Skip to Content

Should You Sleep in a Recliner? (Pros, Cons And The Best Practices)

Many people love to relax in a recliner. They are so comfortable and relaxing that you can even fall asleep in one!

Is it safe, though?

A recliner is a type of chair that provides a variety of positions for sitting. There are different recliners, but they all have one thing in common: we can recline them by pushing them back and down into a horizontal position. We typically use them as an alternative to other seating arrangements because they offer more comfort than most chairs.

A recliner is a great furniture piece to have around the home. It doesn’t take up much space, and it can be positioned in different ways for various activities like reading or watching television. But there are safety considerations that go along with using them too.

Recliners are great for relaxation! If you have one in your home, then try it out. But don’t forget about safety precautions, like not putting anything under the recliner and not sleeping too deeply.

Many people love to relax in a recliner. They are so comfortable and relaxing that you can even fall asleep in one! Is it safe, though?

In this article, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of sleeping in a recliner to help you decide if it is the right choice for you. We’ll also provide a list of best practices and how to pick the recliner that best suits you.

Sleeping in a Recliner

Many people sleep in a recliner for disparate reasons. Some just sleep better. Others do it because the chair’s flexibility lets them avoid typical issues of sleeping in a bed.

Whatever the case, sleeping in a recliner comes with its own pros and cons. Which is why you must carefully weigh them before trying it. For example, if you’re someone who suffers from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), a recliner might solve your suffering.

Pros of Sleeping in a Recliner

The best thing about sleeping in a recliner is that you can relax while sitting up.

One big con of lying down to sleep is that your airways can easily become blocked, which will leave you gasping for breath and feeling lightheaded. Sleeping in a recliner does not present this problem because the head position is higher than when lying down.

It’s also easier to fall asleep in a recliner and stay asleep throughout the night. Perhaps it’s because of the comfortable position, or maybe many people enjoy reading or watching television in their recliner before bedtime.

Recliners are also beneficial for preventing GERD and sleep apnea. GERD is a health problem that affects many people. It occurs when acid from the stomach moves into the esophagus, causing chronic pain and discomfort.

Sleep apnea is another issue that recliners can help with because they keep your airways open while you sleep, which can prevent the risk of developing sleep apnea.

It’s impossible to sleep on your back when you’re sitting up, so sleeping in a recliner might help you avoid snoring.

The most natural way to sleep is on our back, and studies have shown that the best way to maintain healthy blood circulation is by sleeping on one’s back. And recliners force you to sleep on your back.

Another advantage is that recliners don’t take up much space compared to beds. Beds are massive, and pretty much impossible to move around by yourself. Recliners are much more flexible.

Let’s say you have a fireplace at home. You can’t move your bed next to it, but you can move your recliner there. You can start reading a book next to a crackling fire and relax to the point of sleep. Beds aren’t exactly easy to move around, so you’re stuck with wherever you placed yours.

Cons of Sleeping in a Recliner

I’ll discuss why avoid sleeping in your recliner, and what the reasons for that are.

When you’re lying down, your head is lower than when sitting or standing, so gravity won’t pull as much on your organs and blood vessels. This position will also help avoid things like heartburn and a sore back caused by muscle tension.

Another downside to sleeping in a recliner is that it could make your back sore. It’s far too easy to fall asleep in a recliner and stay asleep throughout the night, which is why it can cause muscle tension if you’re not careful. Therefore, trying out different recliners before purchasing one is so important.

You might think you just found the bargain of a lifetime, but after 2-3 nights sleeping in it, you’re feeling worse than if you didn’t sleep at all. That’s a sign that the recliner you picked doesn’t suit you.

Recliners seem to work best if you’re sitting upright when they are reclined. One of the worst things about using a recliner is that if you’re not careful, your head can hang to one side as it goes down and lead to neck pain or other injuries.

Last, sleeping on your back while sitting up can also lead to snoring, because the position puts pressure on the throat muscles. This isn’t necessarily an issue if you live alone, but if you don’t, you are going to disrupt someone else’s sleeping with the noise.

Editor’s note – How to Stop Snoring while Sleeping on a Recliner: It’s important to note that not everyone who has these tight muscles will experience snoring; however, since this is such an easy fix, there really isn’t much of a downside to making sure loose throat muscles are part of your nighttime routine.

If you want to prevent snoring before bedtime, start by relaxing your throat and jaw as often as possible throughout the day. You can do this by yawning or simply stretching out your neck from side-to-side while sitting at work or watching television. This will help make sure everything is loose and ready for sleep.

Best Practices for Sleeping in a Recliner

If you want to sleep in a recliner, you can. But you need to follow some steps to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

Here are some tricks you should implement to maximize comfort and minimize issues:

  • Take precautions to avoid neck or back pain when reclining by using a pillow. Pillows are also great because they set clear boundaries for your body. It won’t move as much if it feels protected by the pillows. You don’t have the luxury of moving a lot during sleep, like when you sleep in a bed.
  • Avoid head drooping by reclining the chair forward and then backward to get accustomed to the feeling of being in it. Your body is very good at adjusting once it learned how to move. Spending 10 minutes on letting it figure out how it should move will save you days of neck pain.
  • Place your recliner in a corner of the room so that you can’t sleep on one side more than another. Most people move a lot while they sleep, and this happens with recliners too. Except recliners aren’t as stable as beds, so they can be dangerous.
  • Sleep on your back if you must sleep in a recliner. Not that you can realistically sleep on your side, but I’ve seen people attempt it. It did not end well. It’s just too uncomfortable, and the recliner’s balance will be off.
  • If your recliner doesn’t have lumbar support, use your own cushions to support your loins. This is especially useful if you sleep while sitting up, as it gives your body the support to not sag, which keeps your muscles tight. You want your body to be fully relaxed while you sleep.
  • Ensure your life is in order. Establish proper sleep hygiene, don’t drink coffee too late, eat properly, and workout regularly to maximize your sleep’s efficacy.

If you implement all the steps above, sleeping a recliner will easily match sleeping on a bed. In fact, for some people, it’s even more comfortable.

Picking the Best Recliner

Buying a recliner is a big decision, so you want to make sure that you pick the best one for your needs. The last thing you want to do is invest in an expensive piece of furniture only to realize after getting it home that it’s not suitable for what you need.

So how can you be sure that your new recliner will meet all of your needs?

The first step is making a list of what features are important to you and considering why they’re important. You might find, for example, that comfort or style matters more than anything else when purchasing a chair.

Or maybe durability or price are most important considerations. Once you identified these factors, consider them against the different models available on the market and find the one that best meets your needs.

Here’s what you should look for when looking for a recliner.


The recliner should be comfortable. There are many options in the market, and every person has its preferences. If possible, try to test them before buying one.

If you can’t, read the company’s return policy. Trying out your recliner for a month or 2 would be optimal.

The most comfortable recliner: Divano Roma Furniture Oversize

Ease of Reclining

It’s best to pick a motorized recliner. It allows you to adjust your position without having to stand up and changing the position manually.

It also makes it easier to stand up after sleep if you use a motorized recliner. Just get it back to a sitting position, and you’re ready to step up and start your day after a refreshing night of sleep.

The best power recliner: Three Posts Lift Assist Standard Power Reclining

You can also get a manual recliner chair, but the issue with these is that it might take a lot of time to adjust when they’re new. Eventually, you’ll find out the right positions for you, but the first week or 2 might frustrate you.

Massaging Functions

Hear me out. Recliners that massage your back while you relax are the bomb. They offer unparalleled comfort. Imagine you come home after a long-exhausting day at work and sit on your recliner. You turn on the massage, and you’re instantly in heaven.

The feeling of relaxation provided by these recliners is hard to beat. Their major downside? They can get quite pricy.

The best massaging recliner: BestMassage Full Body Electric Massage


I mentioned moving your recliner chair next to a crackling fire earlier in the article. But what if you can’t have a crackling fire in your home?

There are recliners with a heating system. They’re great for those snowy winter nights where the world outside is frozen in place.

Recliner chairs with a heating system are expensive, so they’re not for everyone.

The best heated recliner: Esright Massage Recliner Chair


Naturally, the features we’ve talked about so far come at a price. But you don’t have to break your bank to enjoy a high-quality recliner. There are options even if you’re on a tight budget.

You can live without a heating recliner chair. You can achieve the same result with extra sheets. The same goes with motorized recliners. They are a nice-to-have, but you can achieve the same results with manual ones.

The best cheap recliner: Homall Recliner Chair


Sleeping in a recliner is definitely a viable option for many people. It forces you into good sleeping habits, such as sleeping on your back. It’s also very helpful in fighting illnesses like GERD, because you can sleep with your back raised, supporting your digestive system.

However, it comes with its own set of challenges. Weigh each recliner’s pros and cons before buying one. And remember, always shop for one with a generous return policy. You want to try sleeping on it for at least 3-4 weeks before making your decision.

The reason for this is that your body will take time to adapt to your new sleeping place. The first 2 weeks are likely to be uncomfortable. But eventually you’ll get used to your new reclining chair, and you’ll be able to make your decision.

Also Read:

Sharing is caring!