The History of Recliners: They Go Waaay Back

The evolution of recliners has been extraordinary in the past few decades, with designs to suit every décor and space.  The modern recliner can change multiple positions at the push of a button, charge your laptop, warm and massage your aching muscles, and even help you stand up. What’s not to love? The recliner earned its seat of honor following a long and noble path around the globe that dates back thousands of years. From royalty to dentistry, wretched excess to wrenching extraction, this special chair has seen it all. Here’s a salute to the not-so-humble history of the recliner: Peel me a grape. History’s first recliners may have belonged to the ancient Egyptians, whose lavish banquets took lounging to an art form. They wined and dined on daybeds called “klines” with intricately carved legs depicting animals, cushions, armrests, and headboards. During her 44-year reign, Queen Elizabeth I used a “stool” with a tasseled pillow to support her royal feet and spring mechanism that reclined in several positions. Monarchs such as King Philip II of Spain and Charles I of England enjoyed “sleeping chairs” with adjustable backs. Even the well-traveled Napoleon III used a portable, upholstered, reclining camp bed [...]