Do you know how most people buy sofas?
They go online and spend hours looking at models. They read endless reviews about the cushion firmness vs. their softness. They debate whether they should sacrifice cushiony comfort for firm support that alleviates back pain.
Then they spend hours looking at colors and fantasizing about binge-watching Netflix or napping on their new sofa.
After all that wasted time, one look at the sofa’s measurements sets their dreams on fire.
Avoid wasting your time and possibly losing money for sending your couch back. Measure your living room, dining room, your home, and sofa before ordering a model.
Here’s the complete guide on how to do it.
Importance of Taking Measurements
It’s important to take the couch dimensions into account before making your purchase to ensure that your product can fit through a door.
Knowing the dimensions in cm or inches helps the delivery of people who will get the sofa inside. Unfortunately, many people return furniture because they can’t get it in the house.
Measuring is also essential for ensuring that the sofa will fit in your living room. L-shaped sofas, for instance, are more difficult to arrange snuggly inside your room because you have to place them near two walls.
Take the other furniture into account if you want your room to have balanced proportions and a smooth décor.
Other important reasons for taking proportions are:
- For reupholster
- For a cover
- For a throw
Measuring Your Home
This guide starts with measuring your home. Begin at your front door and then consider all the passages, additional doors, rooms, and stairways that your divan will go through before reaching its destination room.
Measure Your Space
Here’s how to measure for furniture placement: write down the height, length, and W of your room. Other measurements essential for moving and for delivery are doors and hallways.
If your couch is a tight fit, the moving people might remove its feet to squeeze it into the desired location.
Summary: Write down the width, length, and depth of your room, as well as all the rooms, entryways, and hallways your couch will pass through.
Tape the Area
Once you’ve done all that, choose where the sofa’s place will be.
The rule of thumb is to allow enough room for walking around it.
Use tape to get a visual representation of how your room will look like after it is set up. If you’re not happy with this setup, repeat until you are.
Remember that a sectional, a corner couch, a curved sectional, and a curved corner couch have different space requirements.
Summary: Enclose the area where your couch will stay with tape to get a good visual of how your room will look.
Measure the Area
Now it’s time to measure the taped area properly. It’s unlikely the standard bedroom furniture proportions will fit with your taped area, but you can at least know the ballpark you’re revolving in.
If your sofa will sit in front of a window, check that the sofa’s height is smaller than the sill’s height for easy opening and closing.
Summary: Measure the enclosure you’ve taped, but take into account other pieces of living room furniture and windows.
SUMMARY: Measure precisely every room and passageway in your home. Once you have everything written down, add three more inches for maneuvering space.
Proper Measuring Technique
You need to master the proper measuring technique, whether you want your sofa to fit through a door or want to know how to find the right sofa slipcover.
Here’s how to measure a sectional couch, a two-seater, or a recliner:
- The length Measurement – measure between the outside part of each armrest because that’s where it is the widest point.
- Measure height of the sofa, whether it’s a two-seater, recliner, or corner couch, is measured from the lowest point on the floor to the backrest’s highest point. Remember to account for the legs, unless you can take them out for a doorway’s tight fit.
- The width of the couch is measured from the seat’s outside edge to the deepest point of the backrest.
- The diagonal depth is measured between the bottom-front to the top-back of your couch’s frame. Use a couch diagonal depth calculator to get a precise result for sectionals once you know the other dimensions. Here is a good sofa diagonal depth calculator chart.
Pro tip: If you want to know how to measure a recliner, you have to account for the recline angle when you calculate total depth. That way, you can check if you have good wall clearance before setting it up.
WARNING: Some sofa size calculators refer to length as width and as depth.
SUMMARY: The proper measuring technique takes into account the length, width, height, and diagonal depth. Keep in mind that sectionals and recliners have different measuring techniques.
The average dimensions for a five-seat sectional with equal sides are 95 x 95 inches, although some can get to 98 x 98 inches. Sectionals’ average depths vary between 36 to 40 inches, but you can find different types of sectionals on the market.
A sectional with a chaise has an average length of 195-215 inches and an average depth of 37-40 inches.
A three-seater sectional has an average length of 78-88 inches and an average total depth of 70 inches.
Pro-tip. How to measure a sectional: A wedge’s length is the distance between the left-most back leg and the right-most back leg. Its depth, aka W, is measured from the front-facing edge to the backside of the sectional.
SUMMARY: An average sectional is 95 (L) x 95 (H) X 38 (D), but three-seaters and sectionals with chaise have different dimensions. Make sure to measure their lengths and depths correctly. Use a furniture cover guide if you want to pick the right-size cover for your sectional.
SUMMARY: It’s important to get the right proportions for getting it into the house, for new covers, slipcovers, or new upholsteries. Measure the w, l, and h of your room, as well as those of your sofa. Remember that sectionals and recliners are measured differently than rectangular sofas.
How Do You Measure the Seat Depth of a Sofa?
The total depth of a sofa is measured from the front-most edge to the furthest back point. Take into account that a sectional’s depth is measured from the end of the front-facing side to its backside.
If you want to add new covers for your couch, measure the inside seat depth between the front seat edge to the back seat cushions.
Average sofa seat depths are between 21 and 24 inches, although you can find bigger or smaller couches.
Remember to account for the recline angle if you’re interested in how to measure a recliner for a slipcover.
SUMMARY: The total seat depth is the distance between the front-most to the back-most points. The inner depth is measured between the front-most point to where the cushion begins.
How Do I Get a Big Couch Through a Small Door?
I know you’re going to say that it’s not as easy as it sounds, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I’ll be hosting some friends over for a dinner party and they’re all coming in my front door, which is little. And that’s the problem. We need a big enough table to seat at least eight, and the dining room, while it has a big enough space, is on the small side. The kitchen is the biggest problem. I could fit a normal-size table, but I can’t fit a large dining table in there. We just want to get everyone fed and showered before dinner. Any tips for how I can get a big, American-sized couch into my little front door?
While the English House Cat might seem like the ideal solution for the tricky questions about how to maximize our meager doorways, the truth is that a big, American-sized couch isn’t going to fit. (Unless you can get one of those teddy bear ones, which really don’t work in England, either.) And even if it did, it would end up leaving a hole in the back of the house from the third step up the front stairs to the kitchen, so it wouldn’t really solve the problem. You might try asking your guests to bring a smallish dining table. You could also try a tiny couch, but it’s not really very welcoming. Maybe you could get a tush-friendly sofa? And, sorry, there’s no such thing as a tush-friendly table. You might also try a table with legs that can be folded back so you could slip the larger couch in through the kitchen door. In the end, though, I’m afraid there’s only one way to solve the problem: Build a patio. If you’re lucky, it will solve the problem and you’ll be living there in no time. But this sounds like an undertaking that even you won’t be up to.
What is the Size of an Average Sofa?
It comes in different shapes and sizes. The market is inundated with products, so it’s difficult to speak of an average. From recliners to loveseats, sectional sofas (link) with a wedge or curved edges to sleeper sofas, each of these products has different dimensions.
It’s important to know these dimensions:
- For fabric choice, if you want to get new pillows
- If you want a new slipcover
- For upholstery material
- For clearing enough space in your home
Here are some average dimensions:
- Queen-size sleeper: 92 (W) x 39 (H) x 40 (D) inches
- Twin sleeper: 57 (W) x 36 (H) x 38 (D) inches
- Full-sized sleeper : 78 (W) x 36 (H) x 38 (D) inches
- Loveseat: 58 (W) x 36 (H) x 29 (D) inches
- Sectionals: 95 (W) x 95 (H) x 38 (D) inches
SUMMARY: Couches vary in size depending on the type you will choose. Sectionals are the biggest because they can sit up to seven people, while loveseats are perfect for just one or two people.
What is the Length of a Standard Size Couch?
A standard couch has a 6-8 feet length and 32-40 inches depth. A loveseat is two feet smaller in terms of length, with a depth of 28-30 inches.
A couch that accommodates three people is usually around 84 inches in length, though some models can reach 90 inches and more.
SUMMARY: A standard model is about 7 feet long, enough to accommodate three or four people. Make sure you have enough space for it in your home, though.
How Wide is an Average 2 Seater Sofa?
An average two-seater is 31-39-inch wide and 68-71 inch long, aka 80-100 cm in W and 172-180 cm in length.
If you’re interested in these measurements for a slipcover, ensure you tape measure the pillow length and depth as well. How do you put on a slipcover? It’s easy if you choose the right material and get the right proportions.
SUMMARY: A two-seater is about 35-inch wide, so it can comfortably fit a family of two or three people.
It’s important to get all the sofa’s measurements right, whether you want to buy a new couch or reupholster an older model.
There’s a right way to do it too: account for everything in your home and every last tenth inch of your couch.
Use an online guide if you have a couch with a complicated design and can’t quite figure which is its depth and its length.
You can find a lot of useful techniques and proportions in this article, but each furniture piece and each home have their particularities.
That’s why it’s always best to double-check with a specialist or the manufacturer before ordering a new couch or new covers for it.