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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best home theatre seating

Last Updated May 2019

What if you could enjoy the creature comforts of a public movie theater in your own home? With quality home theater seating, you’re well on your way to that glorious experience. With the right home theater seating, you have a nice place to relax and enjoy some on-screen entertainment. But that’s not all. Some home theater seating options provide multiple conveniences that aren’t available in most theaters, such as a fully reclining seat with footrest, storage for your phone and remotes, and built-in USB ports and power outlets to charge and connect your devices.

This is a purchase that can elevate your living room, rec room, or dedicated home theatre to the next level. As such, you want to be sure you get the right product for your needs. We’ll give you the lowdown on pricing, chair upholstery, chair technology, and other features that can help you achieve your home theater goals.

Read on if you’re hoping to transform your movie room into an entertainment center you’ll be proud to share with family and friends.

Home theatre seating can range from a single seat to four or more conjoined seats in a larger sectional design.

Features

Number of seats

How many seats are you hoping to buy? That depends, in part, on how much space you have. You don’t want to overwhelm your space with furniture, as the room could then feel crowded. At the same time, you want enough seats for all people in the room.

One important thing to remember is that you don’t just need space in your seating area; you also need adequate space between your screen and your chairs. Otherwise, the viewing angle won’t be quite right.

Here are a few other notes to keep in mind as you search for the perfect home theater seating.

  • Home theatre seating can be a single seat, a pair of loveseat-style seats, or a number of conjoined seats.

  • If you have enough open room, two or more rows of seating may help maximize your space.

  • Take into account that most home theater seats recline and feature extendable footrests. You’ll want to add a few inches to account for these features.

Seat material

While there are fabric seating options for home theatre seating, the majority of choices on the market feature a leather look. However, not every seating option is genuine leather. The actual material of the armchairs may be vinyl or PU synthetic leather.

Here are some pros and cons to consider if you’re debating between leather, faux leather, and fabric seating.

  • The quality of true leather only gets better with time. Leather seats will wear in nicely without losing their value and their plush look and feel.

  • Real leather must be conditioned periodically to keep the material clean, soft, and flexible.

  • Synthetic leather is a cost-effective option if you want the look of leather without the accompanying price tag.

  • Vinyl and fabric are much easier to clean and maintain than real leather upholstery.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

If your home theater has surround-sound speakers, make sure all of the seats are placed more than four feet from each speaker. Otherwise, the sound could be too overwhelming.

Other features to consider

In addition to the number of seats and seating material, there are other features to consider before making this purchase. Do you want cup holders? Hidden storage? Massaging headrests? Here’s a look at some potential features.

Storage

Most home theatre seats have open compartments in the armrest or between seats. This gives you a place to safely store your remotes or other electronics.

Food and beverage accommodations

Cup holders are a fairly standard feature on home theatre seats. Some seats also have an attached side tray that pivots to give you a flat place for your food and beverages. If you buy two or more joined seats, there may be a tray between each seat where you can set a drink or bowl of popcorn.

Technology

A built-in USB port or power outlet gives you the convenience of charging your phone or other device right at your seat. Depending on the seating capacity you choose, you may have multiple USB ports and power outlets to charge various devices at the same time.

Massage and recline

Want to create an entertainment space that puts comfort first? Choose home theater seating with footrests, headrests, reclining capabilities, and — if you’d like a spa-like experience for you and your guests — body massage options.

Lighting

The top end of the home theatre seating market includes seats with base-level lighting. This lighting can help you find your way through a dark room without the annoyance of turning on the overhead lights.

DID YOU KNOW?

A seat with a motorized and adjustable headrest lets you find the best viewing position for your specific height and preferences.

Home theater seating prices

You could spend as little as $200 or as much as $3,000 on home theater seating. With a range so wide, it’s important to understand what might be included at different levels.

Inexpensive: Under $200, you are likely to find some nice single armchairs that are perfect for at-home movie viewing. Many of these chairs are plush and comfortable, with reclining capabilities and faux leather that’s easy to keep clean.

Mid-range: Between $200 and $1,200, you’ll find some love-seat style configurations with two seats, reclining features, cup holders, and other creature comforts. The upholstery may be leather or partial leather. There may be a few three-seat options as well.

Expensive: The top end of the market starts at $1,200 and goes up to several thousand dollars. For around $1,500, you can find some multi-seat reclining configurations with leather upholstery, storage consoles, and other comforts. If you’re willing to spend over $2,000, the choices become even more luxurious.

EXPERT TIP

Don’t forget to leave walking space for your viewers to get up and get around. A width of at least 30 inches is needed for maximum comfort.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Looking to save money? Decide whether genuine leather is a necessity. If you are willing to opt for fabric, vinyl, or a PU leather option, you will see a large reduction in price.

  • Measure your space before beginning the shopping process. Take into account the space needed when your seat is in a fully reclined position and the footrest is fully extended.

  • Consider which features are a priority for you. Make a list that of what’s most important. For example, is a chair with a swiveling snack tray a strong desire of yours, or could you live without it?

  • Wondering how far your seating should be from the screen? Multiple your screen size (measured on the diagonal) by 1.5. This is the minimum distance your seating should be from the screen. Multiply your screen size by 2.5 to find the maximum distance.

Other products we considered

With three seats in a rich black leather-like material, the Delange Reclining Sofa gives you ample seating. The middle seat folds down to reveal cup holders, and built-in power outlets and USB ports sit conveniently between both seats. If plush microfiber is more your speed, Homelegance’s beautiful Double Reclining Loveseat features warm brown upholstery and the option to fully recline. The price is quite affordable, too.

Built-in lighting may seem like an unnecessary feature in home theater seating. However, it will help you and your guests safely move about the room, and it may eliminate the need for a separate lamp or overhead lighting.

FAQ

Q. What is the difference between a regular recliner and a single-seat piece for home theater viewing?
A.
Whereas many of the living room recliners you see today are upholstered with fabric, the typical home theater single seat is upholstered with a sleek-looking leather or faux leather. Regular recliners may not have all of the bells and whistles that a seat designed for the home theater has, either: we’re talking cup holders, swivel trays, massage pillows, and so on. However, you could certainly use a chair designed for home theater viewing as a recliner in your living room. Similarly, you could furnish your home entertainment center with a regular recliner instead of a specially designed home theater seat if you wanted to.

Q. What’s the difference between a regular living room and a home theater?
A.
If you want to get technical, most people have a “home theater” of sorts already: a TV and surrounding chairs or couches where people can sit to watch shows and movies. But some people go the extra mile to create a designated movie-watching space. This may include a projection screen rather than a television, high-quality speakers placed in various intentional spots around the room, and a video source such as a Blu-ray player. If you’re serious about your entertainment and want to invest in quality audio and visual equipment, it makes sense to complete the package with luxury seating that makes you feel like you’re in a real theater instead of a living room.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jacob
    Jacob
    Editorial Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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