Health & Longevity

Is Sleeping in a Recliner Bad for You?

It happened again: You fell asleep watching TV in your first-floor recliner, and by the time you woke up to those 3 am infomercials, getting up the stairs to your bed just felt too daunting. In some cases, your recliner may even be more comfortable to sleep in than your bed.

But is this really the best idea? How does sleeping in a recliner impact your health? We’re here to break it down and provide a solution that can help you sleep both comfortably and easily.

What Are the Side Effects of Sleeping in a Recliner?

When you sleep in a chair, even a reclined and comfortable one, it keeps your legs and joints in a bent position. This can cause undesirable side effects over time.

The most common effect of sleeping with your hips and knees bent overnight is increased stiffness in your joints. This stiffness can contribute to tight calves and hamstrings, which can, in turn, increase the risk of falling.

Less common but still possible is the chance of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or a blood clot deep in the veins in your legs. While this is concerning in and of itself, a DVT can potentially come loose and cause an embolism in your heart, brain, or lungs, which can lead to incredible serious side effects.

Sleeping with your knees bent for an extended period of time can also block blood flow in your lower body. Finally, some recliners may cause you to sleep with a hunched back, which can constrict your airways and impair your breathing overnight. This can cause or exacerbate existing problems, such as sleep apnea, and also possibly create congestion in your lungs.

While sleeping in a recliner might feel easy and even comfortable at the moment, it isn’t a good long-term solution, especially as many people develop poor circulation with age. Instead, look into a solution designed to meet your needs without compromising your health.

What Are the Benefits of Sleeping in a Reclined Position?

Sleeping reclined at an angle can elevate your heart and lungs and keep your airways open, which may make sleep easier if you’re experiencing discomfort.

This can be especially helpful for those who are:

  • Living with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux
  • Experiencing sleep apnea
  • Recovering from back surgery

In these circumstances, falling asleep in an upright position can actually help you have greater comfort as opposed to sleeping in a completely flat bed. It’s also important to keep in mind that you can achieve these same benefits with much greater comfort by swapping your bed for an adjustable home hospital bed.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Home Hospital Bed?

“Home hospital bed” might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s becoming an increasingly common solution for people who want to remain independent and age with dignity in their homes. Home hospital beds can help allow older customers to sleep in a reclined position without incurring the health risks of sleeping in a recliner.

Other benefits of a home hospital bed include:

  • The ability to sleep with a partner or loved one
  • The safety features of a hospital bed within the comfort of your own home
  • Controls and adjustability that make it easy to get in and out of bed

What Should You Look for in a Home Hospital Bed?

It’s important to find a home hospital bed that best matches your needs and desires. The right hospital bed should blend into your existing lifestyle, providing the functionality that you need to sleep comfortably without sacrificing independence.


Do you want a bed that can support a twin, full, or queen-sized mattress? In that case, the Supernal line of beds – particularly the Supernal Hi-Low – may be the right hospital bed for you. Both of our Supernal beds come in twin, full, and queen sizes.

Our Supernal Hi-Low model is fully adjustable from head to toe, including features like a wide height range, European-style head tilt, massage settings, and a backlit wireless hand control. The height range allows it to get close to the floor for easy self-transfer, and the electrical components are discreetly hidden away to help this bed blend in with your home.

In other words, this bed can fully recline and prop you up while still looking like a normal bed. It’s a great starter hospital bed, especially if you want to receive guests from bed and enjoy increased comfort and functionality without bringing the feeling of a hospital into your home.

Bariatric Accessibility

Bariatric beds, or heavy-duty beds, are designed with increased weight capacities to support more weight than a typical hospital bed. The Night Rider HD and SHD beds, for instance, can support up to 600 and 750 pounds, respectively.


Some hospital beds, particularly electric beds, tend to obviously look like they were designed for the hospital. Others are specifically designed to bring the benefits of a hospital bed into your home while looking (and feeling) like an ordinary bed.

For instance, our Supernal 5 features ultimate adjustability while still blending in with the comfort of your home. This bed doesn’t just allow you to sleep in a comfortable reclined position — it also includes Trendelenburg, reverse Trendelenburg, and cardiac chair adjustability.

These sleeping positions can help ease symptoms of various health conditions, including acid reflux, low blood pressure, sleep apnea, and poor circulation. This bed is a great way to invest in your health and comfort levels as you continue to age in your own home.

Who Should Consider a Home Hospital Bed?

One of the hardest parts of aging is watching everyday things like stairs, back pain, and age-related injuries chip away at your independence. With Transfer Master, these mobility concerns don’t have to impair your quality of life.

Perhaps you think that a home hospital bed is only for patients recovering from invasive surgery, living with an in-home caregiver, or facing serious mobility issues. While a hospital bed can certainly benefit people living with these conditions, it can also make a world of difference to anyone searching for a way to age in place and be proactive about getting older.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve started investing in other changes at home, such as hiring a lawn care or cleaning service, installing a ramp on your front steps, or moving to the first floor of your home, a home hospital bed may be a logical next step.

While sleeping in a recliner may feel like the easy option, it can ultimately contribute to serious health concerns. Instead, embrace your changing needs with a fully adjustable home hospital bed.

Everyone deserves to age with dignity. With Transfer Master, you no longer have to choose between the comfort of your home and the comfort of a bed that meets your needs. To learn more, request a quote today.


How to Sleep Better with GERD & Acid Reflux | Sleep Foundation

Is it dangerous to sleep sitting up? | Harvard Health

Osteoarthritis | National Institute on Aging

Sleep apnea – Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic


Questions? Contact a Bed Expert.

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Transfer Master

About Transfer Master

Transfer Master has built electric adjustable hospital beds for the home and medical facility since 1993. We started with a simple goal that hospital beds should allow wheelchair users to transfer independently in and out of bed. Thirty years later, our customers are still at the center of everything we do. You’ll feel the difference.