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What Is the Difference Between an Inclining Sofa and a Reclining Sofa?

Differences in Inclining and Reclining Sofas


While a typical couch can look nice and be fairly comfortable, many people are looking for something more. They want the ultimate in comfort. They want a couch which they can binge out to Netflix on, and is so comfortable they could easily fall asleep after a long, hard day at work. 

Does this sound familiar? If so, we recommend either an inclining sofa or a reclining sofa. What’s the difference between the two?

Incline Sofa vs. Reclining Sofa – What’s the Difference?

At first glance, an incline sofa and reclining sofa seem identical. However, there are some important differences. 

The Recliner

When we want to lie back on the reclining sofa, there are two parts of the sofa which move. The legs move up and out, while the top half of the chair reclines back. With this type of couch, you’re able to lay almost completely flat. It’s an incredibly comfortable experience. 

The Incline Sofa

An incline sofa also allows us to put our feet up. The key difference is, though, the top half doesn’t go back the same way as a recliner. 
Instead, the portion of the couch we’re sitting in will slide out as the leg rest goes up, almost making a U-shaped motion. There’s no backward motion with this type of couch – the motion is all forward. 

What’s the Benefit of This? It’s Simple: Space.

If we buy a beautiful leather reclining sofa, we’ll have to make sure to set it at least a foot away from the wall. Having this amount of space will allow us to fully recline the back without having to worry about banging into the wall and damaging the wall or the chair. 

On the other hand, if we bought an inclining sofa, we would need approximately half the amount of posterior clearance. The reason for this is, again, nearly all of the motion is outward/forward instead of backward.

Regardless of the type of sofa we decide to invest in, we need to make sure there’s plenty of clearance in front of them, as well as behind. Both types of couches extend forward, so we’d want to avoid putting anything too close to the front of it, just so we have enough clearance when we recline. 

How to Choose the Very Best Reclining/Inclining Sofa

A reclining sofa, as well as an incline sofa, can be more expensive than the average leather couch. Are they worth the extra cost? They can be – as long the investment is in a top quality sofa

Here are a couple of things to look for when investing in a reclining or inclining sofa. 

The Comfort Level of the Sofa

If buying a sofa online, we recommend checking out customer reviews and ratings and then choosing the one that has the best rating. 

This a great way we can know if something is going to feel truly comfortable.  

The Stability of the Couch 

Some cheaper recliners feel unstable like they’re going to tip over when used. Look for reviews which discuss the following: 

Does the couch feel stable while sitting and while reclining? 

Does any part of the couch feel like it’s going to break, tear, or bend once reclined?

Inclining and Reclining Sofas – Totally Worth the Cost of Investment 

When unwinding at the end of the day, there’s nothing like being able to put our feet up, lie back, and completely relax in the comfort of a plush reclining or inclining sofa. 

While these sofas can be a bit pricier, their high comfort level makes it worth the investment. This type of couch is inviting and will make anyone sitting on it feel like they’re truly at home. 

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