Choosing the right size sofa for your space can be a real challenge. There are some general rules to follow, particularly when it comes to the space around it. Leave at least 30” between your sofa and furniture to allow for walkways, but you’ll only need 18” before your side table or coffee tables so that they’re within reaching distance.
Yet aside from allowing space around your new sofa, there are a number of things to consider to make sure that the style and shape you choose fits in your home and through the front door. Our guide will show you how to measure your space, find a sofa that fits, and work out where to place it, so that you can find what sofa is right for you.
Sofas need to be measured by height, depth and length. Although traditional furniture tends to be standardised, there are often exceptions, especially in contemporary design. These average sofa sizes also do not take footstools, recliners, chaise loungers or sofa beds into consideration, so these are design aspects you must take into account when choosing the right sofa for your home.
Before you go shopping, there are two things you need to measure. Firstly, the space in your living room where you intend to put your sofa, including architectural bends and details like the height of the window sill and any declining ceiling heights.
Corner and modular sofas are a bit trickier to measure due to their shape, but, for some living rooms, they’re the best option due to their ability to wrap around the room. You need to remember that corner and modular sofas have 2 lengths, so you’ll want to measure both up for your space. You also need to take the depth into account to make sure you have enough space at the front of the sofa.
Corner sofas are more-or-less standardised, but you will need to decide whether you want a left-hand corner sofa or a right-hand corner sofa. Modular sofas, however, are customisable for your space and so must be measured section-by-section then added together, around each and every angle, to find the overall width, height and depth.
The next thing you need to measure is the rest of your home, i.e. the doorway, hallway, stairway, tight corners and wherever else you need to manoeuvre your sofa. This is a really important step as you want to make sure your sofa will fit through internal doors and hallway space before it gets delivered. Don’t forget to check if the sofa your choosing can be broken into sections for easy access and whether the pillows and cushioning can be removed for ease.
How to get a sofa through the door
This is where the second important metric comes into play: the diagonal depth of your sofa will help you work out if your sofa will fit through the door. Your doorways won’t always be wide enough to fit the regular depth of the sofa, so you can either turn it on its side or you can twist it into the doorway. Measuring the doorway’s height before you buy is the best way to work out if your sofa entering your home is a possibility.
How to tell if your sofa will fit upstairs
If you live in a flat or your living room is on the upper floor of your home, you’ll need to ensure there isn’t a challenge getting it up the stairs. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a lift in your building - check if it has any weight restrictions before choosing this method of access. Otherwise, you’ll need to note the height of the stairwell as well as the depth of any corners or turns that may come in your way.
When ordering a sofa from Oak Furnitureland, we’ll always deliver it to the room of your choice but we ask that you measure your home thoroughly to ensure it fits. Use our measuring guide below to make sure you’ve measured all the important areas.
Where to place a sofa
As part of choosing a sofa, you’ll want to think about its placement in your room and seating arrangement options. You want your sofa to be the central piece and focal point of the design, but not swallow up the space, especially if you have a small living room. You’ll also want enough seating to fit the whole family.
Think about maintaining adequate pathways around the room, furniture that faces or reflects onto nature and avoid sofas that face directly opposite each other. Consider matching accent chairs, loveseats or armchairs that point slightly off-center from each other but still come together in a communal space.
Common mistakes when buying a sofa
Although this guide has been all about finding a sofa that’s the right size for you, you do also need to consider the upholstery material and if it fits into your design scheme and lifestyle. Do you want a leather or fabric sofa?
Our best advice would be to try before you buy. If you can, visit your local store to get a good idea of the colour, shape and feel of the sofa and bring your living room measurements with you so you don’t fall in love with the wrong one.
*Finance is subject to status, a credit check is required and T&Cs apply. Oak Furnitureland is a trading name of Oak Furnitureland Group Limited (FRN: 928005) which is an Appointed Representative of Consumer Credit Compliance Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 631736). The permissions of Consumer Credit Compliance Limited as a Principal firm allow Oak Furnitureland Group Limited to undertake credit broking.
Oak Furnitureland Group Limited acts as a credit broker not a lender and will introduce you to our finance partner/s to complete your application for finance. We may receive a commission if your application is successful, and the amount may vary depending on the product chosen and the amount of credit taken out. You will not pay more as a result of our commission arrangements. Late payment fees and other charges may be payable, please refer to your finance agreement for full details and T&Cs.
* Lifetime Frame Guarantee - Available on sofas, sofa beds, accent chairs, armchairs, loveseats and footstools. T&Cs apply.
* Delivery - 7-day delivery on selected lines only. Subject to stock availability and based on accepting the first delivery date offered. Available dates are presented at checkout, and may vary depending on the delivery option selected.
* Half Price Chairs - Offer is limited to up to 10 dining chairs when you buy any dining table. Dining chairs are sold in pairs.