Everything You Need To Know About Glider Recliner Chairs

Glider-style recliners mimic the back-and-forth motion of a traditional rocking recliner. The two are actually more similar than they are different, so to choose between them, you need to learn as much as you can about the gliders. After all, they are one of the less talked about recliners but they have so much to offer! 

Did you know some double swivel recliners? If not, this is just the start. Read on to learn more, including what they are, what makes them special, who they are made for, and how to select one. 

What Is A Glider Recliner Chair? 

What Is A Glider Recliner Chair? 

The definition is really in the name. It’s a chair that reclines and can conveniently move back and forth in a smooth motion. If you’re not paying attention you can easily confuse the movement for a rocking motion, but it’s not. There’s a subtle difference. 

The frame of a glider reclining chair rests on a fixed track that allows for a side-to-side motion. As I hinted to you earlier, many recliners of this kind also have a swivel function that operates from the same platform. 

Imagine a chair that reclines, glides, and turns 360 degrees to the right or left. So much to be offered, right? I’ll break down these three functions so you can have a better understanding of what to expect.

Recliner Function

This works similarly to other recliners. You can set the reclining mechanism in motion via a lever handle, pull handle, pushing back the backrest, pressing a button on the chair, or by using a remote control, depending on the chair’s operation mechanism. You can usually expect a footrest as well. 

Gliding Function

A reclining glider chair slides forward and backward in a smooth horizontal motion that’s similar to that of a traditional rocking chair. You won’t be able to intensify the range of motion but the experience is just as good if not better than that of a rocking chair

Do note that you typically won’t be able to engage the footrest, if it has one, as the chair glides back and forth.

Swivel Function 

Of the models that swivel, some can make a 360-degree turn while others can only cover a smaller angle. Either way, it’s a nice feature that can help relax you and also makes it easy for you to reach items or places that would otherwise require you to get up from the chair. 

The La-Z-Boy Finley Gliding Recliner would be a fine option, in case you are eager to buy a chair that ticks all three boxes. Before you do, though, have a quick look at the factors below. 

What Makes Glider Recliners Special? 

At the top of the list of things that set this type of chair apart is the gliding function. You could argue that rocker recliners do the same thing, but you would be wrong. 

Gliders move in an extremely smooth motion that you have absolute control over. Most of them have a mechanism that lets you use its functions as needed. It’s not like a rocker recliner which is typically designed to either rock back and forth or recline.

Also, you don’t need to apply a lot of force to keep the motion going. This should save you a lot of effort, but if you ever decide to intensify your movements, you would need a rocker recliner instead. 

Another special thing about this recliner is that it’s versatile in its movements. You can lock most of these chairs in place, recline, glide, or swivel. 

Who Should Use A Reclining Glider Chair?

Who Should Use A Reclining Glider Chair?

Anyone who needs extra comfort and support while unwinding could use this chair. It offers everything you would expect from a quality average recliner, but that’s just a piece of the pie. 

Mothers, caregivers, and anyone else feeding an infant will find this chair fit for their situation as well. Thanks to a locking mechanism, you can stabilize it at the position of your liking and go on to do other things like feeding the baby. You will also have an easier time getting up without distracting your sleeping child. 

For this purpose, your experience will be a lot better if you get a nursery glider that can swivel or recline into multiple positions. For example, if you are looking after several kids in a nursery, the swivel function will help you turn with ease to see what’s happening on the other side. 

Pregnant women could also use a glider chair that reclines. Staying in the same position for a long time can exacerbate all sorts of health problems. A chair that reclines, swivels, glides, and can be locked into specific positions, will help you get the correct posture for pregnancy and save you from body pain, ache, and fatigue. 

Also, if you are experiencing back pains or have trouble getting up from a chair or balancing, the smoother motion and locking mechanism will come in handy for you. 

How To Choose A Glider Reclining Chair 

It would be unfair to wind up this article without showing you how to go about shopping for this chair. I know a good number of us now have every reason to want one. Take into consideration the following factors before you place your order.

Operation Mechanism

Some gliders have to be controlled manually while others use power to operate their different functions. Manual options are the cheapest, but they require more physical effort to use. Power models, on the other hand, cost more but most of the work at the press of a button. Choose what suits your needs and preferences. 

Locking Mechanism

This feature prevents the chair from adjusting to another position when you don’t want it to. Please confirm that your chosen recliner has a locking mechanism because it plays a major role in your comfort.


Just like most recliners, gliders can be upholstered with various materials ranging from genuine and faux leather to fabrics such as polyester, velvet, and cotton. Each has its benefits and downsides. Consider things such as longevity, intended use, and price, while deciding which material to go for. 


Some gliders have a modern contemporary look while others borrow the designs of the past. It’s up to you to decide which one blends well with your decor and suits your tastes. 


Your body size and that of the area where you plan to place the recliner matter a lot. For the seat measurements, you’ll need to pick an appropriate tool and get accurate body measurements for a recliner. For the location measurements, you’ll need to take the dimensions of the area where you’d like the chair to fit. 

When shopping, check the chair’s width, depth, and height to confirm whether it’s a good fit for your body and room.

Reclining Positions

Consider this for the sake of your comfort. If the model you want has one or two positions, you may not be able to achieve your desired level of comfort, especially if you need special considerations due to back pain, pregnancy, or other conditions. A better option for you would be a recliner with multiple reclining positions. 

Remember to have a budget in mind as well. Prices for these recliners vary based on some of the factors we have looked at, so a great way to approach this is to have a list of your needs and preferences and then narrow down the resulting list to options that fit within your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are glider chairs worth it?

A glider chair, especially one that reclines, is absolutely worth it for nurseries, mothers, pregnant women, people with mobility issues, and everyone else looking to experience superior comfort in their recliner. 

What are the disadvantages of reclining gliders?

In addition to not having a limited range of motion, these chairs can cause aches in your arms since you may have to use your muscles a lot to balance. You can, however, minimize this by choosing a chair that allows your feet to touch the ground and also provides sufficient support to your neck and head. 

Is a glider chair good for your back?

The answer is yes. The gentle, smooth back-and-forth motion will increase blood flow. This will trigger a chain reaction that will eventually reduce swelling and promote healing. Oxygen will actually get to your joints, relieving some of the symptoms caused by and resulting in back pains. 

Gliders will also relax you, and when you are relaxed it’s easier to experience less pain and stress because of the endorphin boost in your brain. 

Last Word About Glider Recliner Chairs

Of all recliners, this is most probably the only type that lets you enjoy such a wide range of positions and movements.Such a versatile option would be hard to hate, even if you were to buy it mistakenly. 

That explains why this recliner is nearly universally loved. Even though many of those who use it have their own reasons, anyone who would love to experience superior comfort and support from a recliner will love it. 

Just make sure you have the most suitable model for your needs. You can use the factors I discussed earlier as your roadmap.