Stressless Buying Guide

Posted by BigCommerce on Apr 23rd 2021


A Buying Guide by Smart Furniture

A sky view of the Stressless factory in Norway

Learn about Stressless:






Are you searching for the most comfortable recliner and/or sofa on the planet? If so, you've come to the right place. Ekornes Stressless manufactures some of the best looking, most ergonomically supportive, and long lasting lounge chairs and couches in the world. They're also some of the most expensive.

This guide is going to show you why Stressless chairs are worth the money, what you're getting with your Stressless Chair, and best of all, help you figure out which model is best for you! We'll show you what all of the different options mean and get you primed on all of Stressless' amazing features.

From the base up, there's no sitting experience like Stressless.

About Ekornes: The Story of Stressless®

Comfort is the primary goal of the entire Stressless line. Since 1971, when they first introduced themselves to the world, Ekornes has been interested in bringing the world's most comfortable seating experience to a wider and wider audience.

Ekornes is a Norwegian furniture company that specializes in the Stressless Chair series of recliners and couches, and that focuses on comfort, support and style above all else. They feature three main lines of furnishings, all of which are organized into separate manufacturing facilities and production teams; Stressless Chairs, which focus on the Stressless Recliner and all of the many variations on the Stressless Recliner the company produces, Svane, which is involved in making mattresses, and just plain Ekornes, which focuses on making the Stressless Sofa, based on the design and comfort/support concepts featured in the Ekornes Stressless Chair.

The Ekornes company was founded in 1934 by Jens Ekornes. At that time, the company was involved only in making mattress and chair parts, specifically springs. It was the Ekornes company that came up with the idea of interlinked-steel springs joined together within a mattress, which provided the user with a higher level of comfort and even support. From the very beginning, the main thing Ekornes was interested in doing was making people comfortable and supported, and the tools they used have hardly changed either; then as now, advances in ergonomic science, new technologies aided by expert engineering, and a sense of innovative design have informed and shaped all the products the Ekornes company makes and has made in the past. As the springs idea took root and began to spread itself throughout Europe, Jens took a very bold step.

Not satisfied to rest on his laurels and merely ride out a single wave of innovation to a lucrative conclusion, he left his brothers in charge of the business and moved to America, where he got a job working in a mattress factory. It was important to Jens to be on the front line of the process, to understand everything that goes into making a mattress, and it was equally important to learn those skills and research those ideas in the most advanced factory system in the world, that of the United States. It takes a lot for a man to leave the company he founded and move halfway across the globe just to work a menial job in a factory, but Jens Ekornes and the company he founded were made of stern stuff. When Jens returned to Norway, ready to move his company forward, he brought with him American made machinery and American advisers to help him make his company all that it could be. The seeds for the revolutionary Stressless Chair were being planted as early as this, in 1946, when the company risked it all to produce the best possible product, the most comfortable and supportive spring they could possibly make. No stone was left unturned and no idea was dismissed out of hand; here was a company willing to literally go to the mattresses for quality, inspiration and the perfection of process and design.

For the next 20 years, the Ekornes brand grew and grew. In Norway, it's home base, it became a household name. Across the rest of Europe it's high quality and attractive design made it a top dollar manufacturer. It was not until 1966 however that Ekornes would begin to become the furniture giant it is today; that is when they released their first lounge furniture. To announce their new products, the sent mailing to every household in the entire country of Norway, advertising that reached every man woman and child within the Norwegian border. To this day, every year the entirety of Norway receives a catalog detailing everything new (and everything classic) in the Ekornes world. From then on, it was a rocket ride to success, highlighted by the 1971 debut of the greatest recliner on earth; the Ekornes Stressless Chair.

The debut of the Stressless Chair changed everything for Ekornes, which went from a local and somewhat continental brand to an international furniture powerhouse. It was the Stressless Chair that allowed the company to expand dramatically, escalating production, investment, space and staff at an unprecedented rate. Soon the Stressless Chair took Ekornes to the very top of the international furniture market, and the chair itself took the world by storm; it was the most comfortable and supportive chair available, and it complemented all it's technical and design genius with a simple, elegant, luxurious style that attracted new customers otherwise unmoved by the chair's excellence.

Now approaching their 40th anniversary, the Stressless Chairs are still going strong on the international market. They've become a symbol of modern furniture, a melding of classical concern with the body and with comfort, married to a reserved and attractive stylization. The materials used in the chair are as rich and elegant as the chair itself; leather, polished metals, fine wood accents; the chair is put together with all the care reserved for fine watches, built with all the pride and vigor of a company that would leave everything to work in a factory for a few years, learning the roots of their trade. The international market is immeasurably richer for the addition of the Stressless Chair to it's confines, and Ekornes has much to be proud of when it comes to this alluring line of chairs.

The next several decades of Ekornes passed in steady, peaceful growth. The worked on the Stressless Chair, perfecting the engineering and varying their look and style; making them the must-have items they are today. The expanded their base and their manufacturing capacity; they built the company into a paragon of international manufacturing and sale. At present, Ekornes is one of the largest and most influential design companies in the world, and their furniture is enjoyed and celebrated in every corner of the globe. Not bad for a little company that started out manufacturing mattress springs, and not bad for a lone business man with little more than a great idea married to great drive and personal ambition to produce the very best, and accept no substitutes.

Smart Furniture is proud to offer the best in international leisure furniture; we're proud to offer our customer the Ekornes Stressless Chair, Stressless Sofa, and the whole gamut of Stressless Chair products.

Ekornes Stressless: An Introduction to Comfort

Introduced in 1971, the Ekornes Stressless Recliner has been the industry gold standard for almost 40 years. From it's first introduction, no recliner anywhere in the world has been able to offer the same level of total comfort, total support, and total freedom of movement that the Stressless Recliner has to offer. The design is seamless and invisible; except for the patented glide system, operated with a small wheel adjustment on the side of the chair, all of the exquisite engineering involved in making the Stressless Recliner work is hidden within the exquisite leather exterior that makes it so stylish, so comfortable, so welcoming and attractive.

Ekornes is a Norwegian company, and the very first Ekornes Stressless Chairs were made and sold there. Immediately, they became something of a sensation. They were the first chair built specifically to be TV-oriented, as well as comfortable and adaptable. It was one of the first recliners that could be oriented however the user chose; reclined for naps, swiveled to reach coffee tables and books, easily adjusted for optimum comfort and viewing/reading/sitting ease. Over the decades since the debut of the very first Ekornes Stressless Chair, there have been several improvements, embellishments and additions, but the original is still breathtaking in it's simplicity, elegance, and cachet as the pioneer of the modern recliner movement in home furnishing.

Shop Small Recliners »
Shop Medium Recliners »
Shop Large Recliners »

So what makes the Stressless Recliner so comfortable? First and foremost, balance. The chair is perfectly balanced at all times, no matter your position, body type, or weight. It's built on the revolutionary Stressless Glide system, an elegant device that allows the chair to maintain balance and you to maintain your optimum levels of comfort and support. With the Glide system, Ekornes has produced a mechanism who's function is to make you feel as if you're floating on air. The Glide system can be adjusted as well, so for different types of folks, different types of recline and support. The Stressless Chair wasn't built to be one size fits all in the rigid sense, but in the fluid sense; it's a chair that intuitively and automatically adjusts to make you more comfortable, no matter who you are or how you sit. The freedom of the chair is one of it's most attractive design virtues. The fine people at Ekornes will stop at nothing to make sure the chair you buy and take home to use will be perfect for you. Aside from their ingenious work with the engineering and design of the chair, they've also broken it down into sizes and specific components, so that you can tailor the product to your exact specifications. One of the early and extremely successful initiatives the Ekornes Stressless Recliner people enacted was the Comfort Test; an easy, step by step process for choosing the perfect Stressless Chair for you and your needs. The chair comes in three sizes (Large, Medium, and Small), with ottomans that glide and adjust, and adjustable headrest, the Glide system, the Plus system (which keeps your body and back supported in the lumbar region) and several other variations that can maximize your comfort to the nth degree. The Ekornes Stressless Chair is perfect for you because Ekornes has made sure that you are one of the chair's primary designers; as the owner, you have a very large amount of control over every minute adjustment and detail in the chair, so that you're assured of having the ultimate recliner experience in the world's ultimate recliner.

Aside from just comfort, there are many other reasons to trust and own the Ekornes Stressless Chair. One of them is, of course, the company itself. Ekornes is a company on a mission to make the most comfortable recliner in the world. They've succeeded because of their ingenuity, their technical expertise, and their stylish execution. Ekornes has taken the conventional roadmap of the standard recliner and improved upon it immeasurably, while at the same time keeping much of what makes the recliner a comforting staple of the living room and the den. Like the Eames Lounge Chair, the Ekornes Stressless Recliner is composed of leather wrapped in a wooden shell, and the soft, supple material is the ultimate complement to the chair. Also like the ELC, the Ekornes Stressless Recliner combines modernism and the comfort of the classic and the familiar; the leather ensconced within the wood finish is like a well worn baseball glove; it calls to mind not only comfort and pliability, but also a restful state of mind. The whole point of the super comfortable, super supportive, super soft recliner is the relief of physical and mental stress on the body and on the mind. The Stressless Chair is, of course, just what it claims to be; a stressless environment in which you feel comfort, support, and relief. There's no better seat in the house when you're watching television, reading a book, having a conversation, or simply chilling out and relaxing after a long or stressful day. When you invest in the Ekornes Stressless Chair, you're investing in peace of mind, health of body, and a more restful and beautiful home.

When it comes time for you to make your purchase of the chair, you'll be led through a series of customization steps designed to make your chair the best it can possibly be for you. You can choose the color, the grain, the size, and other personal touches. The Ekornes Stressless Recliner is the most comfortable and one of the best designed leisure chairs in the world, but the design isn't finished until our customers get their hands on it. The chair you buy will be yours and yours alone, customized to your exact fit and your exact specifications; when you sit in it, as light and comfortable as floating on air, you'll know it's the right chair for your comfort and support needs. Smart Furniture is very proud to offer our customers the very best in international seating, and to keep bringing you the best furniture on earth.

What Sets Stressless Apart

Constructed in Norway, Stressless chairs and sofas boast extensive engineering and tireless research. Because of that dedication and attention to detail, they are unlike anything else on the market. Here are some of the amazing things you get with each Stressless chair.


Solid Beech Frame

Constructed of solid beech plywood, Stressless bases are strong, sustainable, and color-customizable.


360 Degree Swivel

Base and Chair swivel 360 Degrees for a free range of movement.


Comfort Zones™

Perforations in the outer layer of foam guide you to the chair's sweet spot, allowing you to sink into the chair.


Top Grain Leather

Chosen for color consistency, durability, and elasticity, Stressless Only uses the best, most high quality leathers.


Single Steel Rod Frame and Plus System™

Created with a unique cold bending process, a single steel rod makes the frame durable and strong while individual springs add lumbar and back support.


Easy Glide Recline

Responsive, tension adjustable reclining mechanism responds to your bodyweight instead of a lever or button.

2 Base Options


Classic Base

The Stressless Classic base is constructed out of a super durable beech frame. It's strong, swivels, and features Stressless' famous easy-glide recline.


Signature Base

The Signature Base makes Stressless Chairs even more comfortable. In addition to swiveling, easy-reclining, and durability, it provides a gentle rocking motion.


Stressless only uses the most high quality leathers for their chairs. These are the four types of leathers and the differences between them. If you want a more in-depth description, check out the Stressless Materials Library.

Batick Leather

Embossed leather with protective lacquer coating, Batick is easy to clean and the most affordable option.

Paloma Leather

A super soft and friendly feel, Paloma is the most popular option. It is breathable, rich, and uniform in color.

Cori Leather

Cori has a unique pebble grain and higher thickness. Also lacquer coated, it's extra-durable and easy to clean.

Noblesse Leather

The heaviest leather, Noblesse is breathable and soft. Its finish makes it rich, warm, and expensive.


Stressless chairs are designed to hug you in all of the right places. You're ensured a personalized fit because many of their recliners come in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. The size you need is determined by your height and weight.

Shop Small Recliners »
5'3" and under

Shop Medium Recliners »
5'4" to 5'9"

Shop Large Recliners »
5'10" and up


Some Stressless Chairs and Sofas come with an adjustable headrest, further adding to their customized feel. Since people come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes it's better for a tall and thin person to get a medium sized chair with adjustable headrest instead of a large size.

Adjustable headrests are height and angle adjustable, so you can move it to fit you like a glove. Reach out to our Furniture Geniuses at 800-260-8420 to ensure you get the perfectly sized chair for your body.

More About Stressless Recliner Sizes

Ekornes Stressless Recliner Sizes

In 1996, the Ekornes Stressless Chairs began being made in different sizes. This change was made with the knowledge that different body types need larger or smaller chairs for maximum comfort. In 1999 Ekornes redefined the Plus system, allowing the Ekornes Stressless Chairs headrests to be in either a reading or sleeping mode when the chair is in its reclining position. The Ekornes Company continued to better their product, and by 2003 a home theatre system had been designed to perfectly complement the Ekornes Stressless Recliner. That same year the American Chiropractic Society endorsed the Stressless Chair.

The traditional definition of a recliner is an armchair that tilts back supporting your head, as well as extends outward for your legs and feet to rest upon. A traditionally designed recliner features a fully padded seat and back. This traditional model exudes a very luxurious appearance, but is rather bulky. On the flip side, a contemporary Stressless recliner is designed around an exterior with a new ergonomic design. This different design is more appealing to the contemporary eye and doesn't make you feel as if you are drowning in padding. The firmer upholstery featured in the Stressless Chairs allows for the perfect lumbar support needed for maximum comfort. Both recliners have adjustable head and foot rests. However, the Stressless recliner has the advantage of a more advanced, yet easy to use, adjustment mechanism. Ekornes Stressless Chairs also offer a sleeker and less bulky version of the traditional ottoman.

Most Stressless recliners come in 3 different sizes. Shown here is the Vegas Family (from left to right - Vegas, Reno, and Tampa Chairs)

The Stressless Chair is constructed in a way unlike any other. The chair starts with a steel frame that has cold-cured foam molded directly on top of the steel to provide a cushion. Then, an addition layer of foam is added for extra support. The cushions are made of an extremely soft Dacron fiber that ensures comfort while providing a sleek look for the chair. The durable steel frame and flexible springs provide continuous support. The Plus system, which is exclusive to the Ekornes Stressless recliner, provides maximum support for your head and lower back. The unique glide system automatically uses your body weight to adjust your chair. A swivel base provides maximum mobility for your every day needs. Top of the line genuine leather or a luxurious fabric complete the look of the sleek Ekornes Stressless Chair.

The glide system used in the Stressless recliners is said to be the key to their success. The glide system works with your specific body weight to create the most effortless shifting of position available. All you have to do is adjust the wheels on the Ekornes Stressless Chair glide system, while the chair shifts comfortably and easily to any position you choose. The Stressless logo should appear on the adjustment wheel of the Ekornes Stressless Chairs; this is one simple way to verify that the chair you are sitting in is an authentic Stressless Chair. The Plus system was added to the Ekornes Stressless Chairs in 1991.

The Plus system allows the user to choose whether the headrest on their chair would be in sleep or read mode. The Plus system used with the Ekornes Stressless Chair provides optimum support for your head and back. While the Plus system allows the best possible support for your body, it also allows you to keep eye contact with the television, book, magazine, or other object that you are currently engaged in. You can also adjust the headrest of the Ekornes Stressless recliner to lie flat if you would rather relax. The glide system is also used in the ottomans that accompany the Ekornes Stressless Chairs. The glide system is used in the ottomans to provide comfort for all types of people, regardless of size or shape.

When it comes to comfort, freedom of movement is an integral element. As well as allowing a full recline in the chair, the round base of the Stressless Chair allows you to achieve 360 degrees of swivel freedom. The design of the swivel base on Ekornes Stressless Chairs is unique and cannot be found anywhere else. This swivel system allows you to effortlessly watch television, lean backwards, or turn to face another person in one easy movement. The double stem design of the base was created to provide maximum stability and ultimate comfort.

Another key factor in a comfortable chair is making sure that your chair fits you. Stressless recliners were the first recliners to consider this possibility. Most Ekornes Stressless chairs come in two sizes, and some offer three different sizes. A chair that swallows you is not comfortable, nor is a chair that you can barely fit in. Stressless Chairs accommodate all shapes and sizes. There are many different collections of Ekornes Stressless Chairs. Some are bigger to accommodate larger living areas, while others aren't as large and have a narrower base. These Ekornes Stressless Chair models are perfect for smaller homes.

All Stressless Chairs are comfortable and functional, but what they look like is up to you. Ekornes Stressless Chairs are offered in four types of leather, as well as a full range of fabric color choices. The base of the chair is made from European Beech and is offered in a range of finishes. The leather choices are Batick, Classic, Paloma, and Royalin. The Batick leather is a darker color, and is resistant to fading. The Classic leather looks like your basic leather, with most of the natural marks removed. The Paloma leather is corrected leather with a smooth structure. Paloma does not have the same heavy-duty quality that is offered in the Batick and Classic models. The Royalin leather is the most exclusive choice as well as the most vulnerable. The leathers are listed in order of the most durable to the least. There are seven wood finishes offered on the Stressless Chairs. They range from a very light pale finish to an almost black finish with rich tones in between.

If you're looking for an environmentally friendly piece of furniture, the Ekornes Stressless recliner is the one for you. These chairs are 99% recyclable. Stressless Chair products have as little an impact on the environment as possible. Ekornes has attempted to make almost all of the components of their Ekornes Stressless Chairs environmentally safe, even down to adapting their welding process. The use of robots and eco-friendly gasses for welding have enabled Ekornes to improve their work environment. Stressless Chairs are made with the most environmentally friendly glues available. Instead of harmful substances, they use water as a blowing agent when producing foamed plastic. In addition to all of these changes, Ekornes also uses water based stains and varnishes that are more practical and less harmful to the environment. Even the packaging products used with the Ekornes Stressless Chairs are recyclable and meet the requirements for environmental certification.

Stressless Chairs are built to last. The internal mechanisms on the recliners are guaranteed for a decade. The guarantee includes the glide system as well as the Plus system, and the internal metal frame. If your chair is older than ten years and has an upholstery problem, the chair can be reupholstered at most upholstery stores. Ekornes Stressless Chairs can be bought on a range of budgets; the chairs can run as low as $1,500.00 or be as high as $5,000.00. When you order an Ekornes Stressless recliner it will usually be shipped to you requiring a small amount of assembly. Many times the nearest Stressless dealer will not have the exact style and color that you prefer on display. If this is the case, you can always order a custom chair with your exact specifications from us here at Unfortunately, you cannot order an Ekornes Stressless Chair directly from Ekornes' online site.

Stressless Chairs also come with the option of a variety of accessories. One choice is a hard floor protector for the base. The floor protector is a self-adhesive felt that could be used to keep the wood or floors in your house unharmed by the base of your new chair. Another option is the Stressless elevator ring. The ring allows your recliner to be boosted almost one and a quarter inch to enhance your comfort level. This elevator is also available for the Stressless ottoman. If you like to have all of your items handy, you would be interested in the Stressless swing table. The swing table is a small table that matches and attaches to your Stressless Chair and can be retracted when not in use. The Stressless PC table is a table that is designed to work perfectly with you and your laptop. The Stressless PC table eliminates the usual clutter that comes with working while in a comfortable recliner.

Ekornes is also a believer in promoting local charities. For those of us who are interested in helping others, Ekornes' ideas on giving back are a great incentive for purchasing a Stressless Chair. This year they announced the success of their 3rd annual Charity of Choice promotion. This seven-week charity promotion generated over $335,000.00 in non-profit contributions. More than 84 percent of Ekornes dealers chose to participate in the promotion. In exchange for donating $50.00 to a charity of the dealer's choice, North American consumers were offered $200.00 off the purchase of a Stressless recliner. The promotion was a win-win for all parties involved.

As of December 2010, Ekornes Stressless Chairs are being featured in a four-star luxury spa located in Austria. When the hotel recently decided to upgrade their spa, they immediately thought of the Stressless Recliner. The chairs are featured in the spa's library. The library is designed as a place where guests may enjoy the comfort of an Ekornes Stressless Chair while reading and relaxing after a massage, ski outing, or sauna visit. The chairs in the library are equipped with the Stressless computer table, which makes the use of the hotel's complementary iPads even more pleasurable.

Today Ekornes is reporting their best figures ever. Ekornes states that most of their employees can look forward to a sizeable bonus as a result of the company's success. Ekornes recorded revenues of 2.87 billion Norwegian Kroner is 2010, an increase of 10.8 percent when compared to their 2009 numbers. Sales of Stressless furniture have been exceptionally high in Canada and the United States. Order receipts in these two countries grew by 16 percent in the year 2009. Even more impressive, this specific market climbed by 25 percent in the last quarter alone. The CEO of the company states that 70 million people worldwide are aware of the Stressless brand, which is a good starting point for further growth. In 2011, Stressless claims to be stronger and more powerful than ever.

The Ekornes Stressless Fit Chart

Stressless recliners come in either two or three sizes. Check this useful chart below to help figure out which Stressless Size is right for you. You can make your pick here.

Stressless Sofas

Ekornes Stressless doesn't only make ultra-comfortable recliners. They also make ultra-comfortable sofas! These sofas area available in a variety of models, and many of them share the same features that make the recliners so great. In addition to the engineered frames, quality leathers, and premium materials of the recliners, the sofas have their own unique features. Take a look at what you get with a Stressless sofa:


Individual Reclining Seats

Each seat has its own reclining mechanism, allowing everyone to sit in their favorite position.

Custom Feet

Most sofas have customizable bases and feet, allowing you to design the sofa to match your decor.

Adjustable Recline Tension

Located inconspicuously inside the sofa's frame, each seat has it's own recline tension adjustment

Sectional Sofas

Are you a fan of sectionals? You're in luck! Stressless has highly customizable sectional options to fit almost any use and room size. Take a look at some of our pre-made sectionals by clicking here, or give our sales team a call at 800.260.8420 to get started on configuring your custom sectional!


Have any questions? We have a dedicated sales team that's here to help you get the exact Stressless product of your dreams. Talk to a real person by calling 800.260.8420. If you're hunting a bargain, check out our selection of Floor Models! Now what are you waiting for? Get comfortable!