Traditional Or Modern Recliners?

We hope you know by now that there are mainly two types of recliners you can shop for nowadays and they are either traditional and stationary recliners or modern recliners that are more versatile. Both have their strengths & weaknesses, and both have their supporters. We don’t personally like one over the other; the mentality of Recliner Life is that we’d prefer a good and comfortable traditional recliner over a bad modern recliner and vice verse.

What’s The Difference?

Quite frankly, they’re both just chairs and they both work for the same purpose, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their differences. Most often, what identifies and differentiates a traditional recliner from a modern one is its frame and look. Usually, traditional recliners are heavier and wider than modern recliners. They also are usually made of leather, but there are plenty of modern recliners built of leather or PU leather as well so that’s not the biggest indicator. Modern recliners can also be wide, although it isn’t as common as it is with traditional recliners. What really makes a modern recliner modern is its bundle of potential or actual features. It isn’t uncommon for your modern recliner to heat or massage you, and things like spinning 360 degrees is realistic on almost all new modern recliners. Traditional recliners are said to be better for living rooms, relaxation areas, or anywhere that your recliner can stay in one place for a longer period of time. Modern recliners are sometimes said to be better for bedrooms, gaming rooms, or offices but that shouldn’t stop you from getting a modern recliner for the living room.

The Case For Traditional Recliners

case for traditional recliner

This is what a traditional recliner typically looks like. A puffy chair that rocks and reclines and is meant to keep you comfortable by your fireplace for years to come. As you can see, there are no external features on this recliner and it looks just like how a recliner would decades ago, making it a traditional recliner. They are often paired with covers to ensure the longevity of the product.


  • Sometimes more comfortable. People have said that traditional recliners are sometimes softer than traditional recliners, and are easier to fall asleep in. If that is one of your main priorities, then you might want a traditional recliner over a modern one.
  • Less complicated. Usually, these types of recliners don’t require any assembly or anything else other than the reclining mechanism. You won’t have to learn to work any remotes, or any heating systems, or anything like that. Traditional recliners won’t require any additional knowledge from you.
  • With traditional recliners, you usually won’t have to worry about having your technology damaged from spills because there is no real technology.
  • Traditional recliners can be better looking. From my experiences, people will notice a nice, luxurious traditional recliner every time over a cheaper modern recliner that has a bunch of features.


  • No technology. In today’s modern world, people like new stuff and you tend to not get any new stuff with traditional recliners. If you like massage chairs or heating chairs and expect the same from your recliner, then a traditional recliner is probably not for you.
  • Traditional recliners are almost always heavy. This means that once you see how hard it is to even get it in your home, we doubt you’ll ever be thinking of moving it any time soon.

The Case For Modern Recliners

case for modern reclinerAlthough the true definition of a modern recliner now varies from person to person, they generally are all of a new look and feel, while brining other things to the table like unorthodox designs and features. We like modern recliners as well, and can see clearly why many people would prefer modern recliners over traditional recliners.


  • Modern recliners are cool. Who doesn’t like getting a massage from their own chair? Who doesn’t like being heated in their own seat on a crispy winter evening? These are all things that traditional cannot brag about.
  • Sleek look. It’s no secret that modern recliners have slimmer and more stylish looks. Yes, some people like the body of the traditional recliner better, but they are both unique in their own ways. In one room, a modern recliner can look better, and that same recliner can look worse than a traditional recliner in a different room. It all depends on taste and environment.
  • Mobility is a big thing that modern recliners have over traditional recliners. A lot of these new recliners have swivelling rotation implemented in them and are lighter in weight. This makes them easier to carry and move around which can be appreciated by those who like rearranging furniture.


  • Modern recliners are easier to damage because of the inner technology that many of them include. A little bit of water or soda in the wrong place can completely damage some heating or massage systems, so beware.
  • Technical complications. It has been noted that things like swiveling rotation are not all good; some have said that this technology is useless and actually impairs their ability to get off of the recliner. Of course this doesn’t have to be true for every modern recliner, but it is a problem that has been brought up with certain models.

The Verdict

So which is better? Technically, neither. The “better” one is the one which you like better. For some, the features of modern recliners are too much to turn down. For others, all those features are a put off and nothing beats a nice, warm, classic recliner. The choice of which is better is completely up to you. RV chairs can often be both traditional and modern, though they are usually modern. The same can also be said about chairs for the theater room.