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The Best Home Theater Seating: Buying Guide [2022]

Best Home Theater Seating

Updated:

You've got a big TV & sound system - but don't forget the stylish leather movie chairs. Kick back, relax and learn how to pick the best home theater seating.

When searching for the best home theater seating options for your room, there are several things to consider.

There are a few different types of movie chairs to choose from for a start.

From single recliners and loveseats to sofas and multi-row split seating, which will be the right fit for your room?

You must also think about the seating material – which do you prefer?

And, what about optional extras like USB power and base lighting?

These additional features can add to the theater experience when watching a movie in your home.

This article will help you understand the different choices that you have.

And along the way, you will see a few of the best home theater seats from some of the most popular brands.

Home Theater Seats Comparison Table

TOP SINGLE RECLINER
Valencia Oslo XL

Valencia Oslo XL

  • MATERIAL: Top Grain Leather 11000
  • POWER RECLINE: Yes
  • POWER HEADREST: Yes
  • POWER LUMBAR: Yes
  • LED AMBIENT LIGHTING: Yes
  • HIDDEN IN-ARM STORAGE: Yes
TOP LOVESEAT
Valencia Tuscany

Valencia Tuscany

  • MATERIAL: Top Grain Nappa Leather 11000
  • POWER RECLINE: Yes
  • POWER HEADREST: Yes
  • POWER LUMBAR: Yes
  • LED AMBIENT LIGHTING: Yes
  • HIDDEN IN-ARM STORAGE: Yes
BEST VALUE
Latitude Run

Latitude Run

  • MATERIAL: Top Grain Leather
  • POWER RECLINE: Yes (Optional)
  • POWER HEADREST: No
  • POWER LUMBAR: No
  • LED AMBIENT LIGHTING: Yes
  • HIDDEN IN-ARM STORAGE: Yes
TOP CONSOLE
Valencia Tuscany Console

Valencia Tuscany Console

  • MATERIAL: Top Grain Nappa Leather 11000
  • POWER RECLINE: Yes
  • POWER HEADREST: Yes
  • POWER LUMBAR: Yes
  • LED AMBIENT LIGHTING: Yes
  • HIDDEN IN-ARM STORAGE: Yes
BEST FOR EXTRA ROOM
Seatcraft Pantheon Big & Tall

Seatcraft Pantheon Big & Tall

  • MATERIAL: Top Grain Leather 7000
  • POWER RECLINE: Yes
  • POWER HEADREST: Yes
  • POWER LUMBAR: Yes
  • LED AMBIENT LIGHTING: Yes
  • HIDDEN IN-ARM STORAGE: Yes

Home Theater Seating Buying Guide

Before you start, one of the best ways of reducing your choice is by thinking more generally about what you want.

Once you have a feel for what you are aiming for, you should find you can pinpoint your ideal home theater chair more easily.

So, to begin with, try thinking about the general style that would work best in your room.

Do you want a more homely look that will blend effortlessly into the décor of your room?

Or, maybe you want a more contemporary home theater design that will stand out and look like a dedicated piece of home theater furniture.

Comfortable seating in a home theater

Maybe you don’t even want a dedicated ‘home theater chair’?

While chairs and sofas explicitly designed for a home theater have many advantages – some people are comfortable with a more traditional piece of living room furniture.

For a better idea of the different types of rooms, check out 21 inspiring home theater seating ideas.

However, this guide will focus on seats created just for your home theater and the specific options you can get for them.

Materials

When it comes to the materials, there are essentially three broad categories you will find with home theater seating:

  • Natural leather
  • Faux Leather
  • Fabric

Leather is probably the most common material you will encounter; however, different types of leather are often used in furniture.

Natural Leather

Natural leather is very commonly found when you research home theater chairs – and for a 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, and each type offers advantages and disadvantages.

There are four main types of natural leather used in the production of furniture:

  • Full Grain Leather: the best quality leather uses the hide’s top layer. It retains the grain and imperfections of the hide. It is expensive and not often found in home theater seating, although it might be found in the absolute top-end of the market.
  • Top Grain Leather: this type uses the hide’s top layer, and the surface is then sanded to remove the imperfections, which gives a smoother finish and is more flexible than full-grain leather. The high-end leather in the best home theater chairs will most likely be this type and offers a very high-quality finish.
  • Corrected Grain Leather: also known as split-grain leather. This is produced using the skin layers left after the top layers have been removed. It is usually tougher than leathers made from the top layers and is less common in home theater furniture.
  • Bonded Leather: this is made from leather leftovers and fibers mixed with bonding materials and then extruded onto a fiber sheet. The quality can vary, and this type can be prone to flaking over time. However, good-quality bonded leather can still look great and last well. It may also be used in leather match home theater seats, which are 100% natural leather on the seating areas and armrests – and vinyl or bonded leather on the sides and back. This reduces the cost.

There are several other types of leather that you may notice when researching furniture, and these are produced with different processes and varying amounts of organic material.

You might see references to pigmented leather, aniline leather, semi-aniline leather and napa leather – which refer to methods used to color the leather – or the region in which they are produced.

If you want more information, this article gives a good overview of the different types of leather used to make furniture.

Faux Leather

Faux leather is an artificial material created to look like genuine leather; one typical example 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 natural leather – such as durability and comfort.

And it may also be the perfect choice for animal lovers.

These materials are cheaper than genuine leather, so they are a good option for more affordable home theater furniture.

They don’t have genuine leather’s warmth and natural comfort, but they are perfectly good for producing quality furniture.

Fabric

The fabrics commonly used for all types of standard seating for the home are also used for home theater seating.

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 with the décor in your room, and you will often have a wider range of colors to choose from.

The Cavallo Coda range is an excellent example of a fabric home theater chair, pictured below.

Cavallo Coda Home Theater Seats
Cavallo Coda Home Theater Seats
Image Credit: Cavallo

Fabric furniture may also be easier to maintain and clean, which can be important when looking for something that will last for years.

Colors

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 reasonably wide choice to be had, you may find the colors you can choose limited by the material.

If you want leather home theater chairs, many will only come in black, brown – or sometimes gray or cream.

Although, some leather models are available in brighter colors such as red and blue.

But a fabric finish will usually offer a greater selection of colors, which might play an important role in your decision-making.

Features

Once you have decided on the best material and color for your home theater seating, you might be forgiven for thinking you are nearly ready to buy.

But not so fast. You might want to consider multiple features before pulling out your credit card.

You should take time and ensure you get the seating with everything you need.

Powered or Manual Recline

Many of the best home theater seating options will have a reclining feature.

Reclining chairs allow you to get the perfect position for an extended movie viewing session – so you can push back and settle right back in your chair.

You have several choices if you want a seat that reclines back and supports your legs.

A manual recline feature will be cheaper and allow you to push the chair back into position using your arms. This works well but might be difficult if you are older or have restricted mobility.

However, for the ultimate luxury when reclining, maybe look for a chair with a powered recline feature – allowing you to settle back at the push of a button.

Powered Headrest

Another standard powered option is the headrest.

A power headrest can adjust your head in several different positions, which might save you from grabbing the nearest cushion to position your head at just the right angle.

So, a powered headrest can save all the bother and allow you to easily alter your head position.

Valencia Oslo Row of 2 Home Theater Seats
Valencia Oslo Row of 2 Home Theater Seats
Image Credit: Valencia

The Valencia Oslo home theater seats, pictured above, are a fine example of top-quality leather chairs with power headrests that will give you the perfect viewing position.

Here is a helpful video by Valencia that showcases the powered headrest option – plus several other features found in the best home theater chairs:

YouTube video

You can see how the powered headrest feature and other positional adjustments can make a dedicated home theater chair a better choice than simply using your own chairs.

Powered Lumbar

After you’ve adjusted your position with recline and headrest features, you may still 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. No more messing around with cushions.

So if you want total control over your body position, this can be a handy feature to get everything just right.

The previously mentioned Valencia Oslo seats also have power lumbar support and headrests.

Seat Vibration

If you really want to take your viewing experience to another level, you may consider a seat vibration system.

The idea is that every rumble and shake in a movie or TV show will be transferred to your seat. Yes, that’s right, your chair will vibrate along with the action on the screen.

One of the most popular seat vibration systems is the SoundShaker Tactile Transducer Bass Shaker system.

SoundShaker Seat Vibration Kit
SoundShaker Seat Vibration Kit
Image Credit: SoundShaker

The SoundShaker transmitter connects to your AV receiver via the subwoofer output connection.

It then sends a wireless signal to the Soundshaker amplifier, which powers the transducers installed in each chair.

Check out their promotional video, which will give you a better idea of what it’s all about:

YouTube video

The SoundShaker system is currently compatible with seating from Seatcraft, Barcalounger and Jaymar.

LED Ambient Lighting

Some home theater seating has a built-in LED lighting system that will give an impressive ambient light around the chair – usually around the base, and armrest features like cup holders.

It can add an extra ‘wow’ factor to your room without distracting from your on-screen enjoyment.

Of course, subtle lighting around the cup holders will also help you find your drink when the lights are down!

USB Charging Ports

If you want the extra convenience of charging your mobile device or remote while watching a movie, you might want to look for USB ports.

A charging station is neatly built into the design in some chairs and can save you running long cables across the room from your power sockets on the wall.

This may also save you from tripping over the cables in the dark.

The USB ports are often located in hidden storage areas which will only be accessible when you want them, while other chairs may have them installed in an open face plate on the side.

Check this out if it is essential to you because an open faceplate might spoil the chair’s look for some people.

Extra Large Sizes

Many home theater chairs have plenty of room for most people.

However, some models come with extra-large dimensions if you are on the larger side or want extra space to move around in.

For example, Seatcraft has a Big & Tall range of home theater seating:

Seatcraft Pantheon Big & Tall Home Theater Chairs
Seatcraft Pantheon Big & Tall Home Theater Chairs
Image Credit: Seatcraft

These theater seats have a taller backrest, wider armrests and seating area, a reinforced wood frame and a longer recline position.

They also have base lighting, cup holders, USB ports and plenty of storage space in the arms.

There’s no need to be uncomfortable if you take your time and buy the right size chair for your body.

Other Accessories

You might want to consider a further range of smaller accessories.

Some may be built into the chair or sofa, while others may be optional extras you can install after delivery.

Consider some of these added extras and decide if they may be required:

  • fold-down tables
  • swivel table trays for snacks
  • storage compartments for remotes and cables
  • cup holders
  • reading light
  • tablet holder
  • extended neck pillow

Accessories like cup holders and storage will often be included in the chair’s design – so you may want to find a chair that offers this before you buy.

But extras like neck pillows and swivel trays can often be attached later – although, even then, some models still include these extras as part of the price.

Different Types of Home Theater Chairs

Now that you understand the fundamentals, you are better positioned to consider the different types of home theater seating options.

This is the final decision you need to make before you are ready to purchase.

So, to get the best viewing experience in your room, what choice of home theater chairs do you have?

Single Recliners

A single home theater recliner is an excellent choice for many rooms.

Nothing beats having your own space to enjoy watching a movie.

So, a single recliner may be an obvious choice if you only need a seat for one person – placed in the prime position in the center of the viewing area.

However, you can always 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 precisely the best position.

If you have the space in your room, there is no need to crowd them all together in one place.

The Valencia Oslo XL leather home theater recliner pictured here is one of the best examples of a high-quality leather power recliner.

It is made from genuine top-grain Nappa leather 11000 and has powered lumbar support and a powered recline and headrest feature.

Valencia Oslo XL single home theater recliner
Valencia Oslo XL single home theater recliner
Image Credit: Valencia

This luxurious single recliner also has:

  • extra space for more comfort
  • high-density foam padding
  • hidden in-arm storage space
  • contrast diamond stitching
  • LED-lit base lighting
  • optional swivel tray table, wine glass caddy and tablet holder

If that single recliner isn’t to your taste, how about this beautiful power recliner by Seatcraft?

The Seatcraft Equinox single home theater recliner pictured below comes in red, brown or black leather.

Seatcraft Equinox Single Power Recliner
Seatcraft Equinox Single Power Recliner
Image Credit: Seatcraft

This stylish single recliner is ideal for anybody looking for the ultimate luxury in their home theater seating.

It is made from premium top-grain leather, and the high-density memory foam will offer many hours of comfortable viewing with pocketed coil springs.

Other highlights of this seat include:

  • high resilience memory foam padding
  • powered lumbar that adjusts to several positions
  • push button recline with a range of positions
  • hidden armrest storage with a removable swivel tray
  • USB ports and power outlet inside arm storage area
  • built-in LED-lit cup holders
  • LED ambient base lighting

The great thing about home theater seating is a wide range of price points, so there is something for everyone.

If the high-quality leather seats are more than you would like to pay, look for a faux leather alternative that will be easier on the bank balance.

A great example is this single adjustable home theater recliner:

Homall PU Leather Home Theater Recliner Chair
Homall PU Leather Home Theater Recliner Chair
Image Credit: Homall

This recliner is made from PU faux leather and has a manual recline and curved armrests for extra comfort.

Other features include:

  • Thick padded seat and back
  • Retractable footrest
  • Quality dual stitching for a high-class finish
  • Available in black, brown, grey, khaki, light beige and red PU leather

These seats can be just as stylish as those made from natural leather – but are cheaper to buy.

A Row of Individual Seats

A row of individual seats might be better if you want a more traditional theater look.

A row of seats is a compact design that can be easily put in the best place for viewing.

They will also have the same style and look much better than a random collection of seats 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 chairs – up to a long row of 4, 5 or even more seats.

For example, here is the beautiful Valencia Zurich row of Nappa leather 15000 recliners:

Valencia Zurich home theater seating
Valencia Zurich home theater seating – row of 2
Image Credit: Valencia

You can see here the row-of-2 version. However, you can order these seats in a row of 2 to 6 chairs.

This is a high-quality seating set with an angular Swiss-style design.

These chairs have orthopedic foam cushions and a full chaise footrest made from top-grain leather – ideal for stretching out and enjoying entertainment.

This model has power headrest and lumbar support, built-in cup holders and removable swivel tray tables that you can order separately.

You will usually choose a straight row of joined home theater seating – or, in some cases, you can get them in a curved shape.

This curved leather home theater row seating by Octane Seating is an excellent example of a large, curved row of seats.

Octane Seating Bolt XS400 Curved Home Theater Recliners
Octane Seating Bolt XS400 Curved Home Theater Recliners
Image Credit: Octane Seating

With generous padding for excellent lumbar support, this seating has a push-button power recline for each chair.

The seats are made from 100% top-grain Luxe premium leather providing extreme comfort and have LED lights, dual USB chargers and a swivel tray – all housed in the exclusive accessory dock.

There are also steel cup holders on each armrest to easily place your beverage of choice and an iPad and tablet holder so you won’t lose your mobile device.

The decision between a straight and curved design will depend on your room’s layout and what you feel will work best in the space.

A curved row might give a more intimate feel for everybody watching in a long run of seats.

In general, a curved row of seats would be best for a large home theater room. But, for a smaller space where you are closer to the screen, a straight row might work better.

Also, look for the option for choosing how many armrests you have in the row.

You may want an armrest between every seat, or you might prefer to have a couple of chairs together with no armrest in between.

Loveseats

If an entire row of individual seats is too formal for you, you might consider 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 Valencia Tuscany home theater loveseat.

This comes with premium Italian top grain 11000 Nappa leather, hidden arm storage and LED ambient lighting:

Valencia Tuscany Row of 2 Loveseat
Valencia Tuscany Row of 2 Home Theater Loveseat
Image Credit: Valencia

That’s not all. It has many other impressive features, such as a power headrest and lumbar support – all controlled by a convenient mechanical control panel inside the armrest.

You can also buy this model in several different layout options – from a single chair to a row of 2-5 chairs – with or without a loveseat.

This is an excellent thing to bear in mind.

If you find a seat you like, don’t assume 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.

Another idea for a loveseat is a row of 2 with an armrest in the middle.

This Latitude Run home theater loveseat is a good example:

Latitude Run Genuine Leather Home Theater Loveseat
Latitude Run Genuine Leather Home Theater Loveseat
Image Credit: Latitude Run

It comes with a shared central console between the two seats, which allows for a little more space between each person – and there is the bonus of an extra cup holder.

This chair is made from genuine top-grain leather and comes with LED lighting, a power recline and a padded chaise footrest.

It can also be purchased without the power recline, saving you some money.

Another variation is a long row of seats, but a loveseat is included somewhere within the row.

Seatcraft Equinox Home Theater Seating - Row of 4 with Loveseat
Seatcraft Equinox Home Theater Seating – Row of 4 with Loveseat
Image Credit: Seatcraft

For example, the excellent Seatcraft Equinox 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 Equinox range are:

  • genuine top grain leather
  • high resilience memory foam padding
  • powered recline, headrest and lumbar
  • USB ports for charging and power
  • Soundshaker technology
  • included swivel trays
  • LED-lit cup holders and base lighting

It depends on the needs of your family. So, everyone will have to make their judgment based on their circumstances.

Sofas

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 Valencia Tuscany Console Edition pictured below is one of the best examples of a high-quality home theater sofa.

The Valencia Tuscany series is covered with the best Italian Nappa top-grain leather and comes with powered headrests and powered lumbar support.

Valencia Tuscany Console Edition
Valencia Tuscany Console Edition
Image Credit: Valencia

The highlight is the central fold-down table containing built-in cup holders, outlets and lights.

The central table can be folded away to create an extra seat in the middle, and you also have hidden storage in the armrests to keep everything tidy.

Other sofas have reclining chaise seats with a more traditional look that you may be familiar with in any lounge.

A good example is the Seatcraft Solarium media lounge sofa – as seen in the picture below, it is covered with high-quality top-grain leather.

Seatcraft Solarium Media Lounge Sofa
Seatcraft Solarium Media Lounge Sofa
Image Credit: Seatcraft

However, you can also order this sofa in a smooth, silky fabric which adds a warmer feel that will fit into most living rooms – plus, it is available in over 15 colors between the leather and fabric finish.

A benefit of multimedia furniture like this is it has all the accessories you would expect in a home theater seat:

  • LED armrest accents
  • power chaise loungers
  • USB ports for charging
  • removable swivel tray table
  • hidden in-arm storage console
  • optional matching ottoman footrest

And you can usually mix and match the number of standard and chaise recliners to get a layout that is just right for your room.

Some multimedia features are optional extras that you can add to your order to create a custom home theater sofa, and 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.

The Seatcraft Heavenly modular fabric sofa below is one of the best-looking around, and it can be ordered in numerous sizes and shapes.

Seatcraft Heavenly Modular Sofa
Seatcraft Heavenly Modular Sofa
Image Credit: Seatcraft

You don’t get many home theater accessories with this type of sofa – such as storage compartments, a cup holder or a USB port – but you get a plush and extremely comfortable seating arrangement that will last for years.

Multi-Row Split Seating

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 home theater seating.

Many 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 gel home theater seating – a row of 2 and 3.

Seatcraft Dynasty Leather Gel Home Theater Seating
Seatcraft Dynasty Leather Gel Home Theater Seating
Image Credit: Seatcraft

The rear rows will usually need to be raised above the front seats – just like in proper movie theaters – 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, making 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 built especially for lining up in rows – the front seats are standard, but the next row back is made to be much higher.

A good example is the Valencia Oslo range of home theater seats with risers.

These seats have a 7-inch riser built-in, meaning that they can be easily placed behind a front row of standard-size home theater chairs.

Valencia Oslo Home Theater Seating With Risers
Valencia Oslo home theater seating with risers
Image Credit: Valencia

This saves the trouble of buying or building a riser platform.

Or they can stand on their own if you simply prefer the extra height.

Alternative Home Theater Seats

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 attractive home theater cuddle seat.

Seatcraft Bella Fabric Home Theater Cuddle Chair
Seatcraft Bella Fabric Cuddle Chair
Image Credit: Seatcraft

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 it will probably prove especially popular with the kids!

Conclusion

Building your very own home movie theater space can be a lot of fun.

While it’s easy to focus on the technology, it doesn’t need to stop at a big screen TV and surround sound system.

Finding the best home theater chairs for your space can hit the mark if you want to take your enjoyment to another level and get an authentic theater experience.

As you have learned, there is such a wide choice of home theater seating that it can be tough to know where to start.

But hopefully, this guide will provide the perfect introduction to all your options.

You just need to make the best choice of materials, colors, types, and accessories to get the best experience for your movie viewing.

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The Best Home Theater Seating Buying Guide
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About Home Cinema Guide

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has been 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. You can find out more here.

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