Southern Motion Grand Recliner Review

Southern Motion Grand Recliner Chair
  • Value (Price, Performance)
  • Comfort
  • Aesthetic Flexibility*
  • Brand Reliability**
4.2

Summary

The Southern Motion Grand Recliner is a comfortable, stylish, modular recliner designed with big and tall people in mind. Recommended for anyone weighing up to 400 pounds who is unhappy with the other big and tall recliner options available.

*While aesthetics is a matter of taste, aesthetic flexibility is a measure of how easily a given design would fit into a wide range of home décor schemes.

**Brand Reliability is a measure of the strength and longevity of the brand, which by extension, is a measure of the level of support you can expect.

Are you bigger, taller, and heavier? Has that fact frustrated your search for good quality, attractive recliner that’s sturdy and robust enough to provide you with proper support?

Are you in the market for a recliner with lift capabilities to help you get your feet back under you after sitting in the chair for an extended period?

If the other big and tall recliner options you’ve been finding have left you wanting, then the Southern Motion Grand Recliner is well worth a look. Southern Motion isn’t one of the biggest names in the industry, but they make excellent furniture, and the Grand is an excellent example of their work.

We’ll be quick to admit that this chair has its shortcomings and isn’t for everyone, but if the other models you’ve been looking at have left you feeling underwhelmed, this classically designed lift recliner might be just the thing for you.

In the sections that follow, we’ll leave no stone unturned, telling you about this chair’s best features and its shortcomings so you’ll have all the information you need to decide if it’s the lift chair you’ve been searching for. Read on, and let’s take a closer look!

An Overview of the Southern Motion Grand

It’s a big, elegant, comfortable-looking chair. That’s the first impression the Southern Motion Grand recliner leaves most people with when they initially set eyes on the chair, and it’s not wrong. The Grand’s design team took no chances here, sticking to convention and designing a chair that has an elegant, timeless look to it which, when paired with its lovely leather upholstery, ensures that the chair can fit nicely into most any home décor scheme.

Before we get into specifics, let’s pause for a moment and take a quick look at the basic stats that define the Grand. Here they are:

Specification Stats, Southern Motion Grand Recliner Chair, Alfresco Rustico
  • Product Dimensions: 41” W x 44” D x 46” H (70” when fully reclined)
  • Seat Width: 22”
  • Seat Depth: 24”
  • Seat Height: 20”
  • Chair Weight: 146 pounds
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 400 pounds

These are good numbers, but there’s a bit of a catch. Note the total length of this recliner. At 70”, this chair isn’t a great fit for the tallest of users. The 20” seat height definitely marks it as a big and tall chair and the seat dimensions and the chair’s weight limit back this notion up, but if you’re taller than about 6’2,” and depending on your body type, this chair may not feel long enough for you.

The numbers are otherwise fine, but it pays to take a few measurements and compare them to the chair’s dimensions before committing to a purchase. It’s an expensive piece of furniture, after all, and you want to make sure it’s going to fit you like a glove.

Adjustability and Comfort

We’ll start with comfort in this section of our Southern Motion Grand recliner review since there’s relatively less to say on that topic than there is on the rest. It’s a comfortable, well-padded chair that features spring-supported block foam.  While there is no advanced comfort materials present (no memory foam, comfort coils, or the like), the chair is outfitted with generous amounts of padding and provides a delightful seating experience.

The reasons we recommend considering this chair if the other models you’ve been looking at have left you wanting, however, lies in the fact that the Grand is an incredibly modular chair. Do you want a rocking recliner? You can get that. A wall hugger? You can have that, too. Do you want a recliner that swivels and lays completely flat? Yup. You can have that too.

The Grand is offered in a variety of different configurations, allowing you to get exactly the features you want. In fact, if you don’t need the lift function, you can opt to have that left out of the equation.

On the company’s sales page, you’ll find the following configurations available:

  • Rocking Recliner
  • Wall Hugging Recliner
  • Lay flat Recliner
  • Power Headrest Rocking Recliner
  • Power Headrest Wall Hugging Recliner
  • Power Headrest Lay flat Recliner
  • Lift Recliner
  • Power Headrest Lift Recliner
Room Decoration, Southern Motion Grand Recliner Chair, Alfresco Rustico

Note that the list above is not comprehensive. When you order direct from the company’s site, you can mix the separate headrest controls, rocking, swiveling, wall-hugging, and lay flat features into any combination you like

That’s huge. It gives you virtually unmatched flexibility in terms of building exactly the chair you want, rather than just shopping for the options given to you by other manufacturers, and modularity, more than anything else, is what really sets Southern Motion apart from its peers. We love it, and we think you will too!

Some observations about the different options available here:

In its stock configuration, the Grand reclines to a max of 165 degrees, which is good for napping but far less than ideal if you’re planning to use it for sleeping. If that’s your plan, paying for the lay flat feature is a no-brainer.

Given the dimensions of the chair, unless you’ve got plenty of space to work with, you’re almost certain to want to pay for the wall-hugging feature. If you don’t, you’re going to need to leave about 18” of space between the seatback and whatever wall you decide to set the chair near.

Recliner Position, Southern Motion Grand Recliner Chair, Alfresco Rustico

The rocking and swiveling options largely come down to personal preference. If you like those things, then it’s well worth adding them. If you don’t care, either way, there’s no point in spending money on a feature you’re not likely to get much use out of.

The decision about whether or not to include the lift feature comes down to pragmatism. If you need a lift chair to help you get your feet back under you, then adding the feature is a given. If you don’t, it’s not worth spending the money on.

The one feature we absolutely recommend no matter who you are is the power plus option, which puts the recline of the headrest on a separate motor from the rest of the chair. This gives you the option to tweak the position of the headrest for maximum comfort and convenience. 

If you’ve never sat in a recliner that offers separate headrest controls, you don’t know what you’re missing. The first time you use it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. Although it’s offered as an option, we regard this one as an absolute must-have that will greatly enhance your comfort and enjoyment of the chair.

As good as all of this is, there’s a downside we need to bring to your attention. This chair is clad in vinyl leather, and that’s a shame.

Vinyl leather or PVC leather is entirely synthetic. There are a few implications here: First, it’s not as strong or as supple as genuine grain leather. Second, it’s not as durable and will start showing its age much more quickly than high-quality leather upholstery. Third, it’s not at all pet-friendly. If you have pets, no matter how cool this chair seems to you, it’s not a good fit. Your pets will almost certainly tear a hole in the upholstery sometime on the first day you bring it home.

In addition to all of that, leather isn’t breathable. The more time you spend sitting in it, the hotter and sweatier you’re going to get. If you’re buying a recliner to spend a couple of hours in the evening before bed in, that’s no big deal. If you have a mobility issue and you’re buying the lift module with an eye toward spending all day in the chair, you’re going to get increasingly uncomfortable as the day grinds on.

If you have pets, or if you’re looking for something that’s well suited to extended periods of sitting and/or sleeping, you’re much better off getting a fabric-clad recliner.

Storage & Extras

Sadly, storage is an area where this chair is seriously wanting. If you opt for the Lift package on your recliner, you’ll get a battery backup system with it. All variants of this model come with a wand to control the various recline features on offer, but you won’t find any storage built into the chair, nor any fun extras like USB ports or hidden power outlets. It’s a downside, to be sure, but not a deal-breaking one for most people.

Alfresco Rustico Color, Southern Motion Grand Recliner Chair, Front View

No Assembly Required

If you decide you want one of these, it will arrive at your door fully assembled and ready to use. All you’ll need to do is wrestle it into your house, get it where you want it, plug it in, and have a seat.

Given the size and weight of this chair, and the fact that the company does not offer White Glove service, you’ll almost certainly want to have a strong back and an extra pair of hands standing by to give you an assist when the chair reaches you. It’s not impossible for a big and strong enough person to get the chair set up on their own, but it will go a whole lot more smoothly with a bit of help.

Pros & Cons of Southern Motion Grand Recliner

We love this chair for its modularity. In our view, that’s the hands-down best feature of the model. It’s a splendid design that can be anything you want or need it to be.

On the other hand, it’s not without its issues; the two biggest are the chair’s substandard (in our view) upholstery and the lack of storage. While those are unfortunate realities, we don’t regard them as absolute deal-breakers, and given that every other aspect of the chair’s design is excellent, we’re willing to look past them, and we suspect that most people will feel the same way.

Southern Motion Grand Recliner Review Conclusion

The base model Grand is a very good recliner. Given that you can mix and match features to create the perfect recliner for you, it moves from very good to exceptional. We love it, and we think you will too. The Southern Motion Grand recliner comes highly recommended.


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