What Is a Reclining Couch?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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A reclining couch is a piece of furniture that features reclining seats; a couch usually features three or more connected seats, but the reclining couch may only feature one or two seats that recline. A few couch models will feature three or more seats that recline, though these tend to cost more and are not as common as other models. Usually the seats on either end of the couch are the ones that recline, since the reclining function can be activated using a hand lever or crank mounted on the side of the couch.

When the reclining couch seat is activated, the seat back will tip back and down, and the skirt, or lower part of the couch, will rise up to act as a foot rest. This is done using a series of metal arms that are activated by the hand lever on the side of the couch. It works in exactly the same way as a reclining chair, and the sitting and reclining positions will feel similar to those positions on a reclining chair. Sometimes the mechanism is activated simply by pushing back on the seat back, or by pressing a button mounted somewhere on the arm of the chair instead of using a hand lever or crank.


The materials used to make a reclining couch can vary, just as they do with other types of couches. Reclining couch models tend to cost more than other types of couches, and to account for this higher price, in many cases higher end materials are used to construct the couch. Leather is a common choice of material for upholstering the couch, though other materials such as cotton, nylon, and so on can be used as upholstery. The specific design and pattern of the couch can vary significantly.

Sometimes the center unit of the couch can be modified to accommodate other accessories, especially if that center unit does not recline. The seat back may, for example, tip forward and down, thereby revealing a tabletop or surface for placing drinks, plates, or other items such as remote controls. The bottom of the center unit may pull out to reveal a storage drawer as well; these accessories are not necessarily built into the reclining couch, and if they are included, they are likely to raise the price of the couch overall. The inclusion of reclining features and other center seat features can also raise the overall weight of the unit, making it difficult to move the couch.


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