What Are the Different Types of Home Theater Chairs?

Judith Smith Sullivan

Home theater chairs are designed for the ultimate experience in comfort and convenience. There is a certain look to the chairs that makes most of them very similar in physical appearance, aside from upholstery fabric, color, and a few cosmetic details. Home theater chairs may be stand alone, attached, or sectional style. The distinguishing characteristics are found in the features and accessories.

Sectional seating is probably the most economical for spacing, and it allows viewers a greater variety of seating arrangements.
Sectional seating is probably the most economical for spacing, and it allows viewers a greater variety of seating arrangements.

A stand alone home theater chair is not attached to the other chairs in the media room. It may be a standard size chair, oversized, or designed for two or more people, like a love seat. Attached chairs are typically identical to each other and share an armrest, much like the design of traditional theater chairs. A sectional style home theater chair looks like a sectional sofa, but has features which make it more conducive to a media room.

Each type of chair has its advantages. With a stand alone chair, viewers don't have to share armrests and have more personal space, and attached chairs save space while allowing for individual seating. A sectional is probably the most economical for spacing and it allows viewers a greater variety of seating arrangements, from reclining seats to an area long enough to lie down.

All three types of chairs are designed and built with a variety of features and accessories to make viewing movies, sports, and TV the most comfortable. The most basic is the fully reclining seat back. Many manufacturers boast a "wall hugging" design that allows the chair to be placed close to the wall even in the reclined position. Typically, the reclining chair has a leg rest which springs out when the chair is reclined. Sectionals typically only have reclining end units.

Many home theater chairs have cup holders or attached tables. Cup holders are usually integrated into the armrests, and the attached tables may be mounted on the two outside chairs or fold out from a pocket on each chair. Some styles also have a built in mini refrigerator or other storage compartments for snacks and beverages.

Ground lighting is available in a variety of colors and is the feature which most embodies the spirit of theater screenings. It also provides a practical function if viewers must move about during the show. This feature is typically found under the edge of the unit and sometimes along the armrests.

Like most furniture, home theater chairs can be customized with many different types of fabrics. As it is common for viewers to eat while sitting in home theater chairs, many manufacturers cover their chairs in a leather or leather-like fabric that is easy to clean. Other popular fabrics include suede and microsuede, synthetic, and natural woven fabrics. Although leather is probably the most common, most companies offer several fabric choices for their units.

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