Is There a Difference in Motorized vs Manual Operation Related to Mechanical Durability?

by | Sep 6, 2021 | Ask the Expert, Reclining Furniture | 0 comments


I’m shopping for a reclining sofa. Is there a difference in motorized vs manual operation related to mechanical durability?

Teresa A.

Dec. 13, 2020


The simple answer is, “Yes.” Generally mechanical mechanisms will outlast power mechanisms.


  • Most popularly priced reclining sofas are currently being built with non-removable seats. If you are getting one of those, the difference is less important.
  • This is because your seat foam will wear out first, making the furniture uncomfortable.
  • Non-removable seat cushions are very expensive to replace. Few people do it.

If you look at thousands of reclining furniture reviews you would notice there are relatively few complaints about motors or mechanisms wearing out.

By far the largest number of complaints concern peeling leather (bonded leather) and uncomfortable seats, followed by squeaking frames.

  • The primary reason for the loss of comfort is worn out seat foam.
  • It is not unusual for this to occur within the first year.

My recommendation is to spend a bit more to get a better quality reclining sofa with removable seat cushions. If there are cushion options, get the best (longest lasting) available.

When the time comes to replace the cushion cores, the cost is reasonable. The entire sofa doesn’t have to be dismantled.

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Jeff Frank

Jeff Frank

Furniture Consultant

Jeff Frank is a 45 year  furniture industry veteran. He created this blog to provide detailed facts, inside information & advice for furniture shoppers. 




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