That said, there are a few things all these recliners will have in common. To begin with, they take up a lot of space, since the ottoman won’t collapse like a leg rest does. They also won’t have a zero-gravity feature. This is because even adjustable ottomans have nowhere near the height required to lift your feet up that high.
There’s nothing quite like putting your feet up at the end of a day’s work. Whether your work involves hard manual labor or sitting in front of a screen, eight hours or more of doing the same thing can leave your muscles stiff and in need of relief. A recliner with an ottoman is a great way to relax. It’s also easier on the wallet, since these recliners have fewer moving parts than recliners with leg rests, and are therefore cheaper to manufacture.
But there are many options available, and not everyone has time to do an in-depth comparison on dozens of similar products. How do you decide?
I’ve done the legwork for you, and taken a hard look at the most popular ottoman/recliner combos on the market. In this top ten list, I’ll cover the features of these chairs, including any drawbacks they may have.
Most of these recliners are leather or faux leather, simply because cloth-upholstered chairs tend to be on the very cheap or very expensive side, depending on quality. I wanted to look at recliners that are in the middle of the pack – they cost enough to be good quality, but they’re in a reasonable price range for a piece of furniture.
Recliners Types With Ottoman
Who Makes the Best Recliner With Ottoman?
How to Recover a Mid Century Modern Recliner With Ottoman?
If you’re going to recover a mid century recliner, keep in mind that this is going to be a project. Professional upholsterers will charge upwards of $1,000 in labor for the job, and you’ll still need to buy cloth. That translates to several hours of labor for an experienced professional, so clear your calendar for a couple of weekends.
To do the job right, you’re going to need a few tools:
- Flathead screwdriver for removing staples
- Philips screwdriver for removing screws
- Staple gun and staples
- New fabric
- Interfacing material
- Drill (for some chairs)
To begin with, you’ll need to remove any upholstered parts including the seat and back of the chair and the top of the ottoman. Then, you’ll need to go around each of these parts and remove any staples using your flathead screwdriver. At this point, you can either remove the old upholstery altogether, or leave it in place for extra padding. Even if you decide to leave it in place, you’ll still want to remove the staples; they’ll get in the way of your new staples.
Next, take each piece and lay it on the fabric to measure out the right size. The seat should be the easiest piece, since it should be relatively square and relatively flat. If you’ve never reupholstered a piece of furniture before, definitely do the seat first so you can learn on the easiest part of the chair. When cutting the fabric, make sure you leave plenty of room on the edges so it can wrap around the bottom and be stapled in. You’ll want to cut the interfacing material the same way.
Next, hold the interfacing over the cushion, and staple it in the back at the top center. Pull the material taut to the bottom center, and put a staple there, too, making sure to keep the fabric straight and smooth over the cushion. Do the same thing on the left and right center. Then, work your way around the cushion, continuing to hold the material taut and wrinkle-free, and staple it at one-inch intervals. Once this is done, do the same thing with the upholstery material, stapling it over the top of the interfacing.
At this point, you’re ready to replace the cushion. If there were any screws running through the fabric, you may need to drill a small hole to let them pass through. The exact process will vary from chair to chair, but it shouldn’t be more complicated than taking the recliner apart to begin with.
Repeat the process with each upholstered part, and you’re all done with the upholstery!
If the wood also needs refinishing, it’s a good idea to do it before putting nice new fabric on the chair. Use some paint thinner and steel wool to remove the old finish, and be careful not to spill on your carpet or other upholstery, since it can damage fabric. Some very old chairs may require lacquer thinner to remove the finish, so you may need to experiment a little.
Note that removing all stain from a piece of wood is extremely difficult. In most cases, the best you can hope for is to remove the old clear coat and get the wood down to a nice, even color. Once you’ve done that, use a wood bleach or wood conditioner to thoroughly treat the wood. The pores in old wood can shrink, making them resistant to new stain, and these chemicals will re-open the pores.
Wait for the wood to dry, and apply your stain of choice to get an even color. Make sure to wipe off any excess stain that has pooled in cracks or ornamental grooves. Let the stain dry for at least 24 hours, and apply a polyurethane clear coat. Glossy finishes will reveal more flaws, but are more difficult to scratch. Semi-gloss and satin finishes will conceal flaws, but are softer and easier to scratch.
Congratulations, you’ve just restored your mid-century recliner and ottoman!
How to Reupholster a Leather Recliner With Ottoman?
Reupholstering in leather is similar to doing upholstery with regular cloth, with the exception of the fact that leather is significantly more expensive. Depending on the gauge of leather you’re using, you may also need special shears to cut it.
If you’re buying leather to reupholster your recliner, keep in mind that not all leather is the same. Bonded leather, for example, is made from the leftover pieces of higher quality leather, and includes vinyl and adhesives. “Genuine” leather may sound good, but it’s from the bottom half of the hide, and has a “fuzzy” feel. Vinyl and faux leather are actually more durable than these two types of leather.
On the high end, top grain leather is the best grade available. This leather does not tear, and includes most distressed leathers. Full grain leather is similar to top grain leather, but while top grain leather is typically buffed and polished on both sides, full grain leather undergoes less processing. Both these types of leather are made from the strong, outer layer of the hide, and have the fewest imperfections.
In the middle of these grades is split grain leather. It’s made from the soft, middle layer of the hide between top grain and genuine leather. This is the softest layer, and is used to make suede. It’s strong enough for upholstery, but can be vulnerable to staining if it’s not treated properly.
Whatever grade you use, remember to measure twice and cut once. Even bonded leather is more expensive than most cloth, so make every piece count.
Review of the Recliners With Ottoman
Who this is for: This is another good recliner/ottoman combo for people who are on the shorter side. The control lever is easy to reach, and the arms and headrest are nice and low. On the downside, taller people will want to choose a larger chair.
Why I like it: I always appreciate chairs that are made with smaller people in mind. That said, I’m an average-sized guy, and I had no problem with this recliner.
The ball-bearing base is smooth and quiet, and is manufactured from solid mahogany. The upholstery itself is reasonable quality for the price, although you can expect the bonded leather to start wearing after a few years of use.
The sturdy design on this recliner comes at the expense of convenience; it weighs 56 pounds, which may be too much for some people. It’s available in four colors: brown vintage, brown, beige and black.
This recliner is great if you want to use it in the same place, but be careful; at 56 pounds, it’s a bit heavy. Elderly folks or people with disabilities won’t be able to move it around easily. It’s also a little low for use at a desk, although it’s very comfortable if you want to lean back with your laptop.
Who this is for: This recliner is designed for people who love to have their hands free. There’s no lever required to recline it, and the snack table puts your food, water or remote control right at your fingertips.
Why I like it: I loved the snack table. It’s a nice touch, and can be installed on either side of the chair for lefties and righties respectively. Assembly was quick and easy, which is not always the case when products are shipped from China in multiple packages. The instructions were clear, and easy to understand.
The base of this chair is made from birch. It’s not quite as sturdy as mahogany, but it’s close, and it’s significantly lighter; this chair weighs 49 pounds. There’s no recline lever. Simply lean back, and the chair moves with you. There’s a tension knob on the side, so you can make it harder or easier to recline.
This recliner is available in two colors: black and café brown. One thing I didn’t like was the bonded leather shell. It’s less durable than vinyl, and doesn’t look any better.
Who this is for: This is the ideal recliner/ottoman combo for someone who wants a decent chair on a slim budget. It actually outperforms some of the other chairs on my list, if only because it has a faux leather finish instead of bonded leather.
Why I like it: At this low, low price, what’s not to like? Expectations are everything, and this recliner delivers in spades. It has a few features that some other options don’t, most significantly lumbar support and height adjustment.
The lockable adjustment knob is one of the best features I’ve seen, and I’m surprised that more premium manufacturers don’t take HomCom’s lead on this. There’s no lever required for reclining, and no single point where you have to stay at. Lean back as far as is comfortable, and twist the knob into place to lock the chair in.
This recliner is available in three colors: black, cream white and dark brown. It only weighs 39 pounds, so almost anybody will be able to move it around. Since you can adjust the height, it works equally well at a desk as it does in your living room.
Who this is for: This recliner is perfect for someone who’s looking for an affordable recliner that’s comfortable, durable, and wears better than bonded leather. It’s also good for people who want to save space.
Why I like it: There aren’t many quality, cloth-upholstered recliners that are also affordable. I liked this chair in particular because the chenille shell is extremely durable, and easy to clean compared to some other upholstery fabrics. It’s also very comfortable, with lush, padded armrests.
This is a glider recliner, which means the seat slides forward as it reclines. As a result, you’ll get a little more wall clearance than you will from a standard recliner. It’s only available in one color, but it’s a neutral grey-brown that should match most people’s living rooms.
On the downside, it’s a bit heavy, weighing in at 57 pounds. That’s not exactly a ton, but it’s still a bit much for the elderly or people with disabilities. Of course, if you plan on leaving it in the same place, this isn’t much of an issue.
Who this is for: This is a great chair for taller people who are tired of me talking about all the small recliners available. The ottoman is angled away from the seat, and is very deep, perfect for people with longer legs.
Why I like it: In addition to being good for taller folks, this recliner just looks sharp. The mahogany arms look like something you’d find on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, and the chrome base provides a gorgeous, shiny accent to the wood.
The Artiva USA recliner is available in three colors: black, brown and latte, which is a neutral cream color. It’s easy to assemble, and very sturdy. The cushions are nice and thick. You can sink into this chair easily, but you’re not going to want to get up anytime soon.
Unfortunately, the bonded leather shell is very low quality. It’s thin, and contains a lot of vinyl and binders. Don’t expect it to last for more than a few years. This would be forgivable in a budget chair, but it’s disappointing in a mid-priced recliner.
Who this is for: This is a great choice for couples, since the ottoman and recliner can both be adjusted up and down. If you’re 6’2” tall and your partner is 5’1”, this recliner and ottoman will be comfortable enough for both of you.
Why I like it: I like how customizable this set is. Sometimes I want my feet to rest down low, particularly if I’m sitting for a long time and don’t want my feet to get tingly. On the other hand, sometimes I want my feet as high as possible, just to relax for a bit. This recliner/ottoman combo lets me do both.
The leatherette shell is more durable than the bonded leather chairs I’ve looked at, and should last for several years. The aluminum base is lightweight, which makes the chair easy to move around. Since it’s a glider, you won’t have to do this on a regular basis. It can sit just two feet from the wall, and still recline almost all the way without putting a dent in your drywall.
Who this is for: This chair is ideal for people who also want to use their recliner as a rocker. Because the ottoman has a rocking hinge, you can move your whole body without needing to flex your legs while you’re trying to relax.
Why I like it: This was my top choice, and it was an easy decision. The rocking ottoman sold me, since this should be a required feature for any ottoman that comes with a rocking recliner. If that’s not enough, the leatherette shell is higher quality than any bonded leather upholstery.
The only downside to this chair is its size, by which I mean that it’s fairly large. Shorter people will probably want a chair where the arms aren’t as high. That said, this is a lush, well-padded recliner that your family will be fighting over.
The frame is made from lightweight aluminum, so it’s relatively easy to move around should that become necessary. Because it’s a gliding recliner, you won’t have to keep it more than a couple of feet from your wall.
Who this is for: This recliner/ottoman combo was made for people who don’t mind spending a little extra for a top-quality piece of furniture. Tall people will also appreciate the extra-long ottoman, which will support your legs even if you play in the NBA.
Why I like it: Remember how I said I wished more premium recliners had position-locking dials so you can recline at any angle? This premium recliner has one.
If that’s not enough, it also has a beautiful, solidly-built mahogany base. This comes at the expense of weight – the chair weighs 74 pounds – but this frame will outlive your grandchildren. The upholstery will last almost as long. It’s crafted from top grain leather, which is the most durable leather available. Unless you take a knife to it, this shell isn’t wearing out any time soon.
There’s one group of people who should avoid this chair: shorter people. It sits relatively high off the floor, and isn’t adjustable.