NITSAN SIMANTOV. PHOTOGRAPHER. FILMMAKER.

East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

The crazy comfy editing chair - HomCom recliner review

Why a huge reclining chair?

Me on my old chair in my previous house.

I've wanted a recliner since I was about 12 years old, ever since I first tried my uncles recliner, when I saw the La-Z-Boy in "Friends" I wanted one, and even a few years ago when I bought a large tilting "executive" office chair I wanted a real recliner, but they were always far above my budget (They started at £600 if I remember correctly).

Even though at first I was happy with my large tilting office chair, which was as close to a recliner as I could afford, over the past year I have been getting really sick of it. I couldn't get comfortable on it and it started to hurt my productivity. Some weeks ago I decided I had had enough and that I was going to find a better chair.

A quick look on eBay and Amazon surprised me, recliners, ones that looked really good, were now available from about £150 including shipping. Needless to say I was really excited, but the problem was, how the hell do I chose one without trying it out? Especially with such an overwhelmingly large selection.

The HomCom recliner. (Amazon link, eBay link.) In this setup it is very comfortable, but i do have to move my keyboard and graphics tablet to my lap and armrest because my keyboard tray doesn't reach this far. This works perfectly fine.

Why I chose the HomCom:

I sat down uncomfortably on my office chair and spent a bit of time reading about recliners and materials and then went to a local shop to try their (expensive) recliners and see what I liked or didn't like about this sort of chair. A few things became important:

  • I wanted it to be super soft with a deep seat.
  • I wanted it wide, especially at the back and the foot rest so that I wasn't stuck sitting in just one position. I want to be able to move around a bit, reposition my legs, etc.
  • I wanted wide arm rests so I could easily use a mouse or graphics tablet.

Knowing this helped a lot when looking for a recliner online because i could see these things in the images and specs, but I still knew that a recliner could look much more comfortable in photos than it really is, so I did what I always do in these situations, I went to check Amazon reviews. There were three recliners that looked suitable and had very good reviews (Two of them by HomCom) so I chose the one that looked the widest and softest of those three, and I knew when I was ordering that I may want to make some modifications to it to make it work well for me.

When I want to sit really upright, I add a large pillow, this is very similar to sitting on a regular chair, just super soft and much more supportive than any office or "executive" chair I have tried.

The recliner works very  well as a chair, but I do have to climb over the armrest to get in an out of it due to the larger shooting table next to my computer desk. If that wasn't there it would be easy to get in and out of the recliner.

Here it is reclined. It is really lovely for watching Netflix and having a nap. I had to move one my my desk's legs to allow the recliner's footrest to go right under the desk. 

Lets take a look at some pros and cons, but remember that this is just a first look, so my opinion about some of these things may change later on.

Pros:

  • Soft and comfy. Feels similar to my uncles expensive recliners. (Not quite as good as the real lether)
  • More comfortable than the ones available in my local shops. One of which was fine but had an uncomfortable back (see photo below) and another one in a different shop was just awful.
  • Makes my computer work far more enjoyable and it's a nice for relaxing too.

Cons:

  • It has sort of a plasticky smell. It should go away after a while.
  • Not real leather, but if you look at the cost of buying real leather that's no surprise considering the price of the chair (they don't promise real leather so I was well aware of this when I ordered). The things is, you could buy some real leather for very cheap at local second hand shops. I have two leather jackets that I bought from local charity stores for around £15 each, and I think I may have enough leather to cover the entire chair from top to bottom. I won't be doing that right away as it will take some time, but it should be a fun project, and I can even add a layer of foam or mesh under the leather to add some more breathability or maybe make it even softer with some memory foam. A leather cover would probably make it smell and feel a little nicer but I'm definitely not saying every person should do this, I'm just a very "DIY" sort of person.
  • Takes up more space than an office chair.

This is the  "display only" unit (available for sale but with a super long waiting time for delivery) that i tried at the local shop.

So how does this recliner compare to more expensive recliners?
Well, I did learn that some shops will charge you a lot of money for the same recliners you can find online. For example, this recliner is in a local furniture shop selling for around £530, while an identical-looking recliner available on eBay costs £159 including shipping, and my suspicion that they were made by the same manufacturer was confirmed by the fact that both had something like a 13-week (!) waiting time before the item ships out. I don't know why, some sort of pre-order.

HomCom sells this recliner on both eBay and Amazon:

The conclusion of this review will be posted as a video after i've had some time with this recliner, currently i am really enjoying it and I hope I continue liking it in the future.

Update 1: Back health?

A few people have made comments on facebook saying they think a recliner would cause back pain. None of them were able to tell me where they got that idea from. My opinion is that if you get a good recliner that supports your back then I don't see any problem, but obviously I am not a doctor. Recliners are items intended to be the ultimate chair for comfort and long sitting hours, so to think that it will be worse than a regular chair seems completely backwards to me. I recommend that you look it up for yourself, here are links to a Google search. You can also check out these articles from ABC News and BBC News. I am definitely not saying that I know everything about sitting, but what I feel is that this recliner gives me nice support for my back in both sitting and slightly reclined positions and I see no way it could be worse than my old office chair. Regardless of what chair you use, there are exercises intended to keep your back stronger and healthier. After some time using the recliner I will update this article further. [Disclaimer: These are just my opinions. If you have a back problem, go and see a doctor or back specialist. I am not qualified to give medical advice.]

Update 2: Reclining all the way back.

Reclining all the way back on this isn't as good as it is on my uncles expensive unit, but it's pretty much the same as the expensive units in my local shops. There's a concave area under your butt/back (depends how high you position yourself on the recliner). This might be really easy to fix with a pillow when you want to recline all the way back, I'll have to try that when I have a bit of time. The position/size of my table and the automatic forward/back movement of the chair when you recline means that I anyways have to get up from the chair to fully recline, so adding a pillow before getting back on it should not be a problem.

Update 3: "Add ons".

I am a person who loves to create and as I mentioned above I have some cool ideas to improve in this chair. The first thing I did is that put a duvet ("comforter" for those of you in the USA) on top of the recliner, which makes it absolutely gorgeous to sit on. It becomes super breathable and super soft, especially with a thick duvet. You could get a cheap synthetic duvet for around £10, a feather and down duvet (LINK) for a little over £20, or a 100% Hungarian goose down duvet (LINK) for around £100+ (they are lovely and you can take it to bed for sleeping too!). Put that together with a duvet cover in a style you like and it becomes a stylish way to improve and protect your new recliner.

You can also buy some throw pillows on eBay for £1 (including delivery) if you want to have higher arm rests (the ones on this recliner are at the correct height for reclining but too low for sitting). Definitely a recommended add-on. The £1 ones are ugly but for £2 to £3 there are tons of really stylish pillows (LINK) to chose from.