Sectional Sofas: Measuring & Shopping Tips

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Looking for a way to maximize the seating in your living space? Sectional sofas are larger, often modular, couches that include two or more sections with different features. They are a great way to increase seating, while also grounding the room. Since a sectional sofa takes up a lot more room than a standard couch, measuring is key. Plus, there are a lot of different sectional pieces to choose from. Read on for our helpful guide to measuring and shopping for a sectional sofa.

How To Measure Your Room For A Sectional Couch

When measuring for a sectional, start by surveying your room and determining the best place for your sectional to sit. Think about whether you’ll want your couch to sit against a wall, by windows, or float in the center of the room. Consider any hallways or doorways you’ll have to move your furniture through, as well. Keep in mind the different parts of a sectional you’ll want and if any of those pieces will require extra space (like a chaise or recliner). That way you have a good idea of the dimensions and space required for it to fit.

If you already have a sectional in mind, look up the dimensions online. Then, use the dimensions to measure your room to make sure the sectional will fit. The measurements should include the following:

  • Height
  • Width
  • Depth
  • Seat Height & Width

If you don’t have a sectional in mind already, take some time to measure the space in your room where you want the sectional to be to determine the maximum space you can work within. Measure the following in your room:

  • Maximum height you can fit
  • Maximum width you can fit
  • Maximum depth you can fit
  • Preferred seat height & width

Visualizing the Space

Use blue tape on your floor and walls to outline where your sectional will be. This will help you visualize the space and what it will look like. Keep in mind that different sofa styles will take up more visual space than others. For example, an overstuffed English Roll Arm may appear larger than a sleek Tuxedo couch sectional even if they are the same dimensions.

Measuring Your Sectional Sofa Seat

Determining your preferred sofa seat height and depth is important. It’s the part that you sit on and will set the stage for your whole sofa experience. Some people prefer a nice, deep couch seat they can curl up into, while others want to be able to lean back without getting swallowed by the sofa.

The other measurement to consider is seat height. This determines how far your legs will be from the ground. To measure the couch seat, place your feet and ankles at a 90-degree angle on the floor. Then measure from the bottom of your thigh to the bottom of your ankle. For households with people of varying heights or seat depth preferences, aim for a good halfway mark you can all agree on.

Types of Sectional Sofas

When you’re shopping for sectionals, there are many different types, shapes, and pieces to consider – and all of these can impact the dimensions. Keep an eye out for words or phrases like the following in sectional product descriptions to help guide your search.

Configurations of a Sectional Sofa

L Shape: An L-shaped sectional has one side that is longer than the other. This is one of the more common sectional shapes and can be great for entertaining.

U Shape: This shape is typically larger than the other shapes and features two corner sections. Many people use a U-shape sectional in media or game rooms for maximum comfort and seating.

Chaise: A smaller sectional option, this shape is usually a standard sofa but with a chaise on one end. This is the perfect sectional solution for smaller spaces.

Symmetrical: A symmetrical sectional sofa is one that is the same on both sides. This is a great option for people who want more seating options, but don’t want a bunch of different sectional pieces mixed together.

Pit: Pit sectionals are typically U-shaped with additional cushions that fill in the open space in the middle. These sectionals are ideal for media rooms or if you simply want as much sofa space as possible.

Parts of a Sectional Sofa

Right Arm Facing (RAF): A piece of a sectional couch that has an arm on the right side when you are facing it.

Left Arm Facing (LAF): A piece of a sectional couch that has an arm on the left side when you are facing it.

Recliner: Some sectionals allow for the addition of one or more recliners. These work like standalone recliners and allow you to lean back and extend your legs. Make sure you consider the extra length or width of a fully reclined recliner in your measurements if you choose to include this piece.

Armless: Any part of a sectional designed without arms, usually meant to sit between pieces with arms. Think of it as a connecting piece.

Corner: Corner pieces typically have backs on two sides, forming a 90-degree angle. Sectionals usually have one corner, but larger sectionals can have two.

Chaise: Designed as either LAF or RAF, this sectional piece is made with deep cushions and a long, protruding seat to allow for legs to stretch out.

Sleeper: Many sectionals offer a sleeper option. Like a standard sleeper sofa, this piece includes a fold-out mattress that turns your sectional into a bed.

Ottoman: Some sectionals have the option to add an ottoman. Ottomans offer additional foot resting space, and some include additional storage. Just remember to include it in your measuring!

Console: These pieces include cup holders and storage consoles in the armrest of your sectional and are a must for media rooms or home theaters.