How To Find The Perfect Sofa: Measuring & Sizing Tips

Thursday, April 1, 2021

After you choose the sofa style you want, it’s time to determine the size you’ll need. Getting the right sized couch can make a big difference in your living space, so it’s important to measure correctly. Plus, you’ve got the whole “fitting the couch through the front door” issue to consider. Whether you already have a couch in mind or just want to explore your spatial options, we’re here to help! Below is a simple guide for measuring your space and finding the perfect couch size for you. You’ll notice we’ve talked a lot about the potential size of your sofa. Why? It’s simple. Are you ready? First, let’s gather our supplies.  

Couch Measuring Supplies You’ll Need 

  • Tape measure 
  • Twine 
  • Blue painter’s tape 
  • Notepad 
  • Pen/pencil 
  • Smartphone (optional) 
  • A buddy (optional) 

How To Measure Your Room For A Couch 

Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to start measuring. Start by measuring the height and width of any doorways or hallways your couch will have to move through on its journey to its final home. If you have tight turns in your future, consider measuring the diagonals your couch will have to fit through as well. This is where a buddy might come in handy. 

Next, identify the space where you want your future sofa to sit. Then measure the following dimensions and note them down in a notepad or on your smartphone: 

  • Height (how tall you want your sofa can be) 
  • Width (how wide you want your sofa can be) 
  • Depth (how deep you want your sofa to be – more on this later) 
  • Diagonal length (length from the back of one end to the front of the other) 

Note: for awkward spaces like weird corners or tight crannies, you can use twine along the length of an area and then measure the twine with the tape measure. 

Measuring Your Sofa Seat 

When measuring, don’t forget to consider the height and depth of the couch seat, too. The couch seat is the part that you sit on –?and it’s often the most important part of your future couch experience. Some people prefer a nice, deep couch seat they can curl up into. Others prefer a shorter seat that allows their back to touch the back of the couch easily with their feet touching on or near the ground.   

Another key seat measurement is seat height. This is the height from the floor to couch seat. 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. 

Visualizing the Space 

After measuring, use blue painter’s tape on the floor and walls (if applicable) to outline the both the sofa area and the maximum space it can fill. This will help you get a mental picture of what the space will look like with your future couch in it. If you already have a particular couch in mind, consider using this method to bring it to life in your home before you make the final purchase. You can also use a mobile app or photo editing software to mock-up what your living room will look like – but if you use this method, it’s important to get the proportions right or you’ll be unhappy with the result. 

A Bigger Couch Is Not Always Better 

Just because you have space for a large couch doesn’t mean you should get one. It’s a common mistake people make. They either opt for the largest couch they can fit in their living room (for comfort, of course!), but once it’s sitting there it looks too big. Or, they choose a small sofa that’s overstuffed or bulky and it ends up feeling too big. For example, if you choose a couch with large arms or ones that angle outward, if can impact both the look and actual size of the sofa itself. These are all things to consider when choosing the proper sized couch for your space. 

Sizing Up Sleeper Sofas 

When shopping for a sleeper sofa, you’ll have to consider both the couch frame and the mattress when extended. Sleeper sofa mattresses come in sizes similar to bed mattresses but are a few inches shorter.  

  • Queen 
  • Full 
  • Twin 

What about recliners? 

When measuring for a recliner couch, depth is even more of a crucial factor. You’ll need to determine how much space will be needed to fully extend the footstool and recline the couch back. You might benefit from researching standard recliner sizes and using those to visualize what one may look like in the space. 

What size should I get? 

Okay. You’ve measured the space – now it’s time to pick the right size. There are several sizes to choose from, so get creative! Consider what different sized couches can bring to your space and what your specific needs are. If you already have a sofa size and style in mind, this is the time to confirm dimensions to make sure it’ll fit. 

Note: When you’re couch shopping online, don’t take the size in the product name for granted. Look up the exact dimensions in the product details to confirm it will fit your measurement criteria. 

Full-size Couches 

A standard sofa usually seats around three people and can be six to eight feet wide. These are great when used as your main seating option or the centerpiece in your living area. 

Apartment Size 

A smaller version of the full-sized sofa, an apartment-sized couch is perfect for smaller homes like condos, efficiencies or apartments. These are usually six to eight inches shorter than a standard couch but can be up to 20 or 30 inches shorter depending on the style. Plus, the seat may have less depth. 


Loveseats are designed to comfortably seat two people and are great for smaller spaces. Alternatively, they make great secondary seating or accent pieces in bigger living areas. Some use loveseats in entryways or hallways as a comfier alternative to a bench. Love seats are usually four to six feet in width

A Chair and a Half 

If you’re looking for a cross between a chair and a sofa, then the chair and a half is your pick. This option is bigger than a chair, but smaller than a love seat. It’s a perfect way to add additional seating with a bit more wiggle room for your guests. These are usually less than four feet in width. Choose one with a pop of color or fun pattern to add some flair to your décor. 

Sofa Size Chart 

  • Standard three-seat sofa: 79” width x 38” depth x 34” height 
  • Apartment size: 71’’ width x 38” depth x 34” height 
  • Loveseat:?63” width x 38” depth x 34” height 
  • Chair and a half: 45’’ width x 38” depth x 34” height