Home Theater Seating 101: Choosing the Right Theater Seating for Your Media Room


How to Design the Best Custom Home Theater Chairs

The trick to creating an amazing home theater all your own is choosing the right seating. Wait – what about the projector, screen and sound system? Yeah, those are arguably just as important, but what good is that awesome audiovisual equipment if you’re uncomfortable for the whole movie? After all, you’re watching the movie while sat in a chair, right? You want something really comfy with quick access to drinks and snacks. And to make the movie an even more immersive experience? Forget couches and recliners – go for real deal instead. 

Media room furniture is not what it used to be – in a good way. DIY home theater seating now includes everything from a row of 4 or 6 seat curved theater seating to an entire home theater sectional sofa to a single, totally tricked-out gaming chair. And between all the leather and fabric choices for movie room furniture, there’s a lot out there. So before you start shopping around, plan ahead and decide what you’re looking for in your new home theater seating.

  1. Size Matters:

When looking for the ideal seats for your home theater, start by measuring your room. As easy as this sounds, a lot of people forget to do that, and end up with seats that simply don’t fit in the space they have! Avoid stress and extra moving by knowing how many seats you need BEFORE you decide on what media room furniture to buy. Make sure you take into account: 

  • How much room you need between each seat
  • How much room you need between the first row of movie recliners and the screen
  • How much room you need behind the back row of seating and the wall for optimal reclining

Wall-hugging theater seating will help you maximize the length of your media room, and curving the rows of your movie chairs will maximize use of the width of the room. You can also consider

(Pro tip: leave a minimum of 24” for aisles and rows, and a minimum of 9’ between the screen and the first row.)

  1. Go low, but not too low:

Theater seats are different from “normal” recliners in that they don’t recline in the same way. Theater seats are meant to be supportive and comfortable, while still allowing you to watch a movie without craning your neck. The reclining mechanism should be strong enough to last several years, while still being quiet and easy to maneuver for kids and adults alike. An ideal reclining mechanism will be powered, ergonomic and durable. A great example is the Leggett-Platt reclining mechanism, which comes standard in every Valencia home theater seat.

  1. Upholstery and design choices:

When choosing upholstery and other finishes, think about how you want to use your home theater, and how often. If you plan to have kids and dogs running around, it’s advisable to select a sturdy material, or maybe fabric home theater seating instead of leather. If your home theater will be for adults-only, go for more delicate or luxurious finishes, and definitely spring for some home theater accessories like wine caddies for each movie seat.  If you’ve decided on leather, double check the quality, as not all leathers are created equal.

Curating the highest-quality leather for our theater furniture is one of our specialties. But we also source luxury non leather and fabric options for home cinema seating as well, because leather isn’t for everybody. Some options you can explore on our 3D Build module are:

  • Velour theater seating
    • Microfiber upholstery
  • Vegan leather seating
  • Luxury leather collections
  • Two tone leather and fabric movie chairs
  • Contrast piping and embroidery
  1. Add-on accessories:

The beauty of building your own home theater is the possibility of customization. Luckily, you can not only choose how many seats you can fit, but also the finishes and accessories you want in your home cinema seating. Whether that is extra storage space for magazines and remotes, bigger cup holders, built-in bass shaker theater seats, or even extra LED lighting, consider all of the different ways that you’ll use your theater room. 

If you want your theater seating to be luxury to the max, trick out all those home theater recliners, loveseats, sofas, whatever, with lights, bass shakers, tray tables, tablet holders, and more. Watch a 3-hour movie and never have to get up, even once.

  1. Ultimate comfort is key:

Theater seats are an investment, so make sure the style you choose features ergonomic cushions and headrests. Lumbar support is a real thing – we’re not as young as we once were. And the way in which the theater seat reclines is important as well (remember Leggett-Platt?). Pulling off a great DIY home theater is mostly math and design, but there is a bit of science behind it. 

The best home theater seating manufacturers are going to have some straight up science behind the design of their chairs – trust us. Some seats even offer massage features, to make your evenings even more relaxing! So, there you have it: a brief education on why a chair isn’t really just a chair. You may laugh now, but when you sit down in your new home theater furniture and remember all the reasons you love it so much, you’ll definitely remember this article.