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Home/Mor Furniture Blog/Buying Guides/What’s the Deal with Seat Depth? A Primer for the Uninitiated

What’s the Deal with Seat Depth? A Primer for the Uninitiated

When you look at a sofa, side chair or even a dining chair the first thing you probably notice is the upholstery, wood grain or maybe the unique shape of that piece. Perhaps you’re imagining how comfortable all those fluffy pillows would feel in your own living room. Whatever you’re thinking about it’s probably not seat depth.

Seat depth can be a major factor when it comes to the long-term comfort of a piece of furniture though. Use this primer to learn why you should pay attention to seat depth measurements when shopping for your home.

What is Seat Depth?

Seat depth is the measurement taken from the back of a seating area to the front. This could include the cushion on a sofa or the seat on a dining chair, for example. When properly chosen, an ideal seat depth helps you avoid pressure points, making sitting comfortable for longer periods of time.
On average, the seat depth of a sofa is between 21” and 24”. The average seat depth on a dining chair shrinks to 15” to 18” since these chairs aren’t designed for long seated sessions.

However, this can vary since there is no standard for seat depth. Some pieces may have a slimmer seat depth for a sleek, modern look. Other designers going for comfort may have an extra-large seat depth to help you relax.

Why Should I Care About Seat Depth?

The ideal seat depth is a very personal choice and it does vary from person to person. Very tall and shorter individuals may have the most unique needs when it comes to seat depth.

A taller person on a shallow seat may feel like they’re sitting on a kid’s chair or like they can’t properly recline. A shorter person on a wide seat may feel unique pressure points on the back of the legs. They may also find getting out of a seated position more challenging.

Finding Your Perfect Seat Depth

Seat depth requirements can vary. So how do you pick the right depth to match your needs? Here are a few ways you can narrow down your search:

  • Find a piece of furniture in your home that you love sitting on. Measure the seat depth and use that as a guideline for new pieces you want to purchase.
  • Try pieces of furniture in person. If you’re shopping online, getting seat depth measurements of items you want and compare to furniture you already have can help you see how different they are.
  • Consider how you’ll use the furniture. Shopping for a desk chair for your home office is different than shopping for a sofa for the family room.
  • Determining your ideal seat depth doesn’t require a lot of complicated math or even lots of trial and error. For most people, a standard seat depth, which is what many manufacturers use, will provide plenty of comfort.

    If you’re still unsure about how to choose furniture with the right seat depth for you, MorFurniture is here to help. Reach out to us to learn more about shopping for the right desk chair, dining chair, occasional chair, loveseat, sofa or sectional today.