Measuring furniture properly to get the right scale can change or destroy the entire look of your home. Learn how to measure furniture correctly, the first time, in this complete step-by-step guide to measuring furniture.
With a few simple tricks, measuring furniture has never been easier. Let’s learn how to measure furniture the easy way!
Did it happen to you? Did you walk into the furniture showroom and see your dream sofa only to find that you have no idea if it would fit in your space?
Have you been into measuring accent chairs and wondering where to start and stop and whether or not they will fit in that corner of your room?
I love sharing our favorite furniture with guides who will help you along the way. I checked out our Pottery Barn sofa, our Ikea sofas, and even made instructions for wicker sofas, sectional sofas, and teak furniture.
But furniture is so much more than just finding something you love. You need to know if it fits! And how do you know? Learn how to measure correctly with this step-by-step guide to measuring furniture.
Your furniture doesn’t just have to fit into your room. It has to fit through your front door, often up or down stairs and more! Learn how to measure furniture and make sure it fits the dimensions of your home for a smooth furniture delivery and beyond.
How to measure furniture dimensions
Length: The most distant points of the element from right to left.
Broad: The farthest point from the back to the front of the furniture – for example, the back of a sofa to the front of the pillows.
Height: Measurement from the floor to the highest point of the item.
Seat height: Measure from the floor to the top of the seat cushion.
Back height: Measurement from the floor to the top of the back of the frame of the item. Pillows and pillows are not included in this measurement.
Diagonal depth: Diagonal measurements of furniture can be particularly helpful in determining whether the furniture can be retracted at the end of the delivery.
How to measure furniture
Measuring furniture is more than meets the eye! Here are a few steps to get you started regardless of purchase or room.
- Measure the space – You also need to measure the entry point of your home – from the door frame to the wall of the room when you enter. Do the same for each room you have to move through until the furniture finds its home.
- Determine the best size for each piece – Mask the floor with painter’s tape to see the exact shape of the item and the floor space needed.
- Measure the furniture path for delivery – (does it fit through door frames?) Use a tape measure to measure the height and width of the doors and hallways at the entrance of your new furniture. You also need to measure the entrance of your new furniture home – from the door frame to the room wall upon entering.
How to Measure a Couch
In the case of sofas and sections, the term depth actually refers to what we could call length. The depth is from the back to the front of the sofa and the width is from arm to arm. This also applies to chairs.
- Just measure the width and diagonal depth.
- The width is the longest part of the sofa – from the outside of the left arm to the outside of the right arm.
- Diagonal depth is the arm on a diagonal from the top to the floor. When looking at the armrest of the sofa from the side, think from top left to bottom right for the diagonal. The diagonal depth must be smaller than the width of your door entry.
How to measure a sectional sofa
Use a tape measure, these are the measurements you will need for a sectional sofa. The two most important dimensions of the sofa are the total width and the total length.
- The height refers to the cut base to the top of the back.
- Width refers to the distance from the right arm to the left arm, including all pieces in between.
- Depth refers to the front edge to the rear of the profile.
Note: The inside dimensions of a sectional sofa are important in determining the correct size for placing an ottoman or coffee table. Especially when you include a chaise longue, etc., this spacing is very important!
How to measure a coffee table
- Length: Look for a coffee table that is about 2/3 the length of your sofa.
- Width: For easy maneuvering around a coffee table, allow between 12 and 18 inches between the coffee table (or ottoman) and the sofa. Leave at least 36 ″ between the coffee table and the nearest large piece of furniture, like a TV stand or built-in bookshelves.
- Height: The standard height of the coffee table is generally between 16 “and 18”. However, depending on your sofa height, choose a coffee table that is the same height as your sofa cushions or up to 2 inches lower.
With bar stools, you need to consider the height of your bar or island countertop, as well as the width, to determine how many stools you will need. For more size information, see this kitchen island size chart!
Bar stools should be measured by Floor to the top of the seat. The seat height (listed in the product dimensions) shows you where the stool will sit and how far it will be from the countertop or counter.
- First, measure the height of your countertop from the floor to the top of the surface.
- Next, consider the inches you want between your lap and countertop. Generally, the top of the stool’s seat is approximately 10 inches from the bottom of your countertop.
- Now subtract the number in the second step from the number in the first step. That is the height you are aiming for!
To know how much space to leave between your chairs, consider the following:
- If your chair is between 16 and 18 inches wide, allow 6 to 8 inches of space between each one.
- For stools 19-22 inches wide or any swivel seat, leave 8-11 inches between stools.
Height of the bar stool
- Countertops tend to be between 36 and 39 inches in height. With that in mind, you need a bar stool that is between 24 and 26 inches tall.
Bar stool height
- Bar tops are generally about 40 to 42 inches high. Choose a bar stool that is 28 to 30 inches tall.
How to measure a bed frame
To determine the size of a bed frame, simply measure the length and width of the surface of your mattress.
- The length is measured from the edge of the top center to the center of the bottom edge.
- The width is from the extreme left center edge to the extreme right center edge of the mattress.
How to measure a dining table
The hardest part about measuring a dining table is considering the space it takes with chairs that can move next to the table itself for sitting and beyond the chairs for serving.
- Measure both the length and width of the dining area.
- For the room size, subtract 6 feet from the length and width to leave 3 inches of clearance on all sides of your table.
- This results in the maximum recommended dining table size.
Tips for your furniture dimensions
- For most pieces of furniture (although there are of course exceptions) the order of the dimensions is in this order: Length x width x height.
- Measure (and re-measure) every entrance, hallway, staircase, and door your furniture reaches before it reaches its final destination.
- Ideally, the furniture you buy should at least ten centimeters less than these door opening and passage measurements.
frequently asked Questions
In furniture terminology, the standard is generally length x width x height. There are always exceptions, of course, so measure carefully! If a fourth measurement is included it is generally the depth.
No, by definition these two things are not quite the same. Width is from side to side in furniture terminology: On a sofa, for example, the width is actually the length of the item that extends across a wall. The depth is actually back to front. For a sofa, this is the distance or length that it protrudes from the wall into the room.
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