Home theater seating and furniture is one aspect of your installation that is easily forgotten.
You may have all the gadgets sorted for your very own home cinema but perhaps missing one of the most important things where are you going to sit?
Bearing in mind you are going to spend at least two hours sat in the same place, you are going to have to find something you can bear sitting in for that amount of time. So we have done the hard work for you and devised you a guide to home theater seating and furniture.
Here are a few things to consider when you are looking to buy specialized home theater seats.
Your first consideration should be the size you have to play around with – how much room do you have to fill?
Once you have considered this, then you can go on to pick the size of seating which will be best for you.
When you consider room size, you should also think about the position in the room you want your seating to be. Some people will want to be sat close to the screen for greater enjoyment - so the screen really fills their field of vision.
Others might prefer to be further away - so the action doesn't feel too in your face.
Obviously, depending on the size of your room, you may not have much choice in the matter, but if you have some room to play with then think carefully where you will want to position the seating.
Again, this is dependent upon the size and space you have to play with – there are many various designs and layouts to bear in mind – it is based upon your own choice and style.
Keep in mind that the best positions for your viewing depends on how many seats you are going to have. The sound is usually best away from walls in the middle of the room as proximity to walls can colour the sound that you hear. However, adjustments can be made to the audio to compensate for the room position and so it shouldn't matter too much if you have little choice in this matter.
You will also want to layout your seating depending on where your screen is, and you will need to ensure your seating is an optimum position to gain the best view. Recommended guidelines are a thirty degree field of view in relation to the screen, and in terms of height, your eyes should be roughly in the middle of the screen.
The field of view can be difficult to calculate in the real world, and often a more general rule of 1.5 to 3 times the diagonal screen size, and within an arc of 90°, should be sufficient for a good view. You can go here for our TV viewing distance guide for more details on this.
As you can see, the position of the seating can get very technical.
The seats behind are recommended to be a step higher etc, again in order to gain the best view.
Here comes the tricky part – there are hundreds of types of home theater seats for you to choose from, with various materials on offer and colors to match any scheme.
You can choose from recliners, leathers, suede, velvet, trios, singles, doubles, patterned, plain, posh, modern, wacky, sophisticated, mechanical, manual, corner, with storage – the list is never ending.
Who would have thought that there are so many theater seats?
A single recliner is ideal if you have limited space - or need to add an extra seat to your room. The Seatcraft Equinox Leather Power Recliner pictured here is a good example.
If you have a number of people to accommodate, then a row of seats is you best bet. Rows of seats come in a number of sizes - often ranging from 2 to 4 seats. A row of seats has the advantage of being a compact design which 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. The product pictured here is the Flash Furniture Eclipse 3-Seat Reclining Leather Theater Seating Unit.
If a full row of individual seats is a little too formal for you, you might want to think about including a loveseat. You can get a row of seats similar to the previous option, but with a loveseat included so you can snuggle up with the one you love - or your spouse if you prefer :-) The model pictured here is Palliser Mirage Leather Home Theater Seating Power Recline w/Loveseat.
Some home theater seats also provide some more practical solutions. A row of seats with table for storage, and a place to put all your refreshments, might be ideal for your room. Some, like the one pictured here, also have USB charging ports. No need to put another piece of furniture in the room. The model here is the Delange Reclining Power Sofa with Adjustable Headrests.
If you have plenty of room, and are really 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 Delta Leather Home Theater Seating - row of 2 and row of 3.
If you want something that will look more like a traditional piece of lounge furniture, then you can also get a range of custom sofas and chaise lounges. No many of us are lucky enough to have dedicated home theater room. So, if you are using your room for all sorts of family activities, then a more traditional-looking sofa might be the answer. The product pictured here is the Cavallo Seating Fortuna Bella Fabric Home Theater Large Chaise.
The main things to think about are:
Once you have read this guide - hopefully you will be in a place where you can ‘expertly’ shop for your dream home theater seat.
You can always compare the seating, before you make your final decision. It may even be worth drawing out, or researching makes before you set your heart on something, and of course make sure it keeps in line with the rest of your house (unless you are going for something completely wacky).
Taking all of this into consideration, you should now be ready to get shopping for your very own home theater chairs.
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.