Every time I go to the dentist I get the urge to buy a recliner. Am I the only one who sits in the dental chair and falls asleep? As soon as it reclines all the way back and my feet are elevated, it’s instant relaxation. Needless to say, I was getting my teeth cleaned last week and this week I’ve been searching for a modern leather recliner.
A recliner is something I never really thought I’d want. Let’s face it, most of them are pretty ugly. Comfortable yes. But definitely ugly.
It’s not just being at the dentist that suddenly got me fixated on finding a modern leather recliner. Back in May, I moved one of our two wingback accent chairs out of our living room. They were hand-me-down, printed fabric chairs from my cousin. I had every intention of recovering them for the past two years, but that never happened.
Once I started researching the cost to recover chairs, the costs were adding up. Twelve yards of fabric (approximately $120). Labor to recover (I was quoted $250 and $350 per chair). That meant that $400 would get me one used chair that I was only semi-excited about.
Plus, I was in Jordan’s furniture earlier this week and realized I could buy a new fabric chair from their clearance section for around $399. Hmmmm….
Instead, I decided to invest in a chair I really loved. A chair that gets better with age rather than a fabric that looks worn over time (and not in a good way).
It was time to search for a leather chair.
This post is to show you that modern, nice-looking leather recliners do exist. But if I’m being totally honest, it’s also a way for me to see all my favorites in one place and ask your opinion and advice.
First, let’s go over my search parameters.
- Must be genuine leather.
- Distressed leather. I love the soft worn leathers with imperfections.
- Square arms. Our sofa has square arms so an oversized roll-arm may not coordinate well.
- Must be manual (not power) since it won’t be near an outlet.
- Must comfortably fit my 6’2″ husband, 5’11” kids, and the shorter me.
- No tufting or nailheads. My husband and one of my sons really don’t like tufting. The nailheads they may be negotiable.
- Must not look like the ugly, poofy recliners from the 1980’s.
- Under $1,500. I’ve been saving and am willing to invest in a quality chair, but do have limits
To give you a frame of reference, we have this Axis sofa from Crate and Barrel but in a dark greenish gray color. Notice the square arms.
I have one more concern before showing you the short-list of modern recliners I found. It has to do with the seat and back cushion material. From what I’m finding the cushions can be made of down, soy foam, or petroleum-based foam and polyester.
First let’s talk about down. I swore I would never bring another down item into this house because the feathers somehow escape through fabric. But I do like the idea of a natural material and I’m thinking they wouldn’t escape through leather the same way.
The off-gassing of the petroleum-based foam and polyester makes me nervous because these products actually come with a California statute warning. I’m sure I have foam in my house in other chairs and mattresses, but isn’t it better to avoid it if it’s known to cause cancer? If anyone can shed any light on this subject, please let me know in the comments.
The soy-based foam seems like a better, safer foam option.
So there you have it. All of my concerns. Now, here’s my shortlist of modern recliners based on their design. Please let me know what you think and if you know of any other, similar modern recliners I should consider, PLEASE let me know.
Thomas Recliner by Hooker Furniture at Wayfair
- Genuine Top Grain Leather
- Overall: 40” H x 34” W x 41” D
- Seat: 18” H x 22” W x 21” D
- Seat & Back Fill: Foam; Polyester
Mandel Recliner at Wayfair
- Genuine Leather, Full grain leather
- Overall: 39” H x 34” W x 41” D
- Seat: 24” W x 21” D
- Seat & Back Fill: 90% Down 10% Polyester Blend
- Assembly required: yes
Lecoy Recliner at Joss & Main:
- 100% Genuine Leather
- Overall: 38.5” H x 38.5” W x 30” D
- Seat: 21.5″ W x 23.5″ D
- Seat & Back Fill: Foam; Synthetic Fiber
- $1,275 on sale
Velia Recliner from Canora Grey at Wayfair
- Genuine Leather
- Overall: 43” H x 34” W x 41” D
- Seat & Back Fill: Down Feather
- Assembly required: No
Haskins Recliner at Wayfair
- Genuine Leather
- Overall: 41” H x 33.5” W x 39” D
- Seat & Cushion Fill: Foam
- Assembly required: No
Mazz Recliner at Boston Interiors
- Abilene – 100% Top Grain leather
- Overall: 38″w x 47″d x 44″h
- Seat & Back Fill: Foam
- $1,599.95 on sale
Grant Recliner at Boston Interiors
- 100% full grain aniline dyed pull-up leather
- Overall: 36″w x 42″d x 41″h
- Seat: 21″W
- Seat & Back Fill: soy-based foam wrapped in regenerated fibers
Irving Recliner at Pottery Barn
- Top-grain leather, aniline-dyed
- Overall: 33″ wide x 37.5″ deep x 38″ high
- Seat: 23″ wide x 23″ deep x 17.5″ high
- Seat & Back Fill: Polyester-wrapped cushions
So what do you think? Please tell me your favorite in the comments below. My favorite is the Thomas Recliner at Wayfair, but should I worry about the foam/polyester cushions?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products I’m considering buying myself.
Bryson Owens says
I appreciate you touching on how it should stay under $1.5k so that you get something of quality, but it won’t break the bank. My sister is trying to find a new lift chair for our parents this month. They are getting older and need a lift chair to help them stand up again without any trouble.