How to Properly Measure a Sofa

How to Properly Measure a Sofa

The Spruce / Adriana Sanchez

Every time you buy a new sofa, measure it before handing over the cash. You need to measure carefully to make sure the sofa fits in your room, fits proportionally to your other furniture, and be doubly sure it can get in the door and turn tight hallway corners to get in the intended space. You should also measure the space where you plan to put it. If you are buying online, know all these dimensions before you buy.

There are four measurements that matter: length, depth, height, and diagonal depth. The diagonal depth is a diagonal measurement from the back of the frame to the front of the arm. This measurement is why some couches do not make it through a doorway.

Take a closer look at why it's important to measure accurately and how to measure everything correctly to make sure you get a great fit.

Why Accurate Measurements Are So Important

Furniture delivery people sometimes have to contend with getting a sofa into a home through windows or dismantling a couch to take it inside. Sometimes, sofas are returned to stores because they don't fit through doors or are too large or too small for the rooms they were intended for.


Measuring the house door opening is crucial, but also measure the width of hallways and internal doors at their narrowest points. Look for any obstructions, such as radiators, shelving, and other built-ins that would hinder the sofa from getting where it needs to go.

Measuring is needed to get the sofa inside and make sure it is the correct fit for the room. Whether placing it against a wall or sitting it in an open space, it needs to fit. You also want it to be the same scale as your other furniture and the room. For example, measure space for side tables or any other structural elements you think you might want to include. A rule of thumb for a sofa scaled right for the room is that it should be about 2/3 the size of the room.

When selecting a sofa, it's equally important to make sure that it fits you (and your household members). If you're taller, having a sofa with more depth makes sense for your legs to stretch out comfortably while still hitting the floor. If you're shorter or have a small household, a smaller sofa might be sufficient.

Measuring Your Home

Before you even think of buying a sofa, you need to measure your home. Start from the entry, then move on to all the passages, hallways, staircases, or doors that your sofa will pass through to get to where it is supposed to go. Make sure to leave a few extra inches for maneuvering your furniture.

Proper Sofa Measuring Technique

When you measure a sofa, don't just stop at the length or the width because that will not give you the whole picture, and the measurements can be incorrect. Here is how to measure correctly:


Measure the width from arm to arm because that is usually the widest part of the sofa. You need to make sure that you take the width measurements at the widest point. For instance, if the couch you selected has rolled arms, measure from the outside of the widest part of one arm to the other arm and not at the bottom near the legs.


The next step is to measure the height—measure the back at the highest point. For instance, a camel-back sofa will be highest in the center. Measure from there to the floor because sometimes sofa legs are attached.

If the sofa legs are screwed on, you might be able to get away with just measuring from the top to the bottom of the sofa. If that measurement passes through the entryway, you can screw the legs on once you have the couch inside the room.


The depth of the sofa is one of the most important measurements to take. The way to do this is to measure from the outside edge of the seat all the way to the back. It is best to do it from one of the sides.

Diagonal Depth

The next step is to measure the diagonal depth of the sofa. You do this by placing a straight tape measure from the top back of the frame to the bottom front.