If you're looking for a new couch, you might not know where to start or what to expect in terms of size. But don't worry: couches fit into a wide range of lengths. With the length diversity of couches, you're sure to find the perfect size for your room.
The standard length of a couch is anywhere from 70 to 87 inches. However, you can find couches that are longer than this, up to 100 inches long. Loveseats range from 48 to 72 inches long but are most commonly about 60 inches long. Sectionals are customizable and can be as long as you'd like, though each section is typically somewhere between 30 and 36 inches across.
These measurements are taken from outer edge to outer edge and include the armrests (if applicable). We know these numbers can be overwhelming if you're picking out a new couch. But don't worry, we've done the research and would love to help you understand standard couch lengths. Keep reading for more information on the types of sofas, how to measure them, and how to pick out a couch size that works for your room. Here we go!
A loveseat is designed to seat two people comfortably. The standard length for this little sofa is 60 inches, though it can range anywhere from 48 to 72 inches long.
Oftentimes, a loveseat comes as a set with a standard couch. It is frequently paired with a couch as a secondary seating option in larger, more open rooms. In smaller living rooms, it could be used as the primary piece of furniture.
Is a loveseat and kissing chair the same thing?
Loveseats and kissing chairs are not the same thing. Though both generally sit two people comfortably, a kissing chair, also known as a gossip chair, tête-à-tête, or conversation bench, faces opposite directions. The tête-à-tête (French for "head to head") looks like two armchairs set against each other. However, it is one piece of furniture.
This unique piece of furniture is said to have been created in Victorian England when courting was a polite, non-physical affair. This type of sofa allowed two people to have a conversation without touching, reducing the potential for gossip and scandal.
Nowadays, it can be a great statement piece that provides elegance to any room. You can find these chairs in a wide range of styles and materials.
The most common type of couch seats three people comfortably. It typically comes anywhere from 70 to 87 inches long, though the most common length is 84 inches. Occasionally, you can find extra long couches up to 96 inches long.
Many times, a three-person couch will have three separate cushions, like the one pictured below.
Other times, however, it will have only one or two extra-long cushions, though it still seats three people.
A sectional sofa is most simply described as a couch with separate pieces that can be organized or distributed however the user would like. Because of this versatility, there is no real standard size. Most single seats measure somewhere between 30 and 36 inches across. Thus, the length of the sectional depends on how many seats your sectional has.
The customization offered by a sectional allows it to fit in many different settings. It also allows you to make it as long as you would like, giving more flexibility than a standard couch.
Many sectionals are divided by seats so that each seat can be detached from the rest. Other sectionals are comprised of two longer pieces that can be put together to form a right angle.
In fact, many sectionals are designed to be set up at a right angle. They fit nicely into living rooms in which having a couch and a loveseat is impractical. A right-angle sectional provides plenty of seating, can face the focal point of the room, and still facilitates conversation.
Many sectionals also contain a chaise lounge as one of the end pieces. A chaise lounge has a longer seat and is designed so that people can put their feet up, similar to a daybed. The chaise might be the only part of the sectional that is detachable from the rest.
This sectional is reversible, meaning the chaise can be switched to the other end. This lets it fit in many different shapes and sizes of rooms.
What's the difference between a couch and a sofa?
Nowadays, the terms couch and sofa are used interchangeably. No matter which one you use, most people know what you're talking about.
The origins of these words, however, are slightly different. The word "couch" is French in origin and referred to a flat piece of furniture without armrests. Originally, a couch did not necessarily even have a back.
A sofa, on the other hand, has always referred to the same thing: a long, cushioned piece that has a back and armrests. It appears that the biggest difference historically is whether or not the piece has armrests. Today, these terms have evolved to mean the same thing.
How much legroom do you need for a couch?
The best recommendation is to have at least 14 to 18 inches of legroom in front of your couch. Most often the item that is in front of your couch is a coffee table or ottoman. Fourteen to eighteen inches gives you plenty of legroom while still allowing you to reach your drink on the coffee table or put your feet up on the ottoman.
If you will not have a coffee table or ottoman in front of your couch, plan on at least 30 inches between your couch and any other object. This gives you plenty of walking room and helps the couch look like it fits better.
This should be based on personal preference, however. What works for your living room? If your furniture is set up in a closed square and you need to center your coffee table or ottoman in the middle of the furniture, go for it! If you have a smaller space and need to make everything closer together, that's fine too.
For more information on how to pick out an ottoman that goes with your living room, check out this article, Should Ottoman Match Sofa?
How far should a couch be from TV?
The distance from the couch to the TV actually should be based on the size of the TV. A good rule of thumb is to place the TV three times as far away from the couch as the diagonal measurement of the TV. This means if the TV is 55 inches across diagonally, the majority of seating should be 165 inches -- somewhere between 13 and 14 feet -- away.
Another suggestion to keep in mind is that the seats in your room should not be more than 10 feet away from each other. Any further away makes it feel like you have to shout to people in the other seats.
These are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. As usual, do whatever works for your situation.
For more ideas on where to put your TV, check out this article regarding Where To Place The TV In The Living Room.
Can a sofa be too big for a room?
A word of caution when picking out a couch: don't just pick out the biggest couch. Instead, figure out what works best for your room. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all, you generally do not want the sofa to take up an entire wall. While it might be tempting to try to maximize space in this way, it will actually make the entire room feel smaller. Even just a little bit of wall space on either side of the couch will help.
Secondly, an often-forgotten dimension is the height of the couch. If your ceilings are shorter than standard (nine feet is standard) you will want a shorter couch. This provides the illusion that there is more distance between the back of the couch and the ceiling. If you have high ceilings, feel free to go with a high-backed couch that will look stately and grand in the room.
Tips for picking a couch size
When figuring out which size is best for you, consider the main use of the space. Will you be hosting social events? Then a smaller couch with other pieces of furniture will facilitate conversation, like in the picture below. Maybe a couple of loveseats instead of a large couch would work better.
Prefer solo movie nights? Then a large, comfortable couch that takes up more of the room should do the trick and serve you well.
There's a simple experiment you can do if you're trying to figure out what size of sofa to buy. Pick out a spot for the couch. Then, put painter's tape or masking tape on the floor in whatever dimension you think would work best.
For the next couple of days, pay attention to the taped area. Does your natural walking path take you over the tape? Does the box seem to take over the room because it's too big? Can you get away with a bigger couch than you originally thought? Use this experiment to inform your decision.
Most couches come anywhere from 70 to 96 inches in length, though you can find extra long sofas that are longer than that. The most common length, however, is 84 inches long.
Loveseats are most often 60 inches long, though they commonly range from 48 to 72 inches. Sectionals are customizable, but each section is somewhere between 30 and 36 inches across. These measurements go from outer edge to outer edge.
Hopefully, this article will help you make an informed decision on what size of couch to buy. Good luck!