Whether you’re gearing up for the Big Game or just want the perfect setup for a movie marathon, choosing the right seating can take your media experience to the next level. But how do you select the perfect spot to watch TV? This guide will navigate through the different seating options to help you make the most of your screen time.
Sofa vs. Sectional
One of the first things to consider when choosing the seating to pair with your TV is whether a sofa or a sectional would best suit your needs. Because they come in a wide variety of styles and colors, it can be easier to find a sofa that coordinates with your decor if you have a very specific decorating style or if you’re working with a particular color scheme. Plenty of sofa styles also come with a sleeper option so that you can easily host overnight guests when you’re not working your way through your Netflix queue.
A sectional, on the other hand, offers a wider variety of seating types—including stationary seats, reclining seats, cuddlers, and chaises—all in one piece of furniture. Modular sectionals have plenty of options that allow you to easily create a custom configuration that fits your needs, whether that’s seating for miles, a theater-style experience, or a compact arrangement that works in your tiny apartment. Depending on the sectional, it may even seat more people than a sofa and loveseat setup with the same footprint. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all seats on a L- or U-shaped sectional will necessarily be facing your TV, so some people may have to sit at an uncomfortable angle or crane their necks to see the screen.
If you have a smaller space, you might have to think outside the box to create a seating arrangement that works for your space. If you love the look of a particular sofa but it just doesn’t fit in your space, consider using the coordinating loveseat instead. If you have your heart set on a sectional, a two-piece sectional—particularly a modular one—may offer the features you want in a footprint that fits your space.
To Recline, or Not To Recline
Once you’ve concluded whether a sofa or sectional would best fit your needs and your space, it’s time to decide whether or not you would like your seating to recline. Reclining can be the most comfortable way to watch something, and power reclining furniture often includes adjustable headrests and lumbar support to give you total control over your comfort. It also frequently offers handy features that aren’t generally found in stationary furniture, like storage consoles and cup holders. Unfortunately, reclining furniture may not be the best choice if your space is on the smaller side: reclining furniture requires extra room for the footrest to extend, and most reclining furniture can’t be placed up against a wall because the back will hit the wall when the piece is reclined. Power reclining furniture needs to be either plugged into a wall outlet, which limits where in a room you can position it, or attached to an external rechargeable battery pack that grants you flexibility in placement but must be purchased separately.
Reclining sofas and sectionals (and occasionally stationary pieces) often have additional features that can make your screen time even more enjoyable. Most power reclining pieces offer built-in USB charging ports and/or AC outlets so you can charge your devices without snaking a cord across the room or worrying about missing a great play because your phone battery died. Some pieces even have LED lighting along the bottom of the piece to complete the home-theater experience. If you like to enjoy a beverage while catching up on the latest episode of your favorite show, look for a piece with cup holders to keep your drink close at hand without the need to worry about spills. Enjoy the darkened-room movie theater experience? Some cup holders light up to add a little extra flair that helps you find your drink in the dark. Pieces with center consoles typically feature both cup holders and a hidden storage compartment that is perfect for keeping remotes from getting lost. Some center consoles also include a drop down table to provide a level surface for your mid-media munchies, as well as handy reading lights. If you want cup holders and the storage a center console offers but don’t have the space for it, look for a piece with cup holders and storage built into the arms.
Avoiding a Fumble
Regardless of what type of seating you opt for, make sure that it will fit in your space. There’s nothing more disappointing than getting new furniture delivered and realizing that it’s too much furniture for the room, or even worse, too big to even move into the room. Be sure to measure your room and use tools like the AFW Space Planner and the AFW Visualizer AR app to determine whether your picks will work with your space.
By understanding the different seating options and the variety of features available, you can easily pick the furniture that helps you enjoy your media-watching experience to the fullest.