How To Measure A Recliner?

No matter you plan to buy a new recliner or protect your recliner with a slipcover, you have to take some measurements. If you are new to the world of recliners, don’t know how to measure a recliner is a common issue. 

Luckily, it may not be as hard as you expect, and follow our guide in this post, you can get it done within a few minutes.

How to measure your body for a new recliner

Comfort is one of the top priorities when buying a reclining chair. A comfortable recliner must be a chair that can fit you well. 

If you can’t test them in person in a local physical store, it is crucial to measure your body to ensure the chair in the picture is the dream chair you want.

There are a few body dimensions you should know while deciding if the chair is a good fit. So get a measuring tape, and let’s start!

measuring tape
Measuring tape

The length

Measure the distance from the back of your knee to your tailbone. Make sure the measurement equals the length of the seat cushion when the chair is in an upright position. For better back support, there should be no gap between the low back and the seatback.

The height

Don’t forget to measure the height from the back of your knee to your heel. The result should be close to the seat’s height since your feet should be rest flat on the ground without hanging in the air. A correct sitting posture boosts blood circulation and is critical to health.

The width

Check the distance between your left hip to your right hip. Compare it with the seat width and ensure it is at least 2 inches larger than the measurement.

The arm

Don’t forget to measure the distance from your elbow to the end of your palm. This result decides if your hand can rest on the armrest comfortably. Ensure it equals the length of armrests.

How to measure the area for a recliner

measure area for a recliner
Measure area for a recliner

How to arrange a recliner in a room is also crucial for every customer. It could be annoying to find a favorite chair, but there is not enough space to accommodate it. Other factors that affect the placement include sunlight, match with other pieces of furniture, and so on.

Recliners are massive in profile and will take some space, especially when it is fully reclined. Read the manual or ask sellers for the clearance from the wall you need. If you live in a tight space, a wall hugger model is a more suitable choice. 

On top of it, the width from the outer edge of one armrest to the other affects how wide the chair will take.

The distance between the chair and the coffee table or the end table needs to be taken into consideration.

Usually, you can get this information from the manufacturers’ guidebook, if not, use your measuring tape. We suggest you leave more space on each side of the recliner. Nobody finds a recliner surrounded tightly with other items pleasing.

How to measure a recliner for a slipcover

Buying a slipcover is a great way to extend your chair’s life, and for a better fit, you should know some measurements. Most of the recliner covers are made with soft materials, meaning that you don’t need to get very precise measurements.

Check the length from the top edge of the back to the bottom edge of the chair’s footrest while reclined. This helps to determine if the slipcover can cover the chair even when in a reclined position.

Another critical dimension is the width between the out edges of each armrest. Some brands also ask for the width of the armrest itself.

We also need to know the height of the back, which is from the top edge of the back to the bottom of the back, especially when it provides a separate backrest cover.


There are a few tricks that may help you.

1. Write down both centimeters and inches. Nowadays, you can buy products from all over the world. Some manufactures will use inches, and others will use centimeters. It will be a hassle when you compare different recliners with different units. To save your time, better to record these data in both ways.

2. Keep the chair in the upright position while measuring. In most cases, you should measure the chair when it is not reclining except for when you want to measure the distance from the top edge of the back to the bottom edge of the footrest. Because manufacturers measure its dimensions in this way as well.


Sometimes, we need to read the recliner dimensions and sometimes, we need to take the measurement by ourselves. It is not complicated and only takes a few steps to do it. 

When you are buying a new chair, remember to check your body dimension and the spaces you plan to put the chair in. When you think about buying a slipcover, don’t forget to measure the width between the outer edges of each armrest as well as the height of the back. The materials of recliners covers are also essential.

Hope this guide will help you to measure the recliner in the correct way!

Photo of author
Rachelle is the founder of Best Chair Finder. She is a fanatic of home improvement, and as an engineer, she knows well about each chair's mechanism. You can find her story on the About page.