What is a Swivel Recliner?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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Swivel recliners are armchairs that are designed with a back that can be lowered, a recessed footstool that can be raised, and a base that can be used to rotate or swivel the main body of the chair at will. Recliners of this type are often constructed to allow the main body of the piece to rock back and forth, making this kind of chair one of the most popular options for comfortable seating in a den or similar setting. In recent years, manufacturers have begin to create designs for the swivel recliner chair that go beyond comfort and are tailored to fit in a wider range of decorating schemes.

The swivel recliner combines some of the more attractive functions of many other types of chairs. Borrowing the ability of the standard swivel chair to rotate in a complete circle, swivel recliners add the footrest and reclining back that is common to all types of recliners. Once the soothing back and forth motion common to rocking chairs is added to the mix, the swivel recliner has the ability to provide desirable seating for just about everyone.


Upholstery options for a swivel recliner are similar to those of any type of chair or other furniture designed for sitting purposes. For a more masculine appearance, it is not unusual for chairs of this type to make use of leather or suede for the outer shell. Budget designs often make use of synthetic materials that mimic the grain of nature leather. Sturdy woven blends composed of natural and synthetic fibers can be used to create a color and pattern design that ties the chair to the general color scheme of the room and gives the piece a less rugged feel.

As with many types of furniture, the cost of the final product will vary, depending on the quality and cost of the materials used in the manufacturing process. Less expensive chairs tend to be slightly smaller in overall size and may utilize a frame composed of pressed wood sections or some type of less durable natural wood. The padding on the cheaper swivel recliners is likely to be thinner than on more costly models. In general, the upholstery is made with synthetic materials rather than including the use of any natural material.

Most furniture stores will carry several different brands and models of the swivel recliner. Along with the traditional design that many consumers are familiar with, manufacturers now design and market chairs of this type that include elements reminiscent of everything from contemporary to French Provincial to Dutch Modern. The diversity in swivel recliner design has made it much easier for people to enjoy the amenities connected with the chair, while still having the piece fit easily into many different room designs.


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