This Is How Power Reclining Sofas Work

This Is How Power Reclining Sofas Work

Recliners haven’t changed too much since they were first designed. You could manually recline your chair and relax while watching your favorite shows, but with new technology, you can now do this with electrical power.

There are many ways a power reclining sofa works depending on the brand and the style. Using electricity, a motor assists the sofa to recline or position the chair at whatever level you decide. You don’t have to use a level like a manual. 

A lot goes into the mechanisms, and it can be daunting if a part goes out. Here is what you need to know about them.

How Power Reclining Sofas Work

Power Reclining Sofas work by utilizing electricity to power a motor. This motor will then recline your chair or put it back into the sitting position without you having to use any of your energy to do so.

Some power sofas have the capability of a remote to control the motor, or they will have buttons on the side of the chair. You will find that you may be able to do more with the sofa because of this technology.

With a power reclining sofa, you will find that not the entire sofa will recline. You may have one side that reclines while the other side doesn’t, or both sides will be able to recline. It depends on the type and brand that you choose to buy.

Is There A Manual Override?

Some but not all power recliners may have a manual override. So when the motor goes out or your power goes out, you will be able to recline or set it back up. The last thing you need to be doing is forcing your power recliner back into a sitting position. This can cause damage to the mechanisms.

You can either ask the company when buying your recliner, or you can look through the manual to see if your recliner has this capability. It is always good to go over the manual anyways to see all the perks your power recliner offers. You never know what you may find while flipping through the pages. 

The Difference Between Manual And Power

The Difference Between Manual And Power

There are many differences when it comes to a manual and a power sofa recliner. The biggest is what you have to do as a person to recline back to relax. You either have to pull a lever to recline the chair with the manual option or push a button with the power option.

Benefits Of A Manual Recliner

There are many benefits when it comes to a manual recliner. Here are a few reasons why this type of sofa might be for you:

  • Doesn’t need power.
  • Don’t have to worry about parts breaking.
  • Gives you a little exercise.
  • It doesn’t need to be by an outlet.
  • Cheaper option.

The great thing about a manual recliner is that it doesn’t require power. It only requires your ability to recline it. This means you don’t have to plug it in or put it near an outlet. You can decide to put it anywhere.

It is also used to have just if your power goes out or you want to conserve your electricity. It doesn’t take a lot to provide for the motor, but if you want to be more conscious about conservation, this could help.

You will not have to worry about parts or the motor giving out on you. The mechanisms usually have more longevity than that of a motor and are easily fixable. You won’t have to worry about it breaking down and not using it until it is fixed.

Because this option is manual, it means less money is invested in creating it. You will find that these can be half the prices or at least several hundred dollars cheaper than the power sofa. If you need to save money, this may be the route for you.

Negatives Of A Manual Recliner

Many customers may not be able to work the levers and other mechanisms to recline the sofa. It can be physically daunting, especially if you don’t have the leverage or the upper body strength. It is even worse when the levers become stiff with age.

Sometimes the lever and other mechanisms can become stiff and difficult to use. When this happens, sometimes injuries can occur, whether you strain yourself or get thrust back by the sudden reclining.

Benefits Of A Power Recliner

Power recliners can make your life so much easier. You don’t have to do anything to relax. You won’t have to worry about flipping a lever when you are tired and ready to move to the bedroom for the night.

Here are the many benefits of using a power recliner versus a manual recliner:

  • Easier to use.
  • Can choose the level to recline at.
  • Often has other reclining options.
  • No chance of strain or stress on your body.
  • Great for older adults.
  • It can be used with a remote.

With a power recliner, you will find that you will be able to choose the level you recline your chair, unlike most manual recliners. You don’t have to worry about straining yourself to lay your chair back. This can be daunting, especially for those with disabilities or those who just don’t have the strength.

With technology, you will find that you will have easier access to controlling your power recliner. Many newer models now have a remote that you can use to control your recliner. This makes it easier for you to control it while never leaning forward to press a button.

Negatives Of A Power Recliner

Power recliners may make it easier for you to recline and control the sofa as a whole, but there are some downsides when it comes to this piece of furniture. These run off electricity and so you will have to place the recliner close to an outlet. There are some battery-operated ones, but then you have to replace the battery after a while.

Sometimes the motors break on these recliners. If this happens, it can be quite the price to fix it. Some people will just purchase a new one instead of fixing an old one if this does happen. It can also be difficult to find the piece to fix it yourself.

Power recliners, because of their technology, are more expensive than manual recliners. While manual recliners may be a few hundred dollars or a little less than a grand, a decent power recliner can be a lot more.

The Costs Of A Power Sofa Recliner

The Costs Of A Power Sofa Recliner

The cost of a power sofa recliner has a wide range depending on what brand and style you choose to go with. You can find some as cheap as a thousand dollars, or you may be investing up to $8,000. It depends on what you are looking for.

You want to invest in a sofa that won’t break easily, so you need to do some research before settling on one. You will need to decide if you want batter operated or one that plugs in. This will change the price. 

The fabric is as important as the structure. If you have pets that shed quite a bit, you may want to invest in a fabric that is easy to clean. This goes for children as well. It is better to buy leather with children and dogs because the fabric won’t absorb liquids.

If you choose to go with leather, you will find that the sofa will be expensive compared to a regular fabric. Leather lasts a long time, and so it is more expensive. You will want to get leather with a protective layer if you have kids or animals.

Are Power Sofa Recliners Easy To Fix?

A power sofa recliner that has stopped working can be a wide variety of reasons. Depending on what that reason is will determine if it is easy to fix or not. But first, we need to cover the most common issues with a power recliner.

Common Issues

There are usually two main reasons why your power recliner has stopped working. The first is that the recliner won’t completely close, or it is stuck open. The second is the recliner stops in the middle of being closed.

Recliner Won’t Close

When the recliner gets stuck in the open position or won’t close all the way, this could be a minor plug or wiring issue. This is a simple fix and shouldn’t take much to replace.

Recliner Stops In The Middle

If you’re trying to open or close your recliner and it stops in the middle, this is usually the result of a pinched wire or a wire being cut. Sometimes wires get stuck where they aren’t supposed to be, and the mechanisms either pinch the wire or cut it completely. This is a simple fix that you can fix in less than ten minutes.

How To Fix Wiring

If your recliner stops working, the first thing you want to check is the wiring. The wiring is an easy fix and is one of the most common issues when your recliner is not working. Wires become loose or fall apart because that area is constantly being moved.

Check underneath your recliner for any wires that may have been dislodged. You can easily put these back with some electrical tape. If a wire has been pinched, make sure to dislodge it from where it is pinched and tape any exposed wiring. Exposed wires can be dangerous and can cause loss of power.

If the wires have been cut, you can temporarily fix this with electrical tape. Twist the exposed wires together and then tape them. You will need to replace the wires eventually as this is only a temporary fix, and the wires could separate again.

Don’t Forget The Reset Button

This step is often overlooked when trying to fix a recliner, but you can simply reset it to see if this fixes the problem. If you have a remote, it is easy to reset with the reset button on it. There should be a hole between the open and close buttons to press with a paperclip or tiny sharp object.

If you don’t have a remote, you can unplug the recliner, wait a few minutes, and then plug it back in. This is a manual reset. If it does not work, you can look at the motor. Sometimes there is a reset button on the motor that you can push.

If none of these work, you may want to contact a professional. They can tell you exactly what is wrong with your recliner and which route would be the best option for you.

Is It Cheap To Fix?

Fixing your power recliner all depends on which part is broken. If it is just wiring, it will not cost much to get it replaced or repaired. If there is something wrong with the motor or any larger mechanisms, it may be easier to buy yourself a new recliner.

If your recliner is new, it may still be under warranty. You can call the company you bought the product from or where it was manufactured to see if it is under warranty. Faulty products happen sometimes, and they may be more than willing to replace your furniture with a new one.

How To Protect Your Power Sofa Recliner

How To Protect Your Power Sofa Recliner

There are many ways that you can protect your power sofa recliner from meeting its end sooner. Here are some ways that you can protect your furniture that is neither expensive nor intricate:

  • Use a surge protector.
  • Don’t expose cords.
  • Keep away the liquids.
  • Clean it.
  • Oil mechanisms.

Use A Surge Protector

Buy yourself a surge protector. Just like you would have one for your computer or television, you will want one for your power recliner. Surges can happen and ruin the motor or electrical system within your recliner. If this happens, you will have to replace the recliner.

Don’t Expose Cords

If your power recliner derives electricity through an outlet, do your best to protect the cords to the outlet. You don’t want these cords to get damaged by those walking over the cords or by your pets. You also don’t want it to cause anyone to trip and hurt themselves.

You want to place these cords close to the wall or hidden underneath something. This way, nothing or no one can play with the cord or damage it. You don’t want your children messing with cords and accidentally electrocuting themselves.

Keep Away Liquids

Having a drink while you sit and watch TV is the norm. Just be careful when you do have drinks near your recliner. If those drinks spill, they can spill on the motor or wiring and ruin the power recliner. You will be responsible for replacing the furniture even if it is still under warranty.

Clean It 

Ensure that you are cleaning your furniture when necessary. If you have spilled something, don’t let it set. Keeping it clean will ensure that all the mechanisms won’t get dirty and cause parts to stick together.

When you are cleaning your furniture, make sure you are using the right chemicals for the fabric. Using the wrong solutions can ruin the fabric, and your furniture won’t last as long as you would like. This is especially true if you have a recliner with leather fabric. You can easily dry out the fabric with the wrong solution or solution made with alcohol.

When you vacuum or scrub any stains or spills on the sofa, make sure to use a soft brush or a soft towel. You don’t want to scratch the fabric with a hard brush or sponge. It can cause unnecessary damage that will expedite the life of your fabric.

Oil Mechanisms

Over time, the metal parts in your chair can become rusty or get covered in dust. If there is a lot of dirt in these parts, you will want to clean it first. If you don’t clean off the dirt, it won’t help with the issue that has caused your recliner to stall.

Energy Saving Tips For Your Power Recliner

If you are on a budget and want something substantial without it raising your electric bill, there are many things you can take into consideration. Here are some things to keep in mind to get the best sofa recliner for your money:

  • Look for the right size recliner: larger means more power.
  • Look for energy-efficient motors.
  • Use a plug that cuts off power when not in use.
  •  Use an energy-saving device.
  • Service your power recliner regularly.
  • Keep mechanisms clean and oiled.

You can find devices that will shut off power to your chair online. These can be smart plugs that turn off by voice command and work with smart devices like Google Play or Alexa. You can ask to turn these when you aren’t using them, and your recliner won’t draw power.


Power reclining sofas have become quite popular because of their easy use. You will find that although they are simple to use, they can have complicated mechanisms that work for your relaxation. It’s one of the upsides of technology.


Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

Related Posts