The best recliners for neck pain in 2024

Don't just sit there aching for relief. When neck pain has become more than you can bear, you can turn to these chairs.

Best overall

New Port Vance Manual Recliner on a plain white background.

New Port Vance Manual Recliner

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Best design

eChamp Mid Century Lounge Chair on a plain white background.

eChamp Mid-Century Lounge Chair

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Best budget

Best Choice Patio Recliner on a plain white background.

Best Choice Patio Recliner

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There’s a point in life when you go from being called a pain in the neck (lovingly, we’re sure) to literally dealing with one, and that’s when you need to sink into a recliner chair built to relieve your neck pain and keep you from being a pain in the neck about it. A fancy, stiff-back half-recliner is nice when you need to stroke a hairless cat while dragging on a pipe with a tumbler of scotch nearby. However, for neck pain, you’ll want a more practical recliner (that also might be leather and cat-friendly). Plus, one of the benefits of choosing a chair focused on any type of body pain, is that it often contains features that work on other pain points within your skeletal and muscular structures. From massage chair recliners to rocking recliners and modern recliners, you’ll certainly have options for relief in our list of the best recliners for neck pain.

How we chose the best recliners for neck pain

There is a sea of recliner choices out there to swim through, so it’s difficult to narrow it down to just a few for your tired neck to relax in. For this list, we focused on recliners that aren’t what you expect, closer to traditional chairs than a sofa recliner or your big, overtly plush living room recliner. These recliners were sourced from popular outlets and feature options that are generally well-reviewed and ranked by customers. While we didn’t get the chance to sit in every single one of these chairs, everyone’s butt feel is a bit different from the next person, so there’s always a subjective nature to choosing the right chair for you.

The best recliners for neck pain: Reviews & Recommendations

A few decades ago, if we were dealing with neck pain and wanted ultimate relief, we’d head down to Sharper Image or Brookstone at the mall and sit in that fancy massage chair. But this is a new century, and we no longer have to wallow in the body oils of mall strangers. Instead, we just shop online for what we want. So, we start with reading reviews and recommendations and base our decisions on anecdotal evidence and product descriptions. This is exactly what we have here: no need to trudge to any inconvenient centers of commerce. 

Best overall: New Port Vance Manual Recliner 

New Port Vance Manual Recliner 

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Specs

  • Material: Leather
  • Recline method: Manual lever
  • Swivel: 360 degrees
  • Weight limit: 300 pounds

Pros

  • Ergonomic design
  • Classic lounge look
  • Low profile

Cons

  • Assembly required
  • Swivel parts are plastic

The New Port Vance Manual Recliner from Ashley Furniture is not what you might initially think of when you think of recliners, but it’s closer to the tradition of the chair. This Scandinavian/European-styled recliner is designed to fit in any room without dominating the floorspace, while providing a high level of comfort. The 149-degree recline, paired with the lever-controlled footrest, provides a comfortable escape from the aches and pains of the real world. 

This is a sturdy chair, too, with laminated birch, spruce, and luan wood construction providing extra stability. The ergonomic design features a steel wire-supported seat and lumbar support. The headrest is a separate piece, so you can get your head nestled in there, alleviating neck pressure. Overall, the New Port Vance Manual Recliner is a great choice if you are looking for a chair that successfully matches aesthetics with ergonomics. 

Best value: MCombo Recliner with Ottoman 

MCombo Recliner with Ottoman 

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Specs

  • Material: Faux leather
  • Recline method: Manual lever
  • Swivel: 360 degrees
  • Weight limit: 330 pounds

Pros

  • Massage controls
  • Includes ottoman
  • Full swivel
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Fake leather
  • Could use deeper padding

After scanning all the other recliners, if you are thinking where’s the value recliner, the one with all the things? Then you’re thinking about the MCombo Recliner with Ottoman. Manual recline? Check. Nine modes of remote-controlled vibration with five levels of intensity over six vibrating points? Check. Ball-bearing-supported 360-degree swivel? Check. An ottoman to rest your weary feet? Check. Leather seat? Kind of check, it’s faux leather. 

This chair has thick padding and adjusts based on your body movements. It may not recline flat, but 140 degrees is enough to lean back and let the massage points destroy that neck pain. The wood base is sturdy and strong, and the ball bearings in the swivel offer long-term use with no plastic parts breaking down. All that comes together at a moderate price (around $388) to create a true value recliner in the MCombo Recliner with Ottoman.

Best zero-gravity: Real Relax Massage Chair 

Real Relax Massage Chair 

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Specs

  • Material: Faux leather
  • Recline method: Digital buttons
  • Swivel: None
  • Weight limit: 400 pounds

Pros

  • True zero-gravity chair
  • Full body massage
  • 145-degree recline

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Expensive
  • Not a traditional recliner

But if you really want to talk zero-gravity, then you’ll want to consider the Real Relax Massage Chair. This is a next-level 21st-century recliner focused on whole-body comfort. That means even your hands get some attention. This is a very specialized massage chair, not a traditional recliner, but certainly focused on taking care of neck, back, and other pain. This fact is highlighted by six different massage programs, three levels of adjustable intensity, five levels of pressure, and three levels of robot roller massage width. 

There’s a massage track built into the chair that goes from your head and neck all the way down to your feet. And with the press of a button, the whole chair slides forward, leaving you in a weightless-simulated zero-gravity position. This enables the recliner to really get after those sore muscles. The only downside to the Real Relax Massage Chair is that it’s well over $1,600, so it would certainly be a relaxation investment and our best splurge. 

Best design: eChamp Mid-Century Lounge Chair 

eChamp Mid Century Lounge Chair 

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Specs

  • Material: Leather, foam
  • Recline method: Fixed lean
  • Swivel: 360 degrees
  • Weight limit: 330 pounds

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Includes ottoman

Cons

  • No full recline
  • Office chair style base
  • No built-in features

Mid-century modern design features clean lines, simplicity, and pure functionality, all displayed by the eChamp Mid-Century Lounge Chair. This design comes from a time when things were simple. Work, come home, plop in a chair, put feet up, unfold newspaper. There’s a reason the boomers are still around; they sat in Eames-inspired chairs like this (the luckiest ones have the many thousands it costs for the real thing). Seven-layer birchwood accentuates the genuine leather seat and wide armrests. There is no full recline, but like many chairs of the era, its standard position is already halfway into a recline. 

As it pertains to neck pain, the key is relieving pressure on the upper vertebrae and spine. With a massive headrest and the angle of the lean, that’s exactly what happens with this chair. It would pair perfectly with a neck massager and a tumbler full of iced tea or warm coffee. This is a solid chair, sturdy and durable, and the higher weight limit makes it perfect for just falling into after a long day. Plus, you can’t beat the pristine design found in the eChamp Mid-Century Lounge Chair. 

Best budget: Best Choice Patio Recliner 

Best Choice Patio Recliner 

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Specs

  • Material: Steel, polyester
  • Recline method: Fixed
  • Swivel: None
  • Weight limit: 300 pounds

Pros

  • Super cheap
  • Comes in tons of colors
  • Headrest and cup holders

Cons

  • Not a real recliner
  • Questionable stability

Let’s put the Best Choice Patio Recliner in its own category of cheap, portable recliners. You purchase this chair when you already have a nice recliner inside the living room but need something for the patio or RV. That’s when you look for budget chairs, something that still provides good support while being super cheap. Because you already have a nice recliner inside. 

This recliner folds for portability and comes in 25 different colors. It has a detachable side tray with cup holders and bills itself as a zero-gravity lounger. Usually, that means it simulates the sensation of weightlessness through body weight distribution. So, while this chair doesn’t recline, it does distribute your weight. With extra-wide seating, thick pads, and adjustable neck support, the Best Choice Patio Recliner makes for a great secondary recliner.

What to consider before buying one of the best recliners for neck pain

Buying a recliner is much different than buying a sandwich, though not by much. The question to ask yourself is, what do I want this chair to provide for me? Is it pure relaxation? Neck and back support? Temporary seating while watching sports? So you’ll want to consider its ergonomics, adjustable options, materials, and, naturally, your budget. Buying a chair doesn’t have to be hard if you go into it knowing what you want.

Ergonomic & neck support

Not all recliners provide ergonomics or neck support that works for everyone. We all need something a bit different: Some people need stiff neck support, while others need tons of padding. Examine the ergonomic options that fit your relaxation style. Do you need to put your feet up? Do you need a full recline? Lumbar support? An integrated neck pillow? Find the chair that fits your self, not just one that everyone else likes.

Adjustability

And on that subject of subjectiveness, search for a chair that meets your adjustability needs. Some people love a stiff back chair with little movement for posture and ergonomic reasons. Others need 18 billion points of adjustable articulation to spend hours finding the perfect position, only to mess it up again the next time they sit down. From manual adjustments to automatic button presses, you’ll want to examine how your new chair moves with your body.

Material & durability

While leather is the most durable and long-lasting, it can be the most expensive. Faux leather is a nice relief and fairly easy to clean. Polyester is even cheaper, and you can beat it with a steam cleaner. Also, pay attention to the support structure and avoid plastics and cheap wood. Steel or aluminum reinforcements usually hold up under pressure, while wood bases tend to last longer than composite materials.

Budget

Considering all that, you can then set your budget. Full massage chairs get up into the thousands, while stylish chairs might cost you a bit more out of the door for something pretty. In the end, your budget is your business. This is all about your relaxation. Spend accordingly.

FAQs

Q: Is a recliner good for neck pain?

Absolutely. Unlike most office and folding chairs, most recliners offer neck and head support. Tack on some reclining action or zero-gravity and massage features, and your recliner will alleviate any kind of pain you’ve got going on.

Q: Is it better to lie down or sit with neck pain?

It’s better to recline. Lying down is ok, but it puts a different kind of pressure on your neck since any support will protrude your head. Reclining relieves pressure on your neck by supporting your head in line with your body. 

Q: Do chiropractors recommend recliners?

Although based on a bit of hearsay, our answer is yes. Chiropractors and doctors recommend recliners for back and neck pain, especially because of those pressure-relieving features. Plus, they help with maintaining posture. This is especially true for recliners that move with your body, adjusting to the perfect supportive position.

Final thoughts on the best recliners for neck pain

Life is rough. We are all slumping through the day, finding relief when we can. Why not create a singular space with furniture designed to relieve the physical pain of existence? Recliners exist to give us some sort of body refuge from all the nerve and muscle damage we’ve incurred over the years. These chairs aren’t just designed to sit in; they are designed to relax and engage your body in resetting itself before another long day. Plus, some have built-in massagers, a pure bonus to sitting.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.