Small Recliners

Terry Hurley

When you think of small recliners, what comes to your mind? Miniature versions of recliners made for children? Although that is one type of recliner that is small in scale, another popular type is sometimes referred to as a lady's reclining chair.

The First Recliners: Overstuffed and Man-Sized

In the late 1920s, two cousins, Edwin J. Shoemaker and Edward M. Knabush, pursued their dream of creating a comfortable chair that followed the shape and contours of the human body. Since then thousands of people have spent relaxing afternoons and evenings in the comfort of their La-Z-Boy recliners.

Other furniture companies, such as Lane and BarcaLounger, followed suit manufacturing their own styles and versions of the over-stuffed man-sized reclining chairs. For many decades, recliners were thought of as a man's chair, a place to sink into and relax after a long day's work.

The First Small Recliners

Naturally, women also enjoyed the plush seats and soft comfort of reclining chairs. However, many of them felt swallowed up by the vast size and deep seats of most of the recliners. In the 1980s women began to voice their desire for recliners that were smaller and sleeker. They wanted a chair that would comfortably fit their smaller physical frames, as well as smaller spaces in apartments and bedrooms.

Furniture manufactures listened to the desires of women and began making recliner chairs that were smaller in scale. One of the first companies to introduce lady's recliners was BarcaLounger. By 1991, almost thirteen of its fifty styles of reclining chairs were scaled down in size and their styles and shapes were designed to appeal more to a woman's taste.

The small recliners in the BarcaLounger line carried names that included:

  • First Lady
  • Sterling
  • Opulence
  • Cashmere
  • Chablis
  • Champagne

In 1994, the La-Z-Boy company introduced a line of recliners that were aimed at consumers that were 5'4" tall or less. This line of reclining chairs was called Small Comforts and was the perfect size for many women.

Recliner Styles

Today there are many styles of small recliners available to fit the budgets, tastes and decorating styles of home and apartment dwellers everywhere. For example, shoppers visiting the La-Z-Boy website can choose from many recliners that are scaled down in size including:

  • Traditional versions of the puffy style recliner
  • Contemporary designs
  • Wing back styles
  • Queen Anne recliners
  • Coastal designs with rattan arms
  • Skirted styles
  • Recliners with graceful legs, ball and claw feet or traditional leg styles

Where to Find Smaller Scaled Recliners Online

In addition to the companies mentioned, small reclining chairs are available from many on and off line retail locations. The following is a small sampling of these online retailers.

Stressless Recliners by Ekornes

A popular European style recliner made by Ekornes is the Stressless Recliner. Originally introduced in 1971, the Stressless line has grown to include a selection of styles of matching recliners in a choice of sizes. Although there are several styles that are only offered in two sizes, most are offered with a choice of three sizes:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

These contemporary recliners are made up of a recliner chair and an ottoman that is freestanding. Both of the pieces feature the Glide system designed to follow every movement of your body while providing comfort and support. Other features of the Stressless Recliner include:

  • A selection of styles and designs
  • A full 360 degree swivel
  • The Stressless Plus system that provides proper lumbar and neck support in all positions
  • A choice of several grades of leather or microfiber in an assortment of color options
  • A choice of wood bases

Stressless small recliners are available from the following companies:


Small recliners are the perfect choice for anyone who wants the comfort of a recliner scaled down in size.

Small Recliners