Can You Convert A Manual Recliner To Electric? — Go-To Guide

You’ve had a manual recliner for a while, but you’ve been longing for a power chair you can’t really afford. Is there anything you can do? Is there a way to convert a manual recliner to power without destroying it?

The good news is that you can transform your manual recliner and add electric features. But are the benefits of power chairs strong enough for you to go through this process, and will the transition be worth it? In today’s blog, you can read all about the differences between these two types of recliners and the many advantages electric chairs deliver.

We also prepared a guide that will help you figure out how to transform a manual chair into an electric one, depending on the model of the recliner you own. 

What’s The Difference Between A Manual And Power Recliner?

Before we answer the question, “Can you convert a manual recliner to a power recliner?,” we have to discuss the differences between the two designs and why one might want to convert a manual recliner. 

There is no doubt that power recliners are a superb category of reclining chairs that can make your life much easier. Here are the benefits that you’ll gain from going from manual to electric:


As we mentioned, power recliners are amazing, highly functional, and easy to use. However, they come at a cost and are significantly more expensive than manual recliners. The fact that you’ll be able to move the chair with the press of a button and get advanced power features like USB connection, massages, and heat functions means that you’ll need to pay more.

One of the main reasons people want to do the change themselves is that they can’t afford to purchase an electric reclining chair. However, the conversion kit isn’t costly, and if you have a knack for DIY projects, this is something you can try. 


What’s The Difference Between A Manual And Power Recliner?

Power recliners are functional chairs that come with so many amazing features. First of all, they can be the best addition to homes of elderly people or others who have trouble sitting down or getting up. These reclining chairs move with the touch of a button, so people who have difficulty moving can adjust their position with ease

People with health conditions and patients after surgery can benefit a lot from electric recliners. Getting into bed and getting up from it can be very challenging for individuals that fall into these two groups. Still, since a power recliner can transform into a different position with ease, users can sit down or stand up much faster and easier, without experiencing pain. 

Some power recliners are equipped with massaging or heating features that can speed up the recovery for patients after surgery or people who suffer from certain conditions. For example, if you’ve been experiencing back pain, a relaxing massage several times per week can be the best thing ever. These reclining chairs can also be equipped with USB ports, memory features, storage, etc. 

Manual recliners have a lever that people need to push or pull in order to adjust the position. This can sometimes require added strength that not everyone has. It’s also more complicated than electric mechanisms because it takes more time to achieve the desired position. 


Both power and manual recliners can last for decades if you treat them right. However, the levers of manual recliners can break, so you might need to take them for repair or change the lever yourself.

The motors of electric reclining chairs are durable, and they rarely break down. 

How To Convert A Recliner To An Electric Recliner

Can you convert a manual recliner to a power chair? The short answer is yes, as long as you have the patience to do it. If you don’t want to splurge on a new, expensive power recliner, then this guide will definitely save you money and still get you the recliner you want. 

But, what do you need to make the transition? You can get numerous conversion kits either online or in-store that will do the job and add electric features to your existing chair. Thankfully, these kits are affordable and easy to find. 

Before you start looking for one online, ensure that you check with your chair manufacturer. Not all chairs support these kits, so you’ll save yourself time and money if you get in touch with the brand that made your recliner.

They’ll let you know which kits are compatible with the recliner you have and whether they produce conversion kits you can use. 

Another option is to contact a professional and ask them if they could do the conversion for you. Not everyone is handy with this kind of thing, so sometimes it is much better to get help from someone who knows what they’re doing. 

The next step is to get the conversion kit. If the chair manufacturer doesn’t offer one, you can go online and start your research. Ensure that the products you’re looking at have good reviews from customers who have already installed the kits in chairs of the same model and design as yours. 

These kits come with instructions that will guide you through the process. You’ll be doing most of the work on the recliner frame, changing the manual mechanism with an electric one. Since not all kits work the same, it’s hard to put together a universal guide; therefore, you’ll need to read the instructions and follow them step by step. 

Recliners are simple to disassemble into parts and put the parts back together. First, you’ll need to push the chair forward, locate the reclining mechanism, then expose it. Once you do, the instructions will let you know where to place the kit and how to secure it. 

Ensure that you have all the tools right next to you so that you can be more efficient. After placing the kit, you’ll need to reassemble the parts. In general, it’s not a complex task because it mainly includes working on the chair frame and tightening screws. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using An Electric Recliner?

Now that you know all about recliner transformation, we’d also like to mention the main benefits of owning a power recliner. 


Thanks to the electric features these recliners come with, they’re highly customizable. You can quickly adjust the footrest, backrest, and neck rest. In addition, some of these recliners are zero gravity, which means you can also sleep on them and take the most comfortable nap ever. 

Each part of the recliner can be adjusted to your preferred position. In other words, these chairs are ideal for people who struggle with moving or are recovering from surgery.

Health Benefits

As we mentioned many times before, electric recliners are an amazing addition to the lives of people with physical limitations and mobility issues. Being able to lift the chair and get up with ease is much better than struggling to get up for a long time. 

The health benefits of these chairs come because of their functions that we’ll discuss below. For example, you can quickly lift up your feet and get rid of swollen ankles, get in a position that’s comfortable for your back pain, or speed up recovery from injuries thanks to the heating and massage functions

Massaging Functions

Who doesn’t love a relaxing massage? Many electric recliners feature massaging heads that will help you get rid of pain and speed up your recovery. The massage feature is meant for everyone, not only people with health issues. 

Heating Functions

Heated seats are a dream come true. They usually come together with the massage feature and also contribute to a speedy recovery. These seats will be your favorite feature after a long day of work or an exhausting workout session in the gym. 


Can you convert a recliner to a lift chair?

What Are The Benefits Of Using An Electric Recliner?

In general, you can convert any recliner into a lift chair. In addition, there are specialized lift frames on the market you can purchase and help you upgrade your regular recliner. 

These frames are easily installed in the bottom part of the chair, and they feature an electronic system that allows powerlifting. Once you install the frame, the chair will become a great asset in your home, especially if you struggle with injuries, back, neck, or lumbar pain, or have difficulty getting up. Therefore, it’s a superior choice for people with arthritis and similar conditions compared to a regular chair that doesn’t lift. 

The frame usually comes with a control that you need to attach to the chair. Ensure that it’s somewhere you can easily reach whenever you need to. This addition won’t prevent any other chair features from functioning. 

However, to be certain that your recliner can be transformed into a lift chair, you should first contact the manufacturer. Next, read in-depth about the lift frame specifications, and you’ll see whether it’s a good fit for your recliner. In general, the frames are suitable for rocker, manual, and wall-hugging recliners. 


Can you convert a manual recliner to electric? Yes, you absolutely can. Before you start, the only thing to keep in mind is that not all manual recliners are suitable for conversion, and the best place to get information is from the chair manufacturer. 

Many brands offer conversion kits for their manual recliners, so if you find out there’s one suitable for your model, don’t hesitate to get it. The second place to search is online and in-store, but ensure to carefully read the product description and instructions.