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Recliner vs. Rocker Recliner — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on December 5, 2023
A recliner is a chair that adjusts into a reclined position, while a rocker recliner not only reclines but also rocks back and forth.
Recliner vs. Rocker Recliner — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Recliner and Rocker Recliner


Key Differences

A recliner represents a type of chair specifically designed to allow the user to lower its back and raise its front, providing a reclined position. It's often associated with relaxation, allowing the sitter to lie back comfortably. On the flip side, a rocker recliner incorporates an additional feature: it has the ability to rock back and forth while also providing the reclining functionality.
Diving deeper into the functionality, the primary function of a recliner is to offer adjustable positioning for the user, with mechanisms that allow the back of the chair to lean backward. This contrasts with a rocker recliner, which, while having the reclining feature, also incorporates a rocking mechanism, allowing for gentle motion that many find soothing.
From a design perspective, both recliners and rocker recliners can be found in numerous styles, materials, and finishes. However, the rocker recliner will always have a curved base to enable its rocking motion, while the standard recliner may have a more traditional chair base.
Comfort is a key reason why many opt for recliners. The ability to adjust the chair to one's preference can provide enhanced relaxation and even therapeutic benefits. The rocker recliner further capitalizes on this by offering the rhythmic comfort of rocking, which many find calming, reminiscent of the sensation of being rocked as a child.
Lastly, both types of chairs can be manual or powered. A recliner might operate using a lever or, in more modern designs, buttons that activate an electric mechanism. A rocker recliner would similarly offer these options but with the added dimension of rocking.

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Adjusts to a reclined position.
Reclines and rocks back and forth.

Base Design

Typically flat or stationary.
Curved to facilitate rocking.

Comfort Feature

Provides reclined relaxation.
Offers both reclined relaxation and soothing rocking.

Operational Mechanism

Can be manual or powered.
Can be manual or powered, with rocking motion usually manual.

Associated Sensation

Simply reclining.
Reclining coupled with rhythmic rocking.

Compare with Definitions


A recliner is an adjustable chair that can be set to multiple angles.
After a long day, I love to relax in my recliner and read a book.

Rocker Recliner

Rocker recliners offer therapeutic benefits of motion and reclining.
My grandmother finds her rocker recliner soothing for her back pain.


A recliner typically operates through manual or electric mechanisms.
My new recliner has a button that automatically adjusts its position.

Rocker Recliner

The rocking motion in rocker recliners is typically manual.
Despite its electric reclining feature, the rocking function in the rocker recliner is manual.


Recliners allow the user to lie back and elevate their feet.
The recliner became his favorite spot to watch movies.

Rocker Recliner

A rocker recliner is a chair combining reclining and rocking features.
I bought a rocker recliner for the nursery to comfort the baby.


Recliners provide ergonomic support, aiding in relaxation.
That recliner offers such good lumbar support; it's perfect for my back.

Rocker Recliner

These chairs have a curved base facilitating the rocking movement.
The curved design of the rocker recliner makes it perfect for gentle motion.


A person who reclines.

Rocker Recliner

Rocker recliners are popular in nurseries and living rooms.
We placed the rocker recliner next to the fireplace for cozy evenings.


An armchair, bicycle, or other apparatus that can be adjusted so that the occupant assumes a reclining position.


One who, or that which, reclines.


A chair hinged so that the back can be reclined for comfort.


One who, or that which, reclines.


An armchair with a back that can be adjusted to lean backward, and a footrest that can be moved up to support the legs, or folded under the chair when the person is sitting up; the back and footrest are often geared so that they move together, allowing the chair to be conveniently adjusted either for sitting up or for lying back; also called a reclining chair.


An armchair whose back can be lowered and foot can be raised to allow the sitter to recline in it


Recliners can be stationary or come with swivel capabilities.
The swivel recliner in the office gives me a panoramic view of the room.

Common Curiosities

What is a rocker recliner?

A rocker recliner is a chair that combines the features of a recliner with the ability to rock back and forth.

Can rocker recliners swivel?

Some models of rocker recliners also come with a swivel feature.

What is a recliner?

A recliner is a chair that can be adjusted to recline at various angles, often elevating the user's feet.

Which is better for a nursery, a recliner or a rocker recliner?

Many people prefer rocker recliners for nurseries due to the soothing rocking motion beneficial for babies.

Are powered rocker recliners available?

Yes, while the rocking is typically manual, the reclining function can be powered in some models.

Are rocker recliners more expensive than regular recliners?

Rocker recliners might be priced higher due to their added functionality, but prices vary based on brand, material, and features.

Is it easy to repair a rocker recliner?

Repairs depend on the issue; while some fixes are straightforward, others may require professional assistance.

Can I get a rocker recliner in leather?

Yes, rocker recliners are available in various materials, including leather.

Can all recliners rock?

No, only rocker recliners have the rocking feature.

What's the main advantage of a rocker recliner over a regular recliner?

A rocker recliner offers the added benefit of a soothing rocking motion along with reclining.

Can rocker recliners also have a massaging feature?

Yes, some high-end rocker recliners come with built-in massaging features.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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