A decent second choice is plywood, starting at a low $300. Finally, with any recliner, check the manufacturer’s guarantee and opt for one that spans at least three years.
Does the headrest support my head and neck?
Then again, there are specialty chairs, such as massage and electric recliners. The former can get quite expensive (from $800 to $5,000), and the latter are designed for people with mobility issues. Regardless of what type you pick, check that there’s no more than a five-inch gap between the seat and the open leg rest; otherwise, children or pets can get caught and injured. Same goes for the lever — make sure tiny hands (or your own fingers) can’t get stuck inside or pinched.
Also new: wall-saver recliners, which will need only about six inches of space between chair and wall, compared to a foot or more needed for larger traditional versions (though the price is about the same).