Welcome to the world of home theater seating! You are about to join us on a mission to find cheap and comfortable chairs that you can use to sit while watching movies, reading books, sipping on a cold brew, or just spending quality time with your family in the living room. Enjoy!
In a rush? Here’s a rundown of the most important headings about home theater seating.
- Choosing the Right Home Theater Seating
- Types of Home Theater Seats
- Advantages of Buying Home Theater Seating
- Why Choose Home Theater Seating?
- Top 6 Cheap Home Theater Seating Reviews
- How to Make a Home Theater Seating Platform
- How to Connect TV Sound to Home Theater
- How to Make a Movie Theater at Home
- How Much Does a Home Theater Cost?
- Tips for Building the Perfect Home Movie Theater Room
- How to Measure for a Home Theater Size
- Home Theater vs. Media Room
Choosing the Right Home Theater Seating
First thing’s first, you need to know what are the features that can make a difference when it comes to choosing one theater setup over another. When you’re looking to improve the whole TV-watching experience in your home, here are the main features and specifications that you have to pay attention to:
Size of the room
The size of the room where the home theater setting will be placed in should play a very important part in choosing the products you want to buy. Needless to say, small rooms don’t leave too much space for furniture options. Your home theater seating choices will depend on both the size of the room and the distance from the TV set/protection screen. It is generally recommended that you don’t place your seats too close to the screen because the light emitted by the TV is already bad for your eyes. Besides, there’s a reason why people rarely fight over the front row seats in the cinema: nobody likes to have the action “in their face”.
Number of seats
Then, you will need a general idea of how many seats you want included in your setup. Do you live alone? Do you have a large family? Are you often hosting viewing parties or do you have a lot of friends that you want to binge-watch TV series with? Keeping that in mind will allow you to create an enjoyable viewing experience for yourself and those around you, so make sure that you choose a setup that offers enough seating space for everyone that you enjoy watching TV with.
Extra features for home theater seating
Home theater seating often comes with a wide array of extra features that will make the viewing experience more comfortable. One such example consists of trays and compartments that will allow you to place the remote control, hold your beverages, or the snacks that you like to enjoy while watching a movie. Furthermore, some home theater seating offers technology embedded features, such as USB ports that allow you to charge your devices. Some models even come with integrated lights or massage features. Needless to say, the more features your setup has, the more expensive it will be.
Materials and construction of the home theater seating
Of course, you will also need to consider the materials and construction of the setup you’re thinking of choosing. What does this mean, exactly? Not only should you opt for seating that’s comfortable to use for hours (especially if you’re planning to watch the entire Hobbit series in a single day), but it should also be easy to care for. One of the best things about seating for hours in the front of the TV is getting to enjoy your favorite snacks, or perhaps a can of soda or a bottle of beer. Accidents and spills will happen, no matter how careful you are. When they do happen, you want to be able to wipe the seating clean in an instant, which means that seats made from materials like vinyl or faux leather are preferred to those made from fabric (which, in case of stains, usually require spot cleaning).
Types of Home Theater Seats
For a product that sounds very pretentious to a lot of people, manufacturers have created plenty of different designs, offering you the possibility to choose home theater seats that match your tastes. When you’re shopping for new furniture that will bring your TV watching experience to the next level, you can expect to find:
- Single recliners are very popular because each person that likes to sit in front of the TV might want to adopt a position different to the person next to them. Single recliners are also good for people who watch TV alone or for those with limited room space.
- Sofa and chaise lounges are great for people who want home theater seating with a more traditional and mainstream look. These don’t stand out more than a leather sofa would and are perfect for people who want comfortable seating but have a room setup that’s a bit more demanding and where you can’t just throw in any piece of furniture without impacting the decor.
- You can also opt for a row of seats with a storage table, this one being the most practical solution out there. Technically, the design focuses on aligning multiple recliners or a row of seats with a table that allows viewers to place their snacks and refreshments.
- Some home theater seating setups are available in the form of a loveseat. They are designed for two people and would work perfectly in homes with limited space. They are mostly designed for couples but could also work if you live alone and have a friend or family member that likes to come over to watch a movie, a game, or perhaps a documentary.
- There is also the option of purchasing a row of individual seats. These are designed for two to four people and often have a compact design. They offer the benefit of unity in design, as all the seats will be identical.
- If you have plenty of space to mess around with and you often find yourself watching this or that with a lot of people, multi-row seats are another way to place your home theater seating. You will find many of the single-row models available in a multi-row version. You can place two seats in the front and another two behind them. This offers a more cinema-like experience, but it does require more room space, so it’s not an option worth considering if your rooms are small.
Advantages of Buying Home Theater Seating
In the grand scheme of things, we do realize that purchasing home theater seating might sound a little pretentious. What’s wrong with your current sofa/armchair ensemble?
While they are perfectly fine to use when you want to enjoy a movie in the comfort of your own home, a true movie devourer should not hesitate to invest in such a product. But the target market for home theater seating doesn’t stop there, so let’s look at some of the benefits of buying this type of product and you’ll maybe start to see the idea from a new perspective:
Home theatre seating allows you to create a cinema-like experience without having to leave the comfort of your own home. For people who love to watch movies, going to the cinema is a very enjoyable experience but living in these dire times requires drastic measures, and that makes home theater seating an option worth considering now more than it ever was. Besides, who wants to buy overpriced popcorn when you can make loads of cheap and just as good popcorn in their own microwave? Even more, cinemas are all about being quiet during the movies so as not to disturb the others, but when you have your own cinema at home, you can comment on the movies with your friends without being called out by the disturbed Karen in the back row.
Home theater seating can provide more comfort compared to what cinema seating has to offer. As a person who loves to go to the movies, I’ve experienced my fair share of low-comfort cinema seats, with not enough leg room and plenty of accidentally touching the arm of the person next to me in a silent battle over who gets to place their arm on the mutual armrest. With home theater seating, you can end up having a comfortable seating space that will allow you to sit comfortably for hours on end.
Designed for people who love to watch movies
This type of furniture isn’t designed just for people who love to watch movies, but also for those who love spending time in front of the TV in general. You may want to have some friends over to watch some sports, or maybe you are a documentary fan and want to experience the best that National Geographic has to offer in the comfort of your own living room. Whatever you feel like watching, home theater seating can make the experience a dozen times more comfortable compared to what a regular armchair has to offer.
Why Choose Home Theater Seating?
How many times have you gone to the cinema because you simply love the experience? The HD sound and image quality, the comfortable seats, the good popcorn, and hot nacho cheese dip…
While most of the others are things that you can easily procure at home, the seating is probably the most “out of reach” components of the scenario, because a comfortable chair would cost thousands.
That doesn’t always have to be the case, as there are plenty of affordable seats that you can buy, and that’s an investment worth making even if you’re not the average movie devourer. These cheap recliners can provide a high level of comfort for all your seated activities. There are people who buy them just to use them to create a reading space.
Top 6 Cheap Home Theater Seating Reviews
Who said home theater seating has to be expensive. It is true that you can end up paying exorbitant sums of money on these kinds of chairs, but you can also get away with less, and the following six products are proof of that.
We wanted to add in a little extra something for people who want a more luxurious home theater experience, which is why we present the Seatcraft Anthem chair set. This set is made with fine grain leather and offers comfort as you’ve probably never experienced before when you went to an actual cinema. It is clearly a product made to provide you with every little thing you need so you can enjoy The Lord of the Rings marathon with just a few bathroom breaks.
The two recliners are connected by a fold-down table which is the perfect storage space for anything from remote controls to the nacho bowls. It comes with wireless charging for your mobile devices, cup holders with back-up light, and ambient base lighting. The armrests can be lifted to reveal additional storage space (and it’s the first place you should look if you can’t find the remote control).
- Wireless charging.
- Fold-down table.
- Ambient base lighting.
- Lit cup holders.
- Comfortable top-grain leather construction.
- Not as cheap as the others.
Made from PU leather, the Homall recliner is cheap, comfortable, and a genuine delight to sit on. The material itself is very easy to clean, which is always a bonus if you touch it with greasy cheesy-puff hands. The sponge used inside the recliner makes it extremely comfortable. This push-back recliner is designed to open up a world of possibilities in terms of your sitting position, bringing a true home-cinema experience at home.
The footrest is adjustable, and the armrests are curved to make it more comfortable to rest your arms on them for longer hours. It can support a total weight of 265 pounds and you are required to assemble it before use.
- Easy to clean.
- Comfortable construction.
- Adjustable footrest.
- Curved armrests.
- Questionable stitching quality.
Next up, we have the Wingback, a recliner with a capacity of 275 pounds and comfortable construction that will make you want to use it for just about every sitting activity you might have undergoing. Whether it’s part of your home theater setting or you put it in your reading corner to enjoy the next level of comfort while indulging in a good novel, the Wingback will deliver as promised.
The construction itself is pretty similar to that of the Homall. It’s made with PU leather that feels very pleasant on the skin (unless it’s really hot and you’re wearing shorts, in which case it might feel sticky) and also very easy to clean. The legs and the frame of the FDW are made with solid hardwood to provide more support. Installing the recliner is easy as well, because it’s just a matter of putting a few pieces together and tightening a few screws.
- Foot extension.
- Easy to clean.
- Hardwood frame.
- Supports 275 pounds.
- Easy to set up.
- Not too comfortable for tall people.
Have you ever noticed that things that are generally made for gaming are 100 times better compared to the average? That’s because gamers are a category of buyers that will spare no expense in buying better gear, better furniture for long hours spent sitting down, etc. This chair is an example that there are affordable products for gamers as well, and even ones that can be used for a home theater set up.
The VIT gaming recliner has a race-style type of design, and is made with the same type of PU leather as the others, but with blue accents that make it look more professional. You can adjust the back and the footrest at angles between 90 and 180 degrees, which basically allows you to sit in the position of your choice. It comes with head support, a 300-pound weight capacity, and a high-density thick sponge fill.
- Cool-looking design.
- Head support.
- High adjustability angle.
- Back support.
- Protective feet covers.
- Mostly suitable for children.
Looking for a cool home theater recliner set to share with your spouse? Then maybe you don’t have to look any further. Yaheetech is a good example of a cheap product that delivers comfort and quality. The seats on these recliners are supported by pocket springs, while the head and footrest are filled with comfortable rayon fibers and foam.
Thanks to the PVC and PVU leather construction, the chairs are both comfortable and easy to clean by simply using a clean cloth to wipe them. They provide you with three different relaxation modes, and all you have to do is push the backrest and have the footrest align to give you comfort.
- Extra padding for head/footrest.
- Easy to clean.
- Three adjustable positions.
- Pocket spring coil seating.
- Complaints about being too small.
The Canmov recliner is one of the best affordable picks ever because its design makes it super comfortable. It comes with an adjustable headrest for better positioning while you’re sitting down. It integrates technology so you’ll have everything at reach, including built-in USB ports for charging your phone and one outlet for charging pretty much anything that fits into the plug.
Because it is designed to provide a complete theater experience, the chair is equipped with dual cup holders. The armrests offer storage function so you don’t have to get up during the movie at all (unless you have to use the bathroom, then it would be wise to pause the movie). It can support a total weight of 300 pounds and it’s one of the best and most comfortable budget recliners on the market.
- Cup holders.
- Armrest storage.
- USB ports.
- Power outlet.
- Very comfortable.
- adjustable positioning.
- Not a long-lasting construction.
How to Make a Home Theater Seating Platform
A home theater seating platform is quite easy to make if you’re ready to put in a little bit of effort. We’ve listed the steps required to see this project through.
Measurements are important, so you have to know the width, length, and height of the riser you want to make. As you consider those measurements, you have to know the exact dimensions of the chairs you want to place on the riser and how many of them you want.
Cut the pieces of lumber so that you’ll have enough materials to build a platform that matches the dimensions you took earlier. When you’re done cutting, build the frame as shown in the video.
Make the necessary cut for the wiring, which means you’ll have to cut a hole for the power outlet. Install your electrical box in the hole. Attach the electrical cable to the box.
Cover the entire exterior of the riser using a stapler and some carpet. Make sure that you cut any remaining carpet material that isn’t necessary to cover the riser anymore.
To insulate the interior of the box, you can use some insulation material which is pretty easy to find online.
Finish the wiring so there is electricity running to the outlet.
How to Connect TV Sound to Home Theater
Connecting your TV to an external audio source is very easy, but you have to know about the different options you can work with:
- RCA cables – They connect to your TV via the analog audio output slot. You have a red and white jack that go into the slots in the TV with the same color coding.
- Digital optical cable – One end of the cable goes into the TV slot with the same name, while the other end of the cable goes into the corresponding slot in the audio system.
- HDMI-ARC – This option requires a TV with an HDMI-ARC input. This function allows the TV’s audio signal to be sent back to an HDMI-ARC soundbar or whatever external audio equipment you’re using without the need for an additional analog or digital audio connection.
- Bluetooth – Assuming that both your TV and the external audio system have Bluetooth capabilities, turn them on for each device and allow them to pair.
How to Make a Movie Theater at Home
If you have some spare cash on your hands, this is a pretty cool tutorial that will teach you how to turn some unused space (in this particular case, a shed) into an amazing home theater.
In this particular project, it is necessary that you pour the concrete base and build the shed from pre-cut pieces of lumber. If you already have a room inside your home that you want to convert to a theater, the first part of the tutorial is something you can skip.
Consider making a false wall for mounting the screen, as well as making a designated space for your audio system. For instance, you can make special wooden boxes to conceal the subwoofers.
Make sure that you install the proper lights for a home theater ambiance. In this case, LED lights were preferred.
Whenever possible, paint the room black. This will help maintain a dark ambiance so that everyone can enjoy an immersive movie-watching experience.
Before installing the seating, you want to install the carpet. The choice of carpet is entirely up to you, but take note that spills are likely to happen when enjoying snacks and drinks while watching a movie, so you want to consider the ease of cleaning.
Install the screen. The best combo here would be a good projector and a pull-down screen which can be rolled up when not used, thus making sure it enjoys a longer lifespan.
Install the seating and take care of other details that might make a difference in your home-theater experience, such as installing a mini-fridge to have cold beverages nearby or adding soundproof insulation to the walls.
How Much Does a Home Theater Cost?
In the United States, the typical cost of a home theater can cost anything between $2,000 and $33,000. This sum covers the cost of the system, as well as the cost of installation and optional extras like seating and lighting.
You can also call in a professional to design your home theater room. For a professional design, expect to pay between $500 and $3,000. It’ll be money well spent if you acquire the correct layout and equipment for the space.
Tips for Building the Perfect Home Movie Theater Room
While making your own home theater room is partly a matter of personal taste, the following tips may be useful if you’re not sure where to start:
- Limit your ambient light as much as possible. That means that if your theater room has windows, you want a blackout curtain that can easily darken the room whenever you want to watch a movie.
- Make sure that you install lighting systems that are easy to control. That means that you should be able to dim or brighten them to the level of your choice.
- You want to avoid placing too many reflective items in the room.
- Invest in comfortable seating; it will make a world’s difference.
- Make the room as dark as possible in terms of decor. That includes dark walls and a dark ceiling.
- Invest in a quality drop-down projection screen.
How to Measure for a Home Theater Size
To calculate the minimum distance, multiply the horizontal width of your screen (which is different from the diagonal one) by two. To determine the maximum distance, multiply it by five. The home theater seating distance is also affected by other elements, including screen resolution and brightness.
Home Theater vs. Media Room
While they may appear to be identical, a home theater and a media room are not the same thing. But what are the differences between these two and which one is the right choice for you?
By their very definitions, these two types of room are quite different. A media room is designed for activities that implies using all sorts of gadgets and tech, from computer and console gaming to karaoke.
On the other hand, a home theater is dedicated exclusively to watching movies. Naturally, if you or your family like to do more than just watch movies, a media room might be a better option.
For a home theater, it’s pretty clear what type of furniture and tech you have to purchase. You want a comfortable chair, a good TV or a projection screen and a projector that is top-quality, ambiental lights, and good sound equipment.
For a media room, it really depends on what type of activities you want to do in the room. Computer desktops that can handle gaming tasks are pretty common, so you’ll need a good desk and gaming chairs as well. You might want a karaoke setup, a huge TV with a Playstation or Xbox, etc.
If you want to set up a home theater, it’s pretty clear what type of furniture you need. There are special home theater chairs that come with cup holders, recliner features, and even USB ports to charge your phone.
For a media room, you’re going to need comfortable seating depending on the activities performed. You might need desks, bean bags, bar stools, etc.
Home Theater Seating FAQ
Q: How much room do you need for home theater seating?
A: When you’re planning your home theater layout for the seats you’re thinking of buying, you’ll want to know what’s the ideal placements so you can calculate how many seats you can place in the room. There is a general consensus that there should be about 20 inches of space on either side of the row.
Q: What is the best material for home theater seats?
A: The one that’s easiest to clean. As we’ve mentioned earlier, when you’re munching on popcorn and nachos dipped in hot cheese or salsa, spills become inevitable. If you have to spot clean some pretentious fabric, you’ll end up not being able to sit on the chair until the cleaned surface dry out, not to mention the fact that you’ll have to put in some elbow grease to actually clean the stain. If you opt for seating that’s covered in something like leather or faux leather, wiping the seat with a clean cloth takes seconds and you can sit right back down and continue to enjoy whatever it is you’re watching.
Finding a suitable recliner for a home theater setting isn’t all that complicated, but it’s true that you can tell the difference between a chair that costs a few hundred bucks, and one that’s worth thousands of dollars. With that in mind, know that buying a cheap chair isn’t impossible, you just need the patience to find one that balances price and decent overall construction.