Choosing comfortable and functional seating in your home theater is just as essential as selecting your audio and video components and room décor. It is thereby extremely important to find your ideal seats in the early stages of planning your theater. Don’t leave this step till the very end when you’ve likely exhausted your budget and are restricted to poor or inferior seating options. Cheap and uncomfortable seats can ruin a home entertainment experience, even with the top of the line A/V equipment.
So, how can you plan for the perfect home theater seating?
Decide how many seats you would like to have in the theater
Think about your watching habits. Do you mainly watch movies by yourself, with your spouse, or with the whole family? How often do you entertain guests, and how many people do you typically have over? How big is your room? Are you planning for several rows of seating?
All these questions help determine which chairs/recliners will work best in your theater. If your room is small, and you want to fit as many seats as possible, you may want to consider narrower recliners, like our Jive-1013s. If you are planning for several rows of seating, remember that you may need to add a riser in order to elevate the second row, and that you would need at minimum 6-6.5-foot depth on that riser to prevent the rows of chairs from colliding while fully reclined.
Size of the recliners is very important
How big and tall are the people who will be using your recliners? While there is no perfect chair for everyone, you may want to consider the fact that home theater recliners are designed for a specific application, and the chair back height may greatly affect movie watching experience. If the back is too high, it could block your surround sound, and if it is too low, you may end up lacking head/neck support.
Many tend to focus on chair style, and forget that they will be spending hours in the chairs watching movies, sport events, shows, etc. Do not get fooled by nice looking chairs in pictures! While sleek looks may be important to some people, recliners are often marketed to seem more luxurious than they truly are. In fact, many such recliners on the market lack important features like head and lower back support, and are often quite uncomfortable, negatively impacting on your overall experience. Remember, when you dim the lights, you cannot see how the chairs look, and if you are not comfortable, looks are irrelevant. Most home theater seats are intended to be used in the reclined position, and if the chair back is not designed properly, you may end up with no head support, needing a pillow to compensate. Moreover, poor lower back support often results in pain and a sore back after spending several hours in the chair.
Features and accessories
What kind of features you like your chairs to have? Are you on a tight budget, and need to stick to manual recliners? If this is the case, you can still enjoy excellent, comfortable chairs like our Encore-1010 recliners. These recliners are also a great choice when you have to place them in the middle of the room, and are unable to run power there.
Power recline, on the other hand, will give you infinite control over your chair, allowing you to effortlessly recline to your favorite position with the touch of a button.
Are you building a theater in your basement with a low ceiling, but want to have as big a screen as possible? If the answer is yes, then you will end up having a screen close to the floor, and in reclined position the chairs may not allow for a comfortable viewing angle. Adjustable headrest is the solution! You can choose either a manually adjustable headrest like on our Tribute-1015 recliners, or a motorized one like on the Escape-1019s. Both will provide you with the ability to ultimately create a perfect viewing angle to the screen while greatly supporting your head and neck.
Do you have back problems? The motorized lumbar support on our Streamline-1017 recliners will definitely help to create good lower back support and adjusting it to your liking.
Other features like arm storage compartments, tray tables, USB ports, tablet holders, LED flexible lights, wine glass holders can improve convenience, allowing you to do just about everything from your comfortable seat.
Last but not least – are you interested in getting the realistic film experience that would take you inside the scenes? Get low frequency transducers installed in your chairs! That will drastically improve how you watch movies, adding tactile motion to your chairs and amplifying exhilarating action scenes. All our chairs come with the BUTTKICKER READY feature, and while we offer pre-installation option, you can install the buttkickers yourself at later point. All our chairs come equipped with the buttkicker plate and kinetic rubber isolators, which will make installing the buttkickers a very easy process.
Feel and comfort
Choosing the right chair is not easy! Comfort is very subjective and personal, so you should always try the chairs before buying if you can. Spend at least 15-30 minutes in each recliner you are considering, making sure it feels good not only initially, but also after an extended period. Note that when chairs are too cushy, and they feel perfect they may not be. Manufacturers tend to use low density foam in very soft chairs, and these will lose support very quickly. While you do not want to buy an extremely firm chair, you also don’t want them to be extremely soft. We use pocketed spring coils in our chairs, providing great support and ensuring longevity of our seating cushions. Layers of foam and fibers on top of that guarantee cushiness and comfort. What if you live in an area where there is no place to try the recliners before purchasing them? Read as many reviews as you can, and buy from a reputable source.