Stressless Recliners

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Dave C.
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Stressless Recliners

Post by Dave C. » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:41 pm

I am thinking a few Bogleheads may be familiar with the very expensive "Stressless Recliners" sold by some speciality furnature stores and on line. I say expensive because the least expensive recliner + ottoman go for about $1500.00, and other models average $2500--$3400.

I've sat in them at a friend's home and on display....and they are wonderfully comfortable and effortlessly flow to the reclining position. They are somewhat casual in appearance with metal frames with leather seats, arms and back.

But $2500 for a living room/den recliner seems awfully steep.

Has anyone tried or bought one or two?
If so, do they hold up well?
If you have purchased one....was it worth it now that you've used it for awhile?

Any experiences with Stressless would be appreciated.
Easy does it/Live & Let Live/One day at a time. Thanks Bill.

beardsworth
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by beardsworth » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:59 am

We have one, but it is not the most heavily used piece of furniture in the house. It's in the study, so that one of us can be reading while the other is on the Internet or doing desk work, i.e., we can still be in the same room for conversation. Although it's one of the less expensive models, it is wonderfully comfortable.

The main price differences are due to the amount of padding from one model to another, and the grade of leather in which you choose to have it finished. Also, some have attached headrests or headrest pillows. Unless the manufacturing policy has changed, some (all?) models are also available in microfiber cloth upholstery rather than leather.

One of the main advantages of the product line is that most of the models come in a choice of sizes, so that it's possible to match the model to the size of the person most likely to be using it. For example, the Diplomat, Consul, and Ambassador--still the least expensive models, I think--are all the same shape and have the same stitch pattern on the upholstery but are different sizes of the same chair for different sizes of bodies. . . . If multiple people will be sharing a single chair, however, it is generally best to pick the size appropriate to the largest person, i.e., largest basic body frame size. My wife is petite but still quite comfortable using the larger Ambassador.

If searching online, Stressless is the U.S. product marketing name, but also look for "Ekornes" (Eh-kor-ness), the name of the Norwegian manufacturer. They do have occasional national sales, but not on any predictable schedule, or at least none whose timing I've been able to figure out.

We bought our chair from Recliner Store, the online name of a furniture store in central Massachusetts. I usually try to "shop local" and would have been glad to buy it from a local furniture store with whom we'd done business for years, but they would charge a $65 fee to transport it three miles to our house, whereas the place in Massachusetts offered free delivery.

http://reclinerstore.com/ekornes_stressless

Call_Me_Op
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Call_Me_Op » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:32 am

I bought a great recliner 10 years ago from Bernie and Phyl's. It was less than 500 bucks, doesn't look like a recliner, is very comfortable and sturdy. That's about the right price for me.

"Stressless" seems like a selling gimmick.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

beardsworth
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by beardsworth » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:13 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:"Stressless" seems like a selling gimmick.
Do you have any actual familiarity with this product?

It's not simply an upholstered chair that tilts backwards. Inside the upholstered exterior is a geared/hinged frame. As you recline in the chair, the lumbar portion of the frame moves proportionally forward to support the lower back, and the portion at the top changes angle forward to support the neck and head. It doesn't feel like any other "recliner" I ever tried--which is, I assume, one of the reasons Ekornes can charge a fairly high price for it. Another manufacturer or two seem to be trying to do their own knockoffs on the Ekornes Stressless, but (to me) their products didn't have the same quality or feel.

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frugaltype
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by frugaltype » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:23 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:I bought a great recliner 10 years ago from Bernie and Phyl's. It was less than 500 bucks, doesn't look like a recliner, is very comfortable and sturdy. That's about the right price for me.

"Stressless" seems like a selling gimmick.
+1 I have a la-z-boy, and am perfectly happy with it. I don't recall what it cost, but I'm sure it was under $500. It's not leather, since I don't kill animals to get furniture.

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gatorking
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by gatorking » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:00 am

Search for "zero gravity chairs".
Look for a "relax the back" store.

Call_Me_Op
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Call_Me_Op » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:09 am

beardsworth wrote:
Call_Me_Op wrote:"Stressless" seems like a selling gimmick.
Do you have any actual familiarity with this product?
None. My point is that my recliner is perfectly comfortable - like floating on a cloud. It also looks good and is very durable. So it's hard for me to justify paying several times as much for any recliner.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

littlebird
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by littlebird » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:52 am

Search for "Eurostyle Recliners". You'll find some similar, but less expensive brands. I did and am very happy with the result.

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Hayden
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Hayden » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:58 am

We bought two. My partner loves his. He says it stopped some rather serious neck issues he was having.
I don't like mine. My old recliner fit me better and was more comfortable for me.
It's all about how it works for your body and how you use the chair.

Snapper
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Snapper » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:06 pm

We have three. One is probably 30 years old, the other two about 10. They are very comfy and extremely durable. They work well in confined spaces as they do not take up much room. My experience with conventional old school recliners is that they are not nearly as durable as the Stressless. I highly recommend them as being well worth the price.

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Don_Qua
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Don_Qua » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:08 pm

We have 2 Stressless recliners, made in Norway. I bought them about 20 years ago on a whim having never heard of the brand before. We love 'em, they've worn well and are still very comfortable.

hicabob
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by hicabob » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:09 pm

I find the "stressless" look really good from a design point of view & require a lot less space behind the chair to go into recline mode but for the ultimate in "vegging out" and overall comfort the classic American Lazy-boy style is hard to beat and usually considerably less expensive.

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Lee Saage
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Lee Saage » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:31 pm

I bought a new Stressless recliner with ottoman in 1985 and still sit in it as my primary nest every day. I had it recovered in new leather about six years ago. The frame and mechanicals are still in perfect condition. Several years ago I suffered a back and shoulder injury from a cycling accident. Over a period of several weeks, the Stressless was the only place I could sleep without pain. I love the thing. Purchased before I married, my wife loves it as well. We are now in the market to replace it with a matched pair. (Please, no mu mu/aloha shirts comments.)

Rather than buying new ones, however, I would look online at eBay and Craigslist. Lightly used ones are dramatically less expensive than new. But I would definitely get a Stressless if you want a recliner.
Most of my money went to fast cars, fast living and good wine. The rest I just wasted.

leonard
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by leonard » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:19 pm

Those recliners are incredible. Thought about upgrading 10 years ago - sat in these and was amazed. However, just couldn't get past the price. To this day - wish I had, but can't really rationalize getting rid of couch and chair that are still going strong.

My opinion is that Stressless is one of the few luxury items worth the premium price.
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dratkinson
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by dratkinson » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:58 pm

I preferred one piece of furniture, so bought a mission-style recliner.

Upright recline position is great for cat naps, and fully reclined (almost horizontal) feels so good on my back. Being frugal, I watched sales and CL until I found what I wanted (burgundy leather, flat-sawn dark wood), second hand. Would have preferred quarter-sawn wood, but most happy with purchase and savings.

In the stores similar chairs range among $500 (American Furniture Warehouse, plywood, faux leather), $1500 (Amish Furniture Store, flat-sawn wood, leather), $2400 (Stickley's, flat-sawn, leather). Was surprised Stickley chair was not quarter-sawn.

Looked under all recliners. It seems all recent recliners (mine included) are using a reclining mechanism from the same manufacturer. Why? Because they all seem to be using the same light-green plastic bushings between moving parts.
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soaring
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by soaring » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:34 pm

We have two and have been using them for several years every evening. Night and day between the stressless from Norway and all others. We both have very slight back issues that has never ever shown itself when sitting in these chairs. It is the best $6K I've every spent! Hers is a small and mine is a medium. Would probably get both medium as the small is a bit well..small.

If you haven't seen the "frame" in motion go to a dealer or factory web site to view the movement which will show why the chair is different. They have, if I remember correctly, three different types of leather. The least expensive is pulled very tight and has the least feel but the leather will last the longest. The most expensive is the plushest but will last the least amount of years before you must recover. We have the middle and it has the soft feel of leather with life in the middle range.

Sometimes you can find Stressless on craigslist but usually the price for a very good condition is only about $700 off new.
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phositadc
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by phositadc » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:11 pm

I have two. Got them because I have a bad back and needed good lumbar support. I like them and would buy them again, but I'd look around to make sure there wasn't anything cheaper that I liked as much. Last time I bought, there wasn't, so no regrets here, but do your homework before you buy.

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Midpack
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Midpack » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:29 am

My wife and I are going to buy a Kensington and a Mayfair this weekend. There's a $200/each off deal right now, still expensive but as far as we can tell they rarely go on sale for a bigger discount.

We also think they're supremely comfortable, but what really sells us - my parents have two that are well over 20 years old and they're in remarkably good shape. They are used almost daily, the leather is a little worn but no splits/cracks and they're in a family room in TX with two glass walls (so tons of UV), but otherwise they're in excellent condition and just as comfy as new (evidently the padding is holding up). Best of luck...
You only live once...

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Midpack
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Midpack » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:04 am

frugaltype wrote:
Call_Me_Op wrote:I bought a great recliner 10 years ago from Bernie and Phyl's. It was less than 500 bucks, doesn't look like a recliner, is very comfortable and sturdy. That's about the right price for me.

"Stressless" seems like a selling gimmick.
+1 I have a la-z-boy, and am perfectly happy with it. I don't recall what it cost, but I'm sure it was under $500. It's not leather, since I don't kill animals to get furniture.
Like La-Z-Boy, Stressless has 4 types of fabrics with dozens of colors. "Killing animals" is optional with both brands, but you're welcome to your views even if you've never owned one...
You only live once...

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soaring
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by soaring » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:39 pm

some folks may consider "stressless" a gimmick or buy another brand for a few hundred and feel comfortable and good for them. But we have owned three different la-z-boys recliners from mid range to $600+ over the years. They were all sold for lack of comfort but they looked good and were from a national brand...again each back feels what it feels.

But if you want more than the typical and are willing to pay then the Norway furniture is well worth the difference. Many "big box" brand furniture outlets sell the name not necessarily the quality of design!

Your back will tell you if you give it a chance. By the way, I didn't notice, but did anyone...that actually owns the Norway furniture say other than...good to excellent reviews? Humm
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Trurl Klapaucius
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Trurl Klapaucius » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:15 pm

I bought an Ekornes Stressless Plus Royal Chair and Ottoman in Royalin leather for $1299.00 in 1993. For over twenty years it has been my favorite reading chair, and still is today. When my 96-year-old mother visits, she takes her afternoon nap in it, and says it is her favorite chair as well. I struggle to find a reason why this isn’t the best piece of furniture I have ever purchased.

SDBoggled
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by SDBoggled » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:32 pm

We have one very similar to this:

http://www.relaxtheback.com/zero-gravity/ht-pc-300.html

bought it from Craigslist for about 50% discount (leather and wood so good as new) and very, very, very happy with it. IMHO it is not a gimmick. For me: it "balances" the body so stress is removed from lower back. We bought it for a specific back injury in the family, but still is the most used chair in the house (others now use it).

Takes up a lot of room and not necessarily a fit for your personal comfort but definitely encourage you to further investigate.

protagonist
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by protagonist » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:42 pm

If you have time, used furniture like recliners often pop up in places like craigslist (excellent resource), garage sales, etc at ridiculously cheap prices. I bought an Ekornes with ottoman, I think via Craigslist...don't remember the price but it was under $100 and it is incredible. I use it all the time. It's an older model, but they don't change much or decrease in comfort, and the new ones cost thousands. I also bought two Scandinavian teak dining tables with chairs....expandable....don't think I paid more than about $200-300 for both of them. And I didn't have to do much waiting or hunting around for these items. Furniture depreciates very rapidly. It is something I rarely buy new.

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HuckFinn
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by HuckFinn » Wed May 10, 2017 2:57 am

Hi,

This message is for Dave C. who posted the original inquiry about Stressless Recliners a little over 3 years ago. My wife and I are considering purchasing two Stressless Recliners. I have had two back surgeries and of all the furniture we have sat in these are the most comfortable for me. The price has been our biggest concern. For the price we may pay they have to be comfortable but also something we do not have to replace for 15 years or more. I was relieved to see the topic posted in the Bogleheads forum as I know I should get a pretty honest response.

Dave, did you happen to purchase the Stressless recliners? If so do you have any input?

Or - does anyone else have any experience with Stressless they could share.

I'm frugal to a T but will pay for quality, especially where my back is concerned.

Thanks.

bluebolt
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by bluebolt » Wed May 10, 2017 7:24 am

HuckFinn wrote:Hi,

This message is for Dave C. who posted the original inquiry about Stressless Recliners a little over 3 years ago. My wife and I are considering purchasing two Stressless Recliners. I have had two back surgeries and of all the furniture we have sat in these are the most comfortable for me. The price has been our biggest concern. For the price we may pay they have to be comfortable but also something we do not have to replace for 15 years or more. I was relieved to see the topic posted in the Bogleheads forum as I know I should get a pretty honest response.

Dave, did you happen to purchase the Stressless recliners? If so do you have any input?

Or - does anyone else have any experience with Stressless they could share.

I'm frugal to a T but will pay for quality, especially where my back is concerned.

Thanks.
I have used both the Stressless and Backsaver (whatever it is called now) chairs pretty extensively and have a Backsaver chair in my home. A few times a year, I have severe lower back pain.

Both chairs are extremely comfortable and help relieve my back pain. The Stressless chair is more stylish, has a smaller footprint, and needs less space behind it to recline. The Backsaver chair is more comfortable when I am experiencing back pain. Interestingly, when I am not in pain, I prefer the Stressless for general comfort & convenience.

I have had my Backsaver chair for about 13 years and the leather is in great shape (doesn't look new anymore, but still looks good) and the wood is also in good shape.

cantos
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by cantos » Thu May 11, 2017 12:47 pm

I have had a stressless recliner for about 5 years now, love it. No question it's the most comfortable and best looking chair I've ever had the pleasure to sit in (which is why I bought it 5 years ago, and it remains so!). The build quality is immediately apparently to anyone reclining in it. There's no "snap" two-positions like the la-z-boy, but infinite positions to recline. Yes, it's the most expensive by a mile - whether that's good value or not is up to you and how much you use it!

I also have La-z-boys. They are nowhere close in terms of comfort - I'd say most are too soft. In fact, I constantly wish my la-z-boys would die so I could replace them. Unfortunately, la-z-boys are just comfortable enough that I can live with'm, and sturdy enough too, and spouse won't let me ditch'm.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu May 11, 2017 1:59 pm

I think I've got everyone beat because I bought mine in 1980 for $500 (if I remember correctly). It's tied for the most comfortable chair in the house and is easier to get into and out of. Pretty worn at this point but still frequently used.

A big attraction for me was that it worked with the spare euro-scandi decoration style. The typical American recliner most certainly does not.

Of course the gold standard of "recliners" is the Eames chair. Buy one now and your heirs can sell it for more than you paid.

bloom2708
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by bloom2708 » Thu May 11, 2017 3:13 pm

We liked the Ekorness "scandanavian" chairs, but the price is quite high.

We ended up getting two pairs of IMG brand recliners from the same scan design store. ~$1,200 compared to $2,500.

Great design, comfortable, durable. Sit in a lot of chairs and check out different price points.
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oldguy
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by oldguy » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:46 pm

Regarding Stressless Recliners ... do you prefer "Classic Base" or "Classic LegComfort" base options?

Bfwolf
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Bfwolf » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:42 pm

I have some back and neck problems and bought a Stressless chair a year ago. While it is an amazingly comfortable chair, it hasn't been a good fit for me personally, and I've stopped using it as it aggravated my condition. The only chair I've found I can sit in for long periods of time without screwing myself up is my Herman Mueller Aeron desk chair.

I've decided to sell my Stressless chair, but even in a big city like Chicago, the Craigslist market is thin and it may take a while, and I will certainly "lose" a lot of money on it vs what I paid new. I don't say this to discourage anybody from buying a Stressless as they are pretty awesome, but I couldn't tell from lying in one in the store for 5 minutes how I'd feel using it for multiple hours every day. I've heard many people with back/neck problems love them...it just didn't work that way for me.

Cruise
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Re: Stressless Recliners

Post by Cruise » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:46 am

We recently bought an Ekornes love seat, which set us back about $4K. It is really comfortable for a couple to sit together and watch TV. We have not been totally pleased with it, because when we recline way back in it, our backs don't feel all that good. So, reclining a little, it feels fine--way back, not so much.

It really pains me to report the above...for the money, it was not the best outcome. I suspect that those who buy the single chairs have much better outcomes.

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