Upholstery buying guide

Buying a new sofa or armchair is a big decision and a significant investment, so it's important to get it right. Whether you're wondering about fabric or leather, or extra features such as recliners, this guide will help you find beatiful new upholstery you'll love.


With many of our sofas and chairs there is the option to include recliners. These mechanisms allow you to adjust your seated position from upright to reclining by moving the seat back backwards while simultaneously lifting the front of the chair which then becomes a supportive footrest.

Types of recliners

Off the wall

Off the wall recliners - also known as wall away recliners - require only 10cm of space between the wall and the back of the recliner sofa or chair in order to fully recline. This innovative design means that you need significantly less room to accommodate a fully reclining chair or sofa.

Rise and recline

A rise and recline chair, sometimes known as a lift and rise recliner, is perfect if you have difficulty with balance or getting to your feet from a chair. Cleverly engineered, our rise and recline chairs help you to stand up safetly at the touch of a button.

Recliner mechanisms

Manual recliners

The original recliner mechanism, manual recliners are easy to operate - you simply push gently against the arms - and as they don't require proximity to a power source, you can move your recliner chair or sofa wherever you like. Manual recliners can be more affordable but may not be the best choice for someone with mobility issues or limited strenght.

Battery-operated recliners

Battery-operated recliners take all the work out of reclining and have a smooth mechanised motion. As with manual recliners, chair or sofa position is not restricted by power source location.


Power recliners are operated by a discreet button either on a pad or on the side of the sofa or chair and allow you to recline in an almost inifinite range of positions for maximum - and truly personalised - comfort. You'll need to position your recliner chair or sofa close to a power source.

Good to know

If you've never owned a recliner before, you need to know that a new manual recliner may feel a little stiff at first. It just needs time to ease into use. You may also notice small gaps between the cushions, which may be exaggerated depending on your flooring type. These gaps are necessary for ease of motion.

All recliners, whatever the mechanism, have fixed cushions. These require smoothing and straightening regularly - simply punch the top two seat cushion corners and then pinch them outwards.

We promise that every recliner we sell has undergone rigorous testing to ensure that it's safe to use and suitable for every member of the family.

Treat yourself to the luxury of a recliner sofa or recliner armchair.


Many of our sofas include inbuilt headrests. They give plenty of comfort and extra support to your head as you relax, and are particularly helpful for people with back issues.

Adjustable headrests are found on many sofas, particularly our more contemporary designs, and allow you to change the feel and the look of your sofa with ease.

Drop down headrests

These are large headrests that are as wide as each sofa or chair seat and can drop down so that the sofa or chair has a fashionably low profile silhoutte, but can go up when high backed support is needed. Be the best choice for someone with mobility issues or limited strenght.

Ratchet headrests

Manually operated, ratched headrests offer a selection of headrest positions.

Power headrests

Like power reclining mechanism, power headrests adjust smoothly and quickly at the touch of a button into the perfect position for you.

Chaise ends

A chaise end adds to the luxury of a sofa. Many of our modular sofa collections include a chaise end option. Perfect for lounging and relaxing, many of our chaise ends have inbuilt storage to hide away the clutter or to store bedding for a sofa bed.

USB ports

Many of our power recliner sofas and chairs come with useful inbuilt USB ports, perfect for charging devices, while you recharge too.

Lumbar support

Many of our sofas come with additional inbuilt lumbar support. This is where the back of the sofa chair is stitched in such a way that the back cushioning is in exactly the right place, the curved shape giving extra support to your back.