Recliner Chairs Don't Have to Be Dated — This Shopping Editor Has Found 12 of the Most Modern Designs

Forget what you know about comfort — these modern recliners prove that you can have comfort and good looks

modern recliner chair
(Image credit: Wayfair)

Modern recliner chairs might just be the seating upgrade you never knew you needed. They blend the unrivaled comfort of recliners with a sleek, modern design — no clunky eyesores here.

While old recliners were banished to basements and man caves (you know, areas where guests never go), these accent chairs are stylish enough to occupy any contemporary living space. In fact, according to interior designer Nina Lichtenstein, they offer ‘a chic alternative to traditional seating’

Equal parts comfort and style, a modern recliner is ‘a perfect blend of luxury and elegance that offers far more than your average accent seat,’ Nina continues. ‘Unlike regular accent seats, recliners provide adjustable support for your back, legs, and neck,’ she adds — perfect for reading, lounging, or a cheeky nap.

It's time to forget what you know about the recliner chairs from your childhood home. After hours of market research, I found 12 picks from top home brands, all of which have answered my prayers for options that are truly chic.

Modern Recliner Chairs

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What are the most comfortable modern recliner chair materials?

There is little point in buying a recliner if not for comfort. So, choosing a material that feels good on your body is crucial when making your selection. Interior designer Nina Lichtenstein offers a few suggestions for materials that are cozy, stylish, and stand up to everyday life.

Number one is leather — ‘a timeless material that offers durability and easy maintenance.’ While it is one of the more expensive options, high quality leather like full or top-grain varieties age like fine wine. They give your recliner ‘a sleek, sophisticated look while providing a soft, comfortable seating experience,’ Nina enthuses.

Another go-to is fabric, though not all are created equal. Opt for high-quality upholsteries, like ones made from linen or cotton, urges the designer. Plus, they’re ‘available in various colors and patterns, making it easy to match your decor.’

If you live in a busy household or have children or pets, stain-resistant microfiber will be your best bet. ‘Known for its softness and durability, microfiber is an excellent choice for those seeking a plush feel,’ Nina adds.

How should I style a modern recliner chair?

Unlike recliners of years past, modern recliners are meant to be seen. Still, they can be majorly enhanced with the right styling. Nina offers a few tips to make your new chair blend seamlessly and stand out all at once.

First, assess your surrounding furniture. Where does your recliner make the most sense? Are there open spaces? An ottoman nearby? ‘Position your recliner alongside complementary furniture,’ says Nina, adding that ‘A sleek side table or a contemporary floor lamp can create a cohesive look.’ To make these elements look more cohesive, consider incorporating a rug underneath. ‘This not only defines the space but also adds warmth and texture to the room.'

Modern recliners are already on the cushy side, but extra pillows never hurt! Choosing cushions of different colors and textures inject some personality and additional coziness to your seat, suggests Nina. And finally, greenery is always a good idea. ‘Place a plant nearby to bring in nature. Greenery can soften the look of the recliner and add a refreshing element to your decor,’ explains the designer.

Style Editor

Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.