You are completely normal if you’ve never thought about sofa seat cushion depth before. But it’s actually the unsung hero of furniture comfort. Seat depth doesn’t vary much—it’s typically between 21 and 24 inches (although some pieces go even deeper than that). Your ideal seat depth comes down to your height and how you’ll be using your piece of furniture. Seat Depth is one of the four factors we use in our comfort rating system, ABCS Comfort Metrics (the other three are Cushion Fill, Arm Height, and Back Support). On The Stated Home, we rate the depth of our furniture pieces as a 1 (21 to 22 inches deep), 2 (23 to 24 inches deep), or 3 (more than 24 inches deep).
First, a definition (because we love to know everyone is on the same page). Seat depth is the dimension from the edge of the front of the seat to the front of the back cushion.
Here are the questions to think about when deciding on ideal seat depth:
How tall are you and your family?
If you or your family members are on the petite side, you’ll probably want a shorter seat depth (shoot for 21 to 22 inches) so your feet will touch the ground. Taller individuals will find the majority of seat depths comfortable, but if you’re above 6’2”, you will probably prefer a deeper seat of at least 23 inches.
How do you sit on your sofa?
Not everyone always sits straight with both feet on the floor. If you love to pull your feet up on the sofa to tuck them under you or sit cross-legged, you’ll want at least 23 inches (and preferably 24 inches).
Are you a spooner?
If you want to cuddle with your honey or your dog (and who doesn’t!) without one of you almost falling off the sofa, a 24-inch depth (or even more) will let you do that.
What’s the size of your room?
Personal preferences aren’t the only factors—you also want to take a look at your room. If it’s a small parlor, keep your seat depth to 21 or 22 inches. If it’s a huge great room, something deeper will look more natural.
What sofa is right for you?
Now that you’ve decided what seat depth is best for your comfort and space, here are some sofa styles for each depth:
Deepest Seat: 25-Inches or More
Comfortable for lounging with your feet up, but only the really tall would be able to sit upright with their feet on the ground.
Menlo Park – Inside seat depth of 28″, but with lumbar pillows to make it a little less if you need it. Available in two different sofa lengths and in a sectional.
Cambridge – Inside seat depth of 27″ in a classic Chesterfield style. Available as a sofa or sectional
Seattle Sectional – Inside seat depth of 26″ with soft back pillows creates a deep seat even a shorter person can love.
Medium Deep Seat: 23 – 24 Inches
The most favorite seat depth because it’s plenty big for tall people and for lounging. Shorter individuals can still sit upright with an extra back pillow.
Nashville – Inside seat depth of 24″. Available in several different sofa sizes and sectionals.
Newport– Inside seat depth of 24″. Available in several different sofa and loveseat sizes and sectionals
Nantucket – Inside seat depth of 24″. Available in several different sofa and loveseat sizes and sectionals
Savannah – Inside seat depth of 24″. Available in several different sofa and loveseat sizes and sectionals
Annapolis – Inside seat depth of 23″. Available in several different sofa and loveseat sizes and sectionals
Less Deep Seat: 22-Inches or Less
For shorter individual that like to sit upright and for smaller spaces
Palm Springs – Inside seat depth of 22″. Available in two different sofa sizes and sectionals
St. Paul – Inside seat depth of 22″. Available in several different sofa and loveseat sizes and sectionals
Charlotte – The shallowest seat at 21″. Available in two different sofa sizes
Providence – Also a 21″ seat depth. Available in sofa and loveseat
Learn even more in our Furniture Comfort: Seat Depth video
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A very informative article and easy for a lay person to understand. Thanks
I am disabled and need a loveseat that is high enough for me to get up and off the loveseat without much effort. Can you tell me what the highest height a loveseat would come in to accommodate my disability?
Alice Oglethorpe says
Seat heights typically don’t come higher than 18 inches (you might be able to find one that’s 19 inches, but it could be tough). What we’d suggest is figuring out what height you’d like, then getting a company to make you a custom loveseat. We have companies that make custom upholstery, so let us know if you’d like us to help with that! When shopping, also make sure to get the firmest cushions you can find–we are happy to help you with that as well. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get started!
I am my husband are both shorter. I wish that sofas came in less than 21 seat depth. The older ones do, but not the newer ones. I typically shop at the thrift stores for occasional chairs and haven’t found a sofa yet I like.
I do have a few sofa options that are 20″ seat depth – they just aren’t featured on our site. Additionally, many manufacturers (including ours) will customize dimensions (it costs a little more, but worth it for something you use so often). So if you find a style you like that is 22″ or 21″ seat depth, you could have it made 20″ instead. I wouldn’t modify any style that is originally deeper then 22″ because then the scale may start to look off. I can certainly give you some options if you want to explore further. Feel free to email us at email@example.com