Why my family kept fighting over the Flexispot XR4 recliner

They all made a beeline for the corner of the room.

Adding a new chair for testing in my living room turned out to be a new experience for me, after 23 years working as a journalist. For some reason, I have never tested a recliner before, but the Flexispot XR4 Power Swivel Rocker Recliner was a fun test, especially for everyone in my family.

The XR4 has one feature that shocked me right away and made me want to test it out in the first place — the price. At only $389.99, the recliner has some handy features and is comfortable to sit on especially for late night book reading. I’ve seen similar recliners for much more, and they don’t do quite as much.

For starters, the XR4 is made for the modern generation — there is a USB port on the side for charging up your devices. I find my Apple iPad is constantly losing power, probably because I use Apple News and Flipboard on it way too often. Using a cable at the side of the chair is more advantageous than you might think, since you can leave the device plugged into the chair all day. I found myself reading books longer on the iPad than ever before.

Near that same outlet you will find two controls for reclining the chair. I liked being able to read upright, and then sit back easily and quickly to watch a TV show. The XR4 is made of water-resistant synthetic leather — the material looked and felt like it would last for years without the need to do any maintenance at all. It felt comfortable and smooth.

Reclining works quickly, almost like something you will find at a movie theater. My kids are adults but when they visited they went right for the chair, grabbing a blanket and dozing off, connecting their phone, and reclining while we watched basketball.

I found some of the stats interesting for this recliner / rocker. (By the way, it does both. You can recline and rest, but the chair also doubles as a rocker.) The chair is rated for a height of up to 6-foot three-inches tall, which is a bit unusual — it fits most people. The chair weighs 300 pounds, so it stays firmly in place on a base that seems sturdy, stable, and not at all ready to slip.

I liked the lumbar support, which is not always true when I test cars. Sometimes what lumbar support means is that there’s a big bump to keep your back braced and supported, but ends up feeling uncomfortable. It’s the first thing I adjust in my car testing to not be so pronounced. I liked how the XR4 felt, though, since it wasn’t obtrusive or rigid. It just felt about right.

The chair can turn a full 270-degrees. In my tests, I could swivel over to talk to someone visiting, then swivel over to look out the window next to me. That means the chair can not just recline and rock, but also moves and glides easily from side to side.

I’m about the size of a football player, so my one slight issue with the XR4 is when I would recline all the way back, I felt like I was a bit too big to stay stable in the chair. My son-in-law is a similar height but lighter and he had no trouble. My wife liked how it felt fully reclined.

Overall, I loved the chair — it was a great fit for book reading and watching movies. My favorite specification is the low price, which fits my budget just about perfectly.