How to Adjust Your Recliner Chair: A Comprehensive Guide

A recliner chair is a piece of furniture that offers more than just comfort. It’s a haven of relaxation after a long day and can be the perfect companion for your favorite book or movie.

However, to get the most out of it, you must ensure it is well-adjusted to meet your individual comfort needs.

This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to adjust your recliner chair for optimal comfort and longevity.

asian sleeping in a recliner chair

Understanding Your Recliner

Before you begin the adjustment process, it’s essential to understand the basic parts of your recliner. Most recliners consist of:

  1. The Backrest: This is the part you lean back on. It can be adjusted to different reclining positions depending on the model of your chair.
  2. The Footrest: This part extends to support your legs when the chair is reclined.
  3. The Reclining Mechanism: This is the mechanism that allows the chair to recline. It can either be a lever or a button, depending on the type of chair.
  4. Tension Springs: These are found beneath the chair and control the ease of reclining and returning to an upright position.
a room full of recliner office chairs

Guide to Adjusting Your Recliner Chair

Step 1: Assess Your Comfort Needs

Before making any adjustments, consider what feels off about your current seating position. Is the backrest too straight?

Does the footrest not extend far enough? Understanding your comfort needs will guide the adjustment process.

Step 2: Adjust the Reclining Tension

If your recliner is too hard to push back or snaps back too quickly, you may need to adjust the reclining tension. Here’s how:

  1. Locate the tension adjustment mechanism. This is usually found under the chair. In some cases, you may need to turn the chair upside down.
  2. If your chair uses a tension spring mechanism, you’ll see a pair of wing nuts or thumb wheels. To decrease tension (making the chair easier to recline), turn these nuts or wheels counterclockwise. To increase tension (making the chair harder to recline), turn them clockwise.
  3. Test the chair by reclining and sitting up. Make small adjustments until you find the perfect balance.
Guy who is adjusting the recliner office chair

Step 3: Adjust the Footrest

The footrest should provide proper support to your legs when reclined. If it doesn’t extend far enough or is too high, here’s how to adjust it:

  1. Locate the footrest mechanism. It’s usually on the underside of the chair.
  2. If your chair has an adjustable footrest, there should be screws or bolts that you can loosen to adjust the footrest. Once loosened, move the footrest to your desired position, then tighten the screws or bolts.
  3. Test the chair by reclining it. Your legs should be comfortably supported, with your knees at a right angle.

Step 4: Adjust the Backrest

The backrest should support your back and neck properly. If it’s too straight or reclines too far, you can adjust it as follows:

  1. Locate the backrest adjustment mechanism. This could be a lever or a series of bolts or screws.
  2. Adjust the backrest to your desired position. If your chair has a lever, move it to adjust the backrest. If it uses bolts or screws, you’ll need to loosen them, adjust the backrest, then tighten them again.
  3. Test the chair by sitting and reclining. Your back and neck should feel well-supported, with no strain.
person who works on a laptop while he relax in a recliner office chair


After adjusting your recliner chair, remember to maintain it regularly. This includes cleaning it and tightening loose screws or bolts. Here are some tips for maintaining your recliner chair:

  1. Regular Dusting: Dust your recliner regularly to keep it looking new. Dusting not only cleans the chair but also buffs the material, adding shine and reducing the chances of the chair appearing old and worn-down​.
  2. Cloth-Wiping: Use a cloth to wipe off dirt and small spots of removable stains that can’t be eliminated by dusting alone. Ensure you understand the material of your recliner to know what kind of cloth to use. Generally, soft clothes or lint-free clothes are suitable​.
  3. Mid-Intensity Vacuuming: Vacuuming helps get into the nooks and crannies of your recliner. However, avoid using high suction power as it may damage the chair’s material. If there are areas with stubborn dirt or food particles, use a small-nozzle vacuum instead of trying to scrub them off​​.
  4. Using Cleaning Products: Use cleaning products sparingly and only as needed. Avoid using detergents and similar products on your recliner. For leather recliners, leather conditioners are an ideal choice as they freshen up the chair and give it a nice shine after. Some leather conditioners even contain protectants to lengthen the life of your upholstery​​.
  5. Act Immediately: If food, drinks, or other sources of stains are spilled on your recliner, wipe them off as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to remove the stains, and some may leave traces on the furniture when not cleared immediately​.
  6. Oiling Reclining Parts: Oiling the reclining parts of your chair can help keep the mechanism running smoothly. Refer to the instructions or maintenance manual your chair comes with for guidance on this. If unsure, consult your supplier​.

Adjusting and maintaining your recliner chair doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these simple steps, you can enjoy a comfortable and well-maintained recliner for years to come. Happy reclining!

recliner office chair


A recliner chair is an investment in comfort, providing a relaxing retreat in your home. Ensuring it fits your comfort needs and maintaining it regularly can help extend its life and maximize your enjoyment of it.

By adjusting the reclining tension, footrest, and backrest to suit your preferences, you can create a personalized comfort zone.

Meanwhile, routine maintenance, including dusting, wiping, vacuuming, using appropriate cleaning products, acting promptly to clean spills, and oiling the reclining parts, can keep your chair looking and functioning at its best.


My recliner chair is too hard to push back. What can I do?

A: If your recliner is too hard to push back, you may need to adjust the reclining tension. This usually involves turning the tension adjustment mechanism (typically wing nuts or thumb wheels) found under the chair. Turning them counterclockwise will decrease tension, making the chair easier to recline.

My footrest doesn’t extend far enough. How can I fix this?

If your footrest doesn’t extend far enough, you can adjust it by loosening the screws or bolts on the footrest mechanism, moving the footrest to your desired position, and then tightening them again.

Can I oil the reclining parts of my chair myself?

Yes, oiling the reclining parts of your chair can help keep the mechanism running smoothly. However, it’s essential to refer to the instructions or maintenance manual that comes with your chair. If you’re unsure, consult
your supplier for guidance.

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Cristian Lungu

Cristian Lungu

I'm Cristian Lungu, the founder of OfficeGearLab and a dedicated office equipment reviewer. I guide readers towards making knowledgeable choices. Additionally, I love embarking on journeys with my family and camp around the country.

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