do power recliners have a manual override
Kristina Davis

Do power recliners have a manual override? Would you be able to do the reclining yourself using physical force and not mechanical force?

I wanted to know this information before purchasing one, so I did what everyone wouldn’t – I researched and dug deep into the matter.

I couldn’t say I was surprised, but I will give out all the information you need to know so you can decide for yourself.

Yes and no – let me explain.

Some power recliners do not have a manual override, and instead, they have a backup battery source that would allow the backrest to return to its original position.

There are some recliners, though, that have manual screw jacks for manual adjustments.

How Do Power Recliners Work?

power recliners work

To understand this a bit further, let me briefly go over the working principle of how power recliners work.

From the term alone, power recliners rely on “power” to operate. Without power, the reclining mechanism would not work.

Here is a brief and simple way of getting to know how power recliners function.

To start, power recliners first need to be positioned, preferably far from walls or objects. Then, it’s plugged into the nearest outlet.

When done, the power recliner will operate and recline depending on the angle that you want, and of course, at an angle that the recliner is capable of getting.

NOTE: Some recliners are equipped with a remote for easier controls and navigation. If yours have one, ensure that you keep it powered with a battery.

But what if there’s no electricity? Can a power recliner be used manually?

Do Power Recliners Have a Manual Override?

power recliners

Most people think that modern power recliners have a manual override option as their backup for when power or electricity gets cut out, but this is not true all the time.

I’ve searched for many different types and models of power recliners, and most of them did not have a manual override option.

I was able to find some, though, that can be manually adjusted, but only for adjustments, nothing else.

The majority of the recliners in today’s market are power, but let’s not forget that there are manual recliners, too.

But what if your power gets cut without any warning? Wouldn’t it be a big risk for your recliner?

Most of the time, your recliner will be equipped with backup batteries. Therefore, this should kick in.

Once you exhaust this and you don’t even know about it, what do you do? How can you manually adjust your electric recliner?

How to Manually Recline a Power Recliner?

manually recline

You can recline a power recliner manually by checking the user guide or manual of the electric recliner first.

That’s where the instructions are that can teach you how you can manually adjust your power recliner.

Oftentimes, it’ll be as easy as twisting or screwing a lever or a jack that controls the backrest and/or footrest.

NOTE: The way of reclining it will differ from one recliner to another. Refer to your manual for the best and most accurate instructions.

Power Recliners vs. Manual Recliners: What Should I Choose?

There are benefits and advantages to choosing power recliners over manual recliners, and vice versa.

Just because power recliners are electrical, doesn’t always mean that they are better.

power recliner vs manual recliner

So, for us to help you understand it better and further, here are some pros and cons of using power recliners and manual recliners.

Pros of Using Power Recliners

One of the primary advantages and benefits of power recliners is that it’s automated.

With a few simple clicks, you can set the backrest to tilt back and forth depending on how you want them.

Another advantage of using power recliners is that they can help people with injuries and disabilities because of the ease of adjustments from sitting down and standing up.

It’s also a great piece of furniture for pregnant women!

Furthermore, most power recliners have built-in batteries that are recharged. So, if the power gets cut, you shouldn’t worry about it not going back to its original position.

Cons of Using Power Recliners

Part of the main cons and drawbacks of power recliners is that they’re reliant on power and electricity.

Without it, the recliner wouldn’t work.

cons of power recliner

Another drawback of power recliners is their longevity. Unlike traditional or standard manual recliners, power recliners will depend on the machine or engine.

The moment it breaks, the entire furniture will break down with it, too. This doesn’t mean, though, that they’re faster to break and malfunction.

Pros of Using Manual Recliners

They’re technically more durable, carefree, and stronger compared to power recliners.

They do not need a power source, so placing them near an outlet wouldn’t be a problem – you can place them in the middle of the room without worrying about wires and cables.

In addition to that, manual recliners aren’t as expensive as power recliners, too! Manual recliners also boast of their portability and movability.

Electric recliners are the other way around – because of the machine, they’ll be heavy. Moving them can be extremely tedious and tiresome.

Cons of Using Manual Recliners

cons of manual recliners

Due to the constant pulling of the lever, manual recliners are faster to break and be worn out.

Moreover, manual recliners typically need more weight – you’ll need to learn more on the backrest to recline it easier and better.

There are certain factors that pinpoint why it’s better for you to use power recliners, the same way why you want to use manual recliners.

Your situation should greatly depend on these factors because you’ll be the one to use it anyway.

My Power Recliner Stopped Working, What Should I Do?

If your power recliner suddenly stops working even if it’s plugged in, try performing the following steps.

power recliner stopped

Doing so will allow you to see if the recliner has already been busted or if it just needs the human touch.

  1. Check if the recliner is plugged in properly.
  2. Then, unplug the recliner and plug it back in again.
  3. If it’s still not working, check if a wire has been caught in the mechanism.
  4. Moreover, check if there are wires that have been disconnected – reconnect them.
  5. After all of this, try resetting your power recliner.
NOTE: When dealing with electrical, make sure that the recliner is unplugged. Also, you can connect 2 spliced wires back together again using electrical tape.

How to Reset Power Recliners?

To reset your power recliner, make sure that it’s unplugged from the mains first. Then, remove the battery cover that’s placed on the backup battery pack.

You should find a hole that has the label “reset” there. Use a hairpin or a bobby pin to press and hold the reset button.

So, in the event that your power recliner stops working, do this 5-step process to try and fix it.


In case you still have a couple of inquiries in the queue, here are some of the most commonly and frequently asked questions about it:

According to experts, power recliners typically use about 14W when on standby, and 58W when being used and operated.

questions about recliner

How Much Power Does an Electric Recliner Use?

This is the main reason why you want to unplug your power recliner whenever you’re not using it.

It still consumes and uses up electricity. This brings us to the next question, which is…

Should You Unplug an Electric Recliner When Not In Use?

Yes, in fact, many people recommend turning it off from the main power when you’re not using it.

They say this due to several reasons:

  • It still consumes electricity – not as much as when you’re using it, but it still does
  • Unplugging appliances like this frees you from the risk of fire and sparks
  • It can continue to consume energy even if it’s not being used or operated

How Long Do Power Recliners Last?

On average, power recliners last anywhere between 10 and 20 years, if maintained properly.

Of course, the longevity will depend on the usage, maintenance, and how you will handle your power recliners.

Final Words

In case you’re wondering, do power recliners have manual override? Most likely yes.

Manufacturers wouldn’t be foolish to create recliners without having any type of manual backup.

My electric recliner had a manual setting – so, I didn’t have any problems operating it when I don’t feel like plugging it into power.

If you can’t find your manual, check the internet for the exact model and make of your power recliner and follow the guidelines and directions for operation from there.