First Things First:
When buying recliners, remember to think about their mechanics. You don't have to know how to build it. Nor should you request the mechanical schematics to see if it fits up to your standards. You don't know how to build one, remember? Just sit in the recliner chair and work it back and forth a couple of times. Does it catch? Does it require more than a gentle nudge to recline? If so, move on.
You don't want to have to exert energy when reclining, which is why there should be a delicate, but sturdy balance between the reclined and upright positions. A simple lean should send you sailing to the sandman in front of your half eaten dinner and favorite primetime television show. Working up a sweat to get a recliner to recline is likely to make you less tired in the short term, and we don't want that.
Style Second? Yes.
After you think you've got it narrowed down to a few recliner chairs, decide on style. Some people may consider this counterintuitive or even silly, but style comes second when you're talking about recliners. These people are often the same types who prefer lean, Danish modern pieces made out of bent plywood instead of the hearty, mechanical revolution that is the reclining chair.
Whether its a leather recliner, fabric recliner, or somewhere between, remember that your recliner is going to see some use. If it is a quality massaging recliner chair, (and you should buy no other such type) it will quickly become the most coveted seat wherever it is placed, thereby making the recliner chair occupied whenever the room is used. You want the salesperson's and manufacturer's word and dollar behind the upholstery and mechanics. Otherwise, you're just rocking toward your next recliner chair.