There are several things to consider when you are searching for the best home theater seating for your room.
For a start, there a few different types of movie chairs to choose from. From single recliners to loveseats. From sofas to multi-row split seating. Which one will be the right fit for your room?
But, that's not all. You must also think about the material of the seating. Which is the right type for you? And, what about accessories? These additional features can add to the enjoyment when you are watching a movie in your home.
In this article, I am going to help you understand the different choices that you have. Plus, along the way, I will highlight a few of the best home theater seats from some of my favorite brands.
Hopefully, you will get plenty of home theater seating ideas to help you make the right choice for your room.
Before you start, one of the best ways of reducing your choices is by thinking more generally about what you want. Once you know roughly what you are aiming for, you should find that you can pin-point your ideal home theater chair more easily.
So, to begin with, try thinking about the general style that you think would work best in your room.
Do you want a more homely look? Something that will blend easily into the décor of your room?
Or, maybe you want a more contemporary home theater design? Something that will stand out more as a dedicated piece of home theater furniture.
Maybe you don't even want a dedicated 'home theater chair'?
While chairs and sofas that are designed specifically for a home theater have many advantages – some people are perfectly happy with a more traditional piece of living room furniture.
However, in this guide, I am going to focus on seats that are designed just for your home theater.
Let me take a more detailed look at some of your options.
When it comes to the materials, there are essentially three broad categories you will find with home theater seating:
Leather is probably the most common material that you will come across. However, there are different types.
Natural leather is very commonly found when you research home theater chairs. And for good reason. It is warm and inviting to sit on for long periods and offers an elegant appearance that will look great in most rooms.
However, it can be confusing when selecting the perfect leather chair because there are different types of leather used. Each type offers advantages and disadvantages.
There are four main types of natural leather used in the production of furniture:
There are several other types of leather that you may notice when researching furniture. These are produced with different processes and a varying amount of organic material.
You might see reference to pigmented leather, aniline leather, semi-aniline leather and napa leather. These often refer to the methods used to color the leather – or the region in the world that they are produced.
If you want some more information, this article gives a good overview of the different types of leather used in making furniture.
Faux leather refers to a number of leather alternatives which are man-made materials that are created to look like real leather. A common material used in home theater seating is leather gel.
There are a few different types of faux leather – mainly PU and PVC leather.
Although they aren't made from animal products, they provide many of the advantages of using real leather – such as durability and comfort.
It may also the perfect choice for animal-lovers.
As these materials are cheaper than real leather, they are a good option if you are looking for more affordable home theater furniture.
They don't have the warmth and natural comfort of real leather, but they are perfectly good for producing quality furniture.
The different fabrics commonly used for all types of seating for the home are also used for home theater purposes.
Your choice may just be down to the fact that you prefer the look or feel of fabric - rather than leather. Fabric home theater furniture may also fit more easily to the décor in your room.
You will often have a wider range of colors to choose from.
One of my favorite examples of excellent fabric home theater chairs is the Cavallo Coda range, pictured below.
Fabric furniture may also prove to be easier to maintain and clean. This can be important when you are looking for something that will last for years to come.
When it comes to getting the right furniture to fit in your room, getting the perfect color might be high on your list of priorities.
And, while there is a fairly wide choice to be had, you may find the colors that you can choose limited by the material.
If you are looking at leather home theater chairs, then many will only come in black or brown. Sometimes gray or cream.
However, some leather models are available in brighter colors such as red and blue.
A fabric finish will usually offer a greater selection of colors. So, this might play an important role in your decision-making.
Once you have decided on the best material and color for your home theater seating, you might be forgiven for thinking that you are nearly ready to buy.
But, not so fast. There is a wide range of features that you might want to consider before pulling out your credit card.
Getting the seating with exactly the right features can make or break your choice.
Many of the best home theater seating options will have a reclining feature. To get the perfect position for an extended movie viewing session it can be ideal to push back and settle down into your chair.
If you want a seat that reclines back and supports your legs, you have a couple of choices.
Many chairs will have a manual recline feature. This is where you push the chair back into position yourself.
However, for the ultimate luxury when reclining, maybe look for a chair that has a powered recline feature. Settle back at the push of a button.
Another common powered option is the headrest. A powered headrest will be able to adjust your head in several different positions.
This might save you grabbing the nearest cushion to prop up your head to just the right angle.
A powered headrest can save all the bother and allow you to alter your head position with ease.
The Palliser Collingwood Home Theater Seats, pictured above, are a fine example of a top-quality chair with powered headrests.
Just when you thought you had your body in exactly the right position, you still might find things aren't quite right.
So, if the option to adjust the recline and headrest isn't enough, some home theater chairs also come with a powered lumbar feature.
This is where you can adjust the lower backrest to find the perfect position to support your back.
If you really want to take your viewing experience to another level, then you may want to consider a seat vibration system.
The idea is that every rumble and shake that happens in a movie or TV show will be transferred to your seat. Yes, that's right, your seat will vibrate along with the action on the screen.
Check out their promotional video which will give you a better idea of what it's all about:
The SoundShaker system is currently compatible with seating from Seatcraft, Barcalounger and Jaymar.
Some seats have a built-in LED lighting system that will give an impressive ambient light around the seat.
Usually around the base – but also around armrest features like cup holders.
It can add an extra 'wow' factor to your room – without distracting from your on-screen enjoyment.
If you want the extra convenience of charging your mobile device or remote while watching a movie, then you might want to look out for USB charging ports.
In some chairs, these are neatly built into the design and can save you running long cables across the room from your power sockets on the wall.
And, might save you tripping over the cables in the dark.
Many home theater chairs have plenty of room for most people. However, if you are on the larger side – or you just want plenty of space to move around in – then some models come with extra-large dimensions.
For example, Seatcraft have their Big & Tall range of home theater seating.
These seats have a taller backrest, wider armrests and seating area, a reinforced wood frame and a longer recline position.
There's no need to be uncomfortable if you take your time and buy the right size chair for your body.
There is a further range of smaller accessories that you might want to consider. Some of these may be built into the chair or sofa. Others may be optional extras that you can install after delivery.
Some of these might be useful added extras:
Accessories like cup holders and storage will often be built into the chair itself. So, you may want to find a chair that offers this before you buy it.
Whereas extras like neck pillows and swivel trays may be able to be attached later. Some models do include some of these extras as part of the price.
Now that we have a better understanding of the fundamentals, we are now in a better position to consider the different types of home theater seating.
This is the final choice that you need to make before you are ready to make a purchase.
A single recliner is an excellent choice for many rooms. There nothing to beat having your own space to fully enjoy watching a movie.
Of course, if you only need a seat for one person – placed in the prime position in the center of the viewing area – then a single recliner may be an obvious choice.
However, there is no reason not to buy 2 or 3 single recliners for more people.
Buying several single recliners means that each person gets their own space – and you have the flexibility to place them around the room in exactly the right position.
If you have the space in your room, there is no need to crowd them all together in one place.
The Seatcraft Diamante Leather Home Theater Power Recliner pictured here is a good example of a high-quality leather power recliner.
It comes with a powered recline and headrest feature. Made from genuine top grain leather, other features include:
If the Seatcraft is more than you were looking to spend, then how about this Abbyson Living power recliner?
This stylish single recliner is ideal for anybody looking to keep the cost down a little.
It is made from a leather gel fabric which looks great even if it's not natural leather. The medium firm foam cushion will offer many hours of comfortable viewing.
Other highlights of this seat include:
The great thing about home theater seating is there are a wide range of price points so there is something for everyone.
If you want a more traditional theater look, then a row of individual seats might be a better choice.
A row of seats has the advantage of being a compact design that can be easily put in the best place for viewing.
They will also have the same style and so will look much better than a random collection of seats placed in your room.
Many brands offer various options when it comes to rows of individual seats.
You can choose from a small row of two seats – up to a long row of 4, 5 or even more seats.
For example, there is this Octane Seating Charger XS300 row of 2 leather recliners.
Made from bonded leather, this is a great value seating set with plush padding a full chaise footrest. Ideal for stretching right out and enjoying the entertainment.
This model comes with built-in cup holders and there is also an optional swivel tray which you can orderly separately.
You will usually have the choice of a straight row of joined seating. Or, in some cases, you can get them in a curved shape.
This Salamander TC3 AV Basics 4-Seat Wedge Motorized Recliner Seating is an excellent example of a large, curved row of seats.
With generous padding, this seating has a motorized recliner for each seat. The black, bonded leather cover is a comfortable and durable material that is easy to maintain.
There are also black steel cup holders on each arm rest for easy placement of your beverage of choice.
Your choice between a straight and curved design will depend on the layout of your room and what you feel will work best in the space. A curved row in a long run of seats might give a more intimate feel for everybody that is watching.
Also, look out for the option for choosing how many armrests that you have in the row. You may want an armrest between every seat. Or, you might prefer to have a couple of seats together with no are rest in between.
If a full row of individual seats is a little too formal for you, you might want to think about including a loveseat.
A loveseat is where two seats are together with no armrest in between.
So, you can snuggle up with the one you love - or your spouse if you prefer. ;-)
The smallest design for a loveseat is a two-seat model. With armrests at either end, you can get many of the features offered with single seats - such as power recline.
The example below is the Salamander TC3 AV Basics Home Theater Loveseat. This comes with motorized recline and a durable black bonded leather cover.
If you find a seat that you like, don't assume that you can't get a loveseat version if you can't see a picture of it. Many brands will offer layout customization for many of their ranges.
You can also get a long row of seats - but with a loveseat included somewhere within the row.
For example, the excellent Seatcraft Stanza range, pictured above, can be configured with a loveseat in the middle. However, you can also get a row of up to 6-seats - with multiple loveseats if you wish.
Other features of the Seatcraft Stanza range are:
It depends on the needs of your family. So, everyone will have to make their judgment based on their circumstances.
A dedicated home theater sofa can be a great option if you want to balance the features of home theater seats and the look of 'normal' lounge furniture.
Some home theater sofas come with two or three seats joined together – some with a drop-down table in the middle.
The Barcalounger Colima multimedia sofa pictured below is a good example of a high-quality home theater sofa.
It is covered with top grain leather 7000 and comes with a chaise-style padded footrest. The highlight is the central fold-down table which contains two cup-holders and a USB charging port.
The central table can be folded away to create an extra seat in the middle.
Other sofas have reclining chaise seats which have a more traditional look that you may be familiar with in any lounge.
A good example is the Seatcraft Capital multimedia sofa. As you can see from the picture below, it is covered with a light gray fabric that will fit into most living rooms.
However, the advantage with multimedia furniture like this it has all the accessories you would expect in a home theater seat:
You can usually mix and match the number of standard recliners and chaise recliners to get a layout that is just right for your room.
So, the big advantage of these types of sofas is that they come with many of the extras that are typical for home theater seating. Such as power recline, folding tables and LED-lit cup holders and base rails.
Some of these are optional extras that you can add to your order to create a custom home theater sofa. Some come as part of the package. Just double-check that you order what you want before you checkout.
Many of the sofas also come in a wide range of materials. There are plenty of 100% leather sofas. But you can also find numerous fabric sofas in suede, velvet and chenille.
One I like is the Seatcraft Heavenly modular fabric sofa which can be ordered in numerous sizes and shapes.
You don't get many of the home theater accessories with this type of sofa. But, you do get a plush and extremely comfortable seating arrangement that will last for years to come.
If you have plenty of room and are looking for a full-on home theater, then the only way to go is by getting multi-row seating.
Many of the models that come in single rows can be ordered in multi-row versions. For example, you might want two in the front and three at the back.
The model pictured here is the Seatcraft Dynasty Leather Home Theater Seating - row of 2 and row of 3.
The rear rows will usually need to be raised above that of the front seats. You don't want the people in the back looking directly into the seat in front of them.
You can buy pre-made riser platforms for this purpose which can make the process a breeze.
You won't need too much height for a riser. The pre-built platforms are often around 7 to 14-inches high.
Of course, if you are a DIY whizz you can also build your own riser for the rear seats.
There is another way of tackling this problem.
Some brands have home theater seats which are built especially for lining up in rows. The front seats are a standard size – but the next row back is built to be much higher.
A good example is the Seatcraft Back Row range of home theater seats.
These are seats that have a 7-inch riser built-in. The extra height means that they can be easily placed behind a front row of standard-size home theater chairs.
This saves the trouble of buying or building a riser platform.
If that isn't enough choice, then there are also one or two more unusual types of home theater seating ideas.
For example, Seatcraft has this interesting home theater cuddle seat.
Made with premium Bella fabric - and available in black, chocolate and red - this round seat is filled with high resilience foam.
This creates a soft and durable base for anyone in the family to enjoy. Although, I imagine it will prove especially popular with the kids!
Building your very own home theater space can be a lot of fun.
If you want to take your enjoyment to another level, then finding the best home theater chairs for your space can really hit the mark.
As we have learned, there is such a wide choice of home theater chairs that it can be tough to know where to start.
But hopefully, this guide will provide the perfect introduction to all the options that you have.
From the materials and colors – to the types and accessories. You have everything that you need to make the right choice for your room.
Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has worked as a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment.