A heated recliner is any reclining chair that also has a heating element. Because this is a very broad definition, there are many styles of recliner that meet the criteria.
Heated recliners can range be full-blown massage chairs with airbags, individual leg rests and lots of other bells and whistles. They can also be simple, wood-framed recliners that just happen to provide heat.
That said, heat is usually used in conjunction with a massage feature. This makes sense, since most people who want a heated recliner are looking for relief from muscle pain or tightness. For this reason, I’ve focused on heated massage chairs in these reviews.
If you suffer from muscle pain or tightness, or if you have a bad back, a few minutes of heat can make the difference between a good day and a day spent in excruciating pain. Even if you’re fortunate enough to be able-bodied, spending all day in a desk or doing manual labor can really put the hurt on you.
Heat can improve your circulation, reducing inflammation in your muscles and eliminating stiffness. It can also reduce pain by assisting your body’s natural healing process. It’s relaxing, too, which can be just what you need after a long day on the job.
In these reviews, I’ve focused on massaging heated recliners. I’ve done this for two reasons: First, the majority of heated recliners have a massage function. Second, a massage function compliments the heating function, improving pain relief and relaxation.
I’ve also tried to cover a broad range of prices, and include several styles of chair. Hopefully, at least one of these will be exactly what you’re looking for. Even if you decide to go elsewhere, I hope you learn some new information so you can make an informed purchase.
Review of the Top Rated Heated Recliners on the Market
- Review of the Top Rated Heated Recliners on the Market
- Esright Heated Massage Recliner Rocker
- Relaxzen Heated Power Recliner
- Waterjoy Leather Heated Massage Recliner
- Catnapper Heated Rocker Recliner
- White Label Heated Recliner Chairs
- Homegear Lazy Boy Heated Recliner
- ComHoma Heated Leather Recliner
- Mecor Recliner With Heated Recliner Cover
- Mcombo Heated Lift Recliner
- Relaxzen Heated Recliner - Best Heated Recliner
- Heated Recliners 101
Who this is for: This is a good option for people who want lots of features and are less concerned about durability. It’s also a good choice for left-handed people, since the cup holders and pouches are ambidextrous.
Why I like it: I love the fact that you can buy a chair with this many features for such a low price. The remote is a particularly nice touch. If my back is killing me, the last thing I want to do is keep moving around to use the controls.
The Esright Heated Massage Recliner Rocker has 2 cupholders, 2 storage pouches, and a wired remote. This puts everything you need right at your fingertips, so you can kick back and relax. The massager has five different modes, and two different intensity settings.
This recliner ships in two boxes, and some assembly is required. The arms can require strength to slide into place, so you may need to get some help if you’re elderly or disabled. The bonded leather is fairly rough, but at this price it’s still a good chair.
Who this is for: The Relaxzen Heated Power Recliner is a good choice for people who want a lot of massage options, and aren’t worried about getting leather upholstery. People over 6 feet tall will probably want a higher-backed chair.
Why I like it: The 9 massage modes and 5 intensity levels had me sold. Not everyone wants the same massage, so it’s great to have as many options as possible. I’m also a fan of the wired remote, which is a good feature at this price point.
The microfiber shell on this recliner is a huge plus. It’s relatively easy to clean, although not as easy as leather, but it’s going to last you a lot longer than a bonded leather shell. There’s a storage pouch on the right side for you to keep magazines or TV remotes, as well as a dual USB port for charging your favorite devices.
At 81 pounds, this chair is on the lighter side for a massage chair. The aluminum frame swivels 360 degrees, and will support up to 300 pounds. It ships in two boxes, and is easy to assemble in less than half an hour.
Who this is for: This chair is for people who intend to spend a lot of time sitting down. The thick padding will feel soft for hours at a time, so you can continue relaxing long after your massage is over.
Why I like it: I liked the heavy padding, but the multiple recline stops are also a nice feature. Simply pull the recline handle, lean back until you’re comfortable, and let go of the handle. Push back or lean forward until it clicks into place.
The Waterjoy Leather Heated Massage Recliner requires some assembly, but not much. Just hook up the wires according to the instructions, then slide the back of the chair into place and you’re good to go. The wired remote is easy to use, and lets you choose between five massage modes and two intensity levels.
The bonded leather shell isn’t as durable as other leather or fabric shells, but it looks smooth and high-quality. The base is engineered from steel, so it’s a bit heavier than some other chairs. That said, it’s also more durable, so you’ll have to decide which feature is more important to you.
Who this is for: This chair is ideal for big and tall users. It supports up to 350 pounds, which is more than most recliners on the market.
Why I like it: It’s nice to see a good, quality chair built for taller users. I liked that Catnapper saved weight where they could by using plywood for the frame, even though this chair is heavier than most due to the steel base. It’s that kind of attention to detail that makes Catnapper one of the best brands in the business.
While there’s only one massage mode on this recliner, the back massager can be adjusted up or down. Simply lift the flap on the back of the chair, and slide the massager up or down the mounting rails until you find a spot that’s comfortable for you.
The polyester upholstery is stain resistant and easy to clean. Unless you’re willing to invest in top grain leather or suede, this is the most utilitarian material you can use. Assembly is easy. Follow the instructions to connect the two cables, and slide the back into place.
Who this is for: This is a good choice for people who want to pay a middle-of-the-road price for a fully functional heated recliner. The ambidextrous cup holders also make it a good choice for left handed people.
Why I like it: This chair has a minimalist design that I love. There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles or extra padding where you don’t need it. Every dollar you spend will go directly to a feature that you’re actually going to use.
The massage motor has multiple modes and intensity settings, so most people will find a combination that works well for them. The wired remote works well, and has a long enough cord to use either left or right handed. This is a glider recliner, and only needs 7 inches of wall clearance to fully recline. This makes it ideal for apartments or small rooms.
The sinuous springs in the seat are an old-school choice, since inner-coil springs provide better support and are used in most modern cushions. Still, it’s plush enough to be comfortable for most people. Taller users will want to steer clear, since the back itself only measures 25 inches from the seat to the top.
Who this is for: This recliner is a good choice for people who are on the heavier side. For some folks, it may be the only option – this chair has a truly insane 485 pound weight capacity, which is more than 100 pounds higher than the next-strongest recliner I reviewed.
Why I like it: This is the ultimate recliner for couples who aren’t both right handed. He can use the left cup holder, and when it’s her turn, she can use the right hand one.
The Homegear Lazy Boy Heated Recliner has multiple massage modes, and lets you choose from three timer settings: 10, 20 or 30 minutes. After that, the massage and heater will shut off and the chair will automatically sit up.
The seat is a little stiff at my weight – I’m a small guy – but I imagine it would be perfect for someone who weighs twice as much as I do. It’s easy to assemble. There are two wires that need to be connected, and the back slides smoothly into place.
Who this is for: This chair is perfect for people who work in the cold or spend a lot of time outside. It warms up to 98.6⁰ F, which isn’t warm enough for heat therapy, but is perfect for gently soaking the chill out of your bones.
Why I like it: I appreciate the high quality at a low price. This chair has a wired remote, and looks very classy. Not bad for a recliner that costs about as much as a bicycle.
The ComHoma Heated Leather Recliner has four massage modes. This isn’t as many as some top-tier chairs, but this is a budget chair, and it’s nice to have options. The bonded leather shell isn’t as durable as other materials, but it’s well-made and looks pretty sharp.
Assembly is easy, only requiring you to mount the back of the chair. That said, this recliner has a push back design, which means it will shift with your weight. If you fall asleep in it, you’re liable to wake up suddenly when you shift in your sleep and the chair rights itself.
Who this is for: This recliner is formal enough to look good in an office, and the gliding design means it only needs a few inches of wall clearance. This is a good choice for professionals who want a professional-looking but functional chair without spending a fortune on a piece of office furniture.
Why I like it: I loved the pull ring. It’s located right next to your head, and lets you raise the foot rest without reclining the chair. That’s a feature you’ll rarely see on a recliner of any price, and it’s a nice option to have.
The Mecor Recliner has a wired remote that’s long enough to operate left or right handed. It ships in two boxes, but is relatively easy to assemble. The arms and back slide easily into the base, and that’s all you need to do. That said, this isn’t as durable as some chairs, due to the bonded leather shell.
Who this is for: This is a very comfortable chair for seniors or others who have limited mobility. You can operate the lift function from the wired remote, and the chair will push you up and forward into a standing position.
Why I like it: I like the short wall clearance – 11.8 inches – on this recliner. A lot of seniors are on fixed incomes and live in apartments, so it’s nice to see a lift chair that doesn’t need to sit out in the middle of the room.
This recliner has eight massage modes, and the heating elements warm your back, thighs and buttocks. This is more heat than you’ll get from most heated massage chairs, which tend to focus on the lumbar area.
The dual USB charger means you won’t have to get up to plug in your phone, and the cup holders and side pockets are ambidextrous. The bonded leather shell is easy to wash, but isn’t as durable as most other types of upholstery.
Who this is for: This is a good choice for people who want a washable, durable chair that has plenty of heat and massage options.
Why I like it: The cushions are incredibly thick, including the back and armrests. This makes it great for relaxing for hours with a good book or a Netflix binge.
The eight massage motors will operate in nine different modes at five different intensity levels. No matter where you’re feeling pain or stress, you can customize your massage to reach those problem areas.
This recliner will support people up to 300 pounds, and up to about 6 feet, 2 inches in height. It comes in four colors: beige, brown, grey and realtree camo. It’s also reasonably priced, which is impressive considering how much more comfortable it is than a lot of more expensive recliners.
Heated Recliners 101
There are two aspects of a heated recliner that we need to look at. The first is how the recliner works, and the second is the heating element itself.
Types of Recliner
- A traditional recliner has a back that’s hinged where it meets the back of the seat. When it leans back, it pivots on that hinge, while the seat remains in place. The reclining action itself can be controlled by pushing back on the seat, by pulling a lever, or by turning a dial. Depending on the exact design, the lever or dial may have a locking mechanism that can be used to lock the chair at different intervals.
Most recliners have an extendable leg rest that deploys when the back is tilted back. If they don’t, they will generally include an ottoman instead.
- A gliding recliner, or glider, can have all the same basic features as a recliner. However, they recline differently. Instead of being hinged at the base, the backs of these recliners are hinged at the top of the armrests. When reclined, the top of the chair leans back, but the bottom of the back actually pushes forward. The seat moves forward (glides) as this happens.
Because there are more moving parts in a gliding recliner, they tend to cost more than traditional recliners. However, since the backs of these chairs move forward as they recline, they don’t require as much wall clearance. This makes them popular for apartments or small rooms.
The Heating Elements
Heating elements are metal coils, typically made of copper, that get warm when the right amount of electricity is run through them. To avoid overheating, these coils are typically insulated. Since overheating is still a possible danger, most heated recliners will automatically shut off after a certain amount of time.
The exact price of your recliner will depend on a variety of factors. In the reviews, I’ve tried to give a good ideas of which chairs are more or less affordable. For other recliners, here are a few of the factors you’ll need to take into account.
The type of upholstery makes a big difference in the final cost of your chair. Here are some of the most common materials.
- Polyester or polyester/cotton blend. This is the most affordable type of upholstery. It’s usually stain resistant, although cotton blends will be less resistant than pure polyester. On the other hand, polyester tends to have a “synthetic” feel. It’s also not very durable, and tears easily.
- Microfiber. This material is more durable and more expensive than polyester. It tends to be thicker, and feels softer to the touch. It’s harder to clean than polyester, though.
- Chenille. Chenille is a special cotton weave that’s extra thick, and is usually used in higher-end chairs. It’s the most expensive type of upholstery – with the exception of exotic options like silk – and is also the hardest to clean. This is due to the dense weave, and significant stains like red wine can require a shampooer to fully remove.
- Bonded leather, also called PU leather, pleather, or leatherette is made from the scraps that are left over from the production of higher-quality leather. This material is mixed with polyurethane, vinyl and adhesives to create a leather-like material. It’s less durable than other kinds of leather, and the price falls between polyester and microfiber.
- Genuine leather is the next lowest grade of leather. It’s not usually used for upholstery, because the surface has a “fuzzy” feel. It’s made from the bottom half of the cowhide, and is pretty durable, but it just doesn’t look right outside of a hunting lodge.
- Split grain leather is the middle part of the cowhide, and is the softest leather available. It’s relatively thin, and is often processed to produce suede. Suede is very expensive, more so than any cloth upholstery.
- Top grain leather is the most durable type of leather. It’s made from the top of the cowhide, and is usually buffed to a smooth, shiny finish with a uniform grain. This leather is the most expensive, and even a basic chair with this type of upholstery can cost over $1,000.
Type of Massage Features
Your recliner’s massage options are another factor that will affect the price. It’s hard to put an exact number on it, because the quality of the motors can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. That said, a recliner with more motors is going to cost more, while a recliner with fewer motors is going to cost less.
If the chair has a bar-style massager that moves up and down your back, this will require special construction to support your weight without a lot of padding getting in the way. It also requires a pair of tracks for the bar to traverse, which will make the chair more expensive.
If the recliner has airbag massagers, these will require sensors and a more advanced computer to inflate them to the right pressure to fit your body. As a result, chairs with airbags cost more than those without.
Much like the upholstery, the frame will also affect the cost of your recliner. You might think that wood frames would be more affordable than aluminum ones, and this is sometimes the case, but it depends on the kind of wood.
Pine is soft, easy to cut, and grows quickly. As a result, it’s cheaper than hardwood, but it’s also less durable. A pine or plywood frame is going to be the cheapest you can find.
An aluminum frame falls squarely in the middle of the price range. These frames are usually hollow, so they weigh less than wood frames. They’re more prone to bending if the chair is dropped, but they’re far less likely to crack than a wood frame.
Hardwoods like walnut and mahogany are more durable than pine, and have dense grains that look gorgeous when they’re stained. This is the most expensive type of frame.
In addition to the material, the frame’s design will have an impact on your wallet. A simple recliner has fewer moving parts than a glider, while rocking or swiveling chairs have even more parts. The more moving parts, the higher your cost.
Lift and Other Power Features
In addition to the basics, there are some premium features that will add to your cost. Lift chairs require an extra-strong, heavy base to tilt the chair up and forward without overturning it.
Some power recliners have battery backups so you can sit up in the event of a power outage. Not only will these add weight to your chair, they’ll also add to the price.
Finally, there are the bells and whistles. USB chargers, cup holders and remote controls are all nice features, but they all come at a price. Before you buy, consider what features you’re actually going to use.
Heated Chair Pad For Recliner – An Affordable Alternative
If a heated recliner chair is out of your price range, it may be worth considering a heated chair pad instead. These come at a fraction of the cost of an entire recliner, and are available in a variety of sizes to fit your existing chair.
In particular, be careful of the height of your heating pad. If it’s higher than the back of your chair, it’s going to look silly, and it may bend, potentially damaging the coils.
An advantage of a heated chair pad is that you’re not tied to one chair. You can take it to the office with you, or bring it on vacation. Some chair pads even have a 12-volt adapter for use in your car, although it’s not a good idea to use one while you’re driving.
If you’re looking for a massage option, some heated chair pads have one, though those models will weigh more. They’ll also be more expensive, at which point you may be better off just buying a heated recliner.
For people on Medicare or Medicaid, there are three simple qualifications to get coverage for a lift chair:
- You must be unable to stand up from a normal armchair.
- You must not live in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Living with family members is fine.
- Medicare or Medicaid must not have paid for a wheelchair for you.
If you meet these qualifications, Medicare and Medicaid will cover the cost of the lift mechanism, but not the chair itself. Before you buy anything, talk to a social worker to find out how much of the price will be covered. Similarly, Medicare and Medicaid will pay for repairs to the lift mechanism, but not for damage to upholstery, heating or massage elements, or other parts of the frame.
If you have a private insurance company, talk to your insurance agent. Each plan will have different rules, qualifications, and levels of coverage, which would require a whole article much longer than this one!