How To Measure A Recliner [Complete Guide]

Recliners are more than just glorified chairs! There are thousands to pick from with varying styles, sizes, features, and colors. Knowing how to measure a recliner is key for ultimate comfort and enjoyment. Not only must it be perfect for your body, but it must also fit into the space you’ve selected for it perfectly without resulting in a cluttered look. 

Sure, you can kick back and relax in a recliner while watching your favorite TV program or take a quick nap while your baby snoozes in her crib. But if the chair’s dimensions don’t work for the space, you’re going to lose out on many of the benefits of owning one. 

The secret to owning a recliner you can look forward to relaxing in is getting the right measurements, and we’re not only talking about the recliner chair dimensions. Keep reading to find out what you need to know before buying a recliner that will enhance your lifestyle at home.

How To Measure A Recliner Chair

How To Measure A Recliner Chair

Recliners come in all shapes and sizes, from small to large, single to loveseat designs, fully reclinable or not. All of these factors influence which one you should get to suit your personal needs. 

Using a standard recliner size chart with the most commonly used dimensions will help you when shopping for a chair. However, before you head out to the local furniture stores to purchase one, you need to take some other factors into consideration. 

The first steps to successfully finding the right recliner for your personal requirements include getting your body measurements and the dimensions of the space designated for the chair. With these measurements, you can narrow down your search when deciding on a recliner size. I’ll break these steps down in more detail below.

1. Get Your Body Measurements For The Right Fit

If you’re buying your recliner at a brick-and-mortar store, you can physically test out chairs to see if they suit your body shape and size. However, if you’re purchasing online, you need to have your body measurements to guarantee comfort when you finally get your furniture, such as one of the best La-Z-Boy recliners.

Taking the following body measurements can guide you in deciding which recliner size to purchase. Using a tape measure, write down the measurements for the following parts of your body:

  • The distance from the top of your ears to your tailbone 
  • The length of your lower leg between the back of your knee and the bottom of your heel 
  • Distance from your tailbone to the back of your knee 
  • The length from your elbow to the end of your hand’s palm
  • Measure the distance between your right and left hips

When recording your body measurements, it’s recommended to get someone to help you. 

These measurements are essential for getting the right back and seat height, seating depth, armrest length, and width of the chair for the perfect fit. 

2. Measure The Space For Your Recliner Chair

Recliner chairs have a range of functions that alter their positioning. Some recline fully, while others shift into one or two positions without going all the way down flat. Getting the right recliner size for the space or area designated for it is vital to avoid cramping your style and cluttering a room!

Using a tape measure, take the dimensions of the length and width of the area you intend to place the chair. Allow for five to ten inches of space between the chair and walls and the same distance from other furniture such as coffee tables. 

When measuring the chair for the designated area, take into consideration the size and space it takes up when maneuvered into different positions. There must be five to ten inches of free space even when fully reclined, allowing for getting in and out of your chair easily and preventing it from bumping the walls or furniture. 

A fully-reclined chair that measures 72 inches in length means you need at least 77″ to 80″ space between the recliner and walls. If the chair measures 40″ in width, you’ll need an area of 45″ to 50″ to give you enough space to accommodate movement between other furniture. 

Finding The Right Recliner Size

Now that you have your body measurements and you know the dimensions of the space designated for placing your chair, you need to get the right recliner size. When looking for ultimate comfort and correct posture in a recliner, you need to consider the following criteria. 

Back Height 

It’s important that your head isn’t above the backrest of the recliner, as this will result in strained neck and shoulder muscles as well as lower back pain. Getting the right back height will prevent your head from lolling about when seated upright or lying in a reclining position.

The measurements of the chair’s backrest should be equivalent to the dimensions you took from the top of your ears to your tailbone. 

Seat Depth 

Finding The Right Recliner Size

The measurement of your tailbone to your knees should equal the dimensions of the recliner’s seat cushion. This prevents any gaps between your lower back and the chair, ensuring proper seating posture and correct back support.

If the seat is too deep, you’ll end up sliding forward, losing the correct seating posture, which will reduce your back support at the same time. On the other hand, if the seat isn’t deep enough, localized pressure will increase, making your back tire quickly. 

Seat Height 

Getting the right seat height gives you proper knee and back support while improving blood circulation in your legs and feet. When seated and before reclining the chair, your feet should be placed flat on the floor without dangling in the air. The heels shouldn’t be extended upwards.

When the recliner is fully reclined and for proper leg support, the heels of your feet should be rested on the footrest and not dangling over the edge. 

Seat Width 

If the width of the seat is too wide, you’ll end up slouching or shifting too much in the chair. On the other hand, if the seat is too narrow, you’ll battle to sit comfortably against the backrest for proper support and posture. 

Make sure there’s a gap of at least 20 mm between the armrest and either side of your hips when sitting in the chair for the correct seated posture. 

Armrest Length And Height

The armrests should equal your measurements from your elbows to the end of the palms of your hands. This ensures your wrists and arms are resting comfortably without putting any strain on your joints while you’re relaxing in the recliner. 

The height of the armrests must also be correct to allow your arms to rest naturally. Otherwise, you run the risk of developing a sore neck and shoulders. 

Recliner Size Chart

This table includes examples of some standard recliner measurements to help guide you when deciding whether you need a small, medium, or large chair for your body size and available space. 

Recliner SizeExamples Of Standard Recliner Dimensions (W x D x H)
Small29.1″ x 37″ x 41″ 30″ x 36″ x 41″ 30″ x 37.4″ x 41″ 
Medium32″ x 33.5″ x 37.5″ 35.5″ x 42″ x 43″ 38″ x 34″ x 42″ 
Large41″ x 38″ x 40.5″ 42″ x 40″ x 40″ 44″ x 39″ x 39″ 


How do I measure a recliner for a slipcover?

First, place the recliner in its upright position. Using a tape measure, get the dimensions of the backrest from the top to the bottom edges. Measure the width of the recliner by taking the measurements from the outside of the right armrest to the outer edge of the left arm. 

Positioning the recliner so that it’s fully reclined, measure the length of the chair from the top of the backrest to the bottom of the footrest. Take the measurements in both inches and centimeters as slipcover manufacturers use one or the other metrics. 

How do I choose the right size recliner for a family’s use?

Choosing the right size recliner depends on the person using it most. Taking the person’s body measurements and weight into consideration, you can decide what size recliner chair is best. Seat width measurement is often used for sizing a recliner for comfort and correct posture. If multiple people require the use of a recliner and you want to prevent problems like back pain, you may need to purchase multiple chairs to cater to everyone.


Knowing how to measure a recliner chair makes all the difference when looking for complete relaxation, correct seating posture, and proper body support. My complete guide will help you make an informed decision when picking one of our best recliners on sale.

Measurements really do count to ensure you can kick back and enjoy your recliner anytime! But before you leave, why not check out these great recliners?