can relieve and prevent back pain from muscle stiffness, sciatica, Herniated disc, and back surgery.

In fact:

A study performed by the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada suggests that the best sitting position for your back is somewhat reclined, sitting at a 135-degree body-thigh position.

reclining at 135 degrees or back pain relief

The Chita Power Recliner – reclines at 135 degrees

In a Hurry?

Here are our research results in a short comparison table. Below you’ll find our full reviews of the best living room chairs for back pain!

Living Room ChairReviewKey FeaturesPrice
La Z Boy Jasper Rocker Recliner
Best Large ReclinerExtra Large
2 Reclining types - Manual/Power
2 motion types
3 reclining positions
$535 at Slumberland
Human Touch PERFECT CHAIR
Best for Neck Pain
With zero gravity
1 Reclining type - Manual (Push-Back)
Highly adjustable
High weight capacity
Beautiful design
$2229 on Amazon
Irene House Lift Chair
Best for Surgery RecoveryBackrest at all angles
Power lift
$898 at Walmart
Da Vinci Piper Swivel Reclining Glider
Best Rocker Recliner with Lumbar Support1 Reclining Type - Manual
2 motion Types - Swivel/Glider
2 reclining positions
$327 on Amazon
Homall Manual Recliner with Massage
Best Budget1 Reclining type - Manual (Push-Back)
With lower back massage
3 reclining positions
Narrow & smaller
$129 on Amazon

This post may contain affiliate links, at no extra cost to you.

The 6 Best Recliners for Back Pain & Neck Pain 

We looked for chairs with good lumbar support, adjustable seat height and depth, and comfortable padding. We also considered the chair’s overall design and construction, as well as any additional features like built-in heat and massage.

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1. La Z Boy – Best Recliner for Low Back Pain

La-Z-Boy recliners are a common sight in living rooms around the world.

However:

Most people are unaware of the health benefits of relaxing in a La-Z-Boy.

Research done by the New York Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Center shows that La-Z-Boy recliners have helped minimize back pain and leg injuries.

La-Z-Boy Recliners have seven patented features you’ll only find on their recliners, and the most important ones enable the seat and the back of the chair to move together so a gap doesn’t develop when you recline.

Best of all:

La-Z-Boy Recliners have a patented mechanism that allows you to recline your back without having to lift your footrest!

They support and align your spine in all reclining positions and make sure your back is comfortable and rested.

No matter where you purchase a La-Z-Boy recliner, you’ll be able to choose the fabric, handle option, and cushion upgrades.

And:

We love the fact that La-Z-Boy is a 100% handcrafted chair, made in America for 90 years now, and comes with a lifetime warranty!

So, what’s the best La-Z-Boy recliner chair for back pain?

La Z Boy Jasper Rocker Recliner 

best La Z Boy recliner for lower back pain

Pros – Wide seat, ergonomic lumbar area, comfortable, seat and back move together or separately, quick assembly

Cons – Expensive

$535 at Slumberland (2 colors available) / $759 at La Z Boy

Reclining Type
Manual
Power (button)
Overall Size
42'' H x 40'' W x 38.5'' D
Customizations
10 fabric colors (Polyester)
Reclining type
Motion type (Rocker/Wall Hugger)
Seat Size
20'' H x 21.5'' W x 20'' D
Weight
76 lbs.
Fully Reclined
64'' D
Weight Capacity
300 lbs.
Reclining Positions
3

For bigger people suffering from back pain, choosing a larger recliner would be best, because when your recliner is too small for you, it won’t hit your pressure points properly, and won’t keep a good posture.

The La Z Boy Jasper recliner is larger than average, has a wider seat, and comes with pillow arms and a stitched back cushion that supports your back when you rock, sit, recline, or take a nap.

extra large recliner for back pain

Extra-large & excellent recliner

We love that it’s a super fluffy reclining chair (in all the right places), yet supports the back and prevents stiffness, aches, and pains.

The patented La-Z-Boy mechanism allows the seat and back to move together or independently (just like your natural body movement) and offers a wide range of reclining positions.

You can personalize the effort needed to change positions by adjusting the back and leg rest tension settings to your individual body type.

You don’t have to worry about the leg rest suddenly collapsing or moving, allowing you to relax without any stress.

The La-Z-Boy recliner chair is also incredibly easy to use.

Located on the right outside arm, the convenient handle smoothly releases the leg rest, and you can even upgrade the chair to move the handle to the left outside arm if that’s more convenient for you.

Assembly of the chair is also a breeze, taking less than 15 minutes to complete.

The Jasper easily reclines with a convenient side handle (or you can choose the power version that only requires a push of a button), the back reclines with or without raising the leg rest, and you can choose the chair type, motion type, and fabric color.

ergonomic living room chair for back pain sufferers

Pros

  • Extra-large recliner – fits bigger users
  • Reclines with or without raising the leg rest (3 optional positions)
  • Ultra-plush chaise seat, very comfortable, luxury experience
  • The footrest can be extended outwards
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Durable and made with high-quality materials, USA-made
  • Easy assembly
  • Certified free of flame retardant materials!

Cons

  • Some users stated that the color is slightly lighter than it seems in the pictures
  • Other users say that the chair makes some noise when you put the legrest down.

Available at La Z Boy ($759) and at Slumberland ($599 – 2 colors available)

2. Human Touch PERFECT CHAIR  – Best for Neck Pain

best recliner for neck pain

Pros – True zero gravity recliner, attractive design, with ergonomic head support (adjustable),

Cons – Expensive, may not accommodate short people

$2229 on Amazon

Reclining Type
Manual (Push-Back)
Overall Size
47"L x 31"W x 51"H
Customizations
Material
Wood finish
Accessories
Package (add-ons)
Seat Size
23"W x 21"D x 18"H

Weight
73-82 Lbs.
Fully Reclined
64''
Weight Capacity
400 lbs.
Reclining Positions
1 (Zero Gravity)

Although the Perfect Chair by Human Touch is more expensive than the others on this list, we couldn’t help but notice the many consumers who experienced immediate back pain relief when sitting on this zero-gravity stylish recliner.

Here are some of the testimonials we’ve found:

“Very good engineering, quality materials and craftsmanship, and oh, so very comfortable

This chair is better than a sleeping pill

Superbly comfortable and takes the weight and pain away

No more headaches or back aches. This chair has eliminated them.

The Perfect Chair is a true zero-gravity recliner that looks amazing with its wooden legs and classic leather cover.

The zero-gravity function allows your spine to rest fully in a neutral posture that evenly distributes your body weight to eliminate pressure points – this makes it perfect for neck pain relief.
human touch perfect chair review

Zero gravity comfort, with your feet above your heart

The adjustable ergonomic headrest supports your neck, and the lumbar cushion is also adjustable (magnetic adjustability)

You can choose from 3 versions of the Perfect Chair: Comfort/Performance/Supreme, with different upgrades:
human touch perfect chair model options

Pros

  • True zero gravity reclining (neutral body posture) – best for neck pain
  • Adjustable and customizable to make it perfect for your needs
  • Excellent lower back support and back aligning /full neck support
  • Very comfortable
  • Stylish classic design, beautiful wooden legs
  • Extended armrest for optimal support when reclining

Cons

  • Expensive
  • CA Residents: Prop 65 Warning

✅  Available on Amazon ($2229)

Good to Know
Placing an electric massage mat with heat on your recliner can help treat your back pain further by boosting blood circulation and relaxing your back muscles while feeling like your living room has just turned into a spa

3. Irene House Lift Chair – Best for Surgery Recovery

best living room chair for elderly with back pain

Pros – Fully adjustable reclining angle, helps to stand up, has lumbar support, quiet motors, extra padded arms

Cons – A lumbar pillow is required to avoid a gap between the seat and the back of the chair

$849 on Amazon

Reclining Type
Power (remote control)
Overall Size
38.5 x 34.5 x 44 inches
Customizations
Material

Seat Size
20"W x 20"D x 27"H

Weight
120 Lbs.
Fully Reclined
73"
Weight Capacity
300 lbs.
Reclining Positions
Any angle between
90-180 degrees

The Irene House Lift Chair is the only recliner on this list that can be adjusted to any positioning angle between 90 degrees and 180 degrees.

The footrest is also highly adjustable – and anything can be done via the remote.

recliner for back pain positioning

Choose any reclining angle between 90 to 180 degrees

Unlike most living room recliners, this one is powered by three motors, each of which is very quiet and stable.

The power lift helps you get up easily from the chair – without added stress on your back, knees, and joints – which is necessary for people recovering from surgery, and the elderly.

lift chair for back surgery recovery

Lift chair feature to prevent back and knee strain

We’ve tried the Irene House Lift Chair chair and found that it is at a good comfort level, with its extra padded arms and wide backrest, the added lumbar support pillow, and the fact that it supports up to 300 lbs.

The lumbar support pillow that you get helps you keep your back aligned when you sit, recline or lay down to sleep. Without the pillow – you’ll have a gap between the chair and the backrest.

Pros

  • Can be adjusted to any angle from sitting to lying down – can be used for sleep
  • Side pockets for storage
  • Smooth operation
  • Quiet and has wheels for portability
  • Good lumbar support, extra padding all around
  • Supports high weight
  • Power lift feature

Cons

  • There’s a gap between the chair and the backrest if you do not use the lumbar pillow
  • The footrest does not lift up to a horizontal position

Available on Amazon ($849)

Turn Your recliner into a massage chair by getting a full body massage mat for heavenly relaxation and comfort!

4. Da Vinci Piper Swivel – Best Rocker Recliner with Lumbar Support

armchair with lumbar support for chronic back pain

Pros – Firm back support, lumbar support cushion, high armrests, both recliner and a glider, timeless design

Cons – Some users claimed the reclining handle is hard to pull

$327 on Amazon

Reclining Type
Manual
Motion Type
Swivel/Glider
Overall Size
39.5'' H x 30.5'' W x 34'' D
Customizations
4 fabric colors
Seat Size
18.5'' H x 22.125'' W x 22'' D
Weight
97 lbs.
Fully Reclined
50''
Weight Capacity
300 lbs.
Reclining Positions
2

The Piper Swivel Glider has a rather firm back that supports the spine and also comes with a lumbar support cushion.

It can be used as both a recliner and a glider (360-degree swivel motion) that moves smoothly back and forth.

The reclining mechanism is aesthetically hidden and adds to the modern design, and the chair reclines with an easy-access handle on the inner side of the chair.

recliner for moms with back pain

Along with the plush popup leg rest, this great living room chair can prevent back pain, help nursing moms with back pain, and is stylish and well-built.

Pros

  • Stylish and modern, hidden reclining mechanism
  • Supports the back and keeps a good posture
  • Chemical-free and safe for adults and babies – Greenguard gold certified (tested for more than 10,000 chemicals)
  • Supports the lower back – comes with a bonus lumbar pillow
  • Easy to assemble (1-step), no tools required
  • Doesn’t take a lot of space, fits in a smaller corner
  • Comfortable (the feel of the fabric is great)
  • Throw pillow included (when you buy on Wayfair)

Cons

  • Some users stated that it is a bit difficult to get the chair to recline (the handle is hard to pull)
  • The leg rest may not be able to handle bigger people

Available at Project Nursery ($349), and on Amazon ($327)

5. Three Posts Power Lift Recliner – Best Power Lift Chair with Massage

power lift recliner with heat and massage

Pros – With massage and heat, ergonomic design, zero gravity reclining, with remote, wide headrest, low cost

Cons – Short warranty

$310 at Wayfair

Reclining Type
Power
(Remote control included)
Overall Size
42'' H x 32'' W x 28'' D
Customizations
3 fabric colors
(Faux leather)
Seat Size
19'' H x 21'' W x 20.5'' D
Weight
121.25 lbs.
Fully Reclined
64.5''
Weight Capacity
300 lbs.
With vibration massage & heat!

The Three Posts lift-assist power recliner with massage and heat is perfect for anyone suffering from chronic back pain, arthritis, and back injuries, and for people recovering from surgery.

It has everything you need for a speeded recovery:

  • Ergonomic design that supports your spine when you sit or recline
  • 4 vibration massage areas and 5 massage modes (2 massage intensities to choose from)
  • Zero gravity reclining (takes all the pressure off your spine)
  • Soothing heat at the push of a button (which promotes blood circulation)
  • Easy release of the footrest and reclining using the remote (back and footrest work together)
  • A balanced powered lift mechanism can lift the entire chair up to assist the user to stand up easily and safely.
  • Wide headrest
  • Thick foam padding footrest
  • Adjustable footrest
power recliner for back surgery recovery

A balanced power lift mechanism

Plus, the Three Posts Power Lift recliner comes with some great bonuses, such as 2 cup holders (to minimize trips to the kitchen)

Cons

  • About 20 minutes to assemble, help is required
  • The massage option is not as good as the best zero-gravity massage chairs
  • The seam is not perfect, and the warranty is only for 6 months (but we expect that from a lower-cost recliner)

Available at Wayfair ($310)

See the best zero gravity massage chairs for the money – reviewed and compared!

6. Homall Manual Recliner – Best Budget

Homall reclining chair with massage

Pros – Affordable, excellent lumbar support, comfortable, reclines to 170 degrees, adjustable backrest

Cons – Only pusn-back reclining, not for the big and tall

$129 on Amazon

Reclining Type
Manual (Push-Back)
With massage
Overall Size
25.5'' W x 29.1'' D
Customizations
4 fabric colors
Seat Size
17'' H x 19.9'' W x 19'' D
Weight
63 lbs.
Fully Reclined
62.6''
Weight Capacity
263 lbs.
Reclining Positions
3

The Homall racing-style massaging recliner has a modern gaming chair look, is very comfortable, supports the back, and most importantly – offers a good lower back massage you can operate via the remote control.

This great value (and low cost) recliner chair can recline up to 170 degrees (more than the average 160 degrees), has an adjustable backrest angle and foot pedal, and is very easy to assemble.

However:

Note that the Homall manual recliner doesn’t fit taller and bigger people, and the weight capacity is 265 lbs. (lower than the average 300 lbs).

best living room chair for back pain under $200

Pros

  • Good lumbar support, firm back support, yet comfortable
  • Low back massage option
  • Doesn’t take a lot of space
  • Perfect for preventing back pain from gaming
  • Reclines up to 170 degrees
  • Adjustable functions

Cons

  • Push-back recliner (no handle or button)
  • Narrow, lower weight capacity, doesn’t fit tall people

Available on Amazon ($129) and at Walmart ($160)

How to Choose the Best Living Room Chair for Back Pain

What features should I look for in a living room chair to help with back pain? you’ll find them below:

1. Lumbar support

A good ergonomic recliner will not have a gap between your lower back and the chair – when you lift your feet up.

If there’s a gap, your back will sink into the middle of the recliner and cause you to slouch.

This puts a strain on your lower back muscles and ligaments.

2. Feet Elevation

A good recliner for back pain will elevate your legs above your heart level (zero gravity), which fights gravity and helps blood flow travel back to your upper body.

The blood flow boost brings pain-relieving and anti-inflammation blood components to your entire back and neck.

3. Recliner Size

Sitting for long hours in a living room chair that doesn’t fit your body can cause unnecessary back strain or discomfort.

For example, If the back of your recliner is too short, the top cushion will push your head forward and may cause neck discomfort without you knowing it.

Choose a recliner chair that fits your height and weight.

Recliners come in different sizes, from petite ones (for 5’4″ and under) to small ones (5’5″ – 5’9″) to tall (5’10” – 6’2″ and extra tall (6’3″ and up)

4. Build

Recliners with a hardwood base, a four-sided frame, and a mesh layer between the cushion and springs are well-made, durable, and will last for generations.

5. Manual/Electric (Power) Recliners

Power recliners will cost several hundred dollars more than traditional manual recliners.

This is primarily due to the motor and mechanisms included in the construction.

If you’ve found a living room chair that fits your body and your pressure points, properly supports your lower back, and is comfortable and sturdy – it’s the perfect fit!
Working from Home?
We’ve researched and found the top 5 Ergonomic Office Chairs for back pain and sciatica!

What is the Healthiest Way to Sit in a Recliner?

The healthiest way to sit in a recliner is to maintain a healthy posture by reclining to a 135-degree angle between your thighs and torso.

Sitting at a 90-degree angle can cause lower back compression and lead to spinal issues.

healthiest way to sit in a recliner

Image source: BBC

Use the leg rest or an additional ottoman to support your feet and promote good blood flow, and shift weight away from your lower back to reduce the risk of back pain and discomfort.

Should You Choose a Soft Recliner or a Firm Recliner?

Most people automatically connect softness to relaxation and relief.

However, a recliner that is too soft can cause you to sink in and develop a slouched posture, which can make your back pain worse.

A medium-soft recliner is better for people with back pain caused by pressure on the nerves because the cushioning will not press against pressure points.

On the other hand, a firmer recliner is better for people with poor posture and lower back pain, because it will distribute the weight evenly and keep their spine aligned in a neutral position.

Recliners for Back Pain FAQ

What is the Best Living Room Chair for a Bad Back?

The best living room chair for a bad back would be an ergonomic, orthopedic recliner that leaves no gap between your back and the chair when you recline – to fully support your spine and keep it in the correct posture.

Are Recliners Good for Lower Back Pain?

According to the latest research, sitting somewhat reclined (preferably in a 135-degree body-thigh position is better for your lower back than the common 90-degree chairs.

Is it OK to Sleep in a Recliner if You Suffer From Back Pain?

Sleeping in a recliner is generally safe if it is ergonomic and has proper lumbar support.

People with back pain may find that they get better sleep in a recliner than in a bed.

Sleeping in a recliner can actually help to relieve pressure on your spine.

By elevating your upper body, you reduce the amount of pressure on your lower back, which is especially good for those with herniated discs or spinal stenosis.

Also, sleeping in a recliner can help to improve circulation, as it can reduce the amount of pressure on your legs and feet (especially in the zero-gravity position).

This is extremely helpful for conditions such as varicose veins or edema.

To your health and happiness,

The Back Pain Relief Products Team

References

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20061129/back-pain-eased-by-sitting-back

Zemp R, Taylor WR, Lorenzetti S. In vivo spinal posture during upright and reclined sitting in an office chair. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:916045. doi:10.1155/2013/916045

Meital James
 

Meital James, Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

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